14 Lessons I’ve Learned In My 24th Year of Living.

Originally, I was going to put 24 things, but then you and I would be here all day, reading my rambles and personal findings or you getting bored halfway through and move onto something else. So, I summed it up and trimmed it down to 14–just trying to keep it peachy keen, here. I’m also working on that not being so wordy thing, but that’s quite the process for me. (Someday, someday!)

I recently had a birthday and turned a quarter of a century old. Oomph. Halfway to 30, but I can still call myself a 20-something, so that’s alright (I CAN BE TRENDY STILL! YAY!). I think that as we grow up, we learn lessons but often times we find ourselves in situations where we are revisiting the lesson. These are a majority of the lessons that I’ve actually learned–and relearned–but have FINALLY put into practice. Not getting my point? It’s okay, most don’t. When I say putting a lesson learned into practice (finally), it’s kind of like this: you know that if you eat that brownie and drink most of the wine, you’re going to feel shitty the next day. But you do it anyway because in that moment, you truly think you want to. Essentially, these are 14 lessons that I’ve already learned and was aware of but now am finally putting into practice because it’s good for me both long and short term, not necessarily because I want to. (As for the brownies, I just try to avoid those altogether, but some days, you just really want a damn brownie. And that’s okay. Just make sure it’s not everyday. And also make sure it’s a good brownie, because if you’re going to have one, might as well make it worth your while!)

  1. Accepting adulthood (i.e. finding your ideal career, finances, etc.) is hard. You have bills to pay. Your parents will not always be there to support you when times are rough. You have to plan ahead, whether you like it or not, so that you can get yourself to be where you want to be and not stay where you’re currently at if you’re unhappy.
  2. Stress does not aid you in finding or creating solutions when problems arise. If anything, it only makes matters worse. As Natalie Goldberg perfectly put it, “Stress is an ignorant state. It believes that everything is an emergency.” Not every problem that arises is a life or death situation. You will deal and you will survive while continuing to kick ass like you always do.
  3. Your friends and family are important. They enrich your life with love and acceptance, feelings that don’t come by easily. You will always have errands to run, chores to do, litter boxes to clean (in my case at least), but when you’re old and grey (or in my case, when I go grey, I probably will just dye my hair some random color – like purple. Why not?), you’re not going to be bragging to your bingo night partners over tea and be all like, “oh god, I am so glad that my focus in life was solely on work and/or school. I certainly don’t mind that I missed out on spending time with my family and friends. Amusement parks, late night laughs, holidays, festivals, movie nights, impromptu accordion sessions? Who cares? Blah!” Thing is, if you continue to cancel plans or fail to put forth some effort into your relationships, you may not have any friends or family for very long. You can buy Netflix, but you can’t buy relationships that make your life worth living. Okay, a slightly dramatic comparison, but you catch my drift.
  4. You will remain where you are currently at if you continue to make the same decisions. This may sound obvious, but old habits, whether they’re related to health and wellness, work, or whatever, die hard. It took a lot of analyzing of myself to realize that I’d continue to be unhappy if I kept doing the same shit everyday. As Albert Einstein once said, “Insanity [is] doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. Apparently working out 5-6 days a week but being a mild alcoholic in my late teens/early 20’s was not going to make me feel better mentally nor aid me in my physical health endeavours. Again, this seems obvious, but acknowledging your shortcomings is hard. Making change and sticking to the changes is even harder.
  5. Noting that… Every decision you make will pave the road to your future. EACH AND EVERY ONE. I.e., buying a bag of organic produce versus shit-infested produce. Each time I buy organic, this is an additional expense. That extra money spent on organic produce, over time, could have been extra money in my savings account.
  6. Each decision you make should benefit you in some way (but not at the expense of others). So, for the last one, yes, I buy organic produce 95% of the time I’d say. Sure, this means less money for me, but it also means that my innards are thankful. My environmental studies instructor once told me that every dollar is a vote. I can vote for Monsanto or my local farmers. Voting local is something I can feel good about and proud of.
  7. Making mistakes is okay. We are human, therefore imperfect. So, even though I try my best to vote for my local farmers, I acknowledge that it’s not always feasible. And that’s okay, too.
  8. You need to find contentment in solitude. Someday, I would like to have someone to call my “significant other”, but if my life continues on with phases of being single, in a relationship, uneasy breakups, awkward dates, and single again, I can now say to myself that being single is okay. I am not looking for my “other half”. I do not need someone to complete me; I feel whole on my own. (Having someone would be nice, but I can live a successful and happy life on my own as well is what I’m getting at.)
  9. Not all potential partners who break it off with you or vice versa are bad people. Everyone is at different stages in their lives and have had different experiences. Sometimes we have shitty relationships to teach us to appreciate good relationships. Sometimes good relationships come to an unanticipated end so that you can cherish the good moments in a relationship and learn how to cope when the waves are crashing. It’s all about perspective.
  10. The world is not out to get you. There are a variety of factors in addition to your decisions that have resulted in what’s going on with you at this very minute, this very moment. Everything from a cop’s clever hiding spot (!!!!) to the numeric digits displayed in your online banking account. Life happens whether you’re ready for it or not. Sometimes life just happens to surprise us more so when we’re not prepared. That doesn’t mean the universe is conspiring against you. I promise.
  11. Speaking of online banking… online banking is not a budget. You need to create a real, tangible budget. This is still a work in progress for me, but it’s getting better.
  12. You don’t have to wear makeup or lose more weight to feel beautiful. Beauty really is something you feel on the inside. (I don’t care if this sounds like a Women’s Network or Lifetime flick. It’s hard to consider yourself beautiful with all of the taboo around people who have imperfections [i.e. acne, weight struggles, physical deformities, etc.] AND the expectations that clever media and marketing strategies have set up. You’re beautiful, inside and out. Keep that shit up, girl! (And boy. You’re beautiful, too!)
  13. Everything isn’t as bad as it seems. Stress can be a monster if you let it. (Refer to #2 and #10.)
  14. Exercise and being out in nature are better forms of therapy (and cheaper) than brownies and Netflix. (I’m noticing an unintentional pattern here with the brownie and Netflix references…) Your body actually needs a certain amount of fresh air everyday to help function. I’m sorry that I can’t recall the source off the top of my head, but if you go to Dr. Google, I’m sure you’ll find some citations confirming this. Anyway – go on that run outside. Walk the dog. Lay out in the sun. You deserve to feel good.

