October 31, 2008

Halloween is a little less scary today.

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I am going to see David Sedaris tonight.

October 30, 2008

Nell Rings the Bell

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If you haven't noticed, it smells like fall. Like leaves and soup and cider. I know hot meal weather when I smell it.

When I ended up at Cafe Nell last week for dinner, the menu reflected the weather quite deliciously. Pork, lamb and beef braises, butternut squash and lentils and hearty vegetables like kale, spinach and beet salad. The menu warmed my stomach long before the tastes filled my mouth.

I ordered the beet salad with blue cheese toast, bibb lettuce, walnuts and walnut vinaigrette, and for my entree I ofered the chef's braise - braised beef with diced vegetables, toast and egg sunnyside up. It sounded as comforting and warm as a log cabin with a fireside and fleece blanket.

The surroundings at Cafe Nell are inviting and bright, newly old. The waiter was friendly and knowledgeable about the remodel and the menu. When I chose the braised beef, he told me how he was skeptical when he first saw it on the menu, but that now it was his favorite. He seemed sincere, and I believed him.

The beet salad arrived first. Beets are so festive and tangy, don't you think? The walnuts were sweet and crispy and the juicy beets combined with the blue cheese toast was intriguing. It was the kind of salad that could have been an entire meal - filling and flavorful.

The braised beef was beautiful and homey, stew with sweet chunks of carrots, tender meat, over grilled toast (I could even see the grill marks on it!), with an egg right on top that spilled over into the stew, adding a creamy depth to beef. It had such complex flavor and was so satisfying.

Mmmm. My house is so cold - all I have to do is think about that braised beef and I feel all warm and tingly. I'll be heading back to Cafe Nell soon to try their other dishes as the weather gets colder.

Cafe Nell on Urbanspoon

Life on Mars

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Have you seen it? Besides Jason O'Mara being the main character, the plot line is intriguing and it has some great lines:

"As they say in Louisiana, Bye-You."
"The way he said 'sensational', like it was milk chocolate."

October 29, 2008

Reason #74 Why You Should Go To Wordstock

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Anis Mojgani will be at the Poetry Slam at Wordstock.

Thursday, November 6th
Wordstock Superstar Poetry Slam Competition
At The Bagdad Theatre, 3702 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
9:00 PM
Sponsored by Portland Monthly magazine

October 27, 2008

Get in my belly, Belly.

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There are days that eating doesn't matter. There are days when I'm so busy and complicated and dense that life itself fills my stomach. That day was not like that. I was hungry all day, dying to communicate with a coherent human being and dumb down the anxiety from the day with a substantial caloric intake.

Meet at 8:45 they said. At Belly. Great, I said. I'll be there at 8 to sample appetizers. Somehow, though, I ended up late, stomach aching, eyes drooping, energy quickly leaking, like air from a tire.

There were not many people there, and it was nice to see the place almost naked. Just a few waitstaff lingering and the chef in the kitchen.

Our waiter agreed to make me a drink and it came out all pink and sparkly in a martini glass. That cheered me slightly. I ordered the braised rabbit pot pie, with corn, cioppolinis, edamame, chanterelles and crème fraiche, and waited for my late late dinner of pleasure.

The pot pie was made with puff pastry, which frankly, could have been covered in dirt and it would have tasted good, I was so hungry. But thank heavens, the puff pastry was filled with the braised rabbit pot pie. It was steaming and peppery and buttery. The edamame were quite prevalent in the dish - even more so than the rabbit. It made it lighter and added a freshness that I wasn't expecting. And of course, the crème fraiche didn't hurt either. (This picture does not do it justice. Damn cell phone camera.)

The waiter was especially friendly and somehow as he was taking our order for dessert, I felt comfortable enough that I spilled out my shameful story of getting tipsy on rum cake. How embarrassing for me. But that's what happens when my brain is impaired by the late hour and delicious food. He graciously laughed and backed away from our table.

