How's everyone feeling post-RTX Austin? I'm still pretty dead.
emilyweeks RT Office Coordinator
7 months agoemilyweeks RT Office Coordinator
I'm back to talk about food again. Go figure.
This week's instant pot/meal prep brings us a super simple chicken tortilla soup! I based my recipe off this Confessions of a Fit Foodie recipe, so I'll definitely give credit where credit is due. I just changed some things around depending on what I already had available.
Now I'll be completely honest here, this isn't as good as regular homemade chicken tortilla soup.. like the kind that's really hearty and more unhealthy.. lol But this turned out pretty good for a healthy version. I got six decent servings out of this, perfect for this week's meal prep.
1.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast
4 cups chicken stock/broth
1 can diced tomatoes with green chiles
1 can diced tomatoes (no salt added)
1 cup black beans (the kind I buy have lime and jalapeno in them, yum. also if you really like black beans you may want to put more than a cup. this wasn't a whole lot)
1 cup corn
1 medium onion (I sliced this in pretty big slices, like how you would for fajitas. you can definitely slice yours smaller if you prefer)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp chile powder
1 tbsp comino
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp paprika
the tortilla strips
3 tortillas (I used Mission's Carb Balance tortillas because they only have 6g of net carbs, but full-carb tortillas would probably taste better if you aren't watching your carb count)
optional topping: avocado and whatever the hell else you want, really
- Throw all soup ingredients into your pot, give it a good stir, add the lid and seal. For IP users, you can use your Manual pressure function with a 15 minute cook time. (Crock Pot brand - Soup function for 15 minutes.)
- While that's cooking, get to work on your tortilla strips. I didn't realize just how easy these would be until I made them... Go ahead and preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Spread the tiniest drop of olive oil onto your tortillas, just enough to spread a thin coat over the whole thing. Slice into thin strips, line up on a baking sheet, and sprinkle sea salt over them. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or really, just keep an eye on them until they're as crispy/golden as you would like. (Remember, these will get soggy when you put them in your soup.)
- When your soup cook cycle is complete, you can either perform a quick or natural release. I don't really see any harm in either way. But when you do decide to open this aromatic vessel, you'll need to pull your chicken apart with a couple of forks, if it hasn't already fallen apart enough.
- Ladle yourself a bowl of soup and throw some of the tortilla strips in. I also topped mine with a quarter of an avocado for some extra good fats and deliciousness. If you're going to portion yours out immediately for meal prep - don't add the tortilla strips or other toppings in yet. Freeze or refrigerate the soup by itself, and keep the other toppings out until you've heated it back up and are ready to eat.
So, again, this isn't the best chicken tortilla in the world, but it does taste good and it gets the job done. Next time around, I think I might experiment with a little tomato paste to give a little extra flavor, color, and thicken it up a little. I might play around with the seasonings more, as well.
If you give this a try, let me know how it goes! I'd love to hear about y'alls adventures.
7 months agoemilyweeks RT Office Coordinator
Time for our regularly scheduled programming of instant pot adventures!
Tonight's recipe is the easiest recipe I have made with my pot so far. Huge shout out to @Becca for leaving this in the comments on one of my previous journals.
This recipe made me six 4oz servings of chicken. Perfect for meal prep! As soon as the chicken was done, I measured and portioned it out immediately for refrigerating.
I love how versatile this is! You can make tacos, rice bowls, salads; whatever the hell you want, really. Because I'm going the low-carb route, I made something in between a salad and burrito bowl with my chicken.
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast (you could probably use thighs for extra flavor if you wanted, but I opted for a leaner protein)
1 cup salsa of your choice
- Throw the chicken in your pot and pour your salsa on top. Give it a quick stir to really coat the chicken.
