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Working from home does have certain advantages.  One obvious advantage is that you get to wear your yoga pants to work and you get to make great lunches (like the scrambled egg tacos with avocado and tortillas pictured above) instead of eating a subway veggie delite three days a week (not that I ever did that).  

Another is that in the time it takes you to chat with colleague about last night's episode of Mad Men, you can make dinner.  For all five of you who read this here recipe journal, I want to encourage you to make the following recipe, which can be thrown together in about 10 minutes.  It's a wonderfully fragrant and tender dish, and it makes a lot of food: Chicken a la Veracruzana from Mexican Everyday.  This is definitely a recipe to pass along to friends, so here it is: a straightforward and simple recipe that even when you mess up (as I did), still tastes incredible.  I added the olives with everything else instead of adding them at the end (oops) and forgot to drain the tomatoes.  But not to worry, it's hard to do much damage here.  The most time consuming part of the recipe is skinning the chicken, which you could probably have the butcher  kid who works at your meat counter do for you.  We ate this with pinto beans that were ready in less than 20 minutes (pressure cooker!!!!) and some warm corn tortillas--David's brother John turned us on to the BEST corn tortillas, La Tortilla Factory, if they have them at your store, try them, they're really, really good.

While yesterday's dinner simmered in the crockpot for six hours, tonight's dinner, white bean and basil soup, was ready in less than 40 minutes thanks again to the pressure cooker, a great short cut tool!  Anyone who cooks night after night will appreciate this recipe because it's made in one pot (not much to clean up) and tastes like it was fussed over for hours.  And, I'd wager that you can make the whole thing with what you more or less already have on hand.   The recipe calls for vegetable broth, but since I've never found one that I think is substantial enough, I used watered down chicken broth; I also used a drained 28oz can of diced San Marzano's since I didn't want to cut up all those tomatoes.  The Parmesan, basil, and lemon juice really round out the soup and give it body, but you might find that it does need salt (none at all in the recipe).  I served the soup with rustic bread from our local bakery and a simple green salad with a zingy dressing featuring my new favorite salad dressing ingredient: a tiny sliver of preserved lemon (see previous post).  

In non-food news, I just finished Tales of the City, which one of my very kind UCLA friends gifted me upon our move North; it was a fun read and window into life in San Francisco in the seventies, one that is funny and poignant, but at the same time so sad when read through the the hindsight of knowing the AIDS epidemic is lurking just a few years around the corner.  

And today, my pre-ordered copy of Jonathan Franzen's Freedom arrived, just like Amazon said it would.  50 pages in so far....


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 1st, 2010 06:34 pm (UTC)
I was surprised to find Tales of the City to be a great read myself when I breezed through it a few years ago. It has weathered the decades better than its close relative, the sitcom "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman." Both tackled topical issues weekly (if not daily), but Tales of the City never feels like it's just filling in time.

That said, Loretta Haggers is a better wacky supporting character than Mona Ramsey.
Sep. 24th, 2010 10:21 am (UTC)
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( 2 comments — Leave a comment )