I’m now on my fourth day off as we nestle in among the snow. Our Valentine’s Day was pleasant, if somewhat uneventful. Most of the weekend was spent keeping warm, which is generally fun when you have someone else and a whole lot of blankets.
I had the presence of mind to put together a batch of frozen scones on Friday evening so I popped two of those out in the morning and baked them. I brought them up with some coffee for Boyfriend and a pot of rose Earl Grey for me. It seemed appropriate to the occasion. Thoroughly fed, we considered the day. I gave Boyfriend his gift, a new board game, and he told me mine would be on the way. And we decided to go out for a brunch a bit later.
We decided to go to our favorite brunch spot, which serves chicken and waffles in a quaint, European-cafe-style atmosphere. I had a lavender soda and we shared some appetizers before getting two plates of chicken and waffles. It was way too much food, but we boxed it up, along with an order of macarons. That left me a nice snack for tea time and us some leftovers for dinner. From there, we settled in for a cold, snowy evening together.
Sunday was a day of high winds. We decided not to venture out, beyond a quick trip for groceries, so I made a roast chicken for dinner. I seasoned it with a blend of salt, pepper, poultry seasoning, and paprika, and surrounded it with a bed of root vegetables, which roasted and soaked up all the delicious juices. Served with a bit of steamed kale, it was a perfect healthy dinner on a cold, windy night.
Monday was to be another holiday, so I enjoyed my relaxation and looked forward to my long weekend. Little did I know how long it might be!
The other night, I had a surprise free night. The previous night, my director cancelled the next rehearsal, partly because of the impending cold and partly because we had done better than expected that night. So I had an unexpected free night with Boyfriend. He was kind of excited and went shopping so I could make us a nice dinner.
I suggested lamb sausages to go with the potatoes and kale we already had, but he found some sirloin steaks on sale at the store. So I seared them up, and opened a bottle of wine. I sliced up the potatoes and tossed them with salt and olive oil, then roasted them on a baking sheet at 400 F until they were a little brown around the edges. I steamed the kale in the microwave, and sliced up the steak.
It was a lovely little weeknight dinner. I got to break out the HP sauce to dab on my steak. Slicing up a cheaper cut of steak made it so that it didn’t matter quite as much if I’d cooked the steaks just perfectly. The pan wasn’t quite hot enough when I threw them in and they’d been a bit too rare the first time I cut into them, so I finished them in the oven a bit.
But it was a lovely dinner, and pretty quick to make. And since I used the microwave to steam the kale, and a piece of parchment to protect the baking sheet while roasting the potatoes, there was really only one pan for Boyfriend to wash afterwards. Which he was happy to do because he had just gotten a steak dinner!
Yesterday, I came home from work chilled. It was cold and blustery, and I had chosen too light a jacket for the day. I needed to snuggle up, so I made myself a cup of tea, put on some fleece leggings and a wool sweater, and snuggled up with my favorite cashmere shawl and an Agatha Christie book on my Kindle.
My cashmere shawl is actually my boyfriend’s shawl. He got it for Christmas from a family friend who didn’t quite understand why it was too big to be a scarf. It’s very soft cashmere in a grey-black-white plaid pattern and it’s the coziest thing.
After maybe an hour snuggled up, Boyfriend got home and we considered dinner. I had thawed two fish fillets, which I wrapped up with lemon and olive oil and salt and pepper into little packets. These nestled in the oven along with some cubed butternut squash and potatoes tossed with olive oil, salt, and pepper. The veggies roasted and the fish steamed. When it was all done, I steamed some kale quickly and dished the whole thing up. It was both light and hearty at the same time. I find potatoes have a kind of comforting solidness to them that makes any meal more warming.
After dinner, we continued to relax, he with a scotch and myself with a glass of port. It was just the perfect beginning to the weekend.