I made the most outstanding tofu for two nights in a row, and I must share the recipe. It's very simple; you need to prepare a quick marinade, let the tofu soak in it, and then pop it in the oven (or you can cook it on the stove top). Easy, peasy.
I got the marinade recipe from The Vegan Foodie. You can view it on the website here
To make the marinade, you need the following ingredients:
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
2 T soy sauce
1/2-1 T agave nectar
2 T extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic smashed (I used 2 T of minced garlic)
Any herbs that you want (or none at all)
You also need a block of firm tofu.
Add tofu, preheat oven to 350, then bake for 30 minutes. Flip the tofu after 15 minutes.
This recipe serves 2 people.
Here is the process in more detail:
I made the marinade in a large bowl (just pour all of the ingredients in there and mix with a spoon) and then cubed my tofu. I know people like to press their tofu with a paper towel to absorb some of the water, but I never bother with that. I drain the water from the package and then start chopping away at the block. If you want to, though, you can plop the wet block on a cutting board, place a paper towel on top, and apply pressure until your paper towel is soaked through (at least that's how I do it). You can also put something like a heavy book on top of the block for a few minutes or buy a legitimate tofu press. For me, though, it's not worth the trouble.
I almost always cube my tofu. I can sometimes find tofu that is already cubed. If not, I cut the tofu in half by separating the top and the bottom of the block. I then leave the halves on top of each other and cut both width-wise and length-wise until I have relatively equal-sized cubes. It doesn't matter how big your cubes are; the most important thing is to try to get them to be the same size!
I then throw the cubes into the marinade and let it sit covered for a few hours in the fridge (about 2 hours is enough for me, but you can do it for more or less time). Marinating in a bag is a probably a better idea, because there is always too much tofu in my bowl for all of it to be covered in the sauce. I usually take it out of the fridge a few times and stir the mixture so that all of the cubes get some flavor.
I preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and put the cubes in a baking pan that is large enough to spread them out in a single layer. I use a big spoon with holes (what do you call that?) so that the liquid can drain back into the bowl. Whatever you do, try to keep as much of the marinade as you can. Put the tofu in the oven and cook for 30 minutes (flipping them halfway through).
You can also sautee the tofu on the stove, but I find that the oven crisps it up
While the tofu is baking, I chop up a red onion (about 1/4 of a large onion; 1/2 of a small onion) and throw them into the leftover marinade to pick up extra flavor. When the tofu is finished, you can pour the marinade with the onions on top of it, and it's delicious. I also cut up a few slices of tomato to add and spread some goat cheese crumbles over everything. You can really garnish with anything- it's up to you.
My inspiration for this balsamic tofu came from a balsamic tofu wrap that I ate from Whole Foods
that was outstanding. I wanted to go home and make it myself. I still haven't eaten the tofu in a wrap, but I might try it next week. With some baby spinach, tomato, clinatro, and a whole grain wrap, I bet it would be a perfect lunch.
I hope you make this if you want a good vegetarian meal. It's so good!
I got home from California on Wednesday, and I hung around my parents' house for a couple of days before going back to the city. My mom started a vegan diet on January 1st, and she wanted me to make a vegan-friendly meal for Thursday night. She wanted spaghetti squash. Since I make it all the freaking time, though, I wanted to make another dish along with that yellow beast of a squash. I thought it would be fun to make quinoa burgers since I never had them or made them before, so I researched recipes and went grocery shopping.
They were a piece of cake to make. The longest part was preparing the quinoa. Once that was done, I threw a bunch of ingredients in a food processor, mixed everything together, formed patties, and cooked the burgers on the stove.
The mix that came out of the food processor was very tasty. That's one of the good thing about vegan food: you can sample the uncooked "burger batter".
I cooked the spaghetti squash in the oven and just made up a simple sauce by adding sauteed onions and mushrooms and spices to a store-bought (vegan) pasta sauce. It was just fine. It was even better when I added parmesan cheese. If I ever became a vegan, I would have such a hard time giving that stuff up.
The burgers were also fantastic. I got the recipe from sparkpeople.com. The link is here.
