Sunday, January 29, 2017

Oh weekend, I hate to see you go

Don't we all feel a bit like this, no matter what part of the week in which we take our "weekend"?

Friday after work I went out to a friend's house for dinner. We each do a birthday dinner for the other, sometime in the approximate neighborhoods of our birthdays, which are very conveniently about six months apart. She cooked for me this time, and boy, did she ever...

Beef tenderloin. Sauteed shrimp. Carrots. Sweet potato fries. Death by Chocolate cake for dessert. No wonder I slept two hours later than usual the next morning - it was really an extended food coma.

Puttered on Saturday, reorganizing a bit of the studio, reading a bit, not doing too much of anything too strenuous. Though I did put a cover on the electrical outlet behind the studio door. That door is never closed when I'm in the studio (truth to tell, it's only closed when I have company and don't want them seeing the creative mess), so I don't remember there is an outlet back there. Back when I had the condo painted, I bought nice new covers for all the outlets, but kept forgetting to put that one on.

I had the screwdriver in my hand because I switched out the light switch cover in that room. I have a "thing" for pretty switch covers. This particular one was Monet's "Waterlilies", or at least a small portion of it, done on a standard size cover. The new cover is a bit bigger...

It really is rather large, at 9 inches long. But it looks great and fits with the theme of the room.

Today was spent lolling about a bit, then in the kitchen. Not one, but two new recipes. A small bit of arborio rice has been languishing in the cabinet for months. I need the space, but as much as I adore risotto, I hate standing there adding liquid, stirring, repeat, repeat and on and on for half an hour or more. America's Test Kitchen's Casserole cookbook has a recipe for a baked risotto that sounded a bit less labor intensive. I see the book isn't directly available on Amazon anymore, no wonder, since it's more than ten years old.

Putting everything together was easy. The end result? Not as creamy as traditional risotto, even though I know the liquid I added may have been a bit on the higher side. The rice still had a tiny bit of bite to it. Eh, next time, a little more liquid and a little more baking time.

The second recipe was the ultimate broccoli with cheese sauce. Rather than just pouring the sauce over the veggie and calling it good, this recipe has you put it in a casserole dish, top it with the Best Breadcrumb Topping Ever, and bake it. (BBTE consists of a couple of slices of squishy white bread, torn and put in a food processor along with a tablespoon or two of melted butter. Plus until coarse crumbs form. They brown beautifully and provide a delightful crunch). While I had the two bunches of broccoli the recipe called for, my bunches must have been small. I ended up with a rather high cheese sauce to broccoli ratio. No complaints, though.

This particular cheese sauce (made from scratch) is pretty much the same one you use for macaroni and cheese (complete with a BBTE topping there, too), so the skill is worth mastering.

Needless to say, after pairing servings of each of those with some cod for lunch (pfft - I microwaved the cod with lemon pepper - I'd been fussing over the others for over an hour and I was hungry, darn it), I spent the early part of the afternoon dozing in front of the fire in another food coma.

There are worse ways to go.

The leftovers on the side dishes will give me a headstart on dinner for the next three nights. Porkchops, salmon and more cod all thaw fairly quickly in cold water, so I don't need to make a decision on a protein until I get home from work (translation: forgetting to take something out to thaw isn't a big deal).

It looks like being full of good food has made me chatty. Eh, it's time to decide what, if anything, I want for dinner, and what, if anything, I'm going to pack tonight for tomorrow's lunch. It's not that I won't take a lunch, it's more that I simply don't have the energy to fuss with it tonight. There are things I can pull together in a hurry tomorrow morning that will still end up as a decent lunch.

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