I couldn't think of a single creative thing for my title today. I suppose you could say I'm a little off today. Not on top of my game. A few sandwiches short of a picnic. The engine's running, but nobody's behind the wheel. Okay, I'll stop. Right now, all I know is this:
1) I just finished downing two cups of half-caff coffee. Because I am a passionate and consistent consumer of tea, it hurts admitting this: I LOVED IT. Now believe me, this is not my first time drinking the glorious beaned beverage. I have descended from a VERY long line of hard-core coffee drinkers. My momma worked at Starbucks. I worked at Starbucks. My sister Megan just got a job at Starbucks. It's in the blood, baby; it's in the blood. For many years, I didn't think I could drink coffee because it made my heart rate soar at a rather alarming rate. That didn't feel so hot. And then, I had an epiphany: When I would make coffee for myself, I would use the same amount of grounds that I would use for a huge group of friends. No wonder I was about to drive myself to the cardiologist every time I had a cup. I felt truly ridiculous once I realized it was my own foolishness, so I toned it down, and SUCCESS. YAY. ME.
2) After a week of 95+ degree weather, I practically wept tears of joy upon awaking to dark, gloomy, rainy skies. I danced around the house like a possessed court jester (kind of), and let the boys play in the rain. When we drove to David's gymnastics class today, I slowly sauntered into the gym, relishing every bit of the rain that poured upon us. It's enough to make me rethink this whole North Carolina obsession and consider the vast and glorious Pacific Northwest.
Now that we've got those two extremely important things out of the way, let's get to it, shall we? Warning: These might possibly be the most random set of Fab Five EVER. BE READY.
Asparagus, ready for the grill. I chop. I season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. I drizzle with olive oil. I fold over the packet, crimping the sides. Steve grills for about 8 minutes. I love asparagus, and I don't care who knows it! And because I ALWAYS chop extra...
...I end up with this gorgeous lunch the next day. Don't you DARE say,"EWW, yucky." Have you tried it? Hmmm?? I will sing the praises of poached eggs over a noble vegetable or two until the day I die. It's probably one of the healthiest and most protein-packed lunches you could manage in 5 minutes. So. THERE. While we're on the topic of making the most of your leftovers...
I made chicken stock yesterday because I couldn't stand the fact that I had not made anything besides breakfast, lunch, and dinner for 4 whole days because of the heat, and I couldn't take it anymore. I just HAD to create something. So I grabbed a frozen chicken carcass from the freezer ( I love the word carcass, by the way. It has to do with a fond memory of my brother screaming,"CARCASS!!!" out the car window on one our many family road trips every time he saw a carcass on the side of the road. I loved him for that. My parents; not so much.), plop it into a dutch oven, throw in some assorted veggies (I used carrots, celery, fresh parsley, some onion, and half a shallot), and fill it quite full with water. I didn't measure a single thing. Such rebellion!
Oh, and a bay leaf. We cannot forget the precious bay leaf!!!
As you can see, none of the veggies are finely chopped. I rinsed them, and RIPPED them with all of the BRUTE FORCE my small hands could muster. This is not long on prep time, folks. I wouldn't make it if it was. I love the purple shallot floating in the corner. He's like,"Hey guys! Don't forget about me!!" Now for the hard part (ha ha): Bring the pot to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for as short as 15 minutes or as long as all afternoon. Because it was still uproariously hot yesterday, I only let it infuse for about 15 minutes. Hang infusing, I thought to myself as I began to sweat. After letting it cool, I pour the stock into various size containers. 1 cup, 2 cups, 4 cups, etc. Into the freezer it goes, and I am left with a fantastic feeling of accomplishment. The moral of this story: Save the CARCASS!!!!!!!
And last of all, here's a bonus picture for you:
I think that pretty much says it all. Have a wonderful weekend, folks!