Monday, May 30, 2011

The Future Mrs. Curtis Stone

Now that Blogger has recovered from the Blackout of 2011, better known as the Google Rapture, I feel like I can move forward with our regularly scheduled format. I know you’re all thinking, thank goodness, what the heck we were going to eat all week without a recipe from our favorite cooking blog. Never fear, Mrs. Tuna is here.

Sheldon and I have a bit of an obsession with the hunky Australian chef Curtis Stone. His blond spikey hair, soothing Aussie accent, ability to cook with one hand tied behind his back. Sigh….. It was love at first sight when we first spotted him on Take Home Chef, a show he wandered around a fancy assed grocery store asking shoppers if he could demonstrate how to cook a perfect meal in your very own house, if you just let him come home with you. Come to Mama my little koala, I mean ahem, I’m a married woman, I’m not the least bit interested. We did however spend hours pausing the show trying to glean clues to the store’s name and location. Look, he smiled at me with his eyes through the television.

His current working gig is as the host of Top Chef Masters another cooking show I’m infatuated with. I made the Big Tuna sit on the couch and explained that I was only interested in what unique foods they would cook under pressure. I verbally chastised Curtis when he flirted with a participant, that’s not the way I want my future son in law to behave. My little flower Sheldon deserves all your attention. This week I’m going to post a dessert, something sweet and tasty like my man Curtis. We need to use up those bananas that your kids begged you to buy that are now are all mushy and brown.

Blender Banana Bread
3 ripe bananas
1 cup apple sauce
2 eggs
1 ½ cup sifted flour (use a sifter or two knives to fluff up, it makes a difference)
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt

Spray cooking spray in a 9” x 9” baking pan, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whirl bananas in blender, add apple sauce and eggs into a puree. Mix flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in medium bowl. Add banana mixture and stir well. Pour into pan and bake for 45 minutes. Confirm doneness by sticking a fork in, if prongs come out clean its ready.

About a year ago, Sheldon deactivated her Facebook claiming it took up too much time and she wanted to not be a hostage to technology. This is the same kid who gave up texting for Lent and we found lying in the fetal position until Easter. As we all sat around at afternoon wine a few weeks ago she wondered aloud if it would be creepy to resuscitate her profile but only “like” his Facebook page. Ummm….no…….I sure that would be fine, I wonder if he’ll dance with me at their wedding reception.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Blogger Hate Mail

Blogger is having a crisis of epic proportions this month. Naturally this is occurring during the 47 minute break I’m having between the end of the ASU Spring session and before remedial summer school for those us trying to graduate in her lifetime. First Blogger wouldn’t let me leave amazing comments on your space, then I got stuck in a vicious circle of not being able to login and now it’s eaten my followers. You’re there, I can hear you breathing Team Tuna.

I am hoping it recovers before tomorrow but I’m holding off on a real blog post to see if Google can pull their head out of their ass or are they all liquoring up for the 3 day weekend. So alas, no recipe today. If you are a new follower over the last week or so, please, please, please put your blog info in the comment section so I can follow you back. The rest of you, please leave a solidarity comments so Mrs. Tuna does not do herself a typing injury writing hate mail to Google

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Eeeeekkkk, Nevermore, Nevermore

Yesterday, I had a totally different blog swirling around in my head but I had a bizarre encounter with wildlife that is preempting that post, the Future Mrs. Curtis Stone.

One of things I “inherited” when my mom died was her wacka doodle dog Tonka. She looks a lot like the mutt, Santa’s Little Helper, from Homer Simpson’s house. I like to think of her as a high functioning idiot savant, she will spend hours at the French doors, unblinking, unmoving during the daylight hours. Guarding us against killer butterflies and shrieking children jumping in the adjacent neighbor’s pool. But she has developed an ugly taste for blood.

The killer and her accomplice

Tonka has taken to bumping off baby birds learning to fly that land unprotected in the back yard. Now, every time she heads out all of the birds gather screeching warning from the treetops, enticing flocks from miles around. It is very reminiscent of Hitchcock’s movie, The Birds. As she stands proudly with feathers at the corners of her mouth, they dive bomb her presence to no avail. She is not afraid……or concerned……….swoop a little closer bird and I’ll give you something to squawk about. After the first few murders she is now under supervision like a toddler at the pool. I know you’re all feeling a little grossed out but here’s this week’s recipe. Naturally I picked poultry.

