Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A simple meal, for when your kitchen is still packed in a box.

moving is exhausting.  and expensive, when you didn't own any furniture in the first place.  and then exhausting some more.

without the energy to cook, i have been subsisting on amy's microwaveable meals for the past week.  amy, i'm probably your biggest fan, but i miss eating food with a bit more substance.  plus, the beeping sound of the microwave always kills my appetite a little, as it's the promising sound of lackluster meals to come.

so, tonight i took out the only pan i own and threw in some cheap ingredients, and ended up with my first home-cooked meal in the new apartment.

if, like me, you've been too exhausted lately to cook, or simply have barely any space or utensils to cook with, give this well-rounded meal a shot.  if you can use a can opener, you can make this recipe.  all together the ingredients cost about $17, with plenty of leftovers for future lazy days.

~meal in a fry pan recipe~

  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 can stewed tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 1 can red or black beans, depending on your preference
  • 1 envelope taco seasoning
  • 1 & 1/2 cups water
  • 1 & 1/2 cups instant rice
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (i used a mexican cheese blend)
  • optional: 1 lb ground beef, ground turkey, or ground meat substitute 
  • highly suggested: a glass of wine or beer as your cooking companion

{step 1}  heat a bit of olive oil in your frying pan, or any other cooking oil you have in the cupboard.  then throw in the onion (and, if you choose, ground meat or fake meat) over medium-high heat until the onions are a light golden brown (or until meat is no longer pink).

{step 2}  throw in the tomatoes, zucchini, beans and taco seasoning.  give them a quick sauté in the pan for a couple minutes or so, making sure everything is mixed thoroughly.  pour yourself a glass of wine for a job well done so far.  you deserve it!

{step 3}  add water.  bring to a boil.

{step 4}  add rice, mix well and reduce heat.  then cover and simmer for five to ten minutes, until the liquid is gone.  while you're at it, polish off your glass of wine.  what else have you got to do?

{step 5}  sprinkle the top with cheese, turn off the heat, cover, and let sit until the cheese is melted.

{step 6}  eat.  should feed at least four monumentally hungry people, or more if you're using it as a side dish.  beautifully paired with wine or beer...and a salad if you're feeling adventurous.

ok, now back to unpacking and lusting after new pots and pans on amazon.  bon appétit!

*this recipe inspired by the recipe i found here .

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A Happy List

{}  i got to spend the entire week alone with ^^this kitty^^.  it was magical.

{}  i found an apartment in san francisco in one day.  one day!  unheard of in this city.  i still cannot believe how lucky that was.

{}  by the time i write my next happy list, my niece charlotte will be born.  yay for cute babies and their cute baby clothes!

{}  wine.  wine was a big part of my week this week.

{}  zoe, dylan, and jessica for being soooo incredibly helpful during my move this weekend.  i couldn't have done it without you and i love you all!

{}  all the new outfits i rediscovered at the bottom of my hamper/closet/armoire while packing. 

{}  ikea.  there, i said it.

{}  the sun.  it's out today for the first time in two weeks.  hurrah for san francisco summers!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

July (so far) In Pictures

rest is for the wicked.  so why have i not been able to get more than six hours of sleep in the past three weeks?  

thank you so much to everyone who made my birthday so special.  i had a great day and am looking forward what else july has in mind for me.

happy summer!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Life in a Box

packing.  there seems to be nothing more monotonous yet inherently promising than packing up every last fridge magnet and pair of underwear into a bankers box that, mysteriously, weighs more than i do, cramming it into a car that's smaller than my bed, then unloading and carrying it up an infinite amount of stairs only to be unloaded again.  a painful amount of manual labor (as far as labor goes, manual is my least favorite kind), yet having the need to pack promises adventure, new opportunities, and a (hopefully) exciting and full-of-unknowns chapter in life.

i moved around a lot once i started college.  up until coming to san francisco, i had never lived somewhere for longer than a year at a time, several of those times only 3-6 months between moves.  in some ways, i liked this lack of permanence.  i lived light, able to fit my most prized possessions into a single suitcase for an overseas flight or, less desirably, long-haul greyhound bus trip.  knowing that a year from whichever day i was living i'd be in a new apartment, in a new city, and possibly in a new country filled me with happy anticipation.

