Nightly Rituals

Beyond washing my face, applying night cream, brushing my teeth and grabbing a glass of water, there are a few things I do each night as I’m winding down.

I’m coming up on yet another anniversary, and this one has nothing to do with my husband. One year ago, I started writing in this:

Q&A 5-year journal Q&A 5-year journal Q&A 5-year journal

It’s a 5-year journal, and I’m really excited to start my 2nd year while looking back on what last year brought me. The first two questions I filled out are a good example of the variance of seriousness in the journal: “What was the last movie you rented?” and “What was something you wanted today but couldn’t have?” That’s right, I hadn’t seen Castaway until last year.

The second thing I do every night is read a page in the book Casey wrote for me and gave to me on our first anniversary (the paper anniversary).

Casey's book

Casey's book

I’m almost halfway through!

What do you do before bed each night?

A Sunday Soundtrack

Sundays are typically the days I do all of my food prep for the week. This means I spend a good two – three hours in the kitchen with nothing but the sunlight coming through the windows, vegetables being sliced, grated and chopped, and a great playlist. Some days it’s early-2000′s hip hop and some days it’s all slow music.

Today, as I was prepping asian rice bowls and beef stroganoff, here are a few songs I was jamming out to that I think you should check out:

What’s the song you can’t get enough of right now?

Roll that beautiful bird footage

Warning: Vegetarians need not read this post.

I have a confession – I’ve never cooked a whole bird. Not once. I hadn’t ever felt confident enough to do something like cook a WHOLE chicken. Gimme those frozen chicken breasts, and I’ll work my magic, a.k.a. read the recipe and not differ from it one iota.

Then came Fresh 20, a recommendation from Elyse and Ryan. It’s a subscription service that has one goal – buy 20 fresh ingredients every week (along with some pantry staples) and use them throughout the week. For example, this week’s menu was:

Roast Caribbean Chicken w/Sweet Potatoes and Fennel
Shrimp Ricotta Pasta
Italian Sausage w/Lentil Orange Salad
BBQ Chicken-Topped Sweet Potatoes
Spaghetti Egg Bake w/Mushroom Corn Saute

First up, the Roast Chicken. Which means one thing – I had to roast a chicken.

Roasted Chicken

Check. Here’s where the Fresh 20 philosophy comes in. I saved some of the marinade, baked the other two sweet potatoes in the oven while the chicken was roasting and shredded half of the chicken all for the fourth meal. The cilantro I used in this meal was also used in the second, fourth and fifth meals. And the sundried tomatoes I bought for this recipe, I used in the fourth and fifth meals, as well. All of the meals are interconnected like that, and I love it. Even more, I love how much this pushes the boundaries of what I can do (or think I can do) in the kitchen.