I never thought I would see the day where I would be excited to see our thermostat say 82 F. Yes, it is still super hot both in our apartment and outside, but having our apartment temperature be 82 F instead of in the 90s is a big deal.
Yesterday afternoon we noticed that it wasn’t so blazingly hot outside, it was actually somewhat enjoyable, so we headed to the park for some fresh air and enjoyed the freshly brewed iced tea with lemon and mint (from our plant!) that we made on the weekend.
Today, the Artist has a full day of TA and class, and who knows when the next day of only 82 F will be?! Time to get things done. We have been talking lately about how done we are with this level of heat, and that we are ready to come back to life! The heat has been interfering with our sleep, cooking, meals, eating, exercising, fresh air, cleaning the house, etc. because it is too hot to move.
I have been craving time in the kitchen, and today was the best day for it, and to get the place together. I tidied the whole apartment, folded and put away the laundry that was hanging to dry, and did another hand-wash load. Thankfully, this load was pretty small.
I hand-wash all delicate items even if they don’t need to be, because it saves room in the washing machine loads for other stuff, and saves us the quarters too 😉
Then I moved onto the kitchen. Oy- what a mess. I got caught up on all the dishes and cleaned the counters and appliances. Then I made some banana-chocolate protein shake popsicles, and some peach flavoured. I think I inherited by love for peach flavoured stuff, and peaches, from my dad ❤
I also thought I would prep dinner for the Artist since it will be later when he gets home, and I prepped for one of his favourite dishes- broccoli pasta. I don’t know why I call it that, there is broccoli, but lots of other stuff too. First I bake some chicken breast.
While that is baking I make some brushetta topping, it is so fresh and light and delicious! The photos don’t look too good, because I used a red bowl for mixing, so it doesn’t look the best against the red tomatoes. But it is delicious.
Then I put it all in the fridge until dinner. When the Artist is wrapping up class, I start putting it together so it is ready when he comes home. Am I the most thoughtful wife or what? 😉 I slice the chicken and put it in a deep sided pan with the tomato brushetta mix and warm it up. At this stage I also like to add crushed red pepper flakes. Then I throw in some blanched or lightly steamed broccoli (I like it super crunchy) and let all the flavours marry. The tomato brushetta mix is awesome after it sits for a period of time, the best is letting it sit overnight and the flavours just blend together in amazing ways. I usually make a little extra to scoop onto toasted baguette or french bread…mmmmmm. Meanwhile, I have some noodles boiling, I like to use fettuccine or linguine. When the noodles are ready I add them to the pan and toss everything up. The bigger the sides of the pan, the better. But, timing is everything. If you leave the tomato-chicken-broccoli in the pan too long before adding the noodles and then serving, the tomato will cook down and sort of “disappear” leaving you with skins. Not the same. If everything is warmed, I just turn the heat off completely until the noodles are done- they don’t take long to cook anyways. Then turn the heat back on after the noodles are added and toss. Or, if the noodles are done before the chicken-tomato-broccoli mix is, I strain them and set them aside for a minute or two….everything comes together quickly, so having prepped it all before hand works well so I can put it all together before the tomatoes disappear haha! It looks like this in the end:
So all in all, I tidied the apartment, put away the dry laundry, did a load of hand-washing, cleaned the kitchen and appliances, caught up on dishes, prepped everything for dinner tonight, cut up the watermelon and honeydew so it’s ready to eat, and made 2 types of popsicles. Phew. Even at 82 F it still makes you sweat, but not nearly as badly. The vacuuming and dusting will have to wait until another day, a cold shower is calling my name.
It is so nice to get back into the swing of things, I hope this weather keeps up and continues to get even cooler. My “off season” is officially over. During the summer months, the Artist was off school so he did all the cooking and dishes, and helped with cleaning. The exercise classes I like to do don’t run during the summer, and the heat has been awful. So now I am back to cooking and cleaning and exercising my butt off. I miss it. I miss sleeping all cozy under the covers with my nose cold, making home cooked meals every night and things from scratch (instead of avoiding cooking because it’s hot and just snacking- ugh!), and enjoying a clean house. I like to make lots of things from scratch. Tomato sauce is a big one, we never buy it canned, or any sauce for that matter. I make tomato sauce, pesto, cream sauce with milk instead of cream, salsa, etc. and freeze it in batches. I make home made butter, croutons, soups, hand breaded meat, popsicles, doughs, desserts, breads, and so much more. Not only is it much, much cheaper, it tastes better and is healthier. And sometimes I healthify things more by adding protein powder, flax, bran, and the like when it fits.
Ahhhhh, it’s good to be back 😀
P.S. The Artist is so sweet, he said he would rather cook together then either of us cooking alone because it is fun and we have great conversations while prepping, cooking, and at the dinner table. It is so nice to sit at the table and eat a meal together. And last night while he was out, I was watching a movie and snuggling with a teddy bear. When he got home he crawled into bed with me to watch, and ever so slyly, with that twinkle in his eyes and that smile on his lips full of mischief, he slowly pulled my teddy bear from my arms, set it aside, replaced it with himself, and said, “I’m your bear”. How cute is that?! I always call him “my bear” because, as I am sure you can tell from the photos, he is full of “fur”. And he is a snuggler, hence why I call him that. So when he replaced my teddy bear with himself, and said he was my bear, the world exploded with cuteness ❤ We like spend time together often, so when he goes to school I pack him a lunch or a snack, depending on the time of day, made with extra love to take with him, and sometimes a little love note, so we are “together” even when we’re not. And I usually sneak the note in so he doesn’t know it’s there until he grabs his snack and it is a surprise. And he always comes home full of hugs and kisses and thanks. And back in the day when we had cell phones, he would text or call me telling me how the note made his day so much better.
The little things in life are the best.
A little goes a long way.
Happiness is contagious.