Sublime Summer Supper

This was a recuperation weekend, a weekend to relax and just do whatever sort of presented itself at the time. My only planned events were to complete a 500 piece puzzle and run some errands. Michael went down to Calgary to spend time with his sister and help around the home with those maintenance things that get put off until there’s a Michael sort around.

Although I’m all for rest and relaxation, I feel adrift and a bit sad if I end up spending too much time on the couch watching TV, or even reading. Doesn’t help of course, when I chose to watch/read tear jerkers. I’m all for a good cry, but sometimes it can be a bit much.

Today was a beautiful Edmonton day. I got outside and ran my errands, and ended up at the Italian Centre Shop. I stopped in for inspiration and thought I’d skip my food delivery app (my usual go-to when at home alone and feeling a bit pathetic) and create something delicious tonight for my supper.

The Italian Centre Shop did not disappoint. Although busy, I have learned the best thing to do is head to the deli first, pull your number, and then leisurely shop until your number nears. Not sure if you noticed, but there is a gentle ding and “being served” numbers throughout the shop towards the ceiling. In the time I had to wait for my number to come up, I finished my shop of non-deli goods.

Although I went into the shop today with a plan for mushroom stuffed gnocchi with a pre-made sauce, I was inspired as I often am, to create something from (at least) semi scratch.

I picked up some arugula, basil, cherry tomatoes, purple garlic, Grana Padano cheese, kalamata olives, and some fancy (expensive) dry pasta.

When supper time rolled around, I was feeling a bit un-energetic and was twitching to pull up the food delivery app. Michael called at that moment and after a bit of a talk and a few laughs, he said why not just pour yourself a glass of wine and start the prep? So I did.

I poured the wine, chopped garlic, olives, tomatoes, washed the arugula and basil and set it aside. I boiled up a pot of water and then switched it off so the apartment wouldn’t burn down while I sat out on our patio to enjoy the view and my glass of wine.

It was (and still is) one of those beautiful evenings. Slight breeze, clear sky, warm, and NO RAIN. I sat out on the patio enjoying my music and my glass of wine.

With the wine finished, and feeling a bit peckish now, I put together the arugula salad. A simple thing to do:  arugula, lemon juice, olive oil, and a generous grating of Grana Padano cheese. I set up a little table on the patio, and promptly watched half my Grana Padano fly away in the breeze. This is why there is no photo. No matter, I mixed up the salad and managed to polish it off with the remaining cheese intact.

After a few long minutes of digestion and polishing off my second glass of wine, went back inside to finish cooking the main dish.

While the pasta was cooking, I cooked up the chopped garlic in generous glugs of olive oil over a medium heat. When the garlic was fragrant, I added the cherry tomatoes and let it break down slowly. As things started to meld, I added the chopped olives, and a few tablespoons of the pasta water. I let that simmer down to a slightly thickened sauce. I added a burst of lemon juice at the end to keep things bright.

I put it all together on my plate, topping it off with a bit of chopped basil and another generous grating of cheese, and headed back to the patio.

I tucked in. I ate slowly. I enjoyed the flavours, the view, listening to the shouts from the baseball game in the valley, the traffic below, watching people rest on the bench along the pathway. At times I just put my head back, and let the sun warm my face while I was truly able to relax and enjoy a beautiful summer evening in our city.


Now I have my tea, and am thinking of having something a bit sweet to finish the evening. Not sure what that will be yet.

Thanks for reading about my evening. It was one of those memorable ones, and wanted to document it before the memory fades. xo


Thursday Afternoon

What a riot. I could watch that .gif all afternoon.

Today was an interesting day. On the trek into work today, I came across these blocks of wood on the sidewalk:

Says, “Kiss the person on the left of you on the cheek”. Had no one on the left of me, so no puckering up this early morning.
“Keep in touch (for 2 mins)”. That’s about how long I stood there taking pictures of these things.
“I dare you to do a cartwheel”. If I dared, Twitter would be a-chirping @YEGTraffic about some “idiot woman along Scona Rd with arms in air and kicking one leg out – apparently trying to remove shoe / dance / flee dark forces” as I would try to muster the guts to do one.

I could easily write a blog dedicated to the stuff I find along Scona Road. It’s been interesting.

I had one of those days today. Work was work. I wanted to come home. Then when I got home, and I remembered I had one of these:

Frick 😦

And in the mail I had my subscription renewal to invest a silly amount of money in this:

Subscription play to the Western Lottery Corporation.

…so I can win $50 million buckeroos on the Lotto Max, so I can spend 7.5 hours a day watching cat gifs on the computer, an hour driving around town dodging pot holes and “steel plate on roadway” with my new Ferrari, and buying stuff off the Shopping Channel that’s NOT the Show Stopper, because it no longer matters to me if the item is the best value of the day. If I want to spend full price on a Wolfgang Puck 5 piece bamboo cheeseboard, I will spend full price on a Wolfgang Puck 5 piece bamboo cheeseboard.

Of course, that’s nuts. Michael and I are so frugal with our money, we’d probably shell out a few bucks for a professional photographer to take my food photos (thanks for the suggestion Debra She Who Seeks), and  have the winter tires replaced with summer ones on the Corolla (while it’s still summer).

Food blog. Right.

Okay, for supper tonight, I did a bit of kitchen inventory, and found the following:

Beer. Dig deeper in the fridge Catherine.
Better: Chicken, cherry tomatoes that are still good, but wouldn’t put on a plate of crudites for company because a little wrinkly, pasta, garlic, basil, Parmesan cheese.

Cook chicken in olive oil along with oregano, basil, garlic, chili peppers, little bit of mint, marjoram, rosemary, salt and pepper. Add sliced or halved cherry or grape tomatoes. Sim sim simmer until done. Add fresh basil. Serve over pasta.

“Sauce” should look something like this. Imagine the pasta mixed in.

Finished product should look like this:

Ta dah!