reprioritizing + the un-recipe.

by Holly on March 11, 2012

in appetizer,balance,dinner,happiness,recipes,seriousness,vegetarian

Things not worth worrying about: blogging if I don’t have time…going deodorant-less to work on Tuesday…cleaning…I only ran 14 of a planned 18 mile run because my body wasn’t feeling it…my taxes aren’t done yet…ironing (overrated)…things I can’t control…spending a whole day doing nothing…I ate fast food on Saturday…making mistakes.

Things totally worth worrying about: living every day with joie d’vivre…work deadlines…spending time with family + friends…laughing…following through on my promises…good food…exercising…buying Aziz Ansari stand-up tickets before they sold out…I started a Twitter campaign to get Aziz Ansari to let me take him out to eat when he visits Madison…reprioritizing

These are the conclusions I came to this week.

And after a therapy session and my post on anxiety, it’s reprioritizing that’s really on my mind.

Between full-time work, school, freelancing, blogging and marathon training, I haven’t been a normal human being lately. More like a pinball stuck in an old pinball machine catapulting from side to side in a chaotic frenzy of “Go here!” and “Go there!” and “Do this!” and “Don’t forget to breathe!” I’ve been ringing up some serious points but getting pretty banged up in the process.

I mean…I haven’t blogged in nearly a week!

And I also haven’t cooked in a week! Did you know that frozen (organic) pizzas, Barbara’s Peanut Butter Puffins and eggs + avocado on toast are seriously delicious? I do. I’ve been eating them for a solid week straight. Not all together, I assure you.

An hour-long phone conversation with Mama Everythingtarian and some serious thinking later, I decided to reprioritize. Simplify. And so I quit two of my side freelance-ish projects.

And for some odd reason, it reminded me of an article in the New York Times that I read back in January proclaiming 2012 the year of the un-recipe.

It suggested at-home cooks stop following recipes. Begin cooking intuitively. Know which flavors go together. Experiment. Taste. Season. Taste some more. And create something organically original. I liked the sentiment and realized just how true it is…in cooking and in life.

To simplify. To live by tasting…not just because it’s what you’re “supposed” to do. To savor.

Quitting those projects is going to give me more room to do just that! Room for writing projects in the works. Room for cooking and tasting. Room for sitting on the toilet and reading Bon Appetit magazine. Room for being a functioning human being who cleans their kitchen and does their laundry and doesn’t live in an apartment that could be considered a health code violation.

And you know what? I’m really looking forward to it.

Buy three of your favorite vegetable varieties, an onion, a loaf of good, crusty bread and goat cheese. Roast your veggies at 400 degrees tossed in a mixture of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, lemon and any fresh herbs you have on hand. Drizzle your bread with olive oil and a dusting of garlic powder before toasting it under the broiler until golden brown. Smear your goat cheese on the toasted bread, top with a heap of roasted vegetables and devour.


Wendy @ ABCs and Garden Peas March 11, 2012 at 9:50 pm

Love this! I post recipes on my blog, but it always feel so much more natural, more organic, more *real*, when I write about an un-recipe. I really don’t cook with recipes – my IRL style is definitely more of a jumble of things I’ve read, done, cooked, learned, ogled – so it’s hard to relay that to my blog readers. I think maybe I need to try harder, for the sake of authenticity.

I also think maybe you’ve called me out without even knowing it.

P.S. Had to laugh about the Bon Appetit on the toilet. My husband is always telling out potty-learning 2 year old “No food on the potty!” :D

Julia March 11, 2012 at 10:05 pm

Without even knowing about the ny times article, Ive been challenging myself to cook more intuitively. It’s been really fun! Your ‘unrecipe’ looks legit!

Ruthie @ the tasty tRuth March 11, 2012 at 10:09 pm

I love everything about this post! Especially peanut butter puffins and decisions to simplify… two things most of us could use more of :)

Mama Pea March 11, 2012 at 10:13 pm

Hey Hols, this is ALL good. I too have reprioritized and though it took a few days to readjust, I feel stellar now. I have time to uncook. To read. To comment on lovely friend’s blogs and assure them that it’s okay not to blog and not to wear deodorant if you run out and are too scared of aluminum to buy more but can’t commit $4 to the Tom’s brand.

LOVE. you.

courtney March 11, 2012 at 10:23 pm

ahhhh yum!!!!!

Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table March 11, 2012 at 11:25 pm

I totally went deodorant-less to work this week too. I think it was even on Tuesday. This also meant that I went to the gym deoderant-less. Paranoia set in, so I purposefully stood next to the stinky guy in class so no one would notice my stench. Completely rational, no?

Lauren @ The Climbing Chef March 12, 2012 at 12:28 am

Great post Holly :) I love it! I have been too stressed out and busy to do anything fun, these days either. The pinball analogy really hit home… I have been meaning to reprioritize my closet (to start with) and then the rest of my life :)

“Life simply, cook simply” <3

Lauren @ The Climbing Chef March 12, 2012 at 12:33 am

hahaha! I meant, “Live simply, cook simply”

Kathryn March 12, 2012 at 4:51 am

Yes! So important to make sure that you are only doing the stuff you really want (or have) to do.

Uncle Tommie timbertoes March 12, 2012 at 5:51 am

“To live by tasting..” well said, MommaE couldn’t have said that any better.

Lauren March 12, 2012 at 5:58 am

Crusty bread, roasted vegetables and creamy goat cheese…the trifecta of of perfect sandwich! Great post my love! xoxo

Amber March 12, 2012 at 6:20 am

I am glad to see that you are finding your path. Sometimes we can’t do everything we want the moment we want but to trust in the journey. Your unrecipe looks fantastic! Goat cheese always makes everything wonderful.

