So Good It Hurts – DAT Rotisserie Life Part 2

Hiiii everybody! How’s it going??

As you may have noticed, I’ve started posting my cooking videos on Thursdays instead of Wednesdays. Why? Life got a little too crazy. In a good way, I suppose? Let me explain:

My main jam right now is graduate school; while I take this YouTube thing pretty seriously, I’m a full-time student and that’s my top priority.. in theory. I had these grand plans to balance YouTube so that it doesn’t interfere with school, but I’m definitely still finding my footing. That’s an understatement. I am a mess, hah. For example, in this episode, I injure myself with a knife:

^^Click to watch!

Okay, but really.. life’s been pretty swell lately…

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Click to watch my interview with Superbowl MVP @MalcSmitty!!

..but, all of this is very distracting from my studies. Especially since I have 6 hours of classes on both Wednesday and Thursday nights. So you can imagine how ballistic it was trying to get my videos and blogs posted on Wednesdays.  It’s tough to admit — with all of this going on, I got pretty out of control. Like it was just another Manic Monday.. every day. I was bouncing around haphazardly from happy moment to exciting event. I was having a lot of fun, but it started to become a problem and cramped my productivity. Nooo!

Thankfully,  I had this realization that the good times can impact my life just as severely as the bad times. In both cases, seemingly uncontrollable feelings are strong driving forces. When things are nearing rock bottom, you feel controlled by pain – you want to escape it and get rid of it. It keeps you down.

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“The struggle for peace is real.”

When things are going well, you’re driven by pleasure; it feels good to be happy, but I’ve also heard that “even sunshine burns when you get too much.”  There’s a fine line between living life to the fullest and exhausting yourself.

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“I thought I could fly.”

I’ve already seen that it’s possible to pull yourself up out of dark places when you’re feeling down. At the same time, I’m trying to find my balance and learn to live my life to the limit without burning out and letting my passion fuel into an uncontrollable fire. Okay that’s a little dramatic, but I know that when you have a lot of people relying on you, being exhausted and unable to get things done hurts those around you as well. And that’s just not healthy.

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“Pick dandelions, NOT Natty Light.”

Being in my mid-20s, I’m learning that nourishing and exercising your emotions is important too. Just like you have a an idea of foods that are good for you (Veggies! Fruits! Whole Grains!), and foods that are bad for you (fried food, hot Cheetos, Taco Bell, lol), you start to learn which emotions are healthy to consume and entertain.

For example, it can be gratifying to stay angry and hold grudges, but we know that’s not good for us. It can also be great to give into our wants and desires, choosing what feels good at the moment instead of making progress on your goals.

It’s basically like those days when I am tempted to get a Crunch Wrap Supreme from Taco Bell drive-thru and eat it alone in my car. It will feel great for about 10 minutes, then I know my body will react adversely later on (and that’s putting it politely, lol!).

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“Everything has meaning & a meaning for everything.”

I’ve talked to some close friends about some of my struggles to focus. The one thing that’s helped me to get a handle on emotions is to focus on purpose, whether it’s the big picture of your hopes and aspirations, or reflecting on the reason why these things are happening to you. What are you learning from the situation? What do these feelings say about your motivation or hope in your life?

Finally, life often throws you quite the basket(case) of ingredients.. like a crazy episode of Chopped or something. You can either freak out and give up, or make something delicious! And if your life gets crazy busy too, I got you. Here’s an easy one:

Recipe: Zesty Chicken Burrito

Ingredients:
– 
1/2 rotisserie chicken
– 6 tortillas (I used whole wheat. You know how I do)
– 2 medium tomatoes
– 1 avoCAdo
– 1/4 cup cilantro

Sauce
– 1/3 cup sour cream
– 2 tbsp taco seasoning** (no MSG, please!)
**make your own!
– 1.5 tbsp cumin
– 1 tsp garlic powder
– ½ tsp salt
– freshly ground black pepper
– Tapatio or Cholula hot sauce
– love

