I don't know what was more exciting...

I don't know what was more exciting...

...buying a shiny new fancy TV, or buying a perfect head of red leaf lettuce.

Alright, the TV was way more exciting. But the lettuce was a happy experience.

I'm not a TV person, I barely watch it.  The only two shows I watch faithfully are Grey's Anatomy and So You Think You Can Dance. And I am equally fervent about both. But in between episodes of either, I don't often turn on my TV anymore. Mostly, I stream content to my laptop, which I can watch while I cook or sew; or I watch DVDs.  So my TV had been off for several days before I turned it on late Monday night, when I discovered that while my set had sound, there was no video.  And there wasn't even a black screen that invited troubleshooting; it was a barely lit screen with those damning vertical color lines.  I've had my share of TVs and monitors and computers, I know what those lines mean. And so, I turned off the TV and went to bed, hoping to awaken to a working TV.  Because sometimes ignoring problems DOES work. And there isn't a lot I can do at 1am.

It wasn't until later Tuesday afternoon that I worked up the nerve to turn the TV on, and sure enough, it was a broken as it had been the night before.  DAMN.  And suddenly, all I wanted to do was watch TV, which I knew was ridiculous, but I couldn't shake the urge.  A quick check on SYTYCD's website showed the next episode was airing Wednesday, and that was when I KNEW I had to work fast. In spite of the fact that my DVR automatically records the show. Because I am not sure what I can trust anymore. I mean, I trusted my TV to turn on, and it didn't. How do I know the DVR is going to continue to work? This is serious business, this show!!!

And so, that is how I found myself purchasing both a head of lettuce and a 42" flat screen TV on the same day, and being equally excited about both. And it's also how I came up with tonight's dinner. In order to fit the gigantic TV in my Lilliputian sized house, I had to do some reorganizing.  And, as I am so fond of saying, moving furniture around in my tiny house is like playing Tetris. With really heavy furniture. I don't have the luxury of moving things to a neutral area, and then pushing it out one by one to it's designated spot; instead, I have to move one piece at a time, jockeying the pieces around to make room. It's laborious. And also a good time to vacuum the drifts of dog hair behind things.  But I digress. While moving the bookcase, I pulled off all of my cookbooks and stacked them on a sleeping dog until I could move the case to it's new location. Nah, just kidding, I didn't put the books on a dog. But I DID consider it.  Anyhow, one of Rick Bayless' cookbooks ended up on the top of a stack, perfectly timed to be found when I poured a cup of coffee. And that is how I ended up with this fantastic dinner.

But first, the salad.  I did pick up a bunch of arugula, at Jim's suggestion. And I meant to use it tonight, but I couldn't resist my old favorite - red leaf lettuce, topped simply with green onions, grape tomatoes, and ranch dressing. Ah.... seriously, it was an experience in a bowl. I savored every bite. I can't even express how much I love my salad.

The rest of the meal barely registered after this amazing, fulfilling salad.  Hahaha,  just kidding, the rest was equally awesome. I made Rick Bayless's queso frito estilo oaxaqueno, or Oaxacan seared cheese with tomatoes and chilis. I roasted poblano and jalapeno peppers, then skinned and seeded them. I roasted onion, garlic, and tomatoes, and blended them together; then added the roasted tomato, and sauteed over heat until slightly reduced. Then I sliced the cheese, quickly seared it over high heat, and topped it with the salsa. And, as much as I'd love a meal of just cheese and salad, it still seems somehow wrong. And so I made beef fajitas with flank steak, onion, green and red peppers. I marinated the beef in olive oil, lime juice, soy sauce, and garlic. I am so keeping this recipe!!  Sliced avocado and sour cream round out the flavors. It was all fantastic, but that cheese and salsa was absolutely out of this world.

Remember the mud pie from a few weeks ago? I still have some left. Only it's not as magical as it was the first 8 times I had it, and so now I'm stepping out a bit.  Here, I've topped it with Magic Shell.  That's right, I said Magic Shell.  One of the few processed goods I won't give up.  Magic Shell makes the world go round. Wait, isn't that supposed to be love? Nah, it's totally Magic Shell.

And the fancy TV? Bomb freaking diggitey.  SWEAR.

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