Tuesday, May 31, 2011

All's fair in love and slaw.

It's been a long day.  The day after a holiday is always murder where I work.  Lots of stress between my day job and theatre stuff.  That's OK.  I lost 5.6 pounds this week at Weight Watchers. 

You would think that trying to lose weight would make food my enemy.  Instead, we're becoming best friends.  Veggies, fruit, cheese, you're my homeboys.  Fresh herbs, I heart you!  Eggs.  Well, I think I'm falling in love.  I'm learning that cooking is a way to feed not only my hungry hubby (and my cat), but it's a way to feed my soul.  It's also my favorite way to show that I care. 

A few weeks ago, I gave my mom a surprise 50th birthday party.  It was a southern picnic.  Fried chicken, corn bread, red velvet cake, LOTS of sweet tea vodka, the works.  While I didn't make everything, I made my new favorite recipe.  You see, I was going to make a basic slaw, but I didn't have any celery seed.  So, I said, "Shannon, you have about forty different spices in your pantry.  Seriously, you can't find something else to flavor that boring old cabbage with?"  OK.  Maybe it was more like "Crap.  Where's the freaking celery seed!  What the hell am I going to do?  Damn, damn, damn!!!" 

So, out came the Chinese five spice, soy sauce, Trader Joe's Orange Muscat Vinegar, sesame seeds, Sriracha, sesame oil, and mayonnaise.  Five minutes later I had that best slaw ever!  My husband, who hates slaw with a passion had two helpings!  Two! 

It did pretty well yesterday at our friends Mark and Kelly's Memorial Day barbecue, too!  Celery seed?  What celery seed?

Spicy Asian Slaw

2 Bags slaw mix - either plain cabbage, like I used, or rainbow slaw
1/2 - 3/4 cup reduced fat mayonaise - depends on how creamy you like it
1 - 2 tablespoons Sriracha  - - I like it hot!!! 
2 tablespoons of toasted sesame seeds
1/2 cup apple cider vineagar
1/4 cup Trader Joe's Orange Muscat Vineagar
2 teaspoons Chinese five spice
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
salt and pepper to taste

Toast sesame seeds in a dry pan until golden - - when you start to smell them, they're done.  Let cool.  Whisk together all of the ingrediants except slaw and sesame seeds (taste to make sure you have it the way you like it).  Pour mixture and seeds over slaw and toss.  Chill for a half hour to an hour to let the flavors marry.  Serve to those you love!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

I heart chickens and eggs.

   So, it's been quite a while since I've blogged.  Tons of quick late night dinners after long rehearsals.  Ah, the life of a director. 

   Eggs have been an absolute lifesaver lately.  Scrambled with goat cheese, a nice side salad, and a piece of Trader Joe's whole wheat flat bread.  So good after a long rehearsal.  Still, I can't wait until I have time to really cook.  I just don't have the energy right now.  The grocery stores are finally getting in some gorgeous produce.  I can't wait to start using it.  Fresh tomatoes, corn, berries . . . I think I just had a producegasm. 

  Last week, I finally had one night to play with my food.  So, I made one of my favorite made up inventive meals, Tarragon Chicken Salad.  Not only was it a nice dinner, but it got me through a week of lunches. 

Tarragon Chicken Salad

1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 bunch of tarragon - chopped
1/4 cup reduced fat mayo
1/4 cup - 1/2 cup low fat greek yogurt
2 big old tablespoons spicy brown mustard
olive oil for roasting

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Place chicken in a roasting pan (or baking sheet) and drizzle with olive oil.  Sprinkle with plenty of salt and pepper.  Roast for 35 to 45 minutes until no pink is left.  Chop into bite sized pieces.

Mix mayo, greek yogurt, mustard, and tarragon (a little salt and pepper, too).  Pour over chicken and mix well.

Serve with a nice soft Hawaiian roll or hamburger bun (I like Fiber One).

Monday, January 31, 2011

New Toy!

So, I am thirty.  Well, thirty and one day.  So far, so good.  The best part?  My new Kitchen Aid 12 Cup Food Processor.  I love her!  Yes, it's a her . . . Patty.  Yep, that's right, Patty the Food Processor.  The BEST gift my hubby ever gave me. Thanks, Honey.

So tonight I whipped up my favorite thing for dinner.  Curry Meatloaf!  YUM!

1 1/2 lbs. of your favorite meat mix (I used a meatloaf mix of Beef, Veal, and Pork)
1 Tsp. Curry Powder
1 Tsp. Cumin
1 Tsp. Cayenne Pepper (more or less depending on how spicy you like it)
1 Tsp. Coriander
1 Tsp. Garam Masala
2 Shallots
4 Cloves of Garlic
1/4 Cup of Plain Breadcrumbs
1/4 Cup Greek Yogurt

Give your shallots and garlic a rough chop and throw them in your food processor.  Then toss the rest of your ingredients in and blitz them a couple of good times until they are well mixed.  Shape into a loaf and put on your favorite baking sheet (I used a cast iron skillet and it gave me a really nice crust).  Bake for about 45 minutes to an hour at 375 - 400 degrees.  My oven sucks, so I have to keep a close eye on everything.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

It's snowing!

So, it's snowing in Delaware.  Yay. 

  I remember when this was fun.  Staying home.  Sledding.  Eating snow until your face was frozen.  Those days are long gone.  Now the grumpy, almost thirty me grumbles at "those damn kids" wearing their pj's inside out, wishing for a day off of school.  Don't they know work doesn't let out for snow?  Brats. ; )

  I do love snuggling up to my hubby, Tom, and my cat, Sheldon, on these nights.  I also love making a big old, stick to your ribs dinner.  Tonight was turkey cutlets with pan gravy (I finally found the perfect use for my herbs de provence).  I roasted up some multi-colored fingerling potatoes - - thanks to our 45 minute trip to Wegmans last weekend - - that were tossed in olive oil and rosemary.  And we had a  - - slightly squishy - - tomato salad .  And a slice of Tastefully Simple homemade beer bread.

No recipe.  Just threw it together.  I'm starting to realize that those are my best meals. 

   I love all of the watching and waiting that goes into a meal like this.  Temperature too low?  Boost it up to 400!  Ooops.  There goes the smoke alarm.  Potatoes are officially done.  Turkey released itself from the pan - - flip 'em!  Make a quick roux.  Throw in some stock.  Hello Gravy!  It was yummy.  And I still have enough Weight Watchers points for some hot cocoa.  OK.  Maybe snow isn't so bad.