Instructions:

1. Chop stuff!
– Take leftover Rotisserie chicken (or new chicken) and shred into bite-sized pieces
– Chop tomatoes & avocados into small cubes. Don’t cut yourself like I did, hah.
– Coarsely chop cilantro and add it to a bowl with the other veggies

2. Make Sauce!
– Mix together sour cream, taco seasoning, and hot sauce. Donesies!

3. Assemble
– Place chicken and veggie mix in center of warmed tortilla
– Add cheese if you please (bonus points if you warm the cheese with the tortilla for melty fun
– Wrap it up and enjoy!

Let me know if you made it! This will help me with my emotions, hah. Luv ya’ll!!  @diningattiffs #diningattiffs!

With love,

Tiffany R.

Dining At Tiffany’s

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Unemployment/College Cooking – DAT Rotisserie Life Part 1

Trying to make it in my mid-20s, the struggle is real. Okay, it’s not so bad (I’m actually having a lot of fun!), but working in nonprofit/education has taught me the value of getting the most bang for my buck, especially with food!

I will very rarely succumb to instant noodles, though I’ve lived through unemployment, lower paying jobs, and the not-so-glamorous college kid life; Stouffers lasagna yes (because why not?), but never the ramen or cup of noodles. I believe with a bit of crafty resourcefulness, you can make food for you and your equally hungry friends on a budget that is rich in flavor, easy on the wallet. One of my favorite meals to make for my friends while we’re on the hustle is Buffalo Chicken Salad. Here’s the video tutorial:

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^Click picture to watch!^

For those of you who’ve been to my place in real life, you know I always cut the small talk; we’re busy — no time for that! I will often find out very quickly what you’re about, and what you want to be about! I love helping others chase their dreams, so I’m recreating that  here on my website. You can find my guides on resumes, cover letters, and finding your passion here on my website since that is one of my favorite topics for Good Conversation!

Recipe: Buffalo Chicken Salad

Ingredients: 

Buffalo Chicken
– half of a Rotisserie Chicken, the breast and leg
– ¼ cup Louisiana red hot sauce (or more if you want it hotter!
– 2-3 tablespoons of butter. oh yes.
– 4-5 cloves of roughly chopped garlic
– freshly ground black pepper

Salad
– 2 bunches of romaine or green leaf lettuce chopped into about 1 inch pieces
– 3 carrots, chopped or shredded into small 1 centimeter cubes
– 3 pieces of celery chopped into 1 centimeter cubes, plus chopped celery top greens

Ranch
– 1 cup of sour cream
– 1 tablespoon vinegar (white, apple cider, and cane have worked for me!)
– 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
– a bit of fresh chopped parsley
– salt to taste

Instructions:

1. Prep your veggies!
– chop lettuce, carrots, and celery & put in separate bowls
– chop garlic and set aside

2. Buffalo Chicken, yayy!
– Pull off one breast and one leg from the Rotisserie chicken & shred into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.
– Add butter and garlic to a medium bowl. Cover and microwave for 1 minute.
– Carefully discard garlic pieces
– Slap in that hot sauce. Mmmmm.
– Stir together, add chicken, and coat it in all that buffalo sauce goodness you just made! Good job!

3. Meanwhile, make ranch!
– mix sour cream, vinegar, garlic powder, and salt together. Add parsley. Done son!

4. Time to eat!
– Plate in this order: lettuce, celery/carrots, chicken, ranch!
– Enjoy! I recommend storing the chicken leftovers separate from the veggies and ranch so it lasts longer in the fridge.

Let me know how it goes @diningattiffs #diningattiffs! Stay tuned next week to learn how I use the other half of the chicken!

With love,

Tiffany R.

Dining At Tiffany’s

This happened: Boba Milk Tea Tres Leches Cupcakes!!

Hey loves!! I’m super stoked to share this recipe with you! In a stroke of culinary, cultural inspiration I came up with the idea to put milk tea into cupcakes! Bonus, we top it with boba, too! Check it out:

datcupcakeface^^Click photo to watch!

