Category Archives: Uncategorized

Workstation Popcorn

Laptop in Coffeeshop

Where’d all the coffee go?!

Workstation Popcorn: It’s a real thing invented to keep coffee lovers supremely caffeinated throughout the day as they jump from cafe to cafe/workstation/pub, working on specific, premeditated tasks at each stopping point.

I recently read about this technique from Entrepreneur and decided to test it out today.

Essentially, you start your day with a clear to-do list and break it down into “task chunks”. You allot a few to-dos to be completed in different environments, moving from point A to point B only once A’s allotted tasks have been finished. For example, I gave myself the tasks of sending my new business cards to print, updating my website homepage and researching for a few upcoming blog posts at coffee shop A. Then I moved onto stop B to cross three more tasks off of my list.

I’m currently at coffee shop C (my final stop for the day), and I found the exercise to be refreshing. It gave me the opportunity to stand up, stretch and walk around in between the day, and, most importantly, the chance to talk to and observe different people in several environments instead of staying “stuck” inside of my own world, aka my laptop.

Plus, I found myself totally focused on goals, rather than just looking at the clock to see how much time I had left in my workday.

This weekend I plan on trying it even around my own apartment and, weather permitting, outdoors (which always gets my creative juices flowing).

Is “Coffee Shop Popcorn” a tactic that anyone else practices to get more done?

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Grilled Chicken Tacos

Chicken Taco

I love Mexican food. I repeat: I love Mexican food.

Tamales, chile verde, mole, homemade salsa…I could eat all of it, all day, everyday. However, more than any other dish, I’m currently hooked on tacos.

I made these grilled chicken tacos for Michel and I last week, and we both really enjoyed them. Long, stressful days at work call for a little bit of indulgence, and enjoying a couple of these for dinner was a nice way to transition into the late evening and relax.

All that we were missing were margaritas!

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • ½ ripe ripe avocado, peeled and diced
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced green onion
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 2 cups cabbage
  • 1 tablespoon ancho chili powder
  • ½ tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1” strips
  • cooking oil
  • corn tortillas
  • lime wedges

Directions:

Combine sour cream, avocado, cilantro, green onion and lime juice in a food processor, and process until smooth. Combine with cabbage in a small bowl.

Combine ancho chile powder, cumin, paprika, oregano, garlic powder and salt. Sprinkle over chicken. Heat oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook through.

Warm tortillas. Serve slaw mixture and chicken over tortillas, along with lime wedges.

Out on the Town: Homeroom Mac + Cheese Restaurant

Homeroom Trailer Mac

“Life is great. Cheese makes it better.”  – Avery Aames, The Long Quiche Goodbye

It was the first rain of the season and the last day of summer. My morning run was cancelled due to the downpour, so I stayed at home all morning stealing cars and watching Michel successfully pull of a jewelry heist, along with my friend, Sarah. No, we’re not criminals.

The new Grand Theft Auto game is out.

Naturally, all that sitting around doing nothing made us work up an appetite, and the rain nixed any opportunity for a sunny patio brunch.

We set out for Homeroom Mac + Cheese Restaurant.

I’ve heard of this place through the grapevine and know they just released their first cookbook, so, stirred by the buzz, we trudged over, raincoats and all, to enjoy the perfect rainy day food.

Homeroom is a mac and cheese restaurant in Temescal and any nostalgic hipster’s utopia. Enjoy the cheesy goodness of the quintessential comfort food, but with a grown-up twist – like gluten-free mac topped with Gruyere and artichoke hearts and served with a mason jar of craft beer.

The place was packed when we arrived, so while we waited around for a table, I got to take in the decor. With an old school gym locker in the corner, the monthly specials featured on a chalkboard wall and a library catalog that stores frequent eater club cards – so on-trend, yet low-key.

We were soon seated at a long, communal table, in between what we suspected to be a declining first date and a group of girlfriends out for brunch. Overall, the vibe was warm, inviting and down-to-earth.

The menu features about 15 different types of mac. From the classic cheesy stuff to a version that’s made with creamy black truffle gouda, sauteed mushrooms and fresh time, there’s something for every cheese-loving palate.

Plus, they have a full list of add-ons to yummy up your dish even more: chorizo, peas, fried egg, spicy cauliflower, caramelized onion, buttery breadcrumbs and more.

Gilroy Garlic Mac

I had the Gilroy Mac with creamy gouda, sharp pecorino and roasted garlic, made it gluten-free and added bacon.

Michel had the same, but glutenous and topped with breadcrumbs.

And Sarah relieved her childhood and had the Trailer Mac – cheddary mac with Niman Ranch hot dog and topped with crushed potato chips.

Ohmygosh, when our meal arrived, we were all in mac and cheese heaven. Bites of hot, gooey carbs and cheese, the cold, rainy weather and good company made for such a satisfying meal.

We were too stuffed to even think about dessert, but I’ve heard that their homemade Oreos are out of this world AND that they have gluten-free options too.

We all left as happy, maybe-slightly-fatter campers, but we’ll definitely return as the weather starts to get colder and stormy weather starts to become a part of everyday life again.

Homeroom To-Go Box

Until then, remember this?

Old Christmas traditions…and new!

Truffles

Some of my fondest Christmas memories are spending hours in the kitchen with my mom baking enough cookies to feed a family of 24 and cooking a family favorite for generations, a massive batch of pierogis.

IMG_6408 (2)

This year, we whipped up all the usual suspects, but also introduced two new items that I definitely plan on making for years to come – dark chocolate truffles infused with orange extract and homemade tamales.

Details to come soon!

“A new home for my socks” DIY Dresser Update

DIY_Dresser_Update_AfterI’ve really enjoyed putting my new apartment together and experiencing many “first place” rites of passage: buying my first couch, spending hours piecing together IKEA furniture and buying “pretty towels” for bathroom decor.

While my kitchen, living room and dining room are coming together nicely, I still haven’t done a thing with the bedroom besides littering one corner with boxes with odds-and-ends that will very likely never get unpacked. Until moving into this home, my first apartment, every piece of furniture I’ve ever owned has had to fit inside of my rented-out room, and now that I have the whole place to myself, my bedroom has been stripped naked.

That is, except for the closet. Brimming with scarves, yoga pants and wadded up sleep shirts, the space inside simply can’t contain everything I wear. Only one shelf for my folded items plus my innate inability to keep an organized closet has me set up for closet failure.

Fortunately, I have a boyfriend who keeps his “work” and “play” shirts on different types of hangers (wooden for the office and black microsuede for the weekends) and folds his underwear.

After a trip home for Thanksgiving, he gifted me a closet-cluttered girl and DIYer’s dream – his childhood dresser! Still in great condition, but just in need of a little face-lift to suit my personality and style, this 9-drawer dresser will be a nice addition to my otherwise sparse bedroom and a great place for my socks to call home.

DIY_Dresser_Before

I like the wood and its ability to warm up my room, so I kept the body as-is and simply painted each drawer: a neutral stealth grey for the bottom six and a nice pop of color for the top three with a fun teal hue that I use as an accent throughout the apartment.

I also replaced the boring white knobs with some inexpensive, yet decorative brass ones found at Home Depot.

A mirror that compliments the new knobs, a few books, organizational bowls/containers and an orchid later, and I had a beautiful new addition to my otherwise plain bedroom that cost less than $35 to update.