Saturday, May 7, 2011

Guess Who Managed to Cook Today? ;-)

We left the restaurant very late last night and then were up late while I wrote my Friday post. Needless to say that meant we also slept late this morning. Will we ever get back on our early morning schedule? It is looking iffy isn’t it?

Since we hadn’t seen Aimee in a while we went out to lunch because we knew she would be working. Finals will be behind her in two weeks and she will have more time. We still need to make plans to go to DC together and hit the museums.

When we got to the restaurant Aimee had our green tea waiting for us. That is one of the benefits of texting people to let them know you are coming in. See why I keep saying you need to find a restaurant where you can be a regular too?

Aimee also had some marinated mushrooms ready because she knows that we love them. We nibbled on those while we contemplated what to order.

Our first course was a whole wheat pizza topped with asparagus, spicy pineapple salsa, balsamic glaze and finished with baby arugula.  While this is not a conventional pizza it was amazing.  As I often say who needs cheese on pizza when they can have something like this?  ;-)

While we were chatting to everyone we also had time to look around and notice the beautiful spring green on the trees as well as the pretty spring pansies on the deck. It was a gorgeous day for lunch on the patio.

Next we ordered two cups of split pea soup that was vegan. I am loving the fact that there seems to always be a vegan soup on the menu these days.  :-)

We finished our meal with a roasted vegetable salad finished with balsamic glaze and walnuts.

We had difficulty deciding what to do next. Should we run errands and go back to the restaurant for dinner or do something else?  David was asking us if we were going to pull a double (i.e. be there for lunch and dinner shift). We really are at the restaurant way too much LOL. I commented to Ian today that I have spent more time in his restaurant kitchen this week than my own and that wasn't far from true. Dan decided we would go home and relax. Ian’s comment was “wasn’t that what you were doing here, relaxing?” I responded that Dan wanted to sit in a different chair. ;-)

Next we ran to Whole Foods to pick up some veggies for dinner tomorrow. I love having Whole Foods two miles from our house. I always forget how interesting the old architecture is around here until I have my camera with me. Our Whole Foods is in a very old mill down by a stream. I took a couple of pictures to share with you. It is cute isn’t it?

After Whole Foods we headed downtown to pick up tickets to the Maryland Film Fest tomorrow. Emily had told us about a film “Cafeteria Man” that she thought we would enjoy. We grabbed tickets today to make certain we would get a seat. It is about a man who thought you couldn’t feed bad food (processed garbage) to kids and expect them to thrive. The film takes you on his quest to change things. Sounds right up my alley doesn’t it? I will let you know tomorrow what we think of it.

While I was writing this post, tweeting and facebooking (is that a word yet?) while Dan was catching up on the sci fi he had recorded. When I realized it was 7:30 and that I hadn’t started dinner we almost let Ian do the cooking again but even I acknowledge our going out to eat is getting a bit out of hand.  Darn it! 

The answer was pressure cooking to the rescue. I made a quick soup of black eyed peas (1 ½ cups pressure cooked in 6 cups water), 1 quart tomatoes, and 3 cups dried mushrooms (rehydrated in 4 cups water) that I flavored with 1 large red onion, 6 cloves garlic, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon oregano 1 tablespoon hot crushed peppers (wet hots). I made this creamy by adding ½ cup raw cashews that I pureed in the Vitamix with some of the soup. I finished the soup with fresh cilantro. I chose black eyed peas because they are tender after only 6 minutes under pressure and I needed food fast. Thank goodness for the pressure cooker tonight.

We also had a simple salad for dinner tonight. This one was equal parts finely shredded kale and mesclun greens. I dressed them with my favorite dressing of Dijon, wine vinegar and stevia. I also added shredded carrot and thinly sliced apple and topped the salad with sliced almonds.

Overall not too shabby for dinner in well under 30 minutes.  Ian's would have been more tasty but my meal was certainly healthy.

Winner of “The 21-Day Weight Loss Kickstart” signed by Dr. Barnard is:

Chosen by an online random number generator was entry number 55 Alissa… Congratulations!

Please email me your mailing address so that I can get the book headed your way.

Happy Thoughts:

We are having the best week and weekend. It is hard to know where to start with my happy thoughts but I will give it a go:

• Dan doesn’t have to work this weekend which I am very happy about. We don’t get too many weekends that aren’t interrupted by work so this is a treat. We are enjoying our weekend together.

• Saturday we had a very relaxing lunch on the patio, which you saw above. Overall it has been a very laid back day. This was exactly what we needed since things have been a little hectic here recently.

• Tomorrow is all planned out, which is a rarity, and should also be a good day. We have a nice meal planned with my parents and then a movie as well as some relaxing in addition to enjoying the beautiful spring weather.

• Next week we have more fun planned which we are both looking forward to. I think we can all use more fun in our lives.

• Our three little fuzzy angels have been staying very close to us today. I think that is their way of telling us that they have missed us this week since we weren’t home much. It is nice that the babies love us that much. Whoever said cats are standoffish never met our little precious fur children.

Signing Out:

That is going to be it for me tonight. I hope you are having a good weekend too. I will talk to you again tomorrow.  Happy Mother's Day to all of you that are celebrating. 


  1. Wow....what a great surprise to kick off the summer with :) My (soon to be) fiance and I are planning on really cleaning up our eating starting June 1 (we work well with precise timeframes) in order to get healthier and look our best for our fall wedding!!

    Thank you so much for the giveaway..and even more so for the awesome info you share with us daily.

  2. Alissa,

    Congratulations on your upcoming wedding. Nothing like a big day to give any of us incentive to make significant changes.

    You are very welcome, I am happy to help any way that I can.


  3. That is so great that the split pea soup was vegan at the restaurant! Split pea soup so often has a ham bone thrown in...I am impressed :-)


  4. Courtney,

    Ian seems to be trying to have a vegan soup on the menu everyday. I agree with you about the split pea. I was very surprised but pleased that it didn't have ham. :-)

    I hope your weekend was good,


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