The Rain Delay is Over

I can't believe it's been more than 3 weeks since my last post. My sincerest apologies to my swarms of readers. What have I been up to you ask? My captive husband was best man at his brother's wedding in Minneapolis. With that union one of my favorite men married one of my favorite friends. A match made in heaven, a real star couple. Look for a full report on the state of the food in Minneapolis here soon.

We've also been moving. Into our first house. Check out my other rarely updated blog to see some photos of that project. I made my first meal there the other night. What a treat. I feel like an abused child that has been chained to a radiator (and Justin Timberlake wasn't my man like in Black Snake Moan) who has just been let free. The kitchen in our apartment of many years used to be a closet. Need I say more? It's 8 feet long and 3 feet wide. The refrigerator resides in the living room it's so small. Tiny, old electric stove. No room for flipping flapjacks or pizza dough. The trade off was worth it - endure that kitchen to live with my man. Food is my career, that's how much my man means to me. Now... I get the great husband in a kick ass kitchen. A gas stove with high power burners and slow simmer options. A warming drawer. 3 racks in the oven instead of one and now my half sheet pans will fit in them for baking. A dishwasher. A huge sink and oodles of counter space. All in sparkly stainless steel. Wow golly gosh I wanted to cry. When I was plating salads I was flustered for a moment because I was about to plate one and deliver it and repeat which is what I had to do before when serving guests. Now I put all the plates on the counter at once! Imagine the possibilities!

My first meal was quick because we were moving boxes and furniture. I bought some good quality ravioli, ditto vodka sauce, crab meat and some basil pesto. I simmered the sauce, added the crab and some pasta water - plated and drizzled some pesto over. Terrific! Not gourmet but classy. Tonight we drank dark and stormys on the sun porch relaxing after a long day. Bourbon with spicy ginger beer - yumm. Living in a normal size house, yeah - I'll take it.


Just Gimme the Meat and only the meat

It was a lesson learned with pork last year. Read all the labels on meat, all the time. I brought home some tenderloins and they wouldn't sear. Liquid seeped out. The meat stayed moist, but not as tasty as browning would have lent. Looked at the package "this product contains up to 15% solution". Blah. The solution is for moisture retention. Forget proper cooking which would yield moist results. A few weeks ago my local grocery store, I almost purchased their store brand chicken breasts as they were only $3.49/LB. A quick glance at the label told me - more solution. I'd rather pay $5.99 for chicken in it's natural form than less for chicken and solution.

I discovered the same with turkey while researching carb count. Why would turkey be high in carbs? It is a Superfood, after all. The cutlets were dipped in a solution containing sugar to retain moisture. Now I buy only turkey "London broil" cut. A boneless, skinless section of breast meat. Great for pan roasts. I made the mistake this week and purchased Shady Brook Farm ground turkey for turkey tacos. The solution had been added, despite not mentioning it on the label, and browning took an awful long time. The pan wasn't overcrowded, this was seepage of goop from the meat.

The search for real meat continues.