Hello there. I am still alive - and apparently in a bit of a mid-winter slump. I'm going to New York over the weekend, that ought to get the creative juices flowing. And oh, I'm seeing Maud, the most productively creative person I know, perhaps her energy will rub off on me a bit. Yeah, I'll steal from Maud, that should do it!
Sooo, yes, I am still eating. And cooking. Funny thing is, nothing that feels "worthy" of writing about. My recent tangle with a stomach virus was the exclamation point that marked the end of the holiday season for me. It really shut me down, food-wise. The food I've since been preparing for myself - and for the fam (when they'll go with it) - is very simple, very light, and not requiring much cooking. Toast with almond butter. Veggie burgers with avocado and salsa. Whole-wheat pita filled with ricotta cheese, roasted red peppers from a jar, and toasted. Quick soups - black bean (or white), Greek egg lemon, broth with spinach and a few tortellinis stirred in, tortilla. Greek yogurt with nuts and (frozen, thawed) dark sweet cherries. In fact, we're eating quite a bit of frozen fruit lately - (unsweetened) strawberries and dark sweet cherries are particularly good, especially warmed and spooned over waffles or Greek yogurt, especially when they're flavorlessly out-of-season in the produce section anyhow.
I made an interesting soup last night - Asian Soup with Shrimp Dumplings. John LOVED it. I appreciated that it was easy, light, and had clean flavors. And I loved the peanut garnish. A couple of tablespoons of nuts can really transform a soup - so can a drizzle of flavorful oil (olive, nut, or truffle), a dab of creme fraiche or a drizzle of cream, a sprinkle of cheese, or a handful of croutons or a slice of toasted bread. (I'll post the recipe later today or tomorrow.)
It's also worth noting, in case you're looking for a tasty restaurant meal, that I have had a few delicious meals out. We finally made it to Heidi's and had a spectacular meal. Delightful service, cozy setting, serious food. Completely buzz-worthy. I'm not a steakhouse fan, but I did want to scope the scene at the new Manny's (now in the W Hotel) so we hit it, last week in fact. It was PACKED. Felt good to see the economy succeeding somewhere. All men, all expense accounts. The setting made me feel like drinking a martini, but since I don't really like martinis, I had a killer vodka tonic. Wow was it good. And oh, so was the gorgeous NY strip steak I ordered. It took me a couple of days to polish it off, very nice. I also enjoyed an uber-yummy grilled vegetable sandwich at Yum Bakery last week with the Maven of Mischief. Yum toasts their sandwiches without oil which makes them deliciously warm and crunchy yet light. The way I do them at home, but better, 'cuz I didn't have to make it.
Yep, still in a slump.