All in all, I know very well that I don’t have everything figured out yet and I don’t think I ever truly will have everything all figured out. And age is just a number. It’s not like on the morning of my 25th birthday I realized all of these things. It took time, lots and lots of time. It took going through shitty situations. Coping with problems. Talking to friends and family. Constructive criticism. Self-affirmations. And so on.

I’ve got a long way to go and a lot more to learn, but I’ll continue to educate myself and more importantly continue to rock this life while I’m still here.

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The Post College Shakedown

AND THEN IT OCCURRED… GRADUATION DAY CAME AND WENT. I had no cake, but I did decide to celebrate since I actually dedicated myself to my studies to earn a degree (!!!!!) by only slightly (I swear it) drowning myself in cheese curds, beer battered fish, and beer. Okay… maybe I actually decided to party it up like I was 21 again. I did not enjoy the next morning, but I felt as if it was my final excuse to live up to the college student cliché of going out and getting… as most people say… “hammered”. After all, I officially had my college degree so I felt as if it was one of my last opportunities to embrace the party girl within me and afterward put her to rest (update: she still comes out sometimes, but nowhere near as often.) Did I mention that I looked ridiculously good that day and evening, by the way? All in all, I would say the mission was accomplished and then some.

Anywho, it has been approximately four months since I’ve graduated from college and suffered from a hangover more horrendous than taking a statistics exam and yet… it feels like I was done forever ago. Having time to myself has been both a blessing in disguise and burdensome. I now can actually get my lovely 7-9 hours of sleep and not have homework in the back of my mind, however, I now have to find ways to occupy my time. I primarily have been filling my time with the following:

  • Reading health and wellness books (hey, I may be out of school, but I still enjoy reading, especially when it’s on my own terms). So far I’ve read Wheat Belly, Grain Brain, Paleo Manifesto, and now am reading The 4-Hour Body by Timothy Ferriss. Next up is the Paleo Solution (can you see the pattern, here?)
  • Exercising and not having coffee cream flavored almonds from the co-op as a coping mechanism for life’s stressors. (instead, I now drink tea. I know what you’re thinking–I’m super fancy. *Note the sarcasm.)
  • Researching types of educational opportunities (I may need more than this technical degree in the future, because who knows–maybe I’ll look into becoming a counselor after all. Or maybe not. Regardless, it’s always good to know what options are available to you).
  • Spending quality time with friends and family on a REGULAR basis, not once in a blue moon (but every now and then we would celebrate with a Blue Moon… or 5).
  • The occasional Netflix binge… (Orange Is The New Black and endless documentaries…)
  • Going outside and attempting to acquire a tan, but returning with sunburn and even once–heat exhaustion!
  • Weddings. *Warning: brief Grace tangent up ahead. Feel free to skip to the next bullet point if you’re disinterested in the following rant.
    People keep getting married and/or having babies. This is fine and all and I am happy for all of these people, don’t get me wrong. What I dislike is when other attendees (at weddings, baby showers, etc.) say something along the lines of, “hello, where’s your plus one?” and I point to my friend or point to myself (giving two thumbs up, nonetheless) and say something like “Me, ’cause I’m awesome” and they’re all like “ooohhhh“. Apparently, when you’re older, being single –both in general and at events– is taboo. I could just pick up some random person and call myself content to avoid such annoyances, but I’d rather be single and comfortable with myself than be with someone boring who’s more interested in the open bar than conversation. I’ll take feelings and passion over arm candy any day. Also, this town is slim pickings in terms of male candidates. End Grace rant.
  • Being more valuable as a staff person at work (you know, trying this whole “responsible adult” thing–I think I may be cut out for it after all).
  • Determining what on earth I want to be when I grow up.

I’m done with school and I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up (I THOUGHT THAT WAS THE POINT OF SCHOOL?) Oh, academia, you had me fooled. Just for kicks, why not take a blast through the past real quick.

I remember 6-year old Grace. She was going to be a veterinarian. (BTW, I was somewhat adorable back then. Yes, see below.)

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Then came along 13 year-old Grace (not adorable then, so scratch that photo op). She was planning on being a celebrity makeup artist. And 18-year old Grace, well, all she knew was that there would be no more pork chop patties for lunch (high school fat kid woes) and didn’t care what she did as long as she was going to make a lot of money (and so came the first idea of going to school for Business Management). At 20, I thought I had it figured out and decided the world would be better with a Grace educated in Public Relations. Though interesting, a year later I realized that in my heart, as cheesy as it sounds, I wanted to do work that helped others more so than myself. Noting this, 21 year-old Grace took an adventure to earn a degree in Psychology to become a counselor. Despite taking interesting courses, this Grace had her mind in places other than academia. This Grace took some time off to work and think for a while. Then 22 year-old Grace came along and decided to work towards a technical degree in Supervisory Management and stick with it (I actually gave that commitment thing a try).

This brings us to present day.

I have more time to myself now that I’m out of school, which should feel awesome, but in retrospect, I feel deprived. I’m not sure what it is exactly that I’m feeling deprived of, but I have some ideas.

First off, I’ve been in academia since I was a kid, and now I’m out of the system. Instead of being challenged on a daily basis by an already dictated agenda, I now have to create and conquer my own challenges to keep myself sharp and feel good about myself. (In the book, “The Success Principles: How To Get From Where You Are To Where You Want To Be”, there is discussion of how achieving goals, whether they are big, small, or somewhere in between, makes you feel better about yourself and aids not only in success [financial and personal] but also in being happy. Makes sense to me.)

The second is rather a human error of my own. I’ve allowed my self-esteem to slump over the years from classmates and instructors telling me I’m not good enough to all of the people in my personal life who’ve made an effort to bring me down. My confidence levels have improved significantly by spending time with quality company (I finally said sayonara to the assholes!), regular self affirmations, and picking up positive habits (while trying to rid of the negative ones), but it’s going to take a while to mend years of self-loathing.

I know at the end of the day I make my own decisions. Each and every one. So, rather than feeling bad that I don’t have it all “figured out yet” or that I’m a college grad who feels slightly jaded towards the academic system, I’m going to utilize this newfound free time efficiently to improve myself. After all, that’s really all anyone can do at the end of the day. Make the best of time to make the best of yourself.

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You Applaud Others, Why Not Applaud Yourself?

This last summer and current fall semester… I have been either a:

A) Full-time student working two jobs, attempting to maintain sanity, and trying not to be sad about dealing with my very sick pet hedgehog (may he rest in peace now).

