Archive | December, 2010

Day 1: Greek Lamb and Orzo

30 Dec

I have a couple of life-rules that have served me well over the years.

  1. Never root for the New York Yankees
  2. Never start a diet on a Monday
  3. Never start your New Years Resolutions on January 1

#1 is pretty self-explanatory for a Baltimore girl, but #2 and 3 are the result of tried science.  When a new project is started on a Monday or on the first of the year, it’s almost guaranteed to fail within days.  Start it on an off day, and the results are much better.

So, I thought I’d get started this morning.

I decided to start out relatively easy with Betty Crocker’s Greek Lamb and Orzo, and headed downstairs to check the pasta supply.  That’s when things went horribly, horribly wrong.  I’m still traumatized by the details, so I can only say that I’m glad I was wearing my glasses when the entire box of spaghetti decided to empty its contents at my face.  I grabbed the box, determined to save at least some of the spaghetti that hadn’t fallen out, and tipped the box up.  Good plan, right? Well, it would have been if I hadn’t also been holding a box of orzo that then opened up and spilled a good portion of its contents all over the floor.

After cleanup and a trip to Wegmans for supplies, I was finally ready to get started. The recipe — billed as a quick 20 minute endeavor — was pretty spot on as far as prep time goes.  To be sure, all it was was opening two cans of tomatoes, cutting up some celery (I used two stalks, not one), and making sure the lamb cooked before adding everything.  Another five minutes or so, though, would have been better.

All in all, I think it turned out pretty well.  I did forget to drain the lamb, so it was a tad greasier than I anticipated.  Also, I turned the orzo up to boil and then was distracted by a shiny object. The result: I kind of forgot to turn it down. It was a little burned on the bottom, but not too bad.

Paired with an amazing Virginia Meritage, I’ll definitely take another pass at this again.

Hello world!

28 Dec

Here’s the thing….

When it comes to cooking, I pretty much suck.  Though it’s true, I can whip up a passable dinner of pasta and sauce when I need to, and I can sometimes come up with an appetizer recipe that doesn’t make my bookclub sick, I’m more of an everyday eat-the-same-thing/call-the-take0ut-place kind of subsister.

And when it comes to potlucks, it’s pretty much assumed that I’m in charge of the wine.

The thing is, it doesn’t have to be this way.  I’m a reasonably intelligent girl with pots, pans, and a few gadgets that I probably bought because they were “cute” (I mean, how else does one explain a still-boxed-in potato ricer?).  I’ve got cookbooks spilling from shelves, an addiction to the Food Network, and a wealth of recipes at my fingertips thanks to the Internet.  I’ve got (I think), friends willing to try things out when I ask them to.

And if they’re not, well, I’ve got the cats.  They’ll eat anything.

So in 2011, the takeout guy and I are taking a break.  Instead, I’m going to have an affair with my own kitchen.  I’m going to take on new recipes, new cuisines, and really learn what I’m good at again.  Since I’m clearly stealing recipes from other sources, I promise that everything will be cited; and since I’m a WW devotee (yes, even with the takeout), I’ll be modifying within reason to go with the PointsPlus system. 

And who knows, I might even find a use for that potato ricer after all.


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