Monday, November 18, 2013

February: The Month-of-??? Recipes

It’s that time of year again. I blog daily in February with a recipe-a-day that fit a category. Two years ago, I blogged soup recipes daily. Last year I blogged chicken recipes. So what’s this February going to be?

As in the past, I let you, Dear Readers, decide that.

The three options for you are:

Eggs you say? Yes, eggs. Did you know the traditional chef’s toque has 100 pleats because it was said a real chef could prepare eggs 100 ways. Shoot, I only need to do 28 if you pick this one.

Mini-Desserts in shot glasses (though no longer confined there) began with Seasons 52, a wonderful chain restaurant that serves un-chain-like food. Seriously, look for one near you. I don’t often recommend restaurants. This one I do. But back to the desserts: There is something about a one or two-bite bit of sweetness after a meal that is satisfying on many levels--one of which is lowered calorie count.

Appetizers are such fun. I love appetizers parties where happy hour turns into dinner because of the heft and variety of appetizers served. In fact (she says with no modesty at all), my appetizer parties have brought me a small amount of acclaim.

Thems the three. Which do you want and/or need?

But why vote now? February seems so far away. Did you read my OCD post earlier? Well, in case you didn’t notice, there are a few holiday thingies coming up that will gobble up time, and it takes time to figure out what I am going to fix every day for 28 days straight. Oh, and did I mention the OCD post? So give me time to process this selection. Comments here, on FaceBook, and on Twitter will be combined to declare the winning category.

So comment below. Which category would you like to have 28 recipes for? Eggs, mini-desserts, or appetizers? The deadline for voting is December 1. Vote now and get your friends to vote, too.

I’m waiting with bated breath for the results. Really.

Friday, November 8, 2013

I am not OCD! (Am I? Am I?)

Cooking is like love.  It should be entered into with abandon or not at all.  ~Harriet van Horne

Am I overly compulsive? And just what the heck does “overly compulsive” mean anyway? Isn’t that just some procrastinator’s term for those who plan ahead, who like to plan ahead, who plan waaaay ahead?

Okay, so maybe I’m a tad on the compulsive side when it comes to food. (Certainly that is NOT the case with dusting, vacuuming, etc.)

When the kids were at home, family vacations were often in the wilds. Bring in your own water. Dig a hole for the latrine. That sort of wilds. Loved it!

But that meant no grocery store to pick up another stick of butter or Oops! No meat? Sorry. Let’s eat what we can forage. Planning ahead, making menus, stocking the cooler--that’s what fed my men.

They ribbed me, of course. But none of them ever turned down the shish-ke-babs and rice followed with chocolate cherry pie. No way. They made fun of my lists and menus, but that was the thin line that separated us from starvation. (Okay, maybe not starvation, but it did save us from the Dinty Moore canned stew my husband “prepared” on our first camping trip. That’s when I knew I had to take charge.)

So whenever anyone is coming to dinner or to stay with us for an extended time, I make menus. And file them. I wouldn’t want to serve the same thing twice to guests. Heaven forfend!

As we approach the holidays, the company is piling up. Pattycake and Jimbo will be here in a few weeks. Served them orange marmalade pork tenderloin, special marinade salmon, and cocoa chile chicken among other faves. So, I am scouring my recipe stash for some dishes I haven’t made in a while. Like chicken cupcakes for lunch. Avogolemono and lamb souvlaki for dinner.

Same with my sons and their companions. I have to serve them old favorites like French Dip for lunch and our traditional-always-the-same Christmas dinner. But I want to try things with them I haven’t served in a while, like Mongolian Hotpot (see my post on “The Girlfriend Test”).

Though they kid me mercilessly, as a working mom, planning menus was imperative. I had nutsy hours some weeks, so making sure they had good food options meant we rarely resorted to fast food like pizza for dinner.

So does that make me OCD? If so, I’ll take it because the stress of not having food organized would put me in the loony bin.