Cheese & Pear Toasted Bites

"Courage is knowing what not to fear." - Plato

I hope everyone had a great 4th of July weekend!

And yes, I know... it's been quite some time since I was last on here.

I decided to take some time off from blogging to heal, or at least start the healing process, and it honestly has helped. Not the not blogging part, but letting time pass and trying to heal. I've been reading a lot, spending time with family, watching TV and movies, doing things that are "me."

Well, as much as possible, since honestly, life isn't normal at the moment with Covid-19 and all. Am I right? Talk about living through a global pandemic?!

It's crazy to think that over the past 4 months every country on the planet has all been affected by this new sickness. It's caused hard times on a global level, but I feel like when looking at the situation glass half full, it has forced many to reevaluate their lives and make change for the better. I, for one, have loved spending more time with my family. I realized that I was too focused on myself for quite some time, which led to me shutting them out to an extent. I was all about my job, and even self-pity, and I shut out so many people and chances that would have led to more positive moments and happiness. But, that's changed. I'm all about trying to make the best of what's been dealt, embracing family time, friends time, and even "me" time with my pets.

Part of "me" time was realizing I have tons of old recipes dating back to 2014 that I never published! The pictures aren't the best, but, why not still publish? I took my time cooking all of them and documenting for a reason. I may be about 6 years too late, but what the hell? Food is food! It's still yummy, and shareable, right? So let's kick things off with this recipe for a quick snack/lunch. It's healthy and very quick to make, which is a good thing, because in this Summer heat, who wants to be spending a long time in the kitchen!

Cheese & Pear Toasted Bites
adapted from: Bocadillos calientes de queso y pera by Kraft

*makes: 4 servings*

"Kids love the sweetness that the pears give this classic cheese sandwich."

4 slices 100% whole wheat whole grain bread
4 slices 2% milk American cheese
1 D'Anjou pear, cored and thinly sliced
2 tbsp real mayonnaise

1) Arrange the cheese and the pear on 2 slices of bread; cover them with the remaining slices of bread.
2) Spread the mayonnaise on the outside of the sandwiches.
3) Cook the sandwiches over medium heat in a skillet for 4 minutes per side or until lightly browned on both sides.


Icy Cranberry Margaritas

"A promise must never be broken." - Alexander Hamilton

This Sunday was a great change of pace for me, considering all that's happening. Yes, it was just a normal Sunday at my parents' farm, but it just felt different.

I felt like I could breathe again!

I was relaxed, laughed, talked, ate great food, had awesome drinks, played with my pets...

I could tell that my parents were feeling better too. My Dad didn't seem like he was walking on eggshells around me, and my Mom was actually having a normal conversation with me, not touching on anything that's going on. We all even spoke about future travel plans, such as maybe possibly going to Alaska in the Spring!

Once I was back at my house, I didn't feel like things were crashing down on me, for a change. I still felt happy, positive even! It's already even 9:00pm here, and I'm still riding that positivity high, no joke. I'm settling down for the night, and I'm actually looking forward to this new work week. There are a lot of big things happening at work this week, and I feel ready to face whatever's thrown at me.

I'd call today a tiny victory! I know, it could be one step forward and five steps back, but, I have to recognize that I took that one step forward. Hoping there's more to come!

Icy Cranberry Margaritas
adapted from: New Cook Book 14th Edition by Better Homes and Gardens

*makes: 6 drinks*

1/2 cup frozen cranberry raspberry juice blend concentrate, thawed
1/2 cup gold tequila
1/4 cup triple-sec liqueur
3 tbsp melon liqueur
5 cups ice cubes

1) In a blender combine cranberry raspberry juice concentrate, tequila, triple-sec, and melon liqueur.
2) Cover and blend until combined.
3) With blender running, add ice cubes, one at a time, through opening in lid, blending until mixture becomes slushy.
4) Pour into glasses.


Hot Spiced Cider

"Where is all the knowledge we lost with information?" - T.S. Eliot

As each day passes, I've come more to terms with what's happening, but, more and more questions pop into my mind each day.

Why wasn't I given a real chance? Why is it so easy for him to do this? Why isn't he showing any emotions? Does this really not hurt him? Did almost nine years mean nothing to him? What's wrong with me? Why wasn't I enough? Do I deserve this for some reason? Does true love not exist? Does romance and finding your person only exist in the movies? When am I going to feel better? When will the pain go away? When will I love myself again?

Screw it.

I'm just going to say it, although I'm sure you've been able to figure it out by now.


That's what I'm going through.

About one month ago now, about mid-September, A decided he wanted a divorce. Sure, things hadn't been all rainbows and butterflies for some time, but I honestly didn't think it had come to this point. I always thought that if things got bad, we would have spoken about what was happening, maybe even do a trial separation if it was needed, before ever jumping to divorce.

My parents have been married since July 1980, dated for who knows how long before that, and that's what I grew up seeing and wanting... I mean, I even married in the Church (we're Catholic), and met the Pope, who gave us his blessing...

I just can't wrap my mind around things...

Every day is a struggle, mostly because I'm just broken, and I don't feel like I'm deserving of anything or anyone. I have my parents' support, which is a big plus right now in my life, but between A getting ready to move out, and putting our home for sale, starting the whole divorce process, and just trying to remain strong on the exterior... I'm just exhausted.

I want to just, be.

Soon, I guess...

I know it's a process, and I know I'll heal over time, and come out stronger...

Rome wasn't built in a day, right??

Hot Spiced Cider
adapted from: New Cook Book 14th Edition by Better Homes and Gardens

*makes: 8 drinks*

64 oz 100% apple juice
1/8 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/8 cup packed light brown sugar
2 3" sticks cinnamon
1 tsp whole allspice
1 tsp whole cloves
1 tsp navel orange zest

1) In a large sauce pan combine juice, brown sugars, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, and the orange zest.
2) Bring to boiling; reduce heat.
3) Simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.
4) Serve cider in mugs (and make sure to strain it as you serve).