Chrissy Teigen Changed The Way I Think About Cooking

Home, Lifestyle

I grew up in a big family, and it definitely influenced the way I view food and cooking. If you grew up in a big family too, you probably know what I’m talking about. Cooking often felt like a chore. After a busy day at work, and then out on the farm, my family would come crashing into the house hungry, and my mom made a homemade meal almost every night. Even writing that sentence exhausts me.

There were definitely times where I was asked to help out and make supper for my mom. And honestly, it wasn’t something I enjoyed. It was tiring and just another thing on a long list of things to do. I can’t even imagine how my mom felt.

Now as an adult living on my own, I always have to cook for myself. For awhile, I found myself dreading cooking constantly. Then, I realized that this was an unhealthy way to look at something I would have to do for the rest of my life and so I sought out ways to make the experience of cooking more enjoyable for myself.

One of the first ways I did that was buying Chrissy Teigen’s cookbook, Cravings. I love Chrissy so I knew buying her cookbook was a no-brainer. And actually it surprised me by make me fall more deeply in love with cooking than I even knew possible. Part of it was reading how Chrissy felt about cooking. She talked about it being an enjoyable activity. At first I laughed and brushed it off, thinking, “Of course, we can’t relate – she’s a model.” But I knew that models were real people too with busy lives full of important obligations. So I dug deeper.

As I made my way through Chrissy’s cookbook, I tried emulating her – not rushing the process or getting frustrated by passing time. Instead, I enjoyed what I was doing and I committed myself to the meal I was preparing. And guys, it worked. I actually started cooking more. It goes without saying, that all the meals in the cookbook were stunning as well. So much so, that I bought Chrissy’s second cookbook when it came out, and I’m equally obsessed with that one.

Maybe what I appreciate the most about Chrissy’s cookbooks and words on cooking is this: she gave me a love for the cooking experiences I had growing up. Honestly, my mom is one of my favorite people on earth. She has done so much for me and she is a crazy hard worker. Many of our experiences together have involved cooking, and now I’m so glad I get to treasure all of those even more deeply since I have a new fondness of cooking. Now, I don’t just get to look back on cooking as times spent with my mom, which is still meaningful, but I get to take it a step further and appreciate the cooking that my mom taught me so much through. It gives me a deeper appreciation and understanding of our relationship.

So in celebration of Chrissy Teigen, her cooking, and my new appreciation for all that cooking brings, I’m going to show you my go-to Cravings recipe:

Chrissy Teigen’s Mexican Street Corn

3/4 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

3/4 cup crumbled cotija cheese

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

4 ears of corn, husked and halved

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 teaspoon kosher salt

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

Cayenne pepper

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves

1 lime, cut into 8 wedge

Directions:

  1. Preheat a large cast-iron skillet over high heat. On a plate, combine the Parm, cotija and black pepper.
  2. Use a brush to coat the pieces of corn with oil, or get them greasy with your hands. Season with the salt and lay as many pieces as will fit comfortably in the skillet. Cook, turning every 2 minutes, until some bits are blackened and the corn is cooked, about 8 minutes total.
  3. Working quickly, brush each piece with a thin layer of mayonnaise, then roll the corn in the cheese mixture and sprinkle with cayenne to taste. Put all the cheesy corn on a platter, garnish with the cilantro, and serve with lime wedges for squeezing.

 

That’s it! It’s so simple and so good. I’m honestly obsessed with it, and everyone I’ve ever made it for immediately wants the recipe. Then they make it all the time too. This includes my parents who love sweet corn in its simplest form. But they like this even better! It’s the best. Honestly. And so is basically every other recipe in the cookbook. It’s by far the best cookbook purchase I’ve ever made.

Ok, so I think you get it now. I love Chrissy Teigen. I love her cookbook. I love my mom. And because of all these things, I’ve learned to love cooking.

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Fall Things

Lifestyle

I love summer and I’m always sad to see it go, but when fall arrives, I’m reminded just how much of a fall person I am. It’s like I finally come alive again. Whenever October rolls around, I’m reminded of the Anne of Green Gables quote: “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” And it’s true. It’s a month where you can truly feel the earth change, and we’re caught in this limbo between the growing season and the season of rest. We get pumpkins and apples and sweaters and jackets and booties. And we get moody lighting.

