Roasted Dill Salmon, Sweet Potato, & Brussels Sprouts

One of the easiest AND delicious meals I’ve made in awhile, this series of recipes will blow you away. It’s so simple, but so good, I don’t know how to explain it.

I’m going to give you these recipes in paragraphs rather than my normal style just to keep it short and to the point. I highly recommend reading before you start cooking, but you do you, maybe you like living on the edge.

This meal is perfect for two for dinner, or just for one loner (like myself) for a lunch and a dinner

So that I don’t get sued, and so that you’re fully aware, the salmon recipe is not mine. I’ll post a hyperlink and give credit where it is due because I’m not a thief (except when I’m stealing your heart with my cooking…. that was such a bad joke just lock me up now).

For the sweet potato:

  • Preheat the oven to 400F degrees and lightly oil a small roasting pan (maybe a tablespoon of oil). Make sure the bottom is coated completely. Take a sweet potato and peel that sucker. Rinse it. Grab a cutting board and cut it into small chunks (not like super small, but smaller than a golf ball). Put the sweet potato chunks into the roasting pan. Sprinkle salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes all over those suckers (more salt than anything). Put them in the oven and cook for about 20 minutes, shaking the pan once of twice to turn em. You should be able to easily cut through them with a butter knife, that’s how you know they are ready.

For the brussels sprouts:

  • Preheat oven, if not done already, to 400F degrees and again, lightly oil a small roasting pan with a tablespoon of oil, fully coating the bottom. Take about a 1/2 pound fresh brussels sprouts, rinse them in a colander, and cut off the stems of each little, delicious sprout. Then, slice them in half and place each half flat side down in the pan. Try to pour a little oil on top, then sprinkle with salt, black pepper, and garlic powder. Cook them in the oven, shaking the pan occasionally, for about 15 minutes, until the sprouts are browned, even slightly blackened on the outside.

For the dill salmon: 

The original recipe is at this link here. I am just reiterating it for convenience, but it’s not my recipe!

  • Preheat the oven to 475F degrees, after you’ve cooked the veggies above. Take some fresh dill and chop up about two handfuls of it (you should take the “leaves” off the stems and put them in a pile, then take a knife and continually chop through them). Put a few large chunks of butter into a roasting pan, along with the dill. Place in the oven and let cook until that amazing mixture is sizzling. Take out the pan and place the salmon skin side up (if there’s no skin, just whatever side is good). Cook for 4 – 6 minutes. Grab the pan out of the oven (peel the skin off the salmon if there is any). Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then flip, and sprinkle again, and place back into the oven for an additional 3 – 5 minutes.
  • Serve it with some lemon juice and fresh slices!!

And that’s it! This ridiculously easy series of recipe makes an amazing meal for you and a date, or just for you! Treat yo self.

 

Power Hour Salad

Alright, listen up. You have a limited income (probably, if you’re a college student suffering from a broken lending system that we can’t escape even with bankruptcy LOL FUN), and you may not eat very healthy all the time because of it. That’s okay though, we are going to change that.

Making this salad is just another little step you can take to eat healthy and be a little less broke at the same time. It is vegetarian, but it’s packed with protein and the good stuff (I want to stress that a protein-packed vegetarian meal is not an oxymoron. It’s absolutely a thing). So, to not bore you further, here it goes!

The Power Hour Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup of cooked grains such as quinoa, barley, etc.** (I used the “Super Grains” blend from Whole Foods, it’s pretty tasty and relatively cheap)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained, rinsed and DRIED!! with a paper towel**
  • A few slices of a red onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 – 3 handfuls of mixed spring greens or baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup (or handful) of cherry or grape tomatoes (I really love zima, they are orange and sweet and ugh so good)
  • 1/3 of a large cucumber or 1 baby cucumber, chopped and seeded if that’s your thang
  • 1 spoonful of hummus, whatever you like (I love this hummus, it’s magical)
  • 2-3 spoonfuls crumbled feta cheese

Optional Salad Dressing**:

