You know what? Working a little makes me way more productive. I love getting out of the house once in a while. And I forget how much I like to work until I get out there and do it.
Speaking of work, my new job is with General Mills. I will be working out of their R&D facility and it involves a lot of travel, but most of the time it will just be a day trip or overnight. Fly-in, work, fly-out. I'm thrilled. It's part time work, which is soooo nice. Plus? I can still consult for others, so I can continue to work at the Photography studio, which I love.
Okay, so let's talk recipes.
I was thinking really hard about what to include in my 3 recipes for Sarah. I have a million favorites, but very few that I make all of the time. Some of my favorites are just too complicated. Well - not complicated - but I tend to just "eyeball" things or I change them every time I make them or they're just not something that maybe YOU wouldn't want to make (i.e. French Onion Soup), so then, why bother sharing that one?
I want to please you people. Because that's what it's all about, right? Right.
Pleasing the Internets. Right. Yes. Because I want you to be happy.
One of the few things I make all of the time is a homemade mustard viniagrette dressing. Now, this is one of the recipes where I don't measure the ingredients. I'm going to give you the recipe that I based my vinaigrette from. It's good. But I tend to add more mustard - maybe double than the recipe calls for. It makes the vinaigrette thicker and then you can skimp on the oil a bit. I also vary the vinegars and oils. I really like Champagne vinegar (and don't buy really expensive champagne vinegar - that's just silly), but you can use anything. Cider vinegar is great in here. So is balsamic.
Homemade Mustard Vinagrette
1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 teapsoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
Whisk together all items except the oil. Slowly add the oil in a thin stream while whisking.
That's it! Besides changing the oil or vinegar, here are some other ways I change it:
*I'll add garlic (1/2 clove.)
*fresh herbs - basil or chives- are really nice in here.
*Like I said: add more mustard.
*I use this on a Caprese salad or on a green salad
* I use it on sandwiches,too.
*My favorite dinner in the whole wide world is baked chicken, a big green salad with shredded cabbage, shredded carrots, green or red onions, tomato and cucumbers and a baked potato. I put a little vinagrette on my potato with some sour cream.
* My favorite lunch is hummus spread on a panfried wheat pita flat bread (I use cooking spray to fry it) with the green salad I mentioned above on top of the hummus and drizzled with the vinaigrette and folded and eaten like a taco. Click on "hummus" for my recipe. I've never met a pre-made hummus that I've liked. It's gotta be homemade.
Are you ready for my list of kitchen must-haves? Here we go!
I make my vinaigrette in these working glasses. I only have one size: the one on the right. I should get some taller ones, but I don't have the room for them. If you buy them at Crate & Barrel you can get some red lids for them. I use these for SO many things. Food storage, of course. You can use them as a drinking glass - I don't like them for that purpose, but Zuddy doesn't mind. I use them to hold cotton balls and swabs and toothbrushes in the bathroom medicine cabinet.
A good Chef's knife is a must. I like the 8-inch Wustof. There's a place in Mpls. that sells discounted sales returns. I buy mine there and I get them sharpened there once or twice a year. Zuddy sharpens them for me, too. But the guy at this place (It's called Eversharp) is top-notch.
Good dry ingredient measuring untensils are a must, too. I have 3 sets of measuring spoons and 2 sets of cups. I like the spoons to not have a large flared cup. I like the stainless ones from a cookware store. I'm picky about these. I don't have the ones above (which are All-Clad brand from Williams-Sonoma), but they look like good ones. I have the Williams-Sonoma store brand ones and I have an older model that they don't sell anymore.
Okay, this is an extravagance: this pepper mill. The very one pictured. I freakin' love this thing. Zuddy bought it for me when we were dating. It's super-easy to get the pepper in there and it's top-notch. Unfortunately? This is a photo from the one at Williams-Sonoma. It's Seventy-Five-Freakin'-dollars. I highly doubt Zuddy spent that kind of money on it, but there you have it. And if I had to do it all over again? I'd spend the money on it. But not for the salt. For the salt, just use kosher salt.
Okay, I could go on and on with this, but I will continue tomorrow.
I loved all of your comments on the cologne! Sarah!!!!!! You are too funny about the Pot-head at the party!!!!!!!!