We shared a rich chocolate cake for dessert with hazelnut bavarian cream. I had really vivid dreams that night. A bit frisky actually. V.G.

Belly on Urbanspoon

Reason #341 Why You Should Go to Wordstock

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One of my very favorite food blogs, Orangette, is about to hit Portland. You guessed it. At Wordstock. Molly Wizenberg, the author behind Orangette will be appearing on a food writing panel, along with frequent Bon Appetit and Portland Monthly contributor, Nancy Rommelmann, Chef Vitaly Paley of Paley's Place and cookbook author Ivy Manning.

Lizzy Makes Eggs.

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I made this tonight for dinner. It was deep and flavorful and warm. And fairly easy, even if the recipe is a little long.

Poached Eggs with Balsamic Mushrooms on Biscuits


2 3/4 cups flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter, chilled
3/4 cup cold milk

Mix together the dry ingredients and add to the food processor with the butter. Pulse to a fine texture. Add the milk and stir until a stiff dough forms. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and gently press into a circle. Use a biscuit cutter or a juice glass to cut out 4-5 biscuits. Place into an ungreased baking dish, close together and brush with milk. Bake at 450 for 8 minutes, or until golden brown. Set aside to cool.

Poached Eggs and Balsamic Mushrooms

1 medium yellow onion
1 pound of white button mushrooms
3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
Kosher salt
fresh ground pepper
1 teaspoon butter
1 Tablespoon butter
2 Roma tomatoes
olive oil
4 large eggs
1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar

In a large sautee pan, heat one tablespoon olive oil and one teaspoon butter. Chop onion into bite size pieces and add to the oil and butter. Season onions with salt and pepper. Chop mushrooms into bite-size pieces and add to onions. Season mushrooms with salt and pepper before stirring with onions. Let mushrooms and onions cook until golden brown. Add balsamic vinegar and season liberally with fresh ground pepper. Add one tablespoon of butter. Let the mixture reduce for about 15 minutes, until the vinegar is completely absorbed into the mushrooms and onions. Set aside.

In a separate pan on the stove, add about 1/2 inch of water, white wine vinegar and a sprinkle of salt. Turn the heat up to medium high. Crack eggs into a separate bowl and then add them one at a time into the pan. Cover the pan and let eggs poach until set, about 6 minutes.

In the meantime, split one biscuit per plate and lightly brush with melted butter. Top each biscuit half with fresh spinach and a slice of tomato. Drizzle olive oil over the spinach and tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Add one spoonfull of the mushroom onion mixture to top the tomato. Place a poached egg on top of the mushroom mixture, drizzle lightly with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Serves 4.

October 24, 2008

Reason #864 Why You Should Go to Wordstock

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John Hodgman will be there reading from his new book. He is the PC in the Mac commercials and used to be on The Daily Show. He will also be appearing at Live Wire on Saturday, November 8th.

Wordstock, November 6th - 9th

Roses smell better than cabbage. But cabbage tastes better than roses.

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I love cabbage. I feel skinny when I eat it. I think because I associate it with the cabbage soup diet that I tried in college. You know, the soup that actually burns more calories when you digest it than the soup contains. Sigh. Sometimes I miss the stupidity of youth.

My mom used to make this cabbage dish when I was a kid. It has a fancy Polish name that I can't pronounce, so I just call it cabbage and onions.

It's really better as a side dish, than as a main dish. When I eat it as a main dish, with no accompaniments, my stomach gets angry.

Here's the recipe:

Cabbage and Onions

1 head of green cabbage, chopped
1 medium onion, sliced
1 T. olive oil
1 T. caraway seeds
1/2 cup sour cream

Pour the olive oil in a sautee pan and heat until just smoking. Add the onions, season with salt and pepper and sautee until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the cabbage, season with salt and pepper and mix well. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally until the cabbage becomes bright green - tender, but still a little bit crunchy - about 5 minutes. Add in the caraway seeds. Turn off the heat and add the sour cream. Add salt and pepper to taste.

