Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Ask and you shall receive.

The chicken recipe from last night has been requested. And rightfully so...it was fantastic. Here you go!

Gorgonzola Chicken with Balsamic Reduction
2 chicken breast steaks
About 1oz gorgonzola, crumbled
Salt & pepper
Cooking spray
White wine
Balsamic vinegar, about a 1/4 cup
Squeeze of honey, about a tbsp

Make slits in the chicken lengthwise, stuff with gorgonzola. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and a bit of rosemary.

Coat pan with cooking spray and bring to high heat. Brown chicken for about 3 minutes, then flip carefully (some cheese will escape. It's cool). Add a good splash of wine, reduce to medium heat. Cover, and cook about 10 minutes or until cooked through. Check about halfway through and add a splash of water if the wine has evaporated.

While the chicken cooks, combine vinegar, honey, and some salt and pepper (healthy pinch each) in a shallow sauce pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 5-8 minutes until thick. Serve over the chicken.

-posted out of laziness from my iPhone.

Monday, June 28, 2010

I'm melting.

It's hard to cook when it's 105 outside. My options are fairly limited-I mean, I can BBQ, but that means I have to go outside. And I can make something on the stove, but its already so hot in my kitchen I don't even have the light on.

See, we don't have a/c. We have what's called a Master Cool. Which is basically a glorified swamp cooler. Which, if you live in a normal climate and don't know, is this. We run it all night, so by morning the house is wonderfully chilly...it's the coming home from work part that's quite literally hellish.

But we'll survive. I grew up in heat, and even though seven years in San Diego completely spoiled me, I re-acclimate ok. As much as I don't want to.

And so, armed with the new issue of Cooking Light, I made my menu for the week. Of course, I could have started off with a no-cook meal, such the caprese I made this weekend:

Buuut I'm a glutton for punishment. I opted for a Baked French Onion (recipe courtesy the Parallel, who I am happy to say is writing not just one fabulous blog these days, but two. Who got the recipe from her sister, I believe...I do adore the MacVittie fam...) and wine-steamed chicken stuffed with gorgonzola and topped with a balsamic-honey reduction. Oh. Yes.

Hot? Yes. Worth it? Um, yessss. And now, I'm off to run through the sprinklers before taking my third cold shower of the day.

Baked French Onion
White onion
Beef bouillon cube
1 tsp butter
1 slice Swiss cheese
Tin foil
Parsley, to garnish

Easy. Cut ends off onion and peel it. Take a melon baller or small spoon (a teaspoon worked well) and scoop a hole in one end.

Place bouillon cube and butter in the hole. Top with cheese(break it up a bit). Wrap in foil, hole side up.

Either BBQ on med-high or bake at 350 for about 30 minutes. (I used the toaster oven.)

Not exactly the prettiest once you cut into it completely, but ridiculously easy and just as delicious as if you'd made soup. And way less time over a stove.

-posted out of necessity from my iPhone.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

At least I didn't buy them at Walmart.

I tend to swear up and down that I refuse to support something, be it stores (Walmart, Kmart), the color chartreuse, frozen dinners, or the Fox News Channel. So I'm saddened to say I broke one of my own rules today and committed a self imposed PammySin.

I bought silk flowers.

Now, I'm not saying I haven't seen them done well for events or even in homes. But it's not the norm, and we all know it.

So my superficial side (my left, my good side) thinks the only 'acceptable' arrangements are real. And I love me some fresh flowers. Calla Lillies, stargazers, tulips...anything but carnations. Carnations are the ugly stepdaughters of flowers. Men, don't waste your money. Trust me on this.

But. It's not the cheapest solution. And since I wanted two vases displayed permanently on my mantle, it just wasn't feasible. Sigh. To be rich.

Anyway, here's how it turned out.

And this is why I'm ok with it:
Hubby: Oh, flowers. Nice!
Pammy: Thanks! I hoped they looked ok.
Hubby: (...smells them) wait...(feels them)...they aren't real?
Pammy:...and that's why I bought them.

So yes, they're fake. Do me a favor and tell me they look real, willya? My self esteem depends on it. Thanks.

-posted out of laziness from my iPhone.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Just Kidding.

Not about the curry. Just about the effectiveness of my Internet.

Curry was delicious.

-posted out of pissedoffness from my iPhone.


