Archive | July, 2014

¡hot plate! spicy chinese eggplant

28 Jul

So it turns out the Dalai Lama has an initiative to educate the Tibetan monks in some key academic areas, including physics. Josh was lucky enough to be one of the physicists to spend a week with the Tibetan monks in Bangalore, India, where he got to eat, sleep and teach monks right in the Sera Mey Monastery.

Now Josh’s culinary preferences traditionally lean heavily toward the big-chunk-of-meat genre, but at the monastery the diet was basically vegetarian: okra, lentils, vegetable soup–and some hard-boiled eggs thrown in for good measure. A lot of us honestly wondered if Josh would survive this unplanned exercise in mostly-herbivorism, so imagine my shock when he came home and actually asked if we could try out something vegetarian for dinner!!

Picture2

no animals were harmed in the making of these monks

Lucky for me, my awesome former boss Kristin is vegan AND loves Pinterest, so I immediately turned to her board of amazing vegetarian recipes for inspiration and landed on this spicy Chinese eggplant recipe. The spice level in this recipe is intense; next time I would cut it at least in half. Even so, making a legit Asian sauce was so fun, and I was COMPLETELY ADDICTED to the leftovers.

and i do mean SPICY

and i do mean SPICY

And what did Josh think? He also loved it, although he MAY have tried to sneak in a roast beef sandwich “post-dinner snack” later that night. Fortunately, I caught him in the act and convinced him to eat a super-yummy veggie sandwich instead (hummus, avocado, cheese and balsamic–what’s not to love??), so I can still say Operation Vegetarian Dinner was a success. Whew!

 

For your drooling pleasure, here are the other vegetarian dinners on our to-devour list. Do you have a favorite vegetarian recipe? Please share it below!

Chickpea curry w/ coconut rice

Crispy orange cauliflower

Mushroom lemon lentil salad

Roasted grape, goat cheese and honey stuffed sweet potatoes

 

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the punch line

18 Jul

I have a bad habit. I laugh at my own jokes. Like, a lot. Once, Josh and I got caught in a short hail storm in Washington DC, and as we peered out of the car windows at the little ice bombs dropping from the sky, I shouted with mock indignance, “OH HAIL NO!”

I almost died laughing at that line–and not just a “funny ha ha” laugh, but the deep-bellied Gina laugh some of you might recognize as especially, ahem, boisterous–while Josh just had to sit and wait my laughter storm out. (Confession: Sometimes one of us will bring this little anecdote up, and I laugh all over again. I’m pretty sure you know you’ve got a good joke when it still cracks you up years later. Even if you’re the only one laughing. …Right??)

I think they meant to use the “Chelada” font to spell the word “Gross”

Fast forward to last night, when my sweet husband drove me to the grocery store to get some mint cookie ice cream. He had been craving a beer himself, and I suggested he get a can of Bud Light & Clamato–one of his favorites (despite earning an official Beer Advocate score of Awful).*

Josh shrugged. “I don’t think Bud Light & Clamato will go well with the ice cream.”

“Um, Bud Light & Clamato doesn’t go good with itself,” I shot back.

There was the tiniest silence before it happened. I roared–I am so witty you guys!

“Gina… that wasn’t even that funny.” Josh noted tenderly between my giggle fits.

And you know what? I kind of see his point. But it was too late, the Gina Joke laughter dam was broken.

 

* This review sums up the Bud Light & Clamato nicely:

It’s somewhat tolerable, didn’t make me gag too much and I might’ve been able to nurse it until it was gone, except you weren’t kind enough to put it in a regular 12-ounce can.

Oh no.

Instead you decided to put your clammy concoction in a huge 24-ounce aluminum jug, making it impossible to finish without it getting warm, which makes the Chelada feel like someone rinsed their mouth with it and spit it back into the can.

triple berry pie

13 Jul

Josh’s favorite dessert is triple berry pie, but I’ve never had the time or courage to make him one. Or a pie plate. But when that issue was resolved thanks to a sweet find at Goodwill, I knew it was time to conquer this new realm of desserts.

Now pie isn’t just about baking. There’s something about pie making that just seems very… connected to me. Pie is so homey, so full of the earth and family and goodness. Like a big, warm hug full of love.

Since this was my First Pie Ever, I turned to my go-to recipe site, Williams Sonoma, and used their Summer Berry Pie and basic pie dough recipes. My pie included blueberries, raspberries and strawberries. And guess what! Making pies completely from scratch is not really that hard! My First Pie Ever turned out great:

::hugs::

you’ve been pie hugged!

This is fantastic news for Josh, because it means there will likely be lots of new pie experiments in our future. The other plus of making pie? Not only do you get to give your freshly made pie-hug to people you love to enjoy, it earns you lots of extra hugs and kisses of your own from your hubby. :)

 

Do you have a favorite crust/filling recipe? What are your pie-making tips? TELL ME YOUR SECRETS!!!