  • 1/4 cup of Greek Yogurt
  • Juice of half a lemon (use the other half for tea or lemon water. Be creative, not wasteful)
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 – 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon salt and black pepper (to your liking)

Instructions:

  1. **If you’re new to this: Before you do anything, read that ingredients list and prepare everything! Cut and prep everything so it doesn’t take you forever.
  2. NOW, DO THIS NOW; cook your grains. It’s going to take awhile. Pick something like quinoa and read the package for cooking times. Usually, it will take you about 30 minutes. If you do choose to cook quinoa, try to make sure you rinse it through a fine mesh strainer before cooking. So, get that water boiling before you do anything else.
  3. Once you have begun cooking your grains, get a frying pan, heat it to medium-high heat, and add the 1 tablespoon olive oil. Next, add the onion to the pan and cook until they have a slight yellow look to them (but not browned).
  4. Now to add the garlic and chickpeas! Stir it on up and cook for another two to three minutes. Take off the heat and place into a bowl.
  5. If you didn’t already, cut your veggies!
  6. Take out a large bowl and add the salad greens you are using. Start to assemble everything by adding the tomatoes, cucumber, chickpeas and onions (not all of them, save some and make a pita wrap maybe?), the cooked grains, hummus, and feta cheese.
  7. If you would like to add a simple homemade salad dressing, keep reading. Otherwise, mix it all up and you’re good to go!!
  8. For the salad dressing: Get a small bowl. Whisk together the Greek yogurt, lemon, and honey. Next add the oregano, salt, and pepper. Mix it all together and there you have it! You may choose to add other herbs or spices. It’s really whatever you prefer.

Side Notes:

**It may be easier to make a whole cup of cooked grains and reserve the rest for another recipe!! That’s what I do.

**You need to make sure whenever you fry anything with oil that you limit the amount of water in contact with the item. Please make sure after you rinse the chickpeas, you dry them too to prevent yourself from being burned

**I also think this salad is great with tzatziki, which is a lot like the salad dressing above, as it’s a yogurt sauce that is so delicious. It’s a little expensive though, and if you’re not a big fan you could end up wasting it.

Halloumi Veggie Sandwich

I think one of the greatest downfalls of the United States (besides our blatant inaction to pass legislation on a comprehensive plan to address climate change) is our lack of halloumi cheese.

It’s quite surprising how many people survive without it. After you try this sandwich, I guarantee you’ll be on the phone with your senator asking for more readily available stock piles of this wonderful ingredient.

This sandwich was created in my friend Paul’s kitchen when the two of us were hungover and hungry. If I can make this with a wicked headache and little coordination, you can easily make this for a great lunch to go or Sunday snack. This tastes amazing hungover, and probably even better with a better night’s rest and a couple advil (or is that the hangover that’d be improved….)

My recipe makes two sandwiches, but obviously you can make just one, or six, or ten…. totally up to your digression. I must reiterate though that I’ve given you fair warning; you’re going to fall in obessesive, maybe unhealthy, love with halloumi.

Ingredients:

  • 4 slices of sturdy bread, multigrain is good
  • 4 pieces (small rectangles) of halloumi cheese, Trader Joe’s has it!
  • 1/2 a medium onion, sliced
    • 1/2 tsp paprika
    • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 slices of veggie bacon (or real bacon if you’re freakin lame)
  • 2 or 3 radishes, thinly sliced (this shit is hard, just do your best)
  • 1 small tomato, sliced how you like it
  • Mayo
  • Hot Sauce (optional)

Directions:

  1. Toast that bread up really nicely, however you like it. I recommend just lightly browned.
  2. Take a medium pan, heat it to medium-high heat and place the halloumi cheese in to cook. You’re going to want to brown it on both sides, a nice golden color. About 3 to 5 minutes on each side.
  3. In the meantime, mix together the onions with paprika. Take the cheese out of the pan, heat the olive oil, and proceed to cook the onions until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  4. Take a separate pan of good size and place the veggie bacon in with a little bit of oil. Cook according to the directions on the box (it’s super easy).
  5. Prepare the sandwich by spreading hot sauce on one slice of bread and mayo on the other. Take the halloumi cheese and place it on one side, then proceed with the veggie bacon, tomatoes, radishes, and finally the onions.
  6. Oh my gosh, you’re done! and you have an a-mazing sandwich; one worthy of your dreams and admiration.