Before the recipe, I just wanted to share a concept I’ve been thinking of lately, a “Tiffany Epiphany,” if you will. With Valentine’s Day coming up, it can be so easy to focus all your energy outside yourself, decorating your offices and homes with red and pink hearts, prepping greeting cards, making sweets for your sweetheart, wondering how to find a sweetheart, etc.

And I’ll tell you from experience, putting love out there can be very tiresome, especially when it comes with the obligation of a holiday or pressures that can come with relationship expectations. On the flipside, giving love can be one of the happiest feelings ever!

Check it: If you don’t emit a warm glow when you’re giving love this Valentine’s day, you might be doing it wrong. But the great thing is, giving love in a positive way starts with you.

I’ve realized that when your heart and mind work in sync, when you’re living with intention toward your true purpose, these two parts of your body synergize. The radiance you create when your thoughts, feelings, and actions align exudes ever so brightly.

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But when we’re not living with intention, when we’re selling ourselves short of our values and desires, we can sometimes trudge mindlessly through the motions of the daily grind; the energy shooting between your heart and mind get stuck as darkness in the space between, turning into stress, tiredness, negativity, and sometimes bitterness. I really think that’s how we get those back and neck pains in our stress muscles.

Thankfully, living with intention is like a constant self-massage, rejuvenating and renewing your body and spirit. So I hope that you can take some time this Valentine’s Day to give yourself a little love and feel-good, too.

Oh and maybe you can make some cupcakes!!

Recipe: Boba Milk Tea Tres Leches Cupcakes!
(Cake recipe adapted from Marcela Valladolid)

Ingredients:

Cupcake Batter:
–  1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
– 1 tablespoon baking powder
– 4 large eggs, separated
– 1 1/2 cups sugar
– 1/2 cup whole milk

Tres Leches Liquid:
– 1 can of condensed milk
– ½ cup milk or heavy cream
– 2 cups of milk tea (Each regular size is about 1.5 cups, a large would be about 2 cups. If you have extra, drink it! :P)

Toppings:
– Whipped Cream: You can use Cool Whip, or make your own!
– Boba (tapioca pearls): You can either ask for a cup on the side, or just get the drink with boba and strain it out yourself. Make sure to rinse it off! If you have to keep it overnight, keep it covered in  water; the next day, rinse it again and add warm water and it should soften up again!

Equipment:
– Cupcake tins (12 cupcakes each, you’ll make around 36, so 2-3 batches. If you run out of batter, put water in the empty spaces when you bake!)
– Hand or standing mixer, or a whisk if you’re a trooper
– Mixing bowls and small ladling spoons.
– ~ 3 dozen **aluminum**  cupcake liners (and 3 dozen colorful ones if you feel like being cute)
– Colorful straws (you can get this from your tea shop)

Instructions:
Batter up! (See video for this part if you’ve never done this before. I got you, boo!)
– Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
– Separate eggs!
– Beat egg whites in clean, large mixing bowl until frothy
– Add sugar gradually and beat until peaks form when you pull the mixer (or whisk) away
– Beat in the yolks one at a time, mixing well before adding the next
– Visually separate the flour into three portions, and the milk into two portions. Keeping these portions in mind, alternate flour, milk, flour, milk, flour! Woo! Batter’s done, son.
– Using a spoon, ladle batter into aluminum cupcake liners and fill up to the ½ point only!
– Bake for ~18 minutes, or until toothpick/bbq stick comes out clean when inserted in the middle.

Meanwhile, let’s mix the Tres Leches!
– Whisk together the three milks! (If you are doing multiple flavors, separate the can of condensed milk into two liquid containers. Then add ¼ cup of milk to each one. Lastly, add 1 cup of milk tea to each!)

