9pm dinner for one: Vegetarian food FTW

Without really meaning to, I've been leaning towards vegetarian meals in the last couple of days.  It's up for debate whether it is really more healthy because I end up eating more dairy/cheese/eggs, but there's no question that this is just as delicious as anything I've made with meat, and moreover I haven't really felt the absence of meat at all.  Pretty remarkable for someone who really loves her meat.

I just made this rich, crispity-crusty, super flavorful savory bread pudding with mushrooms. I had to improvise a bit because I didn't have 8 eggs, or parmesan.  I did manage to buy some heavy whipping cream (calories be darned) and am so glad I didn't try to use milk or some other such horror.  

Changes I made:

  • Made one quarter of the recipe
  • Used week old bread (it was like sawing a rock apart)
  • Skipped the step of pre-toasting the bread altogether since it was so dried out already, which meant I skipped the fresh thyme too
  • Used a mix of portobello and brown crimini mushrooms
  • Used smoked cheddar instead of Parmesan because that's all I had
  • Skipped the bell peppers; I HATE cooked green bell peppers
  • Probably added way more onion and garlic than was necessary
  • Used a mix of olive oil and butter instead of all-butter
  • Added chrysanthemum leaves (I had some sitting in my fridge for a while, and I got the idea from the savory bread pudding I had once at Bar Tartine which used nettles of all things) as well as some homemade leek confit I had in the fridge
  • Skipped the parsley

All told, I don't think I really missed any of the stuff I skipped because the end result was PHENOMENALLY YUMMY. I had it with a side salad of heirloom tomatoes marinated in balsamic, olive oil, and basil leaves, sitting on a small bed of arugula, topped with pine nuts.

On Saturday I made up a relatively quick, totally veggie sandwich:

  • Toasted pepper bagel from Noah's (my favorite!)
  • Smoked babaghanoush (eggplant dip) from Bi-Rite market (omg sooo good!)
  • Aforementioned leek confit
  • Goat cheese crumbles from TJ's
  • Sliced zucchini sauteed in olive oil, salt and pepper
  • Aforementioned arugula
  • Hummus

In the end, I think the only missing were tomatoes.  That would have really put it over the edge.

Lastly, for brunch on Sunday I made a creamy scramble with sauteed diced zucchini, portobello mushrooms, shallots, and spinach.  Topped with jalapeno jack cheese.  Yom.  Now I have to worry about what I'm going to eat for lunch tomorrow.

Checking in, 2010 To-Do List: I have a lot of stuff ahead of me.

Some may remember that I have a habit of putting together these yearly to-do lists.  I also like to check in every season or so to evaluate my progress.  Think of them as personal OKRs (for non-Googlers, that's Objectives and Key Results).  

Based on my year-to-date performance, I get a BIG FAT F-. Luckily, there are five months left in the year, and I've learned to make decent ravioli, which means I may be able to attempt Grant Achatz's Black Truffle Explosion before the end of the year.

Also, I have some additions:
  • Buy a new computer (and maybe a smartphone), finally
  • Get texting enabled on my phone
  • Attempt to make French macarons (preferably chocolate)
  • Start a journal for work/personal development
  • Use up the $20 credit that has been hanging around my RueLaLa.com account for months. This is more of a challenge than you'd think, because their inventory stinks.
  • Do a serious editing of my closet by the end of summer
  • Transfer to digital copy that play I produced in college and send it to all the cast/crew

  • Asia: Japan (visit Asta-PastaOR Hong Kong and one other Chinese province I haven't been (SichuanXinjiang, Tibet, Fujian)
  • Domestic: New Mexico, DC area, New Orleans/Texas, NYC OR Hawaii.
  • Local: LAKE TAHOE IN THE SUMMERTIME. And perhaps a local weekend camping trip.
  • Bonus: Europe OR South America (Argentina/Brazil/Chile/Peru OR Spain/Italy/Turkey/Greece OR Costa Rica)
  • Bonus: Winter Olympics in Vancouver!
Health & Wellness
  • Seriously, sleep 7+ hours at least 3x/week.
  • Do something active 1-2 times a week (join a class if I have to), and hike 1x/month.
  • Strengthen my bum knee - 20 pounds (hey, baby steps).
  • Invest.
Spiritual/Personal Growth
  • Pray, early and often
  • Give 10%.
  • Attend a smallgroup at least 2x/month
  • Cultivate charity, patience, serenity, and grace (in other words, stop talking and complaining so darn much)
  • Find one regular, long-term, and meaningful volunteer activity (identify by February 2010)
  • ReadThe Far Pavilions, Malcolm X, Confederacy of Dunces, BluebeardThe Master & Margarita, Dune (I'm listening to this one on audiobook now, but it's hard to follow)
  • WatchBrazilThe Orphic TrilogyM, finish Buffy: Season 7 (I'm halfway through, but they are scary to watch by myself!), Chariots of Fire, Rocky
Personal Projects

"What's wrong with me?"

Garry got me this little statue a couple years ago for Christmas.  It was such an odd yet adorable little thing and fit perfectly on my coffee table.  Labeled "friendly two-headed dog" by its maker, melabo (on etsy), it's no longer for sale but my friends were over last night and we were commenting on how harmlessly quizzical it looks.

I cocked my head to the side in an attempt to imitate it and said, "aroo?"
And Izzy-belle cocked her head to the other side and said seriously, "What's wrong with me?"

And Jennie and I thought it was the most hilarious-est thing ever.