Friday Favorites

Some food-related (mostly) things we enjoyed this past week:

Last weekend we went to a concert at a venue about 30 miles from our house in an area we don’t frequent very often.  When trying to decide where to eat dinner on the way to the concert, we realized we would be driving right by our old neighborhood and couldn’t resist the opportunity to see how things have changed since we moved away 6 years ago.  We drove by our old house and were happy to see it looking very well-kept and seemingly loved (little white lights strung through the trees along the big hill in the back make us think the current owners enjoy their time out there), then headed over to the dining and shopping area called Bishop Arts District for dinner.  Back when we lived near there, Bishop Arts had just a handful of restaurants and shops, so we were blown away to see how much the area has grown.  We tried a great new (to us) sushi place and spent a good bit of our delicious meal lamenting the fact that we ever moved away.  We’ll just have to go back and visit more often.

The awesome thing about music is that there is something for everyone, no matter your particular taste or preference.  We’re all free to listen (or not listen) to whatever we want.  Dan and I both happen to like Mat Kearney’s music a lot, and this was our second time to see him play live.  We enjoyed it very much.  We also enjoyed the opening act, Andy Grammer.  We had heard a few of his songs before, but didn’t realize it until he played them at the concert, which was a fun way to recognize his music.  We called it a night after Mat Kearney’s set and didn’t stay for the headlining band.  We have nothing against the group Train (gotta respect musicians who can make the cheap rhyme work as well as they do), but never intended to stay for their show.  Seeing Mat Kearney, getting a bonus set from Andy Grammer and beating the traffic on the drive home was more than worth the price of admission.

We tried a new recipe this week for “scallops gratin.”  Our execution needs a little work (although they tasted great, somehow the finished gratins had too much liquid in them), but our favorite part was using our new gratin dishes.  It’s amazing how cooking something in its own little serving dish makes it seem so much more fancy.

We successfully grew and harvested an eggplant!  We only have one plant that (so far) only yielded one vegetable (the cut eggplant above is ours), so we had to supplement with a couple of baby eggplants from the store.  Unfortunately, the stir fry recipe we tried with the eggplant was not so successful (we blame the miso.)  Oh well — win some, lose some.

When I cleaned out my purse the other day, I found an old fortune-cookie fortune I had saved that reads:  “Don’t be afraid to take that big step.”  For someone like me — shy, devoted to  routine and prone to getting stuck in a rut — the key aspect of this advice is not necessarily taking big steps, it’s mustering courage to step outside my comfort zone in ways both big and small.  I taped the fortune to my laptop, where it can provide inspiration and motivation, instead of languishing in my bag gathering lint and lip gloss residue.


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