Here is the recipe for very easy and tasty vegan quinoa burgers (serves six people):
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup pine nuts or pumpkin seeds (I used pine nuts)
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
1/2 cup raw, diced onion
1 cup cooked black beans
1 tsp salt (I omitted this)
3 cups cooked quinoa (1 cup dry)
1/2 cup diced sweet red pepper
bread crumbs (you can use rice flour for a gluten-free alternative)
2 Tbs. olive oil
Cook the quinoa according to the instructions on the package. When finished, put all of the ingredients in a food processor or blender except for the quinoa and bread crumbs. Blend them until they have a mushy consistency (look at my after-blending photo) and then mix the "mush" with quinoa and bread crumbs in a bowl. The recipe says to roll the mixture in the bread crumbs before cooking, but I just mixed everything together. It turned out fine.
Roll the mixture into balls, flatten them out so that they look like burgers, and then throw them on a hot pan on the stove top to cook. Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, or flip when they look golden-brown. My pan was too hot, so I slightly burned the burgers (see photo). I'm learning things, one day at a time.
If you're going all vegan on these, do not omit the bread crumbs! Your burger will fall apart and will resemble quinoa hash more than anything.
What a great recipe! Even if you're not a vegan, these are worth making.
Have a great night, everybody!
came and went this year, and I enjoyed it like I always do. We ate the food that you only eat once a year, recited stories and songs of the biblical days, and drank our fill of wine (except Saturday night, because I drove).
The Passover Haggadah, the many glasses, and a Boils finger puppet to represent one of the Ten Plagues.
On Saturday night, I got the sitting/reclining finger puppet to use during the Four Questions. Traditionally, the youngest child (who is also old enough to read) sings the Four Questions in Hebrew. They ask: Why is it that on other nights we eat either bread or matzoh, but on this night we eat only matzoh?; Why is it that on all other nights we eat all kinds of herbs, but on this night we eat only bitter herbs?; Why is it that on other nights we do not dip our herbs even once, but on this night we dip twice?; and Why on all other nights we eat either sitting or reclining, but on this night we eat in the reclining position? (source)
Then, we answer them in English and hold up the corresponding finger puppets if we have them.
You can read all about the typical Passover food in my post from last year. We always have the same stuff, but the matzoh ball soup is always my favorite!
We also get almond macaroons every year from Deerfields Bakery
that are spectacular. We bought a packet of six for the house, and they didn't make it through the weekend. The almond biscuit melts in the mouth, and the raspberry filling and kosher chocolate are a nice bonus.
I don't typically "keep" Passover. This means that I don't avoid yeast or baking soda or anything that makes bread rise. I don't eat much bread to begin with anyway, but I also don't love matzoh enough to eat it every day for eight days. I usually just stick to my normal diet. Passover started on Friday night, and I'm sure that I already ate something that wasn't acceptable for it (ahhhh yes, I remember. I ate two Aussie bites
As much as I'm not an eternal matzoh lover, I've never gone one year (minus maybe the Passovers when I've been abroad) without eating fried matzoh.
**Please note we don't actually FRY anything and that's just the name for the dish. I'm sure that some people do or did fry it back in the day, but doing that is really not necessary or recommended for a multitude of reasons.**
All you need is a box of matzoh, eggs, and whatever toppings you want to use. It's the same concept as making French toast, so you can use whatever toppings you would use for those. If you live in a heavily-populated Jewish area like we do, you will have no issue whatsoever finding matzoh. My mom, grandma, and I went to Sunset Foods in Long Grove and my mom was literally standing there for TEN MINUTES trying to figure out which types of matzoh to buy. You can choose by brand, taste, and dietary requirements (yes, there are gluten free options). The whole wheat bran was just one of the many boxes that are now in our pantry.
I'd say two pieces is a good serving for one person. All you do is pull out two to three pieces (three if you're really hungry) and break them up in a bowl. You don't want your pieces to be too small.
Unless you have egg matzoh and it's already very soft and crumbly, you will want to wet them. Put enough water in the bowl to cover all of the pieces and let them sit for a minute or so just so they are slightly soggy.
Next, crack in one egg for each piece of matzoh (so, two for me). Mix well and put on the pan. Once the egg is cooked, you are all ready to eat.
