The Life: The Friday Social

by Rachel on January 27, 2012

Good morning! I was up way too early today and couldn’t really sleep so I thought I’d start the Friday social early. I’ll probably do that more often, just because I’m sure at least a few of you would rather be chatting here than doing any real work on a Friday. Also, I actually have plans for this evening! I rarely have plans on Friday nights beyond my iPad and but tonight Eric and I are going out for a nice steak dinner.

Here’s what I have to share this week!

Brain Food

Don’t Carpe Diem. This article is about not worrying about seizing every moment when you have kids, but I think it applies to, well, any time in your life. It’s easy to beat yourself up for not being happy all the time, but I really liked the author’s take on chronos vs. kairos.

Seven Rules for Intentional Love. Some of these you’ve heard before but I really like the idea of having two games. Like the author, I’m hoping Words With Friends counts.

Having Trouble Getting Yourself to Write? Nine Tips. I’m going to keep these in mind as I continue to  try to improve my writing.

3 Days, 288 Ounces of Juice… I love Nicole’s blog and this post had me cracking up. I’d read a lot of first-person accounts of doing cleanses before, but never one like this. She is hysterical.

Also, I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned ‘zite here yet, but it’s a reading app that creates “magazines” for you based on the interests you select (like cooking, health and fitness, sports, wine, etc.) by curating content from all over the web. For those of you who use Flipboard, it’s similar, but I like it a lot better than Flipboard because I’ve found that the content it pulls is just a better fit for me. It’s helped me discover a lot of new articles and blogs over the past month or so since I started using it. I also love all the social tools, especially the function to clip articles directly to Evernote.

Food Food

I’ve been trying more new recipes lately…this week I had more misses than I would have liked.

Can You Stay For Dinner’s 300 Calorie Oatmeal. I had wanted to try this for a while; you basically add in fluffy egg whites to give your oatmeal more protein. I use vanilla protein powder when I eat oatmeal now, and I like that the vanilla flavor adds enough sweetness that I don’t have to load it up with a ton of fruit or other sugary toppings. Still, I figured I’d give this a try. It tasted just like regular oatmeal — which is to say, pretty bland. If you like your oatmeal sweet, you’ll still need to add all the toppings. Also, four egg whites seems like a lot to me for just one breakfast.

Slow cooker smoky beef and bean chili and green chili cheddar cheese cornbread. I had been looking for a new chili recipe and this one from the February issue of Real Simple’s is great. You make it in the slow cooker, which is always a win for me. Yum. This will be my new go-to recipe. And this was my second time making the cornbread and it was a win once again.

Creamy Cajun chicken pasta. Eric made this on one of his nights to cook this week; I thought it seemed simple enough but his take was “This is not a beginner’s recipe.” After all the work he apparently went through, it was decent but not amazing; I don’t know that I’d be that interested in having it again.

Dinner on Wednesday night was a bit of a disaster. I put this orange chicken in the slow cooker around noon; the recipe said to cook it for 5-6 hours. When I checked it at 6:00, it looked great. But by 7:00 when Eric got home, it had turned black and shriveled up. Eric tried his and said “it wasn’t so bad.” I took one bite and said, “Are you crazy? We can’t eat this.” I was really pissed at myself for not being more careful because I hate to waste food…and I had been looking forward to eating it all day! I’ll definitely give the recipe another try though; I’ll just probably only cook it for five hours next time to be on the safe side. Since eating that was out of the question, I grabbed the leftover Cajun pasta and warmed it up…and took one bite and actually spit it out. Something about that chicken just did not taste right the next day. So it was back to the fridge…and this time, to the freezer. For a DiGiorno.

Oh well.

If anyone’s curious why I don’t post more than a few recipes here, when there are obviously more meals to be eaten in a week, it’s just because the rest of my meals usually are either leftovers from the recipes I share here, recipes I’ve already shared before, or some form of eggs and bacon.

All right, it’s an open thread so you know what to do. Let’s hang out!

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

1 erin January 27, 2012 at 9:49 am

I actually love that my husband isn’t home for dinner 2 nights, so that means breakfast for dinner, more often than not! i love it. Usually i do scrambled omelets with veggies. I prefer breakfast over any other meal. as for cornbread, I’ve surrendered, I cannot make a decent cornbread. So I don’t even think i can attempt the one above.


2 Rachel January 27, 2012 at 10:20 am

I could also eat breakfast foods for more than just one meal! Especially because there can be so much variety…fried eggs for breakfast, veggies for dinner, you’re all set!


3 erin January 27, 2012 at 10:50 am

the issue really is, he doesn’t think it’s normal to eat breakfast for dinner. and it’s funny cuz sometimes i’ll go over to my sister’s and her husband won’t be home and we break out the cereal or eggs when he’s not there!


4 deva at deva by definition January 27, 2012 at 6:23 pm

My boyfriend is similar. I love breakfast for dinner, he’s not a huge fan. Occasionally, we do his/hers meals and mine is pancakes or scrambled eggs. It works.


5 Dallas January 27, 2012 at 10:29 am

I’m waiting anxiously for it to be 11:30EST so I can get off work early, go run some errands, and then go to my new apartment for the lovely Cable guy to come set up my internet. Hooray!


