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This Week

This week 02-10-15

Valentines Day

I was talking to 2 of my favorite people at dinner one night. They are young and getting married soon. As soon as I sat down he looked at me and said "What's the first thing that pops in to your head when I say "Valentines Day". I said "Dinner". He put his head on the table and his Wife-to-be smiled really big. He wanted me to say it was dumb and silly. But I've been married for 37 years and even though it took me 20 years to figure it out, I now know that Valentine's Day is a big deal. It's one of the 5 times during the year that you get bonus points for being romantic. It's like triple coupon day at Kroger. Those 5 times are Christmas, Wife's/ Girlfriend's birthday, Valentines day, Mother's day (if you've got kids), and WEDDING ANNIVERSARY DAY (yep, I put it in all caps, it's the biggie). If you show up big on these days, you can screw up 8 or 10 times and still be OK. But! ..If you mess up on the big 5  or actually forget, especially #5... It's bad..  Here's the deal: you don't have to spend a lot of money to be romantic. For some reason 1 rose is just as good as a dozen but not as good as 2 dozen (I usually go for 2 dozen). Don't ask me to explain, I'm just telling you how it works. A small box of 2 chocolate truffles is good (one for you, one for her = chocolate kiss, get it?). A box of 2 dozen chocolates is bad because you actually think that she could eat that many. It's like taking her to McDonald's and thinking it's a good idea to order her 2 Big Mac's. Coffee and muffins outside at Starbucks, holding hands is better than dinner at  the Piccadilly Cafeteria, but not near as good as dinner at the Peabody (getting dressed is also a plus - girls like dressing up.. I know, it's a mystery to me too).. An average  romantic comedy is better than going to see "Fast and Furious 14", just get through it, it will pay off later .. This is all logic theory: if A=B and B=C then A=C .. i.e. "If it's important to somebody else, and that somebody else is important to you then it's important to you." Who knew? .. This falls under the category of "Things I know now that I wish I had known then" ..  Nobody ever told me. I'm way smarter now..

God's like that: People think God only cares about big things, war, hunger.. stuff like that. But really, God cares about anything that you care about. If it's important to you, it's important to him. 

I guess now that I wrote this my wife will have high expectations? Easy pesy: Iris for Dinner the Monday before Valentines(no crazyness on Monday) Flowers on Tuesday .. It's ok to be early.


Cooking 220 - 2 pans, 2 burners, 20 minutes - Living Well - Mediterranean Diet:

I know I had a Broccoli recipe in here last week, but I like it and it's really good for you. It fits right in to our Mediterranean Diet. These are all from Delicious Magazine   This is all from the UK so everything is in grams and ml

Saffron and quail egg risotto with broccoli

12-16 quail eggs or 3-4 extra large eggs
1 tbsp olive oil
40g unsalted butter (3 tbsp)
2 shallots, finely chopped
350g carnaroli risotto rice (3 1/2 cups)
Large glass (about 175ml) dry white wine
Good pinch saffron strands (optional)
750ml fresh vegetable stock, hot (3 cups)
200g broccoli, trimmed (2 1/2 cups)
45g parmesan or vegetarian alternative, grated (1/2 cup)

01.Bring a pan of water to the boil, then add the quail eggs and cook for 1-2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and plunge immediately into a bowl of cold water.

02.Heat the oil and half the butter in a pan and gently fry the shallots over a low heat for 10 minutes or until soft. Add the rice and stir to coat in the buttery juices for a minute or so until the grains become translucent. Add the wine and stir until it has all bubbled away.

03.Add the saffron strands with a ladleful of hot stock. Keep stirring over a medium heat until all the stock has been absorbed, then add another ladleful of stock. Keep adding stock and stirring in this way until the rice is al dente and creamy.

04.Meanwhile, carefully peel the eggs and set aside (see tips). Bring a pan of water to the boil and cook the broccoli for 3-4 minutes or until just tender. Drain and refresh under cold water. Slice the stems and leaves finely and roughly chop the florets. Set aside.

05.Once the risotto is just cooked, stir in the broccoli, remaining butter and grated parmesan. Remove the pan from the heat, cover and leave to stand for 5 minutes before serving.


Caramelised broccoli and shallot tart with feta

300g shallots, quartered, Separated 
A glug of olive oil
300g broccoli (3 cups)
2 rosemary sprigs
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Puff pastry sheet
60g feta (1/2 cup)

01.Heat the oven to 200°C/fan180°C/gas 6 and put a baking sheet inside. Heat the glug of olive oil in a large frying pan, add the broccoli and the shallots, then fry gently. Increase the heat and add the balsamic vinegar. Bubble, stirring occasionally, until sticky. Tip into a roasting tray with the rosemary, then roast for 20 minutes until the veg is soft and crisp.

02.Meanwhile, unroll the puff pastry sheet and roll it out. Put it on a baking sheet. When the veg is cooked, pile it into the center of the pastry, leaving a 2in border. Crumble over the feta. Fold the excess pastry around the filling to form a rough tart. Brush the pastry edges with milk. Then bake for 20 minutes until the pastry is golden (follow instructions on box). (((You can see how you could put anything you like in this.)))


Posted by Mack Oates at 1:12 PM