Friday, December 3, 2010

you promised a rose garden?

I had another one of those euphoric laughing spells tonight.  I contained myself a little better this time, but as I left work tonight, I was so happy and relieved to bid the work-week farewell, I could have cried.  As I allowed the train conductor to "drive" me home, the uplifting sounds of Christmas filled my ears (I switched my iPod over the day after Thanksgiving).  I'll admit, I'm still not completely relaxed, considering that when Mister and I were lingering over our empty bowls, I explained to him that I was going to play on my computer for a little while, probably blog, then I was going to drink more wine and then construct our menu.  He didn't bat an eyelash and I laughed at my "agenda."  Then I got to work.

Happy Friday!
I can't believe I actually waited all week to open the bottle of Beaujolais Nouveau my dad sent home with me on Thanksgiving, but I did.  I think being sick for half the week helped with that.  I'm feeling much better, but as our dinner adventures will show, my nose and tastebuds have not escaped unscathed!  My first sip of the Beaujolais was not the thrilling experience I so desperately wanted it to be, in fact, it made me feel slightly nauseated.  After I let it "breathe" for about 20 minutes, it was better, but between that, the olives, and our dinner, there was some inescapably floral scent/side-taste following me around.

Tonight, I made Baked Ziti from Vegan on the Cheap.  Takes a heck of a picture, doesn't it?  All week, my intention was to boil the pasta and simmer the marinara sauce the night before I wanted to have it for dinner (which was just about every night this week) so I could assemble it and then let Mister put it in the oven while I nodded off on the train on my ride home.  That didn't happen, since I was too sick to have the energy to do anything for half the week.  So, I made it tonight and although we ate slightly later than usual, it really wasn't a considerable delay.  Additionally, I had a little time to relax while it was in the oven.

First, I mashed up the tofu with a fork and mixed it with nooch, marjoram, parsley, thyme (to stand in for oregano which I still can't tolerate), and salt.  I think I probably could have gotten firm tofu instead of extra firm, but I always like to make the recipe "true to form" the first time.

One of the reasons I chose this dinner recipe was the marinara sauce.  When I first bought this book and did a little review on it, I pointed out that the first section of food in the book was all DIY Convenience foods.  How-Tos on making everything from marinara sauce to tofu feta to pepperoni/sausage.  The first couple of times I made my menus from this handy little book, I wasn't as destitute as we were this past week, so I bought whatever the DIY section wanted to teach me to make.  This time, my brain was so math-oriented (someone take a picture - that will never leave my lips again) that when I saw the recipe called for 3.5 cups of marinara sauce, I realized that was 28oz and that I had a 28oz can of crushed tomatoes in my cupboard.  Imagine my delight when I looked at the recipe for DIY marinara sauce and saw that it was based on a 28oz can of crushed tomatoes!

It was a pretty sauce and it smelled good.  It tasted good, too, but just like the wine, there was a distinctly floral scent/taste going on.  Mister swears his tasted like Italian food and not a garden.  He even humored me by sniffing at his ziti.  It always turned out the same: I'm crazy; the food does not smell like flowers.  Meanwhile, I'm throwing out all these crazy postulations about why my dinner smells like flowers: the herbs in the tofu, the nooch with the tofu (even though I know darn well that smells savory), the dash of cinnamon and teaspoon of sugar in the marinara sauce, the olive marinade.

Nope.  It's just my nose, continuing to misbehave.  At least my dinner still lifes are as pretty as a rose.

you know you wish you had a fork

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