6 Caity @ Moi Contre La Vie January 27, 2012 at 10:37 am

Thanks for the introduction to Nicole Is Better. I’m starting a juice cleanse in 2 weeks and that was just what I needed. Plus she’s HYSTERICAL.


7 nicole antoinette January 27, 2012 at 10:47 am

Aw, thanks for the shout out, lady!


8 [SMASH] January 27, 2012 at 11:11 am

WHAT UP, RACH?! Happy Friday (and upcoming weekend)! The recipes you shared look legit. I got a crockpot for Christmas and STILL haven’t busted it out yet. Maybe this weekend…!


9 Rachel January 27, 2012 at 12:02 pm

WHAT UP! haha…and yes, bust out that Crock Pot. Seriously, I use it pretty much every night it’s “my” night to make dinner now. It’s so lazy (well kinda — I mean you DO the work, you just do it early) and so glorious.


10 Jessica @ Stylish Stealthy and Healthy January 27, 2012 at 11:45 am

DiGiorno pizza is literally (said in Rob Lowe voice) the saving grace of dinners in my house. Mostly bc my husband can actually make it when I’m not home or making dinner, but also, they’re freaking delicious and cheap. And breakfast for dinner is always a good time.


11 deva at deva by definition January 27, 2012 at 11:46 am

Recipe misses are the worst. My worst recipe miss was when I was making bourbon chicken (no bourbon involved, surprisingly) for dinner. The sauce involved adding brown sugar and caramelizing it on the chicken. I turned away from the pan for thirty seconds and when I turned back around, the sugar had completely burned to the pan. We ended up eating hot docs and blue box macaroni for dinner that night.


12 Melissa January 27, 2012 at 1:02 pm

Rachel, Thanks for starting the open blog. I’ve been reading for e few months. I totally feel you on learning to cook, cooking for couples etc. I got married about a year ago and just finally got “good” at cooking a few months ago. I had always had the meal plan or lived off things you cook in the oven…and then it was like holy crap I have to cook now!! I cook in the crock pot often. I actually started a food blog a few days ago. It started as personal page just to store my meals so I wasn’t clicking all over the place trying to remember what blog I was looking for. It’s still in the very rough stages and I wasn’t planning on sharing it so soon but check it out! It has lots of easy meal ideas. Most create left overs because my husband and I take lunches to work.


13 Nicole @ Giraffelegs January 27, 2012 at 1:45 pm

I love oatmeal. It’s my go to dinner/breakfast/whatever because it is freaking cheap, and I am never home for dinner…also there is only so much pasta a girl can eat before she gets sick of it..


14 Kaytee January 27, 2012 at 2:30 pm

I was in a similar situation this week, except I actually had to make dinner the other night because the frozen pizza we had was just horrible. Kyle was convinced that the store brand frozen pizza would be just as good as the CPK brand, and in his defense they looked just the same, but it was so bad we had to throw it away and cook something.

I’m actually about to make How Sweet’s parmesan chicken & orzo that you posted last week. Hopefully it turns out well!


15 Elise January 27, 2012 at 5:54 pm

My Friday kind of sucked. I found out that a project I’ve been working really hard on might get shut down due to lack of funding.

Also, I am very jealous of your pizza. Today, I had a pizza ala Ukrainian school cafeteria. I mean, I thought it was tasty and all – I’ve come to love the sauce of ketchup+mayonnaise and the fact that in place of pepperoni, there are bit of hot dogs, and instead of lots of cheese, there is more mayo. After being here a couple years, I can normally keep the American food cravings to a minimum. But it’s late, and I’m feeling low, and because I can’t have that tasty looking pizza (and grapes! In January! Amazing!), I’m going to make boil some potato vareniki, slather them in sour cream, and wallow for a few minutes.


16 Rachel January 27, 2012 at 6:17 pm

“I’ve come to love the sauce of ketchup+mayonnaise and the fact that in place of pepperoni, there are bit of hot dogs, and instead of lots of cheese, there is more mayo.”

WHAT. I don’t believe this. You can’t believe this.


17 Elise January 28, 2012 at 2:31 am

I’ll take a picture of it next week at school. It is worth documenting.


18 Kaytee January 27, 2012 at 6:22 pm

Oh my gosh. I seriously regret complaining about my crappy store brand pizza now. If there were a way to send you pizza in the mail, believe me I would!


19 Mel January 27, 2012 at 7:29 pm

I actually kinda dig the eggwhites + oatmeal combo. Except I just mix it all together and microwave. Yes, though flavor is lacking.

I also recently took a note of advice from my grandma and tried some cream of white / oat bran for breakfast instead. It was as thick as I expected but really kept me full. 70-year old women know their fiber.


20 Alexandra January 27, 2012 at 7:42 pm

I’m making that slow cooker meal right now! It’s my first time using my Crock Pot so I’m excited to see how it turns out. This contraption used to live in my NYC closet, so it was quite dusty when I pulled it out…extra flavor??

On another note, I think the “Seven Rules for Intentional Love” link brings up interesting points. The 2 games idea is something I wouldn’t have thought of before. I’ll have to brainstorm some games for my BF and I to start.


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