Friday, November 30

The Course of a year and helping of Soup

It's amazing what a year can bring. So much has happened that actually having time to stop and blog about was almost impossible. I hope this year found everyone healthy and in great spirits. As for my little family, we have had our ups and downs. We added a new member to our family, Oscar, the youngest of our two furry children.

 He's a meowing terror who loves drinking water out of the bathroom sink, and upon rescue we found out he had a broken tail. Thankfully it wasn't anything to severe and he still has a tail, a long fluffy one in fact.

On the downside, I lost my my mother to cancer this year. It was a long fight but she stayed strong till the end. I'm very thankful my wife was finally moved home to be here for not only me but her as well. Shortly after my last blog we moved my mother to a nursing home near me in Omaha, so I could look after her and spend time with her since I'd been in Branson for so long. It wasn't until March of this year that she passed, so in hinesight I did get to spend a few good months with her.
 She was my biggest fan and my worst critic. Always pushing me to be the best I can be and to kind and generous with others. And while we're deep in the holiday spirit, it's hard to imagine not having Christmas with her or even delivering meals to all the shut ins back home. But this will be the first Christmas I will get to spend with my wife of Two years, and that makes all the difference.
On a much brighter note, I finally got to see my all time favorite band The Cranberries. The last week of February they released their first album since they had got back together Roses. The closest they came was Chicago and it happened to be the week after my birthday. What better way to celebrate being 26 then seeing the band I've been in love with for 20 of those years. Here is the first single off the album, it's one of my top songs from the album.


I also had a chance to see one of my favorite Canadian artists LIGHTS here in Omaha, in fact down the street from where I live. That alone was awesome. One of my favorite perks about living in a big city especially one that houses indie so well.


Probably the biggest change we've had this year was the decision to go Vegetarian. Let me say, that is no easy feat. Even during the holiday season, we have made exceptions. In the big picture, we have really watched what we have eaten, and are making healthy choices [despite my love of chocolate and sweets].
One of my favorite go to things is soup. I could it almost everyday. My number one is French Onion. Usually every time I go to Panera I always get the French Onion and some kind of sandwich. However, the base ingredient aside from onion is beef stock which is completely out of the question at our house. I knew there had to be some way I could emulate the flavor and still have this delicious classic.
While at one of my many adventures to Whole Foods, I was looking for a veggie stock base that I could use for most of my soups at home with out having to buy the veggies or even use cans [I make A LOT of soup so buying cans is way to expensive]. I found Better then Bouillion Vegetable Base. I feel in love. It just tastes like French Onion soup, and I knew I had to find a way to make it work.
So I scouted the net, looking for the answer, and I proved successful. For my first attempt I was amazed at the out come. And with a little sprinkle of Smoked Mozzarella and a baguette life was complete. I made a few tweeks to the recipe [not major ones, but indeed worth it].


Vegan French Onion Soup
Time; 1Hr 20 Mins
Servings; 4 


  • 2Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil [I used Devo Olive Oil Hojiblanca-Intenso]
  • 3 large White/Yellow Onions, Sliced thin into half moons
  • 3 Sprigs thyme or 1/2tsp dried
  • 2 Tbs Aged Balsamic Vinegar [I used Lavender Balsamic, but you could use just a plain 18yr]
  • 4 Cups Vegetable Stock
  • 2 Cups Water
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 1/2tsp Ground black pepper

Garnish;
Bagutte
Shredded Mozzarella

Directions;

Heat 1Tbs EVOO over medium heat, in a large pot or dutch oven. Add onions, thyme 1tsp salt, 1Tbs EVOO over onions, lower heat. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally until caramelized and light golden about 30-50 minutes. Add balsamic vinegar, and cook until absorbed and onions are a deeper brown, about 15 minutes. Then add stock, water, bay leaf, remaining pepper, and bring to a boil, turn heat to low and let simmer at least 30 minutes.
To garnish, place in soup bowls, place a slice of  baguette in soup and top with cheese, heat under a broiller for 2 min or until cheese is bubbly.



This recipe was easier then I thought it would be, it was a great achievement with many more to come.
In the future I plan on sharing all of my vegetarian adventures, and all the recipes that come with it.
It's been a great journey and I've enjoyed the fruits of my labors and I hope you all do as well.

Wednesday, December 7

Our own personal musical: A review of sorts.

We can all agree that there is that one song that, at just the right time, makes perfect sense no matter how many times we've listened to it. In that moment, the feeling of understanding and peace seem to all come together and make everything disappear even if for just the 3-5 min period. After that first time of song "relation" every time after that, the song becomes the story of our life.
Over my short 25 years, it seems there is that one song that fits perfectly in each one of them.  Whether it's happy, sad or angry, I've always been able to fit my year into a song. Last year it was Wake Up and Smell the Coffee by The Cranberries (not just because of the age reference but because it seemed to fit with my true feelings). And why should this year's song be any different. What's Up by 4 Non Blondes is iconic to mid 90's college types dealing with the impending thought that not only have they just battled through college and high school, a Bush administration, the death of Kurt Cobain, and the onslaught terror that will be Don't Ask Don't Tell, and because it makes them beg the question "What's going on?".



