Sunday, June 29, 2008

While I Was Out

I'd like to take credit for this in some way, but I can't. However, I am very excited to report that a tomato sprouted on my first tomato plant while we were on vacation last week! (Many thanks to our landlords who watered my new food-plants while we were away.)

Now, if only we had a small yard...

Salted Soda Crackers with Exotic Legume Spread

OK, OK... It's Saltines with Peanut Butter, but it sounded blog-worthy to my mom! (And yes, peanuts are legumes!)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Documenting Mount Carmel Church

My friend, Jeff, had recently informed me that Mount Carmel Parish in Pittsfield was closing. His great-grandmother had sponsored one of the faux-windows in the church (behind which the bell tower rises) and he wanted to take photos of the window and dedication plaque.

It's not very often that one is offered the opportunity to take photos in a church - let alone an empty church - apart from weddings and baptisms. It was a beautiful day, and the natural light in the empty church was really interesting. Jeff had asked the janitor in advance for assistance, and he had provided us with a 10' ladder to help bring us level with the tall window.

The painted window dedicated by Jeff's great-grandmother:

After taking photos of the window and the main church building, we were invited to experience the climb up the bell tower. We entered through a door that "most people think is a broom closet," and were guided via head-lamp up the iron ladder and pigeon-poo covered stairs (my hands were sweaty with acrophobia) - thus the blurry photo! We weren't able to ascend to the actual bell, but we were darn close!

I am excited to share all of my photos from this morning's adventure here.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Berkshire County 'Relay for Life' 2008

At long last, the 24-hour 'Relay for Life' walk began this past Friday evening at 6pm at Onota Lake in Pittsfield. Many months ago, my friend Laura and I had formed a team in honor of my mom, JoAnn, and her fight against cancer - JoAnn's Knockouts!

It was a beautiful event (and all of my photos from 'the walk' can be seen here. Grab a beverage and click on Slideshow - there are lots of photos!).

In the end, there were 28 people on our team (26 were able to attend the walk) and many, many more supporters. I don't have the final numbers but, by my calculations, we raised at least $3500 for the American Cancer Society. I am overwhelmed! (An addendum: as of June 24th, the Berkshire 'Relay for Life' has raised over $281,000 - and counting!)

We arrived to set up camp at about 4pm on Friday - a day marked by typical zany Berkshire weather patterns. There was one last downpour before the start of the walk, but the sun shone the whole time. We knew it would blow over and, for the rest of the event, we were blessed with perfect early summer weather. The Onota Lake backdrop didn't hurt, either!

Many thanks to all who walked with us, to those who donated, and to everyone who offered their support!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Let There Be Light!

At night!

I am excited to share that the steeple at our church is lit this week in honor of my mom, and that an entire congregation offers their support in her fight against cancer.

(This photo was taken about an hour ago in the lightning and pouring rain—it came out surprisingly good!)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Bean Burgers

A recent meal at Houston's gave me the push I needed to try something that's been on my to-cook list for years—veggie burgers. Houston's veggie burger is black-bean based, and it is delicious.

I have torn quite a few veggie burger recipes from food magazines over the years. There are so many ingredient possibilities! Most recently, a quinoa burger is featured in the new Martha Stewart Living. (I can't believe they spelled lemon wrong in the recipe. Martha makes mistakes?! Oh, wait, there was that big one a while back...)

So, I set off to make some hybrid of my researched recipes (which is what I often do when making something new), and was pretty pleased with the result. I sauteed a few handfuls of chopped portobello mushrooms, garlic, and 1/2 a large onion, deglazing the pan with the juice of half a lime. I added this to a bowl of rinsed canned black beans, and added cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper, and some BBQ sauce. I quasi-mashed the ingredients to basically give it the consistency of ground beef, and added an egg white and some wheat germ (in place of bread crumbs - thanks, Meira, for the idea!). I shaped my "meat" into balls, flattened them, and tossed them into my grill pan. (They look like cookies!)

I got a lot of mileage out of very few ingredients! This made me think a lot about nutrition and the cost of food. (Again.) The ingredients for this entire main dish cost about $5 (this factors in the small amount of staples used such as dry spices, olive oil, and eggs), it took very little time to prepare, and it is an incredibly nutritious option.

