“Come, let’s be a comfortable couple and take care of each other! How glad we shall be, that we have somebody we are fond of always, to talk to and sit with.” Charles Dickens
My husband Greg and I love our little pleasurable routines. It really doesn’t take much to make us happy. We don’t need high adventure, fast cars, tall mountains, or Broadway plays. We get a kick out of watching Jay Leno’s “headlines” segment on Monday nights and reruns of “30 Rock”. We can’t wait to snuggle up on Sundays to watch Downton Abbey when it reappears on PBS this winter. He often watches sports, while I contentedly piddle on Facebook from a comfy loveseat nearby.
We enjoy quiet road trips with Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra playing in the background more than attending rousing stage concerts. Greg stands and greets me with a kiss every morning as I stumble into the kitchen; me waking up to my first cup of coffee two hours after he’s greeted the morning. We watch Brian Williams tell the news every evening (in his friendly voice, even the worst disasters sound less terrible). Then I serve our suppers, all prettily plated, as we eat in living room, our feet up, hearts at ease. We usually clean up the unbelievably messy kitchen, afterwards, together.
During the summer we meet outside on the porch swing for Happy Hour and conversation at 5:00 p.m. We go to bed, each reading our e-books, a glass of ice water on my bedside table. I slather on Lemon Cream Lotion and Greg always says I smell like lemon pie before he kisses me goodnight, wishing me sweet dreams. Then he hands me the treasures that have somehow gathered on our bed during the day: hair clips, reading glasses, books, jewelry, pens and notebooks, stray socks, apple cores — clearing room for us to ease under the quilt and fall asleep.
We’re mostly One-Note Nellys without much need for variety or grand adventures. We find, in the comfort of each other’s company, all the thrill we generally need. A free evening with nothing planned is typically our idea of perfection.
Our date night’s are inevitably to our favorite Asian restaurant, John Holly’s, followed by a movie. At John Holly’s I always order the same thing: Moo-Shu Veggies. I pile them up on thin rice pancakes with a drizzle of thick salty-sweet Hoison Sauce and dash of sriracha, then rolled the delicious stuff up like a burrito.
This quick and savory-sweet recipe for Moo-Shu uses thin uncooked flour tortillas (easier to find than rice pancakes) and has become one of my favorite veggie based cook-at-home meals now. Greg likes it with chicken but you can substitute edamame, tofu or scrambled egg (or combo thereof) to avoid meat and make this easily vegetarian or vegan.
Easy Moo Shu Veggie or Chicken Wraps
1 16 ounce package of pre-shredded Asian or colorful Cole Slaw mix
1 cup fresh snow peas, chopped into ½ inch pieces
1 cup fresh chopped mushrooms, any kind
1 cup chopped or shredded cooked chicken (or sub 1/2 cup diced tofu, edamame or raw egg, whisked)
1 large clove garlic
1 T. olive oil
1 T. sesame oil
3 T. soy sauce
1 T. maple syrup, honey, molasses or brown sugar
salt & pepper to taste
4- 5 uncooked Tortillas (or the thinnest pre-cooked tortillas you can find)
½ cup Hoison Sauce (in Asian sections)
¼ cup hot chili sauce or sriracha (optional, if you like heat)
1/2 cup cashew pieces or sliced almonds
In a large skillet or walk, heat oils and 1 minced fresh garlic clove. Toss in slaw, chopped snow peas and mushrooms. Add chicken and/or tofu/egg. Cook until tender-crisp. Add soy and your choice of sweetener. Heat through. Add salt or pepper if needed to season.
Lightly cook/brown the tortillas on a flat skillet. Put about ½ cup of the hot veggie mix down the middle of each tortilla. Sprinkle with 2 T. sliced almonds or cashew pieces. Drizzle on Hoison and dot with a little hot chili sauce or shriracha if you enjoy some heat with your Asian food.
Roll up like a burrito and slice on the diagonal, in half to serve.
Variations: Use any veggies you like: peppers, bean sprouts, water chestnuts, celery, some fresh grated ginger – use your taste and imagination. Try using leftover beef, pork or shrimp instead. Experiment with different nuts or sesame seeds, sliced green onions, crispy Chinese noodles or fried won ton strips, perhaps a squeeze of fresh lime.