Why I’m Excited to Leave

Lately, I’ve been freaking out about leaving. This from a girl who has been dreaming about leaving and beginning a new chapter since going to Ireland in 2007.

oh Ireland, how I miss thee...

Yes, 2007…why am I still here, you ask?

I do like Bozeman, and it was practical to finish my degree where I started it, while living with my parents to save me some cash.

It’s a good financial decision in these times, especially considering my loans already seem endless.

So, that factor weighed in, and several trips abroad (which, while completely worth it, tend to severely deplete any capital I may have had), plus an undeniable connection to this town–and the inability to find any jobs that I wanted–have contributed to my decisions.

And despite my crazy nervousness and fear, I’m excited. I was born in Colorado, after all, so it must be a good state! 🙂

I’m excited to start a new chapter, to move IN with my man (eeek!), move into my own apartment (thanks, Mom and Dad, but it’s time…oh yeah it’s time) and start a new, fabulous, challenging job that will lead me down untold paths.

Sure, I’m also sad–but today, I need to focus on what I”m heading towards rather than what I’m leaving behind.

Otherwise, I will never finish packing.

The Last Week in April

Can you believe it’s May?

1. Phish Food Frozen Yogurt. Thank you, Ben & Jerry.

2. My Neti pot. I was really skeptical about this several years ago when a friend showed me a video (why would I voluntarily squirt something up my nose?) but I was so desperate (and it was 3 a.m., so I was also delirious) that I tried it. Now I’m convert and I’m spreadin’ the word! It really works, and gives me such a relief from sinus pressure!

3. My NEW NOOK! Also obsessed with this gift from my awesome boyfriend. I was never particularly interested in these; I’m too obsessed with books, their smell, having them surround me constantly. (Does anyone else need to have a least ten books on their to-read roster? I feel lost and depressed if I don’t have books planned out to read.) However, my Nook is invaluable for travel–I can’t wait to go somewhere even more now! Now I can fit more clothes in my bag instead of lugging ten books…

4. Project Gutenberg. On the same note as a my Nook, Project Gutenberg is full of free, downloadable classics. Yummy.

5. Ditch dip. There’s a little cafe nearby called The Ditch, and they have a dip I’m addicted to now: black beans, low-fat cheese, non-fat sour cream, and salsa.

6. Anywhere There’s An Airport. A new blog I found, check it out! So fun.

7. Annie’s Homegrown Cheddar Bunnies. Like almost-healthy goldfish…heaven for the snack queen attempting to go healthy.

8. Buy Ireland. Yes, I discovered that you can buy a piece of Ireland for yourself (or a gift). I don’t know why I find it amazing (most seem to find it a waste of money) but you can buy about a square foot of land in the Irish countryside. I’m still enchanted by Ireland after my visit (see here) and now I’m hoping to go back to visit my little piece of it (they give you a map!)…that is, if I can ever save the money…the whole 50 buckaroos. Or if I can convince someone to buy it as a gift! 😉

You are enchanted too, admit it!

9. Settlers of Catan: Seafarers Edition. This probably exposes me as a complete nerd, but I’m obsessed with Catan, and Seafarers Edition does not disappoint!

10. Al Jazeera. A surprisingly (well, to my inexperienced eye) unbiased place for news.

Sometimes You Just Need a Little Irish

Food, that is, although Irish people and the land itself certainly are included. Ireland was one of the first countries I’ve visited, and like most everyone else who visits, I lololoved it! (Also, did I mention that I’m also Irish? Not surprising with a surname like McMahon).

Ross Castle near Killarney, Ireland

Since St. Patrick’s Day was last week, and I did happen to do some traditional Irish cooking, I thought I would give all of you one of the best healthy(ish) recipes for this holiday I’ve ever made…that doesn’t include any Bailey’s or Guinness! (Although I have some fabulous recipes with those too…but I’m trying to be a little healthy here!)

Well, this is my attempt at healthify-ing potatoes a little bit, as I love them, but yellow potatoes really are just starch!

The great thing about this dish, Colcannon, is that you mix the potatoes with kale, a lovely plant packed with nutrients. In addition, you can always substitute soy milk/butter if you feel like going vegan, or cut down the butter or salt, add more veggies, change up the flavor or even add meat.

courtesy of the Food Network

This recipe comes from a mish-mash of several I found online, hope you all like it! Unfortunately my family came from Ireland waaaay before my time and none of the recipes remained. Oh well! My friends and family loved this one…although I forgot to warn my dad about the ring (see below the recipe) and I think that was a tad unexpected.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 lbs of potatoes (I use yellow, to make it yellow and green which equals more festive! Russet and red-skinned also work well.)
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 bunch of kale
  • 3 T of margarine (or salted butter, if you prefer)
  • 1-2 cups of milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Garlic powder (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

Boil potatoes in salted water until tender, drain well and return to pot.

Finely slice onion and simmer gently in milk until the onion is soft.

While the onion is simmering, remove stalks from washed kale, shred, and boil in salted water, just covering the kale. Cook for 4-5 minutes, until the kale is tender. The kale should stay brightly colored green to retain flavor. When the kale is finished, remove from heat and drain.

Add the onions and milk to the potatoes, mashing with the butter  (since I use margarine, I tend to put in a more than 3 tablespoons, but the recipe works fine with just three). Combine with the kale, adding more milk if necessary until potatoes are as creamy as desired (extra creaminess can be achieved by adding in some cream or whole milk, as well).  Add the salt, garlic and pepper to taste. Serve while warm, and if you wish, add in a gold coin and a ring. Those enjoying the potatoes should proceed carefully, but a gold coin will bring the lucky finder good fortune in the next year, and the ring will bring the recipient marriage, according to Irish tradition.