Cherry Tomato, Almond, and Feta Salad

I’m going to get to the point real fast for you:

This salad is delicious and you should absolutely make this with a halloumi veggie sandwich

I came up with the recipe on the spot when I had nothing else to eat. It’s great with lunch, and a perfect dinner side dish. Think chicken or sustainably sourced salmon. You can always enjoy it as a quick snack, no judgement from me!

Ingredients:

  • 1 handful of baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup chopped kale (tip on Kale Prep)
  • 1 tsp of honey
  • 1 tbsp oil (prefer sunflower, olive works too)
  • 1 tsp of vinegar, like white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped almonds, raw or toasted in a pan
  • 1-2 handfuls of cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp of crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 or 3 fresh basil leaves (chopped), optional

Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl, combine the spinach and kale. Mix together for even distribution.
  2. Add the honey, oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Whisk this together to make a quick, yummy salad dressing.
  3. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and add them to the large bowl, along with the almonds.
  4. Mix in the salad dressing (as much as you’d like) and toss the salad.
  5. Add the feta cheese now and lightly mix to prevent the cheese from becoming an absolute disaster in the bowl.
  6. Serve, topping it with fresh basil if available.

“Literally Just Banana” Ice Cream

I’m always making banana bread with my aging, brown bananas. Don’t get me wrong, it’s absolutely delicious and I eat the entire loaf. There in lays the problem though! I don’t want to contribute to food waste so I’m not just going to chuck them in the bin.

So here’s something different, a way to save those bananas without also consuming excessive amounts of baked goods.

All you need is a plastic bag, ripe bananas, a freezer, and a blender. Yes, it is that easy.

I’ll explain the method real quick so you can start living your amazing new life with banana ice cream included.

Method:

Cut up the RIPE bananas and put them in a plastic bag. Freeze those little suckers until they are hard (I’ll usually just leave them in there for a day or so). Once frozen, throw them into a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. This may take a bit and your roommates/neighbors will hate you for it but it’s 100% worth it. It you like it a bit firmer, put it back in the fridge for 15-20 minutes. Take it out, and enjoy your creation!

You can also add other ingredients to make vegan ice cream that’s super yummy even if you don’t follow that particular diet!

Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal

This recipe is ridiculously easy. All you need is a microwave, but you can use a stove top too.
I want you to picture your favorite breakfast. You’re about to realize everything you believe to be amazing is sub-par
Okay maybe I’m incredibly over-hyping this, but it’s really good and really easy to make.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup almond milk* (or regular milk)
  • 1 apple, peeled and diced (you don’t have to peel if you don’t have time)
  • Handful of chopped walnuts, however many you want
  • A sprinkle of ground cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Grab a medium sized bowl. Combine oats and milk and stir.
  2. Microwave for 2 1/2 – 3 minutes, being careful to make sure the milk doesn’t bubble over. Stir after each minute if this is an issue.
  3. Afterwards, add the apples, walnuts and cinnamon. Let sit for a minute before stirring in.
  4. Mix it all up and enjoy! It it’s not sweet enough, add a little bit or honey or sugar. You shouldn’t have to though, it’s delicious!

Notes*

You don’t have to use almond milk, but I’d recommend it. Almond milk stays better for longer in the fridge. If you aren’t an avid milk drinker, this can really help you save money and reduce waste!

