Friday, June 16, 2006

Et tu, Blogger?

I suppose it’s high time that I posted something. I know I have gone a few days without doing so, but I have been waiting for Blogger to get its act together. However, I might be waiting a LONG time, so I’m just going to trudge ahead. I know Blogger is free, and you get what you pay for, but COME ON! It’s been over a week now that people have been having problems posting photos. It can be done, but it is...involved. You see, you can post photos using Firefox, but not Internet Explorer. But the computer that has Firefox on it is so old (Windows won’t even support it in another month!) that I can’t download from my digital camera. So I must download to one computer, e-mail myself the pictures, download them to the other computer, post the images using Firefox, and did I ever mention that we live out in the boonies and still use dial-up? UGH! But they are labors of love for you, dear readers!

So today, because you have been patient, I will offer two recipes. The first comes from a faaaabulous new website that I stumbled on doing a Google search for, of all things, Hershey’s Dark Cocoa (which we STILL don’t have here in our podunk grocery stores…boo hiss!). It’s called "This Corrosion" and the gal who writes it is HYSTERICAL! Furthermore, she linked me to the funniest site ever called "The Gallery of Regrettable Food." I urge you foodies to check it out, and read ALL the way through it—but I warn you, go to the bathroom first, or you’ll be sorry! ;-) Anyway, this very funny blogger who refers to herself as Mags also posts recipes from time to time, and she offered a great one for a sort of Greek pasta salad. It’s yummy, very pretty, and super-easy, too…well, except that I had to go to FOUR different stores (and then back to the first one—don’t ask) to find the right dressing for it. But it was darn well worth it! Here it is:

Mags’ Greek-Style Pasta Salad

16 oz. cooked whole wheat pasta (I used a whole wheat/semolina blend penne)
1 cup toasted and chopped walnut pieces (don’t be tempted to skip the toasting step!)
1 cup crumbled Feta cheese (I chose a tomato and basil varietal)
1 cup finely chopped red onion (I used a Vidalia because that’s what I had, and I soaked the pieces in some cold water while I worked on the rest of the ingredients, to take some of the bite out of the raw onion)
3 cups chopped baby spinach leaves (I used one package of defrosted chopped spinach, squeezed of excess water because I forgot to buy fresh spinach…oops!)
1/2 cup Girard Champagne Vinaigrette (the one in the triangle bottle--if you can't find it, I also recommend Ken's Steak House Greek dressing)
salt and pepper to taste
*I also took it upon myself to add about a half a can of black olives, quartered, and several smallish Campari tomatoes, chopped. One might also consider some diced cucumber, but I myself did not.

I’m embarrassed to offer the recipe for the next dish. It’s not even a recipe, just a methodology. And it’s SO Sandra Lee, that I’m quite mortified about it. But in my defense, I got home late (after hitting all those stores in search of the champagne vinaigrette!), and dinner had to be done in time for Matt Lauer’s explosive interview with Britney Spears. ;-) This idea actually came from the Cooks' Illustrated message boards. Someone asked for some ideas about what to do with a grocery store rotisserie chicken. And one respondent said that she made chicken enchiladas with it. What a great, go-to meal for a weeknight!

So here’s what I did. I de-skinned and deboned the rotisserie chicken, and chopped up the meat. Then I divided it into ten portions to correspond with the number of tortillas in the package. I used six-inch flour tortillas because my roommate gets grumpy when I use corn tortillas which, truth to tell, I would have preferred for this. I placed some chicken and some shredded Mexican cheese blend that I had leftover from a previous nacho incarnation in each tortilla, rolled them up, and placed them in a glass baking dish (eight in a row, and the last two tucked in along the side) with some enchilada sauce covering the bottom of the dish. I poured the rest of the 28 oz. can of sauce over the top of the enchiladas, and then tossed on about a half pound of crumbled Mexican queso fresco. I baked them uncovered for 30 minutes at 350 F, and then served them garnished with chopped onion and a big old blob of sour cream. I suppose black olives would have been good, too, but I didn’t think of it—despite the fact that I had plenty left over from the pasta salad. Geez! My brain is not working at optimal levels. My roommate started a new job this week (HOORAY!), and the whole household has been awakened by that godless alarm clock at 5:30am (BOO)! And as I am nocturnal, this means that I have had a total of about 12 hours’ sleep in the past three nights. So on that note, I bid you all night-night.

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