January 9, 2012 § Leave a comment
So, I went a little nuts yesterday and spent the day cooking and freezing to make at-home dinners a little more within our grasp. The goal was to make several soups, a few things with our beef*, and a number of sides and sauces that will enable me to cook up a chop or two, make a salad or get some nice cheese and call it a meal.
When I began at noon, I didn’t really think about the end game exactly. I just bought a ton of stuff and got down to cooking. Here is some of the fruit of my labor:
Please note that it is very hard to make edible food look nice in a photo. But this was my “cooling” center where prepared food was left to get cool enough to freeze and avoid freezer burn.
A recent Development Area that I decided to work on in earnest this year was to begin labeling the things I make and freeze. No matter how certain I am that “I’ll remember”, I do not. And it is silly to pretend that I will. So, here are my very casual labels.
And here is the end result, with everything in the freezer.** Again, not pretty pictures, but I am still pretty proud. In fact, it was around this time, either in a fit of delirium or just too much dancing around the kitchen to the Scissor Sisters, that I proclaimed myself “An Awesome Wife” for doing all this stuff.
So, what did I make? I’ll tell you:
– Three containers of Roasted Veggie Soup with Spelt Pasta
– Three containers of Escarole, Bean and Sausage Soup
– Two Sautéed Broccoli and Pine Nuts for use over pasta or as a side
– Two Sautéed Brocoli Rabe with Garlic and Red Pepper as a side
– Two Sautéed Bok Choy, Ginger and Mushrooms to be combined with thin chicken slices at dinner time
– Two Sautéed Kale with Onions and Red Pepper as a side
– Five mini-meat loaves
– Thirty meat balls
– Five containers of Tomato, Basil and Garlic sauce, for use with said meat balls
I finished at around 7PM, just in time to have a little dinner, wash all the food off of me and settle in for my reward: the season premier of Downton Abbey. A very good end to an Awesome Wife Production indeed.
* Have I mentioned that Mr. H and I do a beef share every year with about ten friends? It sounds nuts but it is excellent.
** And there’s the beef. And some lamb from our CSA. And other important items like ice cream. (You have to have priorities.)
(Photos: Mr. H, who also put everything into the freezer for me. That was an Awesome Husband Production.)
January 6, 2012 § Leave a comment
OK…the title is a tad dramatic. But Mr. H was just in my office trying to help me with my printer. Turns out you not only need to plug the printer into the outlet but also into the computer. I don’t recall doing this the last time I hooked the sucker up, but apparently I did…or it was done for me. Who knows, really.
ANYWAY, over the course of diagnosing my printer problem, Mr. H asked if I had “the cable”. And I replied that I had a whole drawer full of cables right in my (seemingly) organized credenza:
I am rather meticulous when it comes to keeping that travertine top free and clear of the junk that accumulates while living. And yet, I was confronted with this grim reality when I showed Mr. H my “cable drawer”:
Seeing the contents of the credenza through his eyes filled me with the same feeling I get upon seeing my uncovered and out-of-shape upper arm in a photo: horror and disgust.
So, I have decided that right after I finish sharing My Sin with you all, I will clean out the darn thing. It is the beginning of the year after all — the perfect time to take care of such matters. Maybe I’ll do a few triceps exercises, too.
(Photos: Some Cozy Night, who is leaving the internet now to clean up that mess.)
January 4, 2012 § Leave a comment
It appears that friends of ours know how to perk up a cold Wednesday afternoon: Macarons! And not just any macarons…Ladurée macarons.
Also known to me as the best one’s made on the earth.
For years I could only get them in Paris, but New York was blessed with a shop late last year. And while they don’t “send out” from the New York store (believe me, I’ve asked since they are uptown and I am not), our friends made it happen by purchasing this lovely box at the store and sending them to us directly. While I’ve always been fond of these gentlemen, I am even more so today.
All you need to know, except that the Rose and Lilac ones are not to be missed…
(Photo: Some Cozy Night.)
January 3, 2012 § Leave a comment
January 3, 2012 § Leave a comment
The Disconnection is officially over and I am here at my lovely desk waiting for the coming storm to hit. So far, so good. I’ve gone through all the mail (seriously: I thought we were in the digital age…what’s with all these catalogs???), changed my voicemail message, reconnected with my team to see what’s what and am now moving on to Bigger Things.
In the meantime, I thought it would be a good idea to pep up the place a tad, so I bought myself some flowers. (And added some for the entry of the office, too. Everyone can use a little extra cheer on the first day back, no?)
Other things one can do to lessen the blow:
Plan a few social things
It can be anything from meeting someone for a drink to going to the ballet. Just something fun to give you A Lift, as my Grandmother would say.
Straighten Up Something
I’ve been seeing Facebook status reports that boarder on bragging about how much cleaning and organizing they had completed before the end of the year. I am happy for them, but between you and me, I think it is far less taxing to take things one step at a time. Before I left for the holidays, I straightened out all my sweaters. I was ever so pleased to find them all neat and tidy when I came home. Tonight, the big goal is to tidy up the drawer of my bedside table. Slow and steady, my friends.
Make a new outfit
No pressure…just see if you can’t find a new way to wear some of your old favorites. Even if it is just wearing a different top with your favorite pants. Free and very satisfying.
Cook Something Delicious
Nothing hard, mind you. If you live someplace where it is cold, I recommend a very simple roasted vegetable soup*.
And that is all I have for now.
*Super-easy Roasted Veggie Soup
– One onion, diced
– Two or three stalks of celery, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
– Two or three carrots, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
– 1 Pint of grape tomatoes
– 1 bay leaf
– 4 cups of chicken stock
– Olive oil
– Salt and Pepper to taste
1) Set the oven to 350 degrees
2) Put all the veggies on a parchment-lined baking sheet (tomatoes on a separate one); toss with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast in the oven for about 25 – 30 minutes.
3) Put the stock in a pot, pop in the veggies, bay leaf, salt and pepper and bring to a boil
Serve with a little fresh parsley and grated parmesan. Also, feel free to add a little pasta, rice or whole grain for a little extra bulk. And a glass of red wine would not kill you.
(Photo of where my flowers will go when they arrive: Some Cozy Night, who is waiting for them ever so patiently.)
January 1, 2012 § Leave a comment
Crazy nice weather today, making our annual New Year’s Day Beach Walk one of the nicest we’ve had in a few years. For some reason, our New Year’s traditions seem the most special of the holiday season, even though it is beyond low key. Maybe because we are long past making it The Best Night of the Year, and just want to have a nice, quiet night before things start getting Not Quiet in a few days. Maybe it is because we really like champagne and a stupid movie. Who knows? I just know that I like it.
Many good things for us all in 2012.
(Photo of the beach at noon today: Some Cozy Night)