I love grocery stores.
My family and friends joke that I could spend days perusing the aisles and not get bored. I tell them they're right.
Except it turns out that maybe they aren't. A few nights ago I spent almost seven (unvoluntary) hours in Social Safeway, and by the end of the night, I could not wait to leave.
This is by far the coolest grocery store I've ever stepped foot in.
We're talking a 24-hour Starbucks, gelato bar, sushi bar, nut bar (yes, an entire counter filled with gourmet nuts and nut butter machines!), and a huge room with a gigantic fireplace and floor-to-cieling windows. Yeah, it's that nice.
I often spend late nights at Social Safeway...not socializing, but studying, caffeinating and taking advantage of the free wifi.
DC was hit with a HUGE storm late Wednesday afternoon, which left thousands without power and thousands of cars stranded on the streets. Earlier that afternoon, I'd decided to get a head start on my school work, and headed to Safeway to put in a few hours of studying. Two hours later, when I was ready to leave, a few burly firemen strolled in and told me that driving conditions were trepid. The five minute drive home woud take 2 hours, they said. Or worse, I might not make it home at all!
So I made myself comfortable in Safeway and began chatting up the firemen. I also visited with a self-proclaimed 60-something political expert (that means nothing in this city!) who tried to coerce me into friending him on Facebook. A fellow chocoholic (she bought 5 bags of Snickers Peanut Butter Squared bars because apparently "they're the most orgasmic chocolate ever!") lectured me on the health benefits of cocoa.
I didn't take a picture, but found one for you...
Speaking of food...the nicest thing about being stranded in a grocery store is that you have unlimited access to it. After spending three hours in the Safeway, my stomach started growling, so I began prowling the store for a decent snack option.
In the freexer aisle I found a Garden Lights Spinach Souffle. I've eaten this souffle numerous times, but it only goes down with some doctoring, so I bought provolone cheese and added a slice halfway through cooking.
Souffle + provolone = cheesy green goopy goodness!
Company websites always make food look more visually appealing than it really is!
The rest of the night actually passed quickly .I was so glad I’d brought my laptop and power cord because I was able to get some school work done. I had to review an article about triathletes and disordered eating, which was quite interesting. Not surprisingly, there is a direct correlation between female athletes, food restriction, and body dissatisfaction.
Around midnight--after spending seven hours in Safeway and drinking three cups of Starbucks coffee on the house---I'd had enough of grocery storedom and mustered up the courage to drive home. I almost slid off the road four times and ran a red light, but managed to make it back safely.
The next day, still recovering from the exciting events of the previous evening, I was craving comfort food. So I made a pot of this:
2 (14.5) oz. cans chopped tomatoes
½ c. tomato sauce (from a can)
1/2 t. minced garlic (optional)
¼ c. fresh basil leaves (you can use dry basil as well)
½ c. 2% milk (or substitute soy, almond etc)
1/8 t. salt
¼ c. light cream cheese, softened (makes it veleveety and delicious!)
1. Heat the tomatoes, tomato sauce, garlic and basil on the stove until warm.
2. Pour tomato-mixture into a food processor and process until smooth.
3. Return mixture to pot and stir in milk, salt, cream cheese, and pepper.
Pour soup into a bowl, top with parmesan and leftover basil leaves, and bask in your culinary prowess!
This soup only takes 10 minutes to prepare, and it's sooooo good!
I hope you all have a lovely weekend! I'm going to be spending mine doing LOTS of studying, but I'm hoping to take a break to see Black Swan. It looks disturbing, so I hope it won't give me nightmares!
One more thing...
My friend, Ashley, is spending the year teaching third grade at a school in Cairo, Egypt. If you haven't heard, the country is experiencing lots of turmoil right now. Please keep Egypt, and everyone living there, in your thoughts...There is so much power in prayer!
Have you ever been stranded in a snow storm?
What soup screams "comfort" to you?