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Hello, have we met? I’m Agi, or better Agnieszka, also known as
This newfound and boosted self-esteem is a result of doing a few simple exercises with my wonderful and so inspiring circle of women-friends. As the New Moon arrived, Missy gathered us in her cozy abode and guided us as we set our intentions for 2010. Camilla got the energy moving with the above-mentioned fun practice. Writing those down really got me all excited about the POWER OF ME, and only then was I able to write down
MY TOP 10 TRIUMPHS OF 2009:
1. I ended my slavery to various employers, which brought on the whole theme of reinventing of self along with so-longed-for sense of freedom.
2. We found and created with Jason our first home together. It’s beautiful, cozy and really does feel like home, at last.
3. Living together only strengthened and enriched our relationship.
4. I unleashed my creative “monster”, as I truly believe that nothing can stop me now from creating whatever I want in my life. I do have a shit load of confidence in myself all of a sudden. Yee-haw!
5. I created “One More Bite” – the blog you’re reading, which was a pretty kick-ass idea and quite a bold move considering the commitment. I love it!
6. I mastered my culinary skills, which is and forever will be a work in progress as it’s nothing like riding a bike, kid yourself not.
7. Hey, I became a PERSONAL CHEF! Hello! Give yourself the gift of being served a homemade, delicious and organic meal that will make your hair shine and a bod so fine – send me an email through facebook or twitter.
8. I chopped off my hair, thus marking the end of my healing process from various pains of my 20s (that manifested with miserable eating disorders and such, now just a vague and sad memory) and embracing my commitment to living in balance with nature and loving myself for I rock my world!
9. I built many new and wonderful friendships, and boosted the existing ones, which is HUGE considering my ALIEN status with a green card. My kinfolks, for the most part, are all on the other side of the BIG POND, a.k.a. Atlantic. Hence, my friends are my immediate family over here.
10. I felt GREAT for the most part of 2009. Let’s see: 365 days – 12 days (PMS) = 353 days of pure, nauseating, daring HAPPINESS.
Yup, it was a good year. Now you go. Stop whatever it is you’re doing, put that doughnut down, stop reading nonsense on the Internet, don’t scratch yourself there!, leave the dishes for later, stop worrying about the bills for a moment, ignore your meowing companion (whoever it is) and take a 10 minute break to write down, hence see with your bare eyes, how successful your 2009 was, how powerful being you are, and feel the energy flowing through your temple of a body.
Done? Feeling MIGHTY? Purrfect. Now take that elevated spirit and translate it into a hearty and comforting meal you deserve right now. Here’s an idea – SPANISH RICE a’la Agi that will punch you in the face with its rich and robust flavor.
Here I used this fancy-shmancy blend of rice grains mixed with black barley that added to the drama of the final look of my dish.
You can use leftover rice that you don’t know what to do with. Or just as well get yourself a pot full of brown rice, or any other unbleached, husk-on variety, and plan on feeding your lovely self and all your neighbors for weeks to come. I don’t care. All I want from you is a batch of cooked rice that you will now flavor to your liking.
Let’s begin with infusing olive oil with yummy flavors. Pour about 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a pan; drop in a handful of peeled and crashed garlic cloves, one or two branches of fresh thyme, and a teaspoon of red pepper flakes. Keep the pan over low heat thus letting everyone get comfy in the warmth of the oil for about 2 minutes.
Next, remove the herb and smash the garlic with a fork, enforcing it even deeper into the oil. Now, instantly add the rice (about 3 cups of cooked grain) and stir and fold it to ensure everything gets coated evenly with your flavored olive oil. Open a small can of tomato paste and empty it into the pan. Season it with a touch of kosher salt and one tablespoon of dry paprika. If you’re going for that smashing HIT in your mouth, feel free to add cayenne pepper as well. Once again, shuffle the rice and spread the paste all over it. When the mass is of a coherent color, spread it evenly over the surface of the pan and let it sit there over low heat for about 10 minutes, until the bottom gets a little crispy.
In the end, add a touch of Mother Nature in the form of fresh parlsey and/or dill, roughly chopped and sprinkled like snowflakes over the tip of Mount Everest.
I love my SPANISH RICE on its own, however for Jason I stir-fry a few chicken tenders that later tend to his six-pack, biceps, and those delicious cheek muscles (my favorite cut).
After a much needed and quite luxuriously uneventful weekend, I woke up to a Monday Writer’s Block. I don’t recall setting our Tivo to record that program.
In an effort to fulfill my promise to keep this blog fresh and sprouting with new ideas, I rewound the last 48 hours in my head looking for inspiration, and recited everything we DID NOT do:
- play Bingo, Backgammon, Cranium, or Monopoly; not even Truth Or Dare
- go shark back riding
- stop global warming (instead we added to it with the multiple trips to local coffee shops)
- fly a monkey
- teach Cosmo to roll over, though he was so, so close
- get kidnapped by an Alien
- learn to speak Urdu, or Spanish (a tad more practical in Baja)
- buy a turkey, eat a turkey, nor visited Turkey
- make out with a dolphin
- solve a single math problem
- patch the four holes in our ceiling before the mice that I’m convinced live in the cracks of our building find out about the openings and decide to come visit
- climb Mount Everest, nor any other hill, not even a road hump.
None of that happened this past weekend.
Looking further for topics I could write about, I browsed through the thousands of photos we took over the last year and a half, to finally stop at the images of Jason’s nephews, Conor and Dylon, which I found highly inspiring… to procreate rather than to bluntly tap at a keyboard with two fingers.
It sounds like a whole lot of NOTHING. Let’s get one thing straight: an uneventful weekend does not mean a weekend free of events. (Wait, huh?) I did some squats around the coffee table during meal times in an attempt to tighten that rump. There was some folding and scrubbing going on as well as a whole lot of licking. Cosmo cleaned both of his front paws after a thorough and urgently needed bath (because what do the humans know about a good bath), while Jason licked his wounds after brutal couple of weeks at work.
One task I managed to complete was a Thanksgiving menu, and that was not a trivial accomplishment. I’m Polish, hence for me this holiday represents a day off, empty streets, and limited access to candy shops and movie theaters since everything closes early. Nonetheless, I wanted Jason to experience the same traditions he grew up with despite living away from his family – the turkey with stuffing and mashed potatoes with gravy, with a spoonful of cranberry sauce on a side and a wedge of pumpkin pie.
Therefore, I’ll be cooking up a storm and making him a Thanksgiving meal that will take him back the memory lane: pork loin with honey-mustard sauce and wrapped in bacon, mashed rutabaga with cauliflower and caramelized onions, blanched green beans with roasted garlic, and chocolate and orange brownie pie. I’ll be sure to snap a photo of each and every dish, and report back to you with recipes and about five extra pounds hung around my hips. I wish they would settle in my boobs instead. Sigh.
In the meantime, let’s keep it light and healthy. I’ll be BAHK with a fresh salad idea before the Turkey Bell rings.