Yesterday was Fat Tuesday. Mardi Gras. A day of indulgences.
Today marks the first day of Lent - a period of forty days that many people use to give up a bad habit or start a good one. In Christianity, it marks a period of sacrifice and penitence. While I don't celebrate Lent for religious reasons, I am a fan of using the weeks between Ash Wednesday and Easter to complete a challenge. (A 40 Day Challenge in lieu of a 30 Day Challenge!) I typically give up meat for Lent. This year Larry is joining me.
Actually, Larry has one-upped me. He is giving up meat AND beer for Lent. Will he survive? Will I?
Will we end up stuffing our faces with crab and wine instead?
We'll be eating a pescetarian and vegetarian diet. Seafood is allowed. We're both looking forward to eating healthier and trying more fish recipes. Hopefully, we won't end up eating cheesy pasta and cake every night. (Caaaaake! I've been having a serious and insatiable craving for cake lately.) Bring on the lentils, bring on the beans!
I've already planned out our dinner menus through the end of Lent, and thought I'd share how I attempt to schedule our meals:
I love this calendar method. It really helps prevent the What's for dinner? Let's just eat Cheerios! scenario. As you can see, it's a messy process and we don't stick to the calendar 100% of the time since I haven't planned for meeting friends/family for dinner, going out to eat, getting lazy, or any of the other things that inevitably pop up throughout the month - when that happens, we just adjust accordingly.
Breakfast Tacos. Which look surprisingly like regular tacos, but are actually stuffed with scrambled eggs and refried beans.
Our current indulgences:
DELICIOUS BEER | Our new favorite is Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye.
Another fun one is Southern Tier Brewing Creme Brulee Imperial Milk Stout. This beer smells and tastes like liquid butterscotch. Also, it is 9.6% ABV and has cows on the label. And it temporarily satisfied my craving for caaaaaaaaake!
Currently obsessed with Philip Seymour Hoffman movies - such a talented actor!
A NEW SUNDAY NIGHT TRADITION | A hot bath, candles, and watching a movie on my iPad in the tub. Add a drink (wine or a cocktail), a bath bomb, and perhaps a manicure. You know that amazing relaxed feeling you get on vacation? That's how my Sunday night baths make me feel - it's like a vacation once a week.
NUTELLA | My love for Nutella began when I was a college student studying abroad in Italy. I'm pretty sure that we were given Nutella as a snack during orientation on the day we arrived in Florence and I fell in love. I subsequently "invented" the peanut butter and Nutella sandwich. My love for Nutella has recently been rekindled, and I've been putting it in everything lately.
GREEK FOOD | It seems our fridge is never without a container of salty olives from the olive bar. I could eat a plate of these with some cheese for lunch every day. And yesterday, my mother and I had an amazing Greek lunch at Nostos Restaurant - the best Greek meal I've ever had. So glad to have this restaurant in the neighborhood. Already looking forward to going back!
MOVIES | I'm not a big TV watcher and I never even had cable television until Larry and I bought our house. Consequently, I'm way behind on seeing movies from the last decade or two. However, I'm currently obsessed with catching up on all the movies I've missed out on through HBO GO on my iPad. And Larry and I often spend winter evenings on the couch watching a movie OnDemand. I've watched 15 movies since the beginning of the year. Favorites include 50/50, Moneyball, The Ides of March, and The Way. This movie made me yearn for a trip back to Spain. (I studied abroad in Spain, too.) Also, Larry and I are now dreaming of hiking El Camino de Santiago. (Added it to the Life List!)
(Did anyone else hate Midnight In Paris? Ugh. I just don't get Woody Allen films. We almost had to turn this movie off because we hated it so much, so I can't believe it was nominated for Best Picture. Also, I want to punch Owen Wilson right in his crooked schnoz. So annoying.)