I made these. They were awesome.
Can you believe it’s been a year already? WOW!
Have a wonderful week!
Some cooking has happened lately, photos to come. Mostly, I’ve been stressed out and yes, possibly burnt out. I guess everyone feels this way sometimes. They used to call it “Spring Fever”.
New do: This is a huge deal, more in my head than on it, but isn’t that always the way? It’s the first time I’ve gone all-out in a long time. It was cathartic.
Goodbye nail: Also in the cathartic change column, my long-infected toenail decided to depart. I was grateful to see it go, and am now taking extra-special care of the new growth and the bed, hoping that the cause left along with it.
Saw a show over the weekend. It was nice to get out and experience culture. I tend to hole myself in sometimes.
Saw an old friend who I haven’t seen in a while, and that was really nice. Had takeout pizza, but at least it had vegetables on it, and she brought us homemade tabbouleh for a starter. Yum!
Enjoyed dinner out, and ordered off the healthier choices section. Felt good that I had delicious salad and bread, but didn’t overdo it. Also felt good that I was plenty full and still was able to take home leftovers. I think you can make good choices eating out- you don’t have to deprive yourself of anything, but you don’t have to treat your stomach like a dumping ground, either. Balance.
Have a wonderful week!
Have you ever been so sick that cooking was just not an option? Well, that was last week for me. By the end of it, I was craving veggies like you wouldn’t believe, but was still not up to a trip to the grocery store. Solution? This quick and easy pasta.
1/2 box pasta, diced mozzarella, some garlic, olive oil, and spices, with steam in the bag veggies. It took maybe 20 minutes, tops, to make, and there was enough for several days.
This recipe is not yet perfected, but that’s the fun of it. I wanted pasta. I did not want to shop. So, I made this.
1/2 box of penne
1 bag of frozen steam in the microwave vegetables
1/4 stick of cheese
stovetop and pots, mixing bowl, and food processor
I was trying to make a pseudo-alfredo with the nutritional yeast, cheese, and rice milk. I am lacto-ovo, but my stomach can’t take real alfredo (milk/cream issues), and I’m allergic to the most common vegetarian/vegan substitutes (soy/nut issues), so I was trying to make a version I can actually eat.
I steamed the veggies and then processed them, and added them to the sauce. No problem there. If the sauce had been cheesier, this would’ve been even better. So, it’s almost there, but not quite. Because of the veggies and high quantity of nutritional yeast, this felt like good fuel. Plus, I had enough for days, which is always nice.
This was a lot of fun for me- one of those puzzles that requires ingenuity.
I can’t wait to figure this one out!
Which is why I haven’t posted any recipes recently! If you have been reading my little sporadic posts here and there, you know I’ve been busy coordinating a somewhat surprise party. I am pleased to report that it was a success!
What I really should have done was take a picture of each glorious dish. But, I didn’t. Bad blogger! In my defense, for someone with little planning experience, it was enough to just get things done, never mind thinking to record anything for posterity! But we all had fun, and that’s the point of these things, isn’t it?
I did not cook at all for this event. As fun as it is for me to play around in the kitchen, it’s more creative expression than anything else, and I didn’t want to put that kind of pressure on myself. Nor did I make the cake, but I did help design it. I love cake, but haven’t actually made one in forever, and my decorating skills can’t hold a candle to what I see in my head. So, I kept the pressure off and let the professionals do their thing.
…Ok, well, there was still pressure, because anytime you step outside of your comfort zone, you feel it, so, to have those areas under control helped a lot. The area I stressed the most over was people rsvping. It didn’t matter much to me what the rsvp was, just that people replied. This was a relatively small affair, for reasons of budget and personal sanity, so I wanted to come as close as I could to the intended guest list. Friends, please, don’t be that guest who needs to be chased down for a reply! Replies are needed to have enough food for everyone… to say nothing of my thoughts on just clicking a yes/no/maybe button.
In my inner circle of friends, everyone is reachable via email, and if you are invited, you reply promptly. But, for this event, I was inviting people further from my center. Apparently there are still people out there who don’t check email, who expect phone calls, to be chased down, or don’t feel the need to respond at all. I can (sort of) see flaking out on events at someone’s home, but for something offsite, where a head count is being provided for your benefit, it’s hard for me to see this as anything other than rude. But, that being said, once I wrangled the stray guests, and we all sat down, it was a very pleasant affair.
The surprise components stayed surprises!!! The location was originally a surprise, but I figured that would need to be revealed about a week in advance, and that was about when it happened. A surprise guest remained a surprise- an old friend from far away who actually was able to take a flight just to be there, and the gift, surprisingly and wonderfully, also remained a surprise.
The food was delightful. After emailing and calling several businesses, and receiving only a couple of replies, I decided to go with our favorite Italian restaurant. This turned out to be one of the best ideas I’d ever had. The chef and I agreed on multiple courses and finalized certain details, but there were still some terrific culinary surprises in store! Surprises are not always a good idea for people with food allergies, but everything presented was allergen-free. I could never possibly explain how freeing it felt to be able to eat everything in front of me!
Vegetarian antipasta: this was comprised of all sorts of delightful treats. There was something eggplant, something fennel, some great cheeses, including gouda, some beets, some olives, and some other things I’m surely forgetting.
Omnivores’ antipasta: Meat things wrapping cheese, meat things sliced, all Italian and probably great if you like that sort of thing. I don’t, but the guests loved it.
Appetizer: Cauliflower fritters and squash tortes. Oh hells yes!
Pasta: Papadello with lentils. I have no idea how they made this magic, but this was heaven!
Omnivores’ Main: Chicken Picatta. They liked this, too. Not many leftovers.
Vegetarians’ Main: Eggplant Parm. I love this, that’s why I chose it.
and then, the Cake!: I had the advantage of having sampled some when I ordered it, but the cake itself was fresh and even more delightful! It was chocolate with mocha icing, with fondant and sugar decorations. This was a huge hit! I wish there was more, but this was the first thing I finished off from the leftovers!
There were tons of leftovers, which we divvied up, but even so, I was eating party food for an entire week after, even with the guests’ full bellies! You can’t ask for more than that!
Have a great week!