Baby, it’s cold inside

Guess which wonderful aspect of life in a pre-war NYC apartment building is vexing me today.

Hint: it’s not the five flights of stairs to my floor.  The narrow hallways?  The pint-sized bathroom?  The lack of a doorman?  Or a dishwasher?  Wrong, wrong, wrong and wrong.  Good guesses though.

It’s the absence of a thermostat.

The temperature of our itty bitty apartment in the winter is subject to the whims of building management – and the functionality of a decades-old system of steam pipes and radiators.  Normally this isn’t a problem; if anything, it’s too hot.  (There are several residents who’ve been living here since the Hoover administration, so that makes sense.)

But today, it was 45 degrees outside and not much warmer inside.  And the radiators stayed ice cold all day.  Ugh.  Seriously?  I had like three sweatshirts on and was still cold.

In all honestly, I love our little apartment.  Yes, it’s minuscule and lacks certain modern conveniences.  Yes, you practically need hiking boots to ascend to it.  But it is so darn cute.  I’ll have to post pictures one of these days.

Once my fingers thaw out.

Today’s EAT: Warning, I am about to gush like a schoolgirl about a recipe.  This recipe to be exact: Mac and Cheese with Squash and Peas from Branny Boils Over.  (It even rhymes, isn’t that cute?)

Let me break this down.  Mac and cheese?  Love it.  Butternut squash?  Love it.  Peas?  Eh…not so much, but I can find something to replace them….something like….

Bacon!

Before you accuse me of de-healthifying this very healthy recipe, it was turkey bacon!  I’ve had my eye on this recipe for a few weeks now, but I knew I’d need a way to work some meat in there.  We like our meat around these parts.  And while I’m sure the dish is delicious without it, it was super-duper-delicious with the salty goodness of turkey bacon in there.

In the spirit of the original recipe, I served it with sugar snap peas (which I love…as opposed to peas, which I hate…weird, I know).

You would seriously not believe how well roasted butternut squash mimics the taste of creamy cheese.  You would not believe, for that matter, how little cheese is actually in here.  Here are my notes/mods:

  • Peas – I left them out
  • Parsley – I left it out
  • Squash – I cut it in to chunks and roasted it with salt and pepper, then mashed it with a potato masher.  No pureeing for me.  I’m spunky, I like my squash lumpy.
  • Bacon – added 10 strips of turkey bacon, pan cooked and sliced into little strips.
  • Panko – I sprinkled the top with a tiny bit of panko before baking.  Not a ton, maybe 2 T total, but it made it look pretty like restaurant mac and cheese and gave it a little crunch.

I am 100% sure I could have served this for dinner tonight and not said a word to the hubster about it being healthy, and he would have savored it like a decadent treat.  It’s that good.

Speaking of decadent treats…

I’m walking home from the gym today, minding my own beeswax, and I see a sign for “$1 Mini Cupcakes.”  Arm.  Twist.

The adorably-named “Dirty” (dark chocolate ganache) and “Not So Dirty” (milk chocolate ganache).  How could I resist?  These are from Sweet Revenge, a little bakery/wine bar that the hubs and I have hit for dessert and a glass of wine a couple of times.

Can’t wait to dig in to those suckers.  Yummmmm.

Today’s DRINK: So sad, but I forsook my evening glass of wine in exchange for that mini-cupcake.  The sacrifices that must be made.

Today’s RUN: sucked.  Ugh.

I’d had a bit of a longer run in mind today, but given that my apartment was the temperature of a meat locker, I couldn’t bear to run outside.  So I headed for the warmth and comfort of the gym and hit the treadmill.

I made it five miles, which is okay, I guess.  I did the first two easy (8:54 pace), then two at half-marathon goal pace (7:35), then one cool down (9:00-something pace).  I hated every.single.second of this run.  By the time I’d taken ten steps, I was wishing I had run outside.  I hate the treadmill.  And yes, I know that I have a bad attitude today.  Bleh.

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9 responses to “Baby, it’s cold inside

  1. your cooking (especially yesterday’s chicken) is impressive! i want some!

    and as a new york city apartment dweller of almost twenty four years, i feel your pain. funny how inconvenient life in NYC can be, yet… we all deal and live here anyway. we must be crazy?… well, i know i certainly am!

  2. wow…mac & cheese with bacon, bakery/wine bar…I’m stunned and jealous all at the same time. All of that sounds so yummy!!

  3. Aw, the widdle cupcakes are soooo darling. And “mini” means “healthy.” Right?
    Because we are poor and dumb, we keep the thermostat in my house at 59 degrees. I spent the past three months in two pairs of pants when I watched TV.

  4. Yum. Sounds delicious. I might have to pass this recipe onto the hubs. 🙂
    Oh and I too do not like peas. Blech. So not weird. 🙂

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