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A delicious meal that is warm and filling, and will hint at the coming of spring

1 4 oz piece of white fish per person

5 cherry tomatoes per person

1/2 green pepper per person

1/4 butternut squash per person

olive oil

fresh basil (or frozen-fresh)

salt

Pepper

Garlic, roasted and chopped

Parmesan

Place the fish into a baking dish. Drizzle olive oil over the top, sprinkle generously with salt,  and grate a little parmesan on top. Slice each tomato in half, drizzle them with olive oil, salt, parmesan, and PEPPER this time (I don’t like pepper on my white fish.) Surround the fish with these tomatoes and roast in a 400 degree oven until the fish is done. You can also sprinkle garlic over the tomatoes and fish.

While that is roasting, saute 1/2 inch cubes of butternut squash drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with mild chili pepper and diced red peppers – the red peppers cook faster, so keep that in mind. I usually do them separately, because Josh doesn’t like red peppers.

Boil penne or spaghetti.

People can put whatever they want on their plate. At my house it’s mandatory to put EITHER the squash OR the peppers, but I recommend both. Also, though it seems like you’re putting olive oil on everything, don’t put very much on any one thing. I think I use two tablespoons all told for everything, but I try each time to use less.

Every year, Josh gets a Harry and David’s box from his workplace. We never can eat it all before it goes bad, and yet it is so delicious! (Except moose munch. Josh gets his dibs on all the moose munch. I’m not a fan!)

Anyway, to aide in the eating of pears, I make stuffed pears. Stuffed pears! There are two methods, both are super-easy. For either method, heat your oven to 350. For method one, slice your pear in half and melon-ball or spoon out the core. For method 2, take a fruit corer and core the pear straight down the middle, but don’t go all the way through. leave about 3/4″ in the bottom. Now, pour high-quality chocolate chips in the core of either pear.

Bake until soft. This will take a mere 15 min if you went with pear method one, and more like half an hour with pear method 2. you get more chocolate with pear method two though. Also, if you make multiple pears, put them all in a baking dish (like for a casserole or a cake pan, whatever you have) and then cover the bottom with chocolate, and put a small amount of milk in. You’ll make extra chocolate sauce to drizzle all over your pears while baking the pears. one-pan delicious.

My head is stuffy and I’ve been sleeping. A lot. Now, what does food do I eat when ill?
Chicken soup, of course! Just my usual chicken soup, as featured here, but if there’s none of that available, a can will do. The big secret? 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper. Hello sinuses. How are you, being sandblasted out of my head? Add more if you naturally have a higher tolerance for heat content.

If that doesn’t work, or only works for the half-hour after you’ve eaten it, well. Then. It is time for the big guns, as it were. See the hot toddy. This stuff kills – your sinuses, the germs, your soul….well, hopefully not the last, but it is pretty darn nasty, in my opinion. However, it works, and thus I keep at them.

In a tea cup, make hot tea with a LOT of lemon and honey. I don’t care if you don’t like either in your tea, I hate them both too. You want the citrus, and trust me. You want the sugar. Then, add 1 shot either whiskey, brandy, or rum – the highest proof non-vodka you have available. I don’t know why vodka wouldn’t work, probably because it lacks the unpleasantly painful flavor when hot. Now, heat that “tea” until it’s as hot as you can stand it.

Try to sip this. Do not chug, no matter how many times you’ve been told to get the medicine “over with.” It’s not tasty, as aforementioned, but it does work in my experience. However, alcohol does dehydrate you, so drink extra-extra water before and after this vile treatment. And sleep afterwards.

Feel better soon!

And I feel about not at all like cooking. Luckily for readers, I stumbled on this interesting article about food color. The site is a design site otherwise if you’re into that sort of thing, but you should definitely check out the food color thing. I knew some of the stuff, but I did not know all of it.
See you tomorrow. Maybe I’ll make chicken soup.