We went bun-less for dinner (only because I forgot to buy them!), but they were really pretty good with a little salsa and cheese. I will make these again, but want to add some pickled jalapeno and something with a little sweetness to the mix (maybe roasted red peppers?). I think the addition of a grain, such as brown rice, will help improve the texture, too.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Year in (Completely Unrelated) Camera Phone Pictures

I don't often take camera phone photos, but am glad that I have the option. My phone is far from high-end, and I recently ran out of memory. It was time to delete some pictures. But before I did, I emailed them to myself:

For part of this winter, I had John drop me off at the train station on his way to work (at 6:30am). This had me arriving at Quincy Market before 7am, which is a very dark, non-touristy hour in the winter.

Earlier this year, Governor Deval Patrick began discussions of limiting the number of "detail" work performed by police officers in an effort to save taxpayer dollars. His proposition to use civilian flagmen instead of officers for these cushy, high-paying posts was shot down very quickly, despite its obviousness as a money-saving solution. (Something to do with the strength of the police union?) The day after this case was abruptly closed, I walked by one such police officer who was appointed to stand next to residential home construction.

We took a trip to the LL Bean store in Burlington, MA. The LL Bean company does project an image of conservatism and ecological friendliness, but I wasn't expecting to see that reflected in their toilets. In the bathroom, the toilet lever had instructions: lift up for #1, and push down for #2. The upward option uses less water. I was fascinated! (And it really did use the #1/#2 nomenclature...)

In April, a friend and I went to see comedian Eddie Izzard at the old, old, OLD Orpheum Theatre in Boston. It was old. I had seen Bonnie Raitt perform there not too long ago, and had a great time. Our balcony seats to see Mr. Izzard were completely visually and auditorally obstructed, horrible, full-price seats. I have yet to write my letter to the theatre, and I know that absolutely everyone in the upper balcony was ripped off at this event, so...if anyone wants to join me in my quest to get our money back, I'm ready!

And last but not least, a Simpsons-esque sky captured through our filthy windshield.

Bustin' Out the Juicer

My friend, Kristie, gave me a Black and Decker juice machine for Christmas of 2000. I really wanted it.

I used it once, and stopped using it after I discovered it was a whole lot of work for very little gain. I have had no fresh juice between that sad attempt and this past week—when suddenly I had fresh juice three times! I had been planning to give my juicer away, when I decided that I should give it another try. I'm glad I did.

I made an early run today to the new Whole Foods in my area. They have undeniably better produce than other stores, and, since I was planning on consuming it straight up (on the rocks, actually), I wanted it to be quality stuff. I was extra proud (and crunchy) to have remembered my reusable shopping totes...which I loaded with plastic produce-filled bags...sigh... (There are options, which I will soon pursue.)

I would like to note that this juicer really does make things more difficult than necessary. You have to cut everything into almost bite-size pieces to process it—the hole is smaller than the one on my food processor! Just when I though I had everything prepared, I had to re-cut everything = annoying.

I was able to juice 3 carrots, 2 apples, a bit of ginger, and 1.5 beets—the juice looked like sherbet!

It didn't taste like sherbet, but it was very good. It was a tiny bit heavy on the beet, which gave it a very earthy taste (and a lovely staining quality). It was refreshing and lightly sweet. I need to study the new food pyramid so I can actually consider the possibility of meeting daily fruit and vegetable nutritional requirements. (According to the pyramid, this amount is 3 cups of veggies and 2 cups of fruit per day.) This is pretty exciting!

Summer Rolls

I have a new respect for the making of summer rolls. I had never considered the difficulty I would run into immediately upon making some of these bundles of summery goodness for lunch today.

Problem 1: I didn't know how to julienne a carrot. I do now!

Problem 2: This was my first time handling the rice sheets, and they were so sticky! I don't understand how you can tighten your little roll when your wrapping sticks to itself! (Of course, if my vegetables were properly julienned, this may have helped.)

So, my summer rolls were all wobbly and weird...but tasty! I filled them with carrots, cucumber, peanuts, ginger, shrimp and soy. Pretty healthy! I'll definitely make another effort at tighter summer rolls and julienning vegetables.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


Several weeks ago, I attended the HOW Design Conference in Boston. At the convention center, there was a huge room named the "Resource Center." This sounds like a center of educational room, but, really, it was where all of the vendors hand out their paper samples (which I'm a sucker for), spiffy pens (which you can never really have enough of), and...bobble heads?

