Monday, April 03, 2006

perfect day

Beautiful Sundays, crisp and sunny, with no plans or obligations, seem like a rare jewel, and yesterday was one of those perfect days. We slept in luxuriously late, after not getting home until pretty late the night before from a lovely dinner party in Hell's Kitchen. We went to Angela's to get eggs & cheese on rolls and cups of coffee, brown-bagged it up to Fort Tryon Park, and ate our deliciously greasy sandwiches on a bench overlooking the Hudson River. We meandered our way through the park, admiring the crocuses and daffodils, smelling the new growth on the boxwoods, and gawking at the one lone forsythia bush frothing all over the place. Came home, basked in the sunlight streaming in our living room windows, books or crocheting projects in hand. Decided to cook ourselves a real dinner for a change. Went to the grocery store. Came home to find that our friend Sam was in the neighborhood with his girlfriend, visiting his parents. We put out some cheese and crackers we happened to have on hand, and a bowl of those wasabi rice crackers I find so addicitve, opened a nice pinot grigio. Had an impromptu and lovely mini dinner party, our groceries for two supplemented by their contribution of a couple dishes from the Indian restaurant around the corner. Went to sleep early, satiated and satisfied by a day well spent.

Minted Mashed Potatoes:
4-5 medium red-skinned potatoes
2-3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1/4 cup milk
salt & pepper to taste

Dice the potatoes and boil in water until tender and easily mashable, about 20 minutes. Drain, mash, add butter and stir until butter is all melted and mixed in. Stir in milk and mint. Add touch of salt & pepper.

Spinach Salad:
Package of baby spinach, crumbled goat cheese, dried cranberries, some walnuts, and clementine slices, drizzled with simple oil & vinegar. (We stole this idea from the aforementioned dinner party, and it's deliciously easy.)

a couple of chicken breasts
sun dried tomatoes
goat cheese
white wine

We planned to attempt stuffed chicken breasts, and made the stuffing with the goat cheese, sun dried tomates, and chopped garlic, just all mixed up in a bowl. But what with the unexpected company, and the fact that we only had one full breast, we ended up browning the breast in some butter, cutting it up into smaller pieces, and then continuing to cook the pieces on the stove with the goat cheese mixture just thrown into the saute pan with the chicken, becoming a delicous sauce instead of stuffing. It turned out wonderfully, and there was just enough for all four of us to have a little taste.

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