Why Watching Gastroporn Before Bed is a BAD Idea

Laundry, done. Room, clean enough. Plants, not dead (yet). Parents, all tucked into bed….

It’s almost my bed time and I’m ready for bed but not quite there yet. And that’s why I head down the rabbit hole. This image flashes across my computer screen:

Pan-Seared Butternut Squash with Balsamic & Parmigiano Shards

Pan-Seared Butternut Squash with Balsamic & Parmigiano Shards (Links to original recipe on The Kitchn)

Gastroporn… never a god idea if you’re almost ready for bed and you want to go to bed in the near future. Because it starts with the Pan-Seared Butternut Squash and leads to the struggle not to pull out your credit card to buy this book:

"Modernist Cuisine At Home"

“Modernist Cuisine At Home”

To imagining the ability to trot into town and find a cozy place next to a fire with good friends having a Raclette Party. Then you’re thinking about Raclette and you start looking up videos…

And then it’s several hours later and it’s like you’ve just come out the other end of a black hole. So you slam your laptop shut and scramble into bed to calm down with a good erotica novel. You know, to take your mind off the fact that you just realized you haven’t eaten since breakfast.

Good night Foodie Nation!

Ice Cream Week: “Saturn Peach and Pistachio Nougat Ice Cream” (Day 2)

Saturn Peach and Pistachio Nougat Ice Cream

“Saturn Peach and Pistachio Nougat Ice Cream” from Cannell et Vanille

The blog this photo comes from says that this recipe is for the last days of summer and some other nonsense that puts constraints on ice cream which I don’t approve of. What I do approve of is the photography and the recipe itself. Funny enough I recently was chatting with a friend who also owns an ice cream maker and she said that the book this recipe comes from (“The Perfect Scoop: Ice Creams, Sorbets, Granitas, and Sweet Accompaniments” by David Lebovitz and photography by Lara Hata) is one that I should definitely be in ownership of now that I have my fancy machine to help me out. And yes, I have just checked and it is, indeed, the same David Lebovitz who’s book “The Sweet Life in Paris” I read last summer from which I have yet to make a certain chocolate cake recipe… So now I must absolutely own this book and it will probably go on this summer’s Gastrogasms Reading List.

Erotic Sandwich Photos Too Hot for University Internet To Handle

Bahn Mi

“Bahn Mi” from… somewhere on the internet…

As you all can tell, I have no problem throwing the word “porn” around. Porn, porn, porn. And then of course I break out in the the chorus for “The Internet is for Porn” from Avenue Q. The first time I did that I was in a philosophy of religion class and someone said that a metaphor for God could be the internet and one of my back row Honors buddies pointed out that 90% percent of the internet is used for porn. I wrote my class journal for that week on how we think of God in human terms and since the majority of humans have pornographic thoughts regularly it made sense that we would just ignore that when trying to make ourselves look like photocopies of God. And who knows… maybe God does think about porn. It wouldn’t be anything like ours, I’m sure, but still… worth a really awkward thought.

It’s in the 90’s today and that makes me sad. And I had to wake up super early to try once again to convince the DMV that I am in fact a state resident who should be allowed to get an ID card. I had so carefully gotten together all my documentation together to go in and get it earlier this week and they let me do everything but get the card itself until I bring in another proof of residency. I got a sunburn standing outside the MVA at 8am only to be told that the additional documents I had brought in didn’t count but that I was allowed to print off other bank/credit card statements and use those. So I’m going to try and go back later today and have told my boss that afterwards I will be working from home because its just too much hassle to go back and forth and back and forth and really I’ll I’m doing today is reading this book for next year and coming up with questions all them new students will have to suffer through. It’s a good book and I find it fascinating but I already know that the new crop of freshies are most likely to complain at me about how it’s more than 160 characters (or however long messages are these days).

