Monday, June 27, 2011

tonight's winners: Angst and Chorizo

At work, we frequently run little daily contests to inspire our sales agents to do their very best (Silly me, I usually regard that as "work ethic," but what do I know?).  Since our sales department is open from 7am until Midnight, there are a number of shifts that spread across the day, so normally, we'll have a "day shift" winner and and "evening shift" winner.

Angst is our Morning Winner.  I guess.  Remember the struggle of skill and wit that has been playing itself out in our kitchen?  Last night, the score was stuck at Mouse 2, Me 'n' Mister 0.  This morning, the score changed a little... as of this morning, the score was Mouse 2, Me 'n' Mister 0, and Angst Won.  In case I needed a reminder that Angst is neither vegan nor buddhist, stumbling out of the bedroom to find him batting a dead mouse around the kitchen is a great way to remember.  By great I actually mean nauseating and not the best way to wake up.  I was simultaneously proud of him for behaving like a cat and so, so sorry the little mousey wouldn't let Mister and I catch him and release him into a nice, grassy, cat-free area.

Mister was proud of me for disposing of the mouse without waking him up, even though he told me I could have.

Evening Winner

I had intended to make Mama Pea's Chickpeas and Dumplings tonight, but for inexplicable reasons, I walked into a home that was in no way as chilly as I needed it to be to want to make a homey, hearty stew with dumplings.  Mister decided it wasn't hot enough to have the A/C on, which I appreciate as our financial situation could almost always be better, but I have to admit - I disagreed.  Nevertheless, my desire to make the stew was gone with the air, so I opted to make the Chorizo Veggie Wrap from Katie Briggs at Philly Broadcaster.

Freeing the vegan chorizo from the "casing" came the closest I've been to feeling completely disgusted toward meat since...well, since this morning.  I did my best to banish thoughts of dead mice from my visual memory as I squished the bloody red faux sausage out of its plastic tube and into the sizzling skillet.  It immediately smelled the way I thought it should, which was delicious, by the way.  It smelled very similar to the chorizo they use at Farmicia, but as I ate my dinner I became convinced that it is most certainly not the same, since my face has never actually caught fire at Farmicia.

Fortunately, I was generous in my slathering of guacamole.   I didn't realize at the time that it would save my face from falling off; I just really like this guacamole.  It's the best guacamole ever.  It's so good that I have absolutely no problem sneaking up on strangers at Whole Foods and telling them they should buy it because they'll never eat better guacamole.  It's so good I can ignore the frugal side of me nagging about how there's no good reason it should be that darn expensive.  No reason except that it's the best guacamole ever.  So, since I had applied about a half-inch layer of guacamole, I was able to at least partially battle the chorizo for the ethical treatment of my tongue.

The arugula added a fun crunch and a bit of cool, crispness amidst a very spicy dinner.  Unfortunately, it had the tendency to grab hold of something slimy of either the guac or chorizo persuasion and attach that thing to my lips when it slurped past.  In the future, I'll probably chop up the arugula so it just sits there like it's supposed to with its little green hands folded in its little green lap.

Seriously, though, these wraps are phenomenal.  The chorizo was quite a bit spicier than I expected it to be (for no good reason, other than the less spicy nature of the chorizo at Farmicia).  In fact, it was so spicy that I went through two large glasses of water and a small cup of almond milk and Mister laughed at my red nose and sweaty brow.  But, it was so tasty that I still had a second [smaller] wrap [loaded high with mouth-saving guac], even though I knew it would burn my lips.

But hey, that's what chocolate's for, right?

I've found that spicy things make me crave chocolate.  I'm sure there's a scientific reason, but I'm not terribly interested in that right now.  What I am interested in is how Trader Joe's packs so much amazing taste into these little dark chocolate bars?  What's even better?  They sell these 1.65 oz Belgian chocolate bars in three-packs at the cash registers for about half of what I normally pay for one Endangered Species bar.

Good thing I plan to go back for more chorizo....

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