OR…

B) Full-time student working a full-time job, attempting to maintain sanity, and trying not to be sad about dealing with my very sick pet hedgehog (again, may he rest in peace now).

I am letter B at this time, but regardless the last 6 months of my life have been ever so busy and have actually made me question my sanity at times. I’d go out to lunch with my mom, she would make one inquiry or comment, something like, “are you just feeling like you’re not fitting in?” (true story–I don’t!) and then I’d have all of this built up stress and tension release out in waves of tears while the waitress next to me develops an uncomfortable look on her face that says “really? All I did was ask if I could take your plate.” Oh, how much I would have loved to blame hormones at that instance! The waitress did me no injustice whatsoever but that question from my parental unit was a trigger for me. The waitress and I patched things up (I may be the cliche poor college student, but I’m still a nice tipper) but I have yet to fully patch myself up. Basically, I resonate very much with the title of this post: feeling like you’re breaking down.

Some of you may have a lot more on your plate. Some of you have families that you are trying to manage while maintaining a healthy workout and dietary regimen. Some of you have internships. Some of you have a higher course load than I can even imagine. Some of you are running your own business. Some of you are getting married and/or having babies. And I see people like you succeeding all of the time– and although it’s horrible, I can’t help but compare myself to you and yell at myself, “well, they can, so why can’t I?” After this thought, I analyze my life as if it were some sort of science project by picking apart the pieces where I think I should be doing better, and then become infuriated and just take everything on my plate–school, work, personal stuff–and smash that plate to the ground and take a god damn nap. Because that’s all I feel like doing when I don’t think I’m doing enough to be a “successful human”. In fact, I did that on my one day off this week–it was literally a self-loathing “WHY AREN’T YOU BETTER, GRACE?” kind of day and I did exactly that (took some god damn naps, that is). I woke up for lunch with my mom, went back to bed, then woke up for dinner, and went back to bed yet again. It’s embarrassing and depressing to admit that that’s how I spent my day off, but I myself felt spent–I felt like I had nothing good to offer to that day.

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After my day of self-loathing (of which has not been the first that I’m guilty of), I’m realizing more and more how essential it is for one’s mental health to stop breaking ourselves down, ripping ourselves apart from the seams. Whether we are doing this by overanalyzing our work, educational endeavours, family ties, relationships, personal lives, or a medley of all, we need to acknowledge where we are excelling and remember that no matter what, we are still beautiful despite what we may deem as our “shortcomings”. I don’t mean beautiful in materialistic terms. I mean the kind of beautiful that allows us to love and appreciate others for who they are: after all, we do it all the time, don’t we?! Think about it. How often are we praising others for being such great people? Exhibit A: Someone from my work brings me fresh herbs from her garden (or well, did, rather–before it got too cold here in the butt crack of Wisconsin!) and I find myself thinking ever so highly of her and thank her for her kindness. Why aren’t we acting this way to ourselves when we are being kind or accomplishing goals? It seems like we neglect the goodness that we offer and only shed light on everything we do not do. We are not appreciating ourselves! To me, as long as we are accomplishing our goals that we regularly set for ourselves, both big and SMALL (but always aiming high!) and are being kind to others, then we are beautiful and need to stop giving ourselves so much shit for supposedly “not doing enough”. Because in fact, we are then doing quite the opposite of “not enough”: we are regularly doing something great, and that’s fucking fabulous!

To close, I really appreciate the quote posted above because honestly, it doesn’t matter if I am “supposedly” doing less than someone else and everyone else seems to be doing more. We have to remember that we all have our own struggles which makes everyone’s journey in life a little different from the rest. Some will need more or less time to “succeed”, and what “success” is will vary per individual. And though this may not be the case for everyone, I do think a majority of people want to advertise their lives as being if not fully joyous at least somewhat enjoyable, and in an effort to do that we do our best to masquerade our struggles–which many of us have become quite skilled at.

Comparing our lives to others and beating ourselves up for “not being good enough” is only going to make this life we have been given much harder than it needs to be. It’s time to stop telling ourselves “well if they can do it, why can’t I?” and replace it with “I can and will do whatever I damn well please. Because bitch, I’m fabulous.”

Okay, maybe not exactly that…. but you catch my drift ;).

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The Broke Asses’ Vitamix Substitute.

LADIES AND GENTS, in a perfect world, I would have the following;

  • The most intelligent, beautiful, and dedicated pool boy in the universe (just in case there really ends up being life on some other planet). Oh, and a pool to go with him.
  • A credit card with no limit, no interest, and no payments.
  • The classic black Chanel purse.
  • Ted Allen from Chopped or Perez Hilton as my BFF.
  • A Vitamix.

So far, I have none of those and some of those might be just slightly unrealistic. Only a pinch, though. I cannot make substitutes for all of these things BUT one of these items I have kind of been able to bargain for, and that is the holy grail of all blenders, the Zeus of all Greeks, the most stubbly hair of all hair stubbles…THE VITAMIX!

For those of you who may be unfamiliar with this item I am raving about, basically if there is a God and if he/she/it had a blender, this would be it. I heard a girl once threw in an orange peel and it still came out into a pulverized liquid. How fucking boss is that?!

Unfortunately, even though I can get a discount from my gym, I still don’t have $400/$500 dollars handy to get my hands on one of these. Also, being a broke ass bitch, I really have to prioritize my spending. I’m horrible at that, but I’m working on it. Most days anyway.

SO…onto the beef. Or the liquidized vegetables. I don’t know. Whatever. ANYWAYS, I do happen to have a few kitchen appliances, major ones include a food processor, juicer, and a shitty “frappe maker” which is really just a glorified coffee machine and a blender built into one. Don’t ask why I bought that. Not all of my purchases are sensical.

