16 pro tips: Why you should make fontina smothered mushrooms. Coming right up.

 

1. So you’ll have something to stuff your face with. Duh.

2. Because they go good with wine.

3. Wait. What doesn’t?

4. To prevent that bag of spinach from dying in your crisper drawer like it does every.single.time. Just me?

5. So you’ll have a reason to go home and stop buying Christmas presents… for yourself. I suck.

6. Bubbly, golden cheese.

7. No, seriously. #6.

8. Because it’s such a light, little snack that you totally deserve a pint of ice cream afterwards. Plus a cookie.

9. Treadmill what?

10. Uh, because I don’t think six slices of bacon and a diamond of baklava qualifies as lunch. For serious.

11. No, really. All that cheese is healthy. Full of vitamins!

12. They look all sorts of Christmas-y and stuff. Red and green FTW.

13. You can feed your friend’s faces with cute little mushrooms in a cute little skillet.

14. Then… if a make-believe burglar starts climbing up the side of your house and tapping on your window, you can grab your trusty (dirty) skillet out of the sink (what is this thing called… dish washing?) and set it on your nightstand to whomp him on the head.

15. I didn’t do that. I think.

16. Because man… you’re hungry.

Stuffed Fontina Portobello Skillet

serves 2-4

8 portobello mushrooms, stems removed

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 shallot, thinly sliced

1 small red pepper, chopped

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 (8 oz) bag of fresh spinach

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

2 tablespoons parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

8-10 slices of fontina cheese

fresh parsley for garnish

Heat a skillet over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add shallots and peppers with salt and pepper, cooking until soft – about 5 minutes. Add in garlic and spinach, cooking until spinach wilts, then stir in smoked paprika and parmesan.

Remove spinach mixture from skillet and set aside in a bowl. Add remaining olive oil in skillet, then place mushrooms in the pan stem side down. Cook for 5-6 minutes, then flip. Cook for 5 minutes more, then fill each mushroom with an equal amount of the spinach mixture. Turn the heat under the skillet off, and heat the broiler in your oven.

Dizzle balsamic into pan and gently stir mushrooms to coat, then add a slice of fontina on top of each. Place under the broiler for 2-3 minutes, or until cheese gets bubbly and melts. Serve immediately, garnished with parsley if desired and with crusty bread.

You in?

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I found myself contemplating good and bad karma as I sat with an IV tube for
fluid rehydration hastily stuck in my arm by a religious nurse with a dirty wig.  I found her excessively poor beside manner a welcome distraction from the havoc
taking place in my gut.

 The evening before, something terrible went on in my system. It
forced nearly every ounce of fluid contained in my body to come out in one
undesirable way or another, and, sometimes, in unison. This is liver cancer, so I was told.

I would have at least considered weeping (for the hell of it) had it not been for the fact that I had already purged every ounce of body fluid available to me. And, of course, the nurse with the dirty wig had made it clear to me that I would not be released back into the wild until I could
take my bladder (along with my IV) to the public facilities and produce a urine sample for her (and all of the hair on her chiny-chin-chin). So, there I sat waiting, with cold saline slowly dripping into my left arm to bypass my knotted stomach. Looking to the air-conditioning vent above me, I pondering my situation and prayed that I would be healthy enough to get up and walk out of there, let alone get on with my life.

That was March 9th and I still have no health insurance as a consolation prize. In the aftermath, I have lost everything. My house, my money, my dignity…as I waited for Obama Care to kick in. Meanwhile, I sell my worldly goods to buy the drugs I need just for comfort.

I know this blog has gone dark. You don’t have to” not comment” to remind me. But for fuck’s sake, it’s my only means of any legacy at all at this point!! At least every post is indelible for all time. And so I bitch into eternity………

There will be no recipe tonight. I ordered Chinese food.

I love you

Mark this date…watch it grow.

I thought that just the very act of moving into my new home would somehow transform my life. It didn’t happen. exactly.

 The move itself represented the very loud THUD of a chapter closing. A chapter with many subchapters that I did not want to let go of. Everything ends. Simply everything.

This now opens the door to everything new. I’m a scared little girl in a big world all alone with my decisions and consequences. I’ve entered into a lease agreement for 12 months and tho I love love the uniqueness of the place, it didn’t wrap its arms around me right away. It was about the time I began to unpack my life into this unfamiliar space that I started to feel the home vibe creeping in. It’s still reluctant to take hold, but I am still reluctant to let go. There is such a big piece of my life to say goodbye to in order to embrace the new. That gaping wound has barely healed. That pain. The pain that has been my last five years of excuses, and bad decisions…

….is gone now

When the light switch finally turned on in my dense little brain, and I suddenly began to think of all of the amazing opportunities that are ahead of me, I was properly humbled. When I began to think positive, the details became less ragged, the pain more dull and life’s lessons emblazoned on my soul no longer shows outwardly. (maybe except for this last mention of it). Because everything begins again, Simply everything.

Would you like a recipe?? This is a cooking blog after all. I made myself hasselback potatoes tonight for dinner.

This recipe will earn a place in your box! (I love how that sounds mysteriously dirty)

Ingredients

2 Tablespoons Butter

potatoes

1 piece (about 2 Inches Long) Parmigiano-Reggiano, Sliced Thinly

⅛ teaspoons Garlic Powder

¼ teaspoons Kosher Salt

2 teaspoons Olive Oil

¼ cups Heavy Cream

¼ cups Cheddar Cheese Blend

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 400ºF. Scrub potatoes.

You need 2 wooden spoons with handles of the same width. Place a spoon on each side of the potato and start slicing the potato into thin slices. The spoons will stop the knife from cutting all the way through the potato.

