These past few days have been brutally cold, with wind chills as low as -25F. I always know that when I see the little igloo icon on my phone's weather app, that we're in trouble. Brian had the weekend off, but the cold didn't keep us indoors. We had a lot of errands to run, so off we went. On Sunday, we visited a friend in the hospital which is in a town that we haven't been to in years. This town has a few of my favorite shops, so despite the cold, we braved a few more stops. I can never resist browsing in an independent bookstore.
We also ducked into Sur La Table. A cook's paradise! They even had a kitchen in back of their store where you can take cooking classes. I'm a good cook and can both follow a recipe and make dishes up on my own. But there's still a few things I've never tried and think it'd be cool to learn, such as making pasta and Asian dishes.
How would you like to own your own little coffee-shop-in-one-machine? I nearly fell over when I saw the price. Sheesh, this thing had better give you a back rub, too!
That coffee machine isn't going home with me anytime soon (OK, how about never - not that I'd even want that in my house), but the red ceramic utensil holder on clearance for $8 was doable.
Speaking of cooking, I also stopped in Penzeys, which is a spice shop. I only needed two spices: the Italian Herb Mix and saffron. The jar of air-dried shallots was free, as I had a coupon from a promotional email. They have high-quality spices and herbs and the prices are good, too.
Back at home...spring-like flowers bring warmth and cheer to my living room. I also have a bouquet on the kitchen table. A budget buy at $3.99 for a bouquet at Trader Joes.
New towels were needed in the main bath, so sticking with cheery, I chose a hot pink hand towel to "pop" against the gray. The wall art is from Hobby Lobby from several years ago.
To warm and fill up our tummies, I've been making a lot of homemade soups. I try to keep a container of soup in the fridge all the time, as it makes for a perfect quick lunch (for me at home, or for Brian to take to work) or light dinner.
But, the other day I wanted to make something different and also wanted to use what I had on-hand. I had a few organic russet potatoes that needed to be used up, as well as some leftover meatloaf in the freezer. So, I made a Shepherd's Pie. It was easy and so delicious! I started put by putting frozen veggies in the bottom of a greased baking dish. All I had was green beans, peas and corn, but you can use whatever you have. Carrots would be delicious in this dish. I then layered on big chunks of defrosted meatloaf and sprinkled the meat and veggies with a little beef broth. I made a pot of mashed potatoes and smoothed them over the meat. Then I sprinkled the top with shredded cheddar cheese. Into the oven the dish went for about 1/2 hour at 350F.
Brian and I were both saying we weren't very hungry that night, but when this dish came out of the oven, lust of the eyes and flesh took over and we dove in.
We ended up eating almost half the pie. ;-)