The Surprise

Well, tough update, but I’m pretty sure, I am NOT going to earn that pedicure this week. Tuesday I did get 4 miles in and felt great, but that has been it since my last update. I have managed to sleep through my alarm both on Wednesday and now today. To be clear, I am not someone who sleeps through my alarm and doesn’t remember it going off. I am a light sleeper, but somehow I have missed it both days. Yesterday the extra sleep felt good, but today I’m just mad and feeling even more unprepared for my two upcoming half-marathons.

Alright, enough about that, tomorrow is a new day. Although I have not been doing so well on the running front, I have been doing lots of cooking! For Ben’s lunch this week, I pulled out the slow cooker for an order of Ropa Vieja served with some red whole grain rice. My lunch of the week is some fresh greens with herb goat cheese, canellini beans, heirloom tomatoes and sweet red peppers, served with a Peas and Thank you Brownie.

For dinner Tuesday night, I prepared a meal I had read about on Beth’s Journey for Soba Noodle Salad with Sesame Vinaigrette. I have not had a lot of experience with tofu and actually had never heard of a tofu press or the need to press tofu at all so I was pretty excited to try something new. Since I didn’t want to go right out and buy a tofu press (okay, if you know me, I did want to, but had to show some self-control), I tried the home method, by wrapping the tofu up in towels and putting a plate and books on top for about an hour. I had chopped up all the vegetables in the morning so all I really had left to do was to cook the soba noodles and prepare the vinaigrette while I sautéed the tofu.

Since I knew Ben pretty much refuses to eat tofu I had purchased some chicken for him to grill on the side, but I figured this is the first time I’ve probably properly cooked tofu so I would still mix it in with the rest of the salad so he would have to try it.

This salad was delicious, so flavorful and an absolute make again from me AND Ben. He shockingly admitted that the tofu in this recipe was not bad. Believe me, this admission was very unexpected and about the highest “praise” I ever expect him to utter about tofu.

The next night we had Ian and Mary over for a showing of Twin Peaks. I had mentioned that I really wanted to replicate the recipe that Amanda made for Saturday night dinner since it was soooo good. In case you missed it, the recipe was for Roasted Tomato Basil Pesto from Oh She Glows.

Well, this pesto was delicious, but I often overestimate quite how much food I need to prepare. Sometimes that means I might just cook enough pasta for twenty people when I only needed enough for 4. I don’t know why I do this, but it’s a pretty regular occurrence. Sadly, I threw the pesto right in with ALL of the pasta. It was still decent, but the flavor had been greatly diluted by the enormous amounts of pasta I made. I’m definitely going to make it again, but maybe someone can supervise me during the pasta cooking next time? If you’ve been to our place you are aware that this is a pretty sizable bowl.

Although I do enjoy fall desserts, I am just not ready to let go of summer so I decided to prepare one last berry dessert. This time a Blueberry Galette I had my eye on for awhile from Lottie + Doof.

I was pretty happy about how easy this was to put together. I made the crust the night before while I was preparing the dough for both my regular Whole Wheat Flaxseed Bread and Brioche which I will get to a little later.

Roll it out the next day and add the blueberry mixture.

What is so unique about this recipe is the cornmeal crust. It is a perfect summer combination with the blueberries and so yummy! Ideally I would have paired with the Sweet Corn Ice Cream, but I was a little low on time and it was awesome with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

I might have eaten just a tad more of this than I should have!

I’m sure this won’t be the last thing I cook this week, but our community group from church  got together this evening for our welcome event and everyone brought either a dish from their background or a family recipe. Ben and I had multiple regions to pick from, but in the interest of staying nut free and wanting to make something sweet I went with French. Hence the brioche dough from the other night. This time, I tried a brioche recipe that was with a chocolate ganache.

A LOT of chocolate!

After you spread all the chocolate in the middle, you roll up the dough like this…

And then when it bakes, it looks like this….(or maybe that’s because I used ALL of the chocolate)

Yes, this will definitely do the trick for any chocolate craving!

I wish I had taken other pictures tonight as there were so many amazing foods prepared by all. I loved everything and needless to say, I am stuffed and ready to crash.

BUT, before I do, maybe you are wondering why I titled this post the way I did or maybe you didn’t even notice? I have to tell you about my special surprise this week.

I’ve been a little down over the past weekish  and Ben decided to bring home an awesome surprise for me. He had me close my eyes and I was assuming it would be something like a new pumpkin beer (I LOVE pumpkin beers), but I opened my eyes and he had gotten me a CAMERA! I was shocked and beyond thrilled. Now don’t be expecting an immediate upgrade in photos as remember, I am clueless with a camera, but I’m hoping to have some time this weekend to really learn how to use all the features properly and improve on my photography skills (that means improve so that I at least have the skills of a first grader taking pictures, mmmk?). Pretty nice surprise, wouldn’t you say? 🙂

Alright, now I’m crashing into bed, good night!

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7 thoughts on “The Surprise

  1. Awwww….Ben, you’re the best!! Seriously, so glad you’re in Jess’ life! 🙂 Now if only Joe would surprise me with those diamond earrings!! j/k And btw-you’re tomatoes look way nicer than mine did! And as for pasta? I usually figure 1 lb. per 4 people…unless Kenny’s visiting and then A LOT more! 🙂 Love you sister!!

    • I know, he did a very nice job! I’ll work on those diamond earrings for you 🙂 Next time I will most definitely go with ONE pound.

  2. nice job, jess! everything looks delicious.

    good job getting that 4 miles in, too! you are really working hard, never get discouraged, and keep at it. you’re doing awesome.

    great running weather this weekend. also I will let you borrow my Rocky DVD if needed.

  3. Hey JessOlbert! I think you’re doing a great job! I’m still using you as inspiration to try and do some proper physical activity while out in the bush. I’m jealous of all the delicious things you’re making!

  4. Okay, I have a couple of comments here, good for you Ben, that’s my boy:) What a perfect surprise. What kind of camera did you get?
    And number 2, why don’t we live closer to you so we can come to your house for dinner a little more often? You amaze me pretty much everyday, Jess. And Ben, you amaze me every day too:) Love you both!!!!

  5. That blueberry thing looks ridiculously delicious (as does everything else). Sorry to hear it was a rough week sis, have lots of fun with your new camera 😉 and kick some butt with your future workouts as I know you will!!

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