Thursday, July 18, 2013

conference room cred

On my way into work yesterday, I grabbed not one, but two, vanilla-frosted donuts (my favorite flavor since childhood). It is possibly the worst thing I can think of (in the realm of diet) to have a donut shop right by the metro. That delicious smell wafting at you before you even walk in the building is practically impossible to resist, especially when you're starving and sleep deprived. 

Anyways, as I was inhaling the donuts, I apparently got icing on my face. Which no one told me. Of course this was right before I went in to a meeting full of people twice my age and triple my importance. I don't think it did much for my conference room cred, although it does explain why everyone watched with intent when I spoke.

The messy breakfast did as little for my expanding girth as it did for my credibility, which is a shame, because SS and I have really been focusing on cooking healthy stuff instead of spending money eating out (which is usually synonymous with eating poorly, at least for me). But in the past week or two, I've been resisting that culinary pursuit not just because I'm a bit lazy (although I am), but also because the LKTC is sweltering in the dead of winter, so you can imagine what it feels like during a 100 degree heat wave (which we are currently in the midst of in DC). 

Luckily, this smoky Spanish-style roasted shrimp dish requires a mere 30 to 45 minutes in the oven, and you only have to dart back in to the boiling-hot kitchen twice to throw things into the pan. If you do all your (easy) prep work before you turn on the oven, you can actually emerge with a tasty, quick meal, and no need to take a pre-dinner shower. And it tastes great with cold beer, which will go a long way in helping you forget frosting-face debacles.  

Another good thing about finally cooking? Getting to use one of my beautiful birthday platters from Sophie!

Monday, July 15, 2013

keeping the flame alive

I haven't written for a while, and then last night I nearly burned down the LKTC, so I figured I'd share my stupidity with the interwebs for an afternoon laugh at my own expense. Don't feel too badly if you catch yourself laughing literally out loud--I couldn't contain my own laughter (after the fact, of course) last night. 

When I got home from work (yes, work, on a Sunday), SS and I were debating what to have for dinner. He wanted pesto pasta with a side of ground beef. I, exhausted from a day of ordering interns about, couldn't disguise my confusion over why someone would want to eat just ground beef. Because I wasn't all that hungry, and I'm the ultimate pragmatist (unless you are chewing gum noisily in my vicinity), I told him it was fine. SS, knowing the universal language of women (shout out to his three sisters for that), realized it was not, in fact, "fine," and that I wouldn't touch the ground beef. So, he gamely acquiesced to my desire to try a new meatball recipe, even though he was starving, and we didn't have all the necessary ingredients. 

photo from the recipe

In the midst of frying the meatballs, and pre-emptively congratulating myself on successfully tending to three different pans on the stove, I didn't notice that the paper plates I'd set out to drain the meatballs on were too close to one of the lit burners. At least, I didn't notice it until one of the paper towels set on top of one of the plates was suddenly covered in one corner with bright orange flames.

Being the level-headed genius that I am, of course my response was to start shouting "oh my God, oh my God," and blow on the corner of the paper towel (which meant I was also blowing in the direction of the open flame on the stove). Unsurprisingly, this didn't extinguish the rapidly spreading paper towel torch. After letting me flail briefly, SS calmly leaned in, took the paper towel out of my hand, and dropped it in the sink, which, wouldn't you know it, sits less than a foot away from the stove. I sheepishly told him "there's a fire extinguisher under the sink, just FYI." I'm not sure if I was trying to make him feel better ("look! I'm prepared for crises!") or worse ("I'm trying to distract you from the fact that I nearly burned up the kitchen!"). 

In case you're wondering, the meatballs turned out just fine, despite the excitement. I approached the recipe with some trepidation, because I didn't take the time to make my own breadcrumbs, as was suggested, nor was I totally confident that adding water to raw meat was a good strategy. But, we were pleasantly surprised at how quickly everything came together and how tender they were. And I didn't hear SS complain once about the change in the dinner plans (or the fact that I'm useless in a crisis). Then again we may have his sisters to thank for that, too.