Monday, May 9, 2011

good social life = bad blogger

Adventures take away from my blogging time.

I don't think that's a bad thing, necessarily...unless my adventures lead to me feeling like I'm about to spew in the ladies' room at work and then make me unconscious for nearly 15 hours straight.  Fortunately, only the first of my adventures had that disastrous result - the rest kept getting better, which isn't a bad way to spend a weekend, if you ask me.

It all started Wednesday night.  I had everything all ready to go and carefully sliced 10 cloves of garlic into relatively uniform slices before letting them swim in a generous amount of olive oil for about 10 minutes.  While they were busy infusing the olive oil with delightful garlic goodness, I was chopping up broccoli florets for Orecchiette con Broccoli from The Urban Vegan.  Once the garlic had a little time to make the apartment smell amazing, I plopped a teaspoon of white miso in the middle of the pan and pulled out my newly acquired flat whisk to mix it all in.

I was pretty excited to use this whisk, confident that it would make the difference in how difficult it's been in the past to blend the white miso into the garlicky olive oil.  It was fun to play with my new toy, but it really didn't deliver the way I thought it should.  However, I don't think it's the whisk's fault - from testing for her upcoming cookbook, I've discovered that there are times Dynise (inadvertently, obviously) leaves out one very important detail, like "use fresh pasta" or "add this crucial ingredient."  I'm thinking it's possible (and I will email for confirmation) that she intended for the miso to be dissolved in broth or water and for that to be the thing that is whisked into the garlic and oil, because miso all by itself most certainly does not want to be blended into oil... it just kind of gets smaller.

In an effort to force the miso to "melt" I added a splash of vegetable broth that might have been just a few days past its prime...which may possibly have contributed to my intense nausea the following day.  Regardless, it looks good and tasted great while I was eating it!

When I woke up the following morning, the first thing I noticed was that my belly was not happy.  I thought I was just overly hungry (you know how your stomach actually hurts if you get hungry enough?), so I had a nice big breakfast of waffles and a sliced apple.  Probably not my best move.  My digestive system rebelled a little, but I kept going because I had important, time-sensitive things to do at work.  In case you're wondering, when I got to work and nearly lost my breakfast in the bathroom, those things were able to wait a couple of hours...and then a whole day, since I ended up leaving early.  By 4 pm I was snug in my bed with chills; I was up for about an hour and a half around 8pm, but was back in bed soon and slept until my alarm went off the next morning at 7.  I could tell my body wasn't completely okay, but I had to go to work, so I carefully ate an apple with some tea, got ready and headed out the door.  I ate little things throughout the day and by the time I got home, I was feeling confident that I could handle dinner, but I didn't want to make it.

I convinced Mister to go to Pizzeria Stella, but there were no open tables, so we ended up at Pietro's.  Fortunately, they have recently added the exact thing I wanted at Stella - a marinara pizza with sliced garlic and fresh oregano.  I ate half of mine with a nice glass of Malbec, forgot to photograph it but completely intend to post about it...until I felt all sick again and had to lie down when we got home.

I was much better by last night, fortunately, since Mister and I had big plans to see old friends.  I met up with some of my oldest friends at Cedars, to celebrate a friend's birthday.  We had a delightful meal, full of laughter and inside jokes, followed by the insistence of my friends' beautiful daughter that we pay the check and go to Rita's for water ice.  She is entirely too adorable (and well-behaved!) to deny, so we had our dessert in the chill evening air.  Once the little one had her sugar high on, we let her run around South Street so she would actually sleep when they returned to the hotel.  She and her mommy left us, as did Mister, and my friends and I headed over to Southwark for a nightcap.

I did something I haven't done in years.  I closed the bar.  It was awesome.

However, it didn't leave me in any state to be blogging - believe me, you have no interest in what I have to say at 2:15 in the morning.

I slept about an hour and a half later than I intended, but I was having such a great weekend, why mess it up with an agenda?  As a result, I missed the Headhouse Farmers Market again, but there's always next week!  After some food shopping and some maintenance at Salon Sugar (goodbye, grays!), I finally made dinner again, for the first time since I apparently poisoned myself (of course, Mister hasn't suffered any ill effects, so it might not have been the dish - it might just be my job):

there aren't too many things more beautiful than this

although this comes close...

Tonight's dinner was Spicy Ragout of Vegetables and Tofu, also from Quick Vegetarian Pleasures.  I've had this cookbook long enough to use it frequently and then forget about it for a year, which means if there are things in there I haven't made, it was only because there was something about them that was initially unattractive.  I can only guess that the thing in this recipe was tofu, because I really didn't like it much when I first started cooking.

For's really good and is the perfect protein to complete this meal.  It was kind of a bizarre flavor combination - there's something about basil and peas that just doesn't work in my mind.

Fortunately, it was delightful on the tongue.  I laid the ragout on a bed of brown rice and upon scooping the rice into our bowls I had a revelation: I really don't get brown rice.  We don't mesh.  Maybe it's because I was raised on fluffy white Minute Rice or maybe it's because I have so much trouble cooking it or perhaps it's because it smells so God-awful, but I just cannot get into brown rice.  I decided tonight that if it has to be brown, it has to be basmati - at least it doesn't smell bad.

To make up for my absence I will tease you with some juicy upcoming posts (think round-up) and also share my new menu:

1. Penne with Spinach and Chickpeas in Garlic Sauce from Quick Vegetarian Pleasures.  Yes, this was on last week's menu, but two separate someones forgot to get spinach.  On multiple occasions.  Go me.  Go Mister.

2. Rice Noodle Bowl with Broccoli and Bell Pepper from a special edition of Vegetarian Times magazine I picked up while standing in line at Essene one day... bad habits die hard.

3. Potato and Cauliflower Burritos from the June 2011 Veg. Times magazine.  How could I see this recipe and not make it and then call myself a good wife?  We're talking about everything Mister loves in the world, wrapped up in a whole wheat shell.

4. Charro Beans with Chipotle Sausage, also from the June Veg. Times.  I have this pile of magazines, currently, because I'm subscribed to VegNews and Veg. Times and I have a ton of trouble getting rid of printed material that vaguely resembles a book.  So, I figured I may as well try to find a week's worth of dinners in them before convincing myself to cut out the important bits and recycle the rest.  One thing can be said for me and magazines - I get my money's worth.  They sit around for months, being read and re-read before I finally believe I've gotten all I can get from them, at which point I cut them up to keep anything remotely important, then recycle whatever's left.

5. Better-Than-Takeout Tofu Stir-fry from Vegan on the Cheap, but without cornstarch this time.

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