Not out of nowhere or anything. She asked a couple months ahead of time because she needed to make a great escape from Yakima. Let's see why .
|Yeah. Not so much, actually.|
After we got the weekend all sorted out, I started making grand plans for what we'd do, and then figured out that I wasn't really capable of "grand." After a couple of other things fell through I made an off-hand comment about how I was just going to make dinner and then go watch my best friend play roller derby. To my delight she was excited for that.
So, entertainment was solved. Finally. I'd been stressing about it for weeks because, as anyone charitable enough to spend and evening out with me will tell you, I super suck at making plans. Plus I was pretty bummed that I'd be missing the team's second bout ever. So it all worked out. Mom was happy. Hooray for me!
Hooray for me?
Uhhh - yeah! Because as any kid knows celebrating your mom's birthday is really all about bringing glory unto yourself.
So anyway, my mother screamed her self silly ("have a seat!" being one of her favorite statements any time a Betty went to the box) and we all had a blast.
And by "we all" I mean me and mom. Mark and my dad held up the back wall and waited until it was time to go home for dinner. They're manly men that way. Sturdy.
So! After derby (is it bad taste to talk about how Toxic 253 totally kicked ass? It was fan-fricking tastic) we went home and I made us all a nice Sunday dinner.
...on Saturday. If you haven't been paying attention, Sunday has been happening on any damn day of the week I feel like.
Plus we would have been eating around 4pm. Who does that?
|Just... nothing. |
My brain has entered a "making fun of old people" dead zone.
The bruschetta prep goes something like:
4 plum tomatoes
Shallots or onion - about a third as much as the tomatoes
Garlic - as much as you like
Basil - ten leaves or so
Shaka-shaka italian seasoning
Grindy Grindy Grind Grind of pepper
Handful of leftover shrimp from the previous evenings "appetizers for dinner" menu.
Drizzle of Balsamic vinegar
Chop the tomatoes into like, little pieces. 1/3 of an inch cubes? Yeah, something like that.
Okay, so when doing this you don't want all the crappy seeds inside, but you want the juicy goob they live in. To get this I quarter the tomatoes, and then scoop the insides out, reserving them in a bowl-like sieve I've set over my mixing bowl.
So, once you have everything chopped and in the bowl, you run a spool around in the sieve so that all of the liquid is in the mixing bowl, but those craptastic seeds aren't.
Everything gets mixed together and then set in the refrigerator for at least an hour (or five, in our case.)
Oh - also, you'll want a really good and loyal spouse-type fella who had nothing better to do (except shop at three different places and clean up the living room and kitchen - laze) but slice and toast baguette for you the day before. This way you don't even have to worry about it the day of dinner.
Okay, so that's bruschetta prep.
Chicken Caprese prep was surprisingly similar:
So, all of the above ingredients, less the vinegar and shrimp, and loads more basil. The recipe I linked to is just a guide. Recipes are for, like, people afraid of cooking.
Because seriously, do not ever EVER attempt any of the things I blog about if you're afraid of cooking. I mean, I'm not really all that clear on what I do in the writing and I set stuff on fire. Also, half the time when I sit down to do this I've got a half bottle of wine in me so... yeah, you've been warned.
How do you know if I'm talking about you?
If you absolutely cannot make anything - particularly something you've made a half-dozen times- without pulling out and following a recipe then you're afraid of cooking. I'm sorry, you may not feel like you are, but you are. But it's okay, I'm afraid of lots of things.
|It's little foot could be in the disposal right now!|
Babies are so stupid.
I should clarify here that the status of your cooking bravery (or lack thereof) has no bearing on whether you're a good cook or not. You could be world class with that cookbook in tow, but if you don't have the balls to just waltz into the kitchen all unarmed and just make shit happen then you're a cooking weenie.
Uhh, yes. So the other difference with the caprese prep is that you don't chop the tomatoes and such as small and you use less onion and lots more basil. This all goes into a bowl and then into the fridge with the other bowl of tomato stuff.
I was making this for four, so I had four chicken breasts prepped. That's way more chicken than four people need, by the way, but I'll never learn.
You lay out a layer of plastic wrap on the counter, put the chicken on it, but more wrap on top of that and then pound it until it's good and flat.
You do this so that the batter you'll put on the chicken later doesn't get overcooked while leaving the middle maybe-raw.
That goes in the fridge too, not left out on the counter to rot while you loiter the beer garden at your friendly neighborhood derby bout.
Or so I've been told.
Strawberry shortcake prep:
Slice all the strawberries
Strawberries go in bowl
Shaky shake the sugar in there until you think you have enough. Then take some out because you put too much in there.
cover and refridgerate.
For the cake part...
So there are a lot of schools of thought on the cake portion of this:
-Some people just buy the little rounds that are like twinkies minus the filling
-Some people use angel food
-Some people use pound cake
And any of those are right. I happen to like them over a scone-type bakery good and so I made this recipe.
I would have really liked some lemon zest to go in it. I didn't have any so I put a few drops of Fiori di Sicilia in it. I really love that stuff. Also, I think the butter I used was pretty rank - not bad, but it had absorbed a lot of kitchen flavors while out on the counter - so I'm pretty sure this extract saved the cake from being a little off.
|That there's a cake-hole. |
Which is good, or this little story would be about how I spent all this time prepping for dinner and how my parents lamed out on me and left me with 20,000 calories worth of pasta prep.
When we got home we were starving.
Thanks to diligent prep we were able to have bruschetta in about 10 minutes.
Take the pre-toasted bread slices. Mark very lightly brushed olive oil and garlic tastiness on these before lightly toasting them. (did I mention that before? Guess not. Whatever, I'm not going back for editing now!)
|Just look at it.|
|LOOK AT IT!|
|Seriously, it can be half raw inside.|
Oh, don't worry. There's a plan!
'Cause see, it goes here in this pan and then in the oven. It gets good baked while you build the sauce.
|I told you it'd be fine. Wiener.|
and stir stir stir.
|Stirring, isn't it? |
|Wine also went in here.|
|Because fuck arteries, that's why.|
Signed~Crappy Wedding Photographer
|Ah. There we go.|
|Let's just get this out of the way:|
That's my butt in the background.