About Me - Cooking
T-MINUS 9 DAYS
I know what you're thinking: "I wish I knew more about Meghan." That's right! Mental telepathy is one of my many gifts. Never fear! Since I aim to please today's posting is the first "About Me".
In the "About Me" section of this Blogger I originally I lamented the 1200 word limit was woefully inadequate to actually impart who I am. Or any other bloggers for that matter. Then later on yesterday I was submitting my treasured insights elsewhere and there was 500 word limit bio section, which was optional to fill out. But I stepped up to the challenge! No stupid word limit was going to get the better of me. I am riding high on this inspiration wave and loving it. So I steered my mental surfboard (does one actually steer a surfboard?) over this wave and out splashed something witty. (Aren't these surfing metaphors genius?!) I impressed even myself - which really isn't that hard to do at times. Again the mental chorus sang, the fountain appeared and the light got brighter - 1200 words is more than enough to drop a tasty morsel of the deliciousness that is me; and the blog itself is the medium for imparting the whole batch of Meghan cookies (like the baking metaphor this time?). Mmmmm...cookies...
This posting was originally going to be two lists - likes and dislikes (devastatingly original, I know) and some random thoughts. Then as I went over my lists I realized it's a treasure trove of blogs, mateys! Each a priceless doubloon for me to use at my discretion. So my parrot and I will guard over this chest (going with pirates this time - darrrrghhh! Okay no more metaphors, I swear!) When I falter and need a go-to subject I'll have the treasure of me. Lucky for you!!
You may have noticed the countdown at the top. One random thought that skittered through the cavernous space between my ears was about the structure of this blog. The countdown is temporary (like all countdowns, obviously). But when it's done I'll need something else to put up there and am open to suggestions.
When the countdown ends, a friend and I will travel all the way to Rhode Island to stand in line for a few hours. We aren't going there because of our undying love of waiting in line, but to meet Giada de Laurentiis at her book signing! I've never been so excited to stand in line for hours. She is the reason everyone thinks I am a fabulous cook.
|My very first cookbook - I'm so verklempt!|
Everyday Pasta is the first cookbook I purchased. I have all but two of her books AND I'd say 88% of the new recipes I try are hers. Not that I don't follow other chefs - her style just resonates with me. I am of course going to acquire her newest book and clutch it to my breast all the way down to Rhode Island. I'm also sending word to the Universe to pump me full of something which I desperately need for the trip down and the meeting - Zen. Don't want to appear a fool in front of my culinary hero! I need to be calm, cool and not tripping over my tongue as though it's doubled in size.
Segue to the About Me portion of the About Me post (FINALLY!) - cooking! I LOVE to cook. I LOVE to bake. I just love preparing food. More importantly I love having everyone I know come over and eat the food I've prepared. And I love giving leftovers and cookies to Ben so he can share them with the guys he works with. I just love feeding people. It makes me feel good when anyone enjoys something I've made. I must be channeling my inner Sally Field "You like me! You really like me!", or something. I don't know. I try not too delve to deeply into the why of anything, it could get messy. I hate messy.
As anyone with young, picky palates that need feeding knows, when your offspring shovel the food down without the dreaded question, "How much more do I have to eat?" then you've hit a home run. I did that last night with my own turkey meatball creation. Isaac had three, and he actually said, "I should have gotten four." I told him that he could have another one when he was done if he wanted. And did he? Anyone? Anyone? No. He did not. But he scarfed the three down, and since dinner was done it was time for dessert. No more stupid meatballs for him.
I also LOVE sharing recipes and any of my insights, should they be requested. I actually taught SuperMom a few things about cooking. The first meal I taught her how to cook was from Giada's Family Dinners.
|A gift from my in-laws. The gift that keeps on giving - yum!|
She loved the risotto so much when I made it for her she wanted to know how to make it. I was only too happy to oblige; and it was the awesomest (not a word, I know, but whatever!) thing ever to see the realization dawn on her that actual cooking isn't hard. Fresh is better than boxed any day of the week and six times on Sunday.
Segue back to the structure of this magnificent blog. I'm going to close each one out by answering the daily question that can induce sighs and mild panic "What's For Dinner?" Most of the time it will be a link to a recipe I use. Occasionally I will actually throw something together on my own; happily those occasions are increasing, and I will include those recipes as well. Today's links are to the Dirty Risotto that SuperMom and I made and the marinara sauce I always make. I haven't purchased store sauce in years. If you're too busy during the week and have time on a Saturday or Sunday, make this sauce. You can freeze it for up to three months! It's worth it, I swear. And the meatballs are all mine.
And please, please, please send me any recipes you love!
WHAT'S FOR DINNER?
MEGHAN'S YUMMY TURKEY MEATBALLS
1 lb or so of ground turkey
1-2 Tbs olive oil
6-8 cloves of garlic - chopped (no such thing as too much garlic!)
1 large or 2 small shallots - chopped
3/4 c bread crumbs (I use 4C Seasoned Whole Wheat bread crumbs)
1/2 c reduced fat feta
1/2 c parmigiano reggiano
1/4 c chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
|Maybe a career in food photography is in the works?:)|
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tsp of salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
Heat olive oil in a large heavy skillet or large sauce pot over medium-high heat. Crack and scramble the egg in a large bowl then go ahead and throw in the rest of the ingredients, except the salt and pepper, and mix it all together. Dump in the ground turkey in all its squishy glory and use your hands - yes your hands - and fold and mush everything gently until its properly incorporated. Season with salt and pepper and fold and mush some more. Then use those gunked-up hands to form the meat mixture into Schweddy balls as big or as small as you like. When all the balls are in the pan go wash your nasty hands! Then return to the pan and watch your precious babies to make sure they don't burn. You just want them to sear and turn your favorite color on all sides - golden brown. This takes roughly ten minutes but use your eyes! When they're golden brown, pour three or so cups of sauce over them (either the homemade or jarred stuff), stir it all around so the sauce is spread evenly over the pot. Well I like to do this because I hate unevenness. After the sauce is in cover the vessel, lower the heat to med-low and let simmer for about a half hour. Pull a meatball out and slice it open - if there's no pink it's time to eat! Now you can feel free to make some pasta to go with this, if that's the kind of person you are. 'Round these parts we just eat the meatballs and sauce, but follow your heart! Maybe even a green salad and some garlic bread, too..