An idealist is one who, on noticing that roses smell better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup. ~Henry L. Mencken

October 23, 2008

Two Weeks to Wordstock

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Saturday morning at a coffee shop, where we meet two Bostonians against Mitt Romney.

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We needed our strength. Ansley and I were headed to Battle Ground, Washington to go to a Barn House Sale. We stopped by the Wordstock office to get some programs and posters to pass out along the way and were headed to Ken's Artisan Bakery to grab some goodness to eat in the car.

But then. We drove past 50 Plates, which appeared to be open this fine, chilly Saturday morning. We decided to check out their breakfast.

It was empty - it's more of a coffee shop setting in the morning. The two people tending to the counter, a short-haired blonde girl with fashion-conscious glasses and a young man with dark hair, were talking about Sarah Palin. "She's on Saturday Night Live tonight," I said. "I know! We were just talking about that." The conversation then turned to Obama and McCain. The girl made an anti-McCalin comment. "Oops," she said, "I probably shouldn't have said that."

"Oh you're okay," I said, "This is Portland - you are pretty safe to make a comment like that." We talked a little bit more about the election and how we hoped that Obama would be elected. We talked about how amazing it was that it was such a close race. I mentioned that one of my sisters is writing in Mitt Romney's name for President.

"Well. We're from Boston. And you can tell your sister that as Republicans from Massachusetts, Mitt Romney has done nothing for the state." Okay, I said. I'll pass it on.

Then we ordered food. Ansley ordered the drinking chocolate - which if you ever go to 50 Plates, you REALLY need to get. It's a huge cup of hot milk, with a block of solid chocolate on a stick that you swirl around in the milk. So delicious.

I ordered orange juice (fighting a cold still!) and a waffle sandwich with canadian bacon, mustard greens and a duck egg. Ansley got the French toast skewers with berry syrup. (See Ansley's post with pictures of her food here.)

Delicious! The waffle was crispy and warm, the duck egg over easy, the mustard greens flavorful and the Canadian bacon just salty enough to complement the egg and the tomato. It was perfect. And it was only $4.50!

Such a delightful way to start the day and a long journey to Battle Ground. Politics to get the blood going through my head and breakfast to warm my stomach.

50 Plates on Urbanspoon

October 22, 2008

Novel Idea. Hold Me Like a Book.

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Wordstock Invites Word Lovers to Get Lost

in Three-Day Literary Festival

WHAT: Hear from 150 authors, poets and storytellers over three days during the Northwest’s greatest book event, Wordstock Festival, in Portland, Ore. In its 4th year, the three-day festival features the Wordstock Superstar Poetry Slam Competition, a Book Fair at the Portland Convention Center, readings, workshops, lectures and a children’s stage with authors, music and celebrity storytellers. The event benefits the Community of Writers, a professional development program for K-12 teachers that seeks to improve student writing performance by training and supporting teachers of writing.

A highlight of this year’s festival is a specific focus on graphic novels and mystery, two popular genres in the literary world and among authors in the Pacific Northwest. Wordstock also is the cornerstone of an entire weekend of literary events in Portland, including a poetry reading Thursday, Nov. 6 by U.S. poet WS Merwin, sponsored by Literary Arts; The Text Ball, the annual costume ball of the Independent Publishing Resource Center Saturday, Nov. 8; and the Literary Arts Oregon Book Awards, Sunday, Nov. 9.

