Monday, September 28, 2009


Scene: Hanging out, surfing the net.

HD: Have you ever thought the text in Firefox was too small?
Me: Uhhh...
HD: There's an add-on for that.
Me: Uh....
HD: Please use my add-ons! Be my add-on buddyyyyyy!


That was horrible. Don't ever let me title a blog post like that again. Seriously.

Day 2 of No Grocery Shopping: Leftover Dal Makhni! The best thing about this? I didn't have to make it!

HD made this Saturday night. I think. Might have been Friday. Who can remember these things? All I know is, Indian food is like Italian food in that it's even better left over. Dal is lentils, and this dish is basically stewed yellow lentils with spices (turmeric, garam masala, mustard seeds) and random vegetables we had in the freezer (green beans, sweet corn, pepper medley). Nom nom nom.

The little round tortilla-looking thing next to it is aloo paratha, which is also awesome. We buy them in packs of four at the Indian store. In Hindi, aloo means potato. Paratha are kind of like a tortilla, but they're layered, so they're extra decadent and carby. Especially when you mash up that potato and stuff it inside. And use that to eat the curry. Excellent cold weather food.

Anyway, since I am not the dal master, I can't post the recipe. People, that's what YouTube is for. Instead, I will share my Aunt Pam's recipe for banana bread, which I have enhanced a little with a secret ingredient.

Aunt Pam's Banana Bread

1 cup sugar (I use natural cane sugar, which isn't as sweet as refined sugar)

½ cup oil (I used olive oil because I didn't have canola oil. Totally worked)

2 eggs, beaten (I only had 1 egg, so I used 1/4 cup of applesauce. Again, totally worked)

2 cups flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

3 ripe bananas, crushed (I used 4, for no reason other than I had 4 bananas)

½ cup nuts (I usually use chocolate chips instead of nuts, because that is awesome)

2 tsp vanilla (I used Madagascar bourbon vanilla bean paste)

1 heaping tsp. instant espresso (This is my secret ingredient)

1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Mix in that order
3. Pour in loaf pan
4. Bake for 50 minutes-1 hour, until a knife comes out clean


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Making Something from Nothing

Why is it that my kitchen cupboards are so full that I have to buy organizers so that I can stuff more in, yet I'm at the grocery store what seems like every other day?

That convenience food... man, I'll tell you. Trader Joes may be inexpensive and convenient, but they are chock full of crap you never knew you needed. Like simmer sauces (all of which are delicious, don't get me wrong) and instant pudding. Don't get me started on that instant pudding.

HD and I were out shopping for clothes most of the day (there are some deals to be had at Banana Republic, The Gap, and Anthropologie if you need some season-ending goodies; we really made out). We were really tired afterward. I had been thinking all morning that we would get to Trader Joes for the week's shopping, but the thought of it was making me want to pass out from exhaustion.

"Hey, wanna see if we can go the whole week without going to the store?" I asked.
"Uh, yeah..." he said, never one to argue with frugality or avoiding Bay St.

As a little backstory, we haven't eaten out once this weekend. This is not a minor feat; we at least eat breakfast or lunch out each Saturday and Sunday. But this weekend we've been good:
  • Grilled cheese and hashbrown sandwiches for lunch yesterday
  • HD made yellow daal and rice for dinner last night (I highly recommend scoring a live-in Indian man who can cook)
  • I've been saving up overripe bananas in the freezer for weeks now, and finally had enough to make a banana bread last night, which we had warm for dessert with ice cream
  • This morning I was starving, but I'd used the last egg in the house for the banana bread. I woke up and walked to the store for eggs and a honeydew melon while HD fried up some potatoes and onions. Scrambled eggs with peppers and toast made for the perfect Sunday breakfast
So we've been on a roll; it wasn't too difficult to picture creating more "something out of nothing".

Tonight's dinner, made entirely of ingredients we already had:

Sweet Corn Quiche

The quiche is a forgiving dish; use egg substitute if you have it, use heavy cream instead of milk, use smoked gouda instead of parmesan, whatever. These proportions of the base - eggs, milk, cheese, flour, and salt - all work great for me, but sometimes I only have 3/4 cups of milk left, or I only have 1/2 cup of cheese. Trust me, the quiche does not care.

4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups milk (I used 2%)
1 cup finely grated Irish parmesan cheese
1 cup frozen sweet corn
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 9-inch pie crust (I know how to make them from scratch but I just didn't, so leamme alone)
  1. Preheat the oven to 425. Unroll the pie crust and put into a pie dish. Pinch the edges the way grandma taught you.
  2. Whisk the eggs, milk, cheese, corn, and flour, and salt in a bowl. It's easier to do it in that order, but do it all at once. Who cares.
  3. Pour the egg mixture into the pie crust and put it in the oven for 15 minutes, and then bring the temp down to 350 and continue baking for 15 or so minutes, or until the center is puffy and set (my oven took 20 minutes, but my old oven took 15).
  4. Take the quiche out of the oven. Let it cool for about 15 minutes, or until the annoying Indian starts grazing in the fridge for snacks, asking, "Is this still good? How about this? Why don't you throw it away then, Babeeeeee?"
  5. Serve with a little sour cream and Cholula hot sauce (Tabasco has been verboten in this house for a couple of years now; long live the wooden cap! And Pepcid!) if you so desire.
I'll let you know how the Week of No Groceries comes along.