Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Testing ... testing ... taste testing.

ServSafe. ::sigh:: What an interesting venture that was. I did as the instructions said, "Read the entire book before you come to class." It was good advice. The whole 6 hours of instruction were meager review for the 13 chapters I forced my way through over the previous week. I'll get my results just after Christmas. I have a good feeling about my score, but I would hate to jinx myself by being overly cocky (which I certainly can be on occasion).

So, seven hours later I was sitting in the Market Basket parking lot thinking to myself, "What the hell am I going to make for dinner?" Mark had requested baked fish. Haddock or something. Normally I'm all about fish baked in butter and Ritz crackers, but I wanted something a bit healthier ... Maybe with a Caribbean flair.

Enter ... the smart phone. I love that damn thing. A little Google and- WAM! Cuban style baked whole fish ... which I altered. I always do that- not out of desire, but out of need. I don't have Spanish style olive oil. And I'm not buying any. Not until a client needs some. For my own purposes? Forget it. Money is tight. Basic olive oil is the only one that makes the cut.

So, there was some wild caught Cod available, which I nestled in a roasting pan on top of some sauteed onions and peppers with a few bay leaves, smothered the fish in a garlic, oregano and salt paste, then drizzled with a mix of tomato puree and white wine vinegar. I threw a few more onions and peppers on top, poured some white wine on there, then in the oven at 375 until it flaked when I stuck a fork in it. [Such a run-on sentence.] The whole thing came out SO GOOD!

I paired that with some wild rice that I threw a lime vinaigrette on. I also made an easy cabbage slaw with red onions, olive oil, white wine vinegar and an awesome salt and herb mix that Hannah got me as a gift not too long ago. Easy meal. Crazy delicious.

My friends Jeff and Darlene joined us for dinner. What an amazing time we had. Gracious friends, lots of laughter, lots of wine (and Baileys!). It was wonderful to have them over, spend some quality time. It feels like the whole lot of us are in a period of transition. Scary as that is, it's also exciting. The world, it seems, is our oyster. And who doesn't like oysters?! I'm a huge fan.

The weekend is almost here and I'm going to be making a few solid meals for friends. Nicole is visiting from Massachusetts- she just nailed a job as an architect for a new firm in Boston. Her designs are brilliant and this is clearly the beginning of a bright and lucrative future for her. We will celebrate her new venture. Ed will be coming over early on Saturday for breakfast. He's finished his most recent semester at my alma mater (New England College), the pursuit of which has been very successful for him. He requested any dish that involves eggs. Okay, Ed. Game on.

As the new year approaches I've been thinking about how I want to feel at the end of 2012. Hopefully I will still be doing this; updating you on my business ventures and sharing the work I love to do. I'm hoping for more clients. To breathe a sigh of relief, that all of the talk and all of the work paid off. I have a good feeling, but life is what happens while you're making plans... the best I can do is plan for anything to happen at any time. Ha! Good luck with that, right?

At least we can eat well while we wait for the universe to make its next move. Okay, powers-that-be.

Game on.


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