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Archive for the ‘Cooking’ Category

via thisiswhyyourefat.com via jasongraphix

A co-worker just alerted me to the website This Is Why You’re Fat. I don’t know why it never occurred to me to do that with a box of Oreos; I think the most I ever put together between two ends of a cookie were three lard centers.  That stuff is so delicious!

I have fairly healthy body image, so I’m not going to say I’m fat.  I’m not.  But if I were fat, here would be the most-likely reasons why:

  1. Pasta, particularly with butter (or I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter, which I can believe is not butter but still love the taste of) and a lot a lot a lot of cheese.
  2. Baking, especially when it involves frosting. Or batter. Or dough.  Or anything edible.
  3. Bread. I cannot resist a good bread basket, equally a fan of olive oil and salt on top as butter, and I just love a cheese plate that allows me another opportunity to slather brie onto a thinly sliced baguette.
  4. Chipotle. There was a period of time in grad school, during the semester when I was teaching, that I ate a Chiptole fajita burrito multiple times a week.  I don’t know how I ever got myself to stop doing that.  Or why.
  5. Street meat.  Those of you not lucky enough to live in a city that serves up street meat on nearly ever corner, I pity you. I think in an ideal world, I would alternate between Chipotle and chicken-over-rice from the plaza near work for lunch every day, and I’d have pasta with bread and cheese for dinner.  Is that gross?  I’d also find the time to bake every single day.

As for the first item on my list, we all know how much I love pasta. I should do a better job of defending this much-maligned staple of my diet. It started with Atkins, which had a snowball effect of many more low-carb and even no-carb diets. Those diets are ridiculous, and here is why.

One summer during college, or perhaps right before college, I spent a month or so at home.  All I did, all day long, was sew and watch movies.  I would emerge from the basement a couple of times a day to have a big bowl of plain pasta with butter and cheese, and I would retire to bed as my parents were waking up, usually around 6 in the morning.  A few things happened: I made a lot of dresses, most of which I never wore (and I even made one for Croquette, which she probably never wore, either). My dad took back his credit card, which he’d given me to rent movies with, when he discovered I’d rented more than 100 movies in a few weeks’ time. I also lost 15 pounds.

It was the best diet ever.

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When I lived in DC, I worked near Dupont Circle, very close to a California Pizza Kitchen. In fact, here it is:

photo by Kevin L. at Yelp

photo by Kevin L. at Yelp

Late nights at the magazine (including one that ended with me sleeping on the floor till my co-workers arrived the next morning), the designer and I would order potato-leek soup and the most sublime pasta dish, called Chicken Tequila Fettuccine.

When I moved to New York and took my current job, I searched all over the Financial District (well, I looked it up on Google Maps) for a CPK and found none. There’s a TGI Friday’s down the street, but its pasta menu has nothing similar. The closest I’ve come is Chili’s Cajun Chicken Pasta, which I ate on one of the numerous trips to Chili’s Julie and I made at Amherst:

Finally, I gave in to my cravings, and last night I attempted to make the CPK dish on my own. The recipe is readily available online, and I picked up the ingredients on my way home from work, including a small bottle of Jose Cuervo.

I decided to double the recipe, since it calls for half each of red, yellow and green peppers.  I ended up with an enormous amount of pasta! It’s fairly delicious, though if I were to make it again, I’d at least double the garlic and jalapeno, and I’d add salt while I was cooking. Also, I made this with half-and-half, which worked just as well as heavy cream would have, for about half the fat and calories.

Perhaps I am unsophisticated, but I love chain-restaurant food, particularly creamy pasta. Nothing would make me happier than a trip to the Olive Garden for all-you-can-eat breadsticks and salad. And maybe a huge plate of Garlic-Herb Chicken con Broccoli:

I didn’t take a picture of my pasta last night, but the original should do the trick:

There’s enough for a dozen more servings in my fridge, so come and get it before I pack it into Ziploc bags and put it in my freezer.

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So there was no ice-skating, but we did have a marvelous meal today at Bobby D’s Tribecca Grill for Restaurant Week.

Tribecca Grill

I had pumpkin soup, spinach ravioli and chocolate cheesecake. Chris had veal terrine, short ribs and pecan tart. It was all so delicious, and the bread basket was the best bread basket I’d ever had. Muffins, cornbread, regular bread and scones. We were full before our first course even arrived.

Earlier this week, we had dinner at Devi. Here is my fried quail: Quail

And here are Chris’s chops: chops

Here is the delicious meal described in a previous post that we made last night: our meal

With my dessert, which is sugar-free cheesecake pudding and “fresh” raspberries (out-of-season fruit is always so seductive and usually so disappointing):

puddin

I am sated.  We couldn’t even finish our dessert because of that blasted bread basket today!

Good night, dear blogosphere.

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The day began with, for once, Chris wanting to sleep and stay in bed longer than I did! That was incredible, and I certainly wanted to encourage the behavior, so I indulged him by watching some Howard On Demand. We had bagels (but no egg and bacon because, of course, we’re watching what we eat, though that didn’t stop me from adding an apple turnover to my order at the last minute) and then hopped in a car (because my ears were cold) to my place.

After an episode of “The L Word” (more on that later) and the latest “Real World: Brooklyn” (the most unrealistic aspect of this season is that for some ridiculous reason the roommates go to a gym in upper Manhattan even though they live in Red Hook), Chris was sufficiently antsy and headed off to the Brooklyn Museum (which I’ve never visited, in spite of its being two blocks from my new apartment and eight from my old), leaving me to clean my kitchen (it smelled a little), tidy the living room, prepare my laundry (I couldn’t find enough quarters to actually do it) and strip my bed (still need to put the new sheets on).

Now we’re making dinner. Chris is working on pork chops, and I made broccoli with garlic, red pepper flakes, onion and green pepper (cleaning out the fridge) and orzo with my first homemade pesto (note to self: don’t double the cheese in the recipe no matter how good an idea it seems like at the time). We’re watching bootlegged copies of “Doubt” and “Revolutionary Road” tonight in preparation for our Annual Oscar Battle.

I’m going to cream him this year. My best advantage, aside from my typical reliance on “Entertainment Weekly”‘s picks, is that I’m trying to read the based-on books as well as watch all the movies this year.

This blog post is a bit too much like a diary entry, I suppose. My many readers are lucky that my life is so interesting.

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