A certain stock photography company was handing out bobble heads of some guy. Why?! The beauty of stock photography is that it is virtual. It takes up no space on my desk. No catalogue - nothin'. For space reasons, because of its total lack of usefulness, because I strive to minimize the "stuff" in my life, and because I (ironically) find it to be a waste of resources, I did not take a bobble head from this booth in the "Resource Room."

And then I got an email this week (with the following image) that said:
If you already have a bobble head, you might get another one. If you're lucky enough to get a second bobble head, share the wealth and give one to a friend. Don't forget, the back of the bobble head has a 20% off discount code that you can use as many times as you want for the next 2 years! Use it whenever you checkout.

Are you kidding me?!

I was mad. So, I emailed back.

Erin: Oh, God, please don't send me a bobble head.

And they replied.

Eddie: Hi Erin, Unfortunately we already sent out the bobble head to you. I apologize for that; we didn’t realize that you didn’t want us to send you one. If you want to, you can refuse delivery/return to sender it or you can give it to a friend or co-worker. Once again, sorry for the inconvenience. If there’s anything we can do for you, please let us know.

I won't be replying to the email, and I will likely not be home to refuse the delivery. It's too big to fit in my shredder with the other junk mail. What to do...?

A similar thing happened to me earlier this week, as well. I got sucked into the crazy-low prices (and free shipping) at e.l.f. Cosmetics. I don't even wear makeup! I received my shipment earlier this week...along with a surprise subscription to Lucky Magazine. I just discontinued my subscription to Saveur and National Geographic, which I love, because I want less stuff in my mailbox and I was having difficulty making time to read them (sad). I had to call Lucky to learn why I was receiving the magazine, and they refused to cancel the subscription, giving me another 800-number to call. All very frustrating.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A Submission to TasteSpotting

I recently created a post about our visit to Rawbert's Organic Garden Cafe in Beverly. I was eager to share this unique experience, and I (shamelessly) submitted my photo of their raw ravioli to TasteSpotting.

I love this site. If you are remotely interested in food, food photography, or culinary design, it's worth visiting...multiple times a day. (It's updated constantly with viewer-chosen submissions.) I had to share.

What Mr. Murphy Made Yesterday

My husband, John, cracks me up. Tomorrow marks the final day of his first year teaching high school English, and a celebration is in order, for sure!

Last week, I helped him format his final exams, and I learned some new vocab as I typed (I was a very bad English student). The answer options for the word parochial were particularly interesting for a couple of reasons. (You may have to click the image for a larger view.)

Given the use of the word to describe a religion-based school system, I would have thought that parochial had implications of God or at least the idea of global knowledge. But, no, the correct answer is a) limited. I don't think I would send my children to an establishment called Limited School and expect much in return.

But the real reason I wanted to share #50 from John's final was the fake answer he included. When John took his written driver's license exam back in the day, answer d was one of the (wrong) answers to the question, "What should you do when you see a blind person crossing the street?" He vowed that he would use it on an exam some day. Dream fulfilled!

The Tambourine Player

This morning immediately felt different to me than most. I got out of bed prior to the beep of the alarm, and I ate breakfast and checked my email with the shades and windows open (now that the heat has subsided). Chirping birds replaced the typical background noise of Channel 5. It was pleasant and unhurried.

I hopped in the shower much earlier than usual, and in my relaxed state I had an epiphany (which I will have to share at a later time). The epiphany felt good, as most epiphanies do.

My walk to the train was warm, but good, and—for the first time ever during my morning walk—a passerby said "good morning."

For two years, the same man has stood outside of Haymarket Station every morning, an empty coffee cup in his hand, greeting every commuter that passes with, "Have a good day ma'am/sir." He is rarely absent from his post, but today—for the first time—he was replaced.

It was disturbing, actually. Sitting on the sidewalk next to the station exit was a scrawny man and a guitar. Beside him sat what appeared to be a large, aging groupie wearing a fluorescent tank top, looking like it was much hotter than the cool breeze would indicate, grooving supportively to the guitar man, and smoking a cigarette out of the side of her mouth. I caught this scene out of the corner of my eye. (I think she would have yelled at me if I looked right at her.) As I continued my walk along the (ironically named) Freedom Trail that leads to my place of employment, I stopped dead in my tracks. I suddenly heard the rhythmic clanking of a tambourine.

I had to turn and see. Sure enough, she was the tambourine player. I chuckled the rest of my way to work.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Scooper Bowl '08

What could be more fun than the all-you-can-eat ice cream extravaganza that is the Jimmy Fund Scooper Bowl—in 93 degree heat?! Nothin'.

