Sorry I haven’t posted any updates in so long. I was super busy and then my computer crashed. I’m now typing away courtesy of my newly fixed (and downgraded to XP) computer. I would hate to think of myself as the kind of person who would relate to those dumb Mac commercials, but my computer really is a sluggish, portly, well-intentioned but incompetent middle-aged man who malfunctions on a regular basis.
Let me fill you in about what I’ve been doing now that I finally have some free time. Actually, come to think of it, I can’t really recall. Do you ever have that moment on a Monday morning when your co-worker asks you what you did over the weekend and you don’t remember? You know you did something (probably lots of things), but you don’t remember what? That’s what the past two weeks have been like for me. Like a very long weekend, the events of which I can’t quite recall.
One thing I can say I’ve been doing is cooking. In an effort to conserve money and make use of my new found free time, I’ve been trying to make as many of my own meals as possible.
Last week, I had my friend Courtney, who has half days on Fridays in the summer, over for lunch. To start, I made very simple canapes by buttering small pieces of crusty bread and placing hard-boiled egg slices, thinly-sliced purple onions, sardines and a bit of cilantro on top.
In the interest of full disclosure, I didn’t really come up with this combination myself. I saw a picture on the register at Whole Foods and thought it looked delicious… which it was!
For the main course, I made pan seared tilapia filets and topped them with a pink grapefruit, cilantro, purple onion and fresh mint sauce. I was really happy with the way they turned out. The sauce was very seasonal, fresh and light. The only thing I might change about it if I made it again would be to add some jalapenos for a bit of heat to compliment the citrus and mint.
I also made a salad of shrimp sauteed with garlic, sea salt and crushed red pepper flakes, ripe avocado and summer corn and lemon juice. This is a modification of a shrimp recipe my mother likes to make. Those familiar wih the gambas al aljillo dish often served at tapas restaurants might recogize the taste. My mother and I are both crazy about spicy food, so we kick it up Emeril-style (But much less ostentatiously. We don’t feel the need to make a big show of adding spices.)
I love the combination of shrimp and avocado (the remnants of this salad made a very tasty sandwich). The colors contrast very prettily and the plump, salty/spicy shrimp taste amazing against the cool, creamy avocado and the corn adds an extra little crunch.
For dessert, I made a yogurt cake from a recipe I found in my favorite cook book, Chocolate and Zucchini. It was very handsome and smelled great, but I found it to be a bit rubbery as opposed to fluffy and moist. It was spongey in the true sense. I could’ve used it to wash the dishes and clean the counter tops. I think I didn’t put in enough baking powder. Oh, well. Our other friend Erica, who had a piece, said it tasted like Day of the Dead bread. I’m not sure if that’s a good or a bad thing.
Courtney brought with her a very nice pear and bourbon sorbetto and we ate them with tiny homemade lemon butter cookies I’d made a few days before. Yummy.