Since my blender blows, making green smoothies (and just any flavored smoothie in general) really was not my thing. The fruits and veggies wouldn’t properly blend all the way (random bits and pieces of pulp floating around), the ice would never and will likely never get fully broken down, and well…yeah, it just sucks. But it’s decent enough to break down a majority of ice cubes but not strong enough to break down my veggies. My food processor is not meant to break down ice but it is intended to (and does a damn good job of it) slaughter vegetables Texas Chainsaw Massacre style. Appetizing, right? But for real…80’s song “this is how we do it!” Or is that 90’s? Either way, here’s the easy peasy lemon squeezy process:

  1. Plug in your food processor. It is SO annoying when you don’t think it works but then see that it was simply unplugged all along…a very embarrassing “oh” face.
  2. Begin with your vegetables. I have only experimented using leafy greens/vegetables that would break up easily, but feel free to experiment if you wish. For this one I made, I probably used about 1 stalk of rainbow chard, 2 handfulls of kale, cup of spinach, and a few sprigs of parsley :). Use whatever you would like (maybe something that is on the verge of going bad–good way to use it up!) and pulverize the shit out of it for a few minutes.
  3. After this, add in whatever fruits you may desire. I actually ended up using half of an avocado and one dried fig. Also squeezed some lemon juice from half of a lemon. Pulsate this bitch for another few minutes until you achieve a pudding-y texture. You might want to avoid using harder fruits such as an apple. I refuse to take off the skin because that’s where a majority of its nutrients lie, but blending with the skin is still awkward. Mangoes, kiwis, lemons, and some dried fruits work well in my experience.
  4. After this, add in whatever oils, syrups, spices, herbs, or whatever that you may want to. In order to sweeten it up, I used 1 and 1/2 to 2 tablespoons of raw local honey. I also kept a can of coconut milk in my fridge so that I could scoop off 1/8 to 1/4 cup roughly of the fatty part that rises to the top when chilled. I also added in 1 cup of unsweetened almond/coconut milk (delightful blend by Blue Diamond brand – yum!). I also incorporated 1 tablespoon of chia seeds for the sake of protein, but then I remembered avocados already have lots of protein…oh well.
  5. Let this pulsate for a few minutes until you get to a slightly thick texture, something similar to the picture below (note that it might not be all that thick if you don’t use an avocado):

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  • Using a spatula, slide in half of your processed mixture. Add in 4-6 ice cubes (feel free to add in more or less depending on your desired consistency). AND YES, I know it looks like slime but it was delicious slime. Deal with it.
  • Blend until you get the consistency then you want and sprinkle some coconut flakes on top (optional). Overall was a delicious mid-day pick me up!

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Fysiko Eyelash Growth Serum: So Far, This Really Works!

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For starters, I am REALLY not into advocating for products that I don’t think work or ones that are “just okay”. But in all honesty, you need to hear me out on this–I think that after X amounts of eyelash growth products I’ve experimented with that this eyelash growth serum by Fysiko truly works. Prior to trying Fysiko, I had tried Ardell’s line of eyelash growth serum; I was somewhat pleased, & in fact purchased it again, but not overly ecstatic with my results. Once Influenster gave me the opportunity to test out this product for free, I was ecstatic! But also not overly optimistic–I was fearful of getting my hopes up but now…I am not afraid to do so! Here is why:

  1. Though difficult to notice in the picture listed below (forgive the creepish stare), my lashes have gotten not super long after 3 & 1/2 weeks but have filled out in many areas along my lash line where I have little to no lashes. This in turn makes me look like I have more lashes. Boo-yah, grandma (sorry grandma, no diss to you– I love you!)
  2. For the most part, the product is fairly natural–it does consist of some ingredients that I’m not a fan of such as “yeast extract”, “hydrolized soy protein”, & some other ingredients that I am not familiar with but will be looking into…it does however have good ingredients in it such as olive oil, grape seed extract, biotin, & different vitamins (B, C, E, etc.). In comparison to other eyelash growth serum products, I do believe that this product has far LESS nasty components in it. You get what you pay for, basically.
  3. The product was created by a dermatologist who was frustrated with her own eyelashes. (So for the most part, I like to think that she knows what’s up.)
  4. I just re-read the instructions and somehow missed the note of it being okay to use on eyebrows…I have been on a mission for MONTHS to try to get eyebrows similar to Kat Von D’s but without having to get brow lifts or have them tattooed on, which I’m pretty sure she has had at least one or both of those procedures.
  5. You have the option of applying it in the AM or PM. You do have to apply it on clean skin (just washed, no moisturizer, no eye cream, etc.) but I find that after I shower in the morning I can apply it right away while I do everything else that I would normally do to get ready then once that 15 minutes is up I can do whatever it is that I need to with my eyelids :P. As for night time application if I didn’t have time to wait around in the morning, I just make sure all of my makeup is off, face is clean, & do the same thing; apply the serum on my clean lash line and finish up the rest of my face. Wait for the 15 minutes to be up, then get back to the rest of my eye duties!
  6. You apply it like eyeliner & need only one coat daily. Any more is waste. Saves some product!
  7. After the 16 weeks is up, you can use the product for another 4 months 2-3 times per week to maintain your long lashes that you are rockin’!

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I am horrible at taking pictures of my naked eyes–but the photo on the top is from when I first started using the product which I began doing so on Wednesday, May 1st, 2013. Like I’ve said one too many times, you have to use the product daily for 16 weeks to see full results…I’m only 3 & 1/2 weeks in & I’m pretty darn well pleased! I’ll be batting my long lashes and eventual Kat Von D. brows to you in no time, nutrisassies. 😉

Sincerely,

Grace

*Please keep in mind that I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes. I would like to add that if this product was not working, then I sincerely would not recommend it. If you are capable of investing in this product and want to give it a shot, then I highly recommend it! Or if you are willing to save up your pennies…I still recommend giving this product a shot :).

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A Simple Kale Chip Recipe That’s Pretty Dope, Actually.

Pretty Dope Kale Chips
(for a lack of better words…this title will have to suffice. I’ll take any suggestions!)

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 Stalks of kale (BIG ONES!)
  • 1 Tablespoon of olive oil (may substitute melted coconut oil, but may be more or less than 1 TBSP.)
  • 1/2 – 1 Tsp. of apple cider vinegar (I actually just used the lid of the apple cider vinegar bottle as a measurer and just splashed over the kale however much the lid could hold–no real estimate really, but I would be sure to not go more than 1 tsp.!)
  • 1-3 squeezes of lemon.
  • 3-5 dashes (or to taste, I think I used 5 dashes) of pink salt (may use sea salt/regular salt).
  • Himalayan salt, also known as rock salt, to your liking (it’s optional — I just like to incorporate it whenever I can since this one is actually really good for you!)
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Ground ginger to taste (1-3 dashes)
  • Sirracha (optional – may spritz all over at end!)


INSTRUCTIONS
:

  1. Pre-heat often to 375.
  2. Get a bowl and drop in the 1 tbsp. of olive oil.
  3. Take one stalk of kale and rip apart leaves from stem. The shapes do NOT have to be uniform; but they shouldn’t range from itsy bitsy to larger than life. For an idea of how big (roughly) each of my leaves were, make a circle with your thumb and that pointer finger of yours — my kale leaves in size were a little smaller than that or slightly larger.sizekalechips
    You will have some very dinky ones in size near the beginning and ends of the stem due to this veggie’s nature. Feel free to leave them out or try to make kale chips out of them if you’d like, but expect to either take the small ones out of the oven earlier or to eat burnt pieces of kale. The choice is yours.

