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Chaitini

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Chaitini | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Not liking coffee can sometimes make one a social outcast. Coffee is not just a beverage in this culture, it’s an obsession, a way of life. It turns out people can actually be genetically pre-disposed to not liking bitter flavors. So it turns out maybe I was born to be a social outcast. 

All this is to say that in order to fit in and conform to social norms, I had to find something I could drink when people wanted to go out for coffee. You can only order hot chocolate so many times before people start to make fun of you. Thank god for chai. It saved my social life.

Chaitini | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

The great thing about going out to bars instead of coffee shops is that I can almost always find something that I like. It’s even better when I can bring it all together in a chai flavored cocktail. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the chaitini.

I combination of vanilla vodka, amaretto, and chai latte, the glass is rimmed with cinnamon sugar, and you can stir it up with a cinnamon stick. It’s sweet and spicy and just a little bit fancy.

Chaitini | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

We can be friends, even if you want to go to a coffee shop. Maybe we should meet for cocktails, though. I predict more fun.

Chaitini
Serves 1
A sweet and spicy cocktail that will help everyone get along splendidly
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Prep Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 1.5 ounces vanilla vodka
  2. 1 ounce amaretto
  3. 2 ounces chai concentrate
  4. 1 ounce milk of half and half
  5. Optional: cinnamon sugar and cinnamon stick for garnish
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients except for the garnishes to a cocktail shaker and shake with ice.
  2. Pour into a martini glass rimmed with cinnamon sugar and and enjoy.
Adapted from My Life as a Mrs.
Adapted from My Life as a Mrs.
How to be awesome on $20 a day http://awesomeon20.com/

Bacon Goat Cheese Gnocchi Gratin

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Bacon Goat Cheese Gnocchi Gratin | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Sometimes, simple is awesome. Classic, even. A simple shortbread cookie, a perfectly roasted chicken, a well-fitting black dress. Sometimes, uncomplicated is perfect. But sometimes life needs a little pizzaz.

Top off your shortbread with caramel and chocolate, you’ve elevated something simple to something mind blowing. A great pair of red heels make that perfect black dress really pop. Simple is great, but bold, daring, and different are also pretty outrageous. I thought this recipe could use a little bit of extra awesome.

Bacon Goat Cheese Gnocchi Gratin | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Gnocchi is one of the most comforting foods ever created. It’s like eating a pillow. I decided to mix it with some tangy goat cheese, and crispy, savoury bacon, as well as a sprinkle of bread crumbs for a bit of extra crunch. Contrast is key.

Added bonus, this recipe is a cinch to make. Melt some cheese. Boil some gnocchi. Stir, bake, done. Your food can have complicated flavors,but it need not be complicated to prepare.

Bacon Goat Cheese Gnocchi Gratin | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Wear red shoes. Eat more goat cheese and bacon. Be happy.

Bacon Goat Cheese Gnocchi Gratin
Serves 3
Savoury, cheesy, pillowy gnocchi is awesome in every way
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 package gnocchi (the brand I buy is 500 grams)
  2. 4 ounces crumbled goat cheese
  3. 1/4 cup milk
  4. 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  5. 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  6. 3 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  7. 3 tablespoons Italian bread crumbs
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 and put a medium sauce pan of water over high heat to boil.
  2. Add goat cheese and milk to a pot over low to medium heat and stir as it melts until smooth. Turn off the heat and add the pepper and nutmeg.
  3. When the water boils, add the gnocchi and cook until they begin to float. It will only take a couple of minutes.
  4. Once the gnocchi rise to the top, fish them out with a slotted spoon and add them to the cheese mixture. Stir everything together, then transfer the cheesy gnocchi to a small casserole dish or three ramekins.
  5. Sprinkle crumbled bacon and bread crumbs over the top of your gnocchi. Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly brown on top. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before attempting to shovel it all in your face.
Adapted from Nigellissima by Nigella Lawson
How to be awesome on $20 a day http://awesomeon20.com/

How to be Awesome When You Have a Cold

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How to be Awesome When You Have a Cold

Alternate title: How many times can you really watch Harry Potter? Answer: As many times as you damn well please. AKA: At least once more.

You may already be able to tell that I’m a bit delirious. I feel like my whole face is swollen from sinus pressure. My nose is red, and there’s a huge pile of cough drop wrappers on the table next to me. But you know we can’t let a little thing like a raging head cold stop us from being awesome. Here’s how we make it work.

1. Ditch work (if you can)- I know a lot of people work hourly jobs, and this isn’t an option. Or you run your own business and if you’re not producing, you’re not getting paid. But for crying out loud, if you have 40 hours of comp time saved up from all that overtime you worked last month, use some of it to take a dang nap. Your co-workers don’t want you sneezing all over them anyway. It’ll be fine. Really. Those emails can wait. Right?

2. Drag yourself to the office if there’s an awesome restaurant waiting for you at the end of the day- I always manage to get sick when I have something really fun planned, like trying out a new restaurant with co-workers. So, maybe you went home sick the day before, but you can’t very well call in sick, but still show up for dinner when your boss is going to be there. Take whatever cold medicine you can get your hands on, put on a ton of makeup, bring your box of tissues, and get through the day because there’s going to be Moscow Mules and key lime pie at the end of the day. It’ll be worth it, even if you do feel like death by the time you get home.

3. Invest in good tissues and tasty cough drops- You have a cold. You’re suffering. Spend the extra dollar and get the tissues with lotion in them. You’ll feel much better and you won’t have a nasty, scabby red nose when you go back to work. Also, go ahead and get cough drops that actually taste good since you’re probably going to need a thousand of them. I’m really enjoying Halls Breezers in Cool Berry. 

4. Get yourself a tea elf- Put on your saddest, most pathetic face, and get your spouse, partner, roommate, mom, or passing stranger to be on tea making duty at any given moment. You’ll probably need a minimum of five cups a day, so make sure you stock up. Around here, if it’s not Tetley, it’s not tea.

5. Watch what makes you happy- Just go ahead and watch Harry Potter again. Who cares if you have the whole movie memorized. It’s not hurting anybody. It makes you happy. It makes you forget, if only for a moment, that your head is about to explode. Okay, I guess it doesn’t have to be Harry Potter. It could be Star Wars or James Bond or whatever else you’re in to. But seriously, it should probably be Harry Potter.

6. Take a super hot super long shower- You have my permission to waste as much energy as you want when you are congested. It may be the only place you can breathe. Just go ahead, and stay in there a little longer.

7. Blankets blankets pillows blankets and pillows- Seriously, just go ahead and build a fort. Snuggle up. Everyone else can just shut up. 

Okay, so if you’re really sick, you should probably see a doctor, but for now, curl up, drink tea, get your own trash bag next to your side of the couch, and wait it out in as much comfort and style as you can. It’ll be over soon. In the meantime, don’t forget to be awesome.

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