Things I Highly Approve Of

Ahhhh….the weekend. A time for rest. A time for relaxation. A time for carefree enjoyment and jubilance.

In honor of the weekend, I present to you a list of things I highly approve of, particularly on weekends….

1) Taking the time to try out any recipe from one of my favorite food blogs, 101 Cookbooks.

My mom and I joined forces this past Friday in an effort to make Heidi’s Spinach Rice Gratin, a delicious casserole dish made of brown rice, tofu, spinach, shredded gruyere, olive oil, eggs, pine nuts, and olives.

It was basically heaven in a casserole form. Who knew?

Before spending some quality time in the oven:

After + garnish:

Oh baby. Oh baby. It reminded me of a lighter version of a quiche.

My only  complaint about the recipe revolves around the number of serving sizes the recipe is supposed to produce. Reportedly, it serves 8-12. In reality, it served my mom, my dad, and myself. That’s it. We finished the whole damn thing in one sitting….

I don’t know if this says more about my family’s collectively exorbitant appetite or Heidi’s understanding of portion sizes. On second thought, don’t answer that….

I would definitely agree that the recipe serves 8-12 if the 8-12 in question are midget chipmunks. In all fairness, I think it could possibly serve six people, provided there are lots of side dishes to supplement it. But if that’s the only thing going on at the dinner table, it serves three or four. Tops. Actually, I could probably eat the whole thing in a sitting if I really put my mind (or stomach) to it. Don’t believe this 8-12 business.

2) A cat in a bucket.

That’s right…no need to be suspicious now. I will say it again: A cat in a bucket.

Such an entity provides hours of quality entertainment.

Provided the cat is not sleeping in said bucket, which is a high probability when it comes to cats. See what I mean?

3) Using cross-training days in the marathon training schedule as an excuse to do nothing but stretch. Today, I spent 30 minutes doing easy Hatha yoga (aka. yoga for 90-year olds), and I loved every second of it. Who needs heart-thumping power yoga when you can instead lounge on a mat for half an hour? That’s exercise, now. No judgements.

4) Lemon Drop Martinis.

I’m not the biggest fan of hard alcohol. But for the lemon drop, I will make an exception. It’s achieves the perfect balance between sweet and tart. Just like my personality? Maybe?

5) A nice dinner out with the family.

This is a picture of my aunt Deb and I while under the influence of the Lemon Drops mentioned above. My mom, the photographer, is probably also exhibiting effects of the lemon drop martinis. Notice the complete lack of focus in the picture. Way to go, Mom. One lemon drop martini, and the photography abilities go right out the window. 🙂

Besides exhibiting an obvious enjoyment of martinis, the fam and I also ate a lot of food. A lot of really good food. Food that I certainly will not be able to afford once I start up with my AmeriCorps job in a few weeks.

With my parents footing the bill, I enjoyed the likes of:

Oysters on the rocks

Lobster salad with caramelized pine nuts, grapefruit wedges, and a honey olive oil dressing of sorts. BEST course of the night!

Sea scallops with truffle risotto, green beans, and grilled summer squash.

My aunt’s dish, a seafood pasta concoction of sorts, was also beautiful, so of course, I had to take a picture of it. I am a food blogger, after all.

Honestly, can you every go wrong with having that many mussels in your seafood pasta dish? I think not. Usually, restaurants are skimpy on the mussel front, so it was a pleasant surprise to see that the entire Pacific Ocean’s mussel supply had arrived on my aunt’s dinner plate.

And don’t think for a second that we, as a family unit, had any trouble whatsoever finishing all those mussels. As I mentioned above, my family members are known for their “healthy” appetites. If that’s what you want to call it….My aunt, however, wasn’t in the mood to eat the entire truckload of mussels for dinner, so I transferred some of them onto my plate and devoured them within 0.2 seconds. It was quite the sacrifice I made.

I’m telling you. The things I’ll do for family….

Question: What is your alcoholic beverage of choice (and if you’re underage, what is your “theoretical” alcoholic beverage of choice)?

I’m a wine gal for the most part, but obvious exceptions will be made when lemon is involved.

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14 responses to “Things I Highly Approve Of

  1. Looks like a great (and delicious) time!!

  2. I stick with wine or beer. Beer for parties/BBQs and sports, wine when I’m keepin’ it classy!

    I must say, I am also a fan of mild stretching as cross-training. My cross-training days border on rest. That’s fine by me!

  3. Looks like an amazing meal!

    I guess I am just a beer guy. I don’t drink often, but I never turn down a good beer.

  4. Lol that last comment was totally by me… I am making my mom a blog for their Italy trip and I had no idea I was still logged in under her! LOL!

  5. I have a cross training day today and “yoga for old people” is sounding really tempting… In college my drink of choice was ALWAYS a gin and tonic. I’m more of a beer/wine girl now

  6. I’m not really an alcohol fan but I just discovered the wonder that is Woodchuck beer and tastes like apple cider! I think I would fit right in with family of eaters ha ha

  7. Two things:
    1. I love (from what I can see of) your top in that blurry, lemon-drop-ified pic!
    2. More Horace!! (More cowbell…?) I am making an official request for more Horace shots on your blog. He is hilarious, and I need some more kitty love in my life. (Did I tell you I’m adopting a kitty after I move??)

    • Two things in reply:
      1) Thanks! My mom bought it online for herself, and it didn’t fit her quite right, so she donated it to my cause. Love it when that happens.
      2) Ask and you shall receive. More Horace shots will be headed the blog’s way.

      Also, I’m sooooo excited that you’re adopting a cat!!!!!!!! How cool! Please send me a pic once you have him (or her)! The more time I spend with Horace, the more I realize I really want to get a kitty of my own. Sigh….it won’t happen for at least another year or so. Our townhouse has a no-pets policy. Wahwah. 😦

  8. I read you blog often but dont comment (I never comment much on any blogs so dont be offended). Anyhow I felt compelled to comment today cause of your hatha yoga comment. I’m a yoga instructor and before I became one, I used to do all those intense cardioish power/vinyasa flow classes. Nowadays I only do hatha and Iyengar and I’m actually in better shape! It makes you so much more aware and I feel like its actually more intense. I wouldn’t say its for “90 yr olds” at all, but I get the point you were trying to make. Those seafood dishes look drool worthy, and I hate when they get skimpy on the best part!

    • Whew…I’m glad you’re not offended by the “90 year olds” comment. I have a tendency to use hyperbole all the time in my writing, and I sometime forget how it will translate to readers. I agree with you that hatha yoga is certainly not for grandmas…..I find hatha allows me to take the time to really listen to all the feelings in my body and thoughtfully address through my yoga practice, something which power yoga never allows me to do. Thanks for the thoughtful comment! 🙂

  9. aw! i want that cat in a bucket 🙂

    my beverage of choice depends on the occassion. LOVE red wine, (my favourite way to vacation is a good wine tour) but it makes me sleepy so i don’t drink it on the wekeends. if we’re going out for drinks, i’ll usually order a flavored vodka and water. (stoli raspberry, i highly recommend!)

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