Now, you can sprinkle on whatever toppings you like. I always use syrup, although I also added cinnamon this time. I really liked it. Many people like them with powdered sugar, too. Whatever floats your boat!
I hope that everybody had a wonderful Passover and/or a blessed Easter! If you don't celebrate either holiday, then I hope you had a great weekend.
The steel cut oats that I made this morning were a success! They tasted just as good as they did yesterday, and my breakfast didn't explode all over the stove.
I guess supervising the pot is a good idea. I crumbled up an Aussie Bite
again (which sadly no longer exist in my house). Time to make more, I guess?
My mom and I both wanted a stir-fry for dinner tonight, so I made one with tofu and brown rice.
I cut a block of firm tofu into thin rectangles and sauteed them with a whole onion. Once everything was mostly cooked, I threw in frozen stir-fry vegetables and cooked them until all of the water evaporated. I also added low sodium soy sauce, wasabi mayonnaise from Trader Joe's
(just a small spoonful will give you a ton of flavor), and ginger powder. We ate it with brown rice. It was all very easy to make, and it was delicious!
I'm sorry that all of my pictures have been of food lately. I promise I'll make things more interesting!
Hello friends! I made this recipe back in October, but I waited a while to post this since this is the perfect winter comfort food!
Here is what you need to make this tasty Turkey Spaghetti Bolognese dish (makes four servings):
- One large carrot
- 2 stalks celery
- 1 red pepper
- 1 white onion (or 1/2 large onion)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1.25 lbs lean ground turkey (can substitute ground beef or soy product)
- 6 oz tomato paste
- 14.5 oz diced tomatoes
- 13.5 oz whole wheat spaghetti
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Oregano (or any other spices that you want to add)
- White or black pepper
- Worcester sauce (for added flavor-not required)
- Vegetable broth
- Parmesan cheese (DUH!)
I started out by finely chopping up the veggies and garlic. There are many ingredients going into the sauce, and you don't want it to be too chunky (unless you like extra chunky sauce).
Once the veggies are chopped, warm a pan and throw them in there. Poke them around for a good 15-20 minutes, or until the onions start to brown.
Next, add your ground protein. I picked out Extra Lean Jennie-O Ground Turkey Breast
. The extra-lean meat is a few extra dollars than the others, so it's really up to you whether you want to pick that one or not.
Dump the contents into the pan and use your spatula to poke around at the meat. Turn the heat up a little and quickly break the meat apart. You know that you're done when it looks slightly brown and crumbly. This shouldn't take more than a few minutes.
Next, add the tomato paste, the diced tomatoes, and a cup of water to lock in the moisture. Put the cover on your pot (you need to cover it with something) and simmer on low heat for 20 minutes.
While you're cooking your sauce, you can make the pasta. Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the box/bag. I use whole wheat pasta, but you can use anything that you like.
When you go back to your sauce, taste it and figure out what else it needs. My dad walked in the door just as I was finishing this up, and he added all sorts of goodies to add in flavor. We threw in mushrooms (we gave them enough time to cook), garlic powder, worcester sauce, white pepper, and vegetable broth. If you don't have vegetable broth, you may have to add more water so that your sauce doesn't get dry.
Soon, we were ready to eat! Of course, I added parmesan cheese.
This was the first time that I ever cooked a real meal for my parents (pathetic, right??), and they loved it so much that they went up for seconds. I made it again last week with fusilli (short, spiral-shaped pasta), and they gobbled it up again. They are picky eaters, so I know that this dish is a keeper!
This is also a great way to get your fix of veggies. If you have family members who don't like vegetables (or if you don't like them yourself), this is the way to sneak them into food.
Happy Weekend, friends!
I was so tempted to pick up Chipotle on the way home from class yesterday, but I somehow convinced myself that I should apply whatever cooking skills (or lack thereof) I had with the food in my kitchen. Why spend money when it's not necessary?
Since Chipotle now has brown rice, I thought that I could do a fun at-home recreation of a burrito bowl. I didn't have avocados to make guacamole, though, so I tried to think of something else I could do with brown rice. It then dawned on me: I LOVE fried rice! Why not make a healthy version of it?
