It has been far too long since I last posted, because working retail the weeks of Christmas and New Year's pretty much sucked the life out of me. Fortunately, things will slow down at work now, and I can begin looking for another part-time job, or a full-time job, or some other form of additional income beginning in February. (I have full-time retail hours through January.)
Christmas was kind of a let-down for me this year -- I woke up in a funk, moped around my apartment most of the day, and went to see "The Holiday," which was surprisingly well-written, funny, and charming, for a Hollywood holiday romantic comedy. :) Nice brain junk food -- took my mind off my funk for over two hours! I then came home, ate my weight in Annie's organic mac and cheese, and moped some more. Not the greatest holiday on record, but probably better than some. :)
I've been cooking a little bit, but have taken few pictures. Here's what I have!
This is a pasta I made sometime over the last week or two. Basic whole wheat spaghetti with jarred marinara (I've fallen in love with Middle Earth Organic's tomato and porcini mushroom,) topped with a saute of zucchini, onion, mushroom, kidney beans, garlic, and some fines herbs:
Here's what I made for dinner tonight:
I followed the recipe off the back of the package of udon noodles my dear friend Marie sent to me for Christmas, (she also sent me a large jug each of maple syrup and toasted sesame oil -- thanks Rie!), and it was a perfect example illustrating my point in a conversation I had with a coworker this week. We were discussing cooking styles, food, and flavor, and he was explaining to me how he loves food with layers of flavor, complex sauces, and the like. I explained I enjoy much of my food quite simply, using a few high quality ingredients, and flavor boosters like fresh herbs, vinegars, garlic, and the like, to bring out the subtle nuances of my very high-quality ingredients. Anyhow, these udon noodles were delicious, perfect, and simple -- a quick stir-fry of tofu, onion, carrot, mushroom, and cabbage, followed by adding the noodles for a minute once fully cooked, and then a generous but not overabundant amount of low-sodium tamari. Mmmmmm . . . slightly salty, slightly crunchy, noodley goodness.
AND, the food finale for this post:
I made sushi for New Year's Eve! Why, you ask? (Especially considering I've never made sushi before, and never cared for sushi in the past.) Well, because sushi is one of Dan's all time favorite foods, and I decided I was ready for a culinary challenge. I picked up a few key ingredients (nori, prepared wasabi, sushi rice, and sushi vinegar) at work, as well as a few key tools (a rolling mat, soy sauce dishes, and chopsticks,) and loads of awesome advice from my coworkers, including detailed instructions on how to cook the rice to perfection, what to serve with the sushi (steamed edamame and miso soup,) and rolling and cutting tips. After a quick trip to the co-op for a few additional ingredients to round out the meal (cucumber, red pepper, and avocado for the rolls, pickled ginger for a side, and shiitake mushrooms and spinach for the miso soup,) I was ready to steam some rice and get rolling. My verdict? Surprisingly easy, surprisingly tasty (but I think my favorite part was the pickled ginger!), and Dan was floored.
Sushi New Year to all!