Chitlins, I have a super easy “30-minute meal” for y’all. It goes well with that naan I posted recently (when the heck did I post that, like a week ago?). It’s great if you’re having one of those massive brain fart days where you can’t even seem to remember your own address, or birthday, or the day of the week. That’s how I feel today, do you ever get that? Is there such a thing as delayed jet lag? ‘Cuz I totally think I’m experiencing that.
Sometimes when I make a recipe, I don’t change it all. I mean, maybe I sub a different herb because I’m lazy or I have some crazy herbs growing in my backyard. Sometimes, I don’t know enough about the flavor combo/cooking technique to feel like I need to experiment just yet. Other times, I have guests coming and I’d rather not end up with an epic kitchen fail and nothing to serve. Memorial Day would fall into every single one of those categories.
A few weeks ago, after one of our skiing trips, I felt like poo when we got back to the city. I mean, coughing, sneezing, the whole wretched bit of sickness. So I took off two days from work, which rarely happens, and stayed home. I slept and then when I couldn’t sleep I baked. And when I couldn’t do either of those I ate comfort soup and caught up on Downton Abbey. It was a rough life.
Welcome back Chitlins! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and have had sufficient time to crawl out of your food coma to attend this lovely Monday morning at the office. Since I’m sure all your refrigerators are bursting to full with a million Tupperware containers of leftovers from Thursday I thought I’d help you out with that.
My father is not very good at languages. It’s a well-known and oft joked about fact in our family. Sometimes he’ll grace us with his rendition of instructions written in different languages. Where some people are tone-deaf, my father is “accent-deaf,” and he speaks everything in a hopeless American accent that would make a native-speaker of the other language cringe. We find it hysterical. If it’s a matter of repeating what someone else has told him, he has better luck, sort of.
My mother is a bit better. For all her love of languages, there are often times where she will repeat a single word over and over trying different accents and emphases. It can be humorous, though after several attempts one begins to wonder if she merely enjoys hearing the sound of her own voice. Lovely as her voice is, one word stuck on loop can be a bit daunting at times.
On the off-chance that you haven’t lost all your teeth and aren’t blind drunk from the last several recipes I posted, here’s a little something to help abate the sugar rush. Chicken roll-ups with spinach, ricotta, mozzarella and a lemon herb butter.
While it is true I eat meat, I don’t generally cook meat for myself (unless it’s bacon, or even better than that, DUCK bacon), mostly because it’s expensive and I’m lazy. Vegetables often require minimal preparation, and even if you undercooked them you’re not liable to get sick. I, thankfully, like my bacon burnt to a crisp, to the point where it’s practically bacon dust and the kitchen is full of smoke and you can hardly see in front of your face. That’s just how I roll. Unfortunately, The BF, much like my father, cannot subsist on vegetables alone. And I am therefore, obliged to cook meat, that isn’t just bacon, once in a while. Continue reading
My mother has this Christmas cactus that has been in my parent’s house since the dawn of time. At least for as long as I can remember, anyway. And all while I was growing up I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why it was called a “Christmas cactus” specifically. I reasoned that it had something to do with the colors, the cactus tentacles are a deep green and the flowers are a nice burgundy red. But here’s the reason I had trouble figuring it out: Christmas cacti are supposed to bloom in the winter. But my mother’s poor cactus is hopelessly out of season. It blooms in the spring, or mid-summer. My years of confusion were justified: my mother’s cactus has an identity crisis.
I’m sort of like that cactus. Especially when it comes to baking. I bristle under seasonal baking. Not because I don’t like the fresher ingredients, I do. But for whatever reason it’s always in the dead of summer that I yearn for potpie, or in the throes of a particularly cold winter that I want the most complicated bread that needs super extra rising time in temperatures approaching the climate of a tropical rainforest. Funny story, I know. What makes it even funnier though? Like most apartments in New York I don’t have an air-conditioned kitchen, and while there is this thing by the window that I think is supposed to be a heater, I’ll be damned if it produces any heat. So you can be sure that in the dead of summer my apartment is about 15 degrees warmer than it is outside (despite the arsenal of fans I have set up to produce a dizzying number of cross breezes); and in the winter it’s a solid two degrees above freezing. Really complicates my out of season baking habit. Doesn’t stop it, though. Continue reading