Putting it all together!
– Once the cupcakes are out of the oven, carefully transfer them to a tray or on some plates.
– Immediately, poke a bunch of holes in each cupcakes – this is where the Tres Leches will go! Be careful not to poke any holes through the cupcake wrappers
– Pour the Tres Leches mixture into each cupcake, 1 tablespoon at a time. You should be able to get about 3 tbsps of Tres Leches Milk Tea goodness in each one!
– Leave in the fridge in a sealed container (Tupperware, or pan with foil/plastic wrap on top) for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.

Decorate!
– Dollop some whip cream on top.
– Carefully add 3-5 pieces of boba on top
– Add a trimmed, colorful straw for a nice accent! You can be extra cute and stick on some paper to spell out a greeting. 🙂

I hope you enjoy making this cupcake recipe! Let me know if you do @DiningAtTiffs #DiningAtTiffs. Show me the love!

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! Oh if for some reason you want to give me a present, I’d love your email address! You can sign up here for the free Dining At Tiffany’s Newsletter.

Thanks and have a great at time!

With love,

Tiffany R.

Dining At Tiffany’s

Aw Yea, I Made You a Sammich!

I really did! Check it out on YouTube:

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^Click photo to watch!^

Okay real talk. I never really understood the whole “make me a sammich, woman!” concept. I mean, I’ll often make sandwiches (& as you now know, all kinds of foods) for others, but never because someone commanded me to! Why is this a thing? Haha. Truth is, I was raised with values of generosity and serving others, especially by making delicious food! That is why I made you all a sandwich. 🙂

Another value I’ve grown to love is celebration. Birthdays! Weddings! Friendship! Beginnings! Endings! Goals! Dreams! I love bringing people together and making sure everyone has a great time. On special occasions and the days in between, everyone has something remarkable and worthy of cheer! Especially my ladies:

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So I do hope you’ll enjoy this recipe I created that’s perfect for celebrations:

Recipe: Broccoli Cheddar Party Sandwich!

Ingredients:

– 1 loaf of french bread from the bakery section (I used whole wheat)
– 1-2 crowns of broccoli chopped into small pieces (about 1.5 cups after chopped)
– 5 cloves of garlic, minced
– 1 cup (8 oz.) of sharp cheddar cheese
– 2 tablespoons butter
– 2 tablespoons flour
– 2 cups of whole milk (I like organic, or lactose-free!)
– salt & freshly ground black pepper
– light oil

Equipment:
– large pot for cheese sauce
– saute pan for broccoli
– serrated knife
– ladle

Instructions:
1. Chop veggies
– mince garlic
– cut broccoli into tiny little trees (cut stems smaller than leaves since they take longer to cook)

2. Make a cheese sauce!
– Roux: Start melting butter. Add flour & stir evenly into butter
– Sing Bulletproof by La Roux until your roux is ready
– Add milk and whisk until roux is incorporated into the milk
– Add some salt & pepper
– Stir occasionally until it bubbles, then remove from heat

3. Saute the trees!  (Boss level: you can do this while waiting for the milk to heat up in step 2)
– heat oil to medium to medium-high heat
– add garlic and saute for about 1-2 minutes, until light brown
– add broccoli and stir into garlic until temperature of garlic settles, about 1-2 minutes
– season with salt & pepper
– saute for another 2-3 minutes, until dark green but not too soft

4. Put it all together!
– mix broccoli into cheese. yes.
– cut 1/3 top off of bread, horizontally
– cut out an inch layer from bottom piece of bread (see video!)
– ladle cheese into sandwich and put the top piece on
– you’re done!

Make sure to serve the sandwich whole for dramatic effect. If you have extra cheese sauce, you can dip bread into this, or just make smaller sandwiches the next day!

Are you making this? Are you having a party? Are you eating the whole thing yourself (no one’s judging)? Let me know!! I love comments & tags on Instagram & Twitter. @DiningAtTiffs #DiningAtTiffs. Promise I’ll send some love right back!!

Have a great week, everyone!!!

With love,

Tiffany R.

Dining At Tiffany’s