Despite attending two Pac 10 schools, I have very little interest in March Madness. I feel pretty much the same about it as I do about the Superbowl. If my friends are watching, I’m more than happy to make finger food all day and chat during commercial breaks. Except if there’s a game on my birthday (which usually happens during March Madness). In which case, you mention March Madness and I’ll shake my fist at you. This year, March has been a basketball-free month over here; even if my friends have gotten together for the occasion, I’ve been at home unpacking, sewing wedding banners, and stuffing invitations. Turns out wedding planning is a full-time job. Luckily it’s right up my alley – career shift, perhaps? For all of you with your eyes glued to college ball right now, I bring you the last dish from our anniversary day of cooking, spinach artichoke dip stuffed mushrooms, which just so happen to make a perfect game day party snack.
As a California native living in The Bay Area, I really should have been much more interested in the Superbowl than I was (or ever have been for that matter). While in Chico making wedding crafts for the past two weeks (Lucas in China, again), my dad turned on the 49ers v. Falcons game. For a brief second, I looked up from my paper punch to chat:
Howdy, folks! We returned from our trip to Texas (more on that in the next post), did a few loads of laundry, and quickly headed out again. Lucas to China and I to my parents’ house for a couple of weeks to write a dissertation proposal and work on wedding crafts. In the week leading up to our trip to The South, we planned only super healthy meals in preparation for the pounds of hot links and beef brisket doused in sweet spicy BBQ sauce we’d surely devour in Houston. We had to earn our Texas barbecue. Well, at least I had to; Lucas’s Sunday marathon entitled him to as much pulled pork as his heart desired. Before the trip, this vegetable quiche made our taste buds sing and our waistlines happy.
One of the coolest people I know turned another year older last week. From the looks of it though, you’d never be able to tell my mama was aging. If we were sitting around a fire pit roasting marshmallows, all the smoke would go toward her since, as my family says, smoke follows beauty. Unless, of course, it went toward my dad. In which case, we’d say smoke follows old age errr…I mean, wisdom.
Happy 2013! This year’s gonna be a good one – filled with a wedding(!) and house hunting. That’s right, folks, we’ve set a June deadline for moving into a place with a larger kitchen. Don’t worry, with the rental prices in Berkeley, the kitchen will likely still be pint-sized, but the goal is that it’ll be larger than 26 square feet (Update: We’ve found a place!). Back to the wedding talk. In addition to the hundreds of crepe paper flowers I’m going to make over the next 6 months, I’m also strictly back on my healthy eating regimen. The pre-wedding get fit fast meal plan. I may have gorged on cupcake after cupcake over the holidays, but the new year put an abrupt end to that. Starting with these super food quinoa stuffed portabella mushrooms.
I’m dreaming of a day without a MOUNTAIN of academic reading on my horizon. That day is November 30th. And until then, I’m having nightmares of being attacked by various researchers for misinterpreting their work (yes, totally rational fear – ha). To make it so that cooking dinner doesn’t also seem like a scary task each night, Lucas and I finally went back to our old routine of meal-planning and grocery shopping on Sundays. Get it out of the way, I say. We’re once again back to eating wholesome home-cooked meals and I’m perfectly happy to put the box of tomato soup back on the shelf. Especially if it means I get to eat these zucchini and chickpea baked falafels.
To most people who know me, it’s no surprise that within a week of getting engaged, I had already planned out my entire wedding (read: planned, not executed). So what if I’d been secretly bookmarking dozens of dream wedding ideas for years?! At least I didn’t create a public Pinterest wedding board before getting engaged like my mom did! (In her defense, she didn’t realize it was public). Now you see where I get it? Planning is in my genes – I can’t help it. A week later, my good friend Corey come through town for a weeknight slumber party to hear all about the wedding details, and in exchange, I cooked her this dish for dinner.