Catching up. Been wanting to catch up with everything since I came back this weekend. With both our schedules on the “busy on repeat” button in August and September, catching up is done on the fly. Early morning chats. Late night chats. With a text. Or a note left intentionally in a back pocket.
We pass each other often lately. We catch up. We appreciate the early morning hours when the pups are still snoring and we can talk seriously or giggle like children. I am traveling a lot for work lately, with his blessing and support. He's been so busy rehearsing and playing gigs that he's had very little to notice I was gone. Sort of...
I love that we both feel well enough in our shoes that the investment we are making in our works and creativity, the time apart working in different cities, the long nights playing music, all this is never tough. It makes us sigh and we do miss each other but it's the kind of absence that makes us keep focused and positive.
It's not always rosy, easy peasy and always fun but it is what it is. The best part is that our choices let us combine what we need to do with what we absolutely love to do. We are ok with it until we crave that catching up time. I see a couple of date nights in our near future and if you have any movie recommendations, send them along by the way!
It'd be easy to let good meals be forgotten or to let nutrition be a distant thought. Meals on the go or TV dinners are not something I usually keep around. Not only do I love to cook but there are a few little health issues that have us stay away from made up meals. I love to shop the farmers market too much and stock up more than I should even before I head out of town.
To make sure we get good foods in our bellies in the midst of everything else going on, I like to fix big bowls of pasta bursting with lots of fresh vegetables we just picked at the market. I love adding roasted beets, lots of fresh herbs. My pineapple sage and basil are growing wild so they end up in almost everything we cook. A drizzle of pungent olive oil. I might add a bit of chorizo or leftover shredded roasted chicken depending on what we have that needs to be used.
It's nothing fancy but it's wholesome and packed with everything we need to keep going. Another staple is this soup I posted recently. I think I make it about two to three times a week right now. It is so silky and so easy. Whether we cross paths or have the time to sit down and eat together, a bowl of pasta for lunch and a bowl of soup for dinner have been good sound choices to have ready.
One thing though...we can't park away our sweet tooth. Given the temperatures above the 100s here, I tend to shy away from the oven. The ice cream machine has been churning pretty much non stop. Lots of frozen yogurts, sorbets and other experiments have been going on in the frozen department. It's been fun and interesting to say the least.
One of our latest concoctions and addictions has been Watermelon Shiso Sorbet. I never would have expected to find Shiso at the market but the same vendor who had purslane one week also brought in shiso and I got giddy as a five year-old given a new toy. I've been reading and hearing lots about it and could finally experiment on my own. A new find at the market and I am happy. I am easy that way...!
This sorbet is the perfect ending to a long day. It packs a punch of interesting flavor combining the summer flavor of watermelon and citrus with the minty touch of the shiso. Slightly exotic. Highly refreshing. A few spoonfuls shared at midnight is everything the doctor ordered after a long hard worked day...
Conchiglie With Roasted Beets and Pineapple Sage:
Serves 4 to 6 as a main dish
3 small red beets
3 small golden beets
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
salt and pepper
one bag (14oz) gluten free conchiglie (or your favorite shell pasta)
1 small red chili pepper, chopped
freshly chopped pineapple sage or basil
Preheat the oven to 375F. Peel and halve the beets. Layer them on a baking sheet and drizzle with two tablespoons of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and roast for about 15-20 minutes until the beets are soft and a little brown on the edges. In the meantime, boil the pasta until al dente. Drain and place in large bowl. Drizzle with the remaining olive oil, add the chopped pepper, the beets and the chopped herbs. Toss and eat right away. This is perfect at room temperature.
Watermelon Shiso Sorbet, adapted from Tara's Plum Shiso Sorbet on Tea and Cookies.
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1/2 cup fresh shiso leaves
One pound watermelon, cubed
In a small saucepan, cook the sugar with the water until the sugar is completely dissolved. Add the shiso leaves. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool completely.
In a blender or food processor, puree the watermelon with the syrup until smooth. Process in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer's instructions.