Dinner date with Jess

Summer chickpea salad, caramelized brussels sprouts, strawberries and peaches

It’s even more delicious for breakfast when I am sitting with bronchitis writing policies and rewatching the 4th season of Breaking Bad.


Weekends are good for the soul

Fred and I drove to Alabama while we were fighting and bought $80 worth of fireworks in anger. We have so much boom for the two of us that we were so excited to share it with our friends. Unfortunately, the 4th wasn’t as cool as I thought it would be like coolers, American flag jean cut-offs, or manmade lakes. Instead I saw Jenn and Eugene, two people I don’t get to see often, and a pool, a place almost foreign to me. So it turned out to be another day but better. We’re saving our explosive goods for an undisclosed future date.

So two Fridays in a week is a mind bend, but it made the work week splendid. And it marked a monumental moment in my life. Watching Starship Troopers. Maybe monumental is an overstatement, but I literally keeled over when I saw the Brain Sucker on my television screen. The latter was spent eating Trader Joe’s on the Darth Side of the Moon with our go-to couple: Hanna and Wonho. Hanna is an extremely well-spoken upcoming nurse who shares in the joy of eating gummy bears in bed. Wonho is a longtime friend of Fred’s and my favorite DJ. My raging excitement from hanging out with semi-adults with similar problems as me and Fred allowed for a wonderful Saturday sleep-in. It actually led to pleas of food. I hobbled into some pants and away we went to a no-wait brunch at West Egg. And West Egg is never a mistake. I admit I was a little disappointed when their location moved across the street and it lost all that brunch kitchy-ness to become modern, but oh goodness! I did myself a disservice the entire time I waited to eat somewhere other than Ria’s. (I highly recommend the Peachtree Plate- pimento cheese grits, brown sugared bacon, and fried green tomatoes with eggs and a biscuit.) It had been too long since we had gone out for brunch so I haven’t discerned if my enthusiasm is from the fact that we went out for brunch or because of the food. But bottom line: it was delicious. And to further the awesomeness of Saturday (that I took for granted until this moment): I bought a rug that wasn’t in the store’s inventory any longer so the manager sold it to me for $19 instead of the $60 marked on the tag. It doesn’t even stop there. I kicked Fred’s butt in Scrabble.

I could continue gloating or tell you about our new long-term houseguest, Brandon. I’m not sure how long he’ll be staying with us, but he is and he comes bearing gifts. Root beer and Doritos and rocks for my rock collection. And he cooked us Sunday breakfast. Whoa. Ok, so I cheated. I am gloating. Christine even popped in for a minute and we did our nails. Yes m’am.

Fred and I took Gummy (aka Girl aka Coco aka Gross Face Killa, your choice) on one of my favorite childhood hikes in Roswell, taught her to love the Chattahoochee and skipped rocks. We made it for the ritual Sisouvanh Sunday dinner at his parents with Eric, his brother, and his Amma who moved to their home recently from California. My dessert was a nap on the basement couch. Since light stays out late, we snuck into Yvonne’s neighborhood pool and swam in human silence and listened to thunder. I realized on my way back downtown that the only love I have for the Spaghetti Junction is driving the 85-South ramp from Chamblee Tucker with zero traffic. And I mean love.

There’s a lot learned during the summer. Like symptoms to bronchitis.

Veni Vidi Vici

Fred and I have checked off every rookie mistake when grocery shopping- letting too much food spoil and going without intention to name a couple. When I came to a home void of food Monday afternoon, I knew I had to face the challenge of Kroger (on Tuesday). A short phone discussion with Fred, an hour, and $137 and some change later, I succeeded an undertaking that is often regarded as “not a big deal.” But for me, it was. The ingenuity of pre-planning meals! The flexibility of breakfast choices and healthy snacks! My realization of this at 26! I commend those who conquer their shopping lists and food aisles when trying to fill pantries and hungry stomaches. Next challenge: Doing that under $50.

And now onto dinner…

Red quinoa previously bought at the farmer’s market and epuricious.com helped me create a delicious stir-fry. Leftovers for a light lunch.

And thanks to Kristen’s European travels, tonight’s dinner will feature her gift of special Hungarian paprika: Roast Chicken Breasts with Chickpeas, Tomatoes, and Paprika.

Sometimes I think life is hard.