Monday, February 29, 2016

Gnocchi With Pomodoro Sauce

I was in the mood for something simple and yet elegant. There is something satisfying about cooking yourself a nice dinner on a Sunday night. It just feels right. While this is the perfect dish to share with company because it looks so dang pretty, I enjoyed eating a big bowl of gnocchi nestled in sauce and cheese while I listened to music and read a little. It was perfect in every way.

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Would I make this again? Most definitely. Plus the pomodoro sauce is perfect.

Gnocchi With Pomodoro Sauce

Ingredients:

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus 1 tablespoons
4 stems fresh Italian flat leaf parsley
4 stems fresh oregano
2 stems fresh rosemary
2 stems fresh basil, plus 2 more stems for garnish
½ yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
1 28 ounce can DeLallo San Marzano tomatoes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of red pepper flakes
¼ cup heavy cream (optional)
1 16-ounce package DeLallo potato gnocchi
8 ounces cherry size mozzarella balls, cut in half
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

1. Add ¼ cup olive oil to a 10-inch high sided sauté pan or a saucepan over medium heat. Add the parsley, oregano, rosemary and 2 stems of basil and cook for about 5 minutes or until the herbs become crisp.

2. Remove the herbs and discard then add the onion and garlic to the oil, lowering the heat if needed so the onions cook gently and don't brown. Cook until the onions are transparent, about 5-7 minutes, then crush the tomatoes with your hand and add to the pan with juice. Season with kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper and red pepper flakes and simmer for 30-40 minutes or until the sauce reduces and thicken, stirring occasionally. Stir in the heavy cream and remove from the heat.

3. Meanwhile, bring a saucepan of water to a boil and add the gnocchi. Season generously with kosher salt and cook until the gnocchi float to the top of the boiling water. Drain and then place the gnocchi into the cooked sauce.

4. Top with the halved mozzarella balls and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese then drizzle the tops of the gnocchi with the remaining olive oil. Broil for 5-8 minutes or until the cheese melts and the tops become crispy. Garnish with additional basil leaves and serve immediately.

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Source: Foodie Crush

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Artist Spotlight: Bastille

At this point I doubt there is a single person who hasn't heard of Bastille, but I was taken by surprise by their music a few weeks ago. I was feeling depressed and their album started playing on youtube and it really did something to me. I have been listening to it pretty much non stop for a while now.

Sleepsong:



This is probably my favorite Bastille song actually.

Things We Lost In the Fire:



Daniel in the Den:



Flaws:



Oblivion:



Icarus:



This song inspired me to get my Icarus tattoo actually. I had been toying with the idea for a while and this song was the little push I needed.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

GNOT: The Cancer of Never Letting Go

“Does it break my heart, of course, every moment of every day, into more pieces than my heart was made of, I never thought of myself as quiet, much less silent, I never thought about things at all, everything changed, the distance that wedged itself between me and my happiness wasn’t the world, it wasn’t the bombs and burning buildings, it was me, my thinking, the cancer of never letting go, is ignorance bliss, I don’t know, but it’s so painful to think, and tell me, what did thinking ever do for me, to what great place did thinking ever bring me? I think and think and think, I’ve thought myself out of happiness one million times, but never once into it.”
                                                                            — Jonathan Safran Foer

I'm Still Alive

I had to take a break from writing. Part of the issue was I felt like I was just giving different words to the same sadness and I found it uninteresting. Also, I felt like this blog was no longer a safe space for me and I needed some time to reflect. To grow. To try and let go.

I’ve learned a lot of things in the last few weeks.

I‘ve reconnected with friends and started doing the things I’ve always liked to do. I’ve been eating at new restaurants and even went to a movie this weekend. I started a few projects around the house and have spent more time with Holden. Whether or not I still wonder if things were supposed to end the way they did, there is no denying that I wasn’t my best self the last few months. Recognizing that I wasn’t with partner who made me feel supported or like I was free to be myself was an important revelation. As much as it may hurt, some people are just not the best people for us. This isn't anyone's personal failing. It's just the way it goes.

So I’ve spent the last few weeks trying to figure out who I want to be and how I want to live. Freedom is a gift. As much as we may turn from it or try to deny it, freedom is an opportunity. Yes, it is often scary. Opportunity for success is also an opportunity for failure. But more than that, it is necessary. Without it there is no chance for growth.

I’ve also rediscovered that there are things I value about being alone. One, I don't have to talk to someone all the time. I didn't realize how draining it was to be in such constant contact with someone. At first it was really hard, but now I value my solace. I appreciate being with myself again in a way that having a lover compromises. I can disappear for days and don’t have to justify it to anyone. I didn’t realize how much I missed that. It’s been a relief if I’m being really honest.

I've been freed from the monotony of someone else's life and I belong deeply to myself again.

