Thursday, August 26, 2010

I have a Dream . . . .

Okay in light of Saturday's aura I just couldn't resist but really I do actually have a dream.  And I drive by it often.  It's a location.  A store.  Or really it wants to be a store.  My store.  My place of awesomeness unleashed.  My books, chocolate, coffee, music, sex, tanning, wine, yarn shop.  Yeah, it's a stretch.  But then so am I.  It's what I want so bad I can taste it - but have no freakin idea how to make it happen.  I can see it - I can see me in it - I can see it doing so well that my kids are working it because they get great tips - but I don't know how to get there.  Ya know?  How does the dream become the real?  I don't know the first thing about owning something like this - running something like this - but I know it could work because I've seen it - you know - working.  The location could not be better - um train station to yuppie ville DC - um hello - coffee - train - a.m. hot barristas (boy and girl) how can this not work?  Again - afternoon - hello - wine - hot sommelier ( boy and girl)  Did I mention amazing brand new condos above me?  How can this NOT work?  But that's how it won't work because it won't jump out of my head and create itself.  Unlike this blog it doesn't just jump from my fingers onto a page and make itself real.  Or at least something other than a FOR LEASE sign.  I know the one I want too.  It's a corner store.  I'd look at the fountain - probably have to pee a lot but it's gorgeous.  I just need my friend B to help me.  She'd probably have to quit her job and move to my house and we would start this store together and she could bring her dog and live in my daughter's room because Trinity would happily move in with her sister because then she would have a job and make lots of money after school . . . . hey I said I have a dream.  And it could happen.  Some dreams are lofty and involve peace and love and little children getting along.  Some dreams involve excellent music, coffee, chocolate, wine, yarn and books (not in alpha order or tanning or sex)  but that doesn't make them less valid - I'm just scared.  But there have been lesser cliffs I have stood on and shied from and bigger and happily plunged to the depths.  So it's not the cliff - it's the jumper here that is the difference.  "Two roads diverged in a wood and I - I took the one less traveled by and that has made all the difference." I have a dream.  And me - being me - will go at it sideways and unconventional.  But then - stranger things have happened. :D

Friday, August 20, 2010

Girl on Grill

Sorry - I couldn't resist.  I have never thought I could grill.  At all.  Little did I know it was only beef that eluded me.  I can't grill a burger to save my sorry life.  Not gas, charcoal nor even the crazy - can't mess this up - George Foreman - I suck on the grilling of the beef.  SO I assumed I was sadly lacking the Grilling Gene.  UNTIL I wanted to make Thai Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce.  Okay so I am a Thai ho.  I admit it completely.  I da ho!  Totally!  First thing you do is get on your bike wearing a backpack and ride to Sky Mart here in Manassas Park, VA and then buy way too much to carry home on your sad almost flat rear tire!  Oh wait that's just me - normal people DRIVE to the grocery store. 

So here's what you do - and I kid you not this is yummy times a million and really the first thing I've grilled that doesn't taste like shoe leather (not that I've really tried that but a few burgers I've made had to have been close!)
Thai Chicken Satay

2 lbs of Boneless skinless chicken THIGHS yes thighs - not breast not tenders THIGHs you will be sorry if you don't - yes more fat but remember folks fat is flavor - not kidding here! Take them and cut off most of the crazy fat and tendon if there's any left and chunk them to go on sticks.

Coconut milk (NOT CREME - we are not making Pina Coladas)  1 can  - you only need half so we will make coconut rice with the other half

1 chunk of fresh ginger peeled and then grated finely about 1 Tb - you will need to grate more for the peanut sauce to follow so just do it all about 3 Tbs total

1/3 cup molassas

1 Tb good fish sauce (like I would know if it was BAD fish sauce lol!)

A freaking ton of minced garlic (that's just me)

Marinate the chicken chunks in this for at least 4 hours.

I did not soak my skewers and they actually did burn up but it didn't matter too much to me - your mileage may vary so soak if you want.

Peanut sauce
1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
1/2 can coconut milk
1T fish sauce
1 ton of garlic minced (you get the trend here)
1 and 1/2 T of minced fresh ginger
3 T of Dark Brown Sugar (like there is another kind?)
1 stalk of LemonGrass (now the question is does this matter if you can't find it? I love it and can find it so easy so that's not a question for me - you? if it's a PITA and you won't make this without it - no it doesn't matter- if you can get it cut off the bottom 4 inches and mince it finely - if not a squirt of lemon and a touch of peel  and you are golden :D)
a 1/4 cup of really hot water to make this more sauce than solid

I would have added a serrano pepper (or 3) here but I am feeding an old woman as well as myself so I did not want cardiac arrest at the table - me - would have loved it :D

Now comes the grilling AND to add craziness to this I actually decided to grill crazy HUGE clams as well!  So stoke up your grill - and just grill the hell out of the chicken I'll post for the clams at a later date but let's just say I pretty much lapped those bad boys up the second they hit the garlic lemon sauce!!!

I just watched them and let them get "grilled" looking.  Aka slightly burned but done looking - sorry you really can't mess this up if you DID not crowd them on the skewers.  NOW just get them off the skewers and dip in the sauce and you will be good to go.  If you want to marinate longer it's better (so I've been told) but really according to Alton Brown longer is not better so you decide.  Alton rocks and that's all I can say on this matter.  Geeky Sciencey Red HEADs  with facial hair just do me in (hello Mythbusters :D! oh and HI Roger )
Any questions on technique I will happily answer but understand I was just faking it on the grilling part.  The charcoal and years of watching other more experienced grillers was all I did.  This really was a yummy yummy meal!

