You Gonna Eat All That?

A fork in one hand, a pen in the other.

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Location: Virginia, United States

(Biscuit Girl)

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

More Pizza Lust

Yes, another lustful evening of pizza this week. Biscuit Boy put together this beauty last night. It's topped with tomato sauce, a four cheese blend from Trader Joe's, baby bella mushrooms and sliced artichoke crowns. And it was delish.


Gamasot revisited (With pictures)

Just a quick post about our latest trip to Gamasot. We stopped there Saturday night for dinner armed with the camera. The word gamasot means iron pot and is used to make soups in Korea.

This is Soondae, a Korean blood sausage mixed with pork, rice, and spice. I'm sure there are other things included as the link above will show. It is served with a little dish of salt and ground red pepper that you dip the sausage into. I like it a little although I don't think I'll go out of my way to get it. Biscuit Boy doesn't care for it.

When you first sit down at a table in a Korean restaurant, you suddenly have little plates of food come to the table called Banchan or Panchan. Variety and the number of banchan you get varies from restaurant to restaurant.

We ordered a plate of Mandoo Gui. Biscuit Boy says these are the best he's had outside of Korea (he spent 4 months there as an exchange student at Yonsei Univeristy).

One of our friends ordered Yook Gae Jang, a soup of spicy broth, egg, shredded beef and vegetables and noodles.

Biscuit Boy ordered Bi Bun Naeng Myun. This is a dish of buckwheat noodles, sliced beef, and vegetables served with a cold broth and very spicy.

I ordered the Sul Leung Tang, a beef bone broth served with rice and beef slices.

And if you ever wondered what a gamasot looks like, well here ya go. The mother of all gamasots right in the middle of the open kitchen.

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Monday, March 27, 2006

Ray's the Steaks - Mystery Menu Dinner

I've written about Ray's the Steaks before and praised it's beefy goodness. What I didn't write about in that post was the fact that the owner, Michael Landrum, was working on opening a second restuarant in Silver Spring, MD. It's been a long time in the works, but he's finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

The new place, Ray's Classics, should be open in about 6 weeks, according to Mr. Landrum himself.
And in order to get through the final preparations for opening Ray's Classics, he is closing Ray's the Steaks temporarily allowing him to focus on only one place.

When people first saw the notice saying Ray's was closing, a brief panic set across the area.....No more Ray's! But cooler heads prevailed and word went around that is was only temporary. Phew!

Those who read Don Rockwell found out last weekend that Michael Landrum was going to host a
Rockwell event the day after he closed. Those who were interested could sign up on DonRockwell.

The menu was a mystery, the cost.....$35 (not including drinks) and Michael was going to donate half the money to two charitable groups, The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and The E.L. Haynes Charter School in D.C. Naturally more people signed up than the two seating could hold so a lottery was set up. We were among the lucky ones and got in for the 8:00 seating.

I can describe the meal in three words: Oh......My........God! I say this not only because it was outstanding but the amount of food we were fed last night was almost obscene. It was an incredible amount of good food shared with five other people at our table. Who I might add were great fun to dine with.

After everyone was seated, Michael said a few words about how the meal would be presented. Basically each table would get 2 filets (each topped with a different sauce), 2 NY Strips (again topped with a different sauce), an Entrecote Diablo, a Culotte and Chateaubriand.

After Michael's announcement, appetizers were brought out. Some we were already familiar with from his menu, others were ones he planned for the new place. Cool! We get to try it before anyone else!

First out were Deviled eggs. No big deal, you say? Ha! You ain't never had deviled eggs like this before. These bad boys were stuffed with steak tartar and topped with a seasoned breadcrumb mixture. DELISH! (I apologize about the picture, we forgot to adjust the camera before taking the shot)
Deviled Eggs with Steak Tartar - Biscuit rating: 4 biscuits
(the biscuit scale rates things from 1 to 5, one being the lowest and 5 the highest)

Next up were his take on Clams Casino. I don't even like clams but these were good. Nested in a little pastry cup filled with what I think was perhaps a cream cheese mixture followed by a small square of bacon sat the bread and deep fried clam. Eaten in one or two bites, it was pretty good, perhaps a little more salt would have improved it but still very tasty just as it was.
Clams Casino - Biscuit rating: 4 biscuits

This was followed by a cup of Crab Bisque. I've heard wonderful things about the crab bisque but had yet to try it. Oh......My........It's as good as everyone raves about.