 

 

Breakfast Tacos

This recipe is so easy, so I want to write it concisely so you can get to enjoying these wonderful vegetarian tacos

Ingredients:

  • Cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • Shredded Cheese (Mexican, White Cheddar, Pepper Jack)
  • Avocado, peeled and mashed
  • Tortillas, taco sized
  • Lettuce, chopped
  • Greek Yogurt or Sour Cream, for topping
  • Hot Sauce (I love Trader Joe’s Chili Sauce)
  • Eggs, scrambled
  • Salt
  • Chili Powder
  • Paprika
  • Garlic Powder

Instructions:

  1. Prepare all ingredients. If you’re making one or two for yourself, use a handful of each the cheese and tomatoes. Grab one egg for one person, three for two people, and so on.
  2. Take the eggs you’re using and scramble them with a pinch of each salt, chili powder, paprika, and garlic powder.
  3. Put a saucepan on the stove top, set the temperature to medium-low, and cook the eggs. Stir frequently with a rubber spatula until they are fluffy and just a little wet.
  4. Meanwhile, heat your tortillas in the microwave between damp paper towels, about thirty seconds.
  5. Grab a tortilla and smear a generous amount of avocado on it. Place egg on top of tortilla.
  6. Top off the tortilla with cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, Greek yogurt/sour cream, and hot sauce.
  7. Enjoy because it’ll be the best part of your day.

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Note: Whole Wheat Flour

Whether it’s whole wheat or white whole wheat flour, you are going to have to be careful while using it when baking.

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This flour is tricky and sticky. If you are making a batter, ensure that you DO NOT OVERMIX. The best way to make certain you don’t is to only mix until you can’t see any loose flour. If its all blended, STOP. I avoid using a hand or stand mixer. Use that “I LIFT” arm strength and mix it by hand.

What will overmixing do?

If you overmix your batter, whatever is being made will be edible…. it just won’t be that good. The product will be stiff and without fluffiness. It may be too dense, especially in the case of bread.

Snickerdoodle Cake

People are obsessed with this cake when I make it. To be fair, its absolutely delicious.

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Just to be clear, I didn’t originally write this recipe, but I totally don’t even mind. This Snickerdoodle Cake is out of this world delicious; it’s comparable to a trip in the enterprise or the tardis. I changed the recipe a little, but I’d like to post the link to the blog I got it from and give her a shout-out before diving into what I did.

Always with Butter is the original creator of the Snickerdoodle Cake I’ve made. Her/His recipe is near flawless, but I did change some things for the better because I didn’t make as many layers. Also, my adaptions made it a better cupcake batter too.

Here is Always with Butter‘s recipe with my adaptions, and the frosting recipe as well.

Ingredients :

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tbls baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tbls cinnamon
  • 2 sticks butter, softened at room temp
  • 1 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

Instructions :

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  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Mix so that everything is evenly dispersed. Set aside.
  3. Take a large bowl and beat the butter on medium high with an electric mixer until the butter is whipped. Add the sugar and continue to beat so as to make a fluffy mix.
  4. Add each egg, one at a time. Add the vanilla. Scrape the sides with a rubber spatula to make sure everything is combined.
  5. Now, alternate adding the flour mixture and milk in small amounts until everything has been added to the large bowl. The batter may be a bit thick, but it’s so good. (All I wanted to do was eat the batter. I probably ate a whole cupcake worth.)
  6. Pour batter into 9″ baking pans, cupcake tins, or whatever you’ve got.
  7. If you’re making cupcakes, bake for 15-17 minutes. If making with the 9″ baking pans, about 40-45 minutes. It takes a bit longer, but the cake is perfectly moist

I didn’t change anything about the frosting recipe, so I just feel like I should post the link right here to let you visit it if you want to make it!

Enjoy the f*ck out of this cake. It’s so good.

Grapefruit Chicken Marinade

The inspiration for this recipe came to me when I was actually reading another marinade recipe online. In the instructions, whoever wrote it said to use any citrus juice you’d like. I don’t think he/she meant grapefruit! It was the only citrus I had at hand at the time, but the marinade turned out perfect.

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I can’t find the inspirational recipe anywhere, but I’ve written my own grapefruit marinade that knocks any others out of the park! I love this recipe because it doesn’t use any sweeteners. Fresh grapefruit juice is enough because as you cook the chicken, the sugars in the juice caramelize for a slight sweet note. I make this ALL the time.

