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Friday, April 15, 2005

I havenít done much cooking lately. For the last two months, itís been mostly the same things over and over — baked chicken and roasted potatoes. Every other day, with leftovers on the odd day. These are two dishes I do pretty well, to my own taste anyway, and theyíre both easy. If I can season something up, stick it in the oven, and forget it for forty minutes, Iím satisfied.

But eventually it gets a little boring, eating the same thing every day, even if itís good and easy. The other day in the mail I got a solicitation from a neighbor (someone I donít know, but then I donít know any neighbors except my landlord). He asked for money for cancer research, and as a bit of extra incentive there was a recipe in the envelope.

Since I havenít watched any cooking shows lately I havenít seen a new recipe for a long time. This one caught my attention because I already had most of the ingredients and it was another oven recipe, so I picked up an onion and a couple of chicken breasts at the store, and tonight I plunged in.

Itís been long enough since the last time I chopped an onion that Iíd forgotten what it does to me. My eyes burn almost every night anyway, and by the time Iíd prepared this small onion, I was stone blind and stung teary-eyed. It took me a few minutes before I could continue.

I got everything in the casserole dish, and then I read the instruction to cover it before putting it in the oven. I nearly panicked, because my dish doesnít have a cover. I was thinking of running out to the store and buying a new dish (one with a cover, donít you know) before I came up with an ingenious solution. Aluminum foil. Thatís not too obvious, is it? But itís obvious I havenít done much cooking lately.

Anyway, it came out all right, even if I did have to wait until 10:30 pm to eat it. I think Iíll turn the heat up a notch next time. It was just the tiniest bit too juicy, so Iíll either have to use less broth or cook it down longer. Other than that, it had good flavor. Itís made with stewed tomatoes and roasted red peppers and brown rice, along with a bunch of standard spices. I put paprika in almost everything I cook anyway, and thereís always dried oregano in the cupboard.

8 April 2005

Parade of the clouds.

The dish is called Red Pepper, Tomato and Chicken Pilaf. And the best part, as usual, is that there is enough left over for at least two more meals. I could probably portion it out even longer than that if I wanted to. But I think after two or three more days of it, Iíll be ready to try something else. I had two big helpings tonight, but I figure that if the recipe comes from people trying to fight cancer, it must be healthy.

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In Denver tonight, the Giants jumped out to a lead that even their leaky bullpen could hold onto, beating the Rockies, 13-6. They led early, 9-1, and pretty much vamped to the end of the game. You can never rest on a lead in that ballpark, because runs get scored in bunches. But the Rockies are having a tough time starting this season. They won their first game and havenít won another since. Itís probably a good time for the Giants to visit a ballpark where theyíve never done especially well. Theyíll be back for two more series before the season is over, and Iím sure the story will be different then.

Recent recommendations can be found on the links page.

One year ago: Chickpeas
"The worst thing I did today was go to the grocery store without my list."

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