Wednesday, August 31, 2011

What I'm Reading Today

Call my crazy but I love the routine that is the school year.  My son went back to school this morning and even he was excited and ready to be back.  I am infinitely more productive at work, and at home, when summer disappears.  Of course fall in SF means Indian summer is just beginning so I'll need to keep myself focused once the sun starts shining.  A few new recipes always help me do that-what about you?

Admittedly, there is one thing I don't love about the school year-making lunches.  I try to shake it up as best I can to keep myself, and my son, from getting tired of any one thing.  He has a great appetite and will taste anything so he's always open to new ideas.  In today's NY Times Melissa Clark writes about taking old favorites and giving them a small twist.  She also solves the problem some of us have when you have to make lunch for your kids and for yourself.  I like a kick, my son won't have it.  I like onions, he'll say no way.  Some of her ideas are Chicken Salad Sandwiches with Mango Chutney, Hard Cooked Egg with Basil Butter Sandwich (add anchovies to kick up your version),  and Turkey Apple Sandwiches with Maple Mayonnaise (the sriracha in the mayo is your choice).  I find kids are so damn hungry at lunch that it really is the perfect time to give them something new to eat. 

This recipe for Chipotle-Orange Pulled Pork caught my eye in the LA Times food section today because it is a huge favorite of mine.  The summer we lived down in Venice Beach I made this a few times for friends and it was absolutely amazing.  Cooking a pork shoulder is not difficult, but be patient because you want to cook it slow and low for that perfect melt-in-your-mouth texture.  That cooking is mostly unattended so it wont tether you to the stove...there is a lot you can get done in the five hours this takes to cook!  Clean a closet, weed the yard, catch up on old episodes of Mad Men, or make a pie.  I feel a dinner part coming on.

I was at a friend's house last wknd and the zucchini from her garden were gigantic.  Once they get too big they're better off used as a centerpiece than a meal but, if you catch them while they're still "normal" sized, the recipe possibilities are really endless.  I love this recipe for Curried Zucchini and Chickpea Soup from today's Washington Post.  Healthy and packed full of flavor, it comes together very fast with ingredients you likely have in your pantry right now.  With the addition of both potatoes and chickpeas, this soup is hearty so toss together a simple green salad and you've got all you need for a fabulous dinner.  Heck, if you're kids are good eaters, I'd even throw this one in the thermos for lunch the next day.

Happy Reading and Happy Cooking.

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