I pulled out brown rice, veggies that needed to be eaten, and one egg.
I love rice that cooks quickly. The boil-in-the-bag rice took me ten minutes to prepare.
While waiting for the rice to cook, I chopped up celery, carrots, onions and yellow pepper. I threw the onions in the skillet and then put everything else in when they started to brown.
Once the rice was cooked, I added it to the skillet. I also tipped in some teriyaki sauce and aji mirin
. I preferred soy sauce, but I couldn't find any in the pantry.
Last, I cracked the egg and let it cook into the rice and veggies.
It was great! I'm so glad that I was able to make my own version of it.
Dinner was even more of an adventure. I learned about spaghetti squash when I started reading healthy living blogs, and I always wanted to buy and prepare one. I bought one the last time I was home visiting, but I forgot about it before I went back to Australia. My parents never used it, so it went in the trash. I bought another one last week, so I was determined to not repeat that mistake!
There it is! What a cute little pumpkin-looking thing!
Cutting the squash was an adventure of its own. It took me about twenty minutes. I really wish that my dad or Alastair were around, but I was all by myself (with the pups, and I knew they would not be much help). I needed two knives (one serrated and one butcher knife) to do the job. I was extremely careful, because I knew that one false move could lead to a maimed hand. By some miracle, I managed cut it in two without injuries!
I scooped out the seeds and the soft part in the middle, and then I put the halves face-up in the oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 40 minutes.
After the oven came the most exciting part: making the "spaghetti". I took a fork and scraped and scraped and scraped. The flesh started coming off in strings and looked like spaghetti. That's why it's called "spaghetti squash"!
Like pasta, there are a gazillion ways you can prepare the squash. I decided to eat it the same way I would eat spaghetti: with pasta sauce and parmesan cheese!
What a great pasta substitute and an awesome way to have fun with a healthy squash. I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed it. Guys, it actually looks like pasta, and the texture is hearty. You can even twirl it around your fork!
I am a vegetable disguised as pasta!
Tonight, I had the other half. I prepared it the same way, but I added cottage cheese too. I am that cool. And yes, it tasted very good. Don't dis till you try! Don't even start!
After dinner, I dug into a bag of plain semisweet chocolate chips (hey, it happens). After a few handfuls, I made cookie dough. I didn't bake it. I just ate it. Again, it happens.
The good news is that the recipe didn't have any butter or white sugar. I also only took a few bites and put the rest in the fridge. Sometimes, my self-control just overwhelms me. That, and the fact that I felt sick from chocolate chips. Check out Chocolate Covered Katie's recipe
for healthy cookies (or dough!).
Have a great night!
Hello friends! I want you to give every Jewish person you know a big hug or a pat on the back and wish them a happy new year. They will know what you are talking about, even if you do not! Did you know that Jews get two new years? We get our "Christian" new year on January 1st, and we get our Jewish new year around this time of year. We call it Rosh Hashanah (which translates to "head of the year").
While many of us bring in the January New Year with a massive hangover from a few too many sherbets, Rosh Hashana is usually a combination of temple, family gatherings and very sweet food. One staple food for the holiday is challah. It's a bread that is sometimes braided
and other times looks like a big fat spiral (see below). It's a moderately sweet bread, and it should be ripped apart rather than cut apart with a knife. That's the tradition.
Our raisin challah is for our guests tomorrow, so I'm leaving it in the plastic wrap until then.
Tonight is Rosh Hashanah Eve. When I was younger, we ate a very early dinner and then went to temple for a few hours. We'd then wake up in the morning, eat breakfast, and go back to temple. Missing school was never an issue for me. There were so many Jewish people at my school that classes were cancelled. The non-Jews LOVED us.
We don't belong to a temple anymore, so we have other options. We can pay an arm and a leg to go to services at a temple where we are not members, or we can observe the eve of the New Year at home. Tonight, we did the latter.
We made spinach cheese casserole and pasta for dinner. The spinach dish is very easy to make. It's some frozen and drained spinach...
...with cottage cheese...
..and shredded cheddar...