- Close the lid, make sure your valve is closed, and select the Poultry option. Let cook for the default amount of time (it's 15 mins on my pot) and let the pressure release naturally after the cooking cycle is complete. Alternatively, if you have an actual Instant Pot branded pot, you should have a Manual function. You can cook this chicken on Manual pressure setting for 7 minutes. (I have a Crock Pot Express Pot, which doesn't have an explicit Manual button, so I just went with the Poultry option on default time and pressure.)
- Open your pot and use two forks to pull the chicken apart, give things another good stir to coat, and you're good to go!
- Optional: Here is how I constructed my salad/bowl if you're interested. I started off with 1oz spring mix and spinach greens, 1/4 cup black beans, 4oz of the chicken, and 1/8 cup shredded Mexican cheese.
Tonight I needed something quick(ish) and easy to cook, because I left work later than I usually do, and still had some things I needed to accomplish at home. I threw everything in the pot, squeezed in a yoga practice while it cooked, then ate, and portioned out the remaining meal prep with plenty of my evening left to get things done. Winner winner, chicken dinner.
Do y'all have any quick and easy go-to recipes? I'd love to hear them (so that I can make them).
7 months agoemilyweeks RT Office Coordinator
This journal is going to be darker than my normal posts, so to be on the safe side, I'm going to state that there are some possible triggers below. Much anxiety. (For me, at least.)
So uh.. yeah. Basically I had this weird dream last week that I just can't forget about, so I'm going to write about it while I continue to try and figure it out...
Last week, I had a dream that I was dying.
I don't remember why exactly, but I was living my last 24 hours on this Earth. I was at my parents' home, and my family knew about this, because I had told them. However, for whatever reason, they all had to continue with their normal routines that day. So I was at their home.. alone. Waiting and anxious. The whole dream I was frightened and dreading my death, but I finally summoned some courage, laid down in bed, closed my eyes, and was bracing myself for the inevitable.
So.. you know that feeling when you let out one last sigh before falling asleep? I was right at that point. I was ready to get this scary thing over with. I inhaled, then let out a last cleansing breath, expecting to drift into darkness. But after that exhale, there was another inhale. And an inhale. My breathing continued.
With each breath after that, I grew frustrated that this wouldn't just end. Don't get me wrong, I was still scared shitless, but I also just wanted to get this thing over with. If this was going to happen, i didn't want to drag it out any longer.
I finally opened my eyes, feeling defeated. I got up and decided to continue on with the rest of that day (this was all happening in the middle of the afternoon for some reason). I ran into some of my family who were very surprised to see me up and.. well.. alive. It was exhausting having to explain to everyone what happened and how I wasn't sure why it happened. That was supposed to be the end. I knew for sure my time was supposed to be up right then, at the moment that I would have normally drifted to sleep.
But now I was awake again. I wasn't supposed to be awake again. I was so anxious and upset because now I had to wait for the real moment to come. I was as prepared as I could have been when I laid in that bed, but now I had to continue on without knowing when or where the end would surprise me...
...and then I was abruptly woken up IRL by my foster puppy. She was jumping in my face because she needed to go potty.
Seriously... wtf was that dream?
8 months agoemilyweeks RT Office Coordinator
Time for another food journal!
If y'all have been keeping up with the news, you may have heard that Austin has had some uncharacteristically FREEZING COLD days lately. Earlier this week, we had a couple days where many roads around town were closed because they were frozen over and dangerous. (Before you yankees start making fun of us for freaking out about cold/ice - we literally do not have the equipment/infrastructure to handle the extreme cold or ice/snow. So yes, it is a big deal when we have below freezing temps. It's a safety risk to the city.)
BUT ANYWAY. Since I've been freezing my butt off the past couple of weeks, I ventured into some soups with my instant pot. Here are the recipes I cooked!
Instant Pot Pozole
Because I grew up in San Antonio, pozole has always been a comfort dish for me. It's decently healthy, filling, warm, and you can customize it wish all kinds of good shit.
This recipe was so quick and easy to do in the Instant Pot. I got at least 6 servings out of this, and possibly more.. I may have lost count over the days.
