Foods that I didn't care for when I started this blog, but have grown to love:
I mean, I've always loved frozen treats and warm baked goods, but I just never really saw myself as a dessert person. But man, I seem to really be developing a sweet tooth over the past couple of years.
Earlier this week, I invited a friend over for dinner, which of course meant I also invited him over for dessert. I have way way way too many dessert options in my kitchen right now, but we ended up making smoothies. And by "we", I mean I chopped up some strawberries, and he was the one who actually blended the smoothie and decided what to put in it:
Yup, that's right. A strawberry smoothie with dairy. If you've known me for long enough, you know that I've always hated mixing berries with cream. Whenever I go to smoothie or bubble tea shops, I always ask if they put dairy in their smoothies. I get my strawberry smoothies dairy-free every single time. Just two years ago, I'm sure I would have taken a sip of this smoothie and thought it was gross.
But oh my god, it was delicious.
(Hey, that's four entries in a row where I'm calling my food delicious!)
My little sister called me while the smoothie-making was in progress, and in a shocked tone she said "Jeje, you like pink things now?!"
Yeah, I guess I do.
And with that, I'm going to announce that it's time for me to put the blog posts on pause again so I can focus on other things.
v2! of the blog has been great. I've really, really been enjoying writing these entries. When I first started this blog, it was just a place for me to share photos of the food I make. Food blogs are known for having incredibly long personal anecdotes before every recipe, and I didn't want to be one of those obnoxious bloggers. But I later realized that I just need to write whatever feels right for me. I don't have recipes (yet!), so I decided to embrace the cheesy backstories.
Even though I won't be writing new posts for a while, that doesn't mean I'm totally putting the blog on hold. I've got some fun blog-related projects that I'm cooking up (heh). What will the blog look like when I write my next post? Will there be a v3?! Who knows.
But I will be back eventually.
This post has no pictures. Just a personal story.
I was a really, really picky eater growing up. It seemed like all I really liked eating was porridge with salty fish, salty olives, or salty eggs. I barely touched school lunches until I was in high school. But slowly, over time, partly from going to college and partly from my little sister telling me how much she loved certain foods, I started to expand my tastes.
I ended up gaining 30 pounds during my first semester of college. That's right, I quadrupled the Freshman 15.
At the time, I hated cooking. Hated having to come up with meals, hated going to the grocery store, hated the prep work involved, hated the way my own food tasted, and hated the cleanup that went along with it. Not to mention I was absolutely terrible at it. My mom might have tried to teach me how to cook a few times during high school. I distinctly remember trying to make stir fried cabbage. My mom insisted on turning the heat up to high and dumping all of the cabbage into the pan even though it barely fit. It was a mess.
I couldn't even cook easy things. I burned my leg once in high school while making eggs. I had put oil in the pan and when I cracked the egg in it, the oil splattered and a huge piece of it hit my upper leg. It created a scar that lasted for about two years.
Throughout college, I got used to eating out all the time. Yeah, it was expensive, but it felt justified. At one point, I figured I would just make enough money so I'd never have to cook again. But after two years of living in a dorm, I moved to an apartment, and I figured I'd try to be more of an adult.
I lost all the weight I had gained as a freshman after a year of living in an apartment. I attribute part of that to running everyday. I also attribute that to the fact that I was cooking for myself. Honestly, it was a struggle. I cooked so many meals and felt so dejected so many times because my food was awful.
Because cooking was such a struggle, I went back to eating out more. I got a decent paying job right out of college, so I figured I had the money for it. But then something happened that has nothing to do with food at all. I got bored at work. I got so bored that I had an existential crisis sitting in my cubicle wondering if my life was going to be like this for the next 40 years.
No. No it wasn't. I refused. I started saving up money and making it my life goal to retire as early as possible. But that meant I needed to stop eating out so much and I needed to start cooking meals again.
While browsing through early retirement forums, I stumbled across Budget Bytes, which is a food blog focused around making easy, cheap meals. I tried one recipe and it changed. my. life. Holy crap, I can actually cook things that taste good.
Eventually, I hit a point where I was consistently getting disappointed at restaurants because it was never as good as the food I made myself. I had a complete 180 shift from where I was in college.
At the time of writing this, it's been about five years since that first delicious meal that I made. I've gotten better at cooking since then, but I still have so so much more to learn. What started out as a way to save money has transformed into both a passion of mine and a forever project.
A few weeks ago I gave a lightning talk at work. This is largely based off my Meal Plan post from before the holidays.
I want to bring the food blog back. But, I'm tired of Wordpress. I want to make something I'm proud of, and I'm starting from scratch. So here it begins, version 2.0 of flailing in my kitchen.
My sister had been staying with me for a while, and I don't know what it is, but I was being a complete bum with her here. I've been exhausted from work--so exhausted that I don't feel like cooking afterwards. So she would cook all the dinners. After that, we were both at home with family for a month or so. And then I become an ever bigger bum. A blob. A loaf of bread.
But now my sister has moved on to the next chapter of her life, and I'm back on my own! So, you know, I gotta cook for myself again.
And look at that! I can still cook! It took me a whole 30 mins to prep this. 7 mins just to mix the spices. You wouldn't think it would take that long to mix the spices, but I have so many spices that half the trouble is finding the ones I need.
It's okay. It was worth it. I love fajitas.
So, we're at about two months of this quarantine, self-isolation, social distancing thing. I don't know how long I originally expected this to last, and I don't even know how much longer I think it'll last now. Where I am, they've lifted stay-at-home orders, but social distancing is still strongly encouraged. All of the restaurants are still takeout/delivery only.
It's been such a weird time. Work has been incredibly busy, and it's been hard for me to think about food the same way lately. I don't ever want writing in this blog to be a chore, but right now it feels like more of an obligation than a fun side project. So I think I need a break from this. I need to take more time to devote to sleeping, exercising, eating well, having social interactions, staying away from the internet, and just relaxing.
When will I start writing blog posts again? I'm not sure. At least not until things "get back to normal", and even then I might take some more time. But this blog is officially part of my list of lifetime projects. I may take a super long break...but I'll get back to it eventually.
One more thing: I changed the tagline of the blog. It reflects my state of mind a little better during these times.
Until next time.