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Posted on April 8, 2018

The 2018 HP Ohio Crystal Ball: House Pride

Living

Whew — I can’t believe it’s already April! It certainly has been a busy 2018 so far. In my attempts to catch up on some of the goings-on of the year, I can’t miss this one!

In January, my partner and I attended the annual Crystal Ball hosted by HP (Harry Potter) Ohio, one of the longest continuously running Potter fan groups. The ball is the one time during the year when members – old and new alike – get gussied up in their finest dress robes, share a meal, and dance the night away in the spirit of “well-mannered frivolity.” This was our third year attending and we had a blast!

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Posted on March 15, 2018

In which I attempt Indian cooking

Eating

For much of my life, I haven’t been what anyone would call an “adventurous eater.” My food palette has been pretty much on the Italian and American side of things. But… thanks entirely to my partner, I adventured out of my comfort zone a bit and happily discovered a love of Indian food during our trip to Europe last year. I used to wrinkle my nose at the very thought of it but now I can’t get enough.

Not only is it delicious, but I know that going into any Indian restaurant, there will be a plethora of vegetarian options. Not just a “choice” of one or two like at most places. (Hello, restaurant industry, it’s 2018.) Instead of letting ourselves go broke or stray too far from our calorie-tracking path, we’ve limited ourselves to having an Indian food outing once a month. There are a ton of restaurants in the Central Ohio area so we won’t run out of options any time soon. (Plus I just created a fun new spread for my BuJo to track the restaurants we visit!)

A few weeks ago we checked out a somewhat local Indian grocer. My partner had been before but this was my first experience. Uh-may-zing. We stocked up on some of our favorites: veggie samosas, paneer pakora, frozen blocks of paneer, a few sauces and spice packs, etc.

Some of the goodies from our recent grocery trips.

Last year for the holidays, I asked for some Indian spices and cookbooks and I’d been waiting to dive into them. We’ve now added making a new Indian recipe once a month to (in theory) balance out the cost of eating out. (Though while you’re still building up an Indian-inspired cupboard, I think there isn’t much price difference.)

So… this brings us to my first actual attempt at said cooking. I like to refer to it as a semi-homemade venture mixed with love… and a healthy dose of, “Oh, what the heck…” My favorite dish is matar paneer (basically peas and cheese cubes in a creamy tomato sauce). By the time we had left the grocery store and gotten home, there was no way a from-scratch meal was going to happen. 

After mixing up some jarred butter masala sauce, adding some spices, paneer, and frozen peas, I got something that looked somewhat like matar paneer. Unfortunately I only had almond milk at the time and not cream, so it wasn’t as light as it sometimes is. It at least looked like matar paneer.

“Matar Paneer” (using quotes here since it lacks authenticity) in the pan.

The real question, though, did it taste like it? No… not exactly. It wasn’t bad; I definitely still wanted seconds. But.. it just wasn’t the real thing. For a mostly impromptu, “Hey! Let’s make ‘Indian food’!” moment, it hit the spot. And if this is the worst “matar paneer” I ever make, then I’m already starting in a pretty good spot!

Round two will definitely involve a cookbook. And planning. And preferably an adopted Indian grandma to teach me her ways. 

 

XO, Grace

Posted on January 7, 2018

Plan With Me: January 2018 BuJo Spreads

Bullet Journal/ Living

(This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy for further information.)

Hooray, January!

There’s something that feels so refreshing about the beginning of a new year. Maybe it’s something in the air. Maybe it’s just that we’ve built up the idea that a new year means a new start so much that it has taken hold of me. Regardless… I’m excited for what’s to come in 2018.

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Posted on January 6, 2018

My 2018 Bullet Journal Setup

Bullet Journal/ Living

With the New Year recently upon us, I’m super excited to be starting it off with my bullet journal in hand (*cue squeals of geekiness*). Plus, after using it for about 4 months, I have a pretty good handle on my approach to using it. I started my first (and current) bullet journal in August of last year so this is my first time making pages for a New Year’s fresh start. There is so much out there to be inspired by and it’s so much fun (and maybe a tad overwhelming!) to look at everything that bujo fans have created.

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