Monthly Archives: August 2013

August 30th, 2013

Drive Them Crazy with Salmon and Broccoli

Often I eat alone, but when I have someone to cook for, I go for that extra touch. One of my boys was home for lunch. Today the recipe called for grilled salmon with broccoli in cream sauce.

 

 

Recipe is an exaggeration. This dish is so easy to cook, you can’t even call it a recipe. Just wash your broccoli and cut it into bite sized pieces. Chop up a clove of garlic on your cutting board. Warm up some olive oil on the stove.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unless you’re allergic to pleasure, you’re going to love this combination of flavors. By the way, for those who don’t like broccoli (I know you’re out there), you can substitute any vegetable such as zucchini, cauliflower or green beans.

 

Cover the broccoli and sautée it in oil and garlic for about 5 minutes. I add a pinch of salt at this point, but — full disclosure — I’ve been accused of putting food in pans just as an excuse to consume salt. During these five minutes, I kid you not, you would have time to read part 18 of Doing Max Vinyl over at Venture Galleries. Go ahead, you can click on that link – she won’t bite!

Excellent! Slide the broccoli out of the pan onto a plate. The broccoli can rest. Now we want to get the salmon started. I found two nice fillets of salmon at the store, and they have the skin on one side. I’ve still got a lot of hot garlicky oil in my pan, so I put the salmon in there skin-side up. Cook that for about five minutes. While you’re waiting for the salmon to cook I would suggest that you might like to go to my Facebook page and like it. Just an idea!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But now comes the really fun part. Turn over the salmon, sprinkle some italian seasoning over the top, and add the broccoli back into the pan in a decorative ring around it. We’re not being OCD here, but we’re being gentle with our delicate salmon filets, and we’re making a nice colorful composition in the pan. You might even say preppy.

Radical health nuts will revolt at the next step. I pour half-and-half around the broccoli ring, and for the last two or three minutes let it stew together with the salmon juices and olive oil. If you’re avoiding those extra fats, fine and dandy. If not, this is a perfect marriage of flavors and textures.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Usually I would serve this dish with some boiled potatoes to counter the rich flavors of salmon, cream and broccoli. But we had leftover rice in the fridge, so we warmed that up in the microwave. Presto, one pan to wash, and a scrumptious lunch on the table. Meanwhile, the cats are going crazy at the fish aroma. What about you? What are you cooking today?

August 28th, 2013

He Used the Convertible for What?

When the old company called me up asking if I wanted to take some old plants off their hands, I pictured a couple of tired pots that would fit on the corner of my desk, or maybe on the windowsill. After all, everyone else still working there had first dibs. I got to take the ones nobody else wanted.

Boy was I surprised to find twelve monster plants in the hallway waiting for me when I arrived with my VW Golf. Some of these plants have been sitting in a corner somewhere for the last 15 years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Problem: how the heck am I gonna get these things home? That’s when I realized what a lucky stroke it was that some good friends were ready to unload their convertible just two weeks ago. I offer you: a new way to put your convertible to good use.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Didn’t the police pull you over, you’re asking? Good question. I fully expected that they would. Fortunately there was a Champion’s League qualifying game on last night, with Basel playing against Bulgaria, in Basel. The police were busy!

 

Anyway, 12 monster plants have now found a new home at my place, giving us extra oxygen and that nice jungle feel. Grrrrrrr!

August 26th, 2013

$500 Ain’t Trivial in My Book

You know there’s a winner every week in this contest, and this week it’s Naznin A. — congratulations Naznin for subitting the right answer to Question 4 in the Doing Max Vinyl Trivia Contest! The question was: Whose apartment do Ike and Tranny ransack, looking for the GPS? By the way, you can win in three ways with the Doing Max Vinyl Trivia contest:

  1. the weekly $5 prize
  2. you are reading Doing Max Vinyl for FREE!
  3. chances to win the grand prizes of $50 / $100 / $200 at the end of the contest

And anyway the answer, as anyone who read the serialized parts of the book for FREE at Venture Galleries will know, is Alison and Todd’s apartment.

Right, let’s move on to Question #5, to which you will find the answer in part 14, 15 or 16 at Venture Galleries. Question #5 is: Bob Olson, after being cheated, goes home and watches a nature program to relax. The nature program features what species of bird? To submit your answer, please send it to me at trivia@frederickleebrooke.com.

In keeping with the rules of the contest, the week 5 winner will be chosen randomly among all the right answers correctly submitted by Sunday September 1st at midnight P.S.T. Are we already almost in September?

Now please don’t forget, even if you don’t win the $5 gift card, your right answer each week gains you an additional entry in the grand prize drawing at the end of the trivia contest. The prizes at the end are a $50 card, a $100 card and a $200 card. You could probably find uses for $200, right?

August 21st, 2013

Winning Is Easy

Enter my Goodreads giveaway for a chance to win a signed paperback copy of Collateral Damage. This giveaway ends August 30, 2013 (check the giveaway page for the exact time).

Reading books for free has never been easier. Stop in at Venture Galleries to read the serialization of my first book Doing Max Vinyl. Three days a week they post another part of a chapter – sort of like the old days, in newspapers, only you don’t have to buy the newspaper!

Did I mention you can win a $5 weekly prize just by answering the trivia question from the Doing Max Vinyl posts on Venture Galleries? First read the trivia question, and the latest one can be read here, then read the posts to find the answer. Not only do you get a free read, you have a chance to win money.

Each correct submission to the weekly trivia question additionally gets you an entry in the trivia contest grand prize drawing which will take place at the end of the serialization. First prize: a $200 Amazon gift card. Second prize a $100 card. Third prize $50 a card.

May I remind you that submissions to the trivia contest must be sent to a special email address trivia@frederickleebrooke.com to be valid? Good luck to you. Enter both contests today and let it be your lucky day.

August 19th, 2013

6 Trivial Announcements

 

We have a winner in the weekly contest, and it’s Naomi L. from Canada – congratulations! Naomi was one of many participants who sent the right answer in to the Week 3 trivia question in the Doing Max Vinyl trivia contest, How high are the walls of the Indiana State Prison? (40 feet.) Naomi wins a $5 Amazon gift card.

Time to announce the week 4 trivia question: Whose apartment do Ike and Tranny ransack, looking for the GPS? You will find the answer in part 11, 12 or 13 at Venture Galleries, where Doing Max Vinyl is being serialized. To submit your answer, please send it to me at trivia@frederickleebrooke.com.

The week 4 winner will be chosen randomly among all the right answers correctly submitted by Sunday August 25 at midnight P.S.T.

Don’t forget, even if you don’t win the $5 gift card, your right answer each week gains you an additional entry in the grand prize drawing at the end of the trivia contest. The prizes at the end are a $50 card, a $100 card and a $200 card. You could probably find uses for $200, right?

My fifth announcement is that my balcony is now kitten-safe. Putting up these nets was a big job, but the cat shelter requires it, and of course it’s a good idea.

The view from my balcony towards France, through the kitten-safe net.

And announcement #6? After a crazy week with a lot of problems and hurting, I really hope things will be back to normal.