Posts Tagged ‘drinks’

July Shenanigans & Recipes…

This summer has been one of the best.

Bobby and I have been cooking up a storm…

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^^A moscow mule (a drink my dad introduced me to).^^

This was mine, but I gave it to Bobby – after one sip I didn’t want anymore! It’s delicious but I wasn’t in a drinking mood. {HERE} is the recipe I posted 5 years ago when my dad first told me about it. It’s a mix of ginger beer, vodka, lime, and mint. Sometimes we do half seltzer / half ginger beer. Gingerale also works.

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^^Sweet and Savory Tempeh with Onions^^

I started off following Gwyneth Paltrow’s recipe for Tempe Manis (Sweet Tempeh) but changed it… a lot. As you guys know, I’m not really into sweets that much, so I cut out just about all the sugar, and instead caramelized some onions to give it sweetness. I will hopefully remember what I did so I can post my version of the recipe later. So delicious.

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^^Kale & Seaweed Salad with Avocado – Except with Mustard Greens because I mistakenly grabbed the wrong bunch of greens!^^

Another Gwyneth Paltrow recipe. Which she actually got from Cafe Gratitude (in LA I think?). {HERE} is her recipe. I changed it a bit – I only used one avocado, I didn’t add the cucumbers (all of a sudden I am hating cucumbers, weird!), and I accidentally bought mustard greens instead of kale. I’ve remade it with kale and I actually prefer it with mustard greens. They don’t come out bitter.

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^^Random plate^^

This plate has a veggie stir-fry that was *amazing* – it has fake chicken from Trader Joe’s, but aside from that I don’t know what’s in it because Bobby (a budding cook, apparently) made it. I’ve also been *loving* white rice. Having it almost daily, in large amounts. My appetite has been interesting the last month or so. In this pic there is also kabocha (simply steamed, though I have another kabocha recipe I’ve been meaning to share), Rachel Ray’s sesame green beans, a cucumber salad (before I started hating cucumbers), and roasted mushrooms – I think these were oyster mushrooms.


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This is a fermented soybean product that is eaten a lot in Japan. It has an interesting (funky) smell and it’s slimy/stringy like okra (only more so). It’s definitely an acquired taste, but I have learned to love it. In fact, Bobby made a batch of homemade natto this week, which is aging in the fridge right now. It should be ready this weekend.

Aside from lots of good eats, other wonderful things have happened recently.

I got to meet my close friend’s baby:

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She is so sweet. So cuddly and adorable.

And Bo the cat is a weirdo icon wink July Shenanigans & Recipes...

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I can’t believe I caught that picture! I was reorganizing the area next to my washer/dryer and was taking these shelves downstairs, but Bo decided to hang out in the shelf and I got him mid-yawn.

What have you been up to the past couple of weeks?

Apartment Update, Bentos, and Yummy Champagne

Apartment update -

View from the bedroom – through the galley kitchen, and into the living room. Far away on the left side is the spiral staircase to the downstairs level. This was taken our first day in the new home as we were unpacking. Cous looks in at B as he snaps the pic.

apt Apartment Update, Bentos, and Yummy Champagne

We were 95% unpacked the first weekend, and I believe we are still at that level. We are currently using our extra room for storage until we figure out what to do with it. Our refrigerator came today while I was at work (thank you B for staying home to accept it and oversee its installation). We chose this one – Blomberg 1040 W – it’s white with stainless steel handles. I was inspired by this kitchen I saw on Pinterest.

blomberg Apartment Update, Bentos, and Yummy Champagne

Kitchen inspiration:

kitchen inspiration Apartment Update, Bentos, and Yummy Champagne

Some lunches – bento me, please!

After realizing that my veggieful lunches were probably not helping my stomach situation, I opted to go for a different type of lunch. Fewer veggies, but more things like rice and protein. Here are a few samples of what I’ve been enjoying. My office is a few blocks away from a street with about 5 Japanese lunch places so I’ve been frequenting all of them often.

This is a rice bowl – it’s simply rice, topped with scrambled egg and ground chicken. From a Japanese store – Cafe Zaiya – on 41st Street between Madison and 5th. There were peas that I discarded.

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Another day I chose a more traditional bento box from the same cafe – Japanese pickes, salmon, meatloaf, veggies (kabocha, broccoli, carrots, tomato), seasoned rice, and some creamy noodles. Not wanting to upset my stomach, I didn’t quite finish the whole box. I think I ate all the rice and then most of the other goodies.

