65% New Yorker. 100% Texan. Likes: baking, puppies, beauty products, great meals, and the color yellow. Dislikes: poor grammar, Nutella, name-droppers, mushrooms, canned corn, and one-uppers. And yes, I use the Oxford comma. If you'd like to inquire, try lizlemon.tumblr.com/ask or lizlemonnn at gmail dot com. Sorry, but you cannot have my username.
Some random life updatey stuff
- This weekend was the best. For starters, it was gorgeoussss and for the first time it felt like summer might actually show up and there will be a time where I won’t walk outside and be hit by COLD.
- Also included in this weekend’s excellence: a facial and walk with Sari, trying ramen for the first time (and subsequently drinking nonstop water because hello SALT), a delightful coffee walk to Panera (is there a more perfect food than the cinnamon crunch bagel?), visiting some friends and seeing their gorgeous new apartment, feeding Hadley like a pro, another long walk through Riverside Park with some friends, watching some random fencers in Riverside, a street fair I actually enjoyed, and a Google Hangout date with our awesome photographer to do some wedding bizness. That was a LOT and probably no one will read it but it’s there for my own memory/posterity.
- Things are happening on the wedding front, which makes it real and all the more exciting. The next 11 months are probably going to fly by, huh?
- On that note, I bought a dress! While K was here (before I unfriended her), we did a little shopping and found bridesmaids dresses as well and I finally got to try on the dress I’d stalked online and fell completely in love and then thought about it for two days and bought it and at least once daily since then I look at a picture of it and smile. I’m sure it’s not normal to love something inanimate that much (aside from the cinnamon crunch bagels from Panera) but I don’t wanna be right and all that, yada yada. So there’s that.
- In non-wedding news (or at least non-our-wedding), we head to Mexico on Thursday for a destination wedding. I’m pretty excited about many things (sunshine! beach! laziness!) but probably most excited to spend a few days with my favorite person in the world and do a lot of relaxing nothing. Plus, we went summer suit shopping tonight and he looked pretty damn cute. Yeah, I went there.
Today is the opposite of customer service
First, I was requesting a final contract from the caterer we’re thisclose to signing for the wedding and I asked if we could add iced tea (sweet and unsweet because, hi, we’re in Texas). She sent it back to me with a THREE DOLLAR PER PERSON charge for tea. $1.50 per tea. Um.
Then, I had to go to Prada on 5th Avenue because my amazing, gorgeous ballet flats which have been worn so few times they basically look brand new lost a bow this weekend. So I go to see about having it replaced and am given the 80th degree about where I got them, do I have a receipt, etc. Then they need to know the id number so they can locate the exact color so do I have a box? Um, no, I live in a New York City apartment, I cannot keep shoeboxes laying around, sorry. Oh, but the number is in the shoe, but we still need to know who purchased them so we can locate it in the system… sure. And since I don’t have a receipt, it’ll be SIXTY DOLLARS to replace the bow. Um.
(edited to add)
In other news, we haven’t signed a caterer and it’ll take 8-12 weeks for my (free) bow replacement. The fuck.
Ask Lemon Anything (tm)
What do vegetarians eat instead of BBQ? Baked sweet potatoes topped with BBQ, black beans, cheese, red onions cilantro and a douse of BBQ sauce are also damn tasty.
Southwestern Baked Potatoes
Due to an impromptu health issue (I’m fine), I had today off work and an afternoon to get into some light trouble. So I decided to turn lemons into lemonade (the carnage!) and make a delicious dinner for myself and my manfriend/fiance/roommate/The Boy. While walking to the store, I texted him and asked what he wanted for dinner because I’m awesome like that and when he wrote back with no opinion, I decided I was craving baked potatoes. But in an act that is very much out of character, I wanted to make dinner at least marginally healthy and something other than the usual carbs + cheese that
baked potatoes everything I eat implies. And thus, I invented a recipe! And then I combined three recipes to make it happen and it turned out freaking delicious. So I’m saving it here so next time I’m not like, what’d I do?
