Monday, May 2, 2011


God bless Charlie Sheen.  That man is completely out of his mind, as well as touch with reality.  Unfortunately, I don't think there will ever come a time he will be old and wise enough to look back over some recent interviews and be embarrassed.  I think he truly believes he is winning (and since he's not dead yet, I guess he is).

Fortunately, everyone can win sometimes!  I would not classify my overall life as "winning" and I spend more time than I should dwelling on ways I've disappointed myself, but I've had a few great days lately (though some could definitely be better described as "bi-winning," thank you, Charlie).  Oh, and by the way - Happy May!

Last night, I issued myself another Basket Challenge, since I didn't go food shopping until today.  Well, let me back up - we almost went out to dinner last night, but then we remembered it was Saturday and we don't like crowds of annoying people falling all over the place while we try to walk to a restaurant.  Mister framed it like this: "Why don't we go out tomorrow night, when it's nicer out?"  It was actually cooler today, so.... anyway, I ran up to Superfresh to grab a couple of ingredients and then made a new recipe that I think requires at least one more making before I share the recipe, but I'll show you pictures:

So pretty and colorful while sauteing
Pretty and tasty, though it does need "something more"

So then, with PIFA over, taking with it all of my reasons to screw around and not be productive on my one day off, I did make my way to about a half a dozen shops today to accomplish various errands.  When I set out to start shopping, I wanted to head over to Williams-Sonoma before it closed - I "needed" a flat whisk.  I've been resisting getting one because I already have 5 whisks in various sizes, but I have made one of the items on our new menu before, using one of those 5 whisks, and let me tell you - it doesn't work.  I really needed a flat whisk to make this recipe work.  Here begins a small comedy of errors.

I walked out the door and headed west because as long as I was going that way anyway, I wanted to stop into Salon Sugar and make an appointment to cover up my grays before the upcoming wedding season.  That accomplished, I headed up to Spruce Street to catch a bus to Center City West because I wanted to save a little time.  As the bus was approaching, I pulled out my April Trailpass...and realized it was May.  I put it away and started my trek up to the train station where I waited in the longest line I've ever seen there (people overflowing from the serpentine pen!) and got my new Trailpass so I don't miss the train waiting in line tomorrow... anyway, since the station is only a few blocks from my desired destination, I just strolled down Broad Street, amazed at how clean it was after yesterday's huge PIFA street fair.

It's not every day you see a ferris wheel in the middle of Broad Street in Philadelphia, so I think a person could logically say the PIFA went out in style...

Anyway, after procuring my whisk, I headed across the street to MAC...I mean...I was up there anyway.... whereupon a nice young man with almost as much mascara and slightly less eyeliner than me proceeded to paint my lips with the "perfect" berry shade.  A few moments later and lighter of purse, I headed down to Whole Foods to continue the spending spree for this menu:

1. Penne with Spinach and Chickpeas in Garlic Sauce from Quick Vegetarian Pleasures.  I have had this book for years and neither Mister nor I have a clue where it came from.  We know it came home from one of his tours with him, but we don't know how it got in his bags.  Anyway, I have several favorite recipes in here that have been neglected while I played with my shiny new books.  I decided to blow the dust off the cover and flip through for some old-timey goodness.

2. Spicy Ragout of Vegetables and Tofu, also from Quick Vegetarian Pleasures.  Whereas I have made #1 on many, many occasions, I have never attempted this recipe, so I'm looking forward to seeing how it goes.

3. Sloppy Joes from The Urban Vegan.  I am so looking forward to the new book coming out I kind of can't stand it.  So, while I wait, I'm revisiting some favorites from book #1 and living in the world-traveling, cosmopolitan faerietale world Dynise has constructed for me.

4. Granada Paella, also from The Urban Vegan.  This is my favorite Paella recipe and one of my favorites from the book.  I love the way it tastes and once everything it chopped and in the pot, I can just putter around my kitchen, say, sorting through and throwing out a week's worth of neglected mail.  Not that I would let something like that pile up.  Just a hypothetical situation...

5. Orecchiette con Broccoli, also from The Urban Vegan.  This is the recipe I "needed" the flat whisk for, provoking my travels all around Center City today (in the course of which I found a little hidden/secret kitchen toy store on Walnut St called Kitchenette.  Next time I have a ton of money and nothing to spend it on - yeah, right - I will go there for a shopping spree).

6. Punjabi Peppers and Tofu from La Dolce Vegan.  Just because it's been way too long since the last time I made this. 

Before I tell you about dinner, I want to introduce you to my new kitchen assistant:

Great company while chopping, dicing, sorting, and sauteing.

Tonight, instead of going out, I offered Mister a choice of cuisines (mainly because I couldn't make up my mind between 4 and 6), and asked him if he'd prefer Indian or Spanish.  Apparently, my husband is able to make the distinction between Mexican and Spanish, and therefore recognize how infrequently we eat latino food that isn't inspired by the southern-most tip of the continent, so he chose Granada Paella.

I'm so lucky to have such a pretty measuring dish to measure my one cup of diced red pepper! I don't usually measure the red pepper - I normally just get one pepper, dice it and call it a day.  However, my pepper choices this afternoon included tiny, misshapen, mutant peppers at Whole Foods or the hugest red peppers I've ever seen at Superfresh.  I figured two of the huge ones would equal the three normal-sized ones I had intended to purchase, so in order to make sure I had enough peppers for the other meals, I actually measured this time.  How could I help it when I have such gorgeous kitchen tools?

Doesn't that look delicious?  Believe me - it is.  Now that Mister and I have figured out the hidden location of vegan chorizo sausage, I will make it 100% true to recipe next time, but this time I still diced some Italian-style Tofurky, which is still awesome.

I may not have as much money as Charlie Sheen, or as much fame or nice things or notoriety, and I certainly don't have two "goddesses," but every bite of dinner tonight told me that I most certainly am "winning."


  1. That apothic red is absolutely FABULOUS. I love it!
    I can't seem to comment from my wordpress account; it happens on a lot of blogger blogs for some reason...sorry!

  2. yeah, it's my new favorite wine - it literally makes me sad when I walk into the store and see a gap where the bottles usually are.