Sunday, March 28, 2010

Post #3:Sisters always succeed the most together.

In light of my current situation, there have been a lot of ups and downs with life, in general. But, of course, I'm always pressing to try new things. When I'm stuck in a rut, you can always get out of it with the help of a wonderful and caring sister. So here I am at a local coffee shop in the fringes of college-town Cincinnati enjoying some "breathe-easy" tea with said sister.

Much of my feelings of being stuck mainly is just warranted by a lack of an optimistic state-of-mind. Going day to day with a hopeful attitude 100% of the time is just sometimes arduous and it can require a huge reserve of energy. Having hope is taken for granted so many times.

Perhaps it would be wise to consider meditation as a release from the stresses of daily life. Perhaps this will allow me to reach the clarity I so deeply need. The clarity and the ability to say "things are just okay"--which can be quite challenging.

But, I digress. Walking into the grocery store can almost be like walking into a candy own meditative state. Now that I am older and I must live and breathe my own destiny, I find the taking the love and care into the foods I ingest can only make me happy along with good health and fitness.

Literally, as I walk and slowly stroll through the produce aisle. I notice the beautifully shaped stem, the beautiful leaves and how only just a pair of these veggies rest in the shelf alone. Then suddenly, as I reach for these epic pain! Blood! Eek!

Rawr! I am the Artichoke Monster! I will eat you, Raah!

So lo and behold, the artsy-choke--I mean, Artichoke. I decided to tackle this hefty yet surprisingly hazardous vegetable (it attacked me for pete's sake!). You'd never guess, but I actually had the audacity to grab this sucker in the grocery store just because I never had the glory of cooking and enjoying this cryptic vegetable -- what vegetable family does this even belong to? Yes, my sister even "google"s the answer to this question as we speak.

Yes, it does bite. Careful with those teeth. This vegetable comes with an attitude. So of course, I must first dabble into how to cook this honkin' thing. Well first, I decide that steaming will be the best for the first run.

So I quarter the little sucker, clean out its thistle-like center, and of course admire its beautiful "heart."

I had to do a google search of what accompaniments would be appropriate. The general consensus that I gathered was melted butter or mayonnaise. Of course, the former seemed a lot more appetizing. So I went ahead and let some organic butter simmer over a very low flame as I cooked the artichoke.

I filled a fry pan with just 1/4 cup of water, added kosher salt, and let the water work up to a raging steam. I dropped these little monsters into the pan and quickly recovered the pan with the lid. After about 10 or so minutes of some quick steaming right in a pan, the artichoke is done and ready for consumption. Peeling away each evergreen leaf and nibbling the tips of them was divine. Morsel by morsel, I soon developed a deep fondness for this monster veggie.

I did notice that there were still some inedible parts. Most of the vegetable was soft towards the center near the "artichoke heart" but there was still a huge discarded pile of leaf parts that I could not consume. Perhaps this would be a wise segue into considering baby artichokes the next time around.

Do try this vegetable. Very tasty. Very enjoyable.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Post #2: Oh no! The eggplant is burning! Quick, throw some wine on it!

I L-O-V-E Breakfast.

I mean... loovvee breakfast. THIS is what I eat for breakfast. No toast. No eggs. No bacon. No goetta.

That's not to say I'm opposed to said-listed-ingredients. However, this is my new wheat and dairy free alternative. Every time I think about waking up from slumber and slowly working myself to the kitchen. I think of the aromas, the fresh start, and my body saying, "ahh...!" when I'm done with my tasty portion---mind you, my body did say that once I took out diary and wheat in my diet completely. Who can refuse that wonderful sensation after a great rest, a bad day, or even a special night with your loved one. This is sometimes a beautiful end and a beautiful beginning. :sniff: Makes me even feel nostalgic. I digress...

So I've dabbled with the idea that perhaps Christina Pirello was right. I firmly believe it is better to start the day with a nutrient-packed, vegetable-focused meal. Thus, I have been trying and trying to "Build a Better Breakfast." And of course on top of my regular exercise regimen,
you can only imagine how picky I have become about food and the quality of food that I put into this power-house fuel burner of mine. Here's what I did to accomplish this wonderful Shrimp and Vegetable medley:

1) I picked my vegetables. Green beans were about to spoil (shame, shame, shame..) and there were some cut eggplant, yellow zucchini and green zucchini left-over in the fridge.

2) I decided on the best way to cook these. First blanch the green beans. Then we will toss everything else in oil.