  4. Repeat this process with the remaining stalk of kale.
  5. Pour the apple cider vinegar and lemon juice over the kale. You’ll be mixing it with your HANDS (yes, hands — it’s the best way to get everything covered!), so don’t worry about trying to pour it evenly over the kale.
  6. Add in the rest of your spices — pink salt, himalayan salt, black pepper, and ground ginger.
  7. Make sure your hands are clean (but without remnants of soap! Yuck.) and massage the kale. That sounds awkward, I know, but seriously just massage the oil and spices into the kale already. Do so until the kale leaves have been covered with everything! Should only take a couple minutes at most :).
  8. Lay each kale leaf flat on a pan (I used a pan that was like this but only square) being sure to not lay them on top of each other. You could also use a cookie sheet, but I think using something like a pizza pan or even a wire cooling rack would work much, much better. Makes them more crispy and less limp (unlike one of my last boyfriends. Woops!).
  9. Put in the oven for 7 minutes. Keep an eye on them and be sure to check them at 4 or 5 to see how they are doing. I like mine more on the crispy side so 7 was perfect for me!
  10. Makes one very selfish (but not all that naughty) serving ;).

Oh, and if you dare…I added sirracha to mine at the end, glazed it on top of the kale chips. It was a very “hot” experience…totally worth it, though!

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“Why Didn’t I Think Of That?” Easy As Balls Body Scrub.

In an effort to reduce the “goo” in my life, AKA use of skincare products (this also applies for hair products and makeup… but I’m kind of sort of having a hard time letting all of that go), I try to make some stuff on my own. I’ve been able to make a basic body scrub which is cost effective and gets the job done just fine.

With this body scrub, there really aren’t specific “measurements”: which makes it fun, because that way, it’s all up to you! You get to play. And ways to test out whether or not you like your product, you can be your own test subject and try using the scrub with your hands under the sink using warm water. Here’s at least a sample framework of how to go about making your own body scrub, as well as some of the experiences I had during the process.

TROUBLESHOOTING/DIRECTIONS…KIND OF.

  • Brown sugar clumps up and does not work well. White sugar is much more fine and does not contain molasses (which is what brown sugar is, basically: sugar + molasses) which makes the consistency a little easier to work with. Makes it not as thick/clumpy basically. I personally like to use organic just because I feel like it’s nice to not have preservatives on my skin, but it just so happens that my mom doesn’t really bake anymore so she gave me her big bag of sugar so I can use it for that. Score. It’s all about personal preference or what my wallet does and does not allow me to do.

  • Using/adding water, (depending on how much and the ratio of sugar to water) to the concoction will help better combine the sugar concoction, but it will separate and needs to be shaken or stirred up (with a utensil or your hands midst shower) before each use. And quite frankly, adding water makes the scrub look kind of gross (aesthetics are not highly important here though). I prefer the feel of honey versus water, but sometimes it’s more convenient to just add water. You can use both honey and water if you want to. Works either way.

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PMA (Prior to Mixing Action)

  • Adding essential oils that are safe on skin is a great way to add scent in there! Since I don’t have oils around as often as I’d like to, I use orange or lemon zest and drops of orange or lemon juice (or sometimes both if I feel so inclined).

  • I have tried honey and it works well, but quite honestly—regular water and white sugar can do just the trick, or something else I’ve done in the past is brew some tea – lavender chamomile tea – and use that in place of water. You’re still using water, essentially, but now it’s got more of a scent to it and you get some of the good stuff in tea onto your skin, which is good, right?
  • Make sure that you use more sugar than water if you go the water route. Stir it up, maybe use honey in addition to it if you like and voila, it works practically the exact same as your St. Ives’ apricot exfoliator (this is probably way less harsh on your face, too!)

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And it’s way cheaper. Sure, buying one bag of sugar + a container of honey + tea or essential oils might add up to be more than $4.95 + tax, but you can make at LEAST three times as many bottles – so what would you rather pay, 4 times as much or not? Also, wouldn’t it be nice to know for once what the fuck you’re actually putting on your skin? (I don’t know about you but despite looking up ingredients, I still can’t recognize more than half of the shit listed on the ingredients list of fancy shmancy beauty/skincare products. One only has so much time to spend researching and sifting through articles!)

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Beef Bacon & Green ‘Taters? Why NOT?

**Grace Disclaimer: I am not dumb, I know that mashed potatoes are not meant to be green… BUT! Spinach is a very bland tasting and water-based vegetable, so I could barely taste it and still reaped some of spinach’s nutritional benefits. Not sure what the hell I’m on about? Just read below and you’ll figure it out.

 

BACK IN MY DAY, which sounds like a humorous phrase for me to say since I’m only 23, but even so it seems as if the years fly by much more quickly when you’re young. As I was saying, I grew up on steak, mashed potatoes, Barbies, Disney movies, and buckets of mint chocolate chip ice cream and bowls of my sister’s homemade chocolate chip cookie dough. I overdosed on all of these. I had every Barbie and all of her bitches along with her main squeeze, Ken (my favorite one that I had of him was the one where you could shave his “beard”). I would make my siblings suffer (I was a big brat, I now know this–sorry my dear family) by watching Aladdin or Cinderella at least 3 times a day while playing dolls and Barbies with me. If I ever tired of Disney, then I would mix it up and watch Barney, Mr. Rodgers, or Lamb Chop instead. I think one of my most memorable times though was playing Golden Eye on the Nintendo 64 and kicking my older brothers’ friends’ asses. Yup, my frilly-girly seven-year old self could serve up a solid can of whoop-ass to some 18+ year old college kids. I’ll toast my iced lavender chamomile tea to that!

Despite my diet having become somewhat more nutritious over the years, there are still some foods that I have an emotional tie to and I think it’s somewhat common in our society. It’s not like if I am having a bad day I just go and harass my mom to see if she’d make me steak and mashed potatoes and get me a huge bowl of mint chocolate chip ice cream with chocolate sauce to stuff down my throat (actually no stuffing allowed because ice cream always filled in the cracks–that was my theory. Another indication that I was a punkass of a kid). But sometimes if I’m not sure what it is that I’m in the mood to have for a meal or if I just want something that I don’t usually have, I think of foods that I used to eat and re-create them in a way that makes them healthier and more nutritious.

