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Life

Oscar Party Round-Up

Oscars 2014

They’re here! The Oscars are finally here. If you’re anything like me, you realize that the Oscars are not only a joke, they’re pretty fucking exclusive (see a deeply depressing infographic on the matter here), and yet… I LOVE THEM. I absolutely adore the Academy Awards. I cry during nearly every speech, I have a blast checking out all the red carpet fashion, I desperately attempt to win Oscar polls, and I try to attend an awesome party where everyone nerds out as much as I do. Luckily, I have found such a group (I basically just stalk Alexei‘s friends) and have been counting down the days to my friends’ soirée for weeks.

If you, like me, are getting ready for an Oscar bash this weekend, never fear! There’s something for everyone here, from the baking queen to the movie novice.

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Entrees, Food, Life

Recently Eating – Easy Weeknight Dinners

Easy Weeknight Dinners

Clockwise from left:

Bacon-Wrapped Scallops with Cauliflower Mash & Roasted Broccolini
Preheat oven to 350˚. Prepare bacon on baking sheets and cook for 10 minutes, until cooked through but still pliable. Wrap around scallops and secure with toothpicks. Cook in butter for a few minutes each side. Coat broccolini in olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt and red pepper. Broil for 5 minutes, turning over halfway through. Roast cauliflower until soft, puree in a blender, and season to taste.

Sausage, Broccoli & Goat Cheese Quinoa
Prepare tricolore quinoa according to instructions. Heat up Trader Joe’s chicken apple sausage and steam broccoli. Combine with quinoa, sprinkle with goat cheese, and season to taste.

Farro Salad with Broccolini, Edamame & Avocado
Prepare Trader Joe’s 10-minute farro according to instructions.Coat broccolini in olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt and red pepper. Broil for 5 minutes, turning over halfway through. Combine broccolini, farro and edamame and stir to combine over medium-low heat. Remove from heat, add chopped avocado, and drizzle with sriracha.

Peanut Chicken Stir Fry with Spicy Udon Noodles
Chop chicken breast, red peppers, garlic and ginger and set aside. Make this peanut sauce. Heat wok and add a few tablespoons of sesame oil. Throw in chicken and toss until nearly cooked through. Add garlic, peppers, and a can of water chestnuts. Cook for 1-2 minutes, then add a package of udon noodles. Stir and cook for 2 minutes. Add peanut sauce and toss to combine. Remove from heat and top with chopped scallions, sesame seeds, and sriracha.

 

Spoiler alert: I really like broccoli. And sriracha. And stuff from Trader Joe’s. And posting photos of my food on Instagram.

I don’t always post recipes of the stuff I make for myself, often because I’m too lazy. But everyone likes a fast, easy dinner, and these are all decently healthy, or so I tell myself. (Bacon’s always healthy, right?)

What about you? What are some of your favorite weeknight dinners? (No, really. I need some new ideas.)

Blog, Life

Friday Faves: Halloween

Halloween

If you’ve been following along, you should know a few things about me by now. You know that I love fall and October, that Ray Bradbury’s “The Autumn People” (and generally everything Ray Bradbury) speaks to me, that as a girl I whispered spells and considered myself misunderstood and a little bit witchy — you know, as teenage girls often do. You know of my unabashed Winona Ryder obsession and my penchant for all things Halloween. You also know that I’m going to be running around a Disney cruise boat (ship?) all next week, so I will be sipping tropical drinks and sunbathing during the witching hour.

To make up for lost time, I’ve spent the past few weeks watching some of my favorite Halloween flicks starring my favorite mysterious ladies. Winona Ryder, Christina Ricci, Thora Birch, Sally and Gilly-Bean, and the girls of The Craft inspired me when I was a dark and twisty teen (and, let’s be honest, to this very day). As my one Halloween-y event in LA, I decided to throw a Hocus Pocus ladies’ night (+1 very lovely gentleman) at my apartment with some appropriately spooky snacks.

Hocus Pocus Ladies Night

Occasionally I throw little shindigs like this where I get really excited about menu planning and festive decoration… until I remember with horror that I am not great at time management in the kitchen, nor do I craft. This, of course, led to me wrapping up all my dishes in the hour and a half window I had after work on Wednesday and when I told my friends to come over. It all turned ok in the end — everyone seemed to like the food and I was mostly finished by the time everyone arrived. Mostly.

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Life

A Few Fall Goals

The year is wrapping up and with only two months to go before 2014, I thought I’d get a head start on some much-needed self-improvement. From having to leave a job I adored to struggling to find my way as a twenty-something writer/editor/whatever, 2013 has been a challenging year. I do know that I’ve tried my best to be as positive and productive as possible. (I also know that sometimes you just need a pint of ice cream and a good cry.)

October is my favorite month, but this one has been so busy and jam-packed I feel like I dropped the ball a little bit — especially with blogging. This weekend Alexei and I are going on a Disney cruise (!) which will be the first actual vacation I’ve been on in a long time. I’ve gone on whirlwind weekend getaways and traveled for work, but an entire week where I don’t have to do anything? I can’t even really wrap my mind around it yet.

I fully intend to take advantage and try my damnedest to turn my brain off a little bit and relax. But when I get back, it’s time to step up my A game and keep on keepin’ on! In order to keep myself (a little) accountable, I’m going to post some of my end-of-the-year goals for when I get back.

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