Ah, Sunday. It's been a pretty relaxing weekend so far, which is just what I needed after a hectic work week. I'm sitting here sipping on my special dark roast coffee, listening to John Mayer and watching Riker play with Butters and laughing his face off, thinking life is pretty good. Riker's been sick so often over the last few months, so when he's feeling well and running around laughing and jabbering and playing fetch with the dog, it melts my heart.
Yesterday after breakfast Matt and I split up for the weekend. His sister and her husband just bought a house on Thursday and they're tearing up floors and refurbishing everything, so he headed there to help with demo work and I headed to his parents' to handle cooking for the gang.
I would've like to help them with the house overhaul, but I was on Riker duty and definitely couldn't let Riker run around unattended in there. I figured the next most helpful thing would be to supply the workers with hot meals so they wouldn't have to leave every time they got hungry, or resort to ordering pizza for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
I did the cooking at Matt's parents' house so I could hang out with MomMom while I worked, and we had fun chatting together through the day. I made a big batch of pasta fagioli with plum tomatoes, celery, carrots, escarole, white beans, Lightlife soy crumbles, parsley and ditalini pasta. I reserved a bowl of the soup for myself before I added the ditalini. The stuff is super hearty even without the pasta.
After simmering it on the stove for a few hours, I transferred it to my new Stay or Go Crock Pot and drove it over to the boys. That way they could leave it plugged in and enjoy a hot bowl whenever they got hungry. Along with the pasta fagioli, I brought a hot loaf of crusty garlic & herb bread, a batch of peanut butter cookies for afternoon munching, and a basket full of plastic bowls, utensils, napkins and condiments (parmesan cheese, hot sauce, butter, salt & pepper). I felt like The Pioneer Woman bringing a hot picnic lunch to the cattle workers. All I needed was a flatbed truck and some cowboy boots. ;-)
For the cookies I used Julie from PBF's recipe for Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies, which are a huge hit because they are so moist and peanut buttery; they're also pretty protein packed since they only consist of peanut butter, eggs and sugar - a good treat for hard manual labor. I accidentally burned the first batch since I wasn't used to the oven, but the tops still looked great, so I scraped them off, rolled them into balls and called them "cookie truffles." They were the first ones gone out of the basket!
Matt had a bachelor party in Baltimore last night so left town around 2:00 and was gone for the night, so after the lunch delivery Riker and I came home and spent the afternoon hanging out just the two of us.
He was still not feeling well yesterday and was teething again so his mood was in and out, but I enjoyed the good moments when they came. He doesn't eat much when he's not feeling well, so he went to bed early and I was on my own for dinner. I don't do fancy when I'm cooking for myself, so it was a hodge podge veggie bowl eaten curled up on the couch watching DVR'd CSI episodes. Matt hates CSI, so I try to catch up on them when I've got the house to myself for the night. ;-)
In the dinner bowl:
- A crumbled up Ligtlife Portobello Mushroom Burger (love these - they are made from non-GMO soy and pack 20 grams of protein!)
- Sauteed mushrooms
- Fresh broccoli
- Grape tomatoes
- Garlic and balsamic vinegar
Not half bad for a thrown together meal. I was super lame and kept falling asleep through my second CSI, and finally gave up and went to bed at 10. #Oldlady!
This morning's breakfast looked strangely similar to yesterday's.
Riker and I shared a cheese omelet for breakfast, but this time with sautéed broccoli, garlic and fresh basil. It was yummy as usual. I used two of my favorite Trader Joe's finds when making it - bagged organic broccoli florets, and pasture butter.
Strange for two reasons: first, I prefer not to buy pre-cut veggies because they're often a waste of packaging and are more expensive. But the Trader Joe's florets were actually cheaper than a head of organic broccoli, and I can grab handfuls of it when I need it without chopping and getting those little broccoli bits absolutely everywhere.
Two: I rarely use butter because it's not the healthiest of fats, but I refuse to use margarine...if I'm using anything, it's gotta be the real deal. Matt spotted this Organic Valley Pasture Butter Limited Edition at the market and we were intrigued. It's says it's "made in small batches with milk from pastured cows", only from May to September "when organic grasses naturally provide the highest levels of CLA, omega fatty acids and beta-carotene". So basically, it's from happy cows eating natural things. And honestly, you can taste the difference...it's so sweet and fresh tasting! I sautéed my broccoli in it this morning, and it gave my omelet a punch of great flavor.
I don't have much on the agenda today besides getting a workout in when Riker naps, and doing a few things around the house. Matt will be home sometime this afternoon so I'm looking forward to some family time later today. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!