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Archive for the ‘recipe reviews’ Category

Jen dove back into the recipe book tonight, this time preparing Janet’s Chicken Cacciatore. Now, I’ve still never met Janet. I think she’s avoiding me. She has come up in conversation enough times that if I don’t recognize someone that Jen is talking to, I accuse her of being Janet, especially now that Lisa’s existence has been proven.

This is not the first time I’ve eaten Chicken Cacciatore. When I went to class at APL for my masters, I used to stop at Mamma Lucia’s for a chicken parm sub. This was an almost weekly occurrence, but I was too cheap to buy anything other than the sandwich. I determined that I would treat myself to a real meal the last time I went there before graduating. Having confused Chicken Cacciatore with Chicken Piccata, I accidentally ordered it for my celebratory meal.

The thing is, I don’t really care for peppers. They cause imbalance in the humors, make the blood angry. Regardless, Jen cooked it to perfection. Everything was of the perfect crispness, except for the chicken, which was appropriately moist. I are the peppers with gusto, because, damnit, my wife made me peppers and I was going to persevere. I couldn’t let Janet down either.

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Tilapia

This is not like previous lives of the blog. If a friend gives me a recipe and especially if my sainted wife cooks it, I’m not allowed to not like it publicly.

Don’t read too much into that disclaimer. The Tilapia over spinach with mango salsa and rice was good. It needed soy sauce maybe, but so does everything. At least salt and pepper. We want to try a different salsa next time. Otherwise, yes, good.

In other news, Jen got me a wonderful Christmas present, The Economist. There’s a minor problem. I read it all the time…and still can’t keep up. There’s so much information in that magazine, much of which is interesting. Sure, I’ve never before said to myself “gee, I wonder what’s been happening in the upcoming election in Kazakhstan,” but if you stick it in front of my face, I’m going to want to know. I like opening my eyes, I really do. I’m not even really all that close-minded. I care more about how the rise of the middle class changed the wine industry than I need to. I like having useless tidbits at my disposal. I like the fact that I read the letters to the editor and don’t feel stupider, instead feeling cowed by the heads of state and government ministers that chime in on a weekly basis. Since I don’t know what it means, I would sign it Eric Furst, Esquire, should I ever write in.

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Lemon Bars

We bought a bed today, a soft one, a queen, which is by the way only 6 inches wider than a full, but felt a lot bigger in the mattress store. We’ve been intentionally hemorrhaging money – I saved up a bunch of money solely for the purpose of dumping it all into a bevy of purchases designed to dislodge any vestiges of my previous life. Money buys stuff, and stuff confuses you until you forget what you were looking for, or even who you were.

That’s why you also need lemon bars. This was from my mom, thank you very much Amy, lemon bars better than you’re MOM’s meatloaf. Notoriously fickle, Jen took a game shot at them and managed to nail the flavor exactly right. The crust maybe needed four more minutes and the top layer another minute, and yes, we need a sifter for the powdered sugar, but shoot, I knew where it came from the minute I inhaled the sweet sweet [sugar into my lungs] aroma of lemon bars wafting from the oven.

One of these days I might get around to giving a special Words review of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Prison Letters – until then, you have this from Goodreads.

I’m still deciding how much I like Dave Barry, who is about as far from Bonhoeffer as one can get. I loved the first three chapters of A Series of Unfortunate Events as well – then it was the same for 3 straight books and it got stale. Barry is clever and weird, let’s see how high he flies with that.

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Meatloaf

I don’t know what writing on here is going to look like in the future. I don’t know what to write about…or, more accurately, if I’m allowed to write about the things that I want to write about. One must maintain some minimum level of decorum. But before I start doing that, when you neglect to share your bed with people for 28 years, you know what you learn? Sleeping with someone else in a full size bed is not easy. I need some damn sleep.

Anyway, that has nothing to do with meatloaf. Otherwise things are fine. We have a ton of stuff in my house, and we need to figure out where to put it all. We went on a honeymoon to Ocean City, MD and saw almost no one. That was fun, incidentally. If the walls could blog…but I’m not the walls.

Still no meatloaf.

Rewind two months. Jen has her bridal shower, receiving almost no skimpy attire. Instead, she receives recipes. Me, I cook 5 times a week and never use recipes. I do everything on feel, a little bit of this, a little more of that, uhh, maybe make it hotter, colder, 3 or 4 more minutes, too acidic, needs pepper, maybe it’d taste better with soy sauce – as much as it is assumed that I’m anal retentive and formulaic, I really just do something based on how I feel like they should be done. I’m hardly an expert, but if you’ve eaten my food enough times, you’d have to admit it’s pretty decent. Not repeatable, mind you, but most of the time I get it together OK. So, I’m not a big recipe guy. Jen? She IS a big recipe guy. Err, girl. Everyone brings a recipe on an index card, all the index cards are compiled into a scrap book, food ensues.

I, in need of a gimmick, decided I was going to blog about our different recipes. Tonight was meatloaf. I don’t know who made it, but it seems like perhaps one of the Amys. The concept is meatloaf with onions, bisquick, ketchup/brown sugar sauce, ground beef and pork – pretty straightforward in mixture. Instead of baking it as a giant mass, you’re supposed to cook each clump separately, sort of like a tall hamburger. You still do it in pyrex and so on, it’s just not one lump. Jen, who was cooking tonight, supplemented with massed sweet potatoes and corn.

Not sure what to say now. It was good. It was tasty. The sauce was tangy. The meatloaf tasted like meatloaf, but maybe 20% better than most meatloaves. We have leftovers, which is nice. The recipe brazenly exclaimed “better than your mom’s meatloaf.” Better than MY mom’s or Jen’s mom’s? Don’t you talk about my mom. She doesn’t even make meatloaf, but if she did, it’d be better than your mom’s meatloaf. Maybe it’s better than your mom’s meatloaf, but you don’t even know my mom. Maybe it’s better than Jen’s mom’s meatloaf, fine, I’ll give you that. I don’t know if she makes meatloaf either.

Take it back.

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