I’m not sure why but mashed potatoes were on my mind today–actually they were on my mind because I have some cauliflower that I needed to use up before it went bad and I’ve made cauliflower mashed “potatoes” before and they turned out well. As I mentioned in my previous post, “Got Raw Veggies?”, I’m working on incorporating more raw veggies into my diet–raw greens to be more specific. I was able to do a combination with this recipe by boiling the cauliflower and blending in some raw greens, even along with an avocado to add some texture!  These might be the healthiest mashed “potatoes” that I have made yet and I am very damn pleased with the outcome (was very much a Grace-delight). HOWEVER, there is no point in having mashed potatoes if you do not have its partner in crime by its side, AKA, beef. Well, I have a nice little filet mignon piece in my freezer, but I want to save that for a special occasion –the only other red meat that I had was “beef bacon” which I had never worked with before. The texture of the bacon was similar to beef jerky, but dipping it with these mashed potatoes…oh my god…heaven. And to top it off, with ONE substitution (and one reduction, that being the meat, obviously), you could easily turn this into a vegan recipe if you’re into that sort of thing.

Cauliflower Greenin’ (Like California Dreamin’, get it? ;)) with Beef Bacon

INGREDIENTS:

  • One head (hah) of organic cauliflower

  • 3-4 Stalks/branches of raw kale (with the leaves removed from the stems)
  • About 5-7 sprigs of raw Italian parsley (with the leaves removed from the stems, with the exception of one whole one for a garniture)
  • 1-2 Cups of raw spinach
  • 1/2 Of an avocado
  • 2 Tablespoons of pasture butter **TO MAKE THIS DISH VEGAN, SUBSTITUTE VEGAN BUTTER OR ADD MORE AVOCADO — different oils may also work!** (In regards to brands for the butter, I used Organic Valley’s; was so much better than any other regular cheap butter!)
  • 1 Large garlic clove (pressed or minced; using a garlic press definitely brings out more of the garlic flavor in the “taters” and adds a nice touch to the beef bacon or any other red meat that you may want to use).
  • Black pepper (to taste)
  • Pink salt (to taste)

Process:

  1. It is probably more ideal to bring water to a boil first rather than just throwing the cauliflower and parsley in there with water, just waiting for what feels like an eternity…so if you have filtered water, I recommend filling a saucepan up with it (’cause that tap water is some nasty shit! but this is just a personal preference of mine). Fill the saucepan about 2/3 full.
  2. While you wait to bring that to a boil, wash the cauliflower and take apart the little tree pieces. The smaller the pieces = the quicker all of them will boil down!
  3. Once the water is boiling, pop in the cauliflower and also rip apart some leaves from 1-2 stems of italian parsley (optional, but I feel like it helps add just a little extra flavor).

    steamingthecauliPoor sauce pan, you just couldn’t really handle all of the cauliflower, could ya’?

  4. BE SURE TO COOK THE CAULIFLOWER ON MEDIUM HEAT. The cauliflower should be done cooking anywhere between 10-20 minutes. I wasn’t really paying attention to time so you have to suffer by constantly poking your cauliflower to see whether or not you can easily break it apart with your spoon/stirring utensil. I was using a wooden spoon and a little oomph was required to break it but my cauliflower pieces weren’t cut down to size as you can tell in the photo. Learn from my fuck ups, Obi Wan.
  5. While cooking your cauli’, throw in the food processor (or in a bowl if using a mixer, which I tried and failed miserably at hence the photo below, but the food processor will help make a nicer consistency) 1/2 of an avocado, the 1 large garlic clove pressed or simply whole (the processor should do the trick instead of mincing–but BE SURE TO SAVE SOME GARLIC FOR THE BEEF BACON! Or not, if you so prefer.), the remaining LEAVES of the italian parsley, kale leaves, and spinach. Process these bad boys until well-combined. (By the way, I obviously used WAY more greens than photographed below–I just added a few ingredients in at a time so that you could see a little bit of everything for the most part :).)

    bowlofingredieontz

  6. You should have recently thrown in or throw in a separate pan a couple slices of beef bacon. You really could do any type of red meat or no meat if you want to, but I cooked mine with grapeseed oil, garlic, and black pepper–turned out real delicious!
  7. Once the cauliflower has been boiled to make it somewhat easy to break apart, drain the cauliflower/italian parsley blend and rinse with cold water.
  8. Again, I like to use the food processor because it is really quick and easy to use, but you could use a mixer here instead. I must warn you, though, using the mixer was a messy process which is why I resorted to the food processor. See below.

    blendURRR
    Yowza.

  9. After scratching the mixer idea, I threw everything I had concocted plus what was already in the food processor back in the food processor. With the cauliflower still being warm even though I rinsed it off (rinsed it off so it was still warm but not blasting hot), I thought the butter would blend better–which is why I waited until then to add in the butter until now. So, yeah–throw this shit in the food processor along with those 2 tablespoons of pasture butter! (Here’s why pasture better is better than the conventional type.) Process these goodies until smooth enough to resemble mashed potatoes or to your liking. Feel free to add in some pink salt and black pepper while processing or afterward to help enhance taste.

    processurrr


I try not to always count calories, but old habits die hard. I didn’t check the calories/nutrition for the beef bacon, but for all of those mashed “potatoes” — the entire pot is less than 500 calories! I will have at least 2 servings left for sure, so this is definitely one guilt free side-dish. I rough-estimated my calorie findings on the following links listed (thanks http://www.nutritiondata.self.com! Myfitnesspal.com is also a great calorie resource to refer to).


Slight nutrition content for:

And your final result is…tastiness! (I know, it looks like green poop, but it was really good.)
caulibeefmeal1

And last, but not least, please give me one more minute of your life–I promise it’s worth wasting because odds are Brak’s stupidity from “Space Ghost” will make you laugh or make you feel much smarter than you did prior to watching it. Either way, it’s a win-win scenario.
Mashed Potato Poetry

Bon Appetit, ‘urrybody! 🙂

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Chocolate Ice Cream Cravings. Thanks, Hormones.

