Sunday, July 10, 2011

The weekend has been a gift

Yes, if every weekend is special, this one has been particularly special. I used to be one of those people who worked in stores, always dreading the Saturday crowds, and never appreciating the weekend. Times have changed. And if every weekend is a delight, this one was truly a gift.

You see, originally I had planned to go to Philadelphia this weekend. I was going for a job-specific purpose, and that changed. Alex is always happy to go back to his hometown as frequently as we can, so he planned to tag along. But our Thursday night flight was delayed, and ultimately canceled.


I can’t help but be a little happy. After all, his mother had just finished with some pretty high-maintenance company, and my job thing had been rescheduled. So getting a refund on the tickets was quite a treat. This was worth the several hours in the airport, I think, to return home by 10:30 on Thursday instead of 5:00 on Monday.

I didn’t do much with this extra time. My fridge was bare, so I went to the grocery and the Farmers’ Market. I also went to The City Flea, which was about as small as I guessed it would be. I did get an idea for my next blender: the blender bike. If I’d been hungrier, I would have loved to hop on this Fender Blender and pedal my drink to blended bliss.


Back at home, I cooked some easy meals, but I also got into “cooking” mode and have plans to make something really incredible. For now, I took a cue from a restaurant we visited recently. It seems like when anyone learns I live in Ohio, they tell me to visit Northstar CafĂ© in Columbus. Well, I went. It did not live up to the hype.

Thankfully, Alex’s sister wanted to go – otherwise, I’d be embarrassed to have suggested such a mediocre place. However, I did glean one bit of goodness from them: broccoli with peanut sauce. We’ve all seen broccoli smothered in cheese, or broccoli in curry sauces, but this one was simply broccoli with a side of peanut sauce. I decided to recreate that at  home. Mine isn’t as thin as the stuff in the restaurant, but it was really good, and very different for me.


Peanut sauce: vague mix of peanut butter, soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, water, rice vinegar, ginger, crushed red chili flakes, and agave. Thinned with water. It was delicious on broccoli alongside the farthest thing from a stir-fry: sloppy joes and mashed potatoes.

Oh, and the best part about not being in Philadelphia on Friday? I was home for the delivery of Quick and Easy Vegan Celebrations, which I won from Food Feud’s giveaway. Thanks, Maud!

Now my faithful partner Alex has seen two blog-related mailings lately, and he’s informed me that it’s time to host my own giveaway. When I asked him what I should give, he offered a night with him – a tofu-cake (not beefcake). He’s given me permission to post half-naked photos of himself on my blog, but I’m not sure I’m ready for that.


  1. I'm always secretly delighted when work meetings are cancelled at the last minute.."heh, heh", I say to myself...but a bonus 3-day weekend...that's a real boon!

    Fender Blender! How fun!!

    The broccoli with peanut sauce is inspired..."vague mix", sounds like a perfect formula. Thanks for the idea, cuz I think that's just gone on the menu for this week at our place.

    Tofu-cake/vegan chippindales eh? Hey, now that might be a good business idea. I'll stay tuned for the giveaway... and looking forward to perhaps an Easy Vegan Celebration food post.

  2. Agreed, surprise time off is like hours gained. Bummer about Northstar, I read their philosophy on the website and it sounds pretty good - but it doesn't take a restaurant to put peanut butter on everything! Way better than cheese sauce.
    I'm glad you got the cookbook - I was thisclose to getting antsy and paranoid.
    The tofucake idea is hilarious. I suppose after all that ninja training he's been doing, he's anxious to show off the bod.

  3. hahha a vague mix, lol that was a good one:) glad you enjoyed your time together!

    dirty duck

  4. So how do we enter to win a night with this hubby of your's? He's seems a little high strung, but some Stoli and duct tape could probably keep him in check.

  5. Glad you were able to enjoy having your trip cancelled! relaxing weekends are a good change from being busy traveling!
    your peanut sauce sounds really good, what a simple recipe that i'm sure tastes amazing! anything with pb of course is pretty tasty :)

  6. Ahhahahaha on the "give-away" of Alex--if you go for it, definitely throw some peanut sauce on top for that extra saucy element :)

    Your weekend sounds fabulous--so glad you got to enjoy such a gift of time!

  7. Okay now, Alex has clarified that the offer of a night with him is strictly a romantic dinner. Which is funny, because we haven't done anything like that in years.

    I can't believe it's been a week - I hope someone has tried the peanut sauce on broccoli! Be back soon!

  8. I bet you could get quite a few takers on the "night with Alex, man who scales walls." Half naked, huh? As long as it's the top half, post away! Glad you received the gift of unexpected time.