I put "Superbowl Sunday" in quotes because our household isn't really sports oriented. I used to be a die-hard hockey and basketball fan, but over the years the appeal of sports has dwindled for me. I guess I just don't really get it... a bunch of dudes earn millions of dollars for running up and down a field with a ball. Fans get all excited when the team who happens to practice and play in the city/ state where they live wins. But really none of it matters because next year a new season will start and every team will have a chance to win the big trophy again. I'm being a little flippant and nihilistic I suppose, but it seems like there are so many people more deserving of money and accolades than athletes. Teachers for example. Where are their six figure contracts and merchandising deals?
Needless to say, the only parts of the Superbowl we watched were the halftime show (my curiosity always gets the best of me) and a few commercials here and there. Otherwise, we devoted our time to Puppy Bowl VIII on Animal Planet and I whined and moaned about how we don't have a canine companion in our lives. Those dogs are just so freaking cute! I kept hoping one would come through the screen and bound into my arms. (sigh) Someday we will adopt a dog, I promise you this!
I did end up spending most of the day in the kitchen, but I didn't exactly cook Superbowl fare. I made some completely mind-blowing breakfast burritos in the morning (more on that recipe in the next few days) that made my tummy very happy. For dinner, our appetizer was already planned. Johnny's mom sent us a gigantic assortment from Alfonso Gourmet Olive Oil and Balsamics in Tucson and we had been patiently waiting to crack into it until Sunday night.
I broke up a fresh baguette and we got to work mixing and matching flavors to our hearts' content. My absolute favorite thing in the whole world right now is the Peach White Balsamic Vinegar. DUUUUUDE. I mixed it with a bit of their Manzanillo Extra Virgin Olive Oil and almost had a stroke it was so good. I am absolutely going to be ordering a full bottle of that stuff once the sampler runs out. I'm dreaming up vinaigrette recipes already. It will be perfection on summer salads! Our other favorites include the Espresso Balsamic Vinegar, the sweet and thick Traditional Balsamic Vinegar (I really want to try this on ice cream!), and the Tuscan Herb Infused Olive Oil. But honestly, all of it was delicious. Thanks, Mama Mo! Such an awesome gift!
While we could have easily made dinner out of nothing but bread, vinegar and oil, I thought we should try to get something a bit healthier into our panzas, too. I'd heard wonderful things about the Mango BBQ Beans recipe from Appetite for Reduction, one of my favorite cookbooks. I felt a little guilty buying a mango in the middle of winter, but whatever. Sometimes you just need some out-of-season, far-from-local fruit! I served it over some quinoa and I sauteed a big bunch of kale and drizzled that with some of the Tuscan Herb Infused Olive Oil.
I loved this dinner! It felt like a very modern, elevated take on rice and beans. The flavors in the bean dish run the gamut from sweet to spicy and hit on everything in between. The quinoa came out really fluffy and delicious - it's quickly replacing brown rice as my favorite accompaniment to most meals.
Johnny had his usual reaction to a plate that contained cooked greens: he screwed up his face and stuck out his tongue in disgust. It's a knee-jerk thing and I have to talk him into eating that first bite every time! He ended up liking the kale, but not being a huge fan of the beans. I'm not sure why, I thought he'd really like the bold flavors, but he just thought something didn't taste right. He's not a lover of mango, so I knew it was a risk going in. Oh well, more for me to take for lunch this week!