For many reasons not worth going into right now, we're [temporarily] back to being a one-income family. We did that for years, in a sense, so we'll be fine, but right now I'm still adjusting. I think lifestyles are like a woman's purse: the more space you have, the more stuff you manage to fit into it. Mister and I were really good at living primarily on my income, but when he started working in the city, it was like we won the lottery. At first, we stuck to our plan to still live off of my salary and save every penny he made so we could move into a house. Over the past year or so, we started to allow ourselves little indulgences just because we could, so although I know we can live relatively comfortably off of just my paycheck, I'm having a little trouble [and some anxiety attacks] trying to remember how.
Part of my memory returned to me this evening as I stood in my kitchen plotting dinner. I got distracted last night - my brain wasn't really with me, so I failed to construct the new menu. I intended to do it before work today, but I slept late (because I'm freaking exhausted, as my last post may have shown) and dilly-dallied shamelessly for the first couple of hours I was awake, so I ended up making a mad dash for the train anyway and didn't get my menu done. I also had to clean up the death and destruction wrought by the kitty while we were sleeping.
This is what the rose looked like last night:
This is what it looks like now:
Yes, it is considerably shorter and my Lenox bud vase is considerably more distributed...in tiny shards. Bad Angst. Fortunately, he was too traumatized by the catastrophic explosion of the crystal vase to shred the rose, so he just left it there in the remains of the first wedding gift we've lost.
So, that was a heck of a thing to wake up to after a night of anxiety and introspection. Let's look at the bright side - there's one less vase to wrap when we get to packing for our Spring move!
Anyway, when I got home from work, I thought it would be nice to go out to La Fourno, an intimate Italian place a couple of blocks away. I had a craving for a good, garlicky pasta dish with dark red wine, and maybe one of their fabulous salads. Then I remembered we have no money for such frivolous things. Then I remembered I'm actually a pretty good cook these days and that pasta sauce was one of the first "homemade" things I mastered with approval from Mister and his Sister. So, I popped out the door and ran up to Superfresh for a couple of ingredients and came home to make an Italian feast complete with a rich pasta dish and crunchy-outside-pillow-soft-inside garlic bread...at about $1.75 a serving (which is substantially less than we would have paid at La Fourno).
Rotini with White Bean-Tomato Sauce
12 oz Rotini
14 oz Fire Roasted diced tomatoes in puree
14 oz petite diced tomatoes, drained
15 oz cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
6 oz tomato paste
7 oz roasted red peppers, chopped
2 Tbsp Olive oil
4 large cloves of garlic, pressed or minced finely
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried marjoram
1 tsp Balsamic vinegar
1/2 to 1 tsp sea salt (to taste)
Set a pot of water on high heat. When it boils, add pasta and cook as package directs.
While waiting for the water to boil and pasta to cook, heat the olive oil on medium in a 2.5-qt saucepan. Add garlic and give it a good stir, then reduce heat to low and saute for about 3 minutes. Sprinkle on basil and marjoram, stir again and saute 3-5 minutes, being careful not to brown or burn the garlic. Pour in both cans of tomatoes and the tomato paste, then stir well to combine. Increase the heat to medium-low, bringing the sauce to a light simmer. Stir in salt, Balsamic vinegar, and cannellini beans, then simmer, stirring occasionally, while the pasta cooks (about 10 minutes).
Once the pasta is al dente, drain and return to the pot. Pour in the sauce and toss to coat. Serve with garlic bread and vegan parmesan, and maybe a full-bodied red wine, if that's what floats your Italian-style boat.