Since recommitting myself to pursuing a writing career, I’ve had to find ways to add some structure to my day. In an engineering or other traditional job, I’d have a set start and end time to my day, and assigned projects and deadlines. But working for myself, that isn’t the case.
It can be so easy to get overwhelmed. The projects I could be doing are big and unwieldy and numerous. It is hard to know where to start sometimes, or what to work on next, or when to stop for the day. (My new rule? If it doesn’t fit in my planner for the day, or if it doesn’t fit on an index card, it isn’t happening that day. And I have to unplug by 8:30pm.)
So I’m trying to find my balance, between working on these big projects and relaxing in the evenings and weekends. To make sure I’m maintaining a better work-life balance, I’ve been keeping lists of my non-work-related achievements, too. With items like:
- Weekly craft nights with friends.
- Bike rides on sunny afternoons.
- Long walks with Max and Dan.
- Reading to page 802 of 1274 in Les Miserables (so far!).
- Sewing baby gits for friends.
- Relaxing with Dan and Max and “Parks and Rec” at the end of the night.
- Game nights and birthday celebrations.
- Planting peas in the backyard and salad greens in the cold frames.
- Cooking dinner most nights, like these chorizo nachos (which I suppose is kind of work, too, but still fun!)
The best part about nachos is that they are completely customizable. Feel free to change the meat (spiced ground pork or ground beef would be great, too), the beans (pinto?) and cheese to fit your tastes.
- 2/3 pounds chorizo
- 5 ounces tortilla chips
- 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 ounces cojita cheese, crumbled
- 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans, drained OR 1 cup refried beans
- 2 tablespoons chopped green onions
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves
- Guacamole, salsa, green onions, cilantro and/or sour cream, for topping
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Remove the casing from the chorizo, if there is one. Warm a skillet over medium-high heat. When it is hot, crumble the chorizo into the pan. Cook, stirring constantly and breaking the meat up with a wooden spoon, until the chorizo is cooked through, about 7 minutes. You may be tempted to walk away from the pan and just let the meat cook, but the constant stirring keeps the chorizo from sticking in big chunks. You want a bunch of little crumbles of chorizo so they stick to the chips better.
- Spread the chips in an even layer across a baking sheet. Sprinkle 2/3 of the cheddar and cojita cheeses over the chips and bake for 5-6 minutes.
- Top the chips with the chorizo and beans, then layer on the rest of the cheese.
- Bake at 350F for 5-8 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and beginning to brown.
- Sprinkle the hot nachos with green onions and cilantro.
- Serve with guacamole, salsa, sour cream and/or more green onions and cilantro for dipping.