I never bothered posting a second time yesterday (I got bogged down with dinner and prepping this morning’s breakfast, Jay decided to watch the first episode of “Rome,” and then I went to bed), but I remembered a rather weird dream I had Friday night/Saturday morning. I was having dinner at a coworker’s house, along with a few other people (the only other person I recall being there was Allison, besides the aforementioned coworker), although for whatever reason, his dining room in my dream was really dark, dank and dingy (which is not the case in real-life). And the only part of the meal I remember was some sort of potato side that I kept having to pull black cat hairs out of (and this guy has a yellow-haired dog), although I was trying to do it discreetly, as I didn’t want to be rude. Weird. I have no real reason for sharing that, other than I wanted an excuse to use a line from “Take the Skinheads Bowling” as the title for today’s post.
As I said, I was busy yesterday cooking, baking, and prepping. I made Jessie’s Mandelbrot, which turned out beautifully (well, we all thought they were good–I obviously have no frame of reference, but seeing as I made them pretty much exactly the same way as Dan describes in his post, right down to chopping whole almonds in my mini-food chopper, I’m assuming they’re pretty similar). I ate a few (okay, like 6) straight from the oven yesterday afternoon, and had a couple with my coffee this morning, since it would be a couple hours from the time we got up until we ate actual breakfast.
They also gave my coffee a nice hint of cinnamon flavor after dunking. I’m going to do my best to save some for my friend Abby, if I see her sometime this week, but I can’t guarantee there’ll be any left even by tomorrow morning!
I swear, I cut up at least 10, if not 12 of the Roma tomatoes for last night’s soup, but we’ve still got as many as are in yesterday’s picture.
I told Jay I should’ve doubled the recipe, since I only have enough leftovers for Monday’s lunch. We decided we’ll probably grill hot dogs & brats tonight, but I’ll make the tomato & bacon gnocchi tomorrow night, which will give me leftovers for Tuesday and possibly Wednesday. While Jay mentioned that the soup probably would’ve been a little better had I used Beefsteak tomatoes, it was still really good:
I made some grilled cheese to go along with the soup, even though as a child, I loathed grilled cheese with tomato soup. I’ve never been a fan of American cheese, and I’ve never cared for canned tomato soups (although I will confess, Muir Glen makes a tomato basil one I really like). But I know Jay really likes the combo, and it’s a nice “vegetarian night” option. I had to laugh, though, as I burnt the sandwiches a little, but I thought that made them look a little more true-to-nostalgic-form:
That, and as I was exclaiming “Aw, crap! I burnt the sandwiches!” the bambino happened to be walking behind me, said “It’s okay, Mom,” and then continued on out to the living room. They weren’t as charred as I originally thought, and Jay & I ate ours. I think the bambino ate a quarter of a quarter (an eighth?) of his sandwich, although he finished his soup.
After that, I thought I’d finally be able to sit and relax, but then I remembered I needed to fry some bacon if I wanted to make my mom’s breakfast strata (I say that like she came up with the recipe, but it’s actually from an old cookbook her high school published–She just makes it whenever there is a large gathering and breakfast casseroles are appropriate dishes). A guy who works with Jay gave us a ton of meat while ago (Jay had to work a Saturday or go in early or something), a pound of bacon among the items that one day appeared in our freezer. So I thawed it, used probably 3/4 of it for the strata, and will save the other 1/4 for the gnocchi. It came from the meat locker over in Elkton, which is great, but I told Jay that they must’ve had a huge slab of meat that they just sliced off, because trying to separate the slices of bacon was a huge pain in the butt! But it was also good in that there were a lot of little pieces, which meant less chopping for me.
I got the strata put together, then sat down watch “Rome” with Jay, and this morning during “Meet the Press,” I popped it into the oven to cook. It came out looking delicious enough that I wanted to dive in right away:
I’m one of those “I-need-the-crunchy-burnt-corner-pieces” people, and after letting this set up for about 15 minutes, I was not disappointed. Crunchy, cheesy, bacon-y eggy goodness. With some berries on the side:
I did take a large corner chunk, although I had to stop myself from taking any more. I’m trying to pay more attention to that fine line between eating robustly, and gorging myself. And I’m still comfortably satiated, although I hear more mandelbrot & coffee calling me. I think at some point, we’re going to go for a walk (the oppressive heat & humidity has finally broken), and I should start sorting laundry. The sooner I get that done, the sooner I can truly relax for the rest of my weekend!