Things that are less fun about the coming season: coldness, allergies, colds and other illnesses, loss of sunlight, and dry skin. But we’re not going to focus on those things – unless we’re focusing on them to solely combat them.

So what am I looking forward to this coming season? Well, cooking out of Chrissy Teigen’s new cookbook Cravings 2. My husband got it for me as a sweet surprise gift, and I haven’t had time to cook out of it yet, but I have already poured over every page. Simply put, I’m dying to delve in.

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Also, her new Target collection of cookware? I can’t wait to acquire some it. Chrissy’s color scheme already fits the colors of my kitchen and my aesthetic taste in general.

On another note, if you remember my ChloSoup blueberry pie earrings from earlier this year, you’ll want to know that I got a fall update. That’s right, I got myself a pair of pumpkin pie earrings from ChloSoup and they don’t disappoint. I’ve already worn them so much and I’ve received a ton of compliments.

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But, I mean, how could you not compliment them? They’re adorable. The creator of the brand has tons of adorable products and just released a Halloween line, along with some general fall and Thanksgiving products.

What am I on the lookout for? Eye products. Guys, my eyes are killing me they’re so puffy and wrinkly, and I’m glad I have big eyes, but I need to be able to smile without losing my eyes in pools of skin, which is what I feel like is happening now. I’m sure my allergies don’t help, and I’m sure hydrating will also help. But if you have any tips, tricks, or products that you love and recommend please let me know. I will be indebted to you forever if I can smile big again.

Finally, I want to leave you with something that I am extremely thankful for right now: dahlias. It’s getting cold and blustery, but guess what, my husband picked these pretty things out of my garden just the other day. I’m thankful for God creating things that grow in periods of cold and darkness, a reminder that we too can grow in difficult periods.

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Oh, and one final, final thing – Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are expecting a baby?! I’m so extremely excited and happy for them, and I just want Meghan to have a safe and joyful pregnancy. Congrats to those two love birds.

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Summer Is Ending, But The Summer Feeling Doesn’t Have To

Beauty, Home, Lifestyle, Style

It’s officially August, which means that summer is sizzling to its end. For some people, that means heading back to school. For others, it means ending their vacations, or it possibly means sending their kids back to school. For me, it means returning to school as an educator.

Like everyone else with a career, my summers aren’t spent free of work. I’ve spent a lot of time working on licensure and professional development opportunities. Regardless of my work this summer, these next couple months usher me into a period of constant work, as I prepare and begin this coming school year. One thing that I’ve learned from being a teacher is that it can be really hard to balance your time (I have no clue how so many of my coworkers and friends with kids handle it). And I know, that as true as this is for me, it is also true for others, especially as we leave the summer and it’s time of adventuring and relaxation.

Through my time as a teacher, I’ve learned to deeply value intentional “me” time, as well as surrounding myself with things that help me relax or bring about intentional relaxing practices. If I’m honest, often when I’m busy and stressed, I’m not in the mindset to find something that will help me relax. Or sometimes my husband sees that I’m stressed and wants to help me relax. Because of this, I’ve developed an Amazon wishlist. It’s an easy go-to, and I’m not the only one who thinks having a wishlist on hand is a good idea.

Today, I’m going to share a few items off my wishlist that I think you might enjoy, that might help you relax as well.

1. Meaningful Artwork

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My sister made this cute little pot for me and it’s just the best thing! Sorry, there’s no link for this one! But I truly believe that art (and in this case pottery) can bring people so much joy. I love looking at and it’s lovely aesthetics. Blues are my favorite, and this one means even more because my sister made it.

2. Ban.do Work It Out Water Bottle

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I know I struggle to stay hydrated once I start working if I don’t actively carry a water bottle around with me. Real story: I had a few students last year who used to scold me for not drinking enough fluids. So I’m working on it, and the inspirational words will help me move forward in my goals (both about hydration and otherwise).

3. Cravings: Hungry For More, By Chrissy Tiegen

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So Chrissy’s latest cookbook isn’t out yet, and it won’t be until September, but I have this on my preorder list because I know it’s going to be great. I already love cooking all of the recipes from her first book, and I’m not the only one who loves them! All my friends and family, who I cook for, love them too. Chrissy is the person who taught me to enjoy cooking, to not let it stress me out, and instead take my time and find pleasure in the process. That reason alone has made me a lifetime supporter of her cookbooks.

