Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Priorities, Pantyhose, and Pork Fat Rules!

(Emeril Lagasse, the super chef from Food Network...
he thinks "pork fat rules!")
My Priorities for December:

Bake more, Eat less (this IS possible because I often get "tired" of what I spend all day making, lol)

SIT on the couch and admire the tree, while drinking hot chocolate

Go for more flashlight night walks with Noah and David (we love to do this!)

Drive around at least twice a week in our pajamas to look at Christmas lights

Watch as many of the Christmas cartoon specials on TV as possible

Take Noah to the mall to see Santa and actually BUY the overpriced photo :)

Burn our Advent candles and focus even more on baby Jesus' birthday

Let Noah REALLY pick out David's Christmas gift from him

Just relax more and stress less :)

This is supposed to be the happiest time of the year and I intend to keep it that way in our home and family by doing all of the above. My calendar is marked with a few family get togethers, parties with friends, and fun outings. I like empty spaces on that calendar, though. Those empty spaces mean more of the above list. :) And that is what makes Christmas joyful.

Alright...while at Kohl's today I saw these:
WOW, who knew? No more exercise! Just wear these pantyhose where the control top contains "massaging microbeads that continually release anti-cellulite ingredients." @@
Are you kidding me? And wouldn't that feel...strange? I don't know. Somewhere out there, these are on a secret marketing department's "Products for the Stupid" list.

(BIG SMILE!)....I just found out last night about this and I can not TELL you how excited I am!! EMERIL will be here next Tuesday, December 6th, for a book signing!!! I have loved him for 10 years and have some of his cookbooks. His was the first show that got me hooked on Food Network. We tried to get into the lottery for tickets to his show when we went to New York City a few years ago, but that was next to impossible. He'll be just 5 minutes from my house, too!!! I plan on waiting in line about 3 hours prior to the signing, but it will be worth it. (and fun to talk to other fans!) He'll be signing his new cookbook: Emeril's Delmonico: A Restaurant With a Past. This cookbook will be extra special to me since we ate at Emeril's Delmonico just 3 months before it was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. It was in a gorgeous old restored building on St. Charles Avenue. I'll never forget sitting there (Noah was with us!) and just praying Noah wouldn't spill anything or scream for no reason, haha. It's one of those really nice places where you have your own waiter filling your water every time you take a sip and there are so few tables that you can hear every conversation in the room! Noah did a great job, though, and it was so special to us to eat there since we love Emeril. :) And you can bet I'll be sharing pictures from the signing!

If you've ever made an Emeril recipe, then you know that most of them take a LONG time. When David and I first got married we cooked an entire Emeril meal for our family and it took HOURS! We ended up eating a lot later than we had planned. :) That's ok. I enjoy spending lots of time on a recipe every once in a while. It's a labor of love! So in honor of Emeril's visit, here is one of my favorite Emeril recipes to make:
Emeril's Turkey Pot Pie
(can also be made with chicken)
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup chopped yellow onions
1/2 cup chopped celery
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
6 tablespoons bleached all-purpose flour
2 cups Chicken Stock or canned chicken broth
1 cup half-and-half
1 cup peeled and diced Idaho potatoes, cooked in boiling salted water until tender, 4 to 5 minutes
1 cup leftover sweet potatoes
1 cup diced carrots, cooked in boiling salted water until tender, 4 to 5 minutes (OR any leftover vegetables from Thanksgiving)
1 cup sweet young peas, fresh or frozen (defrost if frozen)
2 cups shredded cooked turkey, white and dark meat
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 recipe Basic Savory Pie Crust (see below)
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 9x9x2-inch baking pan.
2. Heat the butter in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and celery, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring, for 3 to 4 minutes to make a blond roux. Stir in the chicken stock and bring the liquid to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the sauce begins to thicken, 4 to 6 minutes. Stir in the half-and-half and continue to cook for another 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the potatoes, carrots, peas (or any other leftover Thanksgiving vegetables), turkey, and parsley, season with salt and pepper, and mix well.
3. Line the baking pan with one of the rolled-out pie crusts. Pour the filling into the prepared pan. Place the second crust on top of the filling. Carefully tuck the overlapping crusts into the pan, forming a thick edge. Crimp the edges, cut vents in the top crust, and place on a baking sheet. Bake until the crust is golden brown and crusty, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before slicing to serve. name="crust">
Basic Savory Pie Crust
(Makes 2 pie crusts, enough for one 9-inch and one 10-inch crust)