WHO: Among the famed writers participating:

· Jeffrey Deaver, a New York Times best selling author releasing his newest novel Broken Window

· Garth Stein, author of The Art of Racing in the Rain, a New York Times best-seller and a Starbucks book selection

· John Hodgman, an author and humorist best known for his personification of a PC in Apple's "Get a Mac” campaign as well as his stints on The Daily Show

· William Least Heat-Moon, narrative non-fiction pioneer and author of Blue Highways and the new Roads to Quoz

· Lynda Barry, award-winning graphic novelist and author of Ernie Pook’s Comeek


9 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 6

Wordstock Superstar Poetry Competition / $15

Baghdad Theatre: 3702 SE Hawthorne Blvd.,

8 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 8

LiveWire 4th Annual Wordstock Extravaganza / $25

Aladdin Theater: 3116 SE 11th Ave

9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily, Saturday – Sunday, Nov, 8-9, 2008

Wordstock Book Fair

Oregon Convention Center: 777 NE Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.

COST: $5 for adults, 17 and under free.

Workshops and other special events prices vary

DETAILS: www.wordstockfestival.com

October 21, 2008

Cookies and Milk.

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I don't bake very often. When I do, it doesn't always turn out great. But here's something that might warm you up, as the weather has turned suddenly cold.

Dark Chocolate Cookies

3/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted
Coarse finishing salt

Preheat oven to 375. Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and chili powder in a medium bowl.

In another bowl, beat together butter and sugar with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy, then beat in eggs and vanilla until combined. Add flour mixture and mix until just combined. Stream in melted chocolate and mix until incorporated.

Drop level tablespoons of dough about 2 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheets. Sprinkle a few grains of finishing salt on the top of each cookie and bake in batches in middle of oven until puffed and set, about 8 minutes.

Let cool and then enjoy warm, with a glass of cold milk.

Adapted from Gourmet Magazine, February 2003/Epicurious.com

Now let's talk about milk. I don't love drinking it plain. But with warm cookies, I could be convinced.

Some facts about milk from the California Milk Processor Board:

Milk is not only good for your hair, but also for your skin, nails, and teeth. It can even reduce symptoms of PMS, help you sleep, and rebuild muscle tissue.

Hmmm. That sounds like some good side effects of drinking milk.

Also from the California Milk Processor Board. A lovely video.

Hey You! Drink Milk. And Eat Cookies.

October 19, 2008

Cookies are magic.

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In anticipation of tomorrow's post on cookies and milk, please enjoy this:

Stranger Than Fiction
- a great movie.

Burgers and Stinky Cheese. Also. The Debate.

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After being stuck in the house for so many nights with a cold, I was stir crazy. I was still sick and even had to cancel my writing workshop on Wednesday, so as not to infect the entire prison with my illness. However, I was not opposed to infecting my friends and occupants of a local bar with my cold. I would feel less guilty about that. Don't ask me why.

So we met up at Slow Bar on SE Grand. A few months ago, their burger was on the front of Portland Monthly Magazine and was deemed the best burger in the city. I was kind of craving red meat, so it was a good choice.

It was smoky in there, which I didn't pick up on at all, since my face was still all stuffed up. (By January, all bars in Oregon will be smoke-free, so if smoke really bothers you, then just wait until January!) But it was noticeable for my friends.

Their were two things on the menu that stood out to me. One. The Slowburger. Definitely my choice for the night. Two. Fries with stinky cheese. Yes, that is exactly what it says on the menu. Why would anyone in their right mind NOT order those?

So. I ordered the burger and the fries with stinky cheese. Dave and Rich also ordered the burger and regular fries. Ansley ordered the Southern Fry Plate, with hushpuppies and fried chicken.

The debate was playing on the tv by the bar. I could see the subtitles. I didn't actually want to hear it. Because lately, when I've seen John McCain on tv, the scene from Much Ado About Nothing plays in my head, where the guy that is all tied up screams at Michael Keaton: "YOU ARE AN AAAAASSSSSSSSS!" It raises my blood pressure just thinking about it.

