I really have had a great weekend! Let's recap . . .
Friday night, my friend Ann met me at work and we walked to the Cheeky Monkey Deli for dinner. YUM YUM YUM! I've walked by this place a bunch of times, and finally ventured in, based on a recommendation from my boss. I had a side salad, pressed brie and roasted mushroom sandwich, some chips, and split a sour cherry mascarpone rice pudding with Ann for dessert. I'm still dreaming about that sandwich . . . this may be my new "go-to" place when I fall through packing a lunch for work! (The harder part will be NOT eating there once a week!) After dinner, we went to Penumbra Theatre and saw "Black Nativity," which was excellent, and helped finally shove me into the Christmas spirit! ;)
I spent Saturday morning sitting around on the couch, clipping recipes out of food magazines and drinking tea:
Yeah, that's a lot of tea. I had, ahem, an impulsive trip to the co-op on Friday afternoon during my break! (Hey . . . they were all on sale!) I made it my mission to try all FOUR flavors of holiday tea, just so I could post a short review here:
Candy Cane Lane: One of my favorites of the bunch. Decaf green tea with peppermint and vanilla flavors. I found this tea benefited greatly from an extra minute of steeping, and a teaspoon of sugar stirred in before enjoying. Brought out the vanilla flavor a little more. Delicious, especially if you love mint tea as I do!
Sugar Plum Spice: My other favorite. Fruity and spicy, sweet without adding any additional sweetner, and delicious! Bright pink in the cup, too. Leave the teabag in a long time, (I usually let my herbal teabags sit in the cup until I've finished drinking,) because the spiciness becomes more present the longer it steeps.
Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride: I have heard wonerful, rave reviews of this tea, but I must confess . . . my socks weren't knocked off. My first cup was sort of blah -- the tea smelled AMAZING, but didn't taste like much. After experimenting a little bit, I found this tea required doubling up on bags in my cup, a LONG steep, (up to 30 minutes,) and a teaspoon of sugar for best flavor. After my initial disappointment, I've been pleased -- imagine sweet sugar-cookie flavor and aroma, with a hint of orange. This would make a fun after-dinner treat on a day you don't want many extra calories!
Gingerbread Spice: I almost didn't buy this tea because I was afraid it would be too . . . spicy. "Spice" tea usually means overpowering, almost bitter cinnamon flavor, in my opinion, and I was a little worried . . . but the sale price made this box jump in my cart, and I'm glad it did! This is a nicely balanced tea, spicy but not overwhelming, and enjoyable even when I forgot and left the tea bag in for fifteen minutes. :)
So . . . if you're a fan of herbal teas and like holiday-inspired flavors, check these out! I think they might still be on sale at Mississippi Market, too! (Maybe even the Wedge? I've seen them on display, but didn't pay attention to the price.)
After my morning of tea and lounging in my jammies, Dan and I decided to head out on foot and "play" -- we went out for lunch, went to the library, hit up a couple of stores, (smoked paprika from Penzey's, a few holiday baking essentials from Kitchen Window, a quick grocery item I forgot on Friday, etc.), got Dan a haircut, a short browse at Cheapo, and then took the bus home. Whew! We were tired!
When we got home, Dan napped on the couch while I made cookies:
Dan complains that I can't ever make "regular" chocolate chip cookies, (i.e., no oats, nuts, dried fruit, etc.,) and unfortunately for him, this batch wasn't "regular." I threw in a bunch of peanuts and a teaspoon of coarse sea salt, which I'm thrilled with! And, well, Dan did confess that he actually liked them. :) (He's not anti-nut, just anti-walnuts and pecans, which I tend to use most often.) I'm going to take some to work tomorrow to share with my boss -- she's had an overwhelming couple of weeks, and deserves a treat!
When Dan got up from his nap, he made his famous tempeh stir-fry for dinner:
Yum! Spicy, salty, and delicious! (And I love all of that broccoli!)
After dinner, we watched part of "The Last King of Scotland" before I practically had a meltdown due to tiredness. :) Early to bed for me!
Today, I went to church, and then made pizza for lunch:
Dan and I had a funny discussion about how much we both love pizza, and never seem to get sick of it. Probably why we have it a couple of times a month! :)
After lunch, we finished the movie, then put up our tree:
Wee Christmas! Now the trick is to keep the cat from tearing the whole thing apart before Christmas actually arrives!
Off to finish the laundry, wrap some presents, and make bean burritos for dinner. Anyone have an amazing refried bean recipe they love? I haven't been happy with the experiments that I've tasted to date . . . I guess I'll just have to search for a recipe!?!?