I celebrated my return to the Cities with a trip to Holy Land Deli with Ann and Michelle, who both picked me up from the airport! (Ann drove, but Michelle tagged along for an A/C hit -- they don't have air conditioning in their apartment, and neither do I for that matter, but it's been in the nineties for days now and they both looked miserable.) We ordered the "Vegetarian Shiek's Dinner for Two," which was more than enough food for the three of us with leftovers! Here's what was on the giant platter:
stuffed grape leaves
saffron Basmati rice
lightly breaded/fried cauliflower
three different sauces: cucumber, tahini, and hot sauce
AND THEN, the dinner also included Arabian tea and baklava for dessert. All for twenty bucks. I kid you not. The three of us ate ourselves sick for twenty bucks, plus leftovers. That place is just incredible.
Oh, it felt so good to eat lots and lots and lots of really yummy veggie food! (And it was all vegan, as far as I could taste/tell, except for the cucumber sauce, which was obviously made with yogurt.) Yes, even their spanakopita is cheese-free -- it's just loaded with tons of spinach, onions, and vinegar to make it extra-tasty! (And their spanakopita comes in a bread-like pocket, instead of in phyllo.) My tummy's happy, happy, happy to be home.
(Disclaimer: my parents actually were very generous and accomodating, it was just that we ate out quite a few times during the weekend, which is always a bit tough, especially following a week of lots of eating out.) Tonight will be the last time, if I have any say in the matter, that I eat out until Saturday, when we all go out to celebrate my BIRTHDAY!! (My birthday happens to be tomorrow, however.) :)
In other news, it is hotter 'n heck right now -- high nineties during the day, low seventies at night. My apartment is like an oven -- even the hardwood floors are hot! I have all the windows open and fans everywhere attempting to pull the cooler evening air inside.
I'm trying to see if I can live without the air conditioner, because it quintuples my power bill when I run it, and because I think it might be a waste of energy, when we really don't have that much miserable heat here. I'm going to see how long I can suffer through it!
Speaking of electricity, my first WindSource power bill came, and it only raised my entire bill by 26 cents. (I don't use much electricity to begin with, however -- my average bill is somewhere between ten and thirteen dollars.) It was a well-worth Earth Day adventure!
Speaking of Earth Day, I have been failing lately on my resolution of air-drying laundry. See, the family I nanny for has offered me the use of their washer and dryer for free, as long as I don't "get in the way" of the family laundry. Free laundry is pretty hard to turn down, and it could pose quite a challenge to wash my clothes at their house and then bundle them up wet to hang dry at home! So I've been tossing them in the dryer. I'm thinking of taking sheets/towels over there, but doing clothes at home. (I just need the willpower to turn down the free laundry!)
I have been flattered by the chatter I've read around about my upcoming cookbook! I'm happy to have more recipe testers volunteer, although I don't have anything to give you at this time. (If anyone who has some of my recipes wants to hand one over to someone else, let me know -- I've got at least three more people queued up!)
I just finished reading David Sedaris's "Me Talk Pretty One Day," which I borrowed from Michelle. (Thanks, 'stache lady!) I am currently without a novel! I do have an issue of the Rake to read, plus the City Pages and Pulse, but I will need to go to the library SOON! And yes, the brand-spankin' new library is finally open! Perhaps I will run over there one day this weekend. Novels and cookbooks galore, oh my!
It's just so stinking hot. Boo.