Thursday, September 15, 2011
sometimes, you need to squish
Angst does this thing we call "squishing." It involves him poking, kneading, and otherwise massaging something soft and puffy until it seems comfy to him... at which point he usually walks away, abandoning all his hard work. It's always fun to see him really working something, though, even if it boggles my mind that he doesn't do the obvious thing and lie down on the thing he just squished to oblivion.
He's got something, though - squishing is fun! It feels neat and benignly destructive. A human example might be something like a stress ball or the ghetto equivalent - an uninflated balloon filled with flour and tied off.... or tofu.
I wish I'd gotten a picture of my tofu-cotta tonight but my hands were a little bit covered in tofu to operate a camera. Tonight's scrumptious meal was Baked Ziti from Vegan on the Cheap.
We actually have a few contributing factors for how this became the dinner of choice. First, I got home from work a little bit earlier than usual (= more time), and Second, I have tomorrow off (= more time to stay up). Third, and possibly most important - it was really darn cold by the time I tested how fast I could walk in my new boots. Hey! That reminds me - I never talked about my boots in the last post!
No time like the present...
Aren't they adorable? I'm spending a bit too much time on my feet to continue wearing 3-4.5" heels, but I just cannot get into the flats trend. It is my opinion that they spread out your feet and make the whole picture less attractive... or maybe I'm just not willing to pay $60 for shoes that don't have a heel and don't make my legs look longer or my stature taller. I won't lie - high heels are a woman's Power Suit.
Anyway, I went to Macy's - twice, actually, and the first time almost made me swear off the store and did make me write a long and detailed (and unanswered) email to the company's customer service department. Regardless of my growing disdain for the store, I had spotted a few pairs of boots when I was wandering around the shoe department unattended for 40 minutes the week before, so I figured I would give them one last chance. I'm glad I did, because I ended up with these adorable, non-leather American Rag cowgirl boots that show the rockstar side of me without breaking my ankles or helping my outermost toes bind to one another.
By the way - when it's in the upper 50s with a strong "breeze" and I'm wearing nothing but an above-the-knee skirt, mid-calf boots, and a short-sleeved polo shirt, I can walk pretty fast in them.
So, now that that's out of the way - back to dinner.
I felt like the Baked Ziti needed a companion of the greenish nature, so when I was at Trader Joe's after work on Monday, I picked up a bag of broccoli and cauliflower. I used about half the bag and steam-sauteed the veggies with some olive oil, garlic, my Tuscan herb mix from California, and some salt with just a few spritzes of water to keep everything steamy. It came out sooooo well.
It tasted just like the baked ziti I remember my mom making (well, her's probably had melted mozzarella, but beside that, it was pretty close) and it was actually pretty simple. One of the reasons I made it tonight was because I thought it would be really time consuming, due to the need to cook the pasta and make the "ricotta," but it really did not take as long as I thought it would. In fact, if I had been prepared (and didn't kind of want it to take a while), I probably could have made the whole thing, start to finish, in a little more than an hour.
That being said, this most likely would not be a dinner I would make after a particularly tiring day or on a normal work day in the middle of a normal work week, unless I had thought ahead and already boiled the pasta and prepared the tofu-cotta so all I had to do was combine everything. The tofu-cotta was convincing enough that I am pretty sure you could feed this to a bunch of omnis and no one would know it wasn't "real" ricotta.
To be completely honest, though, here is the order of dinner's awesomeness:
2nd runner up - the baked ziti itself
1st runner up - the surprisingly tasty (and simple) side dish
Winner - squishing the tofu through my fingers until it was all coarsely crumbled. That was really way more fun than I thought it would be and I probably enjoyed it a bit more than I should have. Cheers!