4. Farmacy Natural Facemasks

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If you don’t know my love of skincare, then obviously you don’t know me and haven’t read much of my writing. Seriously, I’ve already blogged about how  important skincare is to me multiple times. But, I’m really eager to try this collection Farmacy facemasks. I love Farmacy as a brand. They use natural, clean ingredients, which is important to me. I also love that this selection includes soothing, brightening, and deep moisture (all things my skin will definitely need during the school year).

5. Be You Boxed Calendar

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I’ve always loved quotes, and I have always felt inspired by other people’s words. A calendar like this would is a great addition to a work desk, something to find words of wisdom in every day.

6. IGK Rich Kid Coconut Oil Gel

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I’m really bad about regularly styling my hair on a regular basis once I start my regular 7:30 to 3:30 hours. I got this hair product as a sample, and I instantly loved it. I have naturally wavy to curly hair patterns, and a great product like this can make the biggest difference when it comes to getting the most out of every minute in my morning.

 

So that’s it! If you want to check out my list, you can see the rest of it here. I hope that as your summer comes to an end, you find ways to milk every ounce of adventure and relaxation out of it, and even more, I hope that you can find a way to extend the spirit of summer throughout the rest of 2018!

 

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Recipe Review: Chrissy Teigen’s Cheesy Jalapeño Tuna Casserole

Lifestyle

I’m feeling so much better about my whole dress fiasco now, but I’ve got to admit that going home and cooking helped me get through it. There’s something cathartic about following simple instructions laid out before you.

Since moving, the apartment is short on ingredients so first I had to go shopping, and I really wasn’t in the mood for it. I sucked it up, went home, dug around for my cookbooks, found the recipe I was looking for, and headed out to brave the grocery store.

One of my favorite parts about this recipe is that I got to use my own jalapeños, and I knew Eric would be excited about it too. See, I love gardening and growing things so Eric and I decided we would plant our own vegetables this year, but since I have a knack for killing all things green, Eric does most of the actual care. I am so lucky to have him!

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Chrissy’s recipe is pretty simple. You grease a pan, you cook the noodles, you mix all of the cheese, tuna, peas, and seasoning together. You add the noodles. (For this part I chose to forgo the celery. I’m not a huge fan of the texture.) You pour it all in a pan and then cover the mixture with the chips and cheese topping.

So to start, while I waited for my noodles to cook, I chopped up my peppers. I picked a couple of the bigger ones that Eric had been telling me needed to be picked.

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Chrissy says to leave the seeds (all the extra heat is stored there) in if you’re feeling brave, and since Eric and I love spicy stuff, I took the dare. I’m so glad that I did. The hot kick is the best part.

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By the time I was done chopping, the noodles were ready so I drained them. Next, I took a shortcut, and I actually combined all of our ingredients, minus the celery, in the pan itself. We only have one mixing bowl right now, and I needed to use that for the topping, but as you can see from the picture, everything turned out just fine anyway.

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Yum, yum, yum! At this point, I was ready to dig in, but it actually gets better with the topping. The topping is a simple mixture of jalapeño chips and cheese. Chrissy says that she can’t stay away from the chips and now neither can I! Guys, if you like spicy things, you’ve got to try these!

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When the casserole comes out of the oven it looks gooey and crisp (all at the same time!), and it’s simply perfection. Is there anything better than cheese and chips?

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As I dished some up, I couldn’t help taking more pictures. It looks great on a plate with so many textures and colors.

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It tastes so good too! This is my second time making it. It definitely turned out better looking this time, but it tasted deliciously both times.

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I keep the leftover chips in the cupboard, and I will top off the leftovers with them to give each serving a fresh crunch (as long as I don’t eat them all first).

And there you have it! That’s my review of Chrissy’s recipe. It’s so easy and so yummy, if you love spicy food, you should definitely try it.

I’ve had Chrissy’s cookbook since it first came out, but I haven’t had too many opportunities to test some of the recipes out. The recipes I have tested out have all tasted wonderfully. And now, I’m going to get busy on testing more of them as I impatiently await her next cookbook (which she’s already working on!!!).