According to the official website:
The Jimmy Fund Scooper Bowl is the nation's largest all-you-can-eat ice cream festival. The event serves up ice cream from 11 of the nation's leading ice cream companies while raising money for the Jimmy Fund, which supports cancer research and treatment at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Six of us headed over to Boston's City Hall Plaza before noon, and I think we successfully beat the major crowds. Many scoops were had (here are scoop carcasses from just one of us)...

...and here are our individual reviews/ice cream picks:

Erin M.
Overwhelmed by the 11 ice cream booths, I have now forgotten who made the coconut almond fudge ice cream that I would like to declare as my favorite.

I'm all about team Mike would say, "Ubuntu." I'm going to have to say my favorites were Birthday Cake and the Light Raspberry from the second tent we went to. Yummy.

Erin K.
I always knew I liked coconut, which is why my favorites were the chocolate coconut almond AND the coconut pineapple. If I HAD to choose, surprisingly, the coconut pineapple would be my favorite. It reminds me of summer! Secondly, I like how the scooper bowl really just knocked down the doors of inhibition for us! We were freely dipping our spit-covered spoons into each other's ice cream dishes like there was no tomorrow! It was definitely a team building exercise, if nothing else!

I concur on the dipping/sharing part. My favorite flavor hands down was the lemon sorbetto. With it being soo hot outside the icy lemon was a refreshing treat - so much so I went in for 2!!!

My fave was the Brigham's tracks....or something like that. That had delightful mini peanut butter cups and really good tasting vanilla with chocolatey swirl. Oh so good!

Interestingly enough, Erin and I had the same favorites. I would have to say that they were followed closely by the lemon ice that we enjoyed at the beginning and the end of our team building exercise. I thought it was important to use the word exercise so we don't feel guilty.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Ellis Paul, Raw

I was invited many months ago to see Ellis Paul's performance last night at the New Moon Coffee House in Haverhill. The invite came from a major fan of his, and I was excited to finally hear his music—it was a great performance at a very interesting venue (a Unitarian church that has been hosting folk performances for 20 years).

On our way to Haverhill, we stopped in Beverly. Hmmm...

OK, when we made the plans, I thought Beverly was near Haverhill (in the same way that most people seem to think that Pittsfield is near Amherst). Guilty. The reason for our detour was to dine at Rawbert's Organic Garden Cafe, where they prepare vegan meals with almost exclusively raw ingredients. My friend, Meira, had described her previous food experience there and I was intrigued.

The food was really flavorful and filling. I think this is largely due to the use of fruit and vegetable dehydration to achieve different textures, making for dense, concentrated flavors. Our appetizer was (vegan, raw) Margherita Pizza. The crust was made from (I think?) a combination of grains and dehydrated vegetable pulp (the byproduct of juicing), the sauce was made from concentrated tomato puree, and the cheese was made from nuts. It was really very good!

Meira ordered the most interesting (and incredibly tasty) entree—Nut Butter Squash Ravioli with Cashew Alfredo Sauce—the pasta of which was made from dehydrated beets. It was sweet and rich and really beautiful!

I had a horrible time deciding on a meal, and resorted to The Sampler (as well as nibbles from my friends' plates). I enjoyed the interesting flavors of the Thai Dumpling (sunflower and sesame seed, celery, carrot, fresh herbs, ginger, galangal root, lemongrass and other exotic spices), and found the raw hummus to be some of the best I've ever had. To make it, the chickpeas are soaked until they sprout, at which time they are tender enough to blend into the delicious, garlicky spread.

A perfect match for the sudden summer weather, we ordered Cucumber Lime Coolers sweetened with agave nectar. Agave is the same plant from which tequila is made, and its nectar, I just learned, has a low glycemic value.

Raw foodism isn't a movement I plan to join in full, although I appreciate the value of consuming fruits, vegetables, and nuts as near as possible to the time they were pulled from the ground—an added benefit to growing your own food.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Chicken Piccata

I was able to squeeze in a week of well-planned dinners before the approach of this weekend's 90+ degree temperatures. (I don't plan on using the oven for the rest of the summer. Can you grill cookies? Wait... I see you can! But that's another post.)

