I think this is officially the longest I’ve gone between blog posts since I started on January 1, 2008. My computer is misbehaving. I’ve written this post twice, and twice it has disappeared into the interether.
Is this thing on?
So let’s give this another go. And while we’re at it, can someone please slow this ride down? I swear somewhere in my brainpan there’s a teeny hoodied carnie waving his arms and screaming “do you wanna go faster?!”
Suddenly it’s the weekend after the weekend before, and Sunday no less – a full week after I had the opportunity to feed lunch (and breakfast, and snacks) to some of my favourite on-screen people – Gillian Anderson! Linda Hamilton! MacGyver! Weird Al! Nathan Fillion! Wil Wheaton! And yes, the Emperor of the Galactic Empire. And as I mentioned last post, we’ve been noshing on the leftovers all week. We finished up an enormous pot of vegetarian curry, to which I added extra chickpeas and scraps of kale as I rewarmed it on Tuesday and Wednesday. I had bought tons of kale and Brussels sprouts to make that salad, and didn’t have the chance to actually assemble it, so we’ve been plowing through the leftovers – so much that my jaw has been getting sore.
Hearing there would be around 70 celebs and agents to feed in the gold room with no kitchen, and that the group would be spread out over hours and include a mix of carnivores, vegetarians, vegans, and a few who required gluten-free meals, I enlisted some help – Chad the bison guy from Olson High Country Bison braised no fewer than 100 bison short ribs in espresso stout and balsamic vinegar. I made enormous batches of two soups – sausage, lentil and barley (Spock’s fave) and a vegan sweet potato, red lentil and carrot with coconut milk and ginger – it’s one I’ve posted here often, made with vegetable stock and a can of coconut milk. Always a hit. I made vats of the stuff.
Also? When Richard Dean Anderson needed to take his to go, I totally MacGyvered him a to-go bowl. That happened.
I also made two big salads, since on the road, meals are often devoid of green things – but I was going for ease, not knowing for sure how many people would be eating on any particular day (answer: lots! on Saturday, we ran out of the 100 plates I bought), not wanting to waste any, nor to have it go limp. So I made big bowls of Orzo Salad with Spinach, Feta and Lemon, and bought tons of tubs of organic spring greens, some arugula, and some strawberries, toasted a sheetful of sliced almonds, and cooked a pot of quinoa. Cooked and drained it keeps in the fridge beautifully, without going gummy or sticky. Over the course of the three-day weekend I assembled more than 20 salads on big white slightly concave plates ($10 at Superstore) – but once home with leftovers packed away in my fridge, it was easy to plate individual servings. A handful of spring greens on the plate, topped with a smaller handful of cooked, cold quinoa, a few sliced strawberries, crumbled goat cheese and a sprinkle of salted pumpkin seeds or toasted almonds. A drizzle of balsamic reduction makes it fancy-tasty.
Because Gillian Anderson -totally my new bff- liked my brownies on the first day enough to have two, and asked for dark chocolate (which Mike was convinced was code for HIM), I used it as an excuse to make dark chocolate chunk cookies on Saturday and Sunday. I’ve taken to making Anna Olson’s half pound of dark chocolate chunk cookies, swapping oat flour for 1/2 cup of the all-purpose flour. This makes them a little more tender (being slightly lower in gluten) and gives them that nuttiness that makes oatmeal cookies so fantastic, without the tweediness of oats.
A warm batch is just the thing on those days when you have an FBI agent, terminator-fighter and inter-galactic emperor who need to get through that mid-afternoon lull.
Dark Chocolate Chunk Oat Cookies
3/4 cup butter, at room temp
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup oat flour
2 tsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1-2 cups roughly chopped dark chocolate
Preheat the oven to 350F.
In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugars until pale and light. Beat in the egg and vanilla.
Add the flour, oat flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt and stir or beat on low until almost combined; add the chocolate chunks and stir just until blended.
Drop dough by the spoonful onto a parchment-lined (or buttered) sheet and bake for 10-14 minutes (depending on their size) until golden around the edges but still soft in the middle. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Makes about 1 1/2 dozen large cookies.