Commoners might call it Champagne or Sparkling Wine. I can't get over how delightfully the little bubbles race to the top of the glass, awaiting their turn to melt on my tongue like a little sparkly snowflake.
Sometimes you need a little lift. Today was definitely one of those days for me:
"Champagne?" you say, "What are you celebrating?"
"I survived work today."
I won't bore you with the details of me burning off my Champagne calories in advance by dashing hither and yon throughout the building, making my best attempt to produce myself in triplicate. It's not easy, you know, trying to simultaneously be in two trainings on different topics in different rooms, while also compiling data for one's own small part in another person's project. Nevermind that an update to our website caused it to explode and vomit false pricing information at our sales agents. Nevermind that all their supervisors had quite enough cleaning up to do to have a spare minute to help me. Just focus on the sheer impossibility of any one person trying to be three places at exactly the same time.
Yes. Champagne. Fortunately, I happen to have some since one of my dinner recipes lists it as an ingredient. Excellent excuse for stocking the bubbly, wouldn't you say?
Despite my Ode to Tiny Bubbles, I did not make the braised bok choy tonight (almost, but it definitely required the energy I left at work to use tomorrow). Instead, I made the easiest recipe on the menu: Savory Spinach on Chamomile Couscous. Although, I suppose if you chilled and carbonated it, the chamomile could probably resemble a mellow Asti. Anyway....
Chamomile Couscous with Savory Spinach
a little more than 2 cups water
2 chamomile tea bags
1.5 cups plain couscous (one box of Near East brand couscous)
1 tsp agave nectar
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp yellow mustard seeds
1 Tbsp garam masala*
2 cloves of garlic, pressed or minced
1/2 tsp salt
28 oz (petite) diced tomatoes
15 oz chickpeas, rinsed and drained
9 oz fresh baby spinach
Boil the water, then place the two tea bags in the pot, lower heat to a slow simmer, and cover - allow to steep at least 5 minutes. Remove tea bags, stir in agave until dissolved, then add couscous. Cover, remove from heat, and allow to sit for at least 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a deep pot. Add the mustard seeds and cover. When mustard seeds begin to dance, add garlic and sprinkle in the garam masala. Allow to saute about one minute and then stir in the undrained tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then lower heat, stir in chickpeas and salt and simmer a few minutes. Add about 1/3 of the bag of spinach, cover to steam 1-2 minutes, then stir into tomatoes and chickpeas to wilt. Repeat with second 1/3 and final 1/3. If your cat enjoys spinach, share some with him (or her) before you destroy it all in your dinner. Once all spinach is added and has wilted, uncover and allow to simmer about 5 minutes.
Fluff couscous. Serve spinach mixture over a fluffy white cloud of couscous!
*Garam Masala is merely a mixture of popular spices used in Indian cooking. One brand will have one mixture and another will have a completely different mixture. For the record, my favorite Garam Masala (so far) is McCormick brand, which is made up of coriander, black pepper, cumin, cardamom, and cinnamon.