I do not have words for the amazingness that just took place in my kitchen. And by "just" I mean, over the course of the past 36 hours.
First: I had a house-full of guests last night, so a special meal of pork was planned ahead, and the crock-pot slaved all day long so that I didn't have to! When I got home from work rice and veggies were cooked, tossed together, and eaten with the pork in a scrumptious combination of flavors. All guests were happy, and I was proud of my hostessing success.
Second: Another hostessing opportunity arises tonight with a friend coming over for dinner and a slumber party. The catch: that friend is a vegetarian. I really don't care at all that she is a vegetarian, except when I have to cook for her :) It's a challenge for me to come up with filling, healthy, non-salad meals for us, but I try. Yesterday I searched online and found a Stuffed Pepper recipe that sounded amazing, so I went out and bought the ingredients.
This morning I browsed over the recipe before heading to work (thank goodness!) and discovered that it called for the peppers to be stuffed, and then set in the crock pot for THREE HOURS to cook! So, unless Ashley and I wanted to eat at 9pm, that was a serious problem. So today on my lunch break, I ran home and started cooking rice, chopping vegetables, opening cans, dicing cheese, mincing garlic, and cleaning the crock pot.
At the end of my 45 minutes at home I had 3 perfectly stuffed peppers in the crock pot with a wonderful base of tomato sauce surrounding them as they brewed on their low setting.
The recipe allowed for many opportunities to test the combination of flavors and examine how they stimulate your palate (aka, sample the crap out of it) and considering how much I enjoyed that part, I am very much looking forward to dinner tonight.
This weekend was relaxing and busy all at the same time.
There was a little bit of household necessity taken care of in the form of putting in a better shower head that would hopefully actually allow water to pass through it. I was unaware that this installation process was occurring until the very end of it, but it was an overall success. Then we had some friends over for a wonderfully gourmet lunch, complete with a side of mixed fruit, which was amazing!
We also found the time to go out to eat at a very nice Italian restaurant a couple of towns over from my house. The food was wonderfully fancy, and the cocktails were well mixed... :)
Then we decided that since we had had a very grown-up weekend, entertaining for family and friends, cooking, and doing household chores, we would made our way to our favorite park and walk the snowy trails for an hour. We made our way to the abandoned Mill, and played in the snow like we were little kids. Thankfully though, we did manage enough restraint to not throw snowballs at each other since I didn't have my gloves with me, lol.
We've found that a nice outdoor weekend walk serves to reset the brain a little bit, and makes the tasks ahead in the coming week much more do-able.
All in all it was a lovely weekend, which ended with the Superbowl, and my choice of Grid squares landing me $75 in winnings :) Success again!
I know that all of us here in the North East are pretty much done with winter. There's been more snow than we know what to do with, and we all want to be warm. Well, in order to hold off frost-bite just a little bit longer I'm reminiscing about one day last summer...
I had just returned the day before from a week in Cancun with my family. We had to return to the airport at 10am after landing at 1am, because the airline left our luggage in Miami. Bryan came up that day and we went tax-free shopping and bought a digital camera and a hi-def tv. Then, after all this...we went to a concert. The air was a little chilly, so we cozied up with our friends on a blanket and listened to Zac Brown Band for a few hours while watching all of the people around us who were silly enough to stand up on the lawn for 3 hours while we comfortably sat the entire time. lol
The day was very long, and I'm pretty sure that when we arrived home for the night, around 11:30 that evening, Bryan literally had to support my weight as I tried to walk... but we had a lovely time, and it wasn't snowing!