I Haven’t Been Cooking Much

Summer Eats | Domesticated Academic

Ok, I take that back: I’ve been cooking, but it’s been simple, clean, mostly fresh, and any of the photos you see in this post of food that’s been grilled: I made that! It’s been too dang hot! I’ve been too dang busy! Life keeps going and I don’t have time to work up any magic in the kitchen folks! Fresh fruit, lean protein, some dairy to keep me strong, and of course: ice cream!

Summer Eats | Domesticated Academic

Some seafood full of good fats, some sweets and treats, a few cocktails, and some power packed breakfasts have been fueling me this summer!

Honestly, I’ve been running full spring since May and if you follow me on facebook you know that I’m still cooking, but it’s not been super fancy, super new, or super food scienc-y up in this kitchen. It’s been ALL BUSINESS. Eating to live and keep on running!

It has been hotter and more humid this summer than in summers past here in the dirty south too and I’m too cheap to run my AC all day when no one is here except the dust bunnies. If I can’t kill it and grill it, it’s not getting cooked!

Summer Eats | Domesticated Academic

Some amazing Cuban food, pizza on the grill, a plethora of fun and good company, some homemade treats when the weather is cool enough, and some great eats when I’ve been traveling!

As we dip into August, I hope you’re having some summer fun, enjoying your life, and taking a big bite out of it each and every day! I’ll get back in the kitchen just as soon as my hair calms down–which is probably a long way off when I look at the weather forecast!

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I’m On Vacation…..

Fitness on Vacation | Domesticated Academic

And still working out! I spent the first two days in the car traveling and seeing friends–from VA to State College to see friends at Penn State and then to Ithaca to see other friends at my alma mater (Cornell), I finally landed at home Tuesday evening, just in time for wing night at the local bar! My favorite!

Like any good food-a-holic, I had eaten like a champion the previous two days with no working out, just some light stretching. I knew because my stomach was all, “what the french toast?”

Fitness on Vacation | Domesticated Academic

So, Wednesday, I got up, I slinked myself into some compression pants and took my faithful dogs out for a walk down the hill, back up the hill, and then for some moves to keep me stretched out and limber.

I didn’t clock my mile–it wasn’t super far, but the incline was massive for me. I sprinted once or twice but with a border collie thinking you’re a cow to herd, running isn’t really feasible unless you yell at the dog who’s guilty of ‘doing her job.’

I returned home to do some strength, some light plyo-like moves, and most importantly: stretch. I find for me that traveling tightens me up so if nothing else, a good stretching/yoga sequence makes all the difference.

My wallet got a good work out yesterday since some girlfriends and I went to the outlets and I stocked up on work clothes, some new winter boots, a pair of Chaco’s, and a super fun Coach purse.

I love vacation!

That’s Life

That's Life | New Faculty

I’ve found myself staring longingly at facebook and other social media this summer along with the dozens of blogs I subscribe to via feedly and bloglovin and I’ve determined one thing:

we’re making life look too pretty for our kids

We post these beautiful photos of food, scenery, family, and our vacations but never the stack of dirty dishes, crying children, the photo where our finger was in the field of the photo, or the 2847 hours it took to plan, book, and organize for the ‘perfect’ vacation.

That's Life | New Faculty

As I’ve gone on my own journey this summer, I’ve had to stop looking so longingly at these photos and put things into perspective.Behind that beautiful peach cobbler is a stack of pits, containers of ingredients, and likely some food props. Behind the scenery is probably some jerk who littered, behind those family photos are probably some tears (we won’t know from who-the parents orthe kids or both), and behind that vacation photo set is a large headache as someone planned it trying to offer their family a maximum experience in only a few short days. I’m not trying to rain on everyone’s parade, but I see larger implications for our future.

I’m an “adult.” I use the ” because I’m mostly fully formed but always a work in progress. I can think about that perfect situation, like a wedding, and know that it took an army of people to get that bride and groom or bride and bride or groom and groom down that aisle and onto their life. It did not happen in the ‘best 100 photos’ that they purchased from a photography service. If we don’t like it, we simply delete it, but that’s not how life works. We make mistakes, big and small, and instead of erasing it from our mind-we have to deal with it in order to grow.

I found myself super tired last week after personal and professional obligations had me burning life at both ends and last night: I crashed. I wanted nothing more than to veg out on my couch, watch some Netflix, and talk to my dad on the phone, since I’d been too busy to do it all week.

And then, I checked my phone. I’d been ‘invited’ to an event on facebook. I liked the people hosting it, it looked fun, and I knew I’d probably have a good time.

But I didn’t go.

I was just too pooped.

I’m taking the time to write this post and share it because I think our culture has trained us and more importantly, our children, that unless something is always perfect, fun, or shiny- it’s not worth sharing. We’ve been conditioned to always feel like we need to live a life competing against the “jones” but they’ve gone from our neighbors next door to 1,000 friends, connections, and otherwise virtual humans. Every time I log into a social media outlet, I see people having fun (which is great) and when I see someone who’s having a bad day, I don’t want to see it. It’s happened to me too! I’m so guilty!

This busy week I’m referring to involved doing something really unpleasant, I had to get police involved, and it’s not something that I would deem ‘fridge worthy’ for the public to see, but it is part of my life and it did happen.

As bloggers and humans, it’s ok to share some of the ‘messy stuff’ from time-to-time as long as it doesn’t violate your personal/private space. People who read you will appreciate it because it probably happened to more than half of your audience due to this thing I call “being human” which none of us seem to have the ability to escape. If we choose our words carefully, others can learn and grow.

That's Life | New Faculty

I’ll still be posting photos, recipes, and the like, but I might take a post a month and discuss things that DON’T make for the perfect pie because let’s face it:

it’s the messy stuff that makes a life too.

ps: all the photos are of my ‘life’ AKA: my mostly organized but somewhat disorganized house–my unmade bed, my tools, and my closet–the photos are mostly blurry, poor quality and not that great, but they show me one thing: LIFE!

Avocado Tzatziki Sauce

Avocado Tzatziki Sauce |Domesticated Academic

And then I fell in love….with this! This is the perfect dip, sauce, or eat with a spoon sauce for summer. It really is refreshing! Even moreso when you’re stuffing it in your face at warp speed. If you can spell “tzatziki” from memory, you need to email me and give me some tips. I can never spell it correctly….ever….

Avocado Tzatziki Sauce |Domesticated Academic

Anyway….I got out my ‘new to me’ food processor after staring at it for two months (AKA: being too busy to think about anything in the kitchen) and buckled down for some kitchen time. Lo and behold, this came out of it first. I had been thinking about two avocado’s that were quickly ripening past their prime on my counter and proceeded to put a whole bunch of stuff into the food processor to take it out for a test drive.

A lucky cuke from my CSA share got peeled, seeded, and chunked and thrown into the fire next along with some dill I’d dried, some garlic, some small red onion from the CSA and finally, a good portion of greek yogurt.

You’ll need:

20 minutes + fridge time

  • 2 whole avocados, pitted
  • 1 cup plain non-fat greek yogurt
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon dill
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 large cucumber, peeled and seeds removed
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • salt & pepper to taste

Put all ingredients into the food processor and pulse until mixed and beat to a pulp.

Remove from food processor.

Refrigerate until good and cold, at least an hour or the night before.

White Bean Dip | Domesticated Academic

White Bean Dip

Healthy Alfredo Sauce | Domesticated Academic

Healthy Alfredo Sauce