2 lbs pork shoulder (I learned that pork shoulder is the same thing as boston roast/butt roast... why are there so many different names for the same cut of meat?!)
4 cups chicken broth
5 cups white hominy
1/3 cup ancho chile powder (this may be hard to find. I found it in my grocer's bulk spices section)
1 tbsp comino (cumin)
1 tbsp oregano
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp kosher salt
1 tbsp black pepper
3 cups cabbage
optional: avocado, or anything else your heart desires
- Chop the pork-of-many-names into 2-inch cubes and throw it in the pot. (I did spray mine with a quick coat of coconut oil first because I was paranoid about sticking.)
- If you bought canned hominy, make sure to drain it, and then throw it in the pot.
- Add your minced garlic and all spices to the pot. Pour in your 4 cups of chicken broth as well. I recommend giving the soup a quick stir to mix things up, but you can do what you want.
- Secure the lid of your pot and select the Meat/Stew option. (I think you could also use the soup function, but I decided to use the stew option because of the pork.) I left the time on the default 35 minute cook cycle. Make sure your pressure valve is closed.
- While that's cooking, you can prep your garnishes (or go play a couple matches of Overwatch while you wait). Slice the radishes into thin circles, and chop the cabbage into thin slices. The lime should be wedged.
- When the cook cycle is complete, open 'er up and give things a good stir. You can use your
spoon/ladle to help break up any chunks of pork if you'd like. Pour yourself a nice bowl of goodness and then add your cabbage and radish on top. Squeeze the juice from one or two of your lime wedges into your soup, and then throw them in the bowl for a little extra flavor. (But I
advise eating around the wedges.. not actually ingesting them. lol)
- DIG IN! I didn't have any avocado on me at the time, but adding a few slices of avocado on top is super good too.
**This pozole freezes great, so if you don't think you'll be able to finish it all quickly, go ahead and portion some out for the freezer. I recommend freezing just the soup part alone, and storing your toppings in the fridge until you've thawed/heated your soup up and are ready to eat.
Vegetable Tortellini Soup
Now that I am obsessed with Instant Pot cooking, I've been lurking the r/instantpotrecipes subreddit. There's not a whole lot on there currently, but there are definitely some gems. I decided to use this recipe (with my own tweaks, ofc) because it looked cheap and delicious. (Living alone in an expensive city, I'm all about budget-friendly cooking... lol)
I've also been trying to work more meatless dishes into my weekly routine, so this was great for that as well. This recipe makes 10 servings, unless you're really hungry. Then maybe it makes 6 or 8...
2 quarts vegetable broth
1 package cheese tortellini
4 medium carrots, sliced into circles
1 can stewed tomato
2 cups green beans (I cut mine into 2-inch pieces to make them more manageable)
3 cups chopped kale
1/2 white onion, sliced
1 tbsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp parsley
1 tsp basil
dash of salt and pepper
optional spices I added (sometimes I just throw in whatever else sounds good at the moment):
1 tbsp comino
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp tumeric powder
- Select the Saute function on your pot and saute your onions and carrots until soft (and amazingly fragrant).
- Throw the remaining ingredients, except for the kale, n the pot. Stir gently so that you don't break your beautiful tortellini.
- Select the soup setting and let cook for about 25 minutes. (This time while you wait, go play something besides Overwatch. Variety is good. I played the Monster Hunter: Worlds beta for a change of pace.)
- When the cook cycle is complete, quickly release the pressure by opening the pressure valve. When you've released all the pressure that you can through the valve, open the lid and smell your beautiful concoction. Gently stir in your kale and let the soup continue heating until all kale is wilted.
- Portion out and ENJOY!
**This is another great freezable recipe. Keep your immediate portions in the fridge and freeze the others until you can get to them.
So there you have it! Some nice, warm, comfy soups for your cold, wintery days. Though, a couple of days after making the vegetable soup, things started warming up a little in Austin.... stupid unpredictable weather.
