Friday, November 19, 2010

may your days be merry and bright

Happy Friday!  We made it!

It blows my mind that this time next week we'll have gone through the first round of holiday eating festivities.  I'm looking forward to the holiday, seeing family, not working, and not going to work.
Yes, I wrote that twice on purpose.  What a week and I'm not sorry to bid it farewell!  I had this awesome Good-news-Bad-news story with Mister during dinner tonight:

The good news is the week finally ended and I get to breathe for a couple of days.
The better news is that next week I only have to work two days!
The bad news is that means I have to fit a whole lot of work into those two days.
The good news is that lots of work makes the days pass faster.
The bad news is that lots of work makes the days disappear too soon.
The good news is, once I get through them, I'll be off for five beautiful days straight.

That seems a good place to leave it.  Speaking of getting through things, we've gotten through the menu this final night with a beautiful blend of cultures and cuisines.

Tonight's dinner was Cajun Baked Tofu with Cajun Beans and Rice, both recipes from The Accidental Vegan.  I've made the rice-n-beans before - in fact, it is absolutely my favorite beans-n-rice recipe.  The Cajun tofu was new and a delightful addition.  Since the tofu seemed the obvious Protein in the meal, I opted to leave out the veg sausage called for in the recipe.  I also discovered, while cooking and after Whole Foods was too far away, that I had only one of two tablespoons of the prescribed worcestershire sauce.  I subbed in a Tbsp of tamari, since it has a darker savory taste and could fill in if I closed my eyes and wished really hard (which I did, and it seemed to work!).

I also subbed an 8 oz can of tomato sauce for the 1/2 cup tomato juice that was the key part of the tofu marinade, which resulted in a fun lacquered kind of situation.  I flipped the tofu halfway through cooking and spread the remaining "marinade" over top of the tofu slices.  I whisked some harissa into the mix in place of hot sauce and was quite pleased with the heat it lent to the marinade - the tofu and rice-n-beans played well together, and the whole Cajun melange made fast friends with the Georges duBoeuf Beaujolais I picked up on my walk home from the train tonight.  I had actually intended to pick up the Beaujolais Nouveau people keep saying they see, but all I could find was a 2009 vintage - but hey! It was on sale and had a little hang-tag telling me it was the best year ever for Beaujolais due to....blahblahblah....a bunch of stuff my brain is too full and too tired to fit in.

Let's just say I had a sip during dinner and had the exact same reaction that I had to my favorite summer wine.  Mister was quite amused.

Mister loves me.

I'm not gonna lie - by the time I made it in the door tonight, I wasn't sure I would be able to extricate myself from a chair if I sat down, so I just stood in my kitchen, still wearing my coat, hat, and gloves.  After giving me my kisses, Mister walked away and came back with something lovely he thought would make me happy.

Yessir, it sure did.

 Speaking of things that make me happy (yup, looks like it's that Random time of year), has anyone else noticed that Starbucks has the most brilliant marketing ever?  One year, someone said, "Hey, why don't we make happy red cups for the winter holiday beverages?"  To everyone's ineffable surprise and delight, the world responded by thinking that was just the cutest thing ever, so now, the minute that bitter chill begins to infiltrate the breeze, Starbucks launches the Red Cup Campaign.  It's brilliant and it totally works.  I'll admit, I bought into the hype - I wanted a red cup.

Admit it.  You do, too.
P.S. You can get a Toffee Mocha Americano (not just a latte).  You want one because they are incredibly tasty.  Follow your heart.  I'll be waiting with my red cup, too.

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