From the Peanut Gallery: Hey! Is it MONDAY?
Me: Ask yourself this… What is more important, USING PLEASING ALLITERATION? Or knowing what day it is?
Peanut Gallery: Probably B. Especially if the termite guy is coming on Tuesday and you are propped up with two cats, a hound dog, and 10 pillows, writing a novel in underpants and your husband’s filthy T shirt, no bra, and sporting what may well be a terminal case of bed hair when he arrives.
Me: Shut. Up.
Karen L asks in email: When are you starting the Fitness challenge over on Five Full Plates.
Me: August 1. Gray is bitter that it is delayed because she feels all the progress she is making right NOW (and she is ROCKING IT—exercising like a mad woman and eating delicious healthy sensible things) will be WASTED. And what she if hits a plateau just as we begin and looks like she is being FAILTASTIC when really she is just AHEAD of us.
I have kinda gotten a jump start as well by 30 day shredding and spending quality time with my elliptical (it is working for the nonce) and being vigorous and sincere about attending boot camp. BUT! I have saved myself from sharing Gray’s bitterness by eating everything I can find. There is a place in Marietta I just discovered that specializes in POT PIES. Just pot pies. Pot Pies of all kinds and sorts. I am in love with it. At least until August first.
Jenny M asked in Comments: What’s your favorite sangria recipe (or do you just make it up as you go)? Because I’ve been daydreaming about sangria for about a week.
Me: Oh no, I do not wing it. Scott is the WING IT guy. He is the kind of cook who smells what is cooking in the pot, then smells bunches of fresh herbs until he find a smell that seems like it should join the other smells in the pot, and then he puts it in. I am the kind of cook who slavishly reads the recipe a thousand times and if it says THREE drops of vanilla, then BY THE POWER OF GRAYSKULL, I am going to get exactly THREE in there. I want mine to look like the picture. The only place I get at all creative is in the garnish. I can make radish roses, you know, and that is not a gift you want to SQUANDER by saving it only for recipes that ASK for radish roses.
My favorite sangria recipe comes from hot and tasty Bobby Flay (who also does a mean shrimp and grits. Yum! I did not put the blackberries in, as they were off season and a MILLION DOLLARS. Also, I didn’t put the pomegranate seeds in because I was sure someone would choke and die, which is a bit of a downer at a book party. Throws the whole thing off. ALSO I didn’t put radish roses in. Even though I COULD have because I am awesome at making them, which makes me the world’s best hostess. If it was 1974.
Shannon in the comments said: My question is in regards to your Southern Salsa recipe. My family (from Alabama) has a version we lovingly call Redneck Caviar with canned corn, black eyed peas, Rotel tomatoes (Southern staple!) and Italian dressing. But grilled corn sounds amazing, you’ve piqued my interest!
Me: The Salsa recipe comes from Southern Living, and SCOTT makes it, so that means it HAS been adjusted. Instead of a link, I will write down how WE do it. Because our way is best.
Brush 4 large or 5 small ears of corn with olive oil. Sprinkle with sea salt. Grill, then cut the kernels off. Cut them off INTO your mixing bowl so the “milk” from the cob gets in there. Throw cobs away. To that corn add,
2 cans of Bush’s Black Beans, drained and rinsed
1 -2 Jalapeños, seeded and FINELY MINCED
2 -3 tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped.
1 purple onion, finely chopped
¼ cup (or more! More is good!) fresh cilantro, chopped
1 large or 2 small avocados chopped.
3 – 4 TBS Fresh lime juice (to taste)
sea salt to taste.
Stir and eat on corn chips, in lettuce wraps, or just put great heaping tablespoons directly into your mouth.
Jill W asks in Comments: So, how’s your mom ‘n ‘em? I would also love to have recipes for the cookies, salsa, and sangria. Nomnomnom.
Me: Tolerable fine, thank you for asking. Salsa and Sangia above, and the cookies are easy. The recipe is on the back of the box of Baker’s Chocolate, and you can find it online right here. I like to refrigerate the dough for AT LEAST two hours because it does something LOVELY to the texture. If you chill long enough, these cookies come out almost like two bite brownies.
Now, on the box of Baker’s chocolate, they tell you to top it with a weird sort of FAKE ganache recipe you make using semi-sweet chocolate and frozen Cool Whip. I am pretty sure you can go to hell for this.
OKAY FINE, you won’t go to hell. And I admit I made them this way for the kids a couple of times and they are FINE. And LESS EXPENSIVE to make this way, for sure.
But…for them to be SUBLIME, you want to top it with REAL ganache, using very good dark chocolate and whipping cream. Here is a SUPER easy ganache recipe that comes out perfect EVERY time. You can begin frosting the cookies the second the ganache is all smooth and melty, and it will harden as it cools to a nice gloss. You can leave out the rum altogether or you can use Grand Marnier. For sweeter cookies to serve to kids and at picnics, a mild 60% cacao dark choc is fine. But if you have an adult crowd with more daring palates, try making it with, say, 70 – 75% cacao dark and serving with coffee and brandy. Nommish.
From the Peanut Gallery: Why are you giving us all these recipes right before you start a fitness challenge? Are you some kind of SADIST?
Me: Whoops, looks like we are out of time. No more questions today! BYE!