But since I was up so early and now have like the biggest pile of dead trees with all possible bank/card statements the MVA might accept from me all printed out I’m hungry. And I know I still have Bahn Mi materials in the fridge. I was going to share a lovely post once about about the wonders of bahn mi and how you should be eating them but then I can across a serious problem… The university’s firewall…

I swear this thing block anything and everything of any remote possible interest to the majority of humanity. The word “wine” shows up on a page? BLOCKED! Any reference to sexual relations of any kind? BLOCKED (Yep, even some news articles)! Bahn mi…. BLOCKED for Mature/Adult Themes of a Sexual Nature.

It makes me want to laugh and cry all at the same time.

So there it is folks, somewhere in the post attached to the photo above is something so horrifyingly sexy that I can’t even open it on campus. It looks rally delicious… MUST BE A SIN!

Oh and look! A little bird has landed outside my office window and is trying to make friends with my Batman and Catwoman Lego figures… Since the internet seems to be off-limits I guess I’ll go play with Legos now.

To Pie!

Sweet Tea Pie

“Sweet Tea Pie” from Tasting Table

If you’ve been paying attention this month, you’ll know that I’m attempting to not spend any money this month. Living at home and not having to pay for food or rent and working at the same place as your dad really allows for me to to this properly. And so far this month I’ve only spent $20.18. And there is an explanation for that which I won’t go into here.

Aside from going out to eat, which was like my only type of expense last month and for which I was eternally shamed after seeing the final bill for the month, one of the other things I tend to spend a lot on is books. I actually had a month budget for books which I could rarely stick to because once I start buying books it is over. O-V-E-R. I will buy e-books. I will buy paperbacks. I will buy graphic novels (seriously I have a half-bookshelf in my office full of them). And of course I will buy cookbooks and occasionally I will go to the thrift store and just fill up a cart of any kind of book I can get my hands on.

But I gave up buying books for Lent and then I went on my current spending fast for the month of April. This means that I haven’t bought a single book (not even the free ones because that’s like a gateway drug) since mid-February. My mom keeps pointing out that I/We aren’t Catholic but I’ve been sticking to it and so far so good. I did just get an iTunes gift card yesterday and I’m starting to slip a little but so far so good. I’m only PLANNING to buy books. I haven’t done anything I’ll regret yet.

The no-book-buying policy has forced me to turn back to my previous purchases and look at them more carefully. Some I bought on good recommendations and some I thought just looked cool. But I do have a lot of books that I haven’t actually read. This is what happens when I start downloading books (especially the free ones from iBooks or Kindle). I have amassed so many e-books (most of them free) that it’s kind of ridiculous. But now I am going back and checking everything out properly and reading them or whatever it is one does with free e-books that are mostly pictures.

And it turns out there are a few gems in my digital “pile”. For instance, I had forgotten about the two free or cheap (I can’t even remember) Tasting Table cook books I’d gotten on iBooks sometime ago and never even looked at. I was browsing the online store and it says I’d already downloaded that book. I was like “Whoa! Really? I mean that makes sense it looks like something I would get but when did I do that?”

And that’s how I found the recipe for this post. “Sweet Tea Pie”. And what do you know? My mom just replenished our never diminishing tea supply and after the party this past weekend I still have everything I need to make this recipe.

To Pie!

Gastroporn Menu – March.2013

We’re skipping a couple of the winter months and heading straight into Spring! March also happens to be the month where my birthday is located. Happy Silver Jubilee to Me! There are several uses for Blood Oranges in this menu due to the fact that I have recently found a good place to procure them. Perhaps there’s even some illusion to the religious holiday that lands within the vicinity of my Aging Day and the fact that it will signify the end of Lent. I’ve given up buying recreational books and it’s been somewhat trying. Good thing I’ve got a personal library to keep me going!

Gastroporn Menu – March.2013

 “Oo Shiny!”

