Today was absolutely a day of treats . . . both food and non-food treats! Even though I'm really watching the budget lately, given my recent layoff, sometimes you've just gotta buy a few things, eh?
My morning started with a quick trip to the Farmer's Market with Courtney. I spent $10, and picked up the following . . .
Non-local, non-organic, but Dan's favorite, BLACKBERRIES!
(This carton of berries was ONLY A DOLLAR! What a deal! Courtney bought three packages.)
Local fall wildflower honey:
And, the hugest bag of local spinach:
After the Farmer's Market, Courney and I unloaded bags and bags of stuff at the Goodwill, then went over to Half Price Books, where I earned $17 by selling CDs and a few books of piano music that I haven't opened in YEARS. (Sometimes I fear I will never play the piano again. Boo!) I then turned around and spent that $17 (and an extra 6 cents) on TWO new cookbooks: The Moosewood Cookbook, and Classic Vegetarian Cooking from the Middle East and North Africa. (You may or may not remember the feast I prepared for our New Year's Eve dinner this past year, but the recipes all came from that second cookbook -- so glad to add it to my collection!)
After our morning adventures, Courtney dropped me off and I made lunch for Dan and myself:
Egg salad, lettuce, and sprouts on 100% whole wheat, with Greek salad on the side (tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, feta, and hearts of palm. Yum!) I had a cupcake for dessert. (Dan had, ahem, TWO cupcakes for breakfast???)
After lunch, Dan and I headed out -- we made a quick stop at the library to return some books, and then had a nice hike at the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge. After our hike, we headed over to REI to take advantage of their anniversary sale and the 20% off coupon I received as a member. I bought a new bike helmet, Dan bought a MN atlas (which we, lamely, used the coupon for,) and we also bought a rubber tent stake mallet. Woo.
After REI, we picked our way through AWFUL traffic, (hate the suburbs and road construction!), and headed over to Midwest Mountaineering, because I had my eye on a new daypack. (I've been using a Timbuk2 bag for years, but it's not really working for bike commuting -- there's not enough room, and it tends to slide around more than I'd like.) REI carried the same daypack, but not in the color I wanted, and for $22 more! Sheesh! I was glad I got the better deal AND was able to support a local business at the same time. (And the best part? I mentioned the whole REI thing to the cashier, and he offered me 20% off my daypack if I signed up for their email list! Sweet!)
I have to tell you about the daypack that I bought -- it's an Osprey, from their ReSource series. The pack is made from 76% recycled materials! How amazing is that?!? Plus, it was freakin' affordable, and has just the right number of pockets -- enough, but not too many. The waist strap was detatchable, which I liked, since I hate extra straps and buckles flapping about. Roomy enough for my lunch, rain layer, water, and planner, even. The pack even accomodates a hydration "bladder" (like a CamelBak,) so it will be great for summer day hikes, too!
Ok. I love my new backpack -- I think that's well-established. :)
Anyhow, we made a quick stop at the Seward Co-op for ice cream, (Dan was wanting some,) and then finally headed home.
All of that running around made us hungry! I made dinner:
I was debating artichokes vs. asparagus with dinner, then asked Dan, "would it be too decadent to have artichokes AND asparagus?" His reply, in a very straightforward tone, was, "there's nothing wrong with decadence." So, artichokes AND asparagus it was! Frozen ravioli and jarred sauce to round out the meal.
Damn. I think artichokes and asparagus might be tied for my favorite vegetables of all time. Yum, yum, yum, yum, yum!
Hope you all enjoyed your Saturdays -- I'm off to clean up the kitchen, flip through my new cookbooks, and watch a movie with Dan. Happy weekend!