3 1/4 cups bleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups cold lard or solid vegetable shortening
4 to 5 tablespoons ice water, as needed
1. Combine the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the lard and work it in with your hands until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the water, 1 tablespoon at a time, working it in with your hands. Add only as much as you need to make a smooth ball of dough. Wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
2. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and place it on a lightly floured work surface. For 2 crusts, cut the dough in 2 equal pieces and put the second half back in the refrigerator. For each crust, roll out the dough on the floured surface into a square about 14 inches across and 1/8 inch thick. Gently fold the square of dough in half and then in half again so that you can lift it without tearing it, and unfold it into a square baking pan. Fill and proceed as directed in the recipe.
This recipe copyright © 1998 Emeril's TV Dinners.
"Ask your children two questions this Christmas.
First: "What do you want to give to others for Christmas?"
Second: "What do you want for Christmas?"
The first fosters generosity of heart and an outward focus. The second can breed selfishness if not tempered by the first."
- Anonymous


Miss Carrie said...

LOVE Emerils. One year for our anniversary, my husband made me swordfish-a-la-Emeril and we ate really late that night, but it was delicious.

Your list rocks. I'm definitely implementing a few of those into my December routine.

Jana said...

LOVE your priorities list and I'm totally cracking up over your comment on the anti-cellulite panty hose. TOO funny!

Lisa G said...

I'll tell you what, you bake and then sent it to me and I'll eat :) This way you don't have to worry about all that eating nonsense. It'll leave you more time for scrappin :)

TracieClaiborne said...

I wish I could love cooking like you do. I just feel like I'm awful at it so I don't love it. Did you have to practice a lot before getting good?

I love your list. I'm a list-maker myself. Bet you would have guessed that though. :)

stephanie said...

Superb post, Jennifer!

I am especially liking the endquote. Such a good way to keep the real reason ahead of the frenzy.

Have fun at the book signing!

chris jenkins said...

love the new banner!

love the list!

love Emeril!

thanks for sharing the recipe here and the quote

take care~

kelly edgerton said...

Oh my heck! I know that you must be out of your mind with anticipation for the book signing. Jennifer, that is so cool. I'm thrilled for you. You are going to treasure that book for all of your days, especially since it has a very poignant memory attached to it.

rhonda said...

enjoy your signing...but forget about pictures. they DO NOT allow any pictures to be made of Emeril.
But the autograph will be worth it. I have been to 2 of his signings...and will go for a 3rd when he comes back!
Of the 3 restaurants I've been (Chop Chop, Delmonico and Fish House)...Delmonico in Vegas was my absolute favorite!...and of course it was the most expensive of them all too!!!

Heather D. White said...

Love your list of priorities for this month and ROFLOL about the pantyhose. What will they come up with next?! And I am so jealous about Emeril coming for a book signing. I LOVE HIM! I was so jealous when Chas was able to go to one of his restaurants while he was on a business trip...he said it was FANTASTIC!!!! Love your new banner!!

Jennifer said...

You have a great list of priorities. I should make a similiar list because it's so easy to get lost in everything and then afterwards wonder where all the time went and what did you do.

Heather said...

Loving the list you have going. I'm going to try and have a "more organized" Christmas this year. Hmmm . .. we'll see how that works out!

As for letting Noah pick out dh's gift. Hoping he's better than Alaina was last year. She got it in her head that her daddy needed a "bug shirt". Not sure why . . .

Jackie D said...

I saw those fleece blankets at my albertsons for 3.00 each! I will pick some up tomorrow, I know a lady that hangs out by our post office, she could use a gift bag, thanks for reminding us all tis better to give than to recieve!!

Robin said...

You have the greatest posts! Hey, gotta get me some of those pantyhose too! LOL!

Carla said...

Oh, MAN!! Now I'm kicking myself for not catching up on your blog IMMEDIATELY when I returned from out of town a couple of days ago! I could have driven up to see you -- and Emeril! LOVE him! Oh, well, we did see him once before, but it's been a long time.... Do you really go out driving in your PJ's? I've never heard of such a thing! I must be living a sheltered life.