Sunday, February 20, 2011

Quiet Weekends R Us

When it comes to the art of quiet weekends, Mike and I are masters.  Weekends used to be the time for traveling, trying out new restaurants, and shopping.  Now they represent a lull from my job, trying out new recipes, and cleaning.

Our top weekend activities:
  • Attempt a new vegetarian recipe
  • Catch a matinee
  • Deep clean
  • Watching Netflix
  • Power napping
  • Baths/hot showers
  • Exercising
  • Perfecting Sunday brunch

I'm becoming quite a fan of these weekends.  They're relaxed and easy going, typically without any schedules (which I truly relish).

This weekend was probably our "busiest" in a while as I did some shopping with a friend yesterday afternoon and today we're going to go see "Unknown," that Liam Neeson/January Jones movie.  We had plans to go hiking, but alas, it's raining and the ground is completely soggy.

Last weekend we hit up the Cedar Valley Trail.

The trail goes right behind our condo complex.  We only had to drive 2 miles to pick up the path along the river.  It was still a little cold and everything was an ugly shade of brown, but at least the sun was shining.

Look, we're outside and it's February!
I also started sifting through my new favorite magazine: Food Network.

I got this off the stand for $3.99.  It's a completely steal -- there are over 70 recipes!  Plus the articles are fantastic, the instructions are easy to follow, and it's a great layout.  A subscription for the whole year costs just $15, but I'm content to buy it for stand prices.  Gotta support my fellow magazine peeps!

I was excited to try a new snack recipe.  I love nuts: spiced, sugared, roasted, smoked, crunchy, with fruit, whatever.  They're a little on the expensive side upfront, but per serving, they're a much better deal than buying processed snack bars.  Plus they're healthy (in moderation) and I like the natural feel of them.

Doing your own nut mix is far cheaper than anything at the store.  You'll notice any mix with added spices or fruit always has a premium price on them.  For example, Plantars has these awesome chili-lime-sea salt almonds, but it's $3.49 for 6 oz of them :(

Do-it-yourself mixes will typically cost you the price of nuts and pennies in spices.  If you've never done your own nuts before, I highly recommend this recipe for Spiced Mixed Nuts. Check out the instructions here

Sorry it's blurry ...
For the nuts, 4 cups equals two of the 9oz containers.  Depending on the kind you like, this could run you anywhere from 2-5 bux.  The recipe calls for mixed nuts, but I opted for cashews, peanuts, and almonds so we only had nuts we like and because I already had some on hand.

You have 3 basic components: the nuts, the sugar + spices, and your whisked and frothy egg.

These babies cook for 45 minutes, don't need any stirring, and come out perfect looking!
This bowl disappeared shortly after the photo was taken
They have the most pleasant flavor -- a wintery, Christmas, sitting by the fireside, going on a sleigh ride, ringing in the New Year taste.  We opted for the original recipe and the heat from the cayenne is more of a warmth at the back.  The rest of the spices meld together well yet still have an individual presence.  Next time I definitely want to add the chipotle powder!

Had a saved peanut container on hand and packaged the leftovers up.  A week later, they tasted no different.  The nuts have been a great breakfast and snack and good for before/after a workout too.

The weekend is the perfect time to try out new recipes for us.  You don't feel rushed, you haven't just worked for 8+ hours, and if it goes wrong, then you still have time to make something else.

Question of the Day: How do you like to spend your weekends?

1 comment:

  1. Those look great. Nuts go fast around here and they're a great snack. Thanks for the ref!

    It would be easy to add dried fruit, too, if that is something you like. A bag of cherries or some bananas? Or kick the recipe up by using a 'Q rub with liquid smoke mixed in with the egg...