Thursday, June 04, 2009

i freakin' love my work

today the ontario beef council or some shiz set up shop on the front lawn of my work for their annual beef lunch giveaway. i lined up for like, half an hour with a colleague but it was so worth it! medium beef tenderloin, roasted and served up with grainy mustard, spicy horseradish, and caramelized onions, soft rolls, potato salad, roasted carrot and beet salad, sliced tomatoes, and asparagus in a light vinaigrette. with your choice of drink. FOR FREE!

it's a good thing i had already designated today as an "eat whatever i want day" (K helped me to figure out that my day to day diet is my own twisted karl lagerfeld, esquire version of the weight watchers points system.) which means that i have already earmarked pizza (and/or panzerottoes) for dinner. lunch was delicious!!! the beef was so tender i didn't even need the feeble assistance of a plastic knife to cut through it and the potato salad was a couple of notches above the norm - plus a roasted carrot and beet salad?!?? who does that?!?

another reason i love my work is that next week is the annual work picnic and this year the division hosting has set up a cookie-baking competition. no sooner had the email announcing the contest landed in my mailbox than i fired off a reply asking if i could submit more than one entry. lol!!! i think i'm going to do 3 different kinds. chocolate cornmeal orange sandwich cookies. a dotytron family recipe called "mona's mother's mother's favourite cookie" and maybe a classic chocolate chip. i'm a little stuck on the third option. i'm also entered in the bocce tournament with a dude from security as my partner AND i'm signed up for the relay race. i'm such a joiner! ha. you never could have forced me on threat of torture into signing up for a relay race in high school or university, but for some reason, work brings out the best in me. AND me and my partner won the first game in the lunchtime bocce tournament. i was the champ last year, but this year the stakes are higher. last year's prize was $10 each. this year it's FIFTY!

aside from being a joiner, another thing i never thought i'd find myself doing is obsessively trawling through ebay for jcrew clothes. i'm like a boho-prep. it's such a deal! plus, the stuff is fantastic for work. full price is insane though. i'm actually experiencing buyer's remorse about the anthropologie buys. doing the lil' ugmo/performance/hawaii/home repairs/lawyer fees/taxes number crunching has been sobering to say the least and i really don't need to overspend on clothes (and make no mistake: anthro is hella expensive, even WITH a sale room) when there are ebay sales and GAP sale rack items to be snapped up with an even higher pleasure:dollar spent return.

last night's knit club meeting was long on tasty eats (i make a mean, mean, black bean chili), short on knitting, long on cute babies and "so you think you can dance" - i can really eat an ungodly amount of freshly fried corn chips. i lost my frying mojo after eating my weight in chili, avocadoes, corn chips, sour cream and tomatillo salsa, so i didn't end up making dessert. we polished off the last stragglers from the club pack of ice cream sandwiches that had been staking out prime real estate in the freezer. club pack of ice cream sammies, i hardly knew ye.

my fair lil' ugmo - tchotchkes edition

totally obsessing right now over vintage flip alarm clocks. love 'em. there's something deeply satisfying about the faint "whuff" sound when it flips.

this cheapie, cheerful, battery-powered number from target is another one on the shortlist (and a fitting compadre to apple clock, senior) i'm basically looking to replace our ugly, LED radio shack monstrosity with something a little more aesthetically pleasing.


i'm going with the roomie and l'army and T to check out this lady in etobicoke who seems to be some kind of mid-century furniture collector. apparently she goes buck at estate sales and then has to unload all her stuff on craigslist. she has a teak bed frame, queen size. the dotytron and i are thinking about's what it looks like:

there are a few drawbacks. yes, it's a queen and it would be nice to sleep in something bigger than a double. but! when we slept in the king at the hotel in chicago i didn't like it because i like to play "human blanket" in the sack...we don't actually need that much space because we're pretty smushy *BARF X 1000000000000000000* but i feel badly for the dotytron's cramped gams hanging over the end. the other thing is, i don't like the finish on this wood and i don't like the cut of the handles. our current bed frame has flat front drawers on the built-in nightstands. this looks more low-rent to me. but it's still worth seeing in person. also, i want to see what else she has.

i also don't want my entire place to be an homage to like, "mad men" or something. the other thing to consider is that the beds with the built in nightstands have EFFIN' long headboards. SO LONG! and unless we plan on becoming millionaires, most bedrooms in toronto would be dwarfed by anything bigger than a double. so there's that consideration as well.

i'll update with pics from last night's dinner.



black bean chili
serves 4-6 main course portions

1 1/2 c. dried black beans, soaked, and pre-boiled (i just doubled the amount when i was making the black bean burgers the other night, but you could always just add an extra can, or add more dried black beans)
2 c. black beans, rinsed and drained (see note above)
1 large onion, diced
a crapload of minced garlic
1 T. cumin
2 t. coriander
2 t. oregano (mexican preferred)
4-6 dried whole chilies (your choice. i usually do a mix of guajillos, anchos, pasillas, etc.)
2 whole chipotle chilies (from a can of chipotles in adobo)
1 28oz can of tomatoes (whole, diced, crushed, whatevs, you're going to be puréeing it anyway)
salt and pepper

- sauté the onion and garlic in a good glug of olive oil until translucent. add the cumin, coriander, and oregano and sweat out. dump into a slow cooker or a big dutch oven.
- meanwhile, stem the dried chilies and break into pieces. cover with 2 c. of boiling water and cover. let stand 10 minutes. blitz up the chilies, the water, the chipotles, and the tomatoes until fairly smooth. add to the slow cooker/pot
- slow cooker up that shiz (i did mine on low for 5 hours) or simmer on low heat, stirring occasionally.
- season with salt and pepper
- serve with your preferred accoutrements (sour cream/crema, diced avocado mixed with chopped scallions and lime juice, tomatillo salsa, crushed up corn chips)

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