...and flour and eggs. Actually, my mom added eggs the other 56783 times that she made this. Tonight, she forgot them.
It came out of the over lookin all purdy, but the consistency was more like creamed spinach than a casserole. It still tasted great! It gave Boston Market's creamed spinach a run for its money. Plus, it's not all cream and crap like Boston Market. It won't give you a coronary.
My dad cooked up a big batch of cheese ravioli with veggies.
Creamed spinach casserole and ravioli!
Looks aside, I still could have eaten several plates of the spinach. I got a practical lesson of the importance of eggs in recipes, though. Eggs go into recipes for a reason! Not just to keep the chicken people in business...
Of course, there are vegan alternatives.
Somewhere around 8 pm, we cleaned up our dishes and did a mini service at our kitchen table. My dad is a whiz at Hebrew, so he was the "leader" of the service. It was nice. It was over in 25 minutes, and I wore my pajamas. It was the shortest and most comfortable Rosh Hashanah Eve service of my life.
FOOTY GRAND FINAL!!!
'Aight mates, just because I'm in America now, it doesn't mean that I can't get all excited about the grand final. This year, Collingwood is playing Geelong in Melbourne. If you want to know more about Australian Rules Football, check out some of my old posts from last year. I also explain (with no feelings held back) how I feel about Collingwood. I do NOT want this team to win again!
I'm watching the game on Friday night with the Chicago Footy Club
. Click on the link for more info!
Did you know that I'm on the last day of a 5-day weekend? I didn't have classes on Monday since it was Labor Day, and then my school was also closed today. We'll get Wednesday through Friday off for Thanksgiving Break in November, so they wanted to make a complete week of holidays. Sweet.
Anyway, I swear that I said something two weeks ago about making last week a Salad Week. I'd eat a salad every night, and I'd post the recipe the next day. Unfortunately, that idea seemed boring to me when it was time to execute the plan. Not all is lost, however. I made an awesome salad one night last week from leftover salmon.
I made a point to bring out lots of colors in my dinner. On a bed of baby spinach (green
), I shredded up a piece of cold salmon (pink
) and mixed in cherry tomatoes from our garden (red
). I sprayed on ranch Wish-Bone Salad Spritzer
), mixed it well and topped it all off with tri-color tortilla strips (red, yellow, blue/black
). After a few satisfying bites, I realized that my salad would be even better with feta cheese crumbles (white
). It was a lovely salad to look at AND eat.
More photos that made the cut from the week:
I picked my grandma up after class on Thursday, and we went to lunch. I can't believe how tall
I look there. Does it make a difference that I had massive wedges on my feet?
We went to Eggshell Cafe
for lunch, which is a popular lunching spot for us. It takes about four minutes to get there from where she lives, and we never have to wait for a table. They also have a massive menu. They're only open for breakfast and lunch. I always get breakfast food there, but there are plenty of other options such as salads and sandwiches.
I got a Mexican omelette with a side of fruit (you can also get hash browns).
From the menu: Diced tomatoes, onions, sliced jalapenos, fresh cilantro and chorizo served with Monterry Jack cheese.
I usually like everything that I get from there, but I was less than impressed with the fact that the salsa came in a to-go container and tasted like it was still thawing from the freezer. The strawberries also tasted like were soaked in syrup and frozen. So much for freshness, eh? At least the omelette tasted good.
On Friday, my dad deviated from his Friday pizza plan and asked my mom and myself to assemble the pizzas (he always does it himself). It was an honor, but we also felt the pressure! He makes the best pizzas on Friday nights, and we wanted to meet his expectations.
He had everything ready for us to go. He grilled the pizza crust, for a start.
He also prepared all sorts of toppings for us.
My mom's pizza:
Our pizzas tasted good, but not as good as my dad makes them. My mom wanted to pile as many things as she could on her pizza, and I apparently did not add enough onion. Oh well.
Besides reading and studying and exercise, I actually didn't get up to much over the weekend. So many of my friends live in the city, so I have to go over there if I want to see them. Unfortunately, I was feeling like a major homebody for a few days. I enjoyed the solitude of my home and the company of my dogs and not having to put makeup on my face and spend lots of money or drive 45 minutes or nurse a hangover the next morning. I was just happy to be home. I spent the majority of Sunday with my friend Kate in the suburbs, and that was pretty much it. Sometimes, I just need that time to spend with myself. I wouldn't like it if I did it all the time, but it was okay for this weekend.
