Add Some Spice to Your Life

I’ve never been a fan of spicy or hot foods. I never was big on Thai or Mexican cuisine simply because I always feared the food would be too spicy for me to handle. I remember growing up thinking my dad was a total weirdo for going to Kansas City and trying the hottest barbecue sauce that he could find, to the point where there would be tears coming from his eyes. Now that I’ve had time for my pallet to grow and I’ve expanded my cooking skills beyond the basic American diet, I’m starting to really enjoy a good kick in a lot of my foods. I know I’m not breaking any new ground by sharing my favorite ways to add some spice to my meals, but this is a new experience for me! I actually crave something hot and spicy to the point where that’s what I’ll tell Jake that’s what I want for dinner. Yes, my hormones are totally normal so please don’t jump to any conclusions.

Jake always makes fun of me and my “sauce collection” going on in the fridge, but I’ve finally discover sriracha and I need it in my life. Also, it’s cousin sriracha mayo – so good on tacos! I had some tofu tacos a few months back when we had a food truck at work and my coworker highly encouraged me to add sriracha mayo on for a little something, something. I’m blaming this new found addition on her. After that I made tacos at home just so I could buy sriracha mayo for my “sauce collection”. It’s great on top of normal tacos, fish tacos, tofu tacos, or these sweet potato and black bean slow cooker tacos. We made this recipe two weeks in a row at home and it’s a perfect dinner dish for fall! And it’s a slow cooker recipe, so it can’t get much easier – I highly recommend trying it. Adding a little sriracha or taco sauce on scrambled eggs or a breakfast sandwich will also fulfill my cravings as they come along.

Another great recipe for a little spice, and also so easy to make, is this easy lo mein dish from Damn Delicious. I added in a tablespoon of sriracha and omitted the sugar, and it turns out perfect. Like I said, this recipe is super easy to make and takes nearly no time to cook it. Jake and I are pretty busy and also work opposite schedules, so I don’t like taking a lot of time to make the meals we get to eat together. Another sriracha inspired meal is this 20-minute spicy ramen. I even did the poached eggs and ate it with chop sticks. I’d love to try out some more homemade ramen recipes for the winter months, so please leave suggestions if you have them!

I’m finally figuring out what I’ve been missing out on all this time. I want to go out and try some authentic Thai or Indian cuisine, play around with their spice levels. Maybe some good, authentic Mexican food too. I’ve already been trying out some new salsas to see how much I can handle; I don’t want to bite off more than I can chew – for now.

Getting Ready to Party

Fall officially begins on September 23 this year; the autumnal equinox.  For the past two years now I’ve been attending my boyfriend’s seasonal parties with the fall party being the biggest and the best.  Jake and his friends have been having these parties for the past four years or so and they’re the highlight of the seasons.  We’re having the party a few days early and I get to be a little more hands-on with the planning (yes, I’m all giddy on the inside about it), and today Jake and I start cleaning up his house and I did some shopping for the items we need.

I started searching a few week ago and found some fall shaped cookie cutters and sprinkles for cookies I’m planning to make.  I’m making pumpkin cookies, however, I’m still looking for a good recipe.  Me and my friend did a test run a few weeks ago with these Melt-In-Your-Mouth pumpkin cookies, but they were almost too melty.  Since I’m not much of a baker I may be getting some store bought dough (don’t tell anyone) and just make some pumpkin cream-cheese frosting to go on top.  As for food, I’m planning to make a crock pot chili with chicken and a small crock pot of chili for the vegetarians.

Today, Jake and I are going to start cleaning up his house in preparation of guests.  This includes typical yard work and cleaning, but I also went thrifting for some lights to use along the fence and in the garage.  I pick-up three boxes of basic white lights and a string of orange lights! Yeah, orange is more Halloween themed, but I figured mixed in with white and multi-colored lights no one will really notice.  Jake and his friends really wanted hay bails for the backyard, just as we’ve had for the past two years.  On Friday I found a coworker who was getting hay bails over the weekend for her horses, and she offered a few up to me.

And of course, my outfit is already picked out!  The weather for Saturday is a looking a little gloomy, but mild.  The past two yeas have been pretty cold, in the 30s once the sun has gone down.  The first year I attended, I remember being sick with one of the worst colds I’d had in years, and I decided wearing a short dress with only tights and a jacket was acceptable.  Last year, though I wasn’t sick, I was wearing a short skirt, tights, and about three layers on top.  This year, a similar outfit, with a mini skirt, black with mustard yellow stripes, tights paired with these new black boots I got from DSW in black.  On top, if it’s really warm I’ll just go with a lace tank top and a sweater, other wise, I think the skirt will look good with a cream colored sweater I purchased in spring  It’s thick, but it’s crocheted so I won’t overheat.  My favorite accessory in fall (and all year round really) is my denim jacket.  I thrifted it years ago for $11, and now it’s starting to wear holes in it.  You know I’ll be wearing it paired with a matte lipstick.

I love getting ready for the day on a fall day, doing my makeup and getting dressed while listening to relaxing music.  Getting to spend another party with Jake is definitely the highlight of it all, especially as he’s usually working nights on the weekends.  Then there’s of course seeing all my friends and having a few drinks bringing in my favorite season to make it all worth while.