In November we went to the 2014 Portland restaurant of the year (Ava Gene‘s in case you were wondering). It took us almost two months for a reservation due to our schedules, and the fact that we wanted to eat before 10 pm. One of the dishes was a chorizo with white sauce, which they called some fancy name that I cannot remember. It was good, but nothing too amazing. We both decided it was something we could easily make at home, and after I finished reading: “The Cooking Counter Cooking School” I found the below recipe for an easy homemade Alfredo sauce.
We have made this recipe twice now. The first time we tried it with a chorizo that after Chris cooked it he said it was nasty, so instead of chorizo he added chicken. It was so much better than Alfredo sauce from the jar, and so much better for you. Lighter, tastier, and all with three ingredients + salt/pepper. Oh, and so much better for you.
This week we tried it again with a different kind of chorizo.
8 ounces cooked pasta
2 cups heavy cream (2 Tablespoons reserved)
1 teaspoon salt
1/c cup grated Parmesan or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 garlic clove minced (optional)
Freshly ground pepper
Prepare the pasta according to the package directions. Carefully reserve one cup of the pasta water to use in the sauce. Over medium-high heat, add all but 2 tablespoons of the cream to a saute pan or skillet. When it bubbles, add the salt. Small bubbles will erupt into larger bubbles. Stir. When the sauce thickens enough to cover the back of a spoon or leaves a clean line in the bottom of the pan when you pull a spatula across it, add the pasta water. Cook over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes, until it bubbles again and the sauce thickens. Add the reserved 2 tablespoons of cream, heat through, and then add the cheese, garlic (if using), and a few cranks of pepper. Taste, and add more salt if needed. Add the cooked pasta and any additional ingredients and stir well to coat. (page 142)
Add any items, leftovers to sauce and pasta. Such as: chicken, broccoli, asparagus, shrimp, sausage, the list is endless.
I was talking to someone the other day, and they mentioned a friend who was a cereal addict. I know there are definitely worse things to be addicted to, but it made me start to wonder how we get addicted to things. I, myself, have an addiction to salt, often in the form of chips. Give me salt any day over sugar. If you really want to make my day, give me a mixture of both, a little salt, then something sugary, back to salt, and so on.
But, back to the cereal addict. See I know what it is like to be a cereal addict. I live with one. The addict in him shows up often around 11 pm, just before bed. He is a midnight snack cereal user. The only other time the addict might be found is if he is still hungry after dinner. He is good though, mostly his guilty pleasure is for fairly healthy, only slightly sugary cereals. However, offer him a bowl of Cap’n Crunch and he is a goner. Yuck. Cap’n Crunch and Froot Loops leave this film and raw burn on the roof of your mouth.
Now that I am a serial green smoothie drinker, I no longer have cereal for breakfast. I am only known to steal a bite or two from the cereal midnight snacker. All I need is a bite to quench my craving for that sweet milky taste. I have friends who are cereal addicts. I have never asked them why cereal is their guilty pleasure. Now I am curious. A few years ago, we had the opportunity to visit and tour Pixar, and I had to remove my significant other from the “Cereal Bar.” The below video is one that gives a bit more detail about the Pixar Cereal Bar.
Do you ever have those days that start out all wrong? Your clothes feel tight, or nothing you want to wear is clean, and to top it off you are having a bad hair day? Sometimes your funk permeates your entire day and all you do is dream about doing a few things that will let you unwind and block out the rest of your day.
What would your list of favorite things be to unwind from a hellish day? Would it involve your kids, your spouse, or an empty, quiet house? Does it involve exercise, a massage, or gorging on amazing food? Does your list change based on your mood?
A list of my favorite things to do to unwind (in no specific order):
Going for a long run.
Taking a long HOT bath.
Hugs. Need I say more?
Finding a new journal, finishing a journal, starting a new journal.
Completing a shit-ton of items on my to-do list.
Snuggling with Chris during a movie, on a lazy Saturday morning…whenever I can cozy up with him.
Finishing a book I cannot put down.
Coming home to a clean house (knowing I do not have to clean it).
Salt. Anything with it, most often in the form of chips.
Some days I can come home and pick one of these items off my list, and the mere act of shifting my focus or pampering myself will change my outlook and let me forget my funk. Other times you just have to ride it out, crawl in bed, close your eyes and wake up freshly the next morning.
How about you? What do you do to unwind after a funky day?
I am a food bore. Yes, I said it. I eat mostly the same thing every day. You have probably heard me mention that a few times. I think my colleagues might think I am strange. I have the same salad every day. The same (well one of two different smoothies) each morning. It works for me. The only place I have any variety is dinner.
Someone mentioned to me the other day about the drama of food indecision. It was an A-HA moment for me. That is why I have a boring food regimen. I would rather have a scheduled food day then be indecisive. There are so many other things I do not have control over during the day, that not having to think about what food I am going to have for breakfast or lunch makes things easier. Do you ever struggle with that? Often, when I did not plan out my breakfast and lunch, it meant I just ate a lot of crap in between. I would be so busy I would forget to eat lunch and then later eat most of a bag of chips.
Recently Chris and I did a detox, where we took out all the junk we had become so used to eating from the holidays. The mochas, chips, desserts, larger sized meals, etc. We decided to wait until after the Super Bowl, because who wants to watch the Super Bowl, and know you are not allowed to eat anything in the commercials (even if you never would want it in the first place). It is the fourth time we have done this specific detox, and each time it is easier and easier to do. It reminds me of how often we put so much power into the food we eat. When we remove all the crap from our diet and eat more fruits and vegetables, we begin to not want all the junk. Each time I have done this detox, I have ended it craving fruits and vegetables, and yes there is usually some junk food I still want too. Yes, I confess, that junk for me would be chips.
Are you a food bore, or do you bring sass and flair to your meals each day?