I’m Done or Paint Night Fail

I ask you dear reader, what do you do when your soul is tired? I’m really feeling it tonight.  I’m a bit disappointed in myself, because I wanted to keep this blog mostly positive.    I just don’t have it in me tonight though.   It’s been a busy weekend, one thing after another. I have a lot on my mind. I reserved tonight for my watercolors. I need this creativity time to preserve my sanity. I’m working on a tutorial for painting flowers. It all started fine.  Began by setting up my work area mixing my paint colors.    I’m loving this Opera  rose mixed with Cobalt Violet. Sure, the rose color may fade in time(fugitive) but this is a practice painting and the bold color is refreshing.  I have heard that they actually put fluorescent dye in the paint.    I don’t know if that’s true or not,  but I sure enjoyed the brightness of the color.  My favorite paint brand is Daniel Smith but I also Like Winsor Newton. Mijello sent me a sample Lemon yellow I am utilizing tonight. I love the bold glow.


Chinese Grilled Hotdog

My youngest son has a Chinese-American best friend. My oldest son did also when he was very young. We do not live in an area with a high Asian demographic, so I guess it’s just coincidence. Or maybe their is something in my sons’ personalities that compels them to learn of other cultures and languages. I’ll probably never know.  We have really enjoyed chatting and eating. We discuss cultural holidays, their family’s histories and how they came to find themselves in the U.S.  

We have enjoyed spending time with our kid’s Chinese-American friends. Food is something to bring us together.  My oldest just loved the rice served at his friend’s house. It became his favorite food for a few years. In the past we have been treated to glass noodles, five spice pork and other yummy things I do not remember the name of. I always feel so honored to receive their kind dishes. It is a warm feeling to have someone cook their family favorites for you. None of it, however, looked like the stuff the serve at the local buffets. One of our friends from China had never heard of Orange chicken or Fortune Cookies before moving to the U.S.  She was not impressed with these faux Chinese recipes. I don’t blame her, her cooking is delicious. 

It’s exciting to try something way out of your comfort zone. Today at a child’s birthday party, I was encouraged to spear a hot dog and roast it over a fire. Fun and familiar. What I didn’t expect was for the host to brush a spicy honey mixture on everyone’s frankfurter. I was told it was a traditional recipe. Ok, I’ll admit I was a little nervous about trying it. Did they hear that Americans love everything sweet? The pork flavor was enhanced by the honey and the subltle heat from spice brightened everything up. Pretty good! What came next stole the show. 

Our host continued to grill a delicious assortment of meats on the charcoal. Sizzling hot short ribs followed the hot dogs. The Best! It was like I was eating ribs for the first time again. Generous portions were piled high on our plates. They didn’t look like ribs, more like a thin steak. The Chicken wings coming up next smelled scrumptious, but I was to full to eat another bite. I’m sure they were marvelous. 

We never know what fine folks our paths may cross with, but it sure is a fun journey. 

Sweet Potato Bowls

Warm Curry Sweet Potato Bowl
Sweet Potato Curry Bowl with Beans, Chicken and Avocado

Tonight, I missed dinner. I had a meeting to go to, by the time I got home it was passed 9:00PM. What to do? Sweet Potato bowl to the rescue. You are probably wondering what kind of strange recipe Lauren is messing with now. Well, it’s a delicious one and EASY. It’s kind of a non-recipe using leftovers. Vegans, just skip the chicken and your good to go. 

I fell in love with sweet potato/black bean combo many years ago when it arrived in my freezer section as a Weight Watcher frozen lunch. Back in those days, I used to nuke a quick meal to eat myself while I fed the baby his lunch. Fast forward a bit and the baby is grown and off to the prom, while Mom is still eating sweet potatos and black beans. Here is the updated version:
One Sweet Potato, cooked in microwave or baked

1/4-1/2 Cup Black Beans

2oz leftover chicken

1-2 TBSP coconut oil

1/2 avocado sliced

Curry powder, salt, pepper, other seasonings as desired. 
Slice and chop your ingredients until everything is bit-sized. Combine chopped ingredients in bowl and toss with coconut oil and spices. Trader Joe’s curry powder adds a nice warm note,while Penzey’s Now Curry has more zing. Neither is too hot. I like my avocado slices on the top layer. 
I love having this quick and easy meal that fills me up when I am “stomach-hungry” as Rachael Ray’s mom describes serious hunger pangs. It makes the growling stop, but it’s not too heavy. It’s “real food” that makes you feel great. It would have been perfect if I hadn’t over salted it. By the time a person is in their forties, they should have mastered the salt shaker, but I still goof up with it once in a while. 

What is your favorite late night meal? Would you rather just hit the drive-through? 

Warm Curry Powders
Warm Curry Powders bring out the flavor of the sweet potato