Happy Moanday: Good Morning!

If I am unusually chipper today, it's because I am finally sloughing off my terrible working hours in favor of ones that more closely resemble an actual "normal" workday. How terrible, and how normal? I am happily jumping from the mind-numbing, insomia-inducing, social-life-killing 3am to 11am shift to the perkier, more pleasant, and saner 7am to 3:30pm shift. I consider it the best of both worlds: the easy pace of the morning, the pre-rush hour emptiness of the trains, the early evenings, as well as the joy of waking up after sunrise, getting to actually speak with my roommates for more than 3 minutes each week, and not falling asleep at 9:30 on the weekends (good thing Dave is a homebody). So what does that mean? Hopefully, more energy for food, eating, and blogging about food and eating hooray!

I am still searching for the perfect mix of healthy, simple, delicious, and more and more I find myself relying on Bitten, the truly extraordinary cookbook from NYTimes food editor, Mark Bitman. It is just amazingly simple, clean, interesting food, the basics cooked in a way that balances between approachable and complex, familiar and exotic. Rather than branch out into wildly unusual food, Bitman appreciates the satisfaction of a good meal made well, with easy-to-find ingredients assembled so their natural flavor shines through. It's just sweet simplicity, something I can appreciate when it's 2 hours before bedtime and I haven't even gone grocery shopping yet (my friendly neighborhood grocery store is used to seeing me pad around in pajama bottoms to buy the one stick of butter or tiny bottle of spice that my dinner that night absolutely needs). The book is so easy to read and enjoyably precise that I could peruse it like a novel and I would read it before bedtime every night if it didn't make me so hungry and itching for coq au vin.

Aside from Bitten, I'm interested in visiting some local farmers' markets to check out their wares. My disdain for vegetables is not helped much by the wimpy varieties on display at my corner grocery (bitter tomatoes, plasticized corn, mealy potatoes). When I go visit my parents, the Garden State amply provides, and I happily load up on tomato salads and fresh corn (oh the sweet loveliness of a straight-from-the-stalk ear of golden-white Jersey corn!). Although I doubt being able to get the same flavor-bursting fruits and veggies here that I enjoy in New Jersey--and for-get New Jersey prices--I'm interested to sample the last of the summer bounty and the first of the fall.

What else is new? Dave is in Chicago, happily living the proto-yuppie lifestyle, and we're embarking on the strange and interesting experience of plane-based long-distance relationships (he also bought me a Snuggie! It is awesome, natch). Also, I am a (future?) auntie, after Dave's brother and sister-in-law had their little peanut, Adam Joseph (Dave and I have begun to aptly call him "Squishy."). I cannot wait until he's old enough to eat chocolate chip cookies. Anything else? I am starting up a newwww blog, regarding my emotions-wrought journey into the world of wedding planning. Details to arrive soon. That's it--have a good week, eat your veggies, and bake some cookies!

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