3) Then I decided what would make this taste good. Olive oil. Check. Shallots. Check + a smile. Sundried Tomatoes in marinated olive oil brine. Check + even bigger smile. Shrimp--of course! You can never go wrong with low-calorie, healthy seafood in this approach. And of course, don't forget your good-quality salt and pepper for this dish.

***Now I will note here...using Shallots as a tasty alternative to onions has been quite a fantastic choice I recently made. Wherever you have onion...Shallots are a great substitute if you're willing to cut up those tiny little buggers.

4) Throwing these ingredients together is quite simple. However, every time I try to convince my lovely friends that cooking is simple. They always tell me that process is always tricky for them. Usually in my head before I start to throw this together. I plan on what vegetable will take the longest. For this dish, I did this order: eggplant, green beans, zucchini. Then, to really get started, I had to develop the flavors early in my oil that I was going to cook with. This is where the shallots, sundried tomatoes and other seasoning begins.

That is not to say that I don't make my own mistakes. So here is my kicker bonus step #5.
5) In the event that you find yourself forgetting about your previous and fragile vegetables and you kind of burn some of the shallots + eggplant--oops! No worries. Just throw your favorite white wine (shrimp loves white wine) or even alcoholic substance of your choice (sounds delinquent, I know). This will save your dish when you take that wine, reduce it, and de-glaze your pan. Now remember, if 100% of your food has turned black, there's no going back!

And there we have it! Viola!

Build a better breakfast. For your you. For your body. For your health.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Post #1: No matter how hard you try to be awesome, life will still have a good amount of bitterness + introduction

So this is my first post. Perhaps it requires a proper introduction. Perhaps not. I do, however find it quite appropriate that I ought to mention that this is a continuation from another "blog" that I have kept off and on since 2001.

Proper Introduction
Welcome to A Dipolmatic Artist/Twinkie. This blog will hopefully provide you a photographic and verbal glimpse into the life of a twenty-something Korean-American Twinkie (yellow on the outside, white in the middle) living in the Midwest. At times, I'll find it isolating and at times I'll find it comforting--quintessential Midwest, right? Being diplomatic, I hope I'll be able to achieve only the things that I desire in life. Of course... being an artist will always prove to be interesting. That's the only way to make things interesting is to view the world as a piece of artwork.

In time, I hope that this blog will serve as a fulcrum point for many of my mantras that I so strongly live by. I might re-enforce some, I may refute a few. But nonetheless, I find this yet another one of your cathartic attempts at being a preacher-woman.

Now that I'm 22, it seems I have come quite far in many avenues. Perhaps I will elaborate & enlighten on each dimension at a latter time:

-Solitude. My ability to pass time solely for myself has been much more easy to accomplish this past year.

-Scheduling. Organizing priorities and making sure I meet weekly goals has been successful.

-Culinary art. Ability to cook and plan ingredients I'll need while also making efficient use of the groceries I purchase. And of course, thinking of food in a different light has been fantastic. Food as volumes, not as a taste/comfort.

Post#1: No matter how hard you try to be awesome, life will still have a good amount of bitterness.

So this is technically the beginning of the post...

I have come a long way. Finally, I've accomplished my childhood dream of being in a band (maybe four at this point--oops, overkill!). I'm single after a 6 year long-term relationship. I'm independently living on my own. I'm on great terms with my parents and I love everyone! Seems I have it made...?

Not without bitterness.

1)Being Single is hard.

You deal with so many different people at any given time that sometimes it's difficult to swallow that some or many of them will not be honest, or they won't exist in your life "tomorrow." Also, I have so much time to myself that being lonely is definitely a consequence. And who can forget the lack of physical attention. It's a constant battle of monogamy an polyamory.

2)Sometimes it just feels like a life-crisis.

Given the fact that I only answer to myself now, there are times when its hard to gauge what is extreme and what is conservative. Even according to my own standards. Thus, it's hard to gauge when I'm satisfied or content. This rift in a lack of perspective kind of makes my brain go a little psycho at times...because it's just all a matter of choice, no? I have to find the right time to choose to be content. But this in itself is difficult and of course breeds much insecurity for me.


I've come head-on with an onslaught of issues with depersonalization and derealization. This might be some phoney prognosis but, I know that many times even when I'm doing everyday things, such as going to the grocery store or being out at my favorite pub, there are times that I just don't feel aware and present. It's always been evident that I've battled with depression in some form but I'm trying my best to keep it at bay.

Perhaps I will soon enlighten on my life in a more positive light. But this is the bitterness that has been accompanied with my newly sprouted personal growth and well-being.