Sunday, March 20, 2011

how long is YOUR to-do list?

I'll admit, after about a month and a half, I'm getting pretty darn tired of creating a to-do list along with my grocery list every Friday night.  I'm looking forward to the day that my weekend to do list looks something like this:
  • grocery shopping
  • shopping with long-time pal
  • date night
Or better yet, how about NO to-do list?  Wouldn't that be a great weekend?  It's not likely to ever happen, unless of course, we do another round of "right-sizing" and someone in management decides we don't need no stinkin' trainers.  When you work six days a week, there's not much chance of your one day off being a lazy one.  When did I turn into such a grown-up??

Anyway, I should be able to devote all of tomorrow to figuring out what to do about our taxes (yes, I'm super-super late this year) and setting up my desk and the bathroom.  Mister has been extraordinarily helpful - since he's home during the day, he's been unpacking as best he can, so at least I'm not running into things in my morning stupor.  For the bonus round, I'm hoping to convince him to help me hang stuff on the walls tomorrow, too.

The reason I will be able to devote myself so completely to these tasks is because I was very organized and committed to getting the menu and shopping done in the last 24 hours, and I did accomplish that.  I need to run out for just a couple of things tomorrow, but not the big event that normally takes place.  I ran out to Superfresh before work and when I got home, Angst was very interested in the contents of my bag.

You may think he is trying to snuffle Mister's Eggo waffles, but you would be wrong (although I'm sure he wouldn't hold it against anyone who managed to hook him up with his own waffle).  His face is firmly planted against his new bag of food.  Nevermind that he had a whole bowl of the very same food on the floor.  He wanted the new bag.  After I removed all the contents of my shopping bag, he nestled down on it as if to say, "my bag - I like how it smells."

Speaking of bags... After I got home from teaching today, I did not go home, nor did I collect $200, but went directly to Whole Foods for the second leg of shopping.  I thought about stopping home for my  hat first, since the beautiful day had degraded into a windy and chilly evening, but I knew I wouldn't want to go back out into the throngs of people that visit my corner of the world on the weekends.  At checkout, the cashiers are obligated to ask for a donation to the Whole Planet Foundation (click the link for more info) and tonight, for reasons unknown, I was feeling a little wealthy and philanthropic, so I added $5 to my bill.  Little did I know that for being such a swanky, high-dollar-donor, I would be gifted my very own Whole Foods Swag Bag.

This goody-bag packed such a diverse collection of punches I couldn't help laughing as Mister and I picked through: Perrier Lime (we're actually pretty psyched about that one), Caribbean Blue spring water, Route 11 BBQ Potato Chips (Mister and Angst rejoice), a smaller reusable, post-consumer recycled bag, two samples of organic (and probably very expensive) hair product - one deep conditioning and one styling gel, both by John Masters, which is available at Juju Salon on 4th St, so at least I know where to go if I want more.  Finally, you probably can't miss the big yellow box of Weetabix on the left.  That is absolutely the best thing in the box if you ask me (and we'll assume you did, since you're still here). 

I have never seen a box of Weetabix.  To be honest, I didn't think we even had it in America.  The only exposure I've had to this "breakfast" is from reading European blogs.  It seems to be pretty popular in Britain and Down Under.   As a result, I was thrilled and opened the box right after taking this picture.  I'm pretty sure I did it wrong, because the box was giving me the impression that most people add milk and fruit; it seems to be something akin to Shredded Wheat.  Nevertheless, I grabbed a little wheaty biscuit and bit into it - it splintered into a bunch of wheaty crumbs in my lap.  It was pretty good, though, once I made my way to the sink :)  I'm not sure what I'm going to do with the rest of the box, but if anything interesting comes of it, you know you'll be the first to know!

Anyway, tonight's dinner was Broccoli Pasta with Savory Sauce, which originated from my attempt to make a savory yet spicy, tomato-based yet non-marinara sauce.  After some drama with the pilot light for half the stovetop, resulting in Mister doing emergency surgery on the apparatus I use to cook our food, I finally got to make dinner, so I gathered my sauce ingredients while the pasta boiled and the broccoli steamed.

Broccoli Pasta with Savory Sauce
6 servings

1/2 lb dried pasta - rotini, gemelli, or cavatappi would work well here
1 lb broccoli, cut into florets

16 oz V8 Spicy Hot
1/4 cup natural peanut butter
2 Tbsp tamari soy sauce
1/2 Tbsp harissa
1 tsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp cornstarch, dissolved in 1 Tbsp warm water

Cook pasta to package instructions.  Meanwhile, steam the broccoli in a basket over a half-inch of water in a 2.5 qt saucepan or saute pan for 5-7 minutes, until bright green and still crunchy.  Remove steamer basket and empty remaining water.  Return pot to stove and bring V8 to a simmer over medium-low heat.  Add peanut butter and stir until it has combined completely.  Stir in tamari, Worcestershire sauce, harissa, and vinegar.  Bring to a lively simmer.  Dissolve cornstarch completely in warm water, then pour into sauce.  Raise heat to medium or medium-high and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. 

Once the sauce boils and thickens, lower heat to the lowest setting and continue stirring until the bubbling stops.  Stir in broccoli.  Drain pasta and add to sauce.  Stir well to coat pasta with sauce, remove from heat and serve!

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