Sunday, June 26, 2011

Go Ahead, Get Crabby

One of my less admirable qualities is that I am a bit of a crab. For example, my work year just ended and I have vacation now. But rather than being thrilled and jumping for joy, I find myself nettled by a million different things. Days are long and a bit lonely when you're home by yourself. Household chores must be done, because really, what's my excuse for not doing them? I never know what time Ryan's going to be home, so I have to chose between not quite finishing dinner, or letting dinner sit and get cold. But this dinner is absolutely perfect. Not only does it not get cold if it sits, it's incredibly easy to make, and it's crabby just like me.

serves 2 as an entree

1 head of Boston or Bibb lettuce (I used romaine because that's what I had but I would have liked something more delicate.
1/4 C of tomatoes (these are optional, I didn't feel they added much, but I always worry about things not being enough dinner for Ryan)

Dressing for Greens:
2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
1.5 Olive Oil
salt and pepper

Crab and Avocado:
1/2 lb fresh (not frozen)jumbo lump crabmeat
1 ripe avocado

Dressing for Crab:
2 tsp Dijon mustard ( I use Maille, which says it's gluten-free)
3 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
pinch pepper

Rinse the lettuce and pat dry. Tear into pieces so you can actually eat it. If you want to use cherry tomatoes, rinse and quarter them now. Put in a bowl. Mix up the 2 T of lemon juice and the 1.5 T of olive oil. Add a pinch of salt and a pinch of pepper. Pour over the greens and toss. Set aside.

Clean the crab by going through it with your fingers and picking out any shells. In a medium bowl, whisk the dijon mustard, 3 T of lemon juice and pepper. Put the crab in the bowl and toss gently. Cut the avocado into chunks (you know you don't eat avocado peel, right?) Add it to the crab and again toss gently. I used my hands because both the avocado and crab are so delicate, I wanted to be sure I wasn't smushing anything.

Arrange your greens around the edge of a plate. Arrange the crab and avocado in the center. Revel in the fact that you have not turned on a single heat creating device in your kitchen. Be glad that you have a legitimate excuse for being crabby.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Settling In

In the past two months, Ryan has gotten a new job; we've moved to a different state; I've gotten a new job and I've gotten a year older. We've been incredibly lucky because our string of changes have all been pretty positive ones. Okay fine, I could do without the moving and the getting older but the new jobs are certainly exciting. But these changes have meant that things are hectic to say the least. But at last we are settling in. The school year is not quite over and I still have a lot of packing up to do; the apartment is still a work in progress; but I've finally started actually cooking again. I have to admit though it takes me about three guesses to figure out where anything is. I did manage to get my act together enough last week to make this tangy barbecue chicken. I promise it's easy. If I could pull it together while multitasking to the degree I am now, you can too.

adapted from Giada

10 chicken drumsticks
1/2 C balsamic vinegar
1/2 C apple cider vinegar (Giada calls for a full cup of balsamic, but that makes for one really expensive barbecue sauce)
3/4 C ketchup (find a GF brand)
1/3 C brown sugar
1 garlic cloved minced
1 T Worcestershire sauce (Lee and Perrin's is GF)
1 T Dijon (Maille is GF)
2 t sugar
1/2 t pepper

Put everything other than the drumsticks in a pan and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the sauce is thick enough to coat a spoon. Preheat your oven to 375 F. Line a cookie sheet with foil. When the sauce is reduced lightly coat each drumstick with sauce. Cook the drumsticks for 30 minutes. Bring your sauce back up to a boil to kill off an nasty things that may have come from basting a raw chicken, then turn the heat way down to just keep it warm. After 30 minutes, paint those drumsticks with sauce again, and put them back in for 10 more minutes to finish them off. Repeat your heat and keep warm trick with the sauce. Remove the chickens, paint a final time and serve!

1. The barbecue sauce is tangy not hot. I might try to add some heat next time.
2. The sauce alone is not all that great, it's vinegary, to the point where I strongly advise not to stand over the pan while it's cooking.
3. It's super tasty on the chicken and Giada claims you can put it on steak too. Mmm. Steak.
4. You can use it for grilling she claims! Many commenters report issues with it burning though, so proceed with caution.
5. I ended up with leftover sauce. Hooray. More barbecue for another day!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Mushy Quiche

I took a picture of it before I knew how mushy it was, but I can't say as I should post it. It would lead you to draw completely incorrect assumptions about how my night went. You would think that I sat down to a lovely dinner of quiche (perfect for a hot day) made with some very tasty chard from the farmer's market. Maybe you would even picture me out on the balcony I featured last time, thinking that the incredible heat may have faded by nightfall and that quiche would be a lovely meal for a summer's evening.

How very wrong you would be. My actual dinner? I ate a plate of mushy quiche. No thanks to the New York Times for throwing me under the bus with that recipe. I ate my quiche by myself, at 9:20 at night, sitting on the floor of my bedroom. You might wonder why I did this. Hell, I wonder why I did this. Basically, I spent a little over an hour, live chatting with some guy at Comcast about how to get our NEW! WIRELESS! ROUTER(or whatever the heck you call that thing)! to a)provide internet service and b)restore our phone line which it knocked out when it was installed. After the hour was over, I am relieved to say that we did have both internet and phone service. I also had a little bit of rug burn on my elbows from lying on the carpet in order to be able to plug my computer into the router thingy and into its charger simultaneously, because yes, the process took so long that my laptop's battery completely drained.

Good times. Tonight's dinner involves neither Comcast nor the New York Times, so things are looking up.


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