One such meal included a modified version of Alton Brown's Turkey Piccata. I made this once before (with all of the butter, and then some!) and it was quick and delicious. This time, we made it a bit healthier, and I tossed in some rosemary for fun. Lemony, light, quick and healthy! (Let's also add in 'blurry' for my very poorly taken photo!)

Something's Askew in the Fens

I was fortunate enough to have my name drawn in the official MLB lottery for tickets to a game in one of three Red Sox/Yankees series at Fenway this year. Then, I was grateful to be randomly selected from the "virtual waiting room" (after hours of waiting) on the day the tickets went on sale to us lucky folks. Most extraordinarily, I was able to purchase 4 upper bleacher tickets (my only option once I got through) for $12 each. Unheard of.

I attended Boston University throughout the 90s. During this time, we could wander over to Fenway and buy affordable tickets at will—legally! I understand the post-curse-reversal demand for tickets, and the resulting diminished supply. But I don't understand how real Red Sox fans have not protested against the obvious exploitation of the success of their team.

The inspiration for this post was my recent visit to StubHub, an online ticket reseller, where the same tickets that I purchased for $12 are available for well over $100 each. I expected the exorbitant prices, but what really caught my eye was the number of tickets available. Somehow, resellers are getting hold of huge numbers of tickets—an impossible task that points to insider trading.

Of the 39,928 seats in Fenway Park, there are 2476 tickets available through StubHub to this one game—that's 6.2% being resold through this one company alone! More curious, there are 21 tickets available in tiny Bleacher Section 34 (one of my favorite sections in the park).

The Red Sox have already announced their partnership with ticket reseller Ace Ticket. Who let this happen? What's the point of putting an official price on tickets at all if you encourage, and therefore must benefit from, resellers' ticket price gouging?

Ticket scalping (in person) around Fenway Park has been long discouraged, but rarely enforced by Massachusetts law. The Sox offer two very potentially good (read: moral) alternatives to purchasing tickets from scalpers: Red Sox Replay (which appears to be discontinued this year?) and the Scalp-Free Zone at Fenway's Gate B (which isn't even mentioned on the Sox website). Red Sox Replay allows season ticket holders to resell their tickets directly through the Red Sox site. The Red Sox could have (should have) regulated ticket prices through this program, but they did not. The Scalp-Free Zone allows people to purchase tickets from ticket holders at face value in a supervised environment where the validity of the tickets is confirmed! Why is this not promoted and utilized as the best, safest way to sell and purchase tickets?

The baseball season is long, and season ticket holders cannot be expected to attend every game. But a large number of people are purchasing season tickets for the sole purpose of reselling. What can be done to prevent this? I don't think the Red Sox administration is concerned—in addition to every sold-out seat, they sell remaining Green Monster Seats via auction. How different it would be these auctions were for a charity! (Although, I guess you could argue that the Red Sox do "enough" for the Jimmy Fund.)

Maybe season ticket holders should be required to attend a designated percentage of games in a season? They could be given a card (like a CVS card) to be scanned along with their game tickets at the gate. If they attend, say, less than 75% of games, their season ticket holder status could be revoked the following year. (If a group of people shared season tickets, they can share scannable cards on a single account.) Otherwise, I feel that all ticket resales should be monitored and processed at face value through either the Scalp-Free Zone or Red Sox Replay. In either case, the person selling the ticket should be charged a small fee to pay for the operating costs of these legal, regulated features. I have sold tickets on eBay and Craigslist because my plans changed, and am proud to say that I have always taken the hit.

The only ticket broker should be the venue ticket office, and no one should be able to hide behind the anonymity offered by the internet.

Friday, June 6, 2008

With Apologies to Mikey

Our friend, Mikey, turns five this weekend. Since Christmastime, he has developed a growing obsession with the Transformers. I, myself, admit to holding on to the one Transformer I owned in the 80s, but I had to laugh when I saw the birthday party invite featuring the theme of Mikey's party:

Now, Cringer always provided laughs on He-Man, but are the Transformers really known for having good all?

And, more importantly, do you really want this guy lounging in your backyard, hogging the Dorito bowl? Yikes.

I've come up with the adult equivalent of this invitation:

Thursday, June 5, 2008

New WIMY Layout

Some unexplained layout changes happened to my blog last night while I slept. It looks like maybe the polka-dot template layout changed, causing weird duplicate headers on my blog. I could only resolve this by choosing a new template. (I'll pretend it was on purpose, but really I'm kind of bummed about it.)