Artichoke and pea soup with fried curd

Artichoke and Pea Soup with Fried Curd

Baguette with Parmesan and Roasted Garlic

Baguette with Parmesan and Roasted Garlic

 Lamb Chops With Blood Orange Sauce, Roasted Okra With Chili Oil

Lamb Chops With Blood Orange Sauce, Roasted Okra With Chili Oil (Follow the link to the original blog with some very good photos that go with this meal)

Luscious Blood Orange Bars with a Brown Butter Crust

Luscious Blood Orange Bars with a Brown Butter Crust

Bloody Mimosa

Bloody Mimosa

“Balancing” the “Budgets”

Now that I’m fully employed (meaning I go to an office 4 days a week and get paid to do “stuff”) I have been both missing my old carefree days of school while also enjoying all the things I get to do with the much larger paychecks I get. And yes, I did actually earn money during school. Hate me all you want but I finished my MBA with a rather nice little pile of not-so-hard earned money and just found out the school owes me over $2000 because I paid too much money to cover all my fees for when I went to France last summer.

So what do I do with all my piles of cash? Well I save it, mostly, and I’m starting some investment accounts (still in the testing phase) and the rest I blow on things like this:

Le Collectionneur, Integrale (French Edition)

And of course there is the regular frolic sessions in and around the DC area that usually involve Smithsonian Art Gallery shops and dinner.

Yesterday was an afternoon spent in Downtown Silver Spring after hearing nothing from the students I had set aside time to take to the Holocaust Museum that included lunch, window shopping, getting frustrated with shoes that look pretty but don’t fit my feet (which are genetically engineered for hunting and gathering like my Java Man ancestors in the jungles of Indonesia but not for cute shoes), and then “Skyfall”. 007 movies are among my absolute favorites. I had a crazy insane face the whole movie I was that happy.

When my Mexican sister (who was having a birthday and thus all the intense amounts of fun piled into one day) and I got out of the movie we realized that we were late for our dinner reservations at Firefly with our Kenyan sister. After rescheduling the dinner with enough time to get into DC and find parking and finally making it to the restaurant we had a grand time with the food, the bottles of booze, and time spent together (which we haven’t done in a really long time).

Firefly (click to go to the restaurant website)
And as a side note: Unless otherwise stated you can click on ALL photos in this blog and be taken to an external source. As a good English degree holder I know how to cite my sources.

My Kenyan sister and I are notorious tippers in DC and our poor server was having a really crap day. Plus he was super cute and actually very nice, despite the tired look on his face and the drooping shoulders while he went to replace our champagne flutes (which had lipstick marks on them). We wrote him a note and left a nice 40% tip. Not our highest percentage on a tip but still pretty decent (and if you know anything about the price of dining out in DC you’ll know that 40% is no small amount). He smiled when he got our signed bills and it was a good end to the night.

I get to the office this morning and sort through all the emails to pick out the best images/recipes to go up on the Facebook page and then I check the damage of yesterday’s frolic session with the siblings. Not as bad as it has been and nowhere near as bad as my horrifying literary hobby. I’m also reminded by another email that I have yet to receive my physical copy of Food & Wine magazine. I have a special budget now for GastroGasms which includes “Research”.

As a decent MBA graduate I know that funding has to come from somewhere and so I have started a project that will hopefully help with the upkeep of this research and potentially the little GastroGasms community: A GastroGasms Calendar.

Exciting isn’t it?!

I’ve begun collecting food/drink related holidays from various sources and am currently compiling them for use in a GastroGasms calendar. If anyone knows of some that they feel needs to be included I would love the additional input. I’ve already enjoyed National Dessert Day and Champagne Day in October and I think everyone needs to be made aware of such momentous markers in time in advance (unlike me who found out last minute and would have to make an emergency batch of chocolate cupcakes for National Chocolate Cupcake Day).

The Calendar will also, feature the monthly Gastroporn menus.

And people wonder what I do at work all day… Speaking of work. I need to go prepare for Lego Death Star night in the conference room!

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