Yes, being 25 does help me relate to this song, and I too like those now knocking on 40's door, have survived a Bush administration, seen the end of Don't Ask Don't Tell, and even felt heartbroken by the death of the "King of Pop". Only I'm the one wondering where is my life taking me, and what's really going on.
So what about all the songs in between? Looking at my current playlist on my ipod I find many songs that have held some sort of meaning to me throughout the year, and the songs to come are only a sample of those moments.
Dance Without You by Skylar Grey



Though she wrote this song in reference to the music industry, we can all make the connection in our lives with that job that we feel pressured into doing, being forced to live out a family dream, or even waking up every morning and dreading the idea of being around our friends who may or may not be as unhappy as we are. As for me, I just want to break the evil thoughts of not being good enough to everyone I know and my own insecurities.

Mississippi Goddamn by the amazingly talented and strong will Nina Simone.


 Even decades later this song can mean so much. Having been originally written about civil rights in the 1960's, I feel this song is even present in today's culture, with a different group of people fighting for their equal rights and hearing about others being killed, if not the teen suicides that happen everyday because of someone's cruelty. In the lyrics themselves it says 'You don't have to live next to me, just give me my equality', how different are we now then in the height of the Civil Rights Movement.

And finally how could I forget the one song that has stuck by me throughout the whole year of 2011, Truth By Alexander (formally of Ima Robot and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros)



This song came in a very close tie with What's Up, It made perfect sense the first time I heard it. As humans we are always trying to find the truth of who we are and simply understand the world around us. At some point we all take that much needed step back to refocus and really get to know who we are before we make that leap into the real world. This song is a perfect example of that.

'I've seen a million numbered doors on the horizon
Now which is the future you chosen before you gone dying'

Throughout our time we have many things that inspire us, whether it be painters, writers, actors, musicians, our parents, teachers, or even just nature. Within them not only do we see a future but also a glimmer of hope that maybe one day, we can be an inspiration to another person.We may never get to where we want in this world, but one thing is for sure, someone will be inspired and write a song that will fit just nicely.

Sunday, October 2

Overheard stupidity... 16 and legal

I am proud to say that I am now fully committed to my blog. As my life moves forward with it's journey, I see and hear many that I astonished and find embarrassing to even think that something like that would happen. This week was no exception. I over heard a conversation where a young man actually wished that 16 be made the age where a person older could sleep with another. Mind you, this young man was between 25-30 and we all know that younger teens do it every day. It's just and understood fact. But honestly, with the amount of problems that go on in our world, political and social, and dealing with my own personal demons on the subject, I find it completely idiot that someone would find that to be okay. If you do that, you might as well change the drinking age,  the ability to join the army, the right to vote and make it mandatory for High Schools to have day-care for children of the students. 
Aren't there more pressing issues going on, not only in the American culture but also the world as a whole. What about the millions of people that die from cure-able disease everyday? Or the injustice that happens everyday on the LGBT community.  
Your talking about the same age group of kids that are committing suicide on a daily basis because they are being bullied about their sexuality, whether they are gay or not.
Honestly, it is idiots like him that make me wish I was a feminist. I find that comment to sound like something I would expect a hetero man to say. That however doesn't not mean that other people don't say that as well. I'm sure there is some butch lesbian some where wishing the same thing. But please, take a step back, and look at who you were at 16. 
Looking back at the point in time in my life I couldn't handle that responsibility. Even though I had a brief encounter with a man who was well in the same age rage as this one. I was a super hot mess. And with luck being on my side and his ass in jail (again), I got myself out of that situation. 
Now I' sure this individual was purely innocent by his words. And was simply going off on a desire that he had. However, it makes me worried about a world that I my once raise my children. Are these the type of people that our future holds, if so, you can count me out for bringing life into this perverse world.

Monday, August 22

Random Rap

This is what happens at 4 o'clock in the morning in my head:

Lady Gag can't hold a flame to me
I'm the one whose got more history
between the two months
that we were born
I might as well throw out that porn
you will never see the worst of me
I'm the queen with the double d's.

Loveline is the shit you see
one day I'll get to play Stinky Pinky
Dr Drew is great and so is Mike his mate
A friend I could converse with

Even though it's 4am
I'm still writing with the Chateau pen
these words flow out
my thoughts go in
I would rather do this then Sin

As I bring this to a close
I'm going to take off (most) of my clothes
Sorry you can't see then end
I never show it to the men!

Not my best but certainly not my worst.

