Sunday, August 15, 2010

chickpeas and chocolate

Before you ask (in case your memory is super-sharp), No, I have not made chocolate hummus yet.  It is most definitely still on my imaginary To Do list, but it is yet unmade.

Why don't we back up to last night's dinner then?  We took a second go-around with Colleen's Saffron-Spiked Moroccan Stew, but this time I left off the saffron.  Despite that exclusion, when I tasted the simmering broth halfway through, it was undeniably sweeter than I thought it should be.  I held off on adding a glug of tamari like I really really wanted to and instead doused it with a healthy shake of salt.

It's really a very attractive dish - bright and colorful, just brimming with the colors you can imagine as scarves tied to the poles holding up tents at a Moroccan bazaar.  I served it over top of Israeli couscous, and I would like to record here, for future reference (most likely my own), that it takes about 7 minutes of boiling for Israeli couscous to be al dente.  Israeli couscous is delightfully light, so it felt like I was eating a fluffy white cloud.

Mister had picked up something I consider utterly revolting at the corner store because he thought it would help him sleep.  We've been having another fun bout of insomnia, so at this point, I was pretty on board with almost anything non-habitforming that would help him get some much-needed sleep, but I really wasn't expecting this:

Drank is formulated to thoroughly relax the person drinking (dranking?) it.  On the back, where it touts the chillaxing ingredients, such as melatonin, valerian root, and rose hips, it also carries the following "pieces of advice."  It is not advised to have more than 2 servings in a 24 hour period - mind you, there are two servings in one can.  Also, it is advised that the user drinker not drive while drinking it.  I read a review of this magical beverage and became a little doubtful that it was anything more than some genius attempt to make a dime off my husband's inability to sleep soundly.

He wanted to drink it right after dinner, because he was thirsty.  I had to beg him to hold off until later,  "just in case" it worked and knocked him out.  Meanwhile, I was hurrying to get a batch of cupcakes done by Midnight - Mister's birthday.

Peanut Butter Cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, frosted with melted Dark Chocolate Dreams.  These are absolutely the richest baked treats I have ever made.  They are so good, but holy cow!  These are the first cupcakes I have ever made that were so intense, Mister and I could both only handle one heaven-sent cupcake each. 

I just realized how gluttonous that sounded.  Unfortunately, I'll take this moment to confess - normally, if I make cupcakes or muffins, we each have 2 right out of the oven, and if I make cookies, we usually have between 5-6 the night I make them.

Anyway, Mister made it to Midnight, I said "Happy Birthday" and presented him with a frosted cupcake (since birthday cakes always have icing), and then I let him drink his Drank.  I tried a sip, and ironically, it tasted like a watered-down energy drink.  I prefer the bite of Red Bull, as well as its effects, but I will say one thing:  Mister slept like the dead last night.

We had a pretty relaxed day in celebration of Mister's Birthday as well as his first day off since last week.  We slept until about 11:30, which is more and more rare these days, and after a leisurely time waking up, we took a little field trip to Mister's Toy Store: Radio Shack.  He was like a child, rifling gleefully through bins to find the strange little things he will stick together to create a sound-making apparatus (some people call them amplifiers).  About 30 minutes later and a bit lighter of purse, we left with Mister's Bag O' Goodies in tow and he's been playing with them pretty much all day.

Meanwhile, I made Curried Cauliflower, Garbanzo, and Tomato Salad from The Complete Vegan Cookbook.  It had to marinate for a few hours, so I started my chopping, mixing, and marinating during the rainy afternoon.  By dinner time, all I had to do was tear up the butter lettuce and scoop the vegetables over top of it.

In addition to being pretty, it tasted pretty good.  Although the cauliflower was steamed before I marinated it, it was still pretty crunchy and it took me a while to chew my way through dinner.  Nevertheless, it was filling but not bloating and now I am relaxing with a few squares of dark chocolate and a glass (or two) of Montepulciano.

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