Wednesday, May 13, 2009

wicked, bad, evil, naughty blogger!

A few years ago, I helped a friend prepare for a dinner party at her house. Her son's bassett hound stood up on its hind legs and licked the potatoes that were on the counter. She exclaimed, "wicked, bad, evil, naughty dog!" at the poor pooch. I was in the dining room and didn't see what Winnie the hound had done but rather I just heard a rather proper, almost British exclamation of "wicked, bad, evil, naughty dog!" I laughed myself silly. She also once called Winnie a miserable cur. I think there is something to be said for creative insults to animals who misbehave. I always borrow from the book Rebbecca and call my beagles "filthy beggars". Not the most original but really, they are filthy beggars.

Ok, so I have been a very wicked, bad, evil, naughty blogger lately. I have been cooking and I have been eating... I just have not been blogging about it at all. I guess I am streaky (you know, I get on a good steak and then fizzle out) when it comes to blogging. I fear I am streaky when it comes to everything in life. Sigh.

I made chicken bouillabaisse recently. Here it is -

Very delicious and a lot of fun to make. Some foods are just more fun to cook than others and I would say this one is way up there. I used Jacques Pepin's recipe from Food and Wine and it can be found here. I did not use the Pernod or the tarragon at the end since I liked the more subtle anise flavor from the fennel seed. I also took my chicken off the bone when it came time to serve since I couldn't see fighting with the bone at the dining room table. If you make this, be sure to make the rouille which is a homemade garlic mayonnaise. It is excellent and is guaranteed to give you garlic breath for a week!

Friday, May 1, 2009

a little alliteration or life lessons learned

The following is a sample of things I have learned through experience over the years.


1. You can indeed teach an old dog new tricks.
2. Bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people.
3. Cats hate water and the people who put them in the water.
4. I cannot eat whatever I want and wear single digit sized clothing.
5. I will always love my family no matter what.
6. Curtains really do add a lot to a room.
7. Having a creative hobby is very important to my mental wellness.
8. Even a crazy, super neat freak, introverted, silly, ultra-conservative yet completely irreverent girl can find a man who loves her in this world!
9. Having a pet (or two) is a very good thing.
10.Beef and broccoli, no matter how tasty it is, will never be photogenic.

Beef and broccoli
Serves 4
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 cup beef stock
1 teaspoon sriracha sauce (careful! it's hot!)
Ground pepper
1 1/4 pounds top sirloin, cut diagonally across the grain into 1/2-inch-by-3-inch strips
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 head broccoli, florets separated into bite-size pieces
1 medium onion slice
4 white mushrooms, sliced
Coarse salt
In a large, shallow bowl, mix 1 tablespoon soy sauce and sarachi sauce, Add meat; toss to coat. Let marinate 15 minutes. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over high heat. In two batches, cook meat until browned, turning once, about 2 minutes per batch. Remove meat.
In same skillet, fry broccoli in remaining oil over high heat until bright green and crisp, tossing often, 2 minutes. Add onions and mushrooms to pan and sauté until tender, about 6 minutes.
Stir together remaining soy sauce, beef stock, and cornstarch, add to pan, and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring, until thickened, 30 seconds. Return meat to pan; toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with jasmine rice and some egg rolls that your husband picked up on the way home!