Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Oh, Julie and Julia!

For the past couple of days I’ve been reading a book my sister-in-law sent me and it’s been a ritual since she sent it to read a few pages every night.  I’ve even set my alarm (it’s actually a timer that’s set to the sounds of the ocean with the seagulls chirping squawking in the background, which by the way is also the way I fall asleep).  In any case, I’ve set it every night for 30 minutes because I know otherwise I’d be reading it for at least an hour every night.  It’s also only 30 minutes because  by the time I’m in bed, it’s already 11 p.m.  So what is this book I’ve been reading?  Julie & Julia.  You’d think that I would have already read it, considering I’d previously blogged about how great of a movie Julie and Julia is.  After previously watching it in theatres when it came out, I’d watched it twice in a row on DVD…once in normal format and the second with the director’s commentary, which by the way wasn’t especially intriguing, because she didn’t really give very many details.   A bit disappointed.

julia-child_meryl-streep Anyway, I’ve love reading this book.  It’s my very own page turner and it’s just as addicting as reading the medical thrillers I love (authors like Michael Cook and Clive Cussler).  It’s like an orgasmic foodie thriller.  Can that be considered a disease? Oh, it’s OK, you have OFT.   Also, can Drama for Foodies be a new section in the library?  HEAVEN!  I like it. 


I can’t imagine what it’d be like to come home at 9 p.m. and begin making dinner…oh wait, I can, because it’s happened before.  However, making 6+ new dishes a week? That I can’t imagine.  By the time I get home it’s already 8:30 p.m. and I’m normally too pooped to make a complicated dinner.

That said, I’m so glad I didn’t have to make dinner tonight.  Leftovers from a free meal at work (holla!).  It basically consisted of black beans, rice, spiced chicken, a mixture of chopped onion and cilantro, and Pico de Gallo.  Yep, Mexican fast food.  It’s an awesome day when you can take a break from cooking and actually enjoy an evening! :)  Don’t get me wrong, I love cooking, but it’s nice every now and again to get a break.

As I was driving home after work all I was thinking about was doing some catch-up blogging and reading my book.  You’d think that I’d be distracted on the drive home by the sun that was coming out through the rainy clouds, the beautifully lush vineyards and a rainless drive.  Nope.  Home. Blog. J&J.  Check, check and soon-to-be check.  Today’s day at work consisted of going out into the vineyards and doing a site visit to meet all the workers and actually get to know where the company vineyards are located.  It was a pretty great half day out of the office.

017clusters of soon-to-be grapes.

Breakfasts on the weekend are probably one of my favorite times to have a great meal.  For some reason they taste so much better, I’m so much more relaxed and I actually enjoy and savor my meal.

Pancakes always have a special place in my heart, even though I didn’t grow up eating them.  Breakfast at my parents was usually some oatmeal concoction that my dad made that included milk, cinnamon sticks and oatmeal.  But here was MY breakfast this past Sunday morning:

I’m happy to report that I bought and used the Bisquick mixture – I couldn’t bare to use the Fiber One pancake mix again, because I knew I’d be sorely devastated and disgusted.  I’m a Bisquick devotee for life!

002 I’ve replaced pancake syrup with honey which fills in the sweetness factor.


This concoction, however appetizing it might look, didn’t actually deliver in taste.  It’s a mixture of a cup of fresh strawberries, some milk and vanilla extract.  It normally delivers, but this time I had to put some sugar in it – it didn’t help much.

Monday:  Chicken Saagwala and Garlic Naan!  I love how easy this dish is to make.  I got the Garlic Naan from the frozen section at Trader Joe’s.  Call me crazy but I feel the frozen ones taste better than the Naan in the usual bread section.

Chicken Saagwala and Garlic Naan

Tuesday: Microwave enchiladas – tortillas (heated up for 30 seconds in the microwave), adding tomato sauce, cheese, shredded rotisserie chicken, rolling them up as a burrito and adding more tomato sauce and cheese.  They were so yummy and cheesy!

Tonight:  Had a really late lunch so I wasn’t hungry.  Nibbled on leftovers from lunch.

Chicken Saagwala


2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
4 tsp curry powder, mild variety
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 Tbsp ginger root, fresh, finely chopped
2 large garlic clove(s), finely chopped
1 pound(s) uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
2 large tomatoes, ripe, seeded and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
10 oz spinach, baby leaves
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup(s) water
2 Tbsp cilantro, fresh, chopped


Place 1 tablespoon of oil, curry powder, coriander, cumin, ginger and garlic in a large nonstick skillet; cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until toasted and fragrant, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Add remaining tablespoon of oil and chicken to skillet; stir to coat with spiced oil.

Add tomatoes to skillet; cover skillet and cook for 10 minutes. Uncover skillet and stir to combine.

Add spinach to skillet; cover and cook for 5 minutes more. Uncover skillet and stir to combine.

Add salt, water and cilantro to skillet; simmer for 1 minute. Yields about 1 1/2 heaping cups per serving.

Latin Cook’s notes

Another dish I’m curious to try to replace chicken with tofu….

I’m off to read J&J!


Anonymous said...

I thought of you last night, because I had a bunch of people over for crêpes, and I thought, "Ruthy would love this!" Will I see you this weekend at the party for David? I'm making a special trip out for it!!!

Napa Valley Wife said...

Aww, thanks! I don't think I've ever had or made crepes, but they sure sound lovely! Yes, I'll be going to David's party. Can't wait to see ya!

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