Welcome to Guest Post Spotlight Thursday
This week I am privileged to introduce a talented cook and writer. Joanne from Eats Well With Others is the hardest working woman in blogging, contributing to 3 different blogs, all the while attending medical school. I like Joanne’s style because she has something to say and is not afraid to say it. Her writing is smart, witty, humorous, and full of top notch culinary information.
Please check out, Eats Well With Others, I promise you will find a new quality blog to follow.
Idiot’s guide to making good first impressions: first dates, guest posts, and on-line dating profiles. A top ten list. By me.
1. Talk about yourself but not too much. Sharing is caring. But no one really wants to know how much pumpkin you eat on a daily basis or that your favorite part of medical school thus far has been dissecting a cadaver. In fact. Don’t mention cadavers. Or medical school. At all. They are buzzkills. Mention pumpkin. But only because it is a dealbreaker. If the reaction to pumpkin is one of shock and horror, then politely excuse yourself. And run.
2. Talk about yourself but not too little. Remember your med school essays and how you had to somehow figure out a way to explain how the fact that your favorite color is green will make you a good physician someday? All while being modest and vague; talking about yourself without actually talking about yourself? That’s a skill. Cultivate it.
3. Mention cupcakes. People like cupcakes. People are endeared to cupcakes. The way to anyone’s heart. Is through cupcakes.
4. Do not mention how much you really like the taste of tofu. Unless, of course, you are guest posting on a vegan blog. Or your first date has suggested you meet at the latest, trendiest raw food bar in NYC. Then maybe you should mention tofu every thirty seconds. Buy a watch. Set a timer. Trust me.
5. Don’t talk about the Real Housewives of New York like you know them. I know you think you know them. I know you cried during the wedding episode of Bethenny Getting Married? (okay, maybe that was slightly irrational. But did you see that red velvet cake? Totally cry-worthy.) And maybe you walk aimlessly up and down the streets of the upper east side every weekend hoping for a Jill and Ramona sighting. But these are bad habits. I hear they make patches for things like this.
6. Be succinct. Sure you can ramble on aimlessly over at your own blog. Wax poetic about peanut butter for pages on end and hope that it will be tolerated. But most men (and readers) like women of mystery. Leave them wanting more. Remember what your mother always told you – why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free. Maybe not entirely relevant, but good words to live by, nonetheless.
7. Don’t talk politics. In the food world, this means not mentioning the fact that you like vanilla better than chocolate. In New York City, this means not mentioning the fact that you are a Red Sox fan.
8. Give them something familiar. Something they know and love. Something that will make them feel safe. Chickpeas, for example, which have permeated just about every culture in some shape or form. Are a good option. Squid, on the other hand, is not a good option. Avoid it at all costs.
9. Give them something unique. Make yourself indispensible. Stray from the ordinary. Use black garbanzo beans. Tamarind. Coconut. Dabble in exotica.
10. Most importantly, be yourself. Because what better way is there to end than on a cliché, right?
Chickpeas with Coconut Sauce
Serves 4, adapted from Lisa’s Kitchen
1 ¼ cups dried chickpeas (black, white or a mix of the two)
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp yellow split peas
1 ½ tbsp coriander seeds
¼ tsp cumin seeds
4 dried red chiles
¼ cup tamarind paste
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 tsp sea salt
½ tsp ground turmeric
3 dried curry leaves
½ cup dried unsweetened coconut
¼ cup cilantro, finely chopped
1. Rinse and soak chickpeas overnight in enough water to cover them. Drain, transfer to a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce a simmer and cook until the chickpeas are soft – one and a half to two hours. Drain and set aside.
2. Reconstitute the dried coconut by combining it with a half a cup of boiling water. Let it sit for 15 minutes. Drain in a sieve and press out excess liquid. Set aside.
3. Heat the oil over medium heat. When hot, add the split peas, coriander seeds, cumin seeds and dried chiles. Stir and fry until the split peas and seeds turn reddish brown, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, transfer to a spice grinder and process until finely ground.
4. Return the pan to the heat. When the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds. When they begin to pop, add the cooked chickpeas, along with the salt, turmeric, and curry leaves. Stir a few times. Add in the tamarind and a few tbsp of water. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally for roughly ten minutes.
5. Remove from heat, stir in the ground spices, coconut, and chopped cilantro.
Check out Eats Well With Others for more.