Pumpkin Beer & Sharp Cheddar Gnocchi Soup and BIG Changes!
If you were to look up the definition of soup it would read as follows:
a liquid dish, typically made by boiling meat, fish, or vegetables, etc., in stock or water.
But soup, soup is so much more than this. Soup is home. It is a cold night wrapped up in a large blanket on the sofa. It is taking a warm shower after being out in the snow for hours. It is that feeling you get when you haven't seen someone that you love in months.
Soup represents all the feelings of being content and relaxed. Two things in which I have not felt since I graduated back in May. Just a fair warning this blog post is for sure a serious one, and *note* I hardly ever talk in a serious tone but I believe soup may make this half way necessary... so hear we go. Advisory, this post was re-written probably three different times and I may have consumed a few glasses of wine doing so.
If you keep up with my blog then you know my posts over the summer were fun, but lacked a bit of depth. When life reaches a boiling temp it can be so difficult to put your really nitty gritty thoughts together. Especially blast them out to the whole of the internet. I mean ANYONE can read this blog. My grandma, my parents, my boyfriend, my ex boyfriend, my enemies, my friends, my old teachers and professors. I mean anyone. While my blog is a blank canvas it can also make me feel vulnerable, if I let it. Unfortunately, it can also make me seem depressing and by all means that was not the purpose of this post.
When it comes to all forms of social media, anyone can make their life look absolutely fantastic. I think you all know that by now. If I am being completely honest life has felt like one large carton of milk that has been spilled on the floor. As a social 'influencer' and stylist I can polish s*$% up real quick if needed and while I'm all for showing my 'glass half full' side all the time, it can be truly an obstacle to do this 100%.
The last few months have been TOUGH. While I know that I didn't battle cancer, or survive a crazy accident, I did endure quite a few tough and unpredictable months that is the 'after college-graduation' period. The only thing I can say is that while nothing ever ends up as perfectly as you want it, you must always remain grateful for what has.
In the last three months I probably saw myself head down about 6 different paths. Jared and I graduated about a weeks apart from each other and had been trying to put a plan into play for months. He relentlessly put in for job after job. Arizona, California, Colorado, basically any west coast state reviewed his potential. It was terrible to hear each rejection after rejection from engineering companies. Seeing him with his head still high and his perseverance still strong was inspiring and only sealed in more respect that I have for him.
As twenty somethings we did what we're supposed to do! We went and busted our asses for 4-5 years and got that 'degree' that would apparently be the golden ticket to life. But let me tell you it just isn't that easy anymore.
Simultaneously, I was dealing with my own career dilemma. My blog is single handedly the hardest project I have ever tackled and is truly where my creative spirit lies. Creating content and having this platform gives me the same high that runners get when running. I absolutely love everything about the blog world.
But having poured myself into my college education it was really difficult for me to try and be a full time blogger and nothing else. I hope one day in the near future I'll have the guts to pursue my dream of blogging full time and being a creative entrepreneur, but for now I'll pay my dues for a little longer. I wasn't quite (and still am not) ready to have this blog be my sole source of income as well (because if you didn't know it isn't always reliable). I also didn't want to just let my event planning background be underused like pumps you never wear in your closet. I'm a little obsessed with trying to be the hostess-with-the-mostess if you haven't realized.
Soooo I made the first move and accepted an event planning job in downtown Los Angeles at a private club. Jared and I made the move back to my 'homeland' of southern California. As we pulled out of the driveway in Jared's Honda with our future uncertain and our entire college years packed in that car, we took a plunge out of Fort Collins, CO that both of us will never forget. Hand in hand (and as cheesy as it sounds) heart in heart we took a terrifying leap into the unknown and went to California.
Since our feet weren't planted and while I did start a new job we needed a sturdy platform. My parents were kind enough to open their door for a few weeks which would buy us some time. I told myself that after I moved away for college I would never move back in with my parents. It was such a let down on myself but unfortunately we were out of moves. About a month went by and the four of us were cohabitating in this weird, yet comfortable sort of bubble.
(if you have to move back in with your parents after college, read this article. It will make you feel a little better. I promise)
About a month into my event planning title I found myself in the L.A. flower market. My arms were overstuffed with about 10 bundles of dahlia and silver dollar eucalyptus for arrangements for an event that evening. I fought my flowers to pull my ringing phone out of my back pocket. Jared called me and told me he accepted one KILLER job in Orange County at an engineering company.
I held the phone and we both laughed, cried and screamed on each end of the phone. The job fit all of his hopeful benefits and some. The clouds really do break and the stars absolutely align. I have realized that they key is patience. I got off the phone and quietly ugly sobbed my way out of the flower market with my entire upper body full with flowers. I couldn't have looked sillier, but in that moment I could not have been happier.
Since then we have situated ourselves somewhere between Los Angeles and Orange County and we are working our asses off, literally. But we also sit down and have dinner together every night and couldn't be more grateful for what we have and what we are creating. Jared is my undoubtedly my soul mate and I couldn't imagine going through the good, the bad and the ugly with anyone other man. After months of uncertainty, life was finally starting to have some direction and clarity.
On any normal week you will find me executing events in downtown L.A., putting out fresh content on my blog, and fitting in 10 minutes of relaxation whenever I get the chance. Or sleep, sleep is great ha! As for Jared he is happy as a clam being an engineer and playing golf 365 days a year in this gorgeous California weather.
As for now I'll leave you with a quote that I told myself every single day this summer:
"When we are no longer able to change a situation - we are challenged to change ourselves."
-Victor E. Frankl
After all, there's no rulebook for life.
Oh Damn It!
As if I could forget the soup! Also if you are still reading this, you are one hell of a trouper.
This soup is like beer-cheese heaven. Seriously. I chose this soup for this post because it gives me all the wholesome feeling that I love so much.
If you're into hearty creamy soups this is your pick. If you're not an gnocchi person (by all means, give it a try!) then you could probably sub out with potatoes but you really don't want to! What I also love about this soup is that it comes together really easily and is vegetarian! Yes my friends, it's made with vegetable stock but is still just as savory and wholesome as soup should be.
Basically add a warm and steamy baguette and you won't have to leave your house all weekend because you are SET.
Alright now I am REALLY signing off. Thank you for reading this entire post and for making me feel even closer to ya'll.
PUMPKIN BEER &
1 Lb of gnocchi
1/4 Cup of unsalted butter
3 Small carrots, diced
2 Celery stalks, diced
2 Leeks, thinly sliced
1/2 Yellow onion, diced
4 Garlic cloves, minced
1 Teaspoon of fresh rosemary, minced
1 Teaspoon of fresh thyme, minced
1 Teaspoon of fresh sage, minced
1 Teaspoon of salt + 1 Teaspoon of freshly cracked pepper
1/3 Cup of all purpose flour
2 Cups of vegetable broth
1 - 12oz. bottle of pumpkin flavored beer
1 Cup of half & half
1 Cup of whole milk
1 Lb of sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
+Pumpkin seeds and sage leaves for garnish
In a large braising pan or dutch oven melt butter on medium heat until bubbly. Add in carrots, celery, leeks, onion, and garlic cloves. Sauté vegetables for 10-15 minutes or until softened. Add in salt, pepper, herbs, flour and stir well.
Cook gnocchi according to package instructions and strain in a colander.
Slowly add in vegetable broth, beer, half & half, milk and cooked gnocchi and stir gently. Bring mixture to a simmer. Add in shredded cheese in three increments. Be sure to stir cheese and melt each addition before adding another. Brin mixture to a simmer and serve with pumpkin seeds and sage leaves.