Sunday, April 17, 2011
I wish I had a photo for this wonderful dish, but I don't, reason being my wonderful son ate the whole thing and I didn't get a photo. However, here is my rendition of pasta and peas: Pasta and Peas: 8 oz. of whole grain pasta, such as a fusilli frozen peas (you determine the amount but I really like peas, so...) 1 teas. extra virgin olive oil 3-4 slices bacon, chopped and browned 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 c. mushrooms, whatever you like, cremini, shantrelle, whatever, just make sure they are chopped. 1TBSP flour 2 TBSP white wine, such as a pinot grigio 1 cup. chicken broth 1/4 c. whipping cream lots of freshly ground pepper Parmeson cheese Well, cook the pasta in boiling salted water for however long the package tells you to. Drop the olive oil into the skillet, and throw down your bacon. Let it cook til nearly brown, stir in the garlic, throw down the mushrooms and let them cook til the moisture is absorbed and they let out their fragrance. Okay, now drop the flour, coat the mushroom mixture. Now for the wine, drop that in. Let your mixture begin to thicken, pour in the chicken broth and peas. If it just won't thicken, use some corn starch to get it going. Remove from heat, stir in cream and pepper, toss with pasta. Top with shaved parmesan. Whoe baby, we got a party starting. Nice.
Yummy, yummy, yummy.
I've learned to make a quiche. Oh boy. This has been sort of an ongoing effort of mine, such as meat loaf, which I finally mastered after twenty or so years of experimenting with it. I was a miserable meatloaf master at one point. Finally got it down after probably 150 tries in however many years.
Okay. So, here we go with the quiche.
You can make a pie crust but that's not essential. I bought Pillsbury already made pie crust and arranged it nicely in my quiche pan.
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 c. onion, chopped
1/2 cup sour cream
3 or 4 slices bacon, diced and browned
broccoli or spinach, whichever you prefer (today I used broccoli, but if you use spinach, be sure you thaw it properly and squeeze the moisture out)
Shredded cheddar cheese
A sprinkling of thyme
A pinch of cayenne pepper
Preheat oven to 400°. Okay, chop your onion and lay it in the pie crust. Beat your eggs, sour cream, milk, salt and pepper, thyme and cayenne together. Again, I do not measure, this is all up to individual taste. Throw the browned bacon into the pie shell with the onion. Pour your egg mixture over. Throw the broccoli or spinach on top. If you use spinach, the frozen kind, be sure you drain and squeeze all the moisture out of it before hand or you will have a real mess on your hands. Throw down your cheddar cheese. Sprinkle some parmesan over top. Bake at 400° for about 45 minutes or until your wonderful quiche is brown and a fork slips through easily.
Serve with blueberry muffins, another one of my personal favorites.
Coming next is my recipe for pasta and peas, which I am certain my dear friend, Leigh, would appreciate, and which I will forward to her. I have no picture, as my son ate the whole thing before I could photograph it. Sorry. Oh.
Sunday, April 10, 2011
No doubt about it, writing is tough work. It is taxing, mentally and emotionally, and there are times when it is just easier to get up and walk away from it. And sometimes we should. It's not easy to stay inspired. However, here are a few tips for those times when you would rather do your taxes or go to the dentist than write anything at all, when the well's run dry, when you are just so tired of words you could burn every Thesaurus in the country. 1. Read. Read, read, read. Soak up other writers' words for awhile, follow their thought process. 2. Redfine your goals. What made you start this process in the first place? How did you feel at the beginning? What does it mean for you to be successful? Are you willing to change your goals? Remember, changing your goals does not mean that you've failed. 3. Reignite. How did you feel about your story a year ago? How have you improved your writing? Which character do you love the most? How do you want the story arc to fall? 4. Rejuvenate. Seriously. Go for a walk with your dog. Visit an art museum or a garden. Eat healthy food. Watch the sun come up or go down, or both. Allow yourself to slow down and be inspired by the little things, such as a cake display in a bakery window, or a pretty toddler in a pink dress, or seashells in a jar. Take care of your mind and spirit by thinking positive thoughts. Think the best of yourself. Don't put yourself down. Play with your writing. Make it fun again. Remember always, if you don't write your stories, who is going to?