Sunday, December 16, 2007

You learn something new every day

Thought I'd share some new things I've learned in the last few days:

1.) The past tense of "win" is "wan." Somebody was telling me about a superbowl block pool where they wan $800. Wow .... I can't wait to use it in a sentence. In fact, if all goes well this weekend the fantasy football team that my friend Sue and I have -- Team CaCa -- will do well and someday I'll be able to say we wan the championship.

2.) I finally got introduded to Guitar Hero at Schue and Los' house on Friday night .... and I was pretty good. I'm not sure what was better, my near conquer of the "Ballroom Blitz" or Schue and I singing back-up to "Sweet Child of Mine" on the karaoke mike while Los rocked out. I'm also not sure how Davey Dogs snored through the whole thing -- maybe his hearing loss is worse than we thought.

3.) I'm not as bad at fundraising as I thought. -- I absolutely can't stand asking people for money, even if it's a good cause. Not sure why, but I guess I'm just wired funny. I really admire people who have this skill because it's definitely one where I'm lacking, and if you're a group that relies on the generosity of others it's important to have people who know how to elicit donations. Anyhow, I spent a few hours on Saturday morning wrapping presents at Barnes & Noble to help raise money for an organization I've been supporting, the Community Learning Center. As I chatted with the customers and told the story of what we do, the most amazing thing happened -- some people who had only dropped a dollar (or nothing) into the donation bucket actually upped their contributions. Just by telling the story of how some students won't go take their GED because they don't have the $12 for the test, people started giving $12. Not only did I learn something about fundraising, but it felt good to do something to help our students.

4.) Brasciole doesn't have to cook for hours in a crock pot to be good. I always thought that good braciole had to slow cook in the sauce for hours and hours to be delicious and tender. Not true. I made a quick braciole that was absolutely falling apart and very very good -- all in about 30 mins. Move over Rachel Ray! If you're a cook and want to try, here's what I did: (By the way, I don't measure so if you need precise instructions this probably won't work for you. I'm also not a cookbook author, yet, so this doesn't look like a regular recipe. It's the first time writing it down.) It's very easy and delicious ... let me know how it works out if you decide to try it.

Barbra Peapod's Fast Braciole
  • Top round for braciole (it's packaged like this and requires no pounding ... yay!)
  • Ricotta
  • Bread Crumbs
  • Parsley and other italian herbs
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1 Egg
  • Parmesan
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Peppers (red, green or both)
  • Shrooms
  • 1 Can diced tomatoes (the flavored ones are great)
  • 1 can tomato sauce

Mix the stuffing in a small bowl: ricotta, bread crumbs, spices, egg, parmesan. (It should be pasty consistency -- add cheese to thin it out, add bread crumbs to thicken.)

Lay the steaks flat, then spread a heaping spoonful of the mix on about 3/4 of the steak. Don't spread too thick or too close to the edges or it'll all spooge out when you're cooking the rolls. You can use string or toothpicks if you really want to, but I didn't and everything was fine. The trick is in the next step -- searing. I had leftover stuffing mixture, and used it up by chucking it into the sauce .... mmmm!

Heat some olive oil to med high in a deep dish pan (I used my flat-bottomed wok). When the pan is hot, put the roll-ups seam side down in the pan. Sear for a couple of minutes then rotate. The meat cooks very fast, so watch it. Add a little beef broff to cover the bottom of the pan after 3-4 minutes.

Add onions, garlic, peppers, shrooms, or whatever vegs you'd like. Saute for a few minutes until they are slightly tender. Add tomato stuff. Stir gently, then cover and simmer.

While it was simmering, I cooked up some pasta. By the time the pasta was done, so was everything else. I served with some garlic crescent rolls on the side ..... delish!!


Los said...

I guess we can't talk today, as we are enemies during the football games ... with that said, if I were to lose to anybody, I would feel best about losing to you (still, I wouldn't feel that good ...)

Scarlett Wanna Be said...

Wretch is not the past tense of reach either. It is reached. I had a boyfriend who told me he "finally wretch his dad on the phone." The said thing is, he broke up with me...they always do.