Speaking of salad and dad... what a sweetheart of a husband I have! I worked all night last night and I've been so dead tired today. He called me and asked me what I wanted him to bring me for dinner and all I could come up with was, "Whatever doesn't require any work on my part." Typically, he'll stop at a restaurant and bring home some take-out. I was really impressed. Tonight he stopped at Trader Joe's and brought home food to prepare at home. I got the most gorgeous, healthy, and delicious salad ever! I added some of my homemade miso salad dressing and it was divine! I also got some teriyaki chicken to go with it. I haven't eaten well today and this was really wonderful to have.
Thank you Mike for your sweetness and kindness. It really made my day!
Another Mike has been doing is making smoothies with our new VitaMix blender. I absolutely LOVE this piece of machinery. Over the years I've learned to appreciate really good kitchenware. I've learned that a lot of things are gimmicks. And I've learned that when it comes to kitchenware, you really do get what you pay for. My kitchen essentials:
- Enameled cast iron cookware. I honestly don't know why I bothered getting through the first part of adulthood without this stuff. I won't lie. It's expensive... really expensive. Last year I bought a basic set from Le Creuset (happy to purchase something of quality made in France and not China!) The set came with a 5-1/2 qt. French oven (basically a Dutch oven), a 10-in. skillet, and a 2-1/2 qt. saucepan. The two pots also have lids. Those basic, 5 pieces ran me a cool $400 with taxes. But I have to say that I haven't had a single, solitary moment of buyer's remorse. Quite the opposite. For all the money I've blown and wasted on poor cookware in the past, I wish I had just got this stuff to begin with. This is amazing cookware. It has been worth every single penny I've spent on it. More importantly, I know it will last forever. I know people who still have the original Le Creuset cookware they got over 30 years ago... still cooking as well as it did when it was new. Heck, it's cast iron! There are still cast iron kettles around from the Civil War era and older! And for my birthday, Mike got me a dream pot... the 9qt. French Oven... it's an amazing, amazing piece of cookware and I will cherish it forever!
- Stainless steel cookware. Although I've used my stainless steel stuff a LOT less, I still love it and wouldn't think of getting rid of it. I refuse to use anything with a nonstick (i.e., Teflon) surface and I won't use aluminum at all. Not only is it unhealthy, but it's absolutely TERRIBLE cookware. I used to think it was okay... until I saw the light and got a taste of the good stuff. Now I know better.
- Cuisinart food processor. Once again, I had been through a couple of cheap food processors and for what I spent on the others, I could have just spent it once and got a good one. Nothing compares to Cuisinart. The motor on it is amazing. I can grate a whole bag of potatoes in under a minute. There's really something to be said for that. Grating cabbage, making just about anything. The Cuisinart does it well and mixes evenly.
- KitchenAid stand mixer. I haven't been using it as much lately, but I still have a love for it. It was a birthday gift in 2000. I've done SO much with it. If it broke and died tomorrow (which I know it won't), I would still feel like I'd gotten my money out of it. It's wonderful for making huge batches of applesauce. I also made most of Ethan's baby food with it. I've made bread dough in it and other things. LOVE it!
- That brings me to the latest... the VitaMix blender! Like everything else, I've been through a few blenders in my day. I typically purchase the cheap Oster brand and then get really mad when it won't do what I need it to do or just plain breaks down. I've NEVER had good luck with them. After my last Oster broke, I briefly looked into a KitchenAid blender but gave up on the idea. I was sorely disappointed with blenders and vowed never to purchase another cheap one again. I've long known about the VitaMix but admittedly, it's among the most expensive blenders on the market (roughly $400). But once again, worth every penny. Mike has made smoothies in it every day for us. They are so healthy... whole fruits... skin, greens, pith, seeds, and all. They are LOADED with fiber. But the motor on this machine is amazing and will liquify everything within seconds. We've made soup, salad dressing, and dip in it too. I can see us continuing to use this machine DAILY for many moons to come!
My Bubby is so ridiculously cute... I can hardly stand it sometimes when he says thing... he can't say "smoothies"... he calls them "Smoozhies" and every time he says it, it just warms my heart and makes me happy. He is so cute... I just drink in his cuteness and the smell of his hair and the feel of his little arms around me and his cheek pressed firmly against mine!
So Bubby... here's hoping we will have many years of making Smoozhies together!!