Choosing Figs | Neurotic as Hell | A Travel, Lifestyle, and Life List Blog

In cooking, as in life, I make things way more complicated than they need to be.

1. I would be one of those people at my corner Starbucks who they’d know my order as soon as I came in if I ever ordered the same drink twice in a row. I bounce between mochas and caramel macchiato, and pumpkin spice lattes, and white mochas, and espresso truffles (when I am having a really depressed morning) and other froufrou seasonal drinks. This morning I ordered, for the first time ever, a peppermint mocha. I always argued against it because I am not a fan of the taste of mint. But despite that I do like chocolate mints so I thought I would give it ago. And it was tasty but I don’t think it was anything I would crave to have again.

2. I am a very rational person if you give me five minutes.

3. Yesterday I texted Mat to ask him if he wanted to do something. We decided we’d watch a movie and get food. We were debating between going out or me cooking. I wasn’t really feeling like cooking anything in particular so I asked him if he was craving anything. He replied tacos. I said I could make tacos. But then, of course, my mind started churning and I thought of the recipe for green chili chicken enchiladas I had come across that looked tasty. And it was the same principle as tacos. So I stopped by the Whole Foods after work to pick up the fresh green salsa and chicken and onions and tortillas. I used chicken breasts instead of thighs, omitted the cilantro (I couldn’t find any), used the fresh Whole Foods salsa verde instead of the “chili verde starter” and used goat cheese on top (again, couldn’t find queso añejo). And I totally wung the proportions because I just bought packages in whatever size they came in and only had a small pan and didn’t need to feed 12.

I could have just made tacos. I could have cooked some meat in packaged spice mix and called in a night. Instead I boiled chicken and oiled tortillas and stacked them and topped them and baked them twice.

When Mat came over as I was pulling the chicken I said I was making enchiladas and he looked at me as if I had broken his heart. “You said you were making tacos.” Of course, he was just kidding and of course I spent the rest of the night apologizing for not making tacos (also kidding, of course). But he said he loved them.

We watched Audition. It’s a Japanese horror film and I thought since he liked anime he might like it. Of course, I remembered why I thought it was like anime: it makes no sense. And I forgot why I hadn’t watched it in forever: it has some of the most disturbing scenes in horror films ever.

We then watched Heather’s Galaxy Quest and, she was right, it is hilarious because you don’t expect it to be funny at all.

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Hi, I'm Val. I spent most of my 20s in a standstill, unable to pick which path in life I wanted to take. I wanted the nomadic life of a traveler but also wanted the husband, the condo, and the kitten. Unable to decide which life I wanted more, I did nothing. When I turned 30 I’d had enough of putting my life on hold and decided to start “choosing my figs.” So, I quit my job, bought a one-way ticket to Europe, and traveled for three years. Now I'm back in Chicago, decorating my apartment in all the teal, petting my cats, and planning my next adventure.

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