Oh ladies, you know that time of the month–and gents, you usually have a good indication when it’s your partner’s time of the month because all of a sudden she wants to go out to eat and order dessert at the end. Or hell, she wants to skip the restaurant and go straight to the ice cream shop (that’s how I am feeling today). Rather than wasting my money on ice cream that is deemed “healthier”, such as hemp ice cream (which really all that shit is bad for you, no matter what kind of pretty ribbons and labels you put on it), odds are if that pint is around–you WILL consume it, potentially all of it–fuck, you might eat the carton! Okay, maybe that’s only me on my period days…we’re all adults here, so I think I’m allowed to discuss menstrual cycles on what will be seldom, EXTREMELY SELDOM, occasion :). Anyway, seeing that I just had my lunch, I wanted to try to watch the calorie, fat, and carb count–well, I didn’t watch the carb count as well as I should have but I think that I did alright in other areas. (Raw cacao has minimal fat in comparison to peanut butter, and both fats are good ones, I figure–but probably still a little too fatty to have as a snack in addition to my salmon and veggie medley lunch that I had earlier). But, the show must go on! Here are the ingredients that made up this delightfully thick and tasty beverage:

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NOM NOM. Grace? Hungry. Satisfied? Very!

I didn’t measure these ingredients out initially because I was not intending on posting this, so these are rough estimates, but feel free to play around to your liking :).

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3/4 Cup chocolate almond milk (I highly recommend the “Blue Diamond” over “Silk”; I haven’t tried others, but Blue Diamond’s business model appears to be more ethical [I say this because of Silk’s support of GMO’s–please take a look at this article written by Natural News to get informed!])

  • 1/4 Cup unsweetened hemp milk

  • Scoop of raw liquid cacao (big spoonful–maybe a little over 1 tablespoon.) If you do not have raw liquid cacao around, try using cacao powder (or cocoa powder if you don’t have cacao available to you), however the texture may be different. Or maybe even just rid of the hemp milk and add more of the chocolate almond milk to maintain that consistency :).
  • 1/2 Teaspoon raw honey

  • Small handful of walnuts (about between 4-7, but I’d suggest no more than 7 unless you are feeling experimental).
  • 1 To 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of coconut sugar (could omit entirely or substitute with more raw honey–I just really wanted something on the sweeter side).
  • 1 To 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of smooth/creamy natural peanut butter (I suggest Parker’s or if available to you, the brand I love that I use is called “The Good Life”. Just peanut butter that is organic and made with only peanuts and salt. I bet almond butter would be a good substitute as well. I am sure crunchy PB will work as well but you may want to throw it in the food processor in case your blender isn’t that much of a champ at blending [mine is a little bitch to work with]).
  • Cinnamon to taste (optional — cinnamon is known to help suppress appetite, though, so I throw it in my snacks and teas/drinks as often as I can :)).
  • 1-2 Tablespoons of brewed coffee (I use a device called a Toddy to brew my coffee. The filters are overpriced so this one from Amazon for a few bucks more with the two extra filters is a pretty good deal. Otherwise you may be able to find it at your local health food/wellness store). This bitchin’ contraption helps reduce acidity of the coffee, making it so nice and smooth…mmm! Also, when combined with chocolate, coffee helps bring out more of chocolate’s natural flavors!

  • 5-7 Ice cubes
  • OPTIONAL — Chia seeds, when mixed with wet ingredients, can become more “gelatinous” — meaning have a kind of jelly, slimy (not the best word but whatever), thicker texture which may be good for smoothies. Try adding those in addition to the walnuts if you feel like experimenting (or play around and omit the walnuts by substituting chia seeds–try using 1 to 2 tablespoons).

Methods To Avoid Menstrual Madness:

  1. Take the cacao, walnuts (and/or chia seeds), honey, and peanut butter and place them in your food processor. If you do not have a food processor, then place these ingredients in your blender FIRST before anything else until well combined. (Well, I guess you could throw the cinnamon in here too if you like :)).

  2. Take this mixture out of the food processor and scrape it into the blender (or leave it in the blender if you didn’t use the FP).
  3. Drop in 5-7 ice cubes.
  4. Pour over the ice cubes the unsweetened hemp milk and chocolate almond milk (or just the chocolate almond milk if you want something a little more chocolate-y). Also add the coconut sugar (again, feel free to omit if you like or substitute with more raw honey).
  5. Add in the cinnamon if you’re feeling it.
  6. Blend that shit together until you have achieved your desired, ideal, perfecto, OPA! type of consistency. (OPA! is a Greek phrase that Greek people yell randomly…just youtube it, or something. Actually, don’t. I just tried to do some research to do the work for you and none of the videos I looked at do it any justice. That being said, I’ll just make a video of myself yelling out “OPA!”. In the meantime, you’ll just have to wonder.)

PS–Everything still does taste much, much better in a wine glass.

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A Highly Unconventional But Slightly Stylish Cupcake (With Lots Of Attitude).

So, I have been on the prowl of finding ratios that are ideal enough to allow me to create my own cupcake recipes; a baking model that provides the skeleton, but lets me put on however much muscle and skin that I want! Okay, that sounded so creepily awkward, but I hope you catch my drift which was not intended to be of creeper nature. Basically, I want to have a recipe base that gives me an ideal ratio of flour to whatever ingredients I need to make my cuppy cakes rise and cook properly without the use of yeast, wheat, and/or gluten but still maintaining some healthy attributes. I have had many fails but if you work hard and put in time and effort, eventually you get a masterpiece (ish)! And that, my friends, I think I finally achieved today :). I did do a little research today and do have to give partial credit to the following authors/posts–I also recommend reading the pages to get some insight/understanding to the logic of using some of the ingredients that I did:

** Almond Meal/Flour Information **
** Ideas/Methods To Almond Meal/Flour Uses **

The inspiration for this unconventionally flavored cupcake is in part due to my heritage; being 50% Greek! Oh and I’m 100% in love with olive oil, thank you Greeks from thousands of years ago. I appreciate your discovery.

ANYWHO…I am very pleased to present to you, a Grace exclusive creation, one of which is sure to be a crowd pleaser 🙂 *drumroll*… Olive Oil Rosemary Lemon Cupcakes! 

Since that’s kind of wordy though, I’ll just call them Mediterranean Style Cupcakes!