So many people are scared of being alone. They jump from person to person and wonder why they never find what they're looking for. I'm not like that. I like being alone. I can be open to meeting new people and experiencing new situations. I can be loud and adventurous and not have to feel guilty about it. I get to remember what it feels like to get excited when I meet someone new. That thrill of finding another soul who somehow connects with mine (it doesn’t always have to be romantic either) and that is not a small thing. I may not know a lot of things, but I know I want to be loved in a way where I still feel free. Instead I found myself settling for a love rooted in dishonesty and insecurity.

I don't want to talk about plans. I want to do things.

When I am honest with myself I can say I don’t want cheesy facebook photos and mediocrity in love. I don't want to wake up one day and realize that my partner feels more like a roommate than a lover and we have only the memories of better days to keep us warm. I want something more than that. I don't want someone who is scared they're too boring. Instead I want someone who is confident and bold and who knows I won't be bored, even while we do boring things. I want someone who inspires me to be more. Someone who challenges me and makes me want to be better. I see now that the life I envision for myself, one of laughter and joy and adventure, isn’t one I was being offered.

And that’s okay.

I won’t pretend I don’t still feel like there’s this big hole in my life, but I am learning how to come to terms with that. I have regained a lot of my self-esteem and I know a person who doesn’t miss me isn’t worth being missed. So I will keep the door of friendship open out of love and respect, but I won’t beg or try to drag someone through it. The bonds we have with people break every day and I refuse to waste another moment mourning a person who would willingly sever that bond.

It’s just not worth it.

So once again I see this long white expanse of the empty page before me. Just as always I will fill those blank pages with color. The color of laughter. Of love. Of hope. And maybe, just maybe, I will find something more wonderful to write about than I ever could have imagined. In a weird way there's a freedom in being hurt so deeply. Because I know, no matter what, that what lies before me is better than what lies behind me. In a way I'm not sure I ever truly understood before.

I’m not really sure where I am going with this. I guess I just wanted to let the one random person who reads this god awful blog know that I am okay. More than that though, I have been given the freedom to be more than okay. And I won’t waste it.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Anti Valentines

These are just too funny.

I've never been much of a Valentine's Day person. The typicality of it all is uninteresting to me (kinda like most relationships). These are golden though.

Monday, February 1, 2016

What's Your Biggest Regret?

I thought this video was interesting. There are so many quotes about regretting not doing something versus doing something and I think there's a lot of truth to that.



I've been thinking a lot about who I am and who I want to be. It's the nature of heartache I think. You can't be deeply hurt by someone and remain unchanged. Wounds will eventually heal and scar tissue will grow over previously tender places, but it never really leaves you. I refuse to be defined by the events that have happened to me though. What is more important is how I grow. How I learn. If I can find the strength to let go. To be kind. These are the things that matter to me most.

I can't control the world. I can only control myself.

Someone recently told me that I say "yes" to situations they would never to yes to. It made me think a lot about what that might mean to someone. Why it was seen as a negative trait. I think the fact I am willing to take chances is an admirable quality. Life is a wondrous, and sometimes cruel, gift that I can't help but revel in. Each moment has woven itself into this marvelous tapestry that has taken me to this very instant. How amazing is it that a complete stranger can become a person you can't imagine living without? How heartbreaking is it that that same exact person can then become a stranger again?

It's pure magic.


Everyday we take chances. Everyday we put our faith in people and situations for no rational reason. No one lives a life without saying "yes." To use a few specific choices a person has made in the past in order to judge them disregards the complexity and beauty of living. I have said "yes" to things I've regretted. Of course. I've put my faith in people who ultimately hurt me. But more than that, I have lived. I have experienced moments I never thought possible. I have loved people who I never thought I could love. I have made so many stupid decisions that sometimes I feel like I am going to be crushed under the weight of regret, but by god I tried. I tried and tried and tried.

And I don't regret that.
“Remember, you cannot be both young and wise. Young people who pretend to be wise to the ways of the world are mostly just cynics. Cynicism masquerades as wisdom, but it is the farthest thing from it. Because cynics don’t learn anything. Because cynicism is a self-imposed blindness, a rejection of the world because we are afraid it will hurt us or disappoint us. Cynics always say no. But saying “yes” begins things. Saying “yes” is how things grow. Saying “yes” leads to knowledge. “Yes” is for young people. So for as long as you have the strength to, say “yes'.” 
                                                                                         ― Stephen Colbert
A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for. I may always play the long odds, but I'm okay with my choices. I'm okay being a person who says "yes," even when people can't understand it. I am someone who is vulnerable and brave and I am proud of that. If my recent struggles have taught me anything it's that I am more than okay with going all in, even to walk away with nothing, because it isn't worth anything otherwise.

If you were to list your biggest regret what would it be? Is it too late to change things? I like to think it's never too late.

Say "yes." It's worth it. I promise.