Just like before - if you have any recipes or suggestions you want to share, feel free to leave them in the comments below! I'd love to hear the stuff y'all have tried.
8 months agoemilyweeks RT Office Coordinator
One of my 2018 goals is to create a routine of posting journals on here more regularly.
Another one of my goals this year is to get back in the habit of meal prepping and cooking real food. (Something I used to be good at but I let the end of 2017 completely wreck me.)
SOOO this journal post is a first attempt at working on both of those goals :)
For Christmas, my parents gifted me a Crockpot Express Cook, which is basically a pressure cooker/slow cooker hybrid. It does all kinds of things... slow cooks, pressure cooks, sears, steams, simmers, etc. It. Is. Amazing. And I guess being this excited about receiving a small appliance for Christmas is the true sign of being an adult.
Well, I've used the pot twice so far and am pretty happy with the results. I figured why not start sharing my adventures with it?! Now, these two recipes are admittedly not the healthiest, but they were fun and tasty... and at least they weren't fast food. ALSO, you don't necessarily need an instant pot for these two particular recipes. They can easily be make with a slow cooker or good old pots and pans on the stove; you'll just need to adjust the cooking times to whatever tools you are using.
But anyway, here we go!
A good chunk of my extended family is from the South (Mississippi, to be exact), where it's a New Year tradition to eat black eyed peas for good luck. Apparently the shape represents the shape of coins, and that is supposed to bring prosperity and luck. (We also make a point to eat mandarin oranges or tangerines for the same reason. idk, it's weird, but I still do it.) Pressure cookers help make awesome peas/beans, so I wanted to try them out in my new pot. Here's what I came up with, loosely following the directions on the package of dried peas I bought.
Makes 6x 1 cup servings
1 lb dried black eyed peas
8 cups water (or you could sub vegetable or chicken stock for extra flavor)
2 tbsp olive oil
4 slices bacon
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt, pepper, any other seasonings to taste
- Pan fry your bacon as you would normally. Doesn't really matter is it gets super crispy or not - you're throwing just them in for flavor.
- Once the bacon is done, throw that and the rest of the ingredients into your instant pot. Seriously, It's that easy. As far as seasonings, I usually just kind of wing it when I cook. A little of this, a little of that. For this recipe, I think I added chili powder, paprika, fajita seasoning (a bunch of peppers, salt and garlic), and comino. I wish I had some bay leaves or something, but I just used what I already had on hand.
- Put the lid on, lock it, and make sure the pressure valve is in the off/sealed position.
- Select the "Bean/Chili" setting on your pot, and cook for 20 minutes.
- When the cooking cycle has completed, I suggest letting the cooker release its pressure naturally, which can take up to 20 minutes. (Alternatively, you can also manually release the pressure by opening the pressure valve.)
Instant Pot Orange Chicken
This one was a little more involved than I realized, but still pretty easy. I basically followed this recipe from Sweet and Savory Meals with some tweaks here and there.
Makes 6 servings
2 lbs chicken breast, cubed
2 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup orange juice (I used a lower sugar, lower calorie OJ since this recipe requires actual sugar)
4 cloves garlic
1 cup tomato sauce
1/4 granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
Zest from one orange
Sriracha to taste
Green onion for garnish
Optional: broccoli, red peppers, any other vegetables you want
- Pre-heat your pot with the Saute function. When it is heated, pour in your oil and add your chicken to saute for 2-3 minutes (or until it is just golden).
- Add in the tomato sauce, garlic, sugar and brown sugar, Sriracha, some of the orange zest, and 1/4 cup of the orange juice (save the other 1/4 cup for later). Stir and coat all ingredients with the sauce.
- Put the lid on the pot, lock it, and make sure the pressure valve is closed/sealed. Select the Poultry option on your pot and let cook for 7 minutes.
- When the 7 minutes are up, turn your pot off and let it naturally release pressure for about 10 minutes.
