Mexican food things

Inspired by a thing I saw on Pinterest (just search for TACO and you’ll find these sorts of things) I made tortilla cup Mexican food for dinner this evening.

Here’s what I did:
In a skillet, Quorn veggie “burger” mince, rice (pre-cooked), frozen corn, frozen mixed peppers. This was all dumped into a combination of light olive oil and chilli oil.
Add some water and half a sachet (or to your taste) of taco seasoning, and some Mexican hot sauce (I use Cholula). Cook that up till the water is gone and all the flavour has gone into the ingredients. You may need a lid on it for a bit.

Get a muffin tin and find something of an appropriately oversized diameter to use as your tortilla cutting template. To form the little tortillas into the muffin tin without tearing/breaking them, you’ll want to heat your stack of mini tortillas in the microwave for 15-30 seconds. Press them into the tin, fill with your mix, top with cheese and bake in a hot oven for about 10-15 minutes. I used a toaster oven at 200c for about ten minutes till the cheese was melting in and going a little golden brown.

Let your little masterpieces sit in the tin for five or ten minutes before attempting to remove them. Using a spoon to lift them out is helpful. While you wait to serve them, take any remaining mix and put it on some nachos to bake up in that still hot oven.

I use Greek yogurt instead of sour cream as a topping. Tastes great, lower in fat and less expensive here.

Eat up!

And now the year starts

It’s January for a couple more days and it’s only now that – for lots of UK residents – the new year really gets underway. January is the dreaded tax return month for us (at least it’s our last chance to file one anyway) and many people put it off until our only option is to do it online at the last minute. I think this makes two years in a row that I’ve filed on the 28th, which for me, is pretty impressive.

I’m sitting here sipping tea (visual aid photo after this paragraph) and contemplating my persofonal* to-do list. My year is now wide open and I have only me to answer to until the 28th of next year. Going through the numbers has given me painful (but not unexpected) clarity on the state of my business, and so change is topping my priorities list. Being a self-employed artist/art tutor is not typically thought of as a wise career for people who want the financial good life, but my aim is to make a living doing what I love, and so that’s the focus. Anything beyond that success is bonus.

There are a few things I’d like to have done this month that have not happened. I wanted to launch my new art works shop site, but that was held up equally by severe depression and getting cart approval from the people who securely process credit card transactions. January is a limbo month for lots of people and businesses, so sometimes it’s tough to get traction when you need it. The shop shall be launched, and a newsletter too, but right now I’m not beating myself (or approval systems) up over delays. It’s happening, and for that, I am grateful.

Look at this: I’m writing again. It’s not my finest, nor my most interesting, but the fact that I’m typing out words is a good start. I know when the word flow slowed to a trickle and why. Depression. Years of it. A long time ago I remember thinking aw man, mom is now reading my blog, but that soon turned into the best thing ever. I even wrote more often knowing she could easily keep up with my day to day life from several thousand miles away.
Then she died. I wrote less. I retreated into depression to a depth I’ve never known before. I’m still in it, but beginning to see beyond the dark. Functional depression is a strange thing and becomes who you know yourself to be rather than a situation to overcome. I’m finally – hopefully – overcoming it, maybe a little anyway.

So here I sit drinking enough tea to test the capacity of a camel and I’ve just heard Pete’s buying me lunch. I can’t think of a better reason to wrap up this post. TO THE SANDWICHES!

* personal + professional, because what I do for a living blurs my boundaries

Stream of consciousness

It’s 9:30 on a Tuesday morning as I sit down to write this post. I’m not sure why the urge struck me to type, but it has, so I’ve slipped my hands through a pair of wrist warmer glove thingies and opened my ageing MacBook Pro in the studio. It’s chilly in here. I have a really good space heater but I’ve turned it and my music off to write; I’m too out of practice and my ADHD drug hasn’t kicked in yet, so no noise is good noise.

I was ill last night, like, vomit-ill. I had nothing odd to eat, no reason to be sick. The one factor that tallied up with another recent need to barf episode was yoga. Only in recent weeks has yoga in the morning made me physically ill in the evening. I know yoga has all kinds of superpowers (I was, for many years, pretty addicted to daily yoga), but I’ve never had it detox me so profoundly. At least, that’s what I hope it’s doing…

Recent personal news has left me considering lots of things single people consider. Dating, children, marriage, old age, death. I am fortunate that I live with my best friend, and although the friction levels are low, we still have our “disagreements.” I’ve lived the last twenty years+ with men I married. Unless we enter into some rom-com BFF pact that we’ll marry each other if we give up on others, then I think Pete isn’t ever going to top a cake with me. And dating? Horrifying to me at the moment. Children? have always been horrifying to me…

On children: I have never understood the want to procreate. Sex? Sure- lots please because it’s fun, but kids? Yikes. I was sitting upstairs the other day wondering if I’d ever be ready to have a kid and I think I’m wired so completely differently that it will never happen. And that’s good. I’m forty-three and still can’t imagine how people half my age decide to make babies like it’s a good idea. I have a few other female and male friends who think the same way, so at least I’m not alone in my desperate need to remain childless. I will admit to only once thinking I wanted a child and that was in the aftermath of having my reproductive organs removed after cancer. Even then, I think I was just pissed off I no longer had a choice. Of course, I could’ve considered adoption, but the desire to care for a little human full-time for 18 years disappeared as quickly as frost under a hot sun anyway.

So I find myself in the position of focussing on my work, career, and – in words stolen from Cool Hand Luke – “getting my mind right.” I’m drinking less, eating less, and exercising irregularly, but more than I have in years. I’m going out of my way to meet people and engage in events in surrounding towns. Progress is slow on making a living for myself, but each day is a step in the right direction. Rebuilding is tough, emotionally and physically – especially with the years of depression I’ve been through (and am still battling). I am going to be one helluva success story one of these days, so I’ve got that.

Might even write more. You’ve been warned.

sharing too much since 2003