Crab Bisque - Biscuit rating: 5 biscuits

And as if that weren't enough, a plate of Shrimp Di
ablo and Blackened Scallops were brought out to the tables. I adore Ray's scallops! Tonight's were no exception, done perfectly and a nice zing from the blackening. The Shrimp Diablo was spicier that I remeber but still very good and spicy.
Blackened Scallops & Shrimp Diablo
Biscuit rating: 5 biscuits

This was followed by a salad (with Caesar dressing?)
. Hey, we needed some veggies, didn't we? This was a nice, simple and tasty salad.
Salad (no biscuit rating)

Then, finally, the steaks. When they came around to our table to take our orders, we all looked at each other and said, just bring us the whole lot......we'll share it all around. I think we may have been the only table at the 8:00 seating to do this. It was great because we got to sample everything. The waitress said since we were all sharing, she'd bring all the sauces out on the side so we could sample or add to our steaks as we liked. And as always, side dishes of mashed potatoes and creamed spinach were also brought to the table.

Above is a picture of the remains of a filet after half the table took a slice.

This is the Entrecote Diablo and below it you can see one of the two dishes of mashed potatoes.

This is the Chateaubriand (with broccoli). Sitting right underneath is one of the two NY Strips. You can see the little bowl of Brandy Cream sauce near the lower right of the picture and one of the bowls of creamed spinach in the lower left.

A view down the table (or I call it the Meat-O-Rama). In the foreground you see the Entrecote Diablo. Just above it is the Culotte and further back on the right is the Chateaubriand and on the left another of the NY Strips.

In all I would have to say the filet and the culotte were my favorites. Biscuit Boy prefered the Chateaubriand. My biscuit rating for the all the steaks - 5 biscuits

And lastly dessert. Two dark chocolate mousses, a milk chocolate mouse, a white chocolate mousse and two huge wedges of Key Lime Pie arrived at the table. Again we all played nicely and shared it all. My favorite was the dark chocolate mousse. Hubby's was the Key Lime Pie. We realized after we had eaten just about everything that we forgot to take pictures. Oops! But we were getting a little lethargic by this point.

Never before in my life have I ever been so full. When a waitress accidentally brought out more dessert dishes to our table instead of the table behind us, you could hear an audible groan from several of us at the table. I know we were thinking,

To sum it up, we ate like kings at a pauper's price. Two thumbs up for Michael Landrum, his waitstaff and his kitchen staff. You all did a superb job and I think I now have enough beef in my belly to last me a while (or until Ray's opens up again).

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Saturday, March 25, 2006

Tres Leches Cake

I get to kill three birds with one stone or in this case, cake.

Bird #1: Our staff knitting group. Every other Friday after work, a bunch of us get together to knit. Except me, I cross stitch but they let me join in anyway. Part of the get together is dinner. It usually rotates between each of us with one person bringing an entree, someone bringing a salad and of course a dessert. We met yesterday and I offered to bring dessert.

Bird #2: The Virtual Recipe Club - Most Requested Recipe Edition
Alysha from The Savory Notebook will be collecting our most popular recipes, the ones you always get asked to make, the ones that you have to write down because everyone wants to make themselves.

Bird #3: Sugar High Friday.
Chandra from Lick the Spoon is hosting this event for April. The twist to this edition.....Booze. She's lookin' for drunken desserts. And while she asked that we try to stay away from the ever popular rum cake, mine entry is a cake, it has rum in it but it ain't no rum cake. Rum is a player in the recipe but it's not the star of the show.

So what is my amazing bird killing dessert?
Tres Leches Cake. A rich, succulent, decadent, outragously good dessert. Translated, tres leches means three milks. These milks are sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk and heavy cream. The milks are mixed together with some rum to add a nice kick to the cake. You slowly pour the milk mixture over the top of the baked cake and let is soak in. Yum. I said is was rich, didn't I?You can see a little bit of the milk mixture pooling around the edge of the platter. It eventually will soak up into the cake.

Some people like to frost the cake with a thin meringue like topping while others pour caramel sauce over slices of this little gem. Some do both. Me, I prefer mine au natural, naked. It's so rich and tastes so good all by itself that I can't imagine adding more decadence to the party. But who am I to it anyway you like, just leave me a piece.