Oh the rice :D
Take one part rice (you decide the part) rinse it like mad in cold water (like 4 times) add in your 2 parts coconut milk and water.  So if you do 1 cup rice you will need 2 cups of coconut milk and water mix.  If you can't figure this out call me or email me but most likely I will make you feel like a dumb ass so I guess just don't LOL! Bring to a boil and then cover and lower heat to almost nothing and DON'T FREAKING LOOK AT IT!!!! for about 15 min.  Turn off  and eat with Gusto.  Or Tony - or whoever you want to eat this with :D Enjoy is all I say :D

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Don't piss in your own bathwater

Ya know there just things I've heard or heard others say that just make me smile or laugh or go "WTF" but really it's the things that hit me mid-stream of thought that make me stop and go - "GD that was profound.  I need to write that shit down!"  And then I don't and it's gone. BUT, tonight, getting into my bath after "a day" and if you're caring for a 93 yr old MIL (not even my own momma sort of person) and 3 children - two of which girls and one of which is a boy who I actually tried to freakin fix his XBOX - you know that at the end of the day a bath is really all that will satisfy - and a bottle or two of wine!  So getting in I thought hmmmm - "Don't piss in your own bathwater!" Not because I wanted to - heck I had just peed - in toilet - but sort of in a profound - huh - that's what I need to NOT do sort of way. 

Now I am a huge fan of Moonstruck the Movie - Hell - if I thought Olympia Dukakis was gonna be playing my momma I'd do any stupid movie they threw my way. . . . and really Cher and I are like twins.  Yeah, twins only separated by the details of different egg and sperm!  But I digress (okay when don't I?) But Olympia/Rose offers that wisest of advise to her wanna be sex partner who's way too young for her and is sleeping with his college students and she knows who she is -but says "Don't shit where you eat!"  I really really like that saying - don't get me wrong - but it's different.  Don't shit where you eat is so in your face and yucky and well - it's eating shit.  Don't piss in your own bathwater - is well - subtle - THE B in subtle actually.  You CAN actually Piss in your own bathwater and no one will know - or care - and you won't even get sick.  But it's subtle.  It's nasty - to YOU.  It's not loving to you.  I'm not a huge - OH, give yourself a hug cuz you are so so special - sort of girl, but I am a "you matter so don't screw it up!" sort! 

We all matter. I matter.  I have 3 little people who really depend on me for more than just lunch.  I'm shaping the next HR managers (okay so I'm shooting for architect, actress, vet/actress but hey! kill me for dreaming!) but really we all matter even if it's to feed the cat across the street who needs it!  Pay attention.  Don't skimp on yourself if skimping is what you do - to you!  If you feed your own fat ass so much that you can't move well then this post isn't for you and my next post on MOVING that fat ass is!  I can also help that fat ass - since MOVE is kind of my mantra - and I'll do it in love and won't even charge you - That is how I roll - but anyway this Chautauqua is on being good so you live to the next day and can do more than just make lunch. 

Anyway - don't piss in your own bathwater.  It's true.  Just.  Don't and as the good book says The truth will set you free - even if it's 2+2 =4.  You feel free?  Good.

Friday, August 13, 2010

oh and tonight

It's stuffed Trader Joes Burgers!  Olives/pickles/onions/balsamic vinegar/pink salt mixed into TJ's sweet meat. And for those not wheat intolerant their whole grain buns.  For me lettuce wrap.  I love TJ's they are my sweet place of fun and happiness!

oh and tonight

It's stuffed Trader Joes Burgers!  Olives/pickles/onions/balsamic vinegar/pink salt mixed into TJ's sweet meat. And for those not wheat intolerant their whole grain buns.  For me lettuce wrap.  I love TJ's they are my sweet place of fun and happiness!

Zen and the art of cooking

So I'm reading the 1974 classic Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance which has been "on my list" for the longest darn time so I just finally trucked my butt to McKay's Used Books since my sort of strapped local Library doesn't have it.  I swear to you if I win any large amount of money after I have plastic surgery and my nails done - my library is getting a chunk since they need it very very badly!  So okay - I'm was already blown away by the first 13 pages.

Have you ever read anything that was so "right now" for you it's clearly not coincidence?  I've read things before that were just "okay - whatever" and then years or circumstances later I've reread it and was thinking "OMG" that was the best thing ever!  For me - Zen is just working.  Eat Pray Love was like that too.  I'm actually really upset about the movie since I'm sure it will suck compared to the book.  Maybe not.  But probably. 

So Cooking is my motorcycle maintenance I've discovered.  I've toyed with the idea of going to school to learn it right but honestly I would only want to cook for people I love or at least like.  I don't want to get paid to do this, I just want to do this.  Getting paid would change the dynamic for me completely.  We need to eat to live - (just ask the parent of an anorexic) so this is a need thing.  A basic - primal - 3 or at least 2 times a day thing.  It has to happen.  It's just the what that changes.  It can be BK.  It can be Ivy in LA.  It can be PB&J for goodness sakes but it's got to be something.  So cooking for me has turned into a bit of the Zen - actually it's really just dinner.  Breakfast can be weird - Lunch can be an afterthought leftover - but DINNER - dinner is the Buffet - it's the MEAT I've just discovered.  It's the NEW weird food I've found at my crazy Korean/Hispanic grocery produce market (they rock btw).  Dinner is my conscious passionate barbaric YAWP!  Maybe not to the rooftops but at least to the universe via the stomachs of those who consume it.  And parties - oh - I miss the parties.  I miss entertaining those who want to know, spend time and laugh with me.  So until there are more of those - it's just the dinner.  But it is my on purpose creativity that nourishes my family and in return feeds my soul.  Who could ask for more from a chickpea turned into hummus?  Really.