July 22, 2007

Dining at Home

I thought I'd follow up on my last post and let you know how my Asian Fusion dinner was.

The Szechuan Guacamole was very good. The ingredients were very interesting (toasted sesame oil, soy sauce, chinese five spice, ginger and oriental chile paste) which made the dip spicy and tangy. I served it with rice chips, cauliflower and carrots. I really wanted to have daikon instead of carrots for an all white dipping theme but there was none to be had.

The Szechuan Noodle Salad was good. This was a cold soba noodle salad with a marinade of soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, rice vinegar, ginger and a bit of that oriental chile paste. I was hoping for more of a kick with the chile paste so will definitely add more next time. I julienned a red bell pepper, yellow squash and snow peas which was a great combination and just the right amount of "crunch".

The Asian Fritatta was excellent. I stir fried onions, garlic, asparagus, julienned carrot, shitake mushrooms and mung bean sprouts and added soy sauce. This was placed in a baking dish and then 6 eggs were beaten and poured on top. I also made a sauce of water, soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, sherry and scallions which was thickened with corn starch. I had been hesitating about the sauce but was glad that I made it as it really added a nice touch.

For dessert I made a peach crumble. I got this from the Moosewood Dessert cookbook and the crumble had flour and cornmeal, sugar and butter. I used frozen peaches since they are so much cheaper. The dish was very good but I'll probably use less sugar next time. This was served with vanilla ice cream

After dinner we watched "Who the #$&% is Jackson Pollock?", a documentary about a woman who purchased a painting at a thrift store and then spent the next 10 years trying to get it authenticated. This was a very interesting look at the art world.

So the evening was a success and we ate and drank too much but that's okay. The best thing is that I have lots of leftovers!!

July 19, 2007

Cooking Fool

I love to cook. I love to cook for other people. I love to make salads and casseroles and pasta dishes. I am not a fan of stir frying but will do so if push comes to shove. I really love baking. If you could see my kitchen you would say "how in the hell do you cook in this thing?". My house consists of an upstairs open space and a downstairs open space with a bathroom off the living room and a screened porch. Anyway, my kitchen has a refrigerator, a counter top convection oven, an electric burner that caterers use, a microwave and a toaster oven. I am the queen of single-burner cooking and often make four course meals for my friends with my eclectic collection of appliances.

I love to read. I love to read cookbooks. I have a large selection of vegetarian cookbooks but make only a few dishes from most of them so I have decided to create my own cookbook of favorites and dishes I'd like to try but I get so bogged down in reading the cookbook that I revert to those tried and true recipes. I'm trying to decide how I'd like to arrange the recipes and have decided, for now, that I'll group them by menus instead of by dish type. I just love those cookbooks that have menus. I don't know why since I rarely ever create an entire dinner around the menus.

Now I'll share my very first menu, which I'll be making this Saturday, from my new shiny white cookbook.

  • Szechuan Guacamole (surrounded by daikon, cauliflower and rice crackers)
  • Cold Szechuan Noodle Salad
  • Asian Frittata (this is a baked dish rather than stove-top)
  • Peach Crumble with vanilla ice cream
Hungry yet?

July 8, 2007

Put It On My Tab

I use Yahoo! Mail and they have a nice little service where you can email yourself a reminder AND view your calendar at the bottom of your mail page.

Well, today my mail consists of:
Yahoo! Reminder: SBC due 7/11
Yahoo! Reminder: Target Visa Payment Due 7/11
Yahoo! Reminder: Dell Payment Due 7/10
Yahoo! Reminder: Arkansas.net Auto Debit (that's my online service)
Yahoo! Reminder: Insurance Due 7/11
Yahoo! Reminder: ANB Card Due 7/13

And my calendar of "events" consists of these same bills due.

Jesusfuckingchrist! And that's not counting the electric bill I just paid or the Chase card I just paid! How in the hell did I get myself into this pickle? Thank goodness I don't have a house payment or I'd have to rob a bank! The one good thing about all this is that because of these reminders I am never late on my bills.

The next time I even whisper the words "I want" please slap me up side da head.

July 5, 2007

Up In Smoke

I've been thinking about fireworks and fireworks vendors lately. The fireworks themselves must be really cheap for these seasonal vendors to make any money. And then they have to sit outside all day and sweat to death. And the plethoria of stands is mind boggling. There are 3 stands from my house to where I work which is only a 15 minute drive on a fairly rural road.

And then there are the people who buy the crap. I just had a client come and and say that her kids had spent 100 bucks on fireworks which went up in smoke in less that an hour. What a waste of money. I just don't get the appeal.

That said, I do enjoy sparklers...no loud noise, nothing unpredictable. Well, I just learned that they are considered one of the more dangerous fireworks because of the heat they produce. Hmph. I used to love black cats but they are too loud now. I never liked bottle rockets or anything that shoots. I know, I'm a weenie but who cares? I'm just glad that fireworks time is only once a year.

July 3, 2007

Beverly Sills

Beverly Sills died last night and now a bright light is missing from the classical music world. I remember how exciting it was when she became the general director of the New York City Opera, the first woman to hold that position. I used to love seeing her on Carol Burnett.
I'm not a huge fan of Opera but she has always been the definition of the word to me.

July 2, 2007

Foggy Monday

Monday morning comes way too early for me. My alarm clock starts yakking at 5 AM and I listen to "Morning Edition" for about an hour before I start getting ready for work.

This morning's news was filled with the attempted car bombings in Great Britain and the amount of money raised by Obama and Clinton for their campaigns. The bombing attempts are disturbing but seem to be business as usual in the current world climate. The amount of money being raised for political campaigns is nothing short of obscene. How can candidates raise that much money and then talk about how much they connect with the "little guy"? Something has to change in the world of campaign funding yet it seems that politicians are afraid of any kind of change.

I'm too sleepy and foggy to keep this train of thought so I'd best shut up now.

July 1, 2007

White Wedding Reception

Northwest Arkansas is a melting pot of upper and lower incomes, Caucasians, Hispanics, Vietnamese, Koreans, and now African-Americans. Yesterday I went to a party with all white honkies in all income levels. There were "business men", millionaires, teachers, financial advisers, newspaper columnists, builders, artists, shoe-shine "boys", factory employees and one lone veterinary receptionist. The amount of badly dyed hair was astounding. I'm sure the dollars spent on cosmetic surgery would have solved our health care crisis. The amount of tequila and other spirits being consumed was, as usual, very high. The occasion? A wedding reception. The bride was on the road to teary eyed inebriation and the groom seemed to be holding his own. What an interesting gathering. The venue was outside of the newlywed's home with food tables in the garage and round dining tables in the driveway. The food was, in typical ozark style, a barbeque with lots of dead animal flesh, overly sweet barbeque beans, velvetta cheesy scalloped potatoes and a fairly good broccoli salad. There were appetizers inside the house and consisted of a cheese ball, cubes of cheese, fruit, crab dip and crackers. The dessert table had punch, a cake and petit fours. This was a true "southern living" style house and party.