Thursday, March 12, 2009

Recession + New Home = Entertainment and Dining Innovation

This is the first post on the new blog, and I figured I'd just jump right into it- and skip the whole 'we're an interracial/interfaith yuppie-tastic couple', living in the inner city, and starting a cliche blog' schpiel...IT'S A RECESSION, Y'ALL!!!

And with the recession, comes innovation. As someone who's always been a 'spendthrift' and 'deal enthusiast,' it's surprising to me that it takes our country being in dire straits before we start seeing penny pinching News Reports, and Money Wise articles printed daily. I'm thrilled that the world is finally coming around (and that I don't seem so cheap anymore)- but I also believe that the new frugality that people are being forced to experience is something to be embraced as a way of life, long after this recession has faded into distant memory.

Joshua and I (Joshua being the lighter and righter half to my chocolatey goodness)- comes from a background where there has always been a decent bit of financial support- and rarely wanted for much, growing up. Fortunately, he still possesses a keen fiscal sense- and can never pass up a good deal (more on why 'passing up a good deal' is important sometimes- later). This has aided in our compatibility, with Joshua often saying to me, "This is why I love you," after I tell him I would never accept flowers as a gift- because they're too expensive and just die (we have a 'special' relationship). With our personalities combined, we've been able to develop a sense of self-sufficiency that can weather any economic storm.

We had become accustomed, as is part of dating ritual, to going out to dinner as frequently as 4 times a week. Never would our stingy personalities let us have a $100/plate meal- but $5-$10 bucks a person- can really add up! We've taken to figuring out how to replicated our favorite dinners out- at home. That's right...We're using the kitchen, the stove, going to farmers markets, and the Asian market. It's crazy, it's yup-tastic (def; to behave in the manner stereotypically reserved for Young Urban Professionals or Yuppies), and it's delicious. I've decided to use this post- and maybe some others for our better finds (entertainment, cheap eats, and recipes).

Last evening Joshua and I had Sushi for dinner. And no- we didn't spend $60 bucks eating out at our favorite restaurant in Baltimore- we made it ourselves, at home!

I know, I know, daunting task, right? Should I risk seafood poisoning, just to quell my burning desire for wasabi laced yellowtail? The answer is simply...Yes. It's just isn't as difficult as it seems- not to mention, that there are many good reasons why sushi is a great dish to replicate for yourself at home...

1. Sushi rarely, if ever, requires special spices- so if you are one of those people who has attempted chinese food at home- and was frustrated that your "Fried Rice," didn't taste quite right- Sushi may be for you.

2. It's fast. As long as you've prepared your Sushi rice in advance (it only takes an additional 20 minutes if you haven't)- you're looking at a 30 minutes or less to the table. You can't even get your sushi that quickly if you drive to the restaurant and order it.

3. You can try all the flavors you never had the guts (or funds) to order before. Never had eel? Give it a go. Crazy for Conch? Wrap it up. There are countless options- even Thai-Style Sticky Coconut Rice and Mango Rolls- that you can create.

So now that you're convinced that this is the way to go- here is where to start:

1. A quick trip to your local Asian Market or Trader Joes for ingredients- see this website for a basic list of things you'll need (I estimate about $20 bucks- east coast, mid-atlantic dollars- for equipment and ingredients- this doesn't include the cost of the fish or the bagged Edemame-Soybeans- that you can get for $2 bucks).

Sushi Equipment List:

It may seem like $20 bucks is a bit much to spend on a 'fooding adventure' (I know some of you are thiftier than I)- but considering that you'll get over 10 rolls (at 8 pieces per roll) out of your purchases- you'll more than quadtruple your cost.

2. Next it's important to educate yourself on how to make sushi correctly- read this short step-by-step (WITH PHOTOS) and watch this short YouTube clip. It makes it ten times easier to get started.

Step-By-Step Instructions:
Sushi 'How To' Video:

3. Get Rolling.

As cheesy as it sounds, it's wonderful to know that you don't have to go out to get a great meal. We've been thrilled with the way our dishes (particularly; crepes, italian, sushi, and even an at home Chipotle Burrito!) have turned out- and our bellies (and pockets) feel even happier.


  1. At home chipotle burrito?? Surely not. Really??

    I remember Teddy making sushi once. It actually turned out pretty good - I've been meaning to try my hand...

  2. Yeah at home Chipotle, I have my doubts lol...but you can show me when I get home. Oh yeah and maybe some chicken alfredo!