Good afternoon, all! I hope your mornings have gone splendidly. Mine was excellent, and I’ve already got a lot accomplished. Like some other bloggers, I have some big news to share… not nearly as exciting as theirs, but it’s what’s best for me. Read on!
Breakfast yesterday was excellent. I love to taste as many things as possible, so I had my meal was both savory and sweet. I heated up an Ezekiel English muffin and topped one half with a mustard, a poached egg, and asiago cheese. The other half had almond butter and TJ’s pumpkin butter… I think I’m going to have to stock up on this stuff! Mmm.
While I got ready for work, I popped a loaf of butternut squash banana bread into the oven that I’d prepped the night before. I was completely taken with Liz‘s version of this, but I was too impatient to wait for the recipe! (Rumor is that she will post it tomorrow.) Instead, I used Veganomicon‘s recipe for Lower Fat Banana Bread and mixed in half a can of Organic Butternut Squash Purée (available at Trader Joe’s). I brought half a loaf to m boss at work, saved some for the house, and took a slice with me that I picked at throughout the day. This baby is dense! For some reason, the squash seems to bring out the bread’s spices more than regular banana bread. My boss later sent me an email describing it as “BANANA FUDGE!” It was so good.
The day before, I’d made another Veganomicon recipe (move over, Isa!) to get me through the week: Ancho-Lentil Soup with Grilled Pineapple.
While I didn’t make my own chili powder (I subbed in 1 tsp chili flakes) or blend half of the lentils (I prefer my soups chunky), this was divine.
I grilled up some canned pineapple slices on the George Foreman…
To make them transportable, I put two slices and a wedge of lime into a baggie.
There wasn’t too much for me to do at the office yesterday, so I left a little bit after 12. On my way out, I noshed on two vegan carob/nut/agave “chunks of energy” that I picked up last week at the health food store. I didn’t know if I would like them so I only got a few, but they were so good! I bought 7/$1.33, so the price is more than right.
Although I’d lugged my heavy gym bag through two boroughs, two trains and a long walk, I decided to just head uptown to my parents’ house. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve done this before! But I’d missed my yoga class, and I was too sore from a run and cardio class to work out any other way.
When I got home, I assembled my soup. Jim‘s got a little competition! Meet Paula.
The grilled pineapple was such a fresh twist on an old classic like lentil soup.
I loved it! I’m going to try to experiment more with sweet + savory from now on.
A little later, I snacked on a cup of Fage 0% (thanks for stocking this, Mom & Dad!) with an apple and cinnamon. Truly one of the greatest munchies around.
I decided to stay and have dinner with my parents… as my mom reminded me, I can’t remember the last time we all ate together.
Don’t you love Fall centerpieces?
Dinner was a joint effort: my dad made a fabulous Asian-inspired swordfish with basmati rice, and my mom made her famous brown sugar Brussels sprouts (just sauté cooked Brussels in butter and brown sugar).
For dessert, we split three Whole Foods petit fours three ways…
We also had squares of Côte d’Or’s dark chocolate with pistachios and sesame that my dad brought back from France.
This chocolate can be found in pretty much any supermarket and bodega in France, but don’t let that fool you! It’s AMAZING. The chocolate is rich and smooth, and filled with the most interesting ingredients. It’s my uncle’s favorite chocolate ever (and he’s a serious chocoholic), and my friends and I ate it all.the.time when we were in Paris. Look how thick it is!
When I got back to my apartment, I crashed into bed, stretched my aching bones, relaxed and watched The Secret Lives of Dentists. Has anyone seen this? What did you think? I love Hope Davis, and Campbell Scott always makes me think of Singles!
So, onto my news. I’ve tried to leave my work life at work, but, as you probably know, I work in a restaurant as a waitress. I’ve worked at this particular place for the past three summers, starting in May after my sophmore year of college. That first summer was probably the best: I felt exhilarated after finishing half of college, I met some really great people (through the restaurant), and Ari and I started dating. Last year was fun as well; I’d just come back from a great semester in Paris and I was beginning to feel more like an adult. This year, however, after having graduated, has been more of a reality check. I wasn’t in school anymore, and this wasn’t just a “summer job.” Because of the recession, business has been incredibly slow and I had nights where I came home with literally $1. Customers treated me with unbelievable rudeness; there were two instances when I had to call the police. I was working crazy hours and not getting any rest, crying myself to sleep more than I’d like to remember. (Ari has been so, so great throughout all of this; without him, I never would have been able to hold out this long.) I was expending all of my energy on a job that made me utterly miserable. I haven’t been able to do what I love because I haven’t even had time to think about what that might be. And, as silly as it sounds, I don’t want to turn still be working there when I turn 22.
So, last week, I informed the restaurant that I would be leaving the following week…. today is my last day. On the one hand, I feel bad about leaving the people that I’ve come to really enjoy spending time with. On the other, I’d rather spend time with them in a stress-free setting. This is what’s best for me. It’s scary, because while I’m searching for a “real” job, I won’t be earning any income. Lucky for me, my parents are amazing and are going to help out a little bit. I will definitely be budgeting like a madwoman and putting my all into finding a job. I don’t expect to find my dream job right away, but I know I have to get out of the service industry. I have so much respect for the millions of people who work in service, retail, and manual labor. I just can’t do it anymore.
Off to go make my last day my best. Have a great Thursday 🙂