Super Bowl Sunday – one of the very few and rare moments in time when Jason is home for a full day and a whole night. No work calls, no office madness, he’s all mine. The fact it’s the Super Bowl Sunday (which to me it’s just as thrilling as the Groundhog Day) has nothing to do with Jason’s freedom. It’s a pure coincident, serendipity if you will.

I’ve turned down invitations to various parties involving beautiful people, gourmet food, belly dancers and notables such as celebrity stylists and monarchs of whole countries! Ok, I kid, silly. However, I did make sure that the only thing we had planned for today was NOTHING. And then I got this email from Leslie:

Not only did I love the remix, but also I could not say no to Leslie, except we pushed it to Sunday. Had she lived closer, I’d probably have her hang on to the spare key to our house so she can come visit more often. And believe it or not, I’ve never baked potatoes the way she described. Back in Poland, we do it Neanderthal style – we set up bon fire and bury potatoes under its flames. Those babies taste like nothing you’ve ever had in your life.

So I bought a bag of Russet potatoes for later today. I’ll give them such a makeover their own mother won’t recognize her Russet babies. There will be make up, and glitter involved, mani/ pedi, and hair spray. I’ll then record the session on a series of color photographs and post them along with my next entry.

Speaking of potatoes, I went through a meat-free week and in the process reinvented a couple of veggie dishes from my repertoire. When Friday glanced into our refrigerator, a day before our habitual grocery shopping spree, there were only 2 bell peppers left, green beans, mustard and one sad bunch of greens. I was to make dinner out of those bustards.

I paced through the kitchen scratching my forehead, nodding along as I threaded back and forth, with an occasional hum breaking that intense silence. Half an hour later, as I was juggling a pot of boiling water with potatoes and green beans and simultaneously stirring caramelizing onions and red bell peppers in an iron skillet, Jason walked back from work and asked:

What are you making?

I don’t know. Ask me again when I’m done.

Then I dove again into the refrigerator and surfaced back holding the lettuce with my teeth and squeezing a half-empty jar of mustard in my armpit. I put together all the dressing elements and let the Magic Bullet do its magic. I drained the potatoes and beans and tossed them together in a large bowl with the vinaigrette, chopped Romaine lettuce and parsley. I seasoned it with more salt and pepper, and then topped the mountain with my caramelized onions and bell peppers. The sugar and balsamic vinegar turned them into that sweet and tart cherry that tops the proverbial cake. Loose leaves of mint perfumed the dish, giving it a new twist.

Here’s the summary:

POTATO AND GREEN BEAN SALAD

WITH CARAMELIZED PEPPERS & ONIONS

-       red skin and purple potatoes, cut in thick slices

-       green beans

-       Romaine lettuce

-       large onion

-       2 red bell peppers

-       1 tbsp ground fennel seeds, for caramelizing

-       fresh parsley, roughly chopped

-       fresh mint, roughly chopped

-       3 tbsp of raw cane sugar, for caramelizing

-       3 tbsp of balsamic vinegar, for caramelizing

-       olive oil, for the dressing

-       white balsamic vinegar, for the dressing

-       1 tsp Dijon mustard, for the dressing

-       1 tbsp honey, for the dressing

-       salt + pepper to taste, for everything.

Fill a small BOWL with the SALAD and be assured this will be plenty for a full, nutritious and satiating meal. You don’t need to be a fan of football to enjoy your own  SUPER BOWL.

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