- Remove the pot lid and turn the Saute function back on.
- In a small bowl, whisk the cornstarch with the remaining 1/4 cup of orange juice until there are no lumps. Slowly pour it into the instant pot and combine with the sauce.
- If you're going to add any veggies to the mix, now would be a great time to, so that they can be coated by the sauce. I added broccoli and red bell pepper to mine. Just gently stir them into the pot so that you don't shred your chicken too much.
- Let the sauce cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- If you'd like your sauce thicker, whisk together another batch of cornstarch and orange juice and slowly stir it in again. You can do this until you've reached your desired consistency. (I personally ended up adding 2 more tbsp of cornstarch to thicken.)
- Serve over rice (I used quinoa because that's all I had on-hand), and garnish with green onion and extra orange zest.
So there you have it; foodies! These were both great for dividing up into individual servings for meal prep (and no I did not eat these recipes in the same meal. that doesn't sound very appetizing). Both recipes also did well in the freezer, so if you made way too much, just freeze the extra for later.
Do any of y'all have a instant pot? Any cool recipes you want to share? (Bonus points if they are low carb. I could stand a few less carbs in my life.)
8 months agoemilyweeks RT Office Coordinator
It's already December 31st. I cannot believe how quickly this entire year has flown past! I can remember last New Year's Eve like it was just yesterday...
Well, I've been on a break from work this week and I've had some time to reflect, as lots of people tend to do at the end of the year. I'm going to take a look back at some of my favorite stuff that happened/I experienced this year. Before I start - don't judge me, lol. Also, the things in each category aren't ranked, they're listed in the chronological order that I experienced them in.
Favorite Movies I Watched
Gaga: Five Foot Two
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Favorite Shows I Watched (I am aware that not all of these shows originally aired in 2017, but I watched them for the first time this year...)
Bill Nye Saves the World
One Punch Man
Favorite Games I Played (Again.. most of these didn't come out this year.)
Overwatch - I actually started playing in 2016, but I put like 100 hrs in this year, so I have to mention this one
Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth By Sleep - Yes it was super short, so it felt more like a demo of what KHIII can/will be one day, but still. I had fun with it.
Life is Strange
Destiny 2 - I should note here that I stopped playing this mid-campaign because I kept getting distracted by competitive OW seasons. But what I have played I really enjoyed, and I plan on continuing in 2018.
Of course these aren't all the things I watched/played, just some of my favorites I thought I'd list. I had some miscellaneous other firsts/cool moments this year too that deserve a mention:
- Participated in the A Day Without A Woman strike to bring awareness to women's equality issues in the workplace. The first actual organized strike I've ever participated in.
- Ran my first official timed 5K race (and then after that, my running efforts stopped halfway through the year because depression sucks)
- Before we secured a full-time RT staff photographer this year, I actually did some product photography for the store team and some promo photography for the social media team. I have to be honest- these were some of my favorite work moments this year
- Went to one of my oldest friends' weddings - we've known each other for 20 years. One of the only people I still talk to from that long ago that I'm not blood-related to
- Grew my own bell peppers and basil from seeds into an actual edible form. I ate them and didn't die!
- Witnessed a solar eclipse in real time (through the proper eye protection, ofc)
- Participated in something for Blood Fest that I don't think I can really say anything about at this time... but it was definitely cool. lol
- Became a foster parent for the Austin Humane Society
- Re-branded The Space Cadets with my pals Afiya and Sadie
- Joined my first two D&D campaigns
- Walked in an RT fashion show in front of all staff and didn't bust my ass
- Witnessed the first real snow in Austin since 2011
Before I sat down to write this journal post I was afraid that this had just been another boring "character development" year... But you know what? There were no majorly terrible plot twists. I mean yeah, there was definitely some shit... but I actually got to do and experience a few pretty cool things this year. And for that, I'm super thankful. It really just took the action of sitting down and writing about it all to remember that it wasn't all bad.
What a year.