I also went on a 20-mile bike ride along the Des Plaines River yesterday. I got very fatigued at one point, but that went away as soon as some girl sped ahead of me. I have a very competitive edge sometimes, and I just couldn't handle being passed by a girl who looked like she was my age. Thanks to her, I had a very good workout.
Today, I'm enjoying my day off by studying for my first exam for tomorrow (FUN) and making gnocchi!
I found this stuff last week, and I just had to buy it. I've never had sweet potato OR whole wheat gnocchi! It tasted great. It was heartier than your average potato gnocchi, and I just loved it. I mixed in some vodka sauce and parmesan cheese.
The Dark Tower Series
I know that I told you a few times
that I was reading a 7-part book series by Stephen King, and I'd tell you about it when I finished. After reading the series for over a year (I started the first book in June 2010), I finally closed the last book for good on the plane ride home from San Francisco. This is the first series, or any book, for that matter, that I ever read by Stephen King. If you don't know this already, this guy has quite
The first book in this series, called "The Gunslinger", introduces a character named Roland, the last gunslinger, who seems like a man straight out of a country western story. Stranded in the middle of an unnamed desert, Roland tries to hunt down a figure he calls the Man in Black. While the time and place of the story are difficult to grasp at the beginning, Roland stumbles upon artifacts from our world and songs such as "Hey Jude" which suggest that perhaps this world is our world- after it moves on. This story is about Roland and other unforgettable characters as they try to get to the Dark Tower.
I had a very difficult time getting through "The Gunslinger" until I got to the very end of the book. Once I started the second book, "The Drawing of the Three", I was hooked. I originally started reading the series because I heard that Stephen King got his inspiration from J.R.R. Tolkien's" The Lord of the Rings" (I am a big fantasy person), and I definitely got my fantasy kick out of it. There is undeniably science fiction in there as well.
If you have the itch to commit yourself to these seven novels, then I have to give you two warnings. First, you may hate the first book. Don't give up on it yet. Wait until the very end of the book, and you will get the kick to keep reading. Second, as you may expect from Stephen King, he doesn't spare us from violence. If you can handle details of guts exploding, then you may be able to make it through all seven. Believe me when I say that I would not recommend these books to just anybody!
On the bright side, it's a well-written book with excellent character development. King tells the story from many perspectives, so you are not stuck with just one. There is also a lot of the modern world mixed into the tale (a lot of New York City), so there is a hint of familiarity in there for us. I loved the series, and I have no regrets of reading it. It's also one of those stories that lingers around in your head way after you finish it. For me, those are the best.
Stephen King worked on "The Dark Tower" for years (almost twenty years between the first and last book), and he calls this his masterpiece. If you read stories such as "Jerusalem's Lot" or "The Stand", you may recognize some of the villains from there.
If you read the series by chance, let me know! I don't know anybody who has read it, and it's always nice to discuss it with somebody.
I am leaving my house in five hours to to go San Francisco to meet Alastair. I am so excited that I can barely sleep. His plane just left Sydney, and he will land one hour after I land there at 10 am. It's 10 pm in San Fran right now. These travel times and time differences still baffle me.
Before I get going, take a look at how much cleaning I got done. This was my closet yesterday:
This is my organized closet today:
I brought so many bags downstairs. I categorized my bags for garbage, recycling and give-aways. I got rid of so much stuff, and it felt great!
Before I go to sleep, I'll leave you with tonight's pizza:
- Boboli pizza crust
- a mushroom medley of white, baby portobello, shitake and oyster mushrooms
- Trader Joe's corn salsa
- 2 oz goat cheese
- fresh mozzarella cheese
- grilled eggplant
- fresh cherry tomatoes (from our garden)
- chopped arugula
Good night!! See you all in San Francisco!
AHHHHHH I'm so full right now! Let's talk about food from the past couple of days. Two of my dishes have a common theme.
