Cooking machine

This afternoon I was a cooking MACHINE! A monster to be exact. I looked at my training schedule this week and realized I am going to have little time to cook each night and as sad as that makes me, I am happy I am finally busy again. So I dedicated a few extra hours of my Sunday afternoon prepping and cooking.

I baked my asparagus just like I always do; olive oil, salt and pepper at 425 until they get nice and crispy! To say I love asparagus is an understatement. There is just something so delicious about that little spear that just gets me going. Maybe it’s all the health benefits or the fact that it makes my pee smell funny, but either way it’s my favorite vegetable.

While my asparagus were sunbathing in my oven I decided to make my chicken a little more interesting than I used to…which is usually just salt and pepper or some simple marinade that just tastes bland the next day. I dieted for so long that I do not make anything bland anymore. It’s my rule and my promise to myself. I will enjoy everything I eat. 

I decided to make today a teriyaki theme with my two main dishes…chicken and salmon – salmon is now on Sunday night by the way. More on that in a minute. So for my chicken I whisked together some teriyaki sauce, olive oil, honey, brown sugar, chopped garlic and salt. I plopped the chicken in a Ziploc bag (I refuse to use the generic brands), poured in my mixture and popped it in the fridge for a few hours. In the process of plopping my chicken in the fridge, I noticed I only had two pieces of my egg white crust-less quiche left! Uh oh – so I decided to be a little avant-garde (for myself of course) and instead of making my quiche in a pie dish, I made little baby quiches in muffin tins!!! I’m very proud of myself for thinking of this…or for seeing it on Pinterest.

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Ingredients: 6 eggs, a solid pour of egg whites, red peppers, tomatoes, spinach, parsley, shallots and Cabot mozzarella cheese (Cabot is the only way to go for this Vermont girl), salt, pepper and black sesame seeds. Put the egg and egg white mixture in the base of the tin…oh spray that tin with some non stick spray first. Then place the rest of the ingredients on top. I used the cheese last so it would slightly burn on top, creating a slight brown tinge of melted cheese (see image below) which would be the first thing I would see when I opened my fridge in the morning; I LOVE cheese.  

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Next up: Veal burgers. Now I have not had veal in America, only in Europe on ski trips and from what I can remember it was delicious which was probably because it was veal schnitzel – breaded and fried. Oh, SO GOOD. Shit…it’s been 8 years since I have been there. Life is going by too fast. Maybe that’s why I’ve decided to try new things and live life a little more fully…side tracked there in my little brain. I’m back now.

So today I decided to try veal again when I saw it at Whole Foods even though I almost threw up at first glimpse. Probably because I know what veal REALLY is and I am not a huge proponent of it, but I decided to live on the edge a little. Since I knew that tomorrow night I wouldn’t have a ton of time to prep and cook, I decided to prep today…I chopped up some red peppers, onions and garlic and threw them in a bowl with some olive oil, salt, pepper and Panko. I packed those babies into little burgers and popped them in the fridge so they are ready to pan sear tomorrow night…gosh I wish I had a grill. Christmas present? 

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Last but not least…salmon. I cannot describe how excited I get about salmon. Maybe someday I will try but for now I just want to share how I made it and what I put on the plate before I topped it with my perfectly prepared 4 oz. salmon filet. The marinade I used for the chicken is the same marinade I used for the salmon, so just scroll up. 😉 Marinated it for an hour, baked it for 15 minutes on 400. Meanwhile I sautéed quinoa, red peppers, yellow peppers, snow peas, onions and garlic with olive oil. Oh boy did my kitchen start to smell yummmmmy! I of course had to have spinach with my meal so I plopped it on my plate, topped it with my sautee mix and once that luscious piece of heaven was done, I carefully placed it on top of everything. I topped the whole dish with sesame seeds and a touch more teriyaki sauce. I grabbed my Malbec and spent the next 10 minutes thoroughly enjoying a meal I had spent time preparing.

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The best part about actually taking time to make a meal is the anticipation. I wiggle and jump around my kitchen waiting for that timer to ding and when it does, it’s like the world comes to a stand still. The only thing that matters is taking that sensationally delicious dish out of the oven and arranging it on the plate so that it looks as delicious as it is going to taste. I can feel the endorphins running through my brain as I write. I didn’t even have to think about the words I just wrote, they simply fell onto the page. It’s the feeling you get when you listen to a song that speaks to your soul. The kind of song that makes you sway your head side to side, curl a little smile and realize that life is just so good, so perfect, so amazing in that one moment; a moment you don’t want end but know it will. Maybe that’s why I like cooking so much, I can recreate that moment whenever I want.

That perfect moment when everything just seems right; just as you hoped it would. 

 

 

PS. All my dishes were from these blogs via Pinterest:

Egg quiche: http://lilieslattesandlace.com/2012/01/25/egg-muffins/

Salmon: http://jujugoodnews.com/sesame-ginger-sweet-teriyaki-salmon-with-garlic-quinoa-stir-fry/

I made the veal one up…not that creative. Yet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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