So anyway. My food came. The stinky cheese was perfect. It wasn't just sprinkled on the fries, it was heaped and then melted so that a big pool of it landed on the bottom of the dish, perfect for scraping it up when the fries are gone. The burger was great - cooked medium rare, just like I like it. It had a saucy sauce on it, and piled high with onion rings. It was so stacked so high, that I was forced to eat the onion rings before I even attempted to put the rest of it in my mouth. After I consumed the onion rings, I attacked the burger. De. Li. Cious. Best burger in Portland? Eh. Not sure. Yakuza's burger with truffled potato crisps on it is still the tops, but Slow Bar's burger is not far behind.

Try it. Then let me know how you like it. And don't forget to mail in your ballot, no matter who you're voting for. I just got mine yesterday and it's going in the mail this week. Yay for Oregon's vote by mail!

Photo from Portland Monthly Magazine.

Slow Bar on Urbanspoon

October 17, 2008

Art Reflects Life, Depth in Soul

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I saw a blurb in the Willamette Week a few weeks ago for the Free Night of Theater 2008. It said hurry sign up because you will miss out once it's all gone. So I immediately went to the website and ordered my free tickets for one of the many shows in Portland that were offering up free tickets for one night in October.

CoHo Productions' performance of The Receptionist by Adam Bock was the show that my friends and I selected for our free tickets. I thought it sounded like my life a little, since I work in HR and the office setting is often humorous, at least from my point of view. Humorous is good.

The intimate theater on NW Raleigh and 23rd was nearly full last night when I arrived, shortly before the play started. When the lights went down, the opening monologue started - bizarre, slow and very intriguing. I did not know what to make of it. I actually almost forgot about it when the lights came up on the office in the center of the room and the receptionist, on the phone, started talking. It was funny, realistic and then shockingly freaky. Just like my job sometimes. I LOVED it.

It reminded me how MUCH I love plays. I haven't been to a whole lot, but I did see Edward Norton in a play in New York City once that left me speechless for several hours and made me feel like I was punched in the stomach. Isn't it amazing how a performance can do that? I do love that feeling. What a great idea - this Free Night of Theater. It awakened my theater-going persona that was lost for a while.

Guess what? If you are reading this on October 17th, 18th or 19th, you might still have a chance to take advantage of the free theater tickets! Go to www.freenightoftheater.net, go to Find a Show, select Oregon (Portland). St. Johns North End Players are presenting The Butler Did It on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. Click on the DETAILS button and reserve your tickets.

I've long been of the opinion that it is a sin not to take part in the incredible cultural opportunities that arise in our community. There is just something divine about the instinctive creation that takes place in music, theater, art, writing. It shows the depth to our souls I think.

CoHo Productions
2257 NW Raleigh St.
Portland, OR

The Receptionist is playing until November 22nd. Please go!

October 12, 2008

Blue Cheese Cures the Blues

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So I've been home for two days, sick with a cold. Today, I finally ventured out to the store and picked up a little treat to cure the blues of home confinement. The cheese guy at Zupan's told me about this treat a few months ago and I've been fighting the urge to propose to him ever since then.

Baguette, sliced
St. Agur blue cheese (a double-creme, mild, soft blue cheese)

Smear the cheese on the baguette slices and drizzle honey on top.

I'm not going to say any more. Just try it. You'll probably be declaring your undying love for me soon. Just expect it.

October 10, 2008

Sick will drive me to the edge.

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I know I'm really sick because I'm live blogging the new episode of Ghost Whisperer. Jamie Kennedy joined the cast - Jay Mohr left (was there ever a more annoying character?). And Jason London is guest starring with Rachel Leigh Cook. Nowhere will you find so much mediocrity in one show! It's perfect for a rainy Friday night with a cold, when mediocrity appears to be fabulous.

I'm pretty sure Jason London did the dirty deed - he won't get away with it, since the dead are talking to JLove. She is SO good at solving crimes.

Wow - Jamie Kennedy looks so freakin' weird when he sees ghosts. Not a good look Jamie. Quite possibly some of the worst acting on television.

Boom. And the dirty doers get their comeuppance. Is it really necessary for the windshield wipers to smear blood? I think that's a little too Carrie.

