January’s What’s for Dinner: Winter Blues Are for Losers (Bluesers?)

I love snow! It shuts down my work after I’ve already made the harrowing trek, which might SEEM like a big hassle, but I look at it this way: the snow puts me in front of a computer, armed with a fear of getting back in my car and fishtailing my way home. So I’m going to use this opportunity to bring the blogosphere as we know it TO ITS VERY KNEES with a recap of my experience with the January issue of Living’s “What’s for Dinner!”

My new strategy of using these dinners to pay back generous folks who have showered us with food in the past is really paying off. As you can see from the pictures below, Anne and Joel look pleased and not at all annoyed at being used for my own purposes! Capital people!

The Menu:

  • Shrimp Tikka Masala
  • Honey-Roasted Eggplant with Chiles
  • Toasted-Coconut Rice
  • Pistachio Brittle with Ice Cream

Substitutions, yeah, I made ’em! Joel can’t eat shrimp and Anne can’t eat chicken, so I made a little shrimp tikka masala and a little chicken tikka masala. It’s basically some toasted spices and onion in a tomato-type sauce with shrimp (or chicken). Don’t tell anyone, but I forgot to add yogurt at the end. I kept my mouth shut about that, and no one seemed to mind. Devious!

I also couldn’t find baby eggplant, so I cut up grown-up eggplant into chunks. Roasting it with honey was a delicious concept that I might use for everything I roast from now on. The chile added some nice spice, but it couldn’t spice up the fact that the texture of roasted eggplant makes me depressed.

Toasted-coconut rice, how shall I name thee? “Not overly exciting, but easy to make.” The basic concept is, toast some coconut, stir in some rice, cook rice as usual, add some scallions and more coconut. It was like rice, dressed up. Not as good as Joel’s famous coconut milk rice, but passable (and probably fewer calories) (psssh not that I care about that kind of thing).

Not glassy sheet

I expected to be bored with the pistachio brittle situation that they wanted me to do for dessert. To add some glamour,* I made some mango sorbet out of two underripe mangoes, with middling results. I will admit that the pistachio brittle itself was more exciting than the sorbet that I thought would make me look so cool. It didn’t spread into a sheet of nut-studded glass like I wanted it to, but since I just broke it apart anyway before serving, it didn’t seem to matter.

....but good-looking in the end! (twss)

The meal was tasty and satisfying, and I would certainly make the tikka masala with the coconut rice again, but the true standout was something that wasn’t on the menu, and that was the mulled wine that Anne threw together after dinner. I could seriously drink a gallon of that stuff, especially in my new hunt cups (thanks, Rocky!) and especially when post-dinner festivities include Cherry Bomb.

Anne mulling wine...

...hunt cups ready to receive it!


Do you like Marthable so much that you want others to quiver in fear before its internet majesty? I’m not sure how we can ever pull that off, but it would be super rad if you voted for us in the RVANews Internet awards! We’ve been nominated for Best Kept Secret, which I think means “nobody knows about us,” and I guess winning it means “people will know about us?” It’s a short survey, only five or so questions. You do have to answer every question, though, so for those readers who are my mother, I don’t know what to tell you about the Twitter related ones. I’d explain Twitter, but I’m afraid you will sign up.


There are cool things afoot for the February issue, which breaks it down to the bare essentials, adorably: Chocolate, Hearts, & Roses!

Stats and Substitutions:

  • Time, 1 hr and 20 minutes
  • Chicken for shrimp and shrimp for chicken (I made the rest of the tikka masala first and then divided it into two saucepans before adding shrimp/chicken).
  • Regular eggplant for baby eggplant
  • Random chile for Thai chile
  • Homemade mango sorbet (via David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop) instead of ice cream
  • Mulled wine instead of regular. Trust me.

*FYI, Google Chrome believes I have spelled that wrong. I have not.



  1. Kelly · February 10, 2010

    I would get my mom to vote for me to cancel out your mom’s vote for you but I don’t feel like telling my mom that I have a blog. I guess the next most competitive thing would be to not tell my mom that you have one, either.

    • Susan · February 11, 2010

      I nominated you!!

    • Susan · February 11, 2010

      We should have come together as a bloc so as not to let the terrorists win. I wish they had checkboxes instead of radio buttons so votes wouldn’t get split. OR we can ignore it? Let’s do that. I need you to use your time doing research on a miniseries to watch.

      • Kelly · February 11, 2010

        Blog access has been blocked at work (ugh) so I will have extra time to both research and write a miniseries.

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