Today is the first day that I’ve been home alone since we arrived in Washington, DC.
Juan started his internship at the Organization of American States (OAS) this morning, and headed to his new office situated at Constitution and 19th.
Needless to say, he was long gone by the time I rubbed the sleep from my eyes and woke up to the stillness and the calmness of the morning in our townhouse unit, the beautiful one with front windows that overlook the construction site along L street.
So this is what it feels like to be on a long holiday: Pure bliss.
I had a slice of banana bread for breakfast – cut from the large, fresh loaf I’d bought when we visited Eastern Market in the Capitol Hill neighborhood on Tuesday afternoon (watch out for an upcoming post on that!).
With my stomach full and my mind ready to write, I put the music on and let the Spotify playlist run as I sat down to my new workspace (my Macbook on a lacquered white table with a pretty lamp to the right) and let the thoughts flow and my fingers type away.
I’d always dreamt of being able to write as a full-time job.
Now that I have the opportunity of this long holiday to focus on written words and reflect in relaxed tranquility, I have to say it does feel really good.
This is the first time I’ve really “worked from home” seriously. While my writing still doesn’t exactly cover all my expenses yet, and work involves less of excel spreadsheets and more of Adobe Lightroom editing and drafting posts for the blog and Parade Magazine’s Community Table, I try to set aside a fixed number of hours each day to sit down and write, and cultivate the habit of honing my craft.
So this is how I’m planning my schedule for my new “work-from-home” lifestyle.
A few hours of photo-editing and research for posts in the morning after breakfast, then a few hours of writing in the afternoon just after lunch, and then the highlight of the day – strolling around and exploring different parts of DC without aim or hurry, just as the evening kicks in and before the sun decides to set.
It’s nearing the end of summer here in DC, and in the day it can still get pretty hot.
Yet there are tell-tale traces of the upcoming fall season, as the trees start to shed their leaves in response to nature’s call.
While the Trader Joe’s that we have one block away has already started to stock up on fall bounty such as spaghetti squash, apples and butternut squash, there is still plenty of zucchini and summer squash up for grabs.
So it only makes sense to take advantage of what remains of hot, long summer days and the season’s freshest produce – and make my favorite food this season – zucchini noodles.
You’ve might have seen a few spiralized vegetable dishes here on the blog (and on the post I did for Community Table), and today I’m providing you with another great way to use zucchini noodles – which you can make using my favorite Kuhn Rikon julienne peeler or the Paderno spiralizer.
Swap out your usual pasta for zucchini noodles, top with thick, tasty bolognaise sauce and you’ve got a healthy, deliciously good gluten-free meal in just under an hour!
Alright, I’m done for the day and am now going to head up and enjoy what’s left of the sunshine!
Enjoy the rest of summer!
- 6 large zucchini, julienned into noodles with a julienne peeler or spiralizer
- ½ pound of ground beef
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 large garlic clove, minced finely
- 1 cup of diced red pepper
- 1 cup of pureed tomatoes
- 1 cup of cubed roma tomatoes
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Fresh parsley, for garnishing
- Shredded cheese, for garnishing
- In a large pan, sauté the diced onions, minced garlic and diced red pepper over medium heat until onions turn transparent
- Add in the ground beef and stir well until beef turns brown
- Add in the pureed tomatoes and cubed roma tomatoes and bring heat down to low
- Let simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occassionally
- While bolognaise sauce is simmering, julienne the zucchini into thin noodles
- Microwave zucchini noodles on high for 5 minutes (or until soft and tender) - if you don't have a microwave, blanch zucchini noodles in boiling water for 1 minute
- Divide zucchini noodles into two equal portions and serve with bolognaise sauce and fresh parsley and shredded cheese