Thursday, May 27, 2010

Our Anniversary

Yesterday, May 26th, was our 3rd anniversary. We've really been focused on being extra frugal, not eating out, and really trying to redo our whole budget. As the one with no willpower whatsoever, I wanted to go somewhere "fancy" (don't even ask what that entails because I don't know that even I can explain it), and ever practical, Ian wanted to go somewhere within our budget- $30. Ian & I couldn't decide on a local place to eat dinner that met both our requirements, so we decided to cook dinner together. I pulled out my handy Eating Well 500 Calorie Dinners recipe book, and flipped to page 128: Lemon-Garlic Shrimp & Vegetables.

Ian agreed to make a run to our local Earth Fare and pick up the things we needed for the recipe, which turned out to be most of the items in the recipe.

Towards the end of the day, Ian showed up at my work with a dozen beautiful roses!  That picture isn't the dozen he got me, and in no way compares to the beauty of the ones he got me, but I ran out of time and will have to post the actual picture later.

Anyway, we get home and start cooking. It was a very simple recipe to cook. While Ian was chopping the asparagus and red bell pepper, I was prepping the shrimp and measuring out other things we needed.

The best thing I love about that cookbook is that it pairs side dishes and/or desserts and drinks with each meal. For this recipe, it said we could have a side of cauliflower & couscous or quinoa with fresh herbs AND a choice from two other sides. We love quinoa, so that's our go-to grain. Since Earth Fare was out of the quinoa we regularly get, Ian got red quinoa. We both thought the red quinoa had a slightly stronger and somehow slightly different flavor than regular quinoa. Also, when I was washing the quinoa, it smelled like peanuts! Anyway, I digress...

So the coolest thing about all this (besides it being our anniversary and having a romantic date night at home), was that we ended up both getting what we wanted. Ian spent $25 at Earth Fare for the dinner ingredients and dessert (we split a chocolate vegan cupcake). We saved the bell pepper seeds to plant next year, and we still have probably .75 lbs of shrimp left. We also have a ton of quinoa left, but we can use that with just about any dish! I got my fancy meal, and a chocolate dessert, so life was good! All in all, it was a great deal and a fantastic meal!

Now for a rant.

Dear Earth Fare:
Would you please publish a vegan baking cookbook? I promise if you publish one I'll still eat at your store! I'd give anything to know how you make your vegan cupcakes. I also had a coconut date bar that was out of this world. I bought a vegan dessert book, and everything I baked out of it was dry and not very good. I'm a great baker of non-vegan goods, so trying to replicate your recipes might restore my faith in vegan baking!


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