Tres Leches Cake
2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 large eggs, separated
2 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup whole milk

1 (12 to 14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1 (12-14 ounce) can evaporated milk
4 tablespoons light rum

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and lightly flour a 9 x 13 baking dish. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together. Separate the egg yolks and whites. Beat the whites until very foamy and frothy. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the sugar, egg yolks, and vanilla extract with an electric mixer.
Continue mixing and slowly add the milk. Then start adding the flour mixture, a little at a time, until all the flour is incorporated and the batter is smooth. Finally, use a spatula to gently fold in the beaten egg whites until completely mixed.

Pour batter into the prepared baking dish. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick stuck in the middle comes out clean. Allow cake to cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Invert the cake onto a jelly roll pan or a baking tray with a raised edge on it . Use a fork to repeatedly pierce the top of the cake.

Make the milk syrup by whisking together the sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, heavy cream and rum in a mixing bowl, until well blended. Pour syrup over the cake a little at a time, until it soaks through. Keep doing this until most of the milk syrup is absorbed. You may have a pool of syrup around the bottom of the cake, that's ok as it will gradually soak in. Cover the cake in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least three hours before frosting.

If you want to make the meringue frosting, here's the recipe:

4 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup light corn syrup

Beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar in a large bowl until they form stiff peaks. Set aside. In a separate pan, mix the water, sugar, and corn syrup. Cook over a high heat, stirring constantly until a candy thermometer reads 230°F.

Remove from heat. While beating the egg whites with an electric mixer, immediately pour the hot syrup into the egg whites; continue beating for about five minutes. Let frosting cool in refrigerator. With a wet spatula, spread a thick layer of the frosting on the cake.

And if you REALLY want to be decadent, here's the caramel sauce recipe:

Caramel Sauce
5 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups sugar

1 vanilla bean, split
1 teaspoon baking soda

Place the milk in a large, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and allow skin to form on top. Do not stir. The skin will thicken and puff up. Reduce heat to medium and remove the skin. Increase heat to medium-high and repeat the process 3 times.

Add the sugar and vanilla bean, and stir until the sugar has melted, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low and stir in the baking soda. Simmer milk, stirring often, but taking care not to break the film of cooked milk forming, on the inside of the pan. Simmer, skimming the foam (not skin) until reduced by half, about 1 hour.

Reduce the heat to very low and simmer for another 3 and 1/2 hours, stirring and skimming foam occasionally. The mixture will brown as it cooks.

Strain the completely cooked mixture through a sieve into a bowl, cover and refrigerate. Makes about 1 1/2 cups sauce.

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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Pizza Lust

Biscuit Boy has a way with pizza. And as someone who spent her formative years in New York and knows good pizza, I must say that Biscuit Boy's rank right up there with the very best. We buy our dough from Trader Joe's, a bargain at 79 cents a bag.

Most times we'll have cheese pizza or cheese, pepperoni and mushroom. And every so often, Biscuit Boy gets a wild hair up his derriere and gets creative. Last week he tried to make his own version of a pizza he and a friend had at Matchbox. It was called Fire & Smoke. It's a pizza topped with fire roasted red peppers, sweet onions, chipotle pepper tomato sauce with smoked gouda & fresh basil and very spicy. His version was ok but I wasn't as sold on it as he was.

Today, he e-mails me at work to see if I wanted pizza for dinner rather than the last of the Green Curry. It would mean a trip to Trader Joe's for me after work but I said sure. The shopping list he gave me consisted of pizza dough, prosciutto and a bag of Quattro Frommagio (a blend of Parmesan, Asiago, Fontina and Provalone cheeses).

While I was getting these ingredients, he was going to caramelize some onion and roast garlic. Once I got home, he cut pizza dough in half and stretched it out. Next he smeared some of the roasted garlic on the dough added some cheese, tossed on some prosciutto (which I had sliced into thin strips) and added some of the onions.

He cooked them in 485 degree oven on a pizza stone for about 13 minutes each. Then after they cooled for a minute or two, we set upon them like a pack of hungry wolves. In fact, it was only after we finished the last piece and were licking our fingers that I realized we didn't get a picture of these beauties. But not to worry, it was so good, I'm gonna get him to make these again.......soon.


