the quarter-life birthday

It wouldn’t seem right to have a quarter-life blog and not mention that this past weekend was my real quarter-life birthday! (Symbolically, at least. Living to 100 is probably a generous estimate.) 25 years young, man-oh-man.  I celebrated in style, realizing a true dream of fronting a Journey cover band.  It doesn’t get much better than this:

It was probably one of the most fun things I’ve done, ever, and I was blown away by the love and support I got from all of the glorious people in my life who came out to the show!

Besides rocking hard, birthday weekend activities also included cooking dinner with vegetables from my CSA box! My school has successfully partnered with Tanaka Farms in Irvine, making our campus a drop-off location for bi-weekly produce boxes.  So far, 11 faculty and community members have signed up for boxes, and we hope to continue expanding.  Bonus: 10% of the proceeds from box sales is given back to the school.  Win-win-win.

Last week’s bounty included strawberries, sugar snap peas, cauliflower, rainbow chard, apples, carrots, and cabbage.  The cabbage made me nervous because, as Liz and I discussed, cabbage is really only popular in three forms: soup, slaw, and fish taco toppings.  It’s too hot for soup and I didn’t have any fish, so slaw it was.  I started looking up recipes, but quickly realized that most of what I was reading was super simple and super adaptable.  So I made up my own:


  • 1/4 head of cabbage
  • 1 medium or 2 small carrots
  • 2 tablespoons mayo
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or maybe half a clove, minced
  • lemon juice
  • warm water to thin

I cut the cabbage and carrots into small pieces and then ran them through the food processor until they were shredded.  The dressing ingredient amounts are approximations of what I actually did, and the lemon juice is a flat-out lie; I didn’t think to add it but Liz reminded me later that it would have been a great idea.  Toss it all and enjoy! I can’t wait to have this with other summer barbeque food.

I went after the cauliflower next, as it was the second most intimidating vegetable in my box.  I have to credit Liz again, as she calmed my fears and told me that a simple garlic/olive oil toss and a good roasting would yield fabulous results.  As usual, she was right:

I cooked some black quinoa in vegetable broth, added the cauliflower and some feta, and could hardly put the fork down.  Bonus: black quinoa sticks in your teeth real bad and gives you a Billy Bob smile until your next flossing.  Fun!

Thank you Tanaka Farms for growing me the beautiful produce to create these meals, and thank you friends, family, bandmates, and bartenders for giving me the best birthday I’ve had in, oh, 25 years.

Upcoming: Juice mania, via the juicer generously birthday-gifted to me by my sister and brother-in-law!


5 thoughts on “the quarter-life birthday

  1. Look at all of these cabbage recipes! casserole, curry, kimchee, cabbage rolls, or just plain sauteed!:

    This is my go-to website when I lack inspiration for what to do with a veggie. If you look at recipes by category, under “various veggies” you’ll find lots of cauliflower ideas too! And, if you really want to I’m sure you can un-veganify the recipes too…

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