The new episode of Numbers looks fab, as does the new episode of the Mentalist. But now they are showing The Duchess preview - Oscar worthy? Um. No. I saw it - bad, bad, bad. It's basically a pout in a dress for two hours.

What???? Freaky. They are all seeing ghosts! They are all seeing blood smeared on windshields and windows. Have I ever told you how car accidents are the thing that I am most scared of in my life? Yeah. This episode is not helping. Oh hell. Oh hell. I hate that this show can freak me out so much.

Oohh. JLove is showing up at the funeral, with the ghost and her sidekick Jamie Kennedy. And ka boom. They confront the murderer. We know you killed him. Ba bummmmm. Cut to commercial.

The Never-Ending Pasta Bowl commercials from Olive Garden make me queasy. WHAT?? Sarah Palin was found to have abused her power as Governor? Shocking. Just shocking. She seems smarter than that. Oh wait.

And now the confession. You think you are the only person that cared? I cared too! Such witty dialogue. Now they feel the ghost. Since the 7th grade we were best friends. Blah blah blah, I fell for his girlfriend. It was our fault. We did this to him. I was protecting all of us, so blah blah blah I tried to save him, but accidentally killed him. Bummer. But not really murder. They just kind of made him feel sad enough to kill himself with drugs and alcohol.

Now they are talking to the air. We're sorry Lucas. So sorry.

I can't believe it, says the ghost, my best friend and my girlfriend. I just want them to realize that they're not alone, says the ghost. What comes next?

The light, says JLove.

Is it scary?

It's okay to be scared.

Wow, says the ghost, take care of them, will ya? All of them? Yep. You're all right Melinda Gordon, you're all right. And don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

Oh I'm pretty sure this is going to end with JLove sleeping with her husband, since they're trying to have a baby. Oh Oops, now she's having second thoughts about having a baby. It's the stupid things that the ghosts say, JLove says.

Hubby to the rescue: We should believe that the right thing is going to happen.

Where did you learn to be so brave? She has the worst crying face ever. Not a good sight to end the show with. Next week the Ghost Whisperer caught in a video game. I think I'll skip that episode.

Up next on CBS - The Ex-List. No amount of phlegm or Kleenex will make me watch that show after the trauma that occurred last week in my brain from watching it. I'm not even going to link it here because it's so bad, it doesn't even make it to my trash TV list. And believe me, my standards are not that high.

October 9, 2008

Cold Food

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I have a cold. The good news is that tomorrow is Friday and my roommate is gone for the weekend, so my house can go to hell while I lay around drinking orange juice and tea, and I won't feel any guilt about it. Perfect timing!

An easy dinner when I'm not feeling well - a golden, puffy, beautiful German Pancake. Oh how I love the hills and valleys, glistening with butter and honey. I'm pretty sure you'll like it too.

German Pancake

5 eggs
3/4 cup flour
1 tsp. salt
2/3 cup milk
3 T. butter

Butter a heavy 10" oven-proof skillet. Preheat oven to 450. Beat the eggs with a whisk to blend. Slowly add flour, beat well. Stir in salt and milk.

Pour batter into skillet and drop the butter by teaspoonfuls into the batter, spreading evenly. Bake at 450 for 15 minutes - reduce heat to 350 and bake for another 10 minutes. Remove from oven. Serve with butter, honey and a squeeze of lemon over the top.

**Note: Don't over beat the eggs - over beating them will result in a flat, non-puffy pancake, which is not nearly as fun.

Serves 2.

Adapted from Susan Branch's Love from the Heart of the Home

October 8, 2008

I had a craving. And I satisfied it.

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Sometimes I get a compulsion to cook for a lot of people. This happens quite often. I try not to burden my friends with too many dinner invitations, lest they get sick of me and my food. But sometimes, I just have to satisfy that craving.