Ladies and Gentlemen, as of 10 minutes ago, we have internet connection. I am whole once again. And it only took 9 phone calls, 2 modems, 1 threat of injury, and one actual injury. And now, it's time to cook. It's a curry night!!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Someone wire my mouth shut.

Please. I'm desperate. People keep putting things like this in front of me:

Man, diet is on in full effect next week. Cause I'll be damned if I'm not going for the gold this week. Gluten and all. You try not to eat mushroom alfredo tortellini when it smells/looks/tastes like this did. (It was family style, this wasn't just mine) So.good. If it were fat free I'd eat it every meal ever.

I just drooled a little, sorry. I'm off to pick at the leftovers now. Which I'm just going to pretend aren't full of wheat, butter, cream, and cheese.

-posted out of laziness from my iPhone.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Two daring cooks are better than one.

It's that time of the month again. Which, hmmm. I shouldn't phrase it like that...sooo... specifically, it's the 14th, so it's Daring Cook time.

This month's challenge? Pate. Yes, the liver based mushy meatloaf stuff that, if ever offered, you probably refuse to try. Even hubby made quite the face when I told him, and he'll eat cow tongue all day long.

I've had it, though, both rabbit and chicken, and it's really pretty good. So I won't say I was stoked to make it, but I wasn't icked out, either.

And since I just so happen to be staying with my fellow Darer (?) this month, Parallel and I decided become expert pate chefs together.

I'm not sure if that's technically allowed, however (there are rules about these things, you know), so we made two kinds. The problem, however, was that apparently liver of any kind can't be purchased on a Sunday in Buffalo. Sooo we opted for the veggie option, and then got creative and made up our own veggie recipe for the second. I'll post both when I can get to a computer, cause look how fancy schmancy we were. Would make for good party food, definitely.

And since the cooking challenge for the month cheated and also asked us to bake, Parallel and I defiantly baked the easiest bread I know. I'm assuming pate would go better with the homemade baguettes they recommended, but eh. Over it. Beer bread is more fun. Not even close to gluten free, but...

The mandatory part:our hostesses this month, Evelyne of Cheap Ethnic Eatz, and Valerie of The Chocolate Bunny, chose delicious pate with freshly baked bread as their June Daring Cook's challenge! They've provided us with 4 different pate recipes to choose from and are allowing us to go wild with our homemade bread choice.

And here it is:

Beer bread
3 cups flour
1tbsp baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
1 bottle of beer
(the darker the better)
1 tbsp melted butter

Preheat oven to 375.

Mix dry ingredients, add beer. Mix well. Spread into a loaf pan. Bake 50 minutes. Brush butter over loaf. Cook an additional 5 minutes.

-posted out of laziness from my iPhone.

Friday, June 11, 2010

The buffalo shuffle

I'm writing this from the first portion of our flight to Buffalo. With the time change, I have no clue what time it is...all I know is that we have been on our 4.5 hour flight for just about 3 hours. Which means we land in Baltimore (Hi Liv!!) at 3:30 PST. And since we're on southwest, which no longer serves food on cross country flights, well, I'm gonna be ready to eat. So im hoping we have a chance to grab something during our layover. Cause if there's one thing hubby and I know about each other, it's that a lack of food=miserable travel.

We've been doing our best to keep our blood sugar up in the meantime...southwest has a $4 special on screwdrivers this month.

They also have a special on turbulance, apparently. Ugh.

Buffalo by 10pm ET!

*Update: food happened. Crab soup and salad for me, and the soft crab sandwich for hubs.

Not too shabby. I've been promised buffalo wings upon arrival at our final destination, so I took it easy. Cause what I need at 10pm is hot wings, right?

-posted out of necessity from my iPhone.

Spicy noodles with chicken and cucumber

I think maybe one of my favorite things about Asian food is how awesome the prep work always looks. Colorful, textureful, flavorful. Just...full, if you will.

It may look like a lot is going on here, but it really was quick. Careful with the sriracha. It was hot even for us, so be warned (I put in a hefty squirt).