So, What I Made Yesterday has a new and exciting look!

If You Can't Take the Heat...

It was Coolio who once said:
"If you can't take the heat, get yo' ass out the kitchen—we on a mission." - Fantastic Voyage, 1994

We was, indeed, on a mission last night. There were a couple completely unrelated things that I was determined to make for us to eat for dinner: steamed artichokes and roasted red peppers.

I have handled whole artichokes exactly twice in my life. Once at the Grand Lux Cafe, where I enjoyed dipping the leaves in aioli (this, after someone told me not to eat the whole leaf), and last week when I had a horrible bread crumb-stuffed artichoke. Artichoke clueless, I did my homework.

I washed and trimmed two artichokes, and dropped them in my steamer basket for 45 minutes—that's 45 minutes of hot steam spewing into our small apartment. (FYI, I think they could have steamed for half that time and been plenty cooked.)

I dropped some sliced lemon and bay leaves into the boiling water to impart some flavor to the artichokes, but mostly the little "meaty" artichoke leaf bases tasted like the Yogurt Herb Dip I made. Maybe I'm missing a special artichoke taste-bud receptor, but the result just wasn't worth the effort.

While the artichokes steamed away, I decided to roast my own red peppers directly on the burner of our stove = HOT. Tyler Florence makes it look so easy! He must not be afraid of burning down his apartment.

Pepper #2 was more of a success than the first, but neither was quite as roasted as I would have liked. From the burner, the peppers went into a glass bowl, which I covered with plastic wrap so they could steam their little skins off. This worked pretty well with my quasi-roasted peppers.

For reasons of safety and technique, I will be oven-roasting my red peppers next time. (Can't remember if my landlords read my blog...?)

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Bed, Bath, Beyond, and Bangs

There were two words that my Turkish roommate in college always managed to get wrong. She often accidentally referred to pimples as pumpkins, and bangs as bangles. She was a big 80s music fan, though, so that last one might have been on purpose. She was also an idiot.


While at the salon yesterday, after saturating my hair with demi-permanent color, but before making the decision to cut bangs (a major event in a girl's life!), I was flipping through In-Style magazine when I came across an ad for Bed, Bath & Beyond, referencing their omnipresent "20% Off Coupon."

Now, I admit to being sensitive to bad advertising because I work in the industry. (I have also been extra tuned-in recently to bad Photoshop jobs thanks to this hilarious blog.) Worse than making a Photoshop error, though, is having a room full of overpaid people agree that your stupid concept should go to print.

I spent more time on this page than I did looking for the perfect celebrity bangs. First, I was stumped by the copy. Too much time later, I found the fork prongs (upon which the whole ad is focused) mushed in with the company logo. Then, I saw that the clever designer took "off" one of the four prongs to symbolize the "20% Less"—but not "20% Off"—that BB&B promises with this coupon. If I could bring myself to visit this store (which has far too much "Beyond" for my taste), I might bring in this fork ad and demand that they give me "25% Less."

Sticking with a theme, here, I cut about 75% off my bangs. (Hey, it's the first photo of me on my blog!)

I apologize for my recent excessive griping. This blog is meant to be about my creative production—not finding fault with that of others. Oh, but first, I really hate the Symbicort ads, too. (Did FEMA build the sets for the iPod commercials, or something?)

Vegetable Fried Rice

Despite my last post, I did this week's grocery shopping at the new Whole Food's in Medford yesterday. Because of the store layout, the availability of pretty much any ingredient I might ever need, and impressively helpful staff, I keep finding shopping at Whole Foods to be a much more relaxing experience than time spent at Shaw's or Food Master (my other handy options.) However, visits to Whole Foods must be off-peak, which is when I arrived yesterday.

I did not buy a single meat product yesterday (and yet, still spent $115). Almost entirely in the produce aisle, I found the ingredients to make vegetable fried (brown) rice, including the pre-cooked brown rice! (I didn't feel like waiting an hour to cook my own rice, which never quite comes out right, anyway.)

This recipe cooked up so quickly and easily—and, if I hadn't burnt the eggs a bit, it would have been a one-pot meal! I have been experiencing some seasoning-deficiencies in my cooking lately, and I was not going to have low-sodium fried rice! So, I salted the veggies while they were cooking...forgetting that I don't have low-sodium soy sauce = salty!! Lesson learned. This was a great, healthy meal, and we'll be making it again!