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November 2, 2008

A feast fit for a mooch

I'm sure we're all tightening our belts in these troubling economic times. For example, I have refrained from seeing all but the essential movies in the theaters (don't worry, Keira; I'm waiting till The Duchess comes to a second-run movie house), sold some itchy but gently used sweaters to a "recycled fashion" store and all but quashed my already nearly non-existent social life.

But my greatest savings have come from changing my food habits. I don't really eat lunch anymore. I wait to see if there are any goodies left over from the various meetings my co-workers host, and at the very least there's usually a sprig or two of grapes and this delicious cheese that's a little nutty and a little crunchy. That tides me over until I can get home and eat a delicious, cheap burrito (recipe below).

Another huge boon to my mooching has been my live-in companion's propensity for securing free meals at fancy restaurants in the past week. On Wednesday we went to Nutshell for a media dinner. They had just changed their menu and wanted the local scribes to sample it in hopes of scoring some free press. This blog doesn't net very many readers in their favored demographic (people who actually live in Oregon), but I'm going to do my part right this very second.

The restaurant specializes in vegetarian tapas, or small plates. They brought us a never-ending series of deliciousness, most paired with a sample of amazing wine. I think we had about five glasses, which, needless to say, made me quite the convivial dinner companion. These were my favorite dishes:

-Crispy rice fritters with avocado puree and sweet chili sauce
-Creamy Bluebird grains farro with Brussels sprouts, mustard, apple and roast garlic
-Fuji apple salad with beets, Marionberries, pinenuts, peppermint and muscatel vinaigrette
-Leek and potato flatbread with blue cheese cream, gremolata and spicy pears

Then for dessert we had pieces of a chocolate fudge with hazelnuts in some magic cream sauce. Oh. Em. Gee. To die for. But I'm still alive.

On Friday we decided to spend our Halloween at Siam Society due to my inability to imbibe (see story below). My companion had received a $20 gift card there from his bosses, and we fortuitiously arrived 10 minutes before Happy Hour ended so we were able to nosh delicious eats for a grand total of $19.75. I had the Siam Society Burger (house ground steak, seasoned with spices, melted gorgonzola cheese and homemade cilantro aioli) and he had the Peanut Sauce Pizza (homemade peanut sauce, mozzarella, gorgonzola and fresh vegetables). When we got the receipt back we discovered we still had $30.25 left-- it was a $50 gift card! Hooray! More mooching!

Because of all the money I saved, I'm sorely tempted to violate two of my new rules and take my Sunday buddy to Nutshell for some lunch. I can't stop thinking about those brussell sprouts...

Delicious, cheap burrito:
Spread a few tablespoons of refried beans (one can lasts for many, many delicious cheap burritos) on a tortilla. Put another few dollops of black bean and corn salsa atop that. Sprinkle with shredded cheese. Either pop it in the microwave until the cheese is melted or, if you're industrious, put it in atop a baking sheet in an oven preheated to 350. When the cheese has melted to your satisfaction, remove your 'rito from the heating implement and top it with some iceberg lettuce (again, one head of lettuce lasts for many, many delicous cheap burritos). Roll that sucker up and love it.

My inability to imbibe, explained:
I had a bad toothache that started last weekend. Assuming it might be a vestige from the hack job my hometown dentist did on me before I left Minnesota, I decided an appointment would be prudent. My new dentist resembles Michele Bachmann. She discovered after sticking a fancy camera in my mouth that I've been grinding my teeth hardcore-- my aching tooth was nearly down to its nerve endings and there was a visible crack in another. She prescribes me an anti-inflammatory and a muscle relaxer, both of which will apparently turn my innards to goo if I mix them with alcohol. For the long term, though, she wants me to get a $500 mouthguard, which I can't really afford in these troubling economic times but should probably get anyway because it will prevent me from being a toothless hag in the future. Fin.

1 comment:

  1. I think you should try being a toothless hag for awhile. It would not be good for work, or your personal life or anything, come to think of it, except for a really funny blog post.