Spicy noodles with chicken and cucumber
adapted from a Cooking Light cold sesame noodles recipe

About 8 oz of chicken tenders
Peanut oil
Salt and pepper
About 3 servings rice sticks
1 cucumber peeled, seeded, then sliced or chopped
1 tbsp fish sauce
Large clove garlic, minced
About an inch of peeled Ginger, minced
2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
Sriracha to taste
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp sesame seeds
One stalk green onion, chopped
Handful dry-roasted peanuts, chopped

Boil enough water to cover the dry noodles. Pour over noodles, let sit until just tender to eat, 10 min or more (taste a couple times if you need to). Drain and rinse well.

In the meantime, heat a splash of peanut oil over medium high. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper, cook about 5 min a side or until just cooked. Let cool, tear into small pieces.

In small bowl, mix 1 tbsp peanut oil, and fish sauce through honey. In large bowl, combine cucumber, chicken, sesame seeds and noodles. Pour sauce over. Toss well, top with peanuts and green onion.

-posted out of laziness from my iPhone

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

He's good.

Me: Does sitting on an exercise ball count If I'm drinking champagne and eating candy?

Hubby (without a pause, non condescendingly): No. They cancel each other out.

I agree. I found a watermelon blow pop and it was fantastic. The champagne is prosecco, which was pretty necessary. I was celebrating the cable company's complete and utter ineptitude, which, yes, I documented. It was a slightly trying afternoon.

1:45: leave work to meet cable guy.
2:20: Brighthouse dude=my hero. We have metaphorical liftoff.
2:25-4:30: Work
4:35: Pick up "hippies use side door, no exeptions" sign from antique dealer. Been wanting forever, she special ordered for me. Highlight of day.
4:45: Camera shop. Find out a new camera battery costs $75. Not happening. Two days before New York, no camera=lowpoint of day.
7:05: On the phone with brighthouse again about my no longer functioning Internet.
7:35: Rep's boss is alerted that I called 8 times in the past 72 hours. Once past the initial omg-I'm-a-stalker-moment, I accept his offer to have his boss call me directly once they look over the issue.

Bossman Harold and I talked so many times I began altering my 'hello' for boredom's sake. Because instead of the usual hold music, he just called me back. Over. and. over. Which, while annoying, was helpful for cooking purposes:

Mmm. Meatballs and hubby pasta sauce, asparagus and garlic. Mmmmm.

Anyway, Harold, my bff.
8:00: PC is getting internet...mac is not. Airport either. Not ok. He will have a rep call to book a tech appt.
Not helpful, seeing that we're about to go on vacation and I'm not about to ask my father in law to meet a cable guy for us mid week.
9:30: We realize TiVo isn't working. Can't escape settings menu. Panic ensues. No internet I can handle-I can always cheat and use my phone. But TiVo? Oh, helllllll no.
10:05: Hubby may be a genius and fixed everything at once.
10:40 Ok, Maybe not genius, but we have TiVo again. (Still hero-status, go babe!)

Anything mac-related is still unable to receive a signal. Sigh. Guess I'll be chatting with Harold next week...good, cause I already miss him.

I promise this will be my last post about the internet fiasco, by the way. Cause it's going to be magically fixed by the time we get home from NY. And if it's not, well, I'm making hubby call. I quit.

-posted out of fat kidness from my iPhone.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Drink more water.

I have got to get back in shape. Between the eating out/delivery/lack of working out, I just feel gross. And I know we've been busy and I shouldn't be so hard on myself, but damnit, I've got a fighting weight, and it was about 12 lbs ago.

So. I finally got an afternoon to do yoga yesterday, which was fabulous. It's been much needed, let me tell you. I felt better immediately, which motivated me to throw together a pitcher of the best flavored water on the planet. Cause really, the more options I have in the fridge, the less likely I am to reach for the vodka. This is a fact.

Seriously, I love this stuff. I used to make it all the time when I was dieting. I've heard it called Jazzy Water, but, um, that's dumb. So lets just call it motivation water and be done with it. All you need is:
A couple slices lemon
A couple slices cucumber
A few small pieces peeled ginger
Small handful of mint leaves
Filtered water

I can drink this stuff all day. Which is the point.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Server not found.

Dude. Brighthouse. You=Fail.

Not having internet is so not ok. Especially when you pay roughly a buck a day to use said internet. They somehow didn't include it in our digital package, so after I finally got on the phone and through their phone tree (don't tell me I can use a normal speaking voice when you don't recognize me saying "no") I got it added. Turned on the computer, excitedly opened Firefox, and...nothing.