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Saving the best for last – the bento box below was my favorite – meatball things (chicken), salad (didn’t eat this part unfortunately), kinpira (sauteed burdock and carrot), kabocha (squash), egg, and seaweed. It also came with a bowl of white rice that I enjoyed immensely.

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Good drinks.

One thing that does not bother my stomach is champagne icon wink Apartment Update, Bentos, and Yummy Champagne This is my favorite kind. It’s not too sweet, and gives me just the right amount of buzz. I also like white wine. I would enjoy red, but it gives me a headache (even organic) so I don’t have it often.

moet Apartment Update, Bentos, and Yummy Champagne

What do you like to eat for lunch? Do you drink wine or champagne (hopefully not at lunch though!)?


Spritzers & Language

Food & Wine seems to be the quintessential foodie combo. My husband likes to unwind at night with a nice glass of wine, or by sipping slowly on a cup of whiskey on the rocks. I am not a drinker; I haven’t been since the middle of college. But I’m starting to enjoy wine again. (Apparently you can even get your wine online.) I like making connections with people, and wine is something that many people are passionate about, so it makes for good conversation.

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My favorite wine from Trader Joe’s

The main reason that I did not drink for so long was that alcohol is very high in calories, and in general I prefer to chew my calories. In general, I would rather have a piece of pie than a regular soda – but I’m not that picky anymore. (Aside: The calories in wine are not protein, carbs, or fat. Some people think that alcohol calories are sugar – they are not. Alcohol is its own food group and it has 7 calories per gram, whereas carbs like sugar have just 4 per gram; protein also has 4 per gram and fat has 9 calories per gram. So alcohol, if we are judging solely on caloric content, by the gram, is more like a fat than a sugar.)

Anyway, my point is that I wanted to learn how to enjoy wine so that I could enjoy it with my husband, my family, or my friends. So I started drinking wine with seltzer. I know, horror of horrors! Wine + seltzer! To a wine fanatic that is probably a sacrilege. But to a seltzer fanatic it is not.

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My sodastream seltzer machine, which I am missing much – it is in New Jersey.

But it is not a sacrilege to me. My mom and I discussed it on Tuesday night as I was walking home from my first choir practice and I think I got her on my side (she loves wine).

And now I love wine (with seltzer). I call it wine spritzer but I’m not sure if that’s the right term, because I think there is an actual product called wine spritzer. I like it much more than wine alone, which is sometimes too pungent and flavorful. And it goes by so quickly.

Maggie’s Wine Spritzer Tips

  • 3 parts seltzer to 1 part wine is my favorite mix (I eyeball it – it might be more parts seltzer to 1 part wine)
  • Dessert wine is especially good with seltzer
  • My wine spritzer has just 25% of the calories that regular wine has
  • Wine spritzer is really good for when you can’t figure out what you want to eat – once you have a few sips, your appetite perks right up
  • Try different kinds of wine with different foods
  • Drink wine spritzer while you’re cooking – it makes cooking that much more fun icon wink Spritzers & Language

I googled the word “spritz” for fun, and found its etymology. (Etymology = word meaning and history.) You might remember my linguistics blog from last year (I keep meaning to start that up again) – I love words. I love languages. So I am going to tell you about spritz.

Spritz comes from German and it means splash, or sparkling. (Aren’t those beautiful words? Some of my favorites.) Spritz is basically a variation on the wine spritzer that I make and it’s served in Italy (which is one of my favorite places) – it’s made of white wine or Prosecco, a dash of a bitter liqueur, and sparkling mineral water. And garnished with an orange. You can also do it with champagne. Spritz was first made in Venice when it was under Austrian rule. (Because the Austrians drank Spritzer, which was half wine and half seltzer.)

Gespritzter (German) is the past form of the verb spritzen (to squirt). German is so cool. Spritz first appeared in English in 1917, and spritzer in 1961.

Okay I have to stop going on about languages icon wink Spritzers & Language This is why I started that other blog that I need to update! If you want more word origins, check out one of my favorite website, The Online Etymology Dictionary.

Do you drink wine? Wine spritzer? Other alcohol? What is your favorite?

For now I am stuck on wine spritzer. I hate beer, and I’m not really a fan of most hard liquor. So I’m going to keep drinking what I enjoy.

Also – don’t forget to enter my book giveaway!

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