I always imagine how people will react when they take that first bite - I want it to be the best they've ever had. I want them to love it, to think about it after they leave and to dream about it when they go to sleep.

So this Sunday, I had people over for Chicken Enchiladas. The enchiladas turned out dreamy and saucy. Here's my recipe.

Sunday Dinner Enchiladas

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Chili powder
Kosher salt
fresh ground pepper
olive oil
1 large sweet onion
1 red bell pepper
1 orange bell pepper
1 jalepeno pepper
2 green tomatoes
3 cloves garlic
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
20 flour tortillas

2 cups sour cream
1 cup chicken broth
Kosher salt
fresh ground pepper
2 T. chili powder
1 T. cumin
3 t. sage
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Heat 2 T. olive oil in a pan. Liberally season chicken breasts on both sides with salt, pepper, chili powder and cumin. Add chicken breasts to the pan, cooking on medium high heat for about 7 minutes on each side. Add 1/2 cup of chicken broth to the hot pan and cover the chicken to finish cooking it with steam. Once the chicken is cooked all the way through, about 5 more minutes, remove from the heat and set aside. Let the chicken cool slightly. Then shred it in the food processor, pulsing only two or three times. Set shredded chicken aside in a bowl. Pour any remaining chicken broth from the pan over the shredded chicken.

Put the same pan back on the stove, adding 1 T. olive oil and heating over medium high heat. In the meantime, dice the onion, bell peppers and jalepeno. Add the diced vegetables to the pan and salt and pepper liberally. Saute until caramelized, about 7 minutes. Dice the green tomatoes and add to the onion mixture. Mince the garlic and add to the vegetables. Once all the vegetables are cooked, add them into the chicken mixture and set aside to cool.

When the chicken and vegetable mixture are cooled, add in 1/2 cup sour cream and 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese. Adjust seasoning as necessary, with salt, pepper, chili powder and cumin. Fill tortillas with 2-3 T of the chicken mixture, roll and place in a lightly oiled 8x13 baking pan.

In a separate bowl, mix together two cups of sour cream, 1 cup of chicken broth and the seasonings. Enchilada sauce should be the consistency of heavy cream. Taste, and adjust the seasonings as necessary. Add in the shredded cheese.

Pour enchilada sauce over the rolled tortillas and top with more shredded cheese. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbly.

Makes a lot. Depending on how hungry you and your guests are, 8-10 servings.

October 6, 2008

My Infinite Playlist

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The new song by The Killers asks "Are we human or dancer?" One of the DJs on 94.7 said that line made no sense, but I disagree. I like the phrase - are we on autopilot, dancing the steps, but not thinking about it, or are we embracing our faults, our looks, our passions, our strengths, our weaknesses, living as humanly as possible.

In Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, a movie I saw twice this weekend, Nick and Norah clumsily take the New York night, discovering themselves and each other in a very honest way. They celebrate their teenage humanity with confidence, insecurity, intelligence, and heart. All while bonding over music. A playlist that provides the soundtrack to the movie.

I am making my Infinite Playlist. Elizabeth: The Soundtrack.

The Killers - Human
Cake - Short Skirt, Long Jacket
Swell Season - Leave
The Killers - Smile Like You Mean It
Nirvana - Come As You Are
Beck - Loser
Cake - I Will Survive
Aimee Mann - Save Me

That's all I have so far. But I intend on adding bunches of music in the next few months and creating a soundtrack for my life on a regular basis. What's on your playlist?

October 2, 2008

Te Quiero

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Tonight I went to the Viva Comunidad event for Hacienda CDC at the Wonder Ballroom. So much fun. Tamales and the best Salsa music I've ever heard. I've never liked Salsa music that much, but I fell in LOVE with this as soon as I walked in the door. It was a band from Seattle - Picoso.

I bought their CD and I'm listening to it right now. In my imagination, I'm a really great Salsa dancer. And in real life, I'm a really good Salsa maker. Mmm. I think I have all the ingredients. Buenos noches!