1. New journals! I’m a huge fan of writing for oneself, as I’ve mentioned, and have been writing up a storm these last few months.
I ordered this one off Etsy a couple days ago and it just arrived, even more perfect than I’d hoped. I’m really picky about the kind of journal I write in, and must have: unlined paper, a unique cover, and must not look mass-produced. This is made out of a recycled book, and I love the faux library card insert the artist put in the back cover.
2. Single lady dinner! A friend recently sent me this book, which is a collection of essays by writers (including Ann Patchett and Haruki Murakami, two of my very favorites) about the rituals of cooking and eating alone. Do we make the same kind of elaborate meals we would make for family or friends? Do we assemble random ingredients similar to a pregnant woman’s cravings? What is our ultimate dish to eat in private? I love it.
In the third essay, “Beans and Me,” Jeremy Jackson describes the meal he makes for himself night after night: beans + cheesy rice (or sometimes beans + cornbread). Reading about it on the crosstown bus, I was salivating. So last night, I had to make it myself. And it was the best rice and beans I’ve ever had. You’re probably rolling your eyes and thinking, “Come on, Katie, how good can rice and beans be?” I’ll tell you. Jackson uses canned beans, but instead of draining and rinsing them as I normally would, he first sautés garlic and onion in oil and then dumps the entire can, liquid and all, into the pot to simmer. Uh-mazing. On the side, Green Giant Cheesy Rice + Broccoli (bought with a coupon from the company… surprisingly delicious!) and steamed butternut squash. Heavenly dinner alone.
3. Single lady desserts! I made Katie’s Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie for One over the weekend, and I experimented just about every way I could. I tried using pumpkin first (instead of oil) and nuking it in the microwave, but it came out sort of rubbery. I tried again in the microwave, this time using oil. Again, spongey and not at all crisp. I was craving a cookie, which is as much about texture as flour and chocolate, so I started a third time, this time using coconut oil and baking it in the oven.
I baked it in a ramekin and ate it with a spoon. Third time’s a charm! All that was missing was the ice cream.
4. A special “chipment” from popchips! I went out for spinach, and came back to this heavenly sight on my doormat.
If you’ve read my blog in the last couple months, you’ve probably noticed my obsession with these air-popped chips. And up until a couple months ago, I didn’t really have an opinion about chips… I could take ‘em or leave ‘em. But popchips? I had to have them every day. Somehow the company must have heard about my obsession, because this box showed up on my doorstep, complete with two new-to-me flavors: Parmesan Garlic and Jalepeño. 5. I want to hook you up, too!On behalf of popchips anonymous (ahem), one US reader will win the same sample pack you see above. And before you go ahead and say you couldn’t possibly finish those all yourself, know that I, too, was once a non-believer. Those things won’t last two weeks!
Want to win? Here are 3 ways to enter!1. Leave a comment with your favorite meal to make for yourself. Rice and beans? Grilled cheese? Banana-pickle sandwiches? Let’s have ‘em!2. What’s your favorite savory snack? (Other than popchips, of course .) I’m always on the lookout for things to bring to school!3. Tweet this contest @lilveggiepatch + @popchips.
You have until Friday morning to enter. In the mean time, I’ll be building myself a lil’ chip-nest.
The giveaway is now closed. The winner is:
Congratulations, Nikki! Please send me an e-mail with your mailing address.