I haven’t quite yet had a chance to purchase my requisite bag of apples, but I’m very excited about all the fruits of harvest. Thursday is market day, and it will be delicious, people. Also, I have actual tomatoes on my worthlessly tall tomato plants (one is 5′!). Only 15, but there should soon be more little cherry tomatoes for munching. Ah, delicious.

Anyway. In my little world o’ food, there was barbecued pork for labor day, and it came out better than I’d hoped. I had class (yes, my school is in session over Labor Day), so I just stuck cheap-o boneless pork ribs in the crockpot with water to submerge, and then I drained off some of the water when I came back from class (the pork ribs had fallen apart and were no longer as tall), always keeping everything just submerged. When I started getting hungry, I drained it as best I could, stabbed the pork a few times with a conveniently located fork,  and poured bbq all over everything. Buns and sides made for a very picnicky meal with no effort. It was nice.

Tonight is lasagna – I know, boring! I’ll lose you all. But Asian meatballs are tomorrow, if I can find sesame oil. I’ll post of course, if it comes out well.

We did have Moroccan burgers, though. They were pretty tasty! I used epicurious’ recipe for Moroccan seasoning, stored in a little plastic container, and then I took about a tablespoon of that in the ground beef with an egg. Goat cheese makes the best topping – just crumble it over the top. Yum! I’m planning to use the rest of the seasoning over shredded chicken later in the week, and putting that mix in a pita.

I hope you all had wonderful dinners!

We had chicken fried steak tonight, a treat for us all. Yum! I made it from sirloin, which you normally do not do, because that would be a complete waste. But this sirloin was free, and instead of tenderizing it, I simply chicken-fried it. Yum! Dredged in flour seasoned with plenty of salt and pepper, pan fried, and then that oh-so-delicious gravy.

So delicious.

Of course, we also watched Food Network last night, and saw Feasting on Asphalt and the South Beach Live get-together, but to be honest, I didn’t feel either was really worth getting out the laptop to review them. Feasting on Asphalt has been all right this year, but it does feel much less planned. They had one donut shop that they went to where the lady all but kicked them out. I think they could have left that out of the final footage.

I don’t know what I think of the “new” Alton – he’s a bit crazier on Iron Chef (never a bad thing!) but he’s gotten much…..more reserved, perhaps?  Whatever it is, I’m not sure I like it, but then – I still favor Alton best on Good Eats. Though he was the only one worth watching at the bash – he turned an Army-issue Swiss box into a smoker on stage, all while making good fun of himself. That was enjoyable.

However, I was downright embarrassed for Michael, to sit and watch Paula talk about how she thought he was a pervert rapist when she first saw him. Rachel was Rachel, and Giada embarrassed herself by not being able to actually boil pasta on stage. What?! Though she did take it well, and humorously. So it was better than it could have been, but that isn’t saying much.

So all in all, two new things, neither particularly enjoyable, nor particularly awful. Just bland. 

Much in contrast to the last visit with mom, now she’s coming here – and I had no warning! Being me, of course, I couldn’t imagine greeting anyone coming to visit, much less my mother, without food.

 But when your mother is a mere hour away, and you’re out of supplies, what do you make? 

I had no time to get myself to a grocery, so it was time for an inventory.  I had a lot of things, but all were earmarked for a dinner. However, I did have a few things that I could toss together, namely a can of croissant dough, cream cheese, cocoa, sugar, and tea.

Teatime! I could make chocolate-stuffed croissants and have some tea. I set the cream cheese out, kept up with my tasks for the day, and then when it was warm I blended in 2 tablespoons of chocolate and some sugar. I kept adding more sugar until it tasted sweet. If I’d had vanilla, I would have added maybe a teaspoon of that – it could have used it pretty bad. But I didn’t, and so I made do. It came out looking surprisingly like peanut butter, and it spread just as well. I spread it all on one side of each little triangle, spread some raspberry jam, and then rolled them up. Tip: Leave the tip of the triangle where you want the croissant to land, because they get a little bit warm when you are working with them spreading the cheese, making them very hard to move.

Bake for the requisite 11 minutes at 375 and remark on how delicious your kitchen smells. Yum!

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