My evening started out with the discovery that the restaurant that I had intended to take Randy to for an early Valentines lunch - is now closed for lunch. The Flatiron Cafe
is no longer serving lunch according to their web site. "THIS CAN"T BE!" It was part of a fun day we had planned for this coming Friday.
In a bit of shock, and faced with this new challenge, I set out to find the PERFECT lunch spot. I "Googled" and Yelped" my way through a plethora of ideas and venues. None were quite "it". You see I asked for the gift of "time" again this year. The perfect gift actually - time well spent with my husband. No phones, no email, not a meeting in sight. We are taking Friday off and venturing out for a day of fun and relaxation. And with this gift of time, we try to fill our day with just the right things from a French almond croissant and Illy coffee for breakfast, a walk downtown taking photos to later be framed for Ran's office, to a fun "foodie" lunch, ice cream at Ted and Wally's, junking at antique shops, to shopping at Whole Foods for a quiet dinner at home followed by a wild game of "king's corners" and or a movie.
So thrown by not only my discovery, but to now hear that the forecast has snow in store I forgot to plan dinner.
So, without knowing what on earth I was doing ... I threw this together flying through the kitchen by the seat of my pants ... Perhaps I was inspired by the restaurant search.
And it was JUST the perfect thing for a rainy night in February.
And it was washed down with a nice Pinot Noir.
4 stalks celery
1 clove garlic
3 or 4 carrots
Finely dice all and throw into 5 qt enamel pan (Le Creuset) with 3 Tbsp olive oil. Saute until soft and onions start to clear. Add -
1 -28 oz can Whole Foods 365 organic crushed tomatoes (with basil)
Then using an emulsion blender puree mix (CAREFULLY!!!) until sauteed veggies have reduced greatly in size. Then add -
1 -14 oz can of fat free chicken broth
1/4 cup half and half
2 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp Splenda
about 1 tsp sea salt - give or take
1 tsp onion powder
fresh cracked black pepper
Bring to boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Serve and dribble a bit of heavy cream on the top ... a few shreds of fresh basil (Oh how I wish I had some!) and serve with a crostini!
I made a quick Panini sandwich with Rosemary focaccia bread (from Rotella's bread outlet - it cost a whopping 70 cents!!!) Havarti and Parmesan cheese, a slice of tomato, black pepper, and brushed the outside with my homemade rosemary infused olive oil.
And now - after a second glass of wine, I am off to bed!