First up, some chicken for extra protein. For The Boy, because I am a vegetarian… the things I do for love.
Prepare chicken breasts according to this recipe. Which basically means slather them in some spices (garlic powder, cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper), bake at 375 for 25 minutes, cool, shred (using the KitchenAid, genius).
Bake two big brown potatoes according to this recipe. Or, if you’re too lazy to click through, here’s what I did:
-Preheat oven to 400 (in a hurry? turn on your broiler for a few minutes first; that’ll reduce the heat time.
-Use a fork to pierce the (washed) potatoes several times each.
-Roll the potatoes in olive oil and salt.
-Bake directly on the rack (put a piece of foil or a cookie sheet on the rack below for drippings) for 45 minutes, until they give when squeezed.
Here’s where it gets creative… Very loosely based on this recipe, here’s what I did:
Ingredients (this is how much I used for two people, also - can be modified based on likes, but basically a bunch of veggies, some spices, some beans):
1.5 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 large red onion, chopped in rings
1 bell pepper, chopped in small pieces
1 zucchini, chopped in small pieces
1 tsp cumin
1tsp mexican oregano (regular oregano works, or nothing, because I made this up)
1 tsp chili powder (I used green New Mexico chili powder, but you don’t have to be snobby about it)
salt, pepper (or spepper, as I call ‘em)
15 oz. can black beans
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, torn up
splash of lime juice
What to do:
-Grab a frying pan, throw it on the stove, turn some heat on while you’re there
-Once the pan is hot, add olive oil, garlic
-Once the garlic has sizzled and it is starting to smell good, add the onions
-When the onions are translucent, add the peppers and zucchini (or whatever vegetables you have that need a bit more cooking time), cook and stir until the vegetables have a nice char on them (or less if you like your veggies rare)
-Add the spices, black beans, cilantro, and lime juice, stir all together and cook until done :)
Putting it all together
Once everything is done, cut the potatoes open and mash up the innerds. Put chicken and/or veggies on the potato, top with shredded cheese (cheddar, jack, a mixed baggie of Mexican blend like I did), and broil for 3-5 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve with guacamole if you like that kind of thing.
Your weekly wedding planning update
Make sure you have stories.
While pretending to study in Starbucks this afternoon an elderly man came out of nowhere and put a cup of coffee on my table and walked away. I didn’t notice until minutes later that a letter was attached underneath. It just happen to contain some of the best advice I’ve ever received and all from a stranger:
“I couldn’t help but notice you seemed stressed and exhausted and are probably all of 22. Always remember life is not your job or your title, life is not your paycheck or your car, life is not the size of your house or the brand of your clothing; life is family, life is friends, life is fun, life is laughter. Spend time with those you love and tell them how you feel at every moment. Stop worrying, stop waiting, stop stressing; just go, just watch, just enjoy. I unfortunately didn’t realize this until I hit the ripe age of 79, but the last four years have been worth it and the best of my life. I dance (like a fool), I drink (a lot), I love (harder every day), and I laugh— really, really hard. I’m not telling you not to work hard. Work and find your place and what you love, but realize life won’t wait up for you. A second that passes is a second that’s gone. You’re young and have so much ahead. We don’t know what’s beyond us, but isn’t that the best part? I spent my entire life in the corporate world, watching weeks pass Monday through Friday from the inside of a corner office. Then I woke up one day and I was 79. I had a corner office, I had a nice car, I had an awesome condo on lake shore drive, but I had no stories, I have no grandkids, I have no pictures of annual family vacations. I don’t like to use the word regret, but I wish someone had told me at your age what I’m telling you. Promise yourself, you won’t let what happened to me happen to you. Don’t get caught, because before you know it, you’ll be 79. Make sure you have stories. Make it count.
P.S. You can drink the coffee, I promise I didn’t put anything in it.
God I hope this is real.