Thai Green Curry

Dinner was fun last night. One guest brought a Thai Eggplant stir fry as a side dish and another brought dessert, a cream cake topped with fresh strawberries and blackberries and another brought flowers.

The eggplant went so well with the curry. And the left over pieces were thrown into the curry for dinner tonight. And dessert was light and fresh.

Some of us had Chappellet Dry Chenin Blanc and others had Singha Beer to help wash it down. With tonignt's leftovers I had a glass of Bonny Doon Pacific Rim Dry Riesling.

I wasn’t completely pleased with this batch of curry partly because I didn’t try a sample before I served it. I guess that my little pea brain told me that I’ve made it before and it always turned out fine so why bother. Well, my pea brain forgot that I tripled the recipe. I also didn’t let the curry sauce boil down like the recipe called for. It was a bit thin flavor wise and could have used a pinch of salt.

Biscuit Boy cooked down the leftover sauce for tonight and I added some salt and it tasted much better. Here’s the recipe.

Thai style Chicken in Coconut Sauce
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
6 whole chicken legs (about 3 pounds), cut into drumstick and thigh sections
2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh gingerroot
2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
1½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons green curry powder*
2 tablespoons dry Sherry
1 (8½ -oz.) can coconut milk
1½ cups chicken broth
½ teaspoon black pepper
¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
¼ cup soy sauce
2½ teaspoons minced seeded fresh jalapeño pepper, or to taste (wear rubber gloves), optional
½ red bell peppers, sliced into strips
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, or to taste
Cooked rice as an accompaniment
Fresh Thai Basil leaves for garnish

In a large pot, heat the oil over moderately high heat until it is hot but not smoking and in it brown the chicken, patted dry, in batches, transferring it as it is browned to a plate.

To the pot add the gingerroot and garlic and cook the mixture for 1 minute. Add the flour and the curry powder and cook the mixture, stirring, for 1 minute. Whisk in the Sherry, the coconut milk, and the broth and bring the mixture to a boil, whisking.

Add the black pepper, chopped cilantro, soy sauce, lalapeño, chicken, and any juices that have accumulated on the plate. Simmer the mixture, covered, for 10 minutes. Add the bell peppers and simmer the mixture, covered, for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the chicken is cooled through.

Transfer the chicken with a slotted spoon to a serving dish and keep it warm. Boil the liquid until it is thickened and reduced to about 2 cups, skim off the fat, and season the sauce with salt and pepper and the lime juice. Nap the chicken with some of the sauce, garnish it with the basil sprigs, and serve it with the rice.

* I use a canned green curry paste. You can usually find this in Asian or Thai markets

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Saturday, March 18, 2006

Biscuit Boy goes shopping

Grant Mart is one of the wonderful Asian groceries in our area. We usually buy all our fruit and vegetables there. I sent Biscuit Boy there today to pick up a few things while I cleaned the house in preparation for having friends over tomorrow night. I'm making Green Curry with Chicken.

It's a dish I haven't made in a while. Don't know why either because it's really good. It's one of those dishes that you make and have plenty of leftovers and it usually tastes better the second day.

I am making the dish today because of that and I won't have to worry about cooking tomorrow. All I'll need to do is set a table, warm up the Green Curry and wait for hungry guests to arrive.

I had almost everything on hand except for the chicken and the green curry base. So I sent Biscuit Boy to the store with a list. He had way too much fun shopping. Not only did he hit Grand Mart but he managed to get in a stop at Total Wine and bought Thai beer for tomorrow's dinner, some K cider for me, some Murphy's Irish Stout for him and a case of various wine.

But more about that later.
This is today's haul from Grand Mart. Not our biggest shopping spree but still a nice selection of goodies to tide us over for a while.
His haul consists of: Red leaf lettuce, parsley, basil, green onion, garlic, shallots, dried baby shrimp, red bell pepper, red new potatoes, yellow onion, limes, coconut milk (to replace what I used in the curry), green curry paste, button mushrooms, serrano peppers, and king mushrooms.
Grand Mart
6255 Little River Turnpike
Alexandria, VA

I'll try to post on dinner tomorrow and include pics of the finished dish.