On Saturday, for dinner, I wanted my gnocchi. I almost always have San Remo gnocchi
in the fridge, unless I already ate it and have to buy more. As I have told you all many times, I am obsessed. I made things a little different this time, and I made my sauce from scratch. I used leftover canned tomatoes from making the chili
, minced garlic, a brown onion and dried oregano.
Along with parmesan cheese and broccoli, it made a great meal! As usual, I left half of the gnocchi for the next day.
We then went out to the Cremorne
on Saturday night (I wasn't socially awkward, and I had a great time), and we stayed indoors all day yesterday since it was pouring down with rain. Wet Sundays are meant for staying inside!
Then, Monday came along. Since I'm going home in exactly one week, I didn't bother making a proper grocery shopping list. In fact, I didn't make one at all. I figured that I could bring canned soup for lunches on certain days, and I could always have eggs or cereal for dinner if I ran out of any food. Yum.
I just didn't see the point of buying a lot of food, especially since I know Al won't eat it after I leave.
Since I didn't have a list, the hungry voice inside of me told me to buy fresh spinach and ricotta ravioli. It was open like this when I got it.
No, I'm totally kidding. It wasn't open when I got it. That would be madness! I think I have a San Remo addiction. I loved my pasta so much, that I needed restraint from eating the whole thing.
These are my leftovers for my lunch tomorrow (or what would have been the second half of my dinner), and it was less than half of the whole portion! These servings are massive! The package says there are two in there.
Like Saturday night's dinner, I also added broccoli and parmesan. See the similarity?
After dinner, my night got even better. My shopping partner threw some of these in our cart earlier:
If you non-Aussies haven't had Tim Tams, you haven't lived! I had my first one when I first met Alastair. He was staying at my apartment at University of Illinois with my three other roommates. Since he was with us during Australia Day (at the beginning of January), he ordered a huge box of Aussie goodies to share with us. He was visiting Chicago when the box arrived, and he told me to open it. It contained a stuffed animal kangaroo (of course), Vegemite (I really need to do a post on that), an Australia jumper/sweatshirt and TIM TAMS!!! Al told us to go ahead and try them. We were hooked! In an apartment with four girls, I'm surprised that any of them remained until he got back from Chicago!
We hardly ever buy them these days, because we eat them too quickly.
On a side note, I work next to the Arnott's factory in Adelaide. On most days, the air smells like a huge liquid Tim Tam. It smells like the Chocolate Room in Willy Wonka's chocolate factory (if you ever went there...which you didn't...since it's all made up). It smells like the ocean changed from salt water into a sea of bubbling, rich milk chocolate. Do I need to keep going? Or if you live in Chicago, do you know that smell when you get off the Kennedy Expressway onto Ohio Street? That chocolate smell? It's like that!
So Tim Tams, if you haven't already figured it out, are chocolate biscuits! You can get other flavors, though. When Al let us open his Australia Day package, there were also caramel Tim Tams. You can see more of them here.
TELL ME that you don't want to try a Tim Tam right now!
Here are more facts about Tim Tams:
- the chocolate starts to melt on your fingers the instant you touch it. So when you get sad that you finished your biscuit, you still have the satisfaction of licking the remaining milk chocolate off of your fingers.
- If you bite off both ends, you can use it as a straw for your coffee. The hot liquid will melt your chocolate, and it will result in a hot chocolately coffee mess.
- Al's brother used to work at the unbelievable-smelling factory. He took "reject" Tim Tams home. If they weren't the right shape or something like that, he could leave with a bag of them. The best part is that they tasted exactly the same!
- Al's brother's fiance's brother now works for Arnott's.
- The tray of Tim Tams on our table is more than halfway gone....
- I only had one (so far)....
- Willy Wonka must be kicking himself that he didn't invent them. SUCK IT Everlasting Gobstoppers!!!!
- Target in the US may or may not carry them. I know that they did at one point. What are you waiting for? If you're in America, go to your nearest Target and find out!
Before I go, Tone It Up
is a good site to go on if you want free, at-home workouts. I was too lazy to go to the gym after work, so I tried one of their workouts. They kicked my butt. They also give nutrition advice.
Four more days of work! I can't believe it.