Depending on when you need to cook the chicken, you can make the marinade up to a day in advance. I like to marinate for a good 4-5 hours, even overnight sometimes. An hour is the minimum I’d say.

Ingredients:

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  • 1/2 vidalia onion, diced
  • 1/3 cup grapefruit juice, freshly juiced
  • 2 tbls distilled white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (or sunflower)
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1-3 tbls sriracha
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp black ground pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 3-4 chicken breasts

Instructions:

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  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl or plastic bag and stir. Allow to sit for 5- 10 minutes before adding the chicken.
  2. Tenderize the chicken, poking each side with a pair of forks. Place chicken in the marinade.
  3. Put the marinade with the chicken into the fridge for at least an hour, up to a day.
  4. Grill, saute, or bake the chicken after it’s finished marinating!

 

 

The BEST Scrambled Eggs

You may be thinking right now, “Seriously? Do you really need to clarify how to make one of the easiest things in the world?” Yes, yes I do.

Why must I do this?

Doctor Well 1

You probably suck at making eggs, and you don’t even know it. It’s kind of like realizing after eleven years that you named your male hamster Gloria because your parents were too polite to tell you she wasn’t actually a she (rock on Gloria, who cares). I’m not that polite though when it comes
to this. It’s too easy for you to fuck up. If you like plain, and you want to do it your way, why are the hell are you here?! Make your average eggs! To everyone else, listen to me, and make them right. You’ll never go back to rubbery, tasteless, disgustingly average eggs.

I’m going to give you options. Eggs don’t have to have only salt and pepper after they’ve already been cooked. You can spice them up! Take these other tips to heart as well.

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Tips:

  • Get some real butter, no margarine. No offense if you like it, but it’s ABSOLUTELY awful when you cook eggs.
  • Put the butter actually IN with the eggs before you cook them. Just cut the butter into little chunks and mix it into the raw egg.
  • SOUR CREAM, the secret (or creme fraiche) to the best eggs. When your eggs are about halfway cooked, with some raw, liquidy egg left, take the pan off the burner and add a spoonful of sour cream or creme fraiche. Mix it up and then put it back on the burner to continue to cook.
    • Creme fraiche is expensive BUT IT’S SO GOOD. JUST TRY IT ONCE. You’ll never regret it
  • If you’ve browned them, you’ve gone too damn far. There’s no turning back; I’m sorry for your loss.
  • Use a saucepan to cook them instead of a frying pan. You can mix them much more easily this way.
  • Grab a rubber spatula and use that to continually mix while cooking.
  • Before you cook them, add herbs and spices to the raw eggs. Below I’ve listed some of my favorite combinations.

Variations:

For each egg you cook, I recommend 1/8 tsp as your standard for each herb or spice

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I can guarantee if you try adding flavor to your eggs before cooking them, every time you go out to breakfast you’ll be asking the chef for special eggs like a posh badass.

  • salt + pepper + paprika in equal quantities
  • salt + chili powder + cumin with less cumin
  • tarragon + sage + salt + extra pepper
  • red pepper flakes + oregano + salt + pepper
  • curry powder (1/4 tsp per egg) + salt + pepper (both 1/8 tsp per egg)
  • salt + cayenne + a pinch of nutmeg

 

Try your own! Get out there and experiment with your eggs…. okay not in that way. Come on, you know what I mean.

Maximum Yogurt Deliciousness

I have trouble making decisions, about everything. Whether it was choosing my major or which carton of eggs (because they’re all so different right?). Sometimes, there are just too many options to choose from. I’m not complaining! I’d rather have variety than be limited, but choosing the right… anything? can be difficult.