But back to the shopping trip to Total Wine. Biscuit Boy said I should never let him go to Total Bevereage when he's thirsty. And now I know why. In addition to the 4-pack of Murphy's Stout and 6-pack of K, he bought 2 6-packs of Singha Beer for tomorrow's dinner. On top of that he bought wine, lots of wine. Not that I'm complaining. But I think we're gonna need a bigger wine rack.....

He bought a bottle of Naia Verdejo, Tres Ojos Old Vine, Onix Priorat, Panarroz Jumilla, Spier Chenin Blanc, Carro Tinto, Golden Kaan Pinotage, Indaba Chenin Blanc, Laurel Glen Reds, Chappellet Dry Chenin Blanc, Bonny Doon Pacific Rim Dry Riesling, and Cline
Ancient Vines Mourvèdre.

Total Wine
6240 Little River Turnpike
Alexandria, VA

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Saturday, March 11, 2006

Weekend Dog Blogging (WDB) #25

As if the Panda pictures I posted earlier today weren't cute enough for ya, it's time for Weekend Dog Blogging! Haven't posted any pictures of the Biscuit Pup (Sophie) for a few weeks because she's extremely camera shy. So trying to take her picture is a bit of a challenge.

To get these pictures I had to sneak over to the camera, cough while I turned it on so she wouldn't hear it then quietly walk over to her. She was asleep in her favorite position....on Biscuit Boy's lap, showing her belly for all to see. And as you can see, she's a hairy little beast. I think it's time to take a trip to the groomers.
For more adorable dog pictures, head on over to Sweetnicks.



We finally got to see the baby panda, Tai Shan, today! He is absolutely adorable!! We took over 100 pictures of the little guy with is mom. You gotta love that about digital cameras, click off a hundred pictures without wasting any film.

Here's some of the ones I liked best.

Mama (Mei Xiang) and son (Tai Shan) out for a stroll.

They were both particularly playful today.

Tai Shan (up on tree limb) and mama Mei Xiang

Just hanging around.

Isn't he the cutest!

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Sunday, March 05, 2006

In Braise of Beef & other fine food

Biscuit Boy took good care of me this weekend. After working a 6-day week, still trying to get my asthma back under control and going to the doc to figure out why my right index finger is numb, I was quite exhausted. And the prospect of more x-rays and tests for the finger all await me next week.......ugh.

Tonight, he fixed braised beef shanks. We found these two beauties in the store today and knew that instant what would be on our dinner plates tonight.
A quick sear of both sides, some sauteed onion, garlic, and celery, and some red wine then off to simmer happily for the next 2 1/2 hours.When it was done the meat just fell apart. It was even better than the last braise he made. While it was cooking, I made a loaf of beer bread (Thanks Susan over at Farmgirl Fare, I used your recipe with the garlic-herb variation) and Biscuit Boy made some homemade oven fries. We're full and content, even the dog who got one of the two bones. I think she's in marrow heaven.

And if tonight's meal wasn't pampering enough, Biscuit Boy took me to Corduroy after I got off work yesterday. We were already planning to eat dinner out last night but hadn't decided where. After some e-mails back and forth to each other, we settled on Corduroy. So after I got off work, biscuit Boy and I drove into DC. We originally just planned on sitting in the bar area and nibbling on items from the bar menu. Those plans changed after we started talking about how good our meal was there three weeks ago. They did have free tables so we went for it....dinner in the dining room.

It was just as good as our last trip. We shared a salad of micro greens (I think they were called Bulls Blood greens?) baby beets, baby carrots, and onion on a thin disk of goat cheese. It was light and refreshing. There was a light bitterness to the greens that was balanced out by the sweetness in the carrots and beets.
Biscuit rating: 4 biscuits

For our entrees, I got pheasant served with French Lentils. It came out on an oblong plate. On either end was a rich, almost demi-glace like sauce. In the center sat a leg of pheasant topped with a the breast on top of a pool of creamy, thyme laced lentils which were hemmed in by a thin ring of mashed potatoes. The skin on the breast piece was crunchy and slightly salted and way too good. The meat was a little on the drier side of being done but not too dry to enjoy.
Biscuit rating: 3.5 biscuits

Hubby got Loin of Venison with a chestnut puree and vegetables. The meat was nearly fork tender and quite delicious. I was very surprised with the chestnut puree. I didn't think I liked them but what ever Chef Tom Power did to these may have converted me. Smooth, creamy, slightly sweet and nothing like the last chestnuts I ate.
Biscuit rating: 4.5 biscuits

Too full for dessert, Biscuit Boy opted for a glass of whiskey from the bar. I needed something sweet to end the meal and studied the dessert menu. Apple tart, had it already. Chocolate sabayon, had it already. Cheese plate, not sweet. Sorbet, hmmm....nah. Oh...what have we here....chocolate tart with caramelized bananas. MMM, chocolate. I ordered it.

