Tuesday, October 20, 2009

*composed salad.

My admittedly fragile ego has taken a hit of late, in that I submitted a couple of photos (namely this one and this one) to some food photography-pimping sites and was ROUNDLY rejected. It seems I have a condition known as "unflattering composition."

I've never taken a photography class and have built a rickety life around barreling blindly through things without a helmet on, so I can certainly understand that my composition might be wonky. It goes with the invisible name tag I wear that says, "Hello My Name Is I Have No Idea What I'm Doing."

The "unflattering," though, was an ouch.

So I suppose this is an apology of sorts, for subjecting you to my hideous, hideous life. You flatter me.

I flatter myself these days as a happy homemaker, accomplishing tasks like running the dishwasher and washing the sheets and remembering to medicate the dog.

Look out, Martha Stewart.

There's also been cooking with leftovers, which is how I made the simplest lunch this week. I boiled up the bottom of a box of rigatoni, then mixed in Giada's red wine vinaigrette, which is my go-to vinaigrette recipe, in part because it's brilliantly all-purpose and tasty and in part because manic repetitions of her orzo salad have left it committed to memory.

It'll be my late-life dementia quirk, wandering about the old folks' home shouting, "1/2 cup red wine vinegar, 3 tablespoons lemon juice ... "

Into the warm, dressed pasta I tossed some fresh spinach (I wanted arugula, but I was at Walmart—buying a MOP, Martha—and they don't carry the schmancy stuff),


the least shriveled of the pint of woeful grape tomatoes in my refrigerator,


the best of an aging bunch of green onions (though if you're replicating this at home, I'd probably recommend a red onion for bigger crunch and bustier flavor),

cebollas verdes.

and the remaining blue cheese crumbles from the previous night's steak dinner.


Ah yes, I remember you.

I sliced the leftover filet into long strips, and marveled that the smaller steak of the pair had come out better than its more-well-done partner.


I love pasta salad for lunch because it doesn't require refrigeration—by the time the noon hour rolls around, the chill has dissipated, leaving it at the perfect just-cooler-than-warm temperature.

ensalada de vaca.

And anyone who's ever tried to hoover sorbet or suck down ice cubes knows that cold is the enemy of inhaling.

It's been deliciously satisfying the past couple of days, even if it's not gorgeous. As TFin always says, usually with exasperated eye roll, "It doesn't matter what it looks like."

I smell my epitaph!




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I am a work in progress. I perpetually need a hair cut. I'm totally devoted to my remarkable nieces and nephew. I am an elementary home cook and a magazine worker bee. (Please criticize my syntax and spelling in the comments.) I think my dog is hilarious. I like chicken and spicy things. I have difficulty being a grown-up. Left to my own devices, I will eat enormous amounts of cheese snacks of all kinds.