So I got to spend last night on the phone chatting with support techs. No less than three calls later, I gave up, figuring I'd be less grouchy (bitchy) today. Cause I may have been less than kind to the poor 15 yr old at tech support that at one point told me how to spell the word run. As in: "Type the word run"
"Run? Ok..."
"Run. R-U-"
"(hissss) I know how to spell it. I wanted to make sure you said it."

And still. After all that fun. Noth.ing. So I called today. And after an hour, answering the exact same questions and taking the exact same I'm-going-to-effing-kill-someone tone, I got my answer. I needed a new modem.

Really??? I could have told you that halfway through the first support call, jackass.

I wish I could adequately depict the size of my eyeroll. It almost hurt.

I'll have internet sometime between 2 and 3 pm on Wednesday. I'd be excited, but I'm far too busy making disgusted noises and doing an eye roll that would inspire a pre-teen. Cause I'm mature like that.

Told you. Sorry, mom. I believe that was halfway through the 3rd call. Utterly deserved.

-posted out of laziness from my iPhone.

Chicken Pasta with Chives and Capers

So, I've cooked exactly twice since we moved in. Between being busy with faux-homeowner stuff and not having any internet, I just haven't been in the mood to cook anything worth sharing. I'm working on it.

Although. Both meals were fairly awesome, I have to say. And so, here we go.

We've been trying to up the fiber in our diets, so veggies are an easy way to start. Enter zucchini ribbons. Add brown rice pasta to this Cooking Light Summer Chicken Salad with Herbs, and ta-dow. 4 grams a plate. Well...it's a start. (that's nothing, really, I'm aiming for closer to 30 a day. I read a fascinating article about bushmen and fiber and now I'm obsessed. No need to watch the video, btw. The freeze frame is awesome in itself.)

I'm actually surprised this recipe didn't call for pasta...it was pretty odd on its own. I used all white chicken (pre-cooked from the devil's market-aka F&E), and less than it called for, so that could be it. Either way, it was something new and tasty.

12oz cooked chicken, cooled and cubed
About 2-3 tbsp capers
3 servings pasta, cooked and cooled
About half a package chives, chopped (1/4 cup or less)
Fresh thyme leaves, about a 1/2 tbsp
fresh oregano, chopped, about a 1/2 tbsp
Zest of one lemon
Juice from half a lemon
Olive oil, about a tbsp
2 garlic cloves, minced
About 3 tbsp white wine vinegar (or mix vinegar and white wine, if you're me)
Salt and pepper to taste

In large bowl, mix chicken, capers and pasta. In smaller bowl, mix everything else. Pour over chicken and toss well.

Serves 3 (dinner and lunch the next day!)
About 375 cals, 6g fat

-posted out of laziness from my iPhone.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

We'll have great stories one day...

So we have been discovering, day by day, that an older house should basically come with a 'special needs' warning. Nothing is easy, and everything has a trick to work correctly. But man, McGyvering everything can be hugely entertaining when I'm in the right mood. When I'm not...well...we deal.

Operating the living room ceiling fan is like playing mortal kombat on the remote (left, left, up). The bathroom fan only works when the cooler is turned off. The garage door requires a padlock key to open. Until 4 hours ago, we had no deadbolt key...so if the deadbolt on the front door was locked, we had to go in the side gate and through the back door to get back in. And, of course, the best (worst) trick...lighting the range with my soon-to-be most used kitchen tool:

Sigh. Oh, well...it's always an adventure around here.

I'm just glad to cook again. It's going to be a bit of a challenge to get used to a new kitchen, but once I do, I know it'll feel more like home (as will finally being unpacked and decorated). We have next to no counter space here, so we had to get creative with our (my) many (MANY) appliances. I think it works. It's going to be a pain in the ass to keep clean and neat, but having it in plain sight will (hopefully) give me the motivation I need.

Here's hoping.

More updates to come once the internet decides to work. You know, for the amount of money I pay Brighthouse a month, I'm amazed how often I 'get' to chat with their phone tree...damn you, cable companies, you necessary evil, you.

Grrr. I'm feisty tonight. And what will help? A big fat Laker win (check), a husband doing dishes (check) and, obviously, my newest nephew, Brick. (check!!!)

Congrats, Parallel and Hubs! You two pick adorable babies!! Can't wait to meet him...way to go on picking him up before we get to town!

Hee. Puppies always cheer me up.