Thursday, August 15, 2013

Three Things Thursday: Al Fresco


It's the only way I can describe the weather we've had lately. It's been brisk, nearly chilly in the morning, and I even wore a long-sleeve shirt on my run this morning. The office has been freezing, forcing me to drink coffee like it's my job, and dress in layers. I've been sending Miles to daycare in his Thomas sweat shirt and throwing on my Oiselle at night.

Not that I'm complaining. The highs in the mid-70s means that it's the perfect opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors.

1. I was in such a tizzy when I came in the door that I didn't realize what Mark had said but somehow I agreed to eating dinner outside. I wanted to take it back but he had already set up the patio table and I couldn't argue that the cooler weather made it the perfect night to dine al fresco. We had burgers - beef for Mark, and I came up with an Italian white bean patty for myself. I combined a few recipes with my own ingenuity, and I was very impressed with my first foray into veggie burgers (making them, not eating them).

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In the mix: 1 can white beans, rinsed and drained; 1/2 cup bread crumbs; 2 cloves garlic; 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese; 1/2 teaspoon each oregano, basil and salt; 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar; 1.5 tablespoons olive oil; and 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes. Put everything but tomatoes and 1/4 cup beans in the food processor, pulsing till almost smooth. Add tomatoes and remaining beans, pulse a couple more times but not so much that the beans and tomatoes are mush. Form into patties and refrigerate if time allows before cooking them in the skillet.

I had my patty open-faced with some spinach and mayonnaise, along with homegrown sliced tomatoes and squash. It was delicious.

2. Of course, I feel a bit pompous touting the homegrown veggies as if store-bought - or even farmer's market bought - are inferior. It's not like I am an incredibly talented or diligent gardener - or even an organic one. I'm more like a "let's throw the plants in the ground and hope for the best" kind of gardener, which requires little weeding and a whole lot of praying. So when I get a beautiful squash or my tomatoes finally turn red, I am so exuberant that I can't help but brag.

3. When I thought of this blog post last night, I totally had a No. 3. And it was funny. I believe it involved the phrase, "What, bitch?" but I don't remember now. It might have been about Denali, who is going to earn himself a spot on a tie-out if he doesn't stop finding the few ripe tomatoes and eating them, but I can't be sure.

So I give you this.

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My son. Playing in the dirt. I asked him to smile, and this is what I got. After he threw dirt in my hair.

By the way, take not of the sweat shirt. It wasn't one of his demands to uphold his fashion sensibility but rather a requirement of the cool evening.

How's the weather where you're at?

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