Slice the butter into thin pieces. Alternate the butter and the parmesan, stuffing them in between the slices of the potato. Season the potato with garlic powder and kosher salt. Drizzle the potato with olive oil.

Bake at 400ºF for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and drizzle heavy cream over the potatoes. Top with cheddar cheese.

Place back in the oven for 10-12 more minutes. Now go eat.

 

I Love You

The coffee cup rings on my notebook smear the ink on the page, blurring one day into the next. My life has followed similar suit recently. One day I was the person that I thought I was. And then 5 years later, I am this unfamiliar person I have become. I sat in the tub for three hours and cried tonight. I’m not sure if it’s the relief of the finality I feel, or the unknown terror I now face. Or maybe it’s just the fact that I moved in the heat of the desert, 117 at it’s hottest point, and my body is reacting to the stress of the event. Whatever the culprit, it’s as if a giant fist swooped in and took an enormous chunk out of my belly, leaving me nothing but a gaping wound to contend with.

Macy is madly burying cookies in the sofa in order to make it home. She too, is feeling displaced. And I’m not much consolation to her tonight.

It’s the last night in my house. It’s the last night period. The calamity has been packed in brown wrapping paper and put away.

I’m stretched pretty thin with the to do list being monumental and the forbidden being tempting.

How did I get into this mad situation?

Tonight’s chore, to drain the pool. 15,000 gallons of it down the drain. I can’t responsibly leave that body of water behind. So today I put up a final ad on Craig’s list.. foreclosure Sale…last day. Will barter for services. And Brian answered that ad tonight.

He arrived at sundown as promised. Emptying swimming pools is NOT an HOA approved activity. So it’s generally done in the dark. Brian arrived curbside in a red Toyota of sorts that has seen better years. He scrambled out in a bumbling way, shy. But there was no need for that. He was 6 ft 2 with dirty ponytail hair, a chiseled face and lean body. OK, at the very least, this was going to be entertaining.

We introduced ourselves mid stride in the driveway as Brian began to set up shop. I asked him if he’d like to see the goods he was getting in trade prior to starting work. He said “no, I’ll earn my keep and we’ll take it from there.”

Creepy already. Keep in mind this guy is going to sink a pump to the bottom of my pool and monitor it’s emptying all night. All night. At which point in the instructions of this process I asked him, “can I just dive in at 2 AM to move the pump myself. I’ll text ya in the morning when it’s done.” He agreed to that. But that’s not what happened……………

As he was bending over to give me a plumber’s crack view I saw in the waistband of Brian’s pants, a gun. All I could see was the butt, both of them, but I was suddenly nervous…. Scared as shit actually. It was as if he had intentionally displayed it to threaten me because when I was staring at his ass earlier, there was no evidence. I calmly walked into the house to find my cell phone readying 911 for the inevitable call, really fearing for my life for a few minutes, and then wondering how it would all go down.

After breathing deep cause I was already in it, no matter what is was, I said to him, ” I can’t help but notice your gun. So if your intention is rape murder or pillage of my homestead, let’s just put our cards on the table. Cause frankly dude, I am surprised by nothing. I can roll with this too.

Brian laughed and then choked it back when he saw I meant it. He apologized all over himself like a new puppy and put the thing in his truck, and my mind at ease. So here I am 10:55 PM and under the cloak of night, emptying my pool with Brian hovering close in case I need him.

I have no idea how this is going to turn out so I’ll cross my fingers while fingering my rosary. Blind faith has always lead to blinding rewards.

And I know my turn is soon.. no one could doubt it.

Red and Gold Beet Salad

Beet Chips:
3 medium red beets,
sliced very thin
3 medium golden beets, sliced very thin

Marinated Beets:
3 medium red beets, roasted*, peeled and cut into small dice
medium golden beets, roasted*, peeled and cut into small dice
3 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp maple syrup, or honey

Beet Almond “Chevre” Mousse
cup ground raw almonds (or almond flour)
2 Tbsp organic lemon juice
1/4 tsp sea salt (or to taste)
2-4 Tbsp filtered water
1 small garlic clove
1 small roasted red beet*

Salad:
1 large bunch of baby
arugula, spinach, or a mixture of your favorite greens
1 raw golden beet, peeled and cut into thin matchsticks
1 raw red beet, peeled and cut into thin matchsticks
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp lemon juice
sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup shelled pistachios

To make beet chips,
Place them on a tray in a dehydrater and dry them for about 8 hours or more
depending on the size of the beets.  When dry, coat with a light coating of
olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.  Set aside.

To make marinade
Beets (dividing between 2 separate bowls), combine beets, lemon juice (1
1/2 Tbsp each bowl or about 1/2 a lemon) and honey (about 1/2 Tbsp each
bowl) and toss to combine.  Set aside.

To make beet chevre mousse,
combine all ingredients, except water in the food processor and process until
blended, then add a little water at a time until it is a chevre consistency (but
not too runny).  Place the mixture in a pastry bag, and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine greens and julienned beets and drizzle with olive oil and
lemon juice.  Sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.  Toss
to combine.

To plate, place a mound of the greens on each of 3 plates,
and sprinkle with pistachios.  Spoon a bit of the marinated beets onto each
plate, and pipe a fat line of the beet “chevre” onto each plate as well.  Place
a few of the beet chips onto each plate as well, and serve!

*To roast
beets, wrap them in foil  (I did separate foil for the gold and red beets to
preserve the color) and roast them at 475 degrees for about 1 hour or more until
tender when poked with a knife (depending on the size of the beets).  Remove
from oven, and let cool before peeling.

As I transition / downscale / look for my next space on this earth to call my own I feel I am faltering.

I admit I’m addicted to a certain kind of sadness and wonder now how much I am intentionally perputating …. just to feel normal

when I know that normal is the one thing I need to overcome.