Man, I can't wait to see the things I get myself into in 2018...
See you next year!
10 months agoemilyweeks RT Office Coordinator
This weekend, some of my best friends and I went to the Texas Renaissance Festival and it was a BLAST. This was my first Ren Fest, so I wasn't 100% sure of what to expect. Honestly, I imagined it would just be a bunch of booths and tents set up in the middle of a field, but I was very wrong. It was like an actual town, with real buildings to walk in and out of. There were also gardens to wander through, and like a mini-stadium for events. Super neat.
As someone who doesn't really cosplay, I didn't nearly go all out with my outfit. But I borrowed a few pieces and then raided my closet for anything else that could remotely pass for an elf. Let me tell you, wearing elf ears all day was like the most awesome thing, ever. I don't know why... but they were super fun! If I could have kept them on this whole week, honestly, I probably would have.
I already have a small handful of cosplays that I have set a goal to work on over the next year or two, and now I'm adding a wood elf OC to that list. lol
There was so much to do at the fest, it was hard to figure out what to do with our day. Not too long after we showed up, however, the power to the entire festival went out. (Just our luck...) Not a big deal during the day, we just had to do cash-only transactions at all vendors. However, once the sun started setting around 5:00pm, the event made the call to start closing early. So our day ended up getting cut short before we got to explore everything, which sucked. But while the sun was still out, we made sure to work in plenty of shopping, jousting (spectating, not competing), mead, and FOOD. Oh boy. I had a chocolate-dipped cheesecake on a stick and I swear it was like biting into a piece of heaven. This is the only place I'll ever allow myself to eat something like that...
Though I will say I was a little disappointed in the shopping. I was really hoping to find some unique crystal and glass jewelry pieces, but I didn't find anything before we had to leave.
But regardless, it was still a great trip!
Have any of y'all been to a Renaissance festival before? I want to hear some of your experiences.
I wish I had remembered to pack my camera... but here's a quick phone pic of our group. An elf, a viking, a witch, a ranger, a musketeer, a pirate, and Red Riding Hood.
One of the fest staff told us we looked like an obscure D&D group, which... we really are. I'm currently in two D&D campaigns and everyone here is actually in either one of those groups
1 year agoemilyweeks RT Office Coordinator
So I've been gaming with a Tritton Kama headset for a few months and it's time to invest in something new. This was my first headset, so I chose to go with something affordable, and not flashy. I have no functionality complaints with audio, but this headset hurts my ears! Especially after extended amounts of time. The ear cups are pretty small to begin with, and I have several piercings in both ears that get super squished and uncomfortable...
So here's what they look like, for reference.
Anybody have any headset recommendations?
I mainly play on PS4, but occasionally PC.
I'm not looking to invest into anything crazy or expensive right now, but I really want something that won't hurt my poor ears anymore :(
1 year agoemilyweeks RT Office Coordinator
All day I've been wondering why the date 5/11 was so familiar... it wasn't until I got home this evening that I remembered today is my two year anniversary here at Rooster Teeth!
Oh my god... the time has absolutely flown past me. It's like, on my first day here I must have stepped into a time machine. I don't even know how it happened.
I won't get super sappy like I did with my anniversary post on here last year... but I will say that I am even more thankful than ever for all the RT fam I've made and the experiences I've had. I've met so many amazing community members, and I can't wait to meet even more.
In my time here, I've experienced the company grow from 99 people to over 250, and I've learned tons of things. I am so excited to continue my growth with this family.
Soo... for y'alls sake, I'm just going to hush and post some images now.
Here's a few (but not nearly all) of my favorite moments from Year Two.
So, yeah. Thanks for humoring my short and sweet nonsense. I can't wait to see what else is in store, and I look forward to spending much more time with y'all. <3
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I guess it's about time to update the photo of my face again...
A few of my favorite photos from my last vacation. Quick little manipulation.
just a couple little plant friends I drew up
Just an updated picture of my face. Huzzah.
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