Wednesday, April 6, 2011

It's been a while...

...but I did say that I would be busy!

The show (THE BEST LITTLE WHOREHOUSE IN TEXAS) was great! Opening night had some sound cue issues (missed ringing after it was picked up...etc), but the 2nd night was much better. The audience was fantastic and laughed at all the right places. They even applauded at the right places (i.e. after I sang and danced)! My parents got to come down and brought my sister, so they all saw the show.

On Saturday (the day of the 2nd show), my family came over and the kids played XBox Kinect. It's amazing how quickly they learn. And it's good because it teaches them to play together. The next morning, we got up (after a late after party and an even later after after party...that's how I roll) at 9:00am and dragged ourselves to IHOP to see the family one last time before they went home. After 2-3 weeks of low carbs so I could get down to show weight, those chicken and waffles were delicious!

After breakfast, my niece gave me this story she wrote. I'll leave all the spelling and grammar errors, but I can't duplicate the slanted lines:

once opone a time there was a tiger. and she had four babies. They were wet and plump when they were first born. But one day they went on a walk. And one litte tiger saw a cricket! And jumed after it. Soon she ran! And she got lost! Soon she started crying and wining. Because she was scard. And she did't know were she was. Then she started walking and walking and walking soon she stoped. There there was a big green bush in front of her! She opened the bush. There on the other side was a litte town. She was so tierd she walked to a litte box and stayed there all night and day. for a hole month. But one day there was women and she took care of the litte tiger cub. meanwhile the mommy tiger was wored sick! Soon the mommy tiger whent to hunt. Soon she rembered that her baby cub had a strip missing! She looked closer. it was the litte cub. Soon she called the daddy tiger and the kids. The litte cub ran to her mother. Then she ran back to pertect the women. The mother thouht it was sweet.

Well, during the hell that was TBLWIT rehearsals, I didn't get to cook much. But Monday night I made filet mignon with garlic butter, green beans, and whole wheat couscous with dried cranberries. No special secrets to making that. Just put the cranberries in the boiling water with the dried couscous. I put dried Italian seasoning and garlic into melted butter, then stuck it in the fridge to set up. The green beans were canned, but I did the usual EVOO and Tony's seasoning.

It was a quick dinner Tuesday night because of rehearsal, so I used frozen chicken stuffed with brie and apples, but drizzled it with balsamic glaze. I heated up some Bob Evans mac n cheese, but put black truffle butter on it. Yum.

Now in the oven I have parmesan incrusted pork loin (I bought it prepared that way), and 15 minutes before it was finished, I dumped the leftover couscous from Monday in the pan with it. I had added grated parmesan cheese and basil to the couscous. It should be done by now, so I have to go!

A high school classmate has been making mojitos with Splenda instead of sugar, which will be on the list of things to try next!

Tomorrow I'm going to happy hour with coworkers, so I'll have mussels and cocktails...nothing to report. Friday we're in St. Louis for my niece's 2nd birthday (not the one that wrote the story...J's niece). If we eat anything good up there, I'll let y'all know!

Missed you!

(P.S. Congrats to Mom in High Heels on the birth of their healthy, happy baby boy!!!)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

First Blog Entry

So, here it is. The first entry in my blog. You can thank Mom in High Heels, who practically made me start one. I think she mostly wants recipes and cooking tips from it, but who knows what I'll end up writing about! I don't claim to have as many interesting stories as Mom in High Heels, or her blog counterpart from the Yummish Faith, but I am creative and funny, so watch out world! (Hey, Mr. Onstein, here I am!)

So, just for MiHH, here's what we had for dinner Friday night: Mac'n'cheese! It's really simple, only a little more difficult than that crappy boxed m'n'c. So, you boil the noodles (duh. I actually used elbow macaroni this time, but I usually use a spiral to hold all the sauce better!). Then you make the sauce. (I'm horrible at actual measurements, so you're out of luck if you need those.) Make a roux with butter and flour, then add cream and milk for a bechamel. Next you add the cheese. I use gruyere and sharp cheddar...and if you're going to do it, do it right and get good cheese. Stir until the cheese melts, meanwhile adding salt and pepper and (the "secret" ingredient) a pinch of freshly ground nutmeg. Then you mix the noodles in the sauce.

The next steps are optional, but just barely. You could eat Kraft boxed dinner out of the pot, but not homemade! Now you have to bake it. And sure, you could just throw it in a casserole dish and be done with it, but if you're going to do it, do it right (see above). Once it's in the casserole dish, you have to put on a yummy bread crumb topping!

Option #1: Plain bread crumbs. Boring, but if that's what you want...mix the bread crumbs with olive oil or melted butter and sprinkle on top of the noodles. (I use prepared bread crumbs; you can make them yourself if you have stale bread lying around.)
Option #2: Bacon and bread crumbs. This is the obvious choice. I tried something different this time and it worked out. I fried up the lardons (that's French for little pieces of bacon) and mixed the bread crumbs in with them, bacon fat and all! Healthy, no. Delicious, yes. The other way would be to add the bacon pieces in with the crumbs and olive oil. You also add salt and pepper, and if you're really going crazy, Italian seasoning and/or parmasean cheese.

You pop the bread crumb-topped noodles and sauce into a 350 degree oven until it's gold and bubbly. Voila! Homemade mac and cheese!

Extra tips from Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa:
-Grown-up mac and cheese with blue cheese in the sauce (I'm thinking instead of the cheddar)
-Lobster mac and cheese with chopped lobster tail in with the noodles. "How bad could that be?" (P.S. Ina uses already cooked and shelled lobster: "I have better things to do with my life than boil a whole lobster, then pull the meat out of the tail.")
-Top with tomato slices, then the breadcrumbs

Alright, there you have it. Entry #1. I'll try to keep up with it. But no promises. Especially now that I have rehearsal 20 of the next 28 days.