Sunday, June 24, 2012

avoiding the inevitable

For a weekend I was supposed to be doing nothing but studying, I've done quite a few things that haven't involved being wedded to my laptop. My coworkers talked me in to happy hour on Friday by promising to create a study guide (they're all huge international relations nerds). Saturday I escaped from my apartment for brunch with a friend on the patio of Begla Cafe in Barracks Row, where I paid far too much for this adorable little cappuccino. To be fair, it was one of the best I've had outside of Italy. And, it came in the most charming little illy espresso cup (note to self: check ebay!). 

I spent the afternoon studying outside until a little mouse decide to scurry across my toes, and then I was totally over it. Which, on the bright side, is how I ended up cooking dinner for the first time in ages! I've had all the fixings for this recipe for gnocchi with spinach, pine nuts, and brown butter, and the instructions seemed super fast, so I figured I might as well crank up the stove since it wasn't prohibatively hot yesterday. 

Plus, I knew the leftovers would serve as studying fuel for lunch and/or dinner today. I only had frozen spinach, so I'm not sure I ended up with the taste the recipe was going for, but it totally acheived the one I was going for, which was "spinachy." I sprinkled some crushed red pepper into the skillet in the browning of the butter/pine nuts/garlic phase, but kept my touch light after the kung pao chicken disaster. Like many of the "dinner tonight" recipes, you aren't going to get crazy complex flavors from something that takes you 10 minutes to make, but, I thought it was pretty good, and I've been eating the leftovers without complaint, so, I deem it a relative success! 

To round out my weekend of procrastination, last night I met a coworker and his friends at a new beach-themed bar in DC (complete with several tons of sand "imported" from Ocean City, MD), which was actually a great, relaxing little diversion. Then today, I got caught up in a little Bravo marathon and met with another coworker for coffee (bless her very sweet self, she agreed to "tutor" me a bit). 

Living in my new neighborhood is to blame for all of this study-avoidance, I think. It's so easy to get pretty much anywhere now, and someone is always up to something that I want to join in on. The best compromise I've come up with at this point are these little study breaks coupled with studying outside as much as possible to at least feel like I'm also just out enjoying my weekend like a normal person.  

We'll see how successful this strategy has been come Wednesday...

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