I feel like every time I get older, I also get a little bit younger. Recently this growing backwards has come in the form of applesauce and string cheese. I don’t know what exactly it is about these two foods, but they are very ideal for snack time a work and they’re both relatively healthy. Sure, string cheese isn’t the health food of the year, but it’s a way for me to get protein (since I’m not eating meat), and the part-skim kind isn’t too high in calories or fat. It’s got some sodium, but in the make-believe world that I live in, eating salt is very easily counteracted by eating applesauce or a pear. I also am reverting to kindergarten age in the sense that when I come home from work, all I can ever think about doing is taking a nap. I can’t even read anymore unless I’m super into the book because otherwise it’s just read a page and then fall asleep on the couch.
That said, I have some book recommendations. I have this passion for Scandinavian crime novels, so a couple authors I’d advise looking out for are Yrsa Sigurðardóttir and Arnaldur Indriðason, both Icelanders, Håkan Nesser, a Swede, and Jo Nesbø, a Norweigan. I am currently reading the third in a series by Nesser, The Return, which tells the story of a man, recently released from prison (where he ended up in the first place because he was convicted of murdering two women with whom he’d had relations), and is found dead. The questions clearly are who killed this man and why. I’m not anywhere near finding out the answers yet, but it’s a really good read and I would highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in crime fiction.
So most of my time is taken up either working at the restaurant or reading (aka sleeping), but sometimes I do get really inspired to cook. Note: this usually happens on my weekend, because cooking after working for eight hours on my feet while dealing with food is just sometimes too much. So, the other day I didn’t have to work and I decided to make some quesadillas. I’m not talking melted cheese on a tortilla. I’m talking cooked veggies, melted cheese, and a little bit of love made into a quesadilla.
Here’s what I did, very generically of course, because it depends on each person’s individual tastes. I started with some finely chopped onion and mushrooms sprinkled with red pepper flakes and sautéed them in olive oil for quite a while before adding just a bit of minced garlic, maybe half of a clove. Then I added a very healthy handful of baby spinach to the pan and cooked it until it was quite wilted and less than half the size it started. After removing the vegetables from the heat, I spread refried black beans over half of a burrito-sized tortilla, shredded some nice white cheddar over the beans, and spread the veggies over top of it all. Finally, I folded it in half, cooked it in a small amount of olive oil until it got just a bit browned and crispy, and then served.
It was super good. I know I say that just about every time I write a post, but really, this was a gourmet quesadilla. The nice cheese (Flagstaff, I think it’s called) made a big difference, and we’ve also started stocking our cupboards with really nice olive oil, which actually makes a huge difference in the way that things taste. Not to mention the garlic and the red pepper flakes, cooked onions and mushrooms, and spinach. The only thing better than the smells in the kitchen was the taste of the quesadilla. Mom wandered in when I was cooking my own and asked me to make her one too—that’s how good it was. Maybe my new life goal will be to open a gourmet quesadilla food truck.