Sherried Chicken with Green Noodles
4 chicken breasts
1 ½ cup chicken broth
½ pound green spinach noodles
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
Salt and pepper to taste
½ teaspoon paprika
¼ sherry or white wine
Grated parmesan cheese

Place chicken in a saucepan and cover with broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove chicken and reserve broth. Meanwhile cook noodles according to package directions and drain. Add a little melted butter to prevent noodles from sticking together. In a saucepan melt butter, add flour and stir with wire whisk until blended. Add boiling broth all at once stirring vigorously with whisk until smooth. Add salt, pepper, paprika and sherry to saucepan and heat throughout. Arrange chicken on individual beds of green noodles and cover with sauce. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

The weather right now is about perfect in Arizona. I’ve been sitting on the couch surfing the web with those French door open. The dogs were lying innocently at my feet, and a FREAKING GIANT BIRD FLEW RIGHT INTO THE LIVING ROOM AND LANDED ON A FAN. Pandemonium erupted, the dogs were so stunned they were slow to react. While the bird was flapping around my head I grabbed the collar of the Lizzie Borden of Dogs and crammed her and her wingman in the hall and slammed the door. The bird was now hunkered down behind the recliner hearing the warning cries of its mates a little too late. By opening my own condor like wing span and holding newspaper in my claw like hands I was able to herd the dazed bird to freedom. The whole exercise took less than 90 seconds, A bird in the house is worth two dogs in the hall. I consider it a victory that the damn thing didn’t crap in the house.

Friday, May 13, 2011

1st Comes Love, Then Comes Marriage

As we revel in our yearly celebration of swapping 29 years of wedded spit I thought an open letter to my man might put things into perspective for all those newlyweds.

Dearest Big,

As I reminisce on our wedding day I thought back to all the little mishaps that could have marred our picture perfect day.

The evening before, we caravanned with the wedding party to my childhood church like lemmings for the rehearsal but wait, who was missing from our ragged crew? Why only the bridesmaid who lived three blocks away, she was out shopping for the perfect earrings. Are you f*cking kidding me? Either pack up you crap or I’m taking your dress and bouncing, it’s my day b*tch and I’m feeling a tiny bit high strung. With pastel blue fluff under my arm I bolted, squeezed the ring bearers mom into the frock as a backup. You negotiated with the little scene stealer to arrive on set with fake smile and good manners.

The service was beautiful, sun shining through stained glass windows, making those of us that had orange mimosas with breakfast a tad bit woozy. Hurry, hurry, hurry I willed the Jamaican pastor before I pass out. I jammed your ring on the wrong hand hoping to starve off fainting resulting in your finger swelling to 5 times its original size. Stellar pictures of you trying to wrench that little slave band off and break for freedom.

For those who don’t know, New Jersey is the east coast equivalent of Seattle, raining more days than not. It poured buckets the day before and the day after but our special day was clear and sunny. Perfect for taking a few pictures at the park. And with all bad weather residents, it was overflowing with people enjoying the 15 minutes of available sunshine. And who do we see casually tossing a Frisbee? Why our friend Fred, whose invitation was returned address unknown. Quick run home and change and join our little party, what’s one more.

With a little time to kill before the reception we opted to hoist a few drinks at the place of our first blind date, the Rock Bottom Inn. A hole in the wall bar was perhaps not the best place to wear white, but who really thought we’d pass for virgins. Ahem, I mean what a horrible place to take young innocents.

But the Pièce de résistance? Two days before the wedding the caterer died from a heart attack. How awful, but the entire kitchen and wait staff were weeping big gulping sobs the entire time they served. Instead of people congratulating us, they spent making sympathetic clucking noises. Here is one of your favorite meals my darling.

