I never thought I'd say this: I'm bored!!! No, not with my life or my work,heavens no. But I am bored with cooking. And that's a shock.
Maybe it's because I'm a former caterer. A big part of my job was coming upwith menu ideas that were different, and I seem to be running out of them.
Or, more likely, I just have a low boredom threshold.
Yes, I still love creating meals for people who adore eating and food andthe whole culinary process. I get just as excited as ever when I find a newrecipe or tip in the magazines and books I read.
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Even on a heart-healthy menu, I enjoy feeding Husband Richard and Son Brian.We three have great fun on those rare occasions when we're all home and haveenough time to cook together, as we did at the bakery and catering company.
Hmmm. Maybe it isn't cooking that's driving me bonkers. It's having to usethe same old ingredients.
I'm so sick of skinless, boneless chicken breasts, the next time I'm facedwith preparing, serving or eating them, I'll have a genuine, certifiedtantrum.
As a "Cook's Illustrated" writer wrote recently, "Most supermarket birdsthese days are so young ... (and) immature chicken is utterly tasteless."
And no matter what I do to a chicken breast, it's still a chicken breast.
I'm tired of some other foods, too. I've ingested so much spinach in thepast few years that, in my shoes, even Popeye would be searching for a newfavorite.
I want something for breakfast besides the old standbys I can whip upquickly on work days.
In fact, I've dreamed that someone will invent at least three new meats,four new vegetables and six new breakfast entrees.
So, when my kindly, thoughtful husband brought brunch to me at my computeron a recent deadline day - and there was something new on the menu - Ialmost cried with joy.
My clever chap had sautéed onions and mushrooms, scrambled Egg Beaters andsalsa with them, then piled it all into hot, crispy taco shells with asprinkling of low-fat cheese.
They were delicious. And different. Hallelujah!
Hey, why not breakfast tacos, nachos or enchiladas? Lots of places alreadyserve breakfast burritos.
I've served migas breakfasts for years ... eggs scrambled with onions andstrips of corn tortilla or broken up tortilla chips. Top with salsa, alittle crema and some avocado, and that's a breakfast, baby.
Chilaquiles are good in the a.m., too.
My creative husband had just taken those to a new level, which is what goodcooking is all about.
So, after the kids' Easter visit, I went into our annual"what-on-earth-am-I-going-to-do-with-all-these-hard-boiled-eggs" dilemma ina new frame of mind.
Cold boiled eggs remind me too much of boring breakfast-buffet offerings atinexpensive motels, complete with deadly little Danish in crinkly cellophanepackages, bagels that mimic hockey pucks, instant oatmeal and last night'scoffee, which is strong enough to strip paint.
I just couldn't think of many palatable breakfast options based on cold hardboiled eggs, at least not until I put my inventive hat on.
First time through, I removed the yolks from 4 of 6 hard-boiled eggs, andchopped up the remaining yolks and whites (lowering the cholesterol count).I drizzled on some liquid butter substitute and added salt, pepper and alittle garlic powder. Then I heated it up in the microwave.
Served on crisp toast points, the mixture made a lovely breakfast for two,like freshly cooked eggs dressed in their Sunday best.
The next time, I cloned lunchtime egg-salad sandwiches by squeezing somelemon juice over the chopped-up eggs and adding low-fat sour cream, a littleminced celery and onion, a smidgen of low-fat mayo, salt, pepper and hotsauce. I put it briefly in the micro, and spread the eggs on lightly toastedwhole-wheat bread.
Warm egg salad. For breakfast. Why not? After all, if cold pizza or lastnight's apple pie can constitute a morning meal ....
Maybe next time I'll try breakfast deviled eggs.
Now, about that chicken breast ...