BYOF

When you are invited to a party/shindig/get-together, and the host quips, “It’s BYOB, FYI, LOL, YOLO,” (insert appropriate abbrevs as needed, depending on your host), it’s not too tough. You either grab a bottle of your favorite beverage, or pick one up along the way. If you are one of those thoughtful people, you might bring a bag of ice as a bonus.

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Things get a little more complicated when the host casually states “Everyone is bringing a little something to share, so feel free to bring a dish if you’d like.” Obviously you can’t show up empty-handed and be the moocher of the group. On the other hand, you might not have the time or inclination to go all Martha Stewart with this. You just want to hang out with your friends, munch on some snacks, and discuss current events with the appropriate amount of snark.

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Good news – there is a middle ground between mooch and Martha Stewart for party-goers. Whenever I am heading to an event, I grab something fairly easy to prepare but ensure the presentation is flawless. This saves time, but still shows care and effort.

At a recent event I was heading to, I opted to create a dish my friends always enjoy: Ruffles Original Potato Chips.

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RUFFLES ORIGINAL POTATO CHIPS

Ingredients:
  • 1 bag of Ruffles Original Potato Chips
  • Parsley for garnish (optional, but classy)
Directions:

1) Get bag of potato chips

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2) Realize it might look tacky if you just show up with a bag of chips and search for a bowl

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3) Pour the chips into the bowl

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4) Put saran wrap on top of the bowl for optimal freshness

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4) Bring along with you, and don’t forget to bring the bowl home with you for your next outside culinary endeavor

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Impromptu Snack-Attack

When I was in college and there was free food on campus (bagels during registration, cookies after chapel, wrapped candies on admin assistant’s desks), I was all over it. Budgets were tight, stress levels were high, most likely rehearsal had ran over and lunch had been missed.

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It felt a little childish to be scavenging for food, but I knew it was part of college life – something I would probably look back on and chuckle about.

Until I started working in various offices and nothing about this mentality has changed. Budgets are still tight, stress levels are still high, and meetings now run over lunch hour, leading to eating anything & everything at your desk. When treats magically appear in the breakroom, all bets are off.

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The question arises – how to turn unexpected workplace treats into an adult culinary experience? I try to follow these Breakroom Delight recipe guidelines to elevate my snacking experience to a professional level.

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BREAKROOM DELIGHT

Ingredients:
  • Whatever has been calling your name from the breakroom
  • Parsley for garnish (optional, but classy)
Directions:

1) Walk past the breakroom and notice there are treats in there that were NOT there 5 minutes ago

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2) Casually ask who brought the treats as if it couldn’t possibly matter to you because you are not going to partake

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3) Even though no one has ordained that you must take one, say aloud (even if you are the only one in the room), “Okay – just one. Half of one. Darn this sweet tooth.” A light-hearted, casual-sounding laugh thrown in here can go a long way.

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4) Take your half of the treat and scarf it down at your desk

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5) Wonder if anyone will notice if you scramble back for the other half, then probably just go for it

Tofu-licious

I haven’t had meat in quite some time (5 years or so?). When I was younger I was a vegetarian for a while, but it was mostly to tell people haughtily that I was a vegetarian. This is around the same time that I was wearing black lipstick and playing French horn in honor band, so there was just a lot going on back then.

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When I decided to cut out meat this time around, I was a bit more informed and a bit less angsty about it. I remember being pleasantly surprised the first time I tried tofu when I went out to eat. Crumble it on salad! Fry it into crispy strips sprinkled with salt and black pepper! Stir fry it up with delish sauce and enjoy as it soaks up the flavor in a dreamy way! Tofu is awesome and versatile.

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My number one go-to recipe for tofu is as a Sriracha Vehicle, as sriracha the best.

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SRIRACHA VEHICLE TOFU

Ingredients:
  • 1 block of tofu
  • Sriracha
  • Parsley for garnish (optional, but classy)
Directions:

1) Open the tofu (probably over the sink, to be safe)

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2) You are supposed to press the water out of the tofu – I opt to squish it around in my hands

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3) Crumble the tofu in a bowl

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4) Pour A LOT of sriracha all up on there

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5) Enjoy!

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No-reos

This blog is about enjoying, eating, and loving all things food. There are times, however, where I have indulged in a perfectly satisfying dish, and find myself going back for seconds, then wanting thirds, fourths, sevenths, even. My personal Achilles heel is anything with sugar in it.

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So this post is kind of an anti-recipe, as I recently found myself consumed with thoughts of the leftover Oreos in our apartment, and needed to formulate a plan.

To be clear, this post is not encouraging depriving yourself when you are hungry or adhering to an unrealistic diet plan (whatever you like or need or want to do health-wise is 100% right on).

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This is simply a recipe I concocted that I wanted to pass on to those who find themselves in similar, precarious snacking situations.

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NO-REOS

Ingredients:
  • 1 box of Oreos with 1/2 – 1/3 of the Oreos left
  • Parsley for garnish (optional, but classy)
Directions:

1) Realize you are coasting through these Oreos like no one’s business and maybe even getting the sugar shakes

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2) Shut the pantry door firmly and walk away with confidence

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3) Find yourself mysteriously in front of the pantry again and the door is easier to open than you remember

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4) Search for a place to stash Oreos so they are literally out of sight, out of mind

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5) Find a basket of clean clothes that you haven’t folded in a few days, acknowledge to yourself that you will continue to steer clear of the basket, and bury those cookies

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Tropical Travels

Officially in vacation mode, and life is pretty grand.

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To be technical, in honeymoon mode. Although we got hitched last year, we waited a bit for our honeymoon and it was totally worth it.

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When you’re traveling, there are so many new sensations to take in (especially if you’ve been hibernating all winter and all of a sudden there is an ocean and sunlight and you discover you have a neck because your shoulders aren’t stuck up by your ears from tension derived from driving on sheer ice for 4 months).

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It’s good to get out of your comfort zone every once in a while, food choices included. I was a little nervous about transitioning to a tropical flavor profile, and how my tastebuds would adjust in a new climate. I started training for this experience over the last few months, and am happy to report that so far I have adjusted seamlessly to island fare.

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The decadent, exotic flavors of a Chocolate Dipped Coconut LUNA bar really allowed me to prepare fully for this trip, and I wanted to share this lush recipe with you if you find yourself needing to prep for future island travels.

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CHOCOLATE DIPPED COCONUT LUNA BAR

Ingredients:
  • 1 Chocolate Dipped Coconut LUNA bar
  • Parsley for garnish (optional, but classy)
Directions:

1) Look at the bar and decide if you want to eat it

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2) If the answer is “yes,” use your fingers to open the wrapper

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3) Take the bar out of the wrapper (if you are somewhere warm, be sure to check for chocolate that may have melted inside the wrapper – THIS IS YOURS FOR THE TAKING)

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4) Eat the bar

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