So Mama’s lil blog turned one year old today!
It’s been one year and, counting this, 359 entries. I’ve definitely evolved as a blogger, as I sort of wince at the pictures my very first entry.
But I’ve really loved having this lil bloggie baby. It’s a creative outlet (one of the few I had in college), and it’s an inspiration. It inspires me to make a proper, tasty, attractive meal for dinner even if I’m just cooking for me! I’ve come up with some good ideas!
My blogiversary was a gorgeous day. I spent almost out of it outside, including part of my time romping about with my friend Indu and her beautiful little girl who is rockin’ her pink trike:
Little Melindi is almost exactly a year older than my blog- she turns two on Tuesday!
My blogiversary also featured my favorite veggie of all time!
Oh artichokes. My sweet love.
I made a trio of dippers for my dad, stepmother, and me (to clarify we all got our own artichokes but only two fit in the frame)
Our dippers were the traditional melted butter and garlic (far right), our family tradition of mayo (far left), and my quasi-alioli of mayo, lemon juice, and garlic (center).
These artichokes were soooooo mammoth and delicious. Hurray for spring!
Along with it, I had something that had been sorely lacking in my life- savory oats!
This bowl was 1/4 cup oats, 1/2 cup water, ~1/2 cup pumpkin, and an egg white topped with Frankie’s and some broccoli.
And then my stepmother put out some yummy looking tofu and I was like “yeah, I could get in on that”.
As for last night’s dinner, I got in touch with my southern pride.
Well, my claims to Southern-ness are dubious. I grew up in WA (Spokane, represent!), and now live in NORTHERN Virginia, which Northern (and Southern, for that matter) Virginians will tell you is more of a liberal extension of DC than Dixie. But I love the South for their food products, and grabbed something I’ve been eyeing at Trader Joe’s for awhile now:
Soy-cotash! I love lima beans (loooooove!) but in its original form succotash is pretty much all starch and more of a side dish. This, however, in encorporating protein-rich edamame with the traditional corn and red pepper, lets you turn it into a complete main dish!
So what’s my faaaaaaaaavorite Southern side dish?
My insane neighbors apparently got like 10 pounds of grits as a gag gift in a White Elephant Christmas gift exchange. How is that a gag gift?! That is an incredible gift! But anyway they were trying to foist them off on the neighbors. Thus our ghetto bag.
Making grits is mad fun!
(Vair dangerous action shot!)
And one should always add some cheese, just for good measure.
Another good measure: serving it in the PIGGY BOWL! Which we inherited from my grandma.
Well of COURSE you want a closeup, on both grits and piggies.
They were smashing. As was the soycotash!
The soycotash is really meant to be a side dish, I think—the first ingredient is corn. So as to instead turn it into a protein-aceous entree, I added some extra edamame, also Trader Joe’s.
Oh, also… if you’ve made it this far in the post, surprise! Like so many on their blogiversary, I’m having a little giveaway :D
I cannot possibly go through this big box of Newman’s swag all by me onesie!
Winner will receive:
Cookies (Newman O’s, Chocolate Newman O’s, Fig Newmans), pretzels, mints, and chocolate
But wait, there’s more!
My respective favorite foot creme and lip balm.
I think it’s hilarious that they both contain food blog-worthy ingredients: coconut oil and pomegranate!
And some fun Asia swag:
Lavender soap from China, elephant keychain I got when I went elephant riding in Thailand, Turkish delight (somewhat of a misnomer- it says it’s Turkish, it’s made by Cadbury, it was purchased in Taiwan!)
and (no I didn’t refinish my floor in seconds, I took one picture at my house and one at my dad’s after raiding the pantry):
Across the top we have some kind of dried berry (no idea what but it’s good), traditional Chinese stripey gummies, and YoYos, a gummy candy that can only be found in Thailand and is insanely fresh tasting- the first fruit gummies you will ever have that taste like (gasp!) fruit.
Across the bottom, twists on two blogger faves: candied sweet potato (!), and sweet Chinese oat drink (you mix it with a lotta hot water til it’s soupy and awesome).
So here’s the deal: If you’d like to win this (or just want to comment!), comment on this post. Please only enter if you live in America... I'm unemployed and low on cash. No bonus entries for talking up the contest or going on Twitter or whatever. I actually couldn’t live with myself if I were responsible for more tweets going out in the world, shuddershuddershudder. I just want to reward someone who reads my blog anyway, without the lure of winning things!
But I’ll ask, as a way to assess entries and cause I’m genuinely curious: as inspired by possibly my favorite Top Chef of all time, if you knew in advance that it would be your last, what would your last meal be? Your mom’s mac and cheese? Deep fried bacon? Oats with bananas and peanut butter? Spill!
For me, I’ve previously stated that it would be fish tacos at Mama Kwan's in the Outer Banks. But gnocchi is also up there, as is a really good burger.
And if you just want to say hi, say hi! I’m curious to see who comes back to my lil pride and joy :D
I’ll draw it on Friday. Unless I forget.