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If you shop at a grocery store, you’ve probably seen the wall or isle of yogurt options. Fruit in the bottom, fat-free, sugar-free, candy add ins, all types of Greek yogurt, and so it goes. I probably haven’t even covered half the choices. With all of these brands, types, and “healthy” claims, I used to be lost and confused on what the hell I should buy. “Greek yogurt is so good for you! With probiotics, antibiotics, holy water, golden flakes, it’s all great!” If you look at a standard container of flavored Greek yogurt though, the sugar content is comparable to a serving of ice cream. Fruit-in-the-bottom yogurt is even worse. Health claims scream from the labels, making empty promises a lot of the time.

I love what Michael Pollan said about labels with health claims in his book and documentary In Defense of Food.  “If you’re concerned about your health, you should probably avoid products that make health claims. Why? Because a health claim on a food product is a strong indication it’s not really food, and food is what you want to eat.” I live by this advice. When I grocery shop, I buy food without labels or with little to say if it has a label.

Doctor_shocked

I recommend following this advice with all of your food shopping, but especially yogurt. Buy plain and simple. Every time I shop for food, I buy a large container of plain, low-fat Greek yogurt. I don’t listen to the health claims; I just now it has added protein and I like the thickness of it. Plain Greek yogurt sounds bland as hell if you aren’t used to flavoring things on your own, but that’s what I’m here for! You can eat healthy and enjoy it too.

Okay, so first, buy the plain Greek yogurt (or regular yogurt. Just make sure it’s plain).

Decide how you want to eat it. Do you want to have yogurt for breakfast? Is it a snack? How about savory options? I have a few recipes for each.

Breakfast

  • Take some yoYogurt with cinnamon + honey + vanilla + blueberriesgurt and add honey + cinnamon + fresh fruit. Don’t add the fruit till you’re happy with the sweetness. I don’t want to tell you how much to add because I’m weird and sweetness isn’t a priority. Only add around 1/8 tsp cinnamon for each 1/3 cup yogurt. You can make this a day or two ahead.

 

 

 

  • Greek yogurt with maple syrup + toasted walnuts + ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract per 1/3 cup yogurt.
    • I love this on an autumn morning. The maple syrup may make it a bit thinner if you use a larger amount. I recommend having this with an apple or waffles, but don’t add the syrup to the waffles! You’ve already got it.
  • Yogurt + vanilla extract + almond extract + toasted almonds + fresh blueberries
    • Both extracts ¼ teaspoon per 1/3 cup yogurt
  • Add your favorite cereal (low in sugar I hope) to yogurt for a longer lasting full feeling

Sweet Snack

I usually just add a spoonful of each ingredient (besides extracts and spices) for a few spoonfuls of yogurt

Yogurt 2

  • Yogurt + natural peanut butter + jam
    • Add more jam than peanut butter.
  • Yogurt + natural peanut butter + honey + cinnamon + Nutella OR chocolate chips (unless you’re a rebel)
  • Yogurt + Nutella + peanut butter chips (this is enough sugar, I promise)
  • Yogurt + lemon juice + honey
  • Yogurt + jam + chocolate chips or toasted, crushed nuts
    • Any type of jam will do, but I love blueberry
  • Yogurt + pumpkin puree + cinnamon + toasted walnuts
  • Yogurt + orange juice + orange zest + vanilla extract
  • Yogurt + broiled strawberries + brown sugar

Savory

  • Dips for chips and veggies
    • Yogurt + toasted sunflower seeds + lemon juice + thyme
    • Yogurt + chopped green onion + minced garlic or garlic powder + salt + olive oil
  • Sandwich or pita spread
    • yogurt + fresh dill + lemon juice + salt + little bit of garlic

IF YOU WANT SPECIFIC RECIPES WITH AMOUNTS AND ALL THAT JAZZ, POST A COMMENT AND LET ME KNOW.

Other Uses

Greek yogurt can be used as a substitute for sour cream, which is less calories if you’re into that. I just like the way it tastes.

Probably works as a good calking agent if you leave it out in the sun

It can help you live to 100 if you rub it on your elbows each morning

It can turn you into a time lord for a split second if you close your eyes. You’d have to each five tubs of it though for this to occur.

Greek yogurt is a great hair gel. Wear it to all family get-togethers and especially on dates.