life is a bit different now.  having been at my current address for two years (a new record!), with a doting boy and a cat and a life of domestic somewhat-simplicity, i had allowed myself to settle into a routine.  and hoard - i definitely allowed myself to hoard.  i moved to the city with about five boxes and a suitcase.  i'm leaving with a suitcase, fourteen boxes, two shoe racks, and three zippered packs full of bedding.  who am i?!

considering the circumstances, this particular move has been put on the bottom of my list of priorities for the past few weeks, for a variety of (mostly good) reasons.  but time is ticking away, and these boxes, sadly, aren't going to pack themselves unless i'm willing to pay movers $85 an hour.  which i'm seriously considering.

while a part of me is experiencing a large amount of emotional pain with this particular transition (duh), there's another part of me, the old part, that is still excited about this new place, new chapter, and new decorating possibilities.  it's good to know that the adventurous part of me is still alive and well.

p.s.: today's my mom's birthday.  happy birthday, mom!  i love you!

Thursday, July 4, 2013


despite my aching heart, this past week was full of lots of celebration.

if you've been following united states politics at all, you've probably heard that doma (the defense of marriage act) and prop 8 were struck down by the us supreme court a week ago.

true to form, san francisco made these happy court decisions into a city-wide block party wednesday night.  i was fortunate enough to be able to take part with some friends.

sf pride weekend followed a couple of days later, and it was a wild and happy celebration of love.  i even got to borrow a pink wig to liven up my persona for the festivities.  this is a look i'm now considering taking on permanently.

i was pretty adamant about getting photographic proof that i was there to witness these historic moments in a city famous for its celebration of diversity and great street parties.  they're photographs i plan on showing to my grandkids someday.  first, because i always loved discovering old photographs of my own grandmother marching in parades and being part of san francisco history in her early days.  and second, because i want my grandkids to be fooled into thinking their grandmother was cool.

  it's impossible not to love a city full of so many people who want to celebrate happiness and equality.  really makes me feel like this place has its priorities in the right place.  

now onto more festivities and a day off from work, hopefully with some fireworks and a picnic in the park mixed in.  happy 4th of july!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Random Acts of Sadness

our very first picture together
there is a story i know about a boy and a girl who were walking along the street with their dogs one day, saw each other, and promptly fell madly in love.  but they couldn't see eye-to-eye on anything beyond the love they had for one another.

the more time went on, the more they fell in love.  the more they fell in love, the more they bickered...and it wasn't in that cute "old couple bickering" kind of way at all.   and it made them both very sad.  so, after four years and a cat and trips halfway around the world and family members getting married and giving birth and deaths and an apartment and a billion different memories, they decided to go their separate ways.

in case you haven't figured it out yet, this is andrew's and my story. 

i don't tell you this story as a plea for pity or compassion, but as our family and friends were very much involved in every step of our relationship, i wanted you to know.  break-ups are hard enough without reliving the heartache every time someone asks the innocent question, "where's andrew?"

sometimes things that we want to be just aren't.  time has a way of pushing us onto a path we don't recognize at times when we're not prepared.  but if we don't keep trudging ahead, we'll get lost in the dark.  we can drive ourselves crazy with the "why?" and "what if?" of it all we want, but that doesn't stop reality from taking its course.  this is the lesson i'm learning from all this sadness, anyway.

only time will tell what's next for andrew and me as we start the rest of our journey separately, now as friends instead of lovers.  i just need to trust that what should be, will be.

in the meantime, i will always be thankful to andrew for his love, all the laughter, all the good times, and for the opportunity i had to fall in love with such a caring, good man.

i'm sure in the years ahead i'll even be thankful for the bad times as well, for everything those moments taught me about myself.  my life has become infinitely more meaningful because of andrew, sid, and the years we spent together.  when you love someone, a part of them - the best part - really does stay with you forever.  that's just part of what love is, i guess.

meanwhile, there's this song, which i will be playing on repeat for the next few months:

(devotchka's "you love me" on the album "how it ends")