One thing is clear after this weekend: I ain’t 25 anymore. I’m not all that far from it in actual age, but in “ability to hang and stay up late” I am seriously lacking. Friday night was nice and quiet at home. Steve actually got me to watch some Hobbit movie, which, incredibly, I followed and stayed awake through, and I made fried pickles at “intermission”. I love that old format of family movie nights at home, where you start the movie and then make your whole plan, “okay, at 10:15, we’re pausing for [insert favorite movie snack here].” Mine involved a huge dredge station mess, a bit of splattered hot oil, and about an hour of cleanup the next day, but it was a fun treat. The cornmeal-based crust on the pickles (and the few undercover jalapeno slices I threw in) was close to the Buffalo Wild Wings version I was going for, but I think I’d do a double coat next time for a little thicker crust, and maybe add a teensy bit of baking soda to up the golden color. Someday when I get motivated to tackle them again, I’ll post my recipe.
Saturday was a stark contrast, beginning with a tequila shot in the kitchen. Hel-lo. I forced this upon my poor fiance, feeling that I wouldn’t be able to handle all the sugar in a margarita at dinner, so let’s save some money and just take a shot at home! Entirely logical. Mexican food followed just down the street from our home–queso fundido wrapped in flour tortillas, and veggie enchiladas suizas for me. A meal I’ll never complain about, and yes, the flour tortillas were worth every bite. I forgot how spongy and delightful those things are, even though I prefer gluten-free and more authentic corn tortillas 99% of the time. After dinner, another tequila shot at the bar, then it was off to catch a train to NYC for the night! One of Steve’s oldest friends (as in, they go way back, not he’s 50) got married on Friday night, and since they’re not doing a big celebration for a while, we joined some of their family and friends for cocktails which included shiitake-infused tequila at the speakeasy-esque Death & Co (um, hi, should speakeasies probably not have websites?). My simple margarita was expertly crafted–probably what led to the second–and Steve got to try a couple new bourbon varieties. The place was very, um, well-controlled. One cannot view the inside of the bar from the sidewalk, as the simple storefront is patrolled by a very serious gentleman quoting shocking wait times to which most patrons respond with–total nonchalance. Seriously, he’d tell someone they were looking at about 2 1/2 hours for a table and they’re just like, “okay, cool, see you then”. Are they going home to catch a nap in the meantime?? The dark, no-standing-allowed atmosphere was too artificial for me, but I have to say I’d return for the cocktails.
None of this probably seems all that wild, and, to be honest, it wasn’t my six beverages throughout the evening that killed me. However, getting into bed at 3 AM (after finishing my enchiladas from dinner) and waking to my internal alarm clock at 8 had me dragging, with a headache, all day Sunday. Steve and I both might have taken a quick nap during our date to the Stamford Symphony, and I powered through to get ready for the week, but climbing into bed at 11:45 that night felt better than it has in a long while.
I finished the dinner plan for the week when I woke up early on Sunday, but due to a kale and sweet potato pancake photo shoot, diner breakfast excursion, two hours of Tchaikovsky, and general catching up, I’m writing this post approximately 7 minutes before you read it. Nonetheless, here’s what we’re having:
- Monday: butternut squash and black bean nacho cheese hot dish
- Tuesday: shrimp and veggie coconut curry (I’m adding carrots and butternut squash)
- Wednesday: gluten-free baked ziti and caesar salad (adapting GF; homemade vegetarian salad dressing)
- Thursday: takeout – sushi? (Thanksgiving prep!)
- Friday: heavy apps with the Hassanis, including a cheesy fontina and artichoke dip
- Saturday: “Thanksgiving”! So excited to share this menu in a future post! Hint: if I’m going to eat meat, it’s NOT gonna be turkey.
- Sunday: Recovery and leftovers
Needless to say, it’s gonna be a super busy week in the kitchen. I’m just happy that, for the most part, I’m beating the Thanksgiving grocery store rush. Are you hosting Thanksgiving? Bringing a dish? Have you started planning yet, or are you more of the last-minute type? Let me know in the comments or on Insta–I think it’s fun to hear about everyone’s approach. It seems like Thanksgiving becomes more of a Food Network media frenzy every year (like this year’s campaign with a very confusing play on words), but I’d rather not participate in all that, even as a food blogger. Sure, I’ve been posting some holiday friendly recipes and even have a few procrastinator-favoring apps to share next week, but it all feels silly when you step back and think about the many people for whom Thanksgiving is just another Thursday, maybe with work off. In all honesty, I can’t say I already have a plan to volunteer at a soup kitchen on Turkey Day, but it’s probably not too late to look into. I’ll keep you posted.