It was similar to the sabayon being served warm but it was a much darker, bittersweet chocolate. The caramelized banana slices were topped with a little scoop of chocolate ice cream. I liked the darker chocolate better but wasn't that thrilled with the almost tasteless pastry crust that formed the tart. Nor was I that enamored with the bananas. But I still managed to eat all of it. I think I'd get the sabayon over this one next time I wanted a chocolate dessert.
Biscuit rating: 3 biscuits

I think I'm ready to face next week.


Thursday, March 02, 2006

A Patient's Patience

Allergies are no fun but mine have gotten better since I’ve been getting allergy shots. After years of weekly visits to the doctor’s office for a shot, I graduated to every two weeks, woo hoo! A couple of years ago, I graduated again to only needing a shot once every four weeks, luxury!

Well two weeks ago I was due to get shot. I didn’t make it because work was crazy so I just decided to wait a week. I got an e-mail from the doctor’s office that afternoon saying the doctor suddenly got sick so there would be no shots that day. No problem, I wasn’t going anyway.

Then that weekend, another e-mail was sent from his office to let his patients know that he was still out sick so, you guessed it, no shots. Hmmm, I said to myself. Wonder what’s wrong with Doc. He’s never been out sick for more than a day or two in the 8 years I’ve been seeing him.

An e-mail this past weekend gave the answer. He went into septic shock while at the office! EEK! He was rushed by ambulance to the hospital where he was placed in ICU for a week. But the good news was that he was better and would be back to shooting patients this week. Yea!

I left early from work on Tuesday and arrived at his office to a PACKED waiting room, standing room only. Even though I got there 15 minutes after he started giving shots, I was #36 on the list. Great…….. A quick scan around the waiting room for a magazine was disheartening. I had my choice of Men’s Health, Golf, Parenting, or the stack of gummed on, sneezed on kiddy books in the corner. Dang, it was going to be a long wait.

A chair finally freed up and I grabbed it. Then began to look around to see who had the good magazines and which of those folks would be finished first. I wanted to be ready to snatch it before as soon as it was free.
A People magazine freed up first. Yeah, I know, People? It’s a guilty pleasure. It kept me occupied long enough to hear my name called. Yes! Time to get shot. Sleeve rolled up, I walked down the hall to his office and stuck out my arm. But I wasn’t done yet.

You have to wait in the waiting room for about 20 minutes after you get an allergy shot to be sure you don’t have any kind of nasty reaction which can include anaphylactic shock. So back to the waiting room and lo and behold, a new Southern Living was just sitting there in an empty chair. MINE, MINE, MINE!

I was just about done with it when I spotted a recipe that spoke to me. It said, “Fix me for dinner.” A scan of the ingredients led to a mental list of what I needed from the store and I said, “Sure, I’ll make you for dinner, thanks for the suggestion.”

My patience had paid off. This dish was great and so easy to make even with adding chicken to the recipe. Biscuit Boy took leftovers for lunch the next day and said it tasted even better.
The recipe is:

Spring Tortellini with Pesto

1 pound fresh asparagus
2 (9 oz) packages refrigerated cheese-filled tortellini
1 (7 oz) container basil pesto
1/2 tsp. grated lemon rind
1/4 tsp. salt1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked

Snap off and discard tough ends of asparagus. Cut asparagus into 2-inch pieces.
Prepare cheese-filled tortellini according to package directions. Add asparagus pieces to pasta water during last 2 minutes of cooking; drain. *

Pour off any excess oil from top of pesto container. Toss together tortellini mixture, pesto, lemon rind, and salt. Sprinkle with pine nuts, and serve immediately.

*Note: I had thick stemmed asparagus so I put it in the water with the pasta at the same time.

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