Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Volleyball and Cauliflower

Last weekend, I discovered that I should have made learning a new sport a goal on my 101 list! I got invited to play in an annual volleyball tournament in Spokane, which just so happened to be my first experience EVER playing any sort of organized volleyball. My teammates were great, and didn't care that I had no idea what I was doing... and by the end of the day they'd taught me to bump, hit, rotate, and serve. I figured my chances of learning to play volleyball were basically over after college ended and people stopped asking me to be on rec teams, but now I can say that I know how to play (though I'm far from either being good or being an expert!) a new sport.

Also, I wish there were pictures of me showing up for the first game and being tossed the ball and told to serve - total deer in headlights moment! The rest of the team had no idea that I didn't know what to do at that point - I believe my serve was basically the same as my tennis serve... just without a racket. And it was about as successful as a tennis serve without a racket, too! :)

I have been working on a few things off the actual goal list instead of just lamenting about things I should have put on it, though. Most of that work has been in the form of cooking - specifically making some new recipes out of the Joy of Cooking cookbook that's been collecting dust on my kitchen counter since I graduated from college! This week I've made a couple new recipes, and have a few more in the works for later.

I've been eating this cheese quiche (with steamed broccoli added in as the recipe suggested) for breakfast for the past few days. It's cheesy and egg-y and delicious. I used 1% milk instead of the heavy cream the recipe called for, and I think it turned out great. I have felt bad for my coworkers during morning meetings though - reheated steamed broccoli is not the most appetizing smell to fill a meeting room with!

I also had my first adventure with mashed cauliflower... which was tasty, but doesn't quite fall into the "success" category yet. I basically tried every kitchen appliance I have (except my food processor, which the recipe said to use) to get this stuff to mash, and it wasn't having it! I think the combo of using 1% milk instead of cream (great for quiches, not mashed veggies apparently!) and not steaming the cauliflower long enough before attempting to mash it were the culprits. It still tasted buttery and delicious, but the texture left something to be desired.

The mashed cauliflower was a side dish to go with some baked tofu in a chile-lime marinade, and a spinach salad with cucumber, avocado, yellow bell pepper, and drizzle of balsamic vinegar. It sure did make a pretty plate!

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