Jamie @ Don't Forget the Cinnamon March 12, 2012 at 7:05 am

Love it. Oftentimes those simple, made up on the fly meals are the tastiest ones. Cheers to a simple, healthy, delicious, fulfilling, exciting life!

Hillary March 12, 2012 at 7:06 am

This is exactly how I felt last semester. I was overcommitted to everything and everyone in my life, and if I kept it up, I was going to implode. Over the winter break, I allowed myself to unwind and realize that I cannot give 110% to every.single.thing I’d love to, but it just can’t happen. I’ve been much happier (and surprisingly more productive!) since I figured that one out!

Glad you’re doing the same…and still eating well!

Danielle March 12, 2012 at 9:18 am

If I could, I would probably eat something like this every day. Really.

I’m glad to hear you dropped a few responsibilities to open up your life to more opportunities for calm and enjoyment. That’s is certainly the best way to live, m’dear.

Jessica @ Healthy Dairyland March 12, 2012 at 9:20 am

1. I don’t even own an iron. Wrinkled clothes are the new black. Work it girl!
2. I’ve lost all concept of time & dates and forgot to buy my Aziz tickets. :(
3. Happy Monday!!

Gabby @ Gabby's Gluten-Free March 12, 2012 at 9:49 am

Ironing is way,way overrated and sometimes saying no is the answer. I’m terrible about it I’m slowly learning.

Kim March 12, 2012 at 11:13 am

Looks so delish! Good for you for re-prioritizing your life. We put so much pressure on ourselves to do too much and forget to just enjoy life sometimes.

Risks are always scariest right before you take them.


janetha @ meals & moves March 12, 2012 at 12:27 pm

this is an un-recipe i can get behind. ‘specially the devour part.

Megan (Braise the Roof) March 12, 2012 at 1:59 pm

Amen to streamlining. It’s about quality, not quantity. Crossing my fingers that Aziz comes through. ;)

dana @ my little celebration March 12, 2012 at 2:07 pm

And this, my dear, is why I love you.

To the un-recipe!

Katie March 12, 2012 at 2:13 pm

I’m allll for the un-recipe. And all for that cute little shoe peaking out of the corner of your photo. <3

Emily March 12, 2012 at 3:14 pm

I totally agree about no recipes!!! I love to cook but HATE recipes!!! They stress me out! For me, cooking is my creative outlet so recipes are just tooooo limiting. Ha ha

Jeannie March 12, 2012 at 6:39 pm

This was a really inspiring post! Thank you for your thoughts. In our busy lives, we can get caught up in the to do list, but what is most important is the basics. Thank you for this kind reminder :)

Mindy- Clueless Nut March 12, 2012 at 7:17 pm

You really are one of your own! I always look forward to your blog posts. I always have to remind myself to just “slow down” and quit trying to be a superhero. The simple and little things are really the only things that matter to me at the end of the day. Laugh, love, screw up dust yourself off and most importantly live a live a little!!

chelsey @ clean eating chelsey March 12, 2012 at 7:47 pm

Managing and prioritizing what’s on your plate is SO important! Glad you are figuring things out!

sofia March 12, 2012 at 8:05 pm

oh holly, have i mentioned i always appreciate your honesty? be it about stretching ourselves too thin or reading recipes on the toilet, i love you for this. anywho. yeah. drop that freelance stuff if it’s making your life unbearable. you’ve got wayyy too much on your plate, it sounds! glad you are taking care of you. do ittt.

Dena @ 40 Fit in the Mitt March 12, 2012 at 9:37 pm

I love the combo of roasted veggies you used!

Andrea@WellnessNotes March 12, 2012 at 9:56 pm

GREAT un-recipe! And, hey, if 2012 is the year of the un-recipe, I have been ahead of the times for years since I just can’t follow a recipe and therefore hardly ever do… ;) And most of my organically original creations actually work… :) But then I often can’t re-create them, which is a small problem sometimes…

Like your reprioritizing! I’ve been doing quite a bit of that lately…

Sophie March 12, 2012 at 10:44 pm

I am the queen of un-recipes! I tend to look at recipes, get the gist, close the book and then do my own thing with whatever is in the fridge/pantry.

Also like the advice/ideas on re- prioritising.

Your 14/18 mile marathon training impresses me!

Christine @ Savoury Traveller March 13, 2012 at 3:35 pm

I am always trying to encourage un-recipe-ing when I post “what we ate” kind of posts. I usually try and include some different suggestions for how to create a meal around a single item or type of item…Fridge-hacking creativity and cooking by taste just keep life interesting (plus they can be economical too) but it can be hard for some people to let go of the recipe format!

Willow @ My Own Trail March 16, 2012 at 9:31 pm

It seems like a lot of us are realizing how important it is to reprioritize right now. After a particularly rough few months of feeling like I wasn’t giving anything in my life the adequate amount of attention it deserved, including my husband and two kids, I finally had to learn to stop taking on too much. I took a step back and asked myself what I really wanted to spend my time doing. Granted, some of the things I was doing weren’t negotiable, like some of my work responsibilities. But, I was able to focus enough that I could determine what things I was doing just because I felt like I had to and I got rid of them. Now I feel like I’m moving in the right direction. I still feel the need for a bigger reprioritization, meaning I want to take a long, hard look at what I’m doing with my life and make some bigger adjustments to the big picture, specifically in terms of my career and my overall goals.

brandi March 23, 2012 at 10:01 am

good for you, holly!

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