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Feeding a Cold

I can’t remember if it’s starve a cold and feed a flu, or if it’s the other way around. But either way, I have a cold, an appetite, a husband and three children to feed, so I guess it doesn’t really matter.

What I don’t have a lot of is energy, so lastnight while my daughter was rearranging my recipe folder, I came up with this quick and easy dinner, inspired by ingredients she was reading off to me from the different index cards. A hodge-podge of sorts, but it came together.

I’m terrible at memorizing, well actually, I’m terrible at giving memorization a try. I really cling to rules of thumb, like when making dough use half fat to flour. Also, I like measurements that are consecutive, like 4/3/2 Crepe batter (eggs, milk, flour).

So last night I just decided to do 1 Tb. of the main ingredients. I had some frozen Prawns (why Seafood sounded good while I sniffle and sneeze, I’ll never know) that we defrosted by placing them in a glass dish with cold water.

I diced up some Shallots, some Parsley, some Garlic, waited for the Prawns to defrost, then started on the sauce.

This recipe also gave me another excuse to use my new Wok. It has become my bright-red friend in the kitchen, which is interesting because I’m not a fan of the color red, mostly with regard to flowers, except Tulips…I digress. Anyway, I love the wok. I really do.

So here is the simple sauce:

1Tb. Tamari (Soy Sauce w/ less Salt)

1Tb. Hoisin Sauce (Sweet & Tangy)

1Tb. Asian Sauce (also Sweet, but not as)

A little EVOO

A pinch of Kosher Salt

A dash of Pepper

There you have it, 1/1/1 Tamari/Hoisin/Asian. I combined it all together while I waited for the Cauliflower to steam. What?! Cauliflower? I forgot to mention that. I told you it was hodge-podge and completely random, but it was good.

After the Cauliflower was steamed, I took it out of the Wok and added the Prawns to sizzle quickly. I turned them once and then added the rest of the sauce right away, along with the Cauliflower. I put the lid on and cooked everything for a minute or so, then turned off the burner. There is nothing more unsatisfying than chewy Prawns, so they don’t have to cook long.

I’m sorry I don’t have any other pics for you. We listen to Flamenco music on Pandora via my cell phone while cooking, doing homework, organizing, etc. which also has the only working camera in the house right now. Taking the cell phone out of the docking station to take pictures changes the mood, you know? 

Well I hope you try this simple sauce, which can be amended for Chicken or Beef. Add Brown Sugar, Corn Starch to thicken it up, Lime Juice to keep it fresh. Explore. Try something new!

Meringue: A Lesson in Architecture

I was in the city today and took this snapshot of a poplular department store’s facade. I love the concrete lines and the black ironworks. This is what I imagine my make-believe castle would look like. Tucked atop a lavendar-terraced hill overlooking the Mediteranean Sea….oh my, excuse me, let’s get back to reality.

As I was saying, I was in the city and enjoyed looking at all the architectural features of the old buildings, and clean lines of the modern ones.

The expertise it takes to create a city of concrete and iron astounds me. I mean, have you seen the EMP in Seattle? The feasibility study on that one building alone must’ve taken years and a lot of ink to paper. I got to thinking, what if we put this much effort into the architecture of our lives?

It’s not like God gave me an instruction booklet on myself. A self-manual would tell me that I turn into the bad lady in 101 Dalmations after thirty minutes of hunger; it would tell me that I’m too spontaneous to make weekly plans; to avoid more than two drinks of alcohol or I’ll get sick-the upchuck kind; never to cut my hair above my chin because I’ll hide until it grows back out. These are the kinds of things it would’ve been good to know before the experience. But alas, experience helps us to set the foundations for the architecture of our lives.

Experience proved to the first person to ever make meringue, that whipping egg whites for days would deliver you a wonderful, sweet and fun topping for pie. Imagine her (I assume it was “her” but could very well have been “he”) cooking over an outdoor fire, mixing her egg whites to glaze pot pies or turnovers perhaps. Maybe she was frustrated with her husband out hunting all day, and whipped those eggs whites into a frenzy, and to her amazement…out came Meringue!

All that just to say that I’m trying to pay more attention to the details of my life. But I know that it will never be perfect. We just put one stone in place at a time…just like the builders of great cityscapes. So, I leave you with a link to a Meringue recipe I hope you will try…and remember the architecture of your life…one day at a time! Enjoy!

Achieving a Golden Brown: Pancakes and Bodies

Recently we settled on plans for a family vacation to Hawaii. We leave in a couple of months, and since I live in the Northwest, it is a good idea to get a nice base tan before exposing my fair skin to an unbiased sun. The sun does not see me sitting on the sand and decide, “oh, I’m gonna go easy on her. She’s fair-skinned.”

So today, I walked into one of the prevalent tanning salons adorning every street in town, much like coffee stands in our area. I think coffee stands and tanning salons take up more square inches per block in Washington, than in any other state in the country.

The last time I “fake-baked,” (do they still say that?) was probably right before I got married…13 years ago! Boy, has the tanning industry changed. After listening to the manager explain membership options a mile a minute, I was signed up and fingerprinted at a cost of $75! What did I get myself into? Fingerprints? Really? Does the Government work with Desert Sun if I don’t file my taxes right? I left feeling a little vulnerable…but tan.

So in honor of achieving a golden brown tan in lieu of burning in Hawaii, I leave you with this recipe for the most delicious Golden Brown Potato Pancakes and a question:

What industry have you seen change dramatically during the last 10 years? You now have my answer!

Potato Pancakes (Cayou Cove, Orcas Island, WA)

2 lg. baking potato
3 eggs
1 1/2Tb. flour
1/2tsp. salt
a crack of pepper
1Tb. shallot
1/4 inch canola oil in bottom of fry pan
2 pads of butter in bottom of fry pan

Peel and shred potatoes and put in bowl with ice cold water, cover for 30 minutes.
Mix together, eggs,flour,salt, pepper and shallots in large bowl.
Heat frying pan over medium heat, add oil and butter.
Drain the potatoes and squeeze by hand until dry.
Mix potatoes with egg mixture.
When pan is hot enough fry a spoonful of potato mixture, flattened with fingers. When golden brown, turn to cook other side.

Serve immediately! Enjoy!

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