Sunday, April 17, 2011

sunday, windy sunday

Aside from the near-cyclonic winds blowing down through the concrete jungle today (and by the way, Chestnut Street makes a mighty fine wind tunnel), it was a gorgeous sunny day.  It seems like ordinarily, I spend gorgeous sunny days in my cube farm, alternately wishing I was outside and wishing my office had no windows.  Today, though, I spent the whole day wandering around Philadelphia with my dear sister, delighting in one another, the sunshine, and a feeling of glamour that can only come from shopping (with a side of gossip).

You want Hollywood glamour?  Look no further than this incredible consignment store find - a black, sequined mini-dress, shrouded by a sheer black-and-white, leopard print (sometimes) overlay with a train.  We were daring each other to wear it to Brother's wedding next month in between giggles.  After all, the whole point of the trip was to find a fabulous dress for the wedding.

Bohemian Barbie

Backyard BBQ Barbie

1920s Glamour-puss Barbie

I am so blessed to have such a stunning sister - when I look at her, I think how serendipitous it was that her parents named her after a Greek goddess - this lady should be in magazines and on some billboard on Times Square.

This lady should not.  No, I did not leave with that hat - it stayed in the store where it belongs.  I did get a snazzy scarf (50% off!) that Mister said looks exactly like my other scarves; I explained that it was different - this one has tinsel woven in.

The most clever back-door-protection I've seen.
Arcadia Boutique on Rittenhouse Square

Eco-Chic Barbie

By the way - in case you were wondering - nothing looks bad on her.  She is simply breath-taking!  In addition to playing Runway Model, I also had fun walking down the streets of Philadelphia with her and watching all the guys checking her out.

After we had exhausted ourselves and most of the clothing stores we were interested in, we stopped into a few other places - the Borders closing sale, the Kimmel Center so she could see the Eiffel Tower, and Anthropologie, where I haven't been in forever.  We had fun poking through the clothes and oddities, and then came upon a table full of houseware treasures.  We examined a set of [presumably] hand-painted measuring "cups" and after a discussion on how I still need beautiful things to be functional, dear Sister scooped up the cups I had been admiring and headed for check-out.  Over my protests, she explained that she had to buy me a housewarming gift since she didn't get to help me clean when we first moved in.

Have I mentioned I love this girl?

After Anthropologie, we stopped into Starbucks for the first iced coffee beverages of the year, which we sipped through funny green straws as we walked home through sunshine and flower petals.

Lots of petals.  I wish they would stop raining, actually.  But it was still a lovely scene, and a cat hung out with us a few minutes, too, so that's always fun.

Once I had bored Mister half to death with my new measuring cups and scarf, I went out to be a responsible adult.  In other words, I went food shopping....for this menu:

1. 2nd Avenue Vegetable Korma from Appetite for Reduction, since I failed to make this last week.  Mainly, because Mister failed to be awake for dinner.

2. Jerk Seitan on Coconut Rice, both from Vegan With A Vengeance; same story as above. 

3. Garlicky Pasta with Fresh Tomatoes and Basil.  Aside from the pretty recipe box I was given at my bridal shower 4 years ago, I have no idea where this recipe came from.  I'm not too sad about that  because it's just barely a recipe.  It sure makes for a tasty (and simple) pasta dish, though.

4. Mediterranean Chickpeas and Vegetables from an old issue of Cooking Light magazine.

5. Mediterranean Pasta with Artichokes, Olives, and Tomatoes, from an old issue of Body + Soul magazine.  This is one of the first pasta dishes I made that did not involve a heavy red sauce, so it has a special place in my heart.  Oh, and it's also hella delicious.

6. Spicy Black Bean Burritos, adapted from the original red-and-white-checkered Better Homes & Gardens cookbook, lovingly given to me by my mother before I had figured out how to cook.  I've made the recipe straight before, but Mister and I agree that it tastes far better when wrapped up in a soft, salty tortilla.

So, tonight, I has happy to be able to employ the help of two of my new measuring dishes:

flaked coconut never looked so pretty

I love jasmine rice anyway, but it's far prettier now

After oohing and aahing over my pretty dishes, I got to work on Jerk Seitan on Coconut Rice, which is hardly a one-pot meal.  It's actually more like a three-pot meal, if you must know.  It smelled so delicious and so tropical, between the coconut, cinnamon, and lime scents filling the air.  To tell the truth, my hands still smell like the three limes I juiced (two for the marinade and one for the rice).

The Coconut Rice recipe yields a huge amount, so although there were no leftovers of the peppers and seitan, there is leftover rice.  I'm contemplating turning it into an easy-to-reheat breakfast cereal, although it could come in handy as a base for the Korma.  I guess you'll just have to check back and see what happens!

Bon Soir, mes amis!

(sorry.  too much PIFA)

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