DRY INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 Cup of BLANCHED almond meal/flour. I bought Bob’s Red Mill from Festival Foods in town for about $11, which is kind of ouch since it was only like 2 pounds…but I don’t bake as much as I used to, so I was content with the purchase.
  • 1/2 Cup gluten-free flour–I also have this by Bob’s Red Mill brand…I just mixed this with the almond flour because I wanted to use up some of my big 5 lb. bag since I have a feeling it’s going to last me kind of an eternity -_- …
  • 1/2 Cup egg replacer — bought this a while back at the co-op in town by the brand “Ener-G”. Egg replacer essentially is just potato starch. I feel kind of silly using this since I could have probably just used eggs but that would vary the results of the recipe if you were to switch it. I just used it because I have had it in my cabinet for a while and also read that potato starch was a good binder when baking with almond meal!
  • 1 Teaspoon baking soda (I was a little worried that my cupcakes wouldn’t rise. They have flopped on me before.)
  • 1 Teaspoon baking powder (okay, I was more than a little worried that my cupcakes wouldn’t rise ;)).
  • 1 Teaspoon of pink salt or sea salt (I used pink salt since I had it on hand, but I am sure sea salt would be a fine substitute!)
  • 2/3 Cup coconut sugar (I dislike using added sugars, but this one seems more “au naturale” than other sweeteners I have come across in the past. I’d like to use stevia but it doesn’t sit well with my tummy.)
WET INGREDIENTS & ITS NOT-SO WET PARTNERS (HAH!):
  • 3/4 Cup olive oil (go with cold-pressed & organic).
  • 1/4 Cup honey (the type I used was raw & unfiltered, which is not as sweet as typical market store honey).
  • 3 & 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice (this might have been a little too much in my opinion, so try going with 3 tablespoons or even 2 and 1/2 instead. I like tart flavors so it’s fine for me, but might not necessarily be for those who are opposed to tartness.)
  • 1 Tablespoon ghee or pasture butter (whatever other butter you have around is fine as well if you’re not too picky. Ghee is just clarified butter which you could make on your own if you already have regular butter around–here’s how to along with some additional information on why ghee is a “ghee-ood” idea!
  • 1/4 Cup unsweetened hemp milk (I’m sure other non-dairy or dairy products would work fine, but I highly advise against adding any more than 1/4 cup of it).
  • 2 Medium-sized bananas (for additional and more natural sweetness).
  • 1/8 Cup dried rosemary (you may want to try to make these more crushed/fine so that you’re not biting into big chunks of rosemary :)).

Bring It On, Klingon (I’m Talking About The Directions Over Here)!
  1. Pre-heat the oven to three-hundred-fiddy degrees! (350 degrees celsius).
  2. Grab a bowl and stir in with a whisk, fork, or spoon all of your dry ingredients. Once well-stirred, set this bowl aside.
  3. Gather all of the wet ingredients (and their not-so-wet partner ingredients). For this step I decided to use my food processor because I think it works better than a mixer does, but if you do not have a food processor around, then a mixer should suffice 🙂 –but you will probably have to mix for longer to ensure everything is well-combined. Otherwise if you do have a food processor, throw all of those bad boys in the food processor and blend until everything is totally mixed together.

    ImageThe wet ingredients just waiting to get it on with their not-so-wet ingredient partners in crime…

  4. While you are waiting for the wet ingredients to fully mix/process with one another, grab your cupcake pan and place it with cupcake liners (highly recommended!) or else grease/spray it as you normally would.
  5. Combine the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients. Stir together thoroughly but not for too long (just until well-combined. I used a whisk and it worked out well).**NOTE** The batter may come off a little thick or have some type of texture that seems odd or not very typical of normal batter. Do not be alarmed, it is supposed to be like that for this recipe. You will be fine :).

  6. Pour the batter about 2/3 full into your cupcake liners. If using mini cupcake liners/pan, cook the cupcakes for 19-21 minutes. If using medium-to-larger-sized cupcake liners/pan, then cook for 22-27 minutes. If going past 22 minutes, do check every 1-2 minutes the center of the cupcake with a toothpick to ensure it’s cooking but also to take a look to make sure that the edges of the cupcakes aren’t burning :).

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I used mini cupcake liners and then medium-sized cupcake liners. The minis did not have to cook as long as the medium-sized ones did.

SO, after making these cupcakes and taking a bite, they were nice and soft on the inside–I was ECSTATIC! I finally made a cupcake recipe that didn’t go 110% to shit. But now I was terribly confused: WHAT THE HELL DO I PUT ON THIS THING FOR FROSTING? With how intense of a flavor the cupcake was, I wanted to keep the frosting something light and simple. Well, I ended up making the process much, much more difficult than necessary. Hell, I even made two separate batches of frosting! I kept getting so upset because my frosting just would not turn out. I tried to make a vanilla frosting but it sucked so then I tried make a chocolate batch. The chocolate one sucked as well, so I thought I’d add both of them to see if that attempt would prevail. The more I fucked up along the way, the more ingredients I would add in effort to salvage it. Here are all of the ingredients combined that went to hell for making that faulty frosting:

  • 3 Bananas
  • 2 Tablespoons raw liquid cacao
  • 1 Teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/4 Cup + 1 tablespoon ghee
  • 3 Tablespoons raw unfiltered honey
  • 3 Tablespoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 Cup + 1 tablespoon almond meal
  • 1/4 Teaspoon pink salt
  • 1/3 Cup + 1/4 cup (too lazy to do the math at the moment) coconut sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut oil (I was starting to get desperate…)

Once I added all of that shit together, I got this–which doesn’t look too bad, but my tastebuds assured me otherwise.

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I was beyond pissed off at this point. What the fuck was I going to use as a topping without resorting to confectioner’s sugar? Then I tried to calm myself down and remembered what I told myself in the beginning: “keep it simple, silly!” (I say “silly” instead of “stupid” because it’s not nice to call yourself stupid–something I’m trying to fix because it’s a bad habit I have!). That being said, I tried to think of things that went good with rosemary, lemon, and olive oil–instead of frosting…what’s more simple than making something new? Using something already made! With the texture of the cupcake reminding me of cornbread, I thought of different things that typically go well with cornbread: honey, butter, and honey butter. I slathered a little butter on one side of the cupcake and it wasn’t too shabby. Dipped the other side of the cupcake in a little bit of honey, that was pretty yummy. But then for some reason, cheese came to mind–oh yeah, that’s because I LOVE CHEESE. It’s a serious problem…but rather than processed cheese, I’ve started buying raw cheese instead. Then I told myself, “well, what the fuck–let’s throw some cheese on this!”

ImageAnd who would have thought that a savory and still sweet cupcake topped off with goat cheese would be born? I sure as fuck didn’t, that’s for sure!

Take a wad of cheese (as much or as little as you like) and jam it in the middle of the cupcake like a filling or something.

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Now here’s the Mediterranean Style Cupcake’s close-up for its “America’s Next Top Model” portfolio.

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And voila…there you have it. Enjoy, bitches!

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