Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Manuscript Roundtable

Early this morning I had the most amazing dream. I was dog sitting for my childhood dog with my (I can't even figure out a decent adjective to stick in here because thinking back on the dream makes me feel like I'm melting into a puddle of gooey, love-pudding) Scottish boyfriend. When my bladder woke me from the dream I was upset. There was no cuddly boyfriend beside me and my dog passed away five years ago. So I started off my day being mad at the world for giving me such a simple, beautiful dream and then making me go into work and stare at a computer all day. Thank goodness for coffee (that "I'm quitting coffee business lasted two days, in case you were wondering).

The day dragged on and on because I couldn't wait for my evening plans. Isn't that always how time works?  Tonight I sat down with two of my closest friends to discuss the first draft of the book I'm working on. We discussed so many things and because I was cooking through it all I didn't think to write their thoughts down and now I can't remember everything we said and I'm panicked that I will miss something when I go back through. But we laughed, they told me the parts they loved most, the ones that need something more, the chapter titles that worked, the characters they found themselves most facinated with - basically we discussed everything. And I felt like my heart was exploding because they made me feel like I'd done something amazing with this book. I'd made them both cry (at a part that I hadn't expected), I'd made them laugh, and I'd made them speed read to see what was going to happen next. And though I have so, so much editing to do over the next few weeks, their excitment was tangible (or maybe that was the heat of the oven I was cooking over) and it absolutely blew me up and had me floating out into the sticky Boston night. So, gosh, I can't believe I'm going to say this, but I'm actually excited to get to editing. (I really can't believe I just wrote that. It'll probably never happen again.)

Since I knew we'd be talking the entire evening, I stuck with simple nibbles for dinner. Recipes below.

Kale Wonton Cups
Soy Sauce
Wonton wrappers

So this is a play on a recipe of my father's. It was my first time so I winged it, as usual, and it actually came out great. I would just make a few tweaks next time. Saute the kale with a tablespoon of EVOO. Meanwhile, combine soy sauce (2 tablespoons), OJ (4 tablespoons), and ginger. I went by taste. When it had a stronger OJ taste than soy (though you can still very much taste the soy) it's ready. Pour it into the kale and saute until it reduces to a sticky-sweet sauce. Go ahead and taste the kale. If it needs more sauce add more. Spray a muffin tin with PAM (upon this first trial we realized a mini cupcake tin would work even better to make the bites manageable), place a wonton into each cup and press it into the sides. Bake about 7 minutes at 350, or until the tips of the wonton start to brown. Remove and let cool for a few minutes then scoop a tablespoon of kale into each wonton and serve warm.

Guac with Homemade Chips
3-4 tomatoes
2-3 avocados
Juice of 1 lime
Salt and pepper to taste
(Also, I highly recommend a red onion and a handful of fresh cilantro but I didn't have those in my kitchen)
Tortillas (I used 4)
Veg oil

Cut tortillas into pieces (each tortilla can be cut into 8 pieces). Heat veg oil in a skillet on medium-high heat. Place pieces of tortilla in oil (about 4 pieces at a time, depending upon your pan size) about 5 minutes on each size, but watch carefully. When they start to brown flip them. Let them dry on a tray and sprinkle with salt. Then serve.

 Flatbread Pizza

So my favorite thing to use is naan bread. It's already cooked, it's got great texture, it's in the perfect portion size. I sauteed one yellow onion in a tablespoon of EVOO until it was translucent. When I was grocery shopping at Whole Foods I went up to the cheese connoisseur and asked for a cheese suggestions - something that would melt well on flatbread, but that I wanted to try something besides mozzarella. They suggested a cheese and sadly I did not keep the label. I think it may have been a Capricho de Cabra but don't quote me on that. Whatever it was, it was like a mixture of cream cheese and goat cheese. On the grill pan I placed the naan, flaked chunks of the cheese, a helping of the onion and sprinkled red pepper flakes for a little kick. It was delicious.

Lastly, one of the girls brought mini desserts from Whole Foods. A carrot cake (my favorite), a Kahlua cheesecake, and a chocolate mousse. Sadly, we were so stuffed we didn't make it to the mousse. But the other two were delicious.

So there you have a feast of nibbles. I suppose I must now face that editing!

Happy eating and reading!

*Note: This was written last night but I didn't publish it until this morning because I was sleepy.

1 comment

  1. It was such a spectacular evening of celebration and feasting! I love the way you use Naan instead of traditional crust.


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