Life on Two Wheels

What’s your dream car? Mine’s a Vespa. That’s right. A cute sleek Italian scooter. I picture myself wearing an A-line dress, Jackie O sunglasses, and a long scarf, cruising around the island. And of course, a helmet, preferably leopard print with goggles.

I wish this was my helmet.
I wish this was my helmet.

This does not fit into my budget. But driving a scooter definitely helps me live on $20 a day. Ask me how much I spend on gas each week. Go on, ask me.

$4

That’s it. Four bucks at the pump. And the only reason I spend that much is because I work so far away right now.

His, mine, and ours
His, mine, and ours

Every time I put gas in my car I want to cry. It’s always over $50. Luckily, I don’t drive it that often. Dealing with traffic and parking is so tedious, I want to tear my hair out. Then there’s the tags and the inspection fees. New tires. Dead batteries. Car ownership is a drag.

I paid about $900 for my current scooter, brand new. I get around 75 miles to the gallon. I’ve gotten 100 before. It’s worth it for the reduction in carbon emissions alone. My scooter saves me a ton of money.

Proper scooter attire required
Proper scooter attire required

But apart from being economical, it’s also super fun. I first started riding a scooter when I lived in Taiwan, and we’d ride those things everywhere. We even went camping at the top of a mountain. If you can find the right back roads, you can go just about anywhere. And you can see everything. There are no pesky roofs or windows to block your view of the scenery.

I realize a scooter might not be practical for everybody. I certainly wouldn’t recommend it for travelling with small children, though I have seen dogs that are scooter trained. And I know for a fact you can pull a goat trailer with one. But if you live in a place that’s above 65 degrees even six months out of the year, and you don’t have to do a lot of freeway driving, it’s absolutely the best way to get around town.

Always wear a helmet!
Always wear a helmet!

Save money. Reduce carbon emissions and dependence on foreign oil. Never have to search for parking. Look totally cool driving around saying “Ciao!” Ditch your car. Get a scooter. All the cool kids are doing it.

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Sausage Rolls

sausage rolls

St. George’s Day is coming up, so today I’m celebrating all things awesomely English. My absolute favorite Anglo export is the dude sitting on my futon. We’ve been married for two years, and I’m still charmed by his accent every day. My second favorite English fellow has to be Mr. Harry James Potter.

On our visit to England we had some time to kill in London, so I pretty much insisted on seeing King’s Cross station and getting a cheesy photo at platform 9-3/4. If you visit the station, there aren’t any signs to help you find it, and it’s sort of impossible to see. The guy at the info counter will get annoyed when you ask where it is. You’d think they’d be over it by now.

platform 9 3/4

After completing this necessary duty, I fell in love with another English wonderment known as the sausage roll. Why oh why are these not sold on every street corner in America? It’s completely perplexing. It’s one of the most ingeniously delicious things I’ve ever eaten. And to have it at King’s Cross, where Jo Rowling’s parents met, was extra special. It was all thoroughly English.

sausage rolls on tray

It’s just yummy sausage wrapped in puff pastry and baked to a golden brown. So simple, yet so mind-blowingly delicious. I wish I could eat one every day. In England, they’re sold on nearly every street corner, but now that we’re back in America, we have to make them ourselves. Luckily, it’s quite simple. Moreover, you can eat them hot or cold, so they’re great for picnics or snacks, if you can get them to last that long.

If you’ve never had the pleasure of burning your mouth on a piping hot sausage roll, you simply must make some right this minute. Put down your sword, stop slaying dragons, get out of your castle, and get in the kitchen and make these. Then try and share with your friends. It’s the English way.