Hungarian Chicken
4 chicken breasts
4 tablespoons butter
1 small onion chopped
1 clove garlic minced
1 rib celery chopped
½ bay leaf
2 sprigs parsley chopped
½ teaspoon thyme
2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups chicken broth
Salt and pepper to taste
½ cup sour cream

In large skillet brown chicken breasts in half the butter, and set aside. Melt remaining butter in the same skillet and sauté onion, garlic, celery, bay leaf, parsley, thyme and paprika until onion is wilted. Stir in tomato paste and flour, pour in broth and stir rapidly with wire whisk. Return chicken to the skillet and simmer over low heat for 20 minute. Stir in sour cream and heat throughout without boiling. Serve over hot egg noodles.

But my darling David, there a thousands of ways you’ve shown me you’re the man for me.

Letting everyone know how proud you are of how strong and accomplished I am, but letting me feel safe and protected by you always.

Stopping for little old ladies to change flat tires on the side of the road.

Pumping gas for me when I was pregnant since you knew it made me feel sick.

Holding my hand when I came home from the hospital when my mom was dying while I ate cold bowls of cereal before collapsing in bed.

You make me want to be a better person, you make me who I am, you make me whole. You are my love and my life, always.


Glad blogger is back up, I couldn't post my darn anniversary post. Tonight after work peeps, stay tuned.....................

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Happy Cinco Moth-irth-sary

Most people spread their personal little festivities throughout the year. I stupidly have crammed them all together within a 9 day window of opportunity. Starting on my birthday on May 4th and ending on my anniversary on May 12th it’s just a whirlwind cluster f*ck.

The Big Tuna took Sheldon and me to a new fancy pants restaurant that featured Nuevo Italian food to rejoice that I haven’t turned 50 yet, thank goodness. Someone pointed out that my birthday had a Star Wars theme, “May the Fourth be with your”. Great, I can remember when it came to the movie theater, pre DVD box set and Blue Ray. The ladies in the pack enjoyed the feast but the lone male doesn’t like any deviations from classic man dishes. It was like getting a toddler to try a new food group, not open to modification of the basic food pyramid of beer, beef and potatoes. In some ways I should be grateful, if he won’t try newfangled fare, it reinforces that he won’t trade me in for a shiny trophy wife.

Next, Cinco de Mayo overtakes Phoenix as the gringo Mexican Independence Day. Clogging the streets with happy hour seeking vagrants in search of cheap beer and tacos. Interesting enough, Mexico’s break from Spain occurred on September 15th and this date just marks some giant hissy fit they had with the French. Fighting my way out of downtown past road blocks for block parties afforded me the opportunity to observe the office tipsy office workers in their native habitat. Men wearing Bluetooth sets in their ears, looking like baby cows that had been punch tagged and ladies wearing sneakers clashing with business attire like eighties fashionistas. This of course mingled in with the religious fanatic who shows up and plays his accordion outside of Starbucks everyday. Trapped in my car, light after light after light. Grrrrrrrrrr……..move before I run your tostados over.

Today, Sheldon arranged to take me, my Sistah and Bebe for afternoon wine tasting to celebrate Mother’s Day. You know afternoon wine, the one you drink and still get home in time to fall asleep on the couch to get out of making dinner. Sheldon is fairly new to wine, last time we went out she ordered a glass of Sha Bliss. Sha Bliss I ask? Sweetie, I think you mean Chablis. This week’s recipe might win for the easiest recipe ever.

Spinach-Ravioli Bake
15 ounces frozen cheese ravioli
6 ounce bag fresh spinach
24 ounce jar spaghetti sauce
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 cups mushrooms sautéed in olive oil with minced garlic.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine ravioli, spinach, sauce and mushrooms in casserole dish. Cook covered with foil for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and continue covered for additional 15 minutes. DONE! And only one dish to wash.

Thursday will mark our 29th anniversary, I will of course have a very special post outlining our years of swapping marital spit. And then…….my party boat will be over. I’ll have to move to all those community holidays, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Arbor Day…….At least I’m not a Christmas baby.

Update: It seems like I wrote my paid gig post eleventy weeks ago but the puppy is rolling out at on Monday morning. Comment lots to make me look like a rock star and be sure and read my profile for secret personal information that I will have to kill you if you reveal.