This past weekend was the perfect weekend in so many ways--filled with mundane yet soul-pleasing things: lots of playground time on Saturday with a neighborhood friend, then a trip to Toys R Us so L. could take all his hard saved money and purchase this coveted item, pancakes on Sunday, a walk in the park, with soggy fall leaves underfoot.
I also tried out some new recipes. I recently discovered these veggie burgers, which are scrumptious grilled with a generous slab of sharp cheddar on top. If you haven't discovered these mushroom burgers yet, rush out and do so! I don't even much like mushrooms, but these are wonderful. On Saturday I made this soba noodle salad (thanks Caroline!), and added some stir-fried tofu into the mix for protein. I also doubled the noodles in the recipe, which is wise when you're making this for a family. Both kids loved it--even L., who ate a plateful, spinach and all.
Proof that L. CAN eat, if the conditions are just right, and he's allowed to liberally apply soy sauce to everything.
For dessert I made pumpkin ice cream, from this recipe, because I also got this for my birthday, which I have coveted every summer when the urge to eat ice cream hits all of us. BUT! I didn't think about how I could make all sorts of other ice cream recipes during other times of the year, like pumpkin-flavored for the fall, and eggnog ice cream for the holiday season.
This pumpkin ice cream recipe was a little disappointing, however. It tasted more like frozen pumpkin-pie filling, and less like pumpkin-flavored creamy ice cream. The kids still ate two bowlfuls, but I was left wondering if I could have achieved the same results with less work by just freezing pumpkin pie filling.
If you click to the link for the actual recipe, you can see mine didn't come out quite looking like the photo in the link. If you have other pumpkin ice-cream recipes, please send them my way!.
"You got a lot of cooking things for your birthday," L. observed on Sunday, after I had whipped out the panini press one more time during lunch preparations.
And I did, come to think of it. I also got a real live kitten, and book money, and a couple of gift cards to stores like this one where I COULD have picked out something exclusively for myself, I suppose, like a boring pair of shoes, but instead I bought frivolous kitchen-related indulgences: a new brownie pan, a ceramic pie dish, a colorful throw for our cozy family room, and a set of mixing bowls.
I love my birthday gifts, I really, do. It's funny to me, because an earlier incarnation of my birthday wish list had also included a treadmill (used) and a bicycle helmet, and a yoga mat. The way I look at it, though, if turning 40 means you get to spend more time snuggled on the couch under a colorful throw, with a warm cat on your lap, a good book in one hand and a bowl of ice cream in another, then so be it.