I am deviating from my blog schedule today...this whole week has been a bit off with the long weekend and all...so no food blog today :( I haven't done any cooking this week to write about! (Besides some quick slow cooker chili with bbq pulled pork, black beans and okra). There has been a lot of shifts and changes.
I've been noticing that a lot of things have been revolving around moving lately. My office has moved across the floor, my website is moving to another location...(more on that later :)
So there's been a lot of taking personal things back to my apartment...packing up desk supplies...
I looked at it as an opportunity to purge and to separate my work/office life from my home life. I was going to say "home, real life." But they are both my reality right now, no matter how much I want change...or despite the changes that are occurring.
So office will be office and home will be home. With a few personal touches on my desk to make me happy but not feel tied there.
New cubicle wall
I've been sneezing from all the dust moving kicks up. I suppose this is what happens when we start moving things around in our lives. We kick up some dust...and sneeze a little...but then we have a brand new view.
And speaking of new views...this is the last full blog I'm going to post here on blogger! Yes, on Monday I'm launching my new website which will house the blog, my photo galleries, writing samples, Etsy link. It will be one-stop shopping for all things LionArt Creations.
This seems to be the season of food at friend's houses. The fall held the weekend at my cousin's, last weekend I had brunch at Kim's...and this past Sunday was pizza in town and then a combined effort at whisky-laced apple cake (we sort of veered off recipe).
The day started off with something new for me...a trip on New Jersey Transit. Mint tea in hand, I was off for a day of girl time with Sara and Heather.
One of the many things I loved about the day, was that it was completely unplanned and relaxed. We decided to go into town for pizza instead of making lunch at the house, which was the original "plan." If we had followed that plan, though, I wouldn't have been introduced to french fry, chicken and hot sauce pizza or Greek salad pizza...what a tragedy that would have been!
I had brought two little cookbooks obtained while in Inverness a few years ago so we started to make "Apple Plate Cake" when we returned to the house. However, it quickly turned into our own boozy concoction of apples, whisky and cinnamon...mixed with a lot of laughter and a wee bit of gossip.
Cake before it went into the oven
While we waited for the cake to bake...we drank tea, whisky, wore crowns and watched Doctor Who at the Proms...you know, the usual. I also repeatedly disappointed Sara with all the movies I haven't seen. No, I've never seen "The Godfather" or "ET."
My new snuggle buddy, Roxy
Sara donned the traditional Antlers for weekend gatherings
And Heather introduced the ceremonial copper fish...
It was a great day of relaxing and no schedules...which set the tone for the rest of my long weekend.
I very consciously watched TV for practically 2 days straight...instead of just zombie-ing out in front of the tube. I think that, sometimes, there are great gifts to be had from TV. Certain lines are spoken and felt deep. They ring true with what I'm thinking or going through at the moment. And that's a wonderful gift. It was also a great gift to not have any pressing business besides opening the door for my grocery delivery.
Should I admit that I've spent most of the weekend in my pjs, watching Bones, Community and Torchwood...while occasionally drinking red wine and eating peanut butter straight out of the jar? Why not? I also felt bizarre delight from placing my empty dinner plates on the floor and then curling up in my big orange chair to get back to the show. I would have found this lazy and weird at one time...but this weekend I found it freeing.
It also kept me from posting this blog "on time." But I suppose it's all part of a long weekend. I took the words "days off" very seriously.
And then I ran out of time over the weekend and ended up having to make it on a Monday night after work. Needless to say I wasn't much in the mood to cook. So instead, I cut up all the veggies the night before (carrots, potatoes, turnip, brussels sprouts) and popped them all in the crockpot before I left for work in the morning. I mixed it all up with olive oil, sea salt, onion powder, pepper and herbs de provence. *On low for 8-10 hours.
Then, when I got home that night, I had some yummy slow-cooked (roasted) veggies to snack on while I made the rest of the recipe (the sausages and onion gravy). I "cheated" a little bit on that part too...buying a sausage that was already one big spiral...whereas in the recipe you create your own with two different kinds of linked sausage.
Then I put it all together! And it travels really well for work lunches!
I took this photo while on vacation in St. Thomas back in 2003. What a wonderfully relaxing week that was. Breakfasting on the terrace while a Caribbean shower fell upon the beach and then rum-spiked smoothies with lunch.
I thought we could all use a dose of the island on this snowy, icy day.
I have spent the last week or so marveling at how everything has been manifesting. I feel as if I've been swept up by this giant wave of beautiful forward motion and I can't even remember standing on the shore.
But along with that, has come some uncomfortable feelings because THINGS ARE HAPPENING. And they are things I've been wishing and preparing for.
Oh. My. Goodness!
My life is starting to really head in the direction I've been reaching for and it's bringing up the "new job feelings." You know, when you start a new job and you feel all out of whack...not fully grounded because you don't feel all that confident and stable in your new responsibilities yet? That's where I am, partially. The other part thinks it's pretty neat that magic is happening.
I've been hard at work on a new website and it has been a big learning curve. I'm pretty happy with the way it's coming along and am hoping to launch it around Valentine's Day...awww.
I've also been trying to experiment with balancing out my quiet time at home i.e. turning off the TV so as not to numb myself down instead of doing healthy things like yoga or meditation. I, of course, still enjoy watching my favorite shows...that won't ever change.
Another thing I realized I needed this week was to up being social with friends, but on a small scale. So I spent this past weekend over at some friend's apartments! I had a wonderful St. Andrews dinner with Sara on Friday and then crashed at her place. It was like an old-school slumber party. We stayed up late watching stuff on youtube and then spent the morning watching Dr. Who and an Indiana Jones related documentary on The History Channel (while drinking tea and eating toast).
A funny sight after lunch at the diner, with Sara
And yesterday I went to Kim's for lunch, cranberry wine, chat and...tango dancing! Yes! Kim and I tangoed in our socks all around her living room. It was a glorious afternoon.
Kim's Kitty was very frisky
That's what my dreams needed. A little break and friends to feel nourished by. All is well and I will keep pressing forward with all the wonderful changes. Still feeling the fear...but doing it all anyway. And maybe I'll stop for brunch and a dance a little bit more often.
It was part of an episode that addressed winter vegetables! I also, totally covet his outdoor kitchen.
Last time I made this soup, I seriously flubbed the amount of cabbage I cooked and made enough to feed an army. I was eating it practically 3 times a day for two weeks.
(This was also the time I began my love affair with beer...and this dish goes so well with a nice ale. I'm pretty sure I gained about 10 pounds).
I can imagine myself getting the cabbage, rosemary and sage out of my own garden and putting the piping hot dish in the middle of a big beat up wooden kitchen table...ready for everyone to dig in. It seems meant for a group. But I'll do my best to polish it off all on my own. ;)
This time around I made it a much more realistic size...with red cabbage & kale. I really like this recipe because you can follow it loosely and it still comes out unbelievably delicious. An easy, hearty winter meal...comfort food to the max.
And I have to say...even with having a lot of it, I still enjoy the last bowl as much as the first.
Lee Ann Monat is a photographer, cook, and writer who uses her life experiences as fuel and inspiration.
She began "The Lion's Share" after her 30th birthday trip to Scotland in 2008. It combines all her creative interests and allows her to share what she loves with others.
Using cooking and travel as creative outlets for the senses, "The Lion's Share" serves as a public diary and photo-journal of one woman's search for herself and her dreams.
Lee Ann hopes that sharing her journey in her unique way might inspire her readers to follow their bliss as well. Continue to follow along at The Lion's Share Blog's new home: http://www.lion-art.com