I worked from home today, which is nice because you don’t ever have to take off your pajamas. But it’s also not nice, for pretty much the same reason. To make matters worse, I usually work more when I work from home. I start as soon as I have coffee in my hand, and I end up continuing to work into the night. Not having the physical break of leaving one space for another makes it tough to mentally disengage. So today, I created that break with cooking.

This morning, I started by cooking a huge pot of steel cut oats, enough to last me the rest of the week. After that I ate my oats with honey, cinnamon and dried cranberries, along with some black coffee. At lunch, I ate a can of vegetarian chili out of a Trader Joe’s can, and it was actually really good after I added a ton of jalapeños in it. But my best meal was definitely dinner.

I used yet another 101 Cookbooks recipe, this time for Ribollita. Celine found this recipe, as it’s one I wouldn’t have read since I had never heard of ribollita before. It’s apparently a Tuscan stew, thickened with day old bread. Celine had some time this afternoon, so she prepped most of the ingredients. She then went off to a rehearsal, and I tackled cooking dinner.

Now, I am sure that cutting up all of the veggies was a pain, but otherwise, this was a fairly easy meal to make. It took a bit of cooking time (about an hour and a half all told), but it wasn’t terribly labor intensive once the chopping was done. And I’m not kidding when I say this soup is delicious. I tried to take a picture of it for you, but I am terrible at taking photos of food (any tips?). It’s thick and hearty, it has a tangy flavor from the greens and tomatoes, and the mashed beans give it a nice thickness. This is comfort food, plain and simple, and it was perfect for a rainy night in Oregon. It also made a big pot of stew, so this would be a good one to make on the weekend for lunches during the week.

As for unprocessed lessons today, I found out that dried cranberries have sugar added to them, and not all cans of white beans are created equal. I used two cans in this recipe, one was all natural and the other one was not. But we are learning, and it’s very revealing when you start reading labels. Good finds: the Trader Joe’s Woven Wheat Wafers (a Triscuit, basically) are completely unprocessed. TJ also sells par-baked bread that’s all natural. You just bring it home and stick it in the oven for five minutes and you’re done.

My last good find: Breaking Bad. Why did I wait so long? Oh yeah, because it wasn’t on Netflix until just recently. Just started the 2nd season and I’m definitely hooked.

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