sausage rolls inside

Sausage Rolls
Yields 12
A homemade version of the perfect British street food
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 sheets frozen puff pastry
  2. 1 pound of your favorite sausage meat, uncooked (I like Jimmy Dean hot)
  3. 1 egg
Instructions
  1. Let your puff pastry thaw on the counter. 30 minutes should be plenty.
  2. Preheat your oven to 400.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, unfold the sheets. With a pizza cutter or a sharp knife cut each one down the middle, then cut into thirds in the other direction to make six squares per sheet.
  4. Divide your sausage meat evenly between each square. Smoosh it into a line down the center of each square. It’s okay to go right to the edge.
  5. Crack your egg into a bowl and beat it with a fork until well combined. You can add a bit of water to thin it out, if you like.
  6. For each square, carefully fold the sides of the puff pastry over the sausage so they overlap. Press the dough together to seal it, then using the fork dipped in your egg mixture, press the tines into the seam. The egg will help act as a glue.
  7. Place the roll seam-side down on a parchment lined baking sheet. Depending on the size, you may need to use two baking sheets or work in two batches.
  8. With a sharp knife cut 2-3 slits into the top of each roll.
  9. Brush each roll with a thin layer of your egg wash. This makes them all shiny and lovely.
  10. Bake for 20 minutes or golden brown. Allow them to cool for as long as you can stand it. At least 10 minutes.
  11. Try not to burn your fingers when you finally sink your teeth into one of these bad boys. It’s not easy. Patience is overrated.
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Fridge Raid Eggs and a Mexican Bird of Paradise

Mexican Bird of Paradise

It’s the end of the week, and I’m out of money. But one must still eat dinner on a Thursday night. You could always crack open your money monkey and dump a bunch of nickels and dimes on the counter at Taco Bell. Or you could get creative and scour your fridge for condiments and make something awesome. And a cocktail couldn’t hurt either.

fridge raid eggs ingredient

I’m a recipe hoarder, and I love to try new recipes. This often results in a refrigerator full of half empty condiments. But all those bits and bobs are full of flavor. And one thing we are never short on around here is eggs, thanks to these girls. So I rounded up some cheese, bacon bits, and chili sauce from my fridge and made some awesome smoky scrambled eggs. If you try to tell me you don’t eat eggs for dinner, you’re either lying or you’ve lost your ever-lovin’ mind. Eggs scoff at your time limitations.

fridge raid eggs2

And since you’re probably a little depressed about having spent your $140 dollars before the end of the week and not having saved anything, you’re going to need a cocktail. My husband is the mixologist around here, and he put the same spirit of improvisation into mixing up a sweet but lethal drink that he dubbed a Mexican Bird of Paradise. It’s pineapple, tequila, and some other liquors. It’s potent and ever so enjoyable.

My favorite thing about this dinner is that I didn’t have to go to the store after a crazy day at work. It was all of fifteen minutes between contemplation and eating of actual delicious food. It’s not lobster, but it’s much better than a bean burrito. It’s something you made yourself, which is nourishing in so many ways. And really, the possibilities are endless. What’s in your fridge?

fridge raid eggs

Fridge Raid Eggs
Serves 1
Making something delicious and brilliant out of what's hanging around. It's the Awesome on 20 way!
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Total Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 eggs
  2. pinch of salt
  3. five grinds of black pepper
  4. dash of garlic powder
  5. tsp water (hold your bowl under the tap, turn it on for half a second, then shut it off)
  6. Tbsp chili sauce
  7. Tbsp bacon bits
  8. 2 Tbsp shredded Mexican cheese
Instructions
  1. Put a small non-stick frying pan on medium heat on the stove.
  2. Crack eggs in a small bowl and add salt, pepper, garlic powder, water, and chili sauce. Whisk until yolks and whites are combined.
  3. Add bacon bits and give it another quick stir.
  4. Pour egg mixture into frying pan and begin to stir immediately with a flat utensil such as a silicone spatula.
  5. Stir slowly but constantly, scraping the edges and bottom of the pan, until the eggs are nearly set. Add one Tbsp of cheese and continue to stir until eggs are cooked through. Remove from heat.
  6. Sprinkle second Tbsp of cheese on top.
Notes
  1. quantities are easily adjusted to your level of hungriness
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Mexican Bird of Paradise
Serves 1
a tropical tequila improv cocktail
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Total Time
5 min
Total Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. ice
  2. 2 shots tequila
  3. 2 shots citron vodka
  4. 2 shots triple sec
  5. 1 6 ounce can pineapple juice
  6. A squirt ( about a Tbsp) lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Pour all ingredients over ice and stir. You’ll need a largish glass. And a cocktail umbrella. Obviously. (Yes, that was just in my kitchen.)
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