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Test your smoke alarms

It’s a good idea to test your smoke alarm. In fact, my lease stipulates that I should check it every month. But since I was never quite sure what kind it was, whether it would notify the fire department, or whether it would go off quickly – and because whenever my neighbor’s cooking sets it off, it stays on forever until the fire company comes and fixes it somehow. So I have been understandably nervous about testing it and disturbing my neighbors.

So this morning I was toasting up some pecans to pack with a salad…

Consider my fire alarm to be in full working order.

No apartments were harmed in the creation of this public service announcement.

Planning the week

Food I have
leftover beef roast
leftover pork roast

salad greens
jalapeno peppers
chinese cabbage

Meal Planning
Monday, April 24 – 7:30 movie screening
something quick and easy – salad: with blue cheese, toasted pecans, purple onion, and a red wine and balsamic vinaigrette

Tuesday, April 25
beef, zucchini, spinach, onions, peppers – with mexican beans and rice

Wednesday, April 26
pork, chinese cabbage, carrots, peppers – stir fried with flat noodles

Thursday, April 27
Dining Out for Life?
going early to New York?

food planning for my week – Chili, Coconut Rice

Okay, so after this weekend, I have a lot of meals ready to go:

already cooked
mashed potatoes
coconut rice

vegetable lasagna
2 chicken leg quarters in an indian marinade

1 large sweet potato
collard greens (leftovers)
1 zucchini

Monday: George Takei talk
(buy more cheese)

Tuesday: not going to dance practice, possibly going to Film Festival closing night part 6-7pm
cook chicken
coconut rice
spinach or zucchini on the side

Wednesday: not watching Lost, first night of Passover
cook greens with bacon rind (for Passover)
bake sweet potato
leftover chili

Thursday: second night of Passover
vegetable lasagna (buy cheese)

Friday: third night of Passover
mashed potatoes
cook greens with bacon rind (for Passover)
any leftover veggies

Wow – I totally lose at Passover.

Now do I want to buy a box of Matzoh so I can look pious in front of my two jewish coworkers? Sliced ham and mayonnaise is really good in a matzoh sandwich.

ETA: And we have Godiva chocolate at work today because it was a gift from the dental librarian. Later in the week, my boss has promised truffles because she has to clean them out of her house before Passover – score!

ETAA: Why don’t I also give you some recipes?

I make chili from a mix. But it is the best packaged chili mix ever because it doesn’t come out as a single powder. Instead, they put each spice in its own little packet.

I always use chunks of meat instead of ground beef. And I always have to add real onions and garlic.

Then, when I am adding the spice packets, I have started not using the salt packet and only adding a little salt by taste at the end. I’ll add extra black pepper, powdered thyme, worcestershire sauce, a bay leaf (removed later), and a pinch or two of sugar. This time, I also added a couple cap-fulls of Manischewitz wine.



Coconut Rice
Yeah, I totally made this up with no idea whether it would work.

1 part long grain rice
1 part water
1 part (whole) milk
no butter
instead, a chunk of coconut cream, well – a chunk of the fatty solids on top and a dollop of the liquid below. Note – this is different from coconut milk
a pinch of salt
more sugar (about 2 tsp sugar/cup rice… but I didn’t measure)


Plotting dinner

I have a chicken leg quarter marinating in a garlic and basil salad dressing.

I also have asparagus.

So I’m thinking I want an asparagus and pasta dish on the side of my roasted chicken. The big question is just how caloric I want to make the sauce.

I could do anything from a light drizzle of olive oil over the pasta with sauteed asparagus, fresh tomatoes, and garlic.

I could make a bechamel sauce… as of this morning, my milk was still good and tasty, but it is getting on toward the end of its window of goodness and could turn ornery at any time.

I have a lovely blue cheese that I had bought for eating plain, but I could chuck that into a sauce (or crumble it over the plain pasta).

I have parmesan cheese, which is definitely going in.

Right now (i.e. while I’m hungry) I think I should add as much sexy creamy fatness together as possible. But any way I make it, it will be tasty. Such a hard decision – I will be thinking about it all day today. Well, not all the time, but off and on.