The little Japanese market in Santa Barbara is dangerously close to the Trader Joe’s. (And Trader Joe’s is already dangerous enough as it is, whether I go on an empty stomach or not…)
If I am lucky enough to have some free time to swing by the Japanese market, I like to take my time and wander around it, looking at every single item in the store.
It doesn’t take long; it’s a small enough shop. Stacks of sweet packaged mochi and large sacks of rice give way to three narrow aisles of Japanese (and other Asian) staples and condiments. (Cardboard boxes stuffed with daikon, taro, and avocados line the aisle floors.) A few small refrigeration units display the more delicate vegetables– shiitake, eringi, and enoki mushrooms, Japanese eggplants, and gobo root– along with jars of umeboshi and kimchi, frozen sushi-grade seafood, and plastic packs of natto.
It’s #BrunchWeek! A whole week to celebrate my favorite meal of the week– and not just any old wait-in-line overpriced restaurant brunch, but the best kind of brunch: the homemade kind.
I hope you’ve already been enjoying recipes from my fellow #BrunchWeek bloggers, who kicked off the week on Sunday, and who have now posted five days of amazing brunch recipes and giveaways! (Scroll down for links!)
|_________________||“I don’t get why people like brunch. What’s the benefit of combining break dancing and lunch?”
- Tracy Jordan, 30 Rock
As promised: the chickpea-less hummus recipe!
Strange, right? But this beet “hummus” is lusciously tangy and bright, with a smooth yet substantial hummus-y texture. It’s my new (slash only) favorite way to enjoy beets.
I admit that I’ve never really gotten excited about beets in any form (although the idea of beet chips is intriguing…), but I am proof that nearly anyone would enjoy this hummus, whether beets are your type of root vegetable or not. Especially if you love the zing of red wine vinegar and fresh squeezed lemon, and the inviting blend of garlic and pine nuts.
My mom and I made this hummus together when my parents came to visit last month. It was nice to have a little alone time to talk with each other– a rarity these days because I live so far away from Wisconsin and often head home at the same time as my sisters.
Necessity is the mother of invention; I think many a cocktail owes its existence to low alcohol tolerance.
Granted, some cocktails have an astronomical liquor-to-mixer ratio. You know, the kind so strong that you can enjoy approximately one drink on any given weeknight– maybe one and a half on a weekend– but where’s the fun in that?
I may be one of the world’s slowest drinkers (I have to microwave my cup of coffee at least three times every morning) but I’d still prefer to drink several lighter cocktails in an evening, rather than one so potent it just sits there, becoming increasingly warm and watery, yet still somehow tasting too alcoholic to be truly enjoyable.
I’ve been old enough for a while now that I don’t feel the need to grimace at the harsh taste of alcohol in my drinks just to feel that I’ve gotten my money’s worth. I want to drink something that tastes good.
I’ve been wanting to make something for the blog that draws inspiration from the stories I’ve read. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m just a wee bit obsessed with George R.R. Martin’s “A Song Of Ice And Fire” series. For those of you who don’t know about the books, they are the story behind HBO’s “Game Of Thrones.”
I started reading the series over a year and a half ago, and even carried the first book, A Game Of Thrones, with me when I went to Europe with Allison. When I finished book 5, I had a lot of other things on my kindle (will never again carry huge brick-sized books on trips), including some old and new favorites: a little Neil Gaiman, Neil Degrasse Tyson, Tolkien, and Joyce Carol Oates.
I had a lot to occupy myself with; surely I would be able to find a new obsession. I was wrong. I only lasted about a month before online speculation and theories made me want to re-read the entire series. And I’m so glad I did: the characters are much easier to keep track of and there is a ton of foreshadowing that you miss on the first read.
I have a fear of deep-frying things.
Well not so much a fear, as an unshakable ambivalence.
And no, not just for health reasons. I’ll happily order deep-fried calamari, french fries, falafel, or agedashi-doufu at a restaurant. I’m just eternally reluctant to make them at home.
My history with deep-frying things is short and tinged with disappointment: