Just Stay & Eat Veggie Dip!

Palos Verdes, CA

I'VE MISSED YOU!!! No, it's nothing you did that turned me away for so long. It's me, not you. But these things happen. Sometimes you just have to step back and recollect. Take a new look from a new angle.

I have traveled more this summer than any previous summers (check out the picture above from my most recent trip!). Only 8 months in my new job and 7 months in my apartment, I'm still adjusting. GMATs in September, MBA classes now. All while trying to make new friends ((thank gosh for CrossFit :)). I was running ragged! Not sleeping well, having emotional breakdowns, questioning why I am where I am. It was very defeating. And not conducive to keeping blogs. Now I can't say I've worked out all the bugs, BUT I've gained new perspective thanks to some very good advice. 

The first piece of advice was to "Just Be". Stop trying to fight everything in your life and accept that things are the way they are. Now that doesn't mean you can't change them if you are unhappy, but it is much harder to change something you can't accept. In order to accept these things, you need to "Just Stay". Stop trying to run away from these things you can't accept. Chances are you put yourself into the situations, so take a step back and understand how you got there, where you are, and where you can go. Then you will empower yourself to take control of your life again.

Second piece of amazing advice came from our very own womanwithtoomanybikes of the Gluton Free Glutton. Embrace your feelings. Don't just "shrug it off". If you don't feel right, chances are something is not right. But if you shrug off feelings or ignore feeling, it will be harder to understand what it is that isn't right. 

Her advice didn't end there, though. In fact, you have her to thank for this post today. Life is not a constant; it is always changing and eras come and go. When you feel like an era is coming to end, make sure to focus your energies on your "sanctuaries". For me, it's cooking. And not just for me, for other people. I really enjoy making a dish and sharing it with other people. Yes, I'm big on acceptance. But my friends don't seem to mind :)

So all of this has lead to me where I am today. Comfortable. Finally! They really weren't lying when they said it takes about 6 months or more to really adjust to a new place. I have finally gotten comfortable with my town (although not where I'd choose to settle), I have a great job (minus the driving!!), but most importantly, I have a great net of friends. And they are great guinea pigs to try new recipes ;)

Summer Squash and Eggplant Dip
The Food
- About 2lbs of summer squash, zucchini, and eggplant
- 1 large or 2 small onions
- 1/4 cup Olive oil, plus some extra
- Dried herbs (I used ~1 tsp basil and 1 tsp parsley)
- Salt, pepper, garlic powder* (I used about 1/4 tsp of each)
- 1 tbs Apple cider vinegar (or 2 tbs lemon juice if you have!)

The Prep
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Wash veggies and cut in half lengthwise
Cut onion into chunks (8 for 1 large, 4 each for 2 small)
Spray a foil covered baking sheet with oil

The Method
Coat the veggies and onions with some olive oil (enough to just coat, not dripping)
Place on baking sheet, cut side up, and sprinkle with salt
Roast for about 1 hour, until super tender and almost mushy
Let cool slightly and put all veggies in a processor with 1/4 cup olive oil and pulse until chunky
Add dried herbs, salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste and pulse until smooth
Add vinegar and mix until combined
Garnish with a sprig of fresh basil
Devour with some delicious vegetables like carrots, celery, or broccoli for dipping

Enjoy :) (with friends!!)

*Next time I will hopefully have fresh garlic on hand, and will roast that with the veggies instead of garlic powder!

Recipe inspired from Kim O'Donnel's Zuke-A-Mole

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