Stuck in a digital state of mind

Ahh it feels great to be back into the internet 'verse. There has been of activity in my world.
I moved to Omaha, NE.
I'm working at P. F Changs.
My sister Mj came to visit for a few weeks.
I've been married for one year (Aug 22 which is today)
And my Aunt Shirley died today...

But I'm not going to let that stop me. Oh no.
I'm back and ready for action!
I've been quite lyrical this last week, I've written three complete songs and I've got one still cooking and a little rap thing I did randomly.
In the coming posts to come I will be posting some of my many inspirations. Not that many of you out there actually read this but I think it's nice to at least have something to come back to. And who knows who might actually see some of the stuff I post ;)


Wednesday, May 11

Being greatful for a broken heart

Today is my last day of being 24. I look back on the last year and all the event's that have happened and how I got to place I'm currently at and it makes me realize that I am no longer a child. I'm a full grown adult. I am no longer able to cling to my childhood like it's the only thing left. I'm no longer able to blame my mistakes or misfortunes on other people but myself. It's when I have to accept that life is what I've made it to be. I have a lot of dreams to chase. I have a family to start. Friends to meet, places to go.
Today of all days, I've learned that some people actually live up to your expectations. Sadly, I knew what was going to happen, and even though I wanted something a little more heartfelt, you shouldn't expect anything more then your equals. Bah WTF I sound like a fucking sap.

This weekend I'm going to have a very much needed vacation. One that will be surrounded by those I love and adore. And I'll be with the love of my life. My wife has some mysterious plan for me this weekend and I love it! I need a break from this place, and it will give me time to regroup and think all my plans through for the next coming months. Hopefully we'll be able to find an apartment, give me something to look forward to. What I'm not looking forward to is working my ass off, it will be for good reasons. I'm dying in this place. I've lost so much being down here. Being stuck in this abyss of fake people, fake promises, and living a life that isn't for me.

As I embark on a new journey here is a song that is number one on my top 25 of the summer.
Alexander Ebert: Truth

Here are the lyrics:
Truth
The truth is that I never shook my shadow
Every day it's trying to trick me into doing battle
Calling out "faker" only get me rattled
Want to pull me back behind the fence with the [cattle]
Building your [lenses]
Digging your trenches
Put me on the front line
Leave me with a dumb mind
With no defenses
But your defenses
If you can't stand to feel the pain then you are senseless

[Since] this
I've grown up some
Different kind of fighter
And when the darkness come let it inside you
Your darkness is shining
My darkness is shining
Have faith in myself
Truth

I've seen a million numbered doors on the horizon
Now which is the future you choosen before you gone dying.
I'll tell you 'bout a secret I've been underminding
Every little lie in this world come from dividing
Say you're my lover, say you're my homie,
Tilt my chin back slit my throat take a bath in my blood get to know me
All out of my secrets
All my enemies are turning into my teachers.
Because, lights blinding, no way dividing what's yours or mine when everything's shining
You darkness is shining my darkness is shining
Have faith in ourselves
Truth
Yes I'm only loving, only trying to only love
That's what I'm trying to do is only loving
Yes I'm only lonely loving feeling only loving
Till I'm feeling only loving
Ya say it ain't loving ain't loving my loving
But I'm only loving only loving only loving
Only loving the truth.

Tuesday, May 3

I love to randomly bake!!!!

When I first started my blog, I think I mentioned something about adding some of my recipes, since I just posted this recipe on the Devo Facebook page I will share with you. I did after all make this cake myself, and I would never steer anyone wrong with my dishes. I hope you all enjoy if you happen to partake in this spicy journey.  I will say if you have ever had the Spicy Mayan from Chuao Chocolatier you will love this cake!




Chocolate on Fire Cake with a Espresso Balsamic Sauce

2 Cups Sugar
2 Eggs
1 Cup Milk
2 Cups Flour
3/4 Cup Cocoa
1/2 Tablespoon Cayenne
1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Baking powder
2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 Cup Natural Butter EVOO
1 Cup Coffee
Optional: Powder Sugar and Cinnamon

Balsamic Sauce:

1 Cup Espresso Balsamic
3 Tb Sugar

Directions:
 Mix Sugar with eggs, then add milk. Mix flour, Cocoa, Cayenne, Salt, Baking Powder, and Baking Soda, together. Add wet mixture. Mix Oil and Coffee together and add to other ingredients. Pour in a 13x9 inch pan that is greased and floured. Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

For the Balsamic Sauce:
Put both ingredients in a sauce pan and Slowly bring to a boil stirring frequently, then simmer stirring occasionally until reduced by 1/4th.

Once cake is out of the oven you can sprinkle with powder sugar and cinnamon and drizzle with Balsamic Sauce.

You can also make this into cupcakes and squeaze in the Balsamic in the middle to make a volcanic cupcake. :) Enjoy!!!