Humor for the week

My friend Katie and I went to get our toes prettied yesterday. How we have never noticed the waxing sign in the window before yesterday, we will never know, but it gave us quite a laugh.

Do you order these by name? Beyond the heart and diamond, can you get other shapes upon request? And most importantly, who gets paid to come up with these names?

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Spicy coconut curry mussels

 

I am a picky seafood eater. Brian is not. Brian is from Florida and loves all things seafood and probably wishes I made it more often. Sometimes I like to surprise him with seafood dishes. I made this over the weekend for the two of us.

Adapted from This Girl Can Eat:

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds of mussels(scrubbed, debearded and discard broken)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons red curry paste
  • 1 (13.5oz) can of lite coconut milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh, grated ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon thai chili sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce(optional)
  • juice from 1/2 lime
  • chopped cilantro
  • french bread

In a large pot, add the butter, garlic, wine, curry paste and coconut milk.

Bring this to a boil over high heat. Stir. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 2-3 minutes.

Stir in the ginger and white pepper; turn the heat back to high. 

Add the mussels and cover the pot.

Cook until the mussels open, about 3-5 minutes. Mix in the Sriracha sauce, fish sauce and squeeze in the lime juice.

Remove the opened mussels immediately with a slotted spoon and arrange in wide soup bowls. Allow the cooking liquid to settle for a minute. This way, any sand or sediment will fall to the bottom. Carefully spoon the liquid over the mussels. Top with cilantro. Serve immediately with french bread for sopping up the sauce.

Tahini-lemon kale salad

I like kale. I like kale chips. I like pasta bakes with kale. And now, I like kale salad. I also like that kale is considered to be the most nutritious vegetable in the world.

So, when More Cheese More Chocolate posted a recipe for Kale Salad with Tahini-Lemon dressing, I knew I would be picking up a bunch of kale on my next trip to the store.

And so I did. And what a very good decision that was. This salad if hearty and refreshing. And the best thing? You can make it and it stays good for a few days because the kale doesn’t go limp easily.

Dressing:

  • juice of one lemon(2-3 tablespoons)
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2-3 tablespoons tahini
  • 1-2 minced garlic cloves(I substituted roasted garlic)
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste

Mix ingredients together in a small bowl. Taste and adjust ingredients to your liking.

Tear leaves of washed kale into bite-sized pieces, discarding stems. I used about 2/3 of a large bunch of kale. I would have used the whole bunch, but my bowl was full.

Pour dressing over kale and mix until leaves are coated but not saturated.

Wait at least 20 minutes to eat. I refrigerated mine at this point and didn’t eat until the next day. Then, I ate some more the next day. And the next. By day 3 it was getting a little wimpy for me, but still very tasty.

This salad will become a frequent side at my house.

Best pizza crust: white wine and honey pizza dough

This is the best pizza crust I have ever eaten. Hands down.

White wine and honey pizza dough(adapted from Girl Versus Dough)

Ingredients:

  • 6 tablespoons warm water
  • 2 tablespoons white wine
  • 3/4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups flour

Instructions:

In a large bowl, combine water, white wine and yeast. Whisk until yeast dissolves.

Add honey, salt and olive oil. Stir to combine.

Add flour and work with fingers until dough comes together. On lightly floured surface, knead for about 2 minutes or until dough smooth and elastic.

Put kneaded dough into a lightly greased bowl, cover and let rise until doubled in size. This should take about 1-2 hours.

Preheat oven to 500F. Put dough on lightly greased cookie sheet and use fingers to spread out. Then use rolling-pin to roll out to desired thickness.

Top with desired toppings. Like sauce and baby portabellas:

Then add some pre-cooked eggplant and zucchini:

Then top with slices of havarti:

Cook for 10 minutes or until crust is golden brown:

Enjoy with an ear of corn and kale salad:

This pizza was so good that Brian and I couldn’t stop eating it. I made the pie for lunch and by 6pm that day we had polished off the entire thing. Granted, I don’t think we ate dinner that day as we were stuffed. I can’t wait to make this crust again.

Huevos Ranchero’s cousin

I love Huevos Rancheros. It’s almost a sure bet that if it’s on a brunch menu, that is what I’ll be ordering.

My plan for breakfast this morning was to make huevos rancheros. Unfortunately, not doing a full pantry assessment first caused me to make several adjustments. Fortunately, it was still a very tasty breakfast.

I heated up some small flour tortillas in the microwave to soften them. This was the first adjustment, as I would have much rather had corn tortillas. Then I heated up some refried beans and smeared them on the tortillas. Sprinkle the beans with a little bit of Mexican cheese blend or your preferred cheese. Then top with a fried egg and some cilantro. I drizzled a healthy dose of hot sauce on mine. Then, pick up and eat like a taco. A very tasty taco. This is a very easy and nutritious breakfast that is fast to make.

Roasted garlic

Roasting garlic is super easy and a great way to add flavor to dishes.

I roasted 6 heads of garlic the other day. Brian and I ate a whole head plain when it came out of the oven and was cooled enough to eat. I used some in a chicken and biscuits I made for Brian and mixed some in a dressing I made for More Cheese More Chocolate’s kale salad. It’s great used as a spread on sandwiches because it’s so mellow. It stores easily in the refrigerator for about a week.

Roasting your own garlic is easy as 1, 2, 3.

1. Cut. After peeling off the skin around the head of garlic, cut the tips off the cloves to expose them.

2. Wrap. Drizzle with olive oil(salt and pepper, if you desire) and wrap in aluminum foil. I use a square of aluminum foil, set the garlic oiled side up and bring the aluminum foil up around the garlic and twist closed at the top to make a closed packet.

3. Roast. Preheat the oven to 400F. When the temperature reaches 400F place packets of garlic in oven for 30-35 minutes. When doing multiple heads of garlic, I set the packets on a baking tray so they are easier to put in and pull out of the oven. Let cool for 15 minutes before opening packets as they’ll be very hot. Use immediately or store in air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Maifest

I spent very little time in the kitchen in the past few days. Summertime in Chicago beckons me out of the house…and subsequently, out of the kitchen.

Thursday night I enjoyed a nice dinner at XOCO with Brock and Brian. Friday Emily, Brian and I saw the new X-Men movie. They liked it. I wasn’t a fan. Saturday, I spent the day in the suburbs at a baby shower then headed to a surprise prom themed birthday party.

I didn’t cook until Sunday when I made egg bakes for breakfast. Then I threw some pork in the crock pot to make a batch of pulled pork for Brian to eat this week. We headed out the door to Maifest where we enjoyed big beers:

Bratwurst and homemade pretzels(that gave me an itch to make pretzels again soon):

And did I mention that I liked the pretzels?