10 February 2009

Two Dinners is One and a Half Too Much

As I've alluded to here before, or maybe not, I am deeply in debt to Miho, who takes Koji to school at least once and sometimes twice a week. She is a lifesaver! But there's a problem and that is, she never needs me to reciprocate and take her son to school. The only way I've figured to return the favor is to make her food, since she doesn't like to cook.

Her husband is out of town this week, so I made a reservation to spend time there this afternoon having the kids play and making dinner for their family. It's a win-win really, because our kids play pretty well together, and I have to make dinner anyway.

The day drew closer and I realized that I myself didn't need dinner because I was invited to meet some Bible study friends at a restaurant. Seeing as that was later, I decided to go forward with my plan to make dinner for Miho and company. They had:

*broccoli salad with raisins and pine nuts (recipe below)
*ebi chili (shrimp in chili sauce)

*white rice
*salad of celery, apples, grapes and sunflower seeds dressed with mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt & pepper

*chocolate chip cookie bars (from yesterday)
*pistachio and cranberry biscotti (from the baking class I taught last week)

I cannot tell a lie, though I knew that I was going out to dinner in another hour, I couldn't resist sampling what I had made.

After eating that sample and gathering up the kids, I rushed them home, made a plate for Aogu, and took off to meet the CBS staff at Graziano's. As usual, it was difficult to decide what to eat, given my rule: don't order something you can make yourself. Then there was the fact that I wasn't really hungry...but I decided to go wtih pizza since I don't have an oven that will reach 700-900 degrees, so there's no way I'll be able to make that at home, right?

Pizza was a solid choice, but then I went totally off the rails and decided to try this:
*grilled steak fajita pizza - grilled skirt steak, avocado, tomato cilantro salsa, chipotle peppers, smoked mozzarella

Yeah. It wasn't very good. The crust was good, but the toppings were too random and just didn't go with pizza; they should stay in a fajita where they belong. I ordered the smallest one and ate half, thinking I was leaving myself room for dessert. A friend and I split the
*apple crostada

And then I almost exploded. It was an unseasonably warm evening and I really really would have liked to walk home--not that we were actually close enough to make that an option--to try and break even on the two dinners I ate. Alas! I suppose I did learn that I like shrimp in chili sauce better than steak fajita pizza...

Broccoli with Raisins and Pine Nuts
from Biography Magazine, July 2001

1/3 cup raisins (I used golden)
1/3 cup hot water
3 T pine nuts (I used 4)
2 medium heads broccoli
2 T olive oil
3 gloves garlic, minced (I used 5)
2 T anchovy paste

Combine the raisins with hot water and let stand at least 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, toast the pine nuts in a small skillet until they are golden brown.
Steam the broccoli until crisp tender (5 min. for stems, 3 min. for heads).
Heat the oil in a large skillet over low heat. Add the garlic and cook one minute or until soft. Add the anchovy paste and cook until one minute until the paste has melted. Add the broccoli, the raisins with their soaking water; cook and stir for a minute or two until the broccoli is well coated. Off the heat, add the pine nuts, toss and serve. Serves 4.

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