Wednesday, June 13, 2007

A toast to the chef!

I should not be allowed in the kitchen. The first time I tried to toast pecans, the pecans went up in flames, so why I thought this time would be any different is beyond me. I shouldn't toast anything other than bread.

It's not the technology--it' s the attention span of the chef. After I'd realized the pecans had been in the oven on broil for over 10 minutes it was too late. I opened the oven, only to fan the flame. I then went to my pantry, just two steps from my oven, where my husband had installed a fire extinguisher for just such an occasion.

The bracket that holds the extinguisher was empty. I ran past three little girls and one boy to the garage to get the other, larger extinguisher, ran back to the kitchen, opened the oven hoping against all hope that the fire would have gone out, but no dice.

I pulled the pin, aimed and nothing happened. I was holding it wrong. I tried again and the chemical poured out of a hose I'd heretofore not noticed and spilled all over the floor. One more time with feeling, aim and shoot, aaaand, phew--it's out.

But all of this was accompanied by the shrieks of two terrorized 6-year-olds and ignored by their toddler siblings. Just when I was about to calm them, the phone rang. It's my husband, he'll be coming home late for dinner; he burst into laughter when I related all of the above. I accused him of taking the kitchen extinguisher for his automotive antics. He countered that I probably didn't replace it after the last time I set food on fire.

Fine. When he does get home, I'm serving chicken salad with melon in a mint vinaigrette, (with just the slightest hint of chemical fire extinguisher).

Recipe below:

Chicken Salad w/ Nectarines in Mint Vinaigrette


1 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves

1/3 cup sugar

¼ cup white wine vinegar

1 T fresh lemon juice

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

To prepare dressing, place mint and sugar in a food processor; process until finely chopped, scraping sides of the bowl. Add vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper; process 30 seconds to combine.


2 cups chopped cooked chicken breast

1 cup chopped seeded cucumber

1//3 cup copped pecans toasted

2 tablespoons minced red onion

3 nectarines, chopped, peeled, and pitted (melon substitute)

5 red leaf lettuce leaves

Combine chicken, cucumber, pecans, onion and nectarines in medium bowl. Drizzle dressing over salad, toss well to coat. Place 1 lettuce leaf on each of five plates, top each serving w/ ¾ cup salad. Yield: 5 servings.

From Cooking Light (I think).



Blogger Dana said...

Too funny, Nancy, for some reason I feel better now...about so much in my life!

Hats off to you for making a sure to be scrumptious salad. While I adhere religiously to a personal mandate (based on experience) of 4 ingredients or less (any more usually leads to trouble), this might be one even I can handle!

btw, its 100 degrees here today!

8:00 PM  
Blogger Dana said...

p.s. I just made pasta, it boiled in a rage all over the new stovetop, there was no tomato sauce, grabbed some balsamic dressing and drizzled away, no parmesean either so I grabbed and grated...ugh.... cheddar cheese. A culinary tragedy.

I think its rather selfish of you to not only be an international beauty, style guru and Chef Extraordinaire. Leave something for the rest of us, will ya!

8:33 PM  
Blogger David N. Scott said...

Mm... cheddar cheese pasta. I like pasta with the yellow cheeses. But I'm weird.

I'll have to remember this story next time I feel like teasing Julie about her penchant for spacing out while cooking. At least she's never made a fire. :)

9:30 PM  
Blogger Nancy said...

Dana, I'm delighted that my foolishness in the kitchen helps you feel better about yourself, but that pasta dish you tried to bad as I am, I wouldn't have tried that.

You know, I think there's a website, where you plug in the ingredients you have and it comes up with a meal for you. I'll look into it!

9:38 PM  
Anonymous Bob Dole said...

Bob Dole thinks it's easier to just order pizza!

9:38 PM  
Anonymous Liddy Dole said...

Bob, you're late for dinner!

9:40 PM  
Anonymous Bob Dole said...

Oops, I had to pick up some Viagra on the way home!

9:42 PM  
Blogger Dana said...

"but that pasta dish you tried to create..."

uh, that would be giving me far tooo much credit...desperate times, desperatee measures, blah, blah, is more like it.


10:04 PM  
Anonymous John Edwards said...

Mr. Dole,

"Real" ex-senators and failed presidential candidates don't need Viagra.


11:06 AM  
Anonymous Bob Dole said...

Go back to the beauty shop, Johnny boy!!

11:42 AM  
Anonymous Luther said...

So tonight I was at the YMCA on an eliptical runner watching Brit Hume. He closes the show by showing this clip from youtube (click on my name to see it). Frequently he shows little comical clips to close the show - so I'm expecting something funny. This video is a guy auditioning for the British version of American Idol - it gave me chills.

11:12 PM  
Blogger Nancy said...

That guy was great!

8:20 AM  
Blogger Mike LaRoche said...

That was a surprise! I was expecting one of those tone-deaf bleaters usually featured on "American Idol" outtakes.

9:51 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home