Monday, January 18, 2010

Girls Night, Vol. I

As I glance over my newly created blog, I can feel the excitement fairly crackling off my laptop screen. Who, other than no-life having losers, get excited about going veggie? Apparently me. I feel like I've just discovered some secret - how silly is that? I was in Safeway the other day (I'll admit, it's my favorite grocery store) in the produce section and found a great little spinning recipe card holder - full of almost entirely veggie recipes. I walked away with 17 cards, lol. Much to my amazement, there is a whole world out there dedicated to veggie eaters! These recipes got me so excited, I was almost embarrassed. My kids were definitely embarrassed.

When I got home, I started reading through the list of ingredients and comparing to what I have in the fridge and cupboards. I was pleased to find over half of the standard ingredients I already had. Now, as stated before, I am a college student again - which of course means that I'm broke. Did I mention I also have an 18 year-old daughter who is now a sophomore in college? So I'm super-broke. And she now has her own apartment, which mean she comes by regularly for cash, food, laundry soap, etc. So...I'm actually super-super broke! How in the world can I afford to buy such things as Avocado Oil, Marsala Cooking wine, sun-dried tomatoes, marinated artichoke hearts, etc. etc.? Aha! In my part of the world, it's called Grocery Outlet (sometimes called Food Rainbow) where I can find a very large bottle of excellent extra virgin olive oil for $7.99. And jars of artichoke hearts for $1.49. Let's not forget the wildly popular 99 cent Store - a haven for us bargain gourmets!

I'll admit to being a little worried that becoming a veggie might mean boring, tasteless and mundane. To my great surprise and relief, the opposite has happened. In the last few weeks, I've made some of the most interesting, flavorful food of my entire life. And I re-discovered brown rice (I tried some years ago and decided YUCK) which has miraculously become quite tasty! Go figure.

A few days ago I had one of my regular "girl nights" with my best-friend Mrs. Chic (chiclittlehouse.blogspot). These evening usually involve great food -always something new and different - lots of girl talk, and a movie or two. I was hosting and had just discovered the Safeway recipe cards; you can guess what my meal plan was. Mrs. Chic was in total veggie agreement so I scampered to the store for some vital ingredients. Our menu read as follows:

Cucumber Salad
Cold Greek pasta salad
Cucumber-Feta dip
sliced french baguette rounds

Grilled Squash and Ravioli
Fried tomatoes

Spiced Asian Pear Salad

As I was driving home, it suddenly occurred to me, "I feel like Julie in the recent movie Julie/Julia!" I couldn't wait to get home and start preparing. Understand, I rarely cook anymore (I CAN cook, I simply don't) so this was a bit unusual for me! I called Mrs. Chic and she must have caught my excitement because she said she was on her way over - to help! Now the way this usually works is the person hosting does the cooking and the guest might bring a side-dish, beverage, etc. We were about to break the 'girl-night' rule.

A few hours later, Mrs. Chic and I were well sated, toasting each other with gorgeous cobalt glasses full of Perrier and feeling terribly proud of ourselves. With the exception of the Pear Salad, everything was great. The pears weren't ripe (neither of us are pear eaters, sooo NOT our fault, lol). Of course that didn't matter because we were too full anyway! I had a lot of leftovers which quickly disappeared the next day.

As I sit here writing this, I'm thinking ahead to our next girls night...which may involve some butternut squash (haven't had it yet), risotto, stuffed portobello mushrooms, ???


1 comment:

  1. I had alot of fun trying new things. Butternut squash is to die for!!


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