Tag Archives: Feeding Shannon Stacey

Feeding “Shannon Stacey” – The General Edition

So… not sure if Shannon Stacey will actually eat either of these things. Even though she should. She said she likes cream of chicken soup – and it’s similar, in a way. This recipe is much healthier though. What am I talking about? Cauliflower soup. I know, some of you are recoiling right now. Me? I like cauliflower. I like it roasted, or with curry, or steamed and with fresh crab meat. Yum.

I’m actually not huge on thick soups, but this was so good and luxurious. I wanted to bathe in it. No joke. I had a large bowl. Then some more. Then I >.> might have “tested” some more. Straight from the pot.

So anyway this is my like 30 second bowl. You can of course make it more beautiful. I also went sparse on the olive oil so the drops aren’t as aesthetically pleasing as a heavier dose might be. If you click over for the recipe you’ll see how amazing it is at food 52, where their professional photographer and food stylist experience obviously makes it look better. I’m just sharing my bowl to show you – hey – you can make yours look similar, and in less than a minute!

All you need is cauliflower, an onion, water, olive oil, and salt. Pepper is optional. “Tools” required are a “heavy bottomed pot” – or just any pot, a knife, cutting board, and… any of these things – a blender, immersion blender, food processor, food mill, ricer, or … even a potato masher really.

The recipe says salt to taste – I actually doubled the recipe and used only a teaspoon for the whole thing, and it was enough. (We don’t go sodium heavy though so ymmv.)

I used an immersion blender for the first time – and I just stuck it in the pot. For a single go, I think it’d be fine. Next time if I double up again, I might as it says blend in batches. The cooking temps I was more lax about, but for the ingredients, I was spot on.

And as the comments say – you might be tempted to add “more” but really, don’t. At least not the first time. This soup needs to be appreciated for how it is. Which is lovely, wonderful, and pretty much genius in its taste and simplicity.

I’m definitely going to be making it again. I can see wanting some texture though – so maybe some toppings. Ones that will only add to the soup, but won’t “take away” from it.

This might even work as a bed for other items – it’s almost thick enough to be a puree if you don’t thin it out as much.

The recipe itself is here. And they mention it on the food 52 blog here – with more pictures etc.

Enjoy! As they said – this really is great for anyone  – even people who don’t like cauliflower. Especially them! In fact the chef who came up with the recipe doesn’t particularly like cauliflower! What a way to get a delicious, rich soup in an extremely healthy way.

Super win. And you know what? It’s onl 72 calories per serving. That’s right. Seventy. Two. For something that you think has a whole bucketful of cream and milk. (Which it doesn’t. It only tastes like it does, in the best way – not the too heavy way.) <3

[I’m not posting the actual recipe here because it seems … I dunno – silly when food 52 has it already, and better? But what would you guys prefer? Would you like me to include it in the actual post? Whatever your preference is! … Or does nobody care about the recipes?]

Food for Shannon Stacey and Winners!

You’ll notice that (at present) I’ve given up on feeding Shannon Stacey’s family. I still can’t quite pinpoint what they will/won’t eat… and every so often she posts that they all enjoyed something I thought was “forbidden!” Also, it needs more time and pictures.

I remember though, that Shannon was crushed when she found out caesar dressing normally has anchovies. Fish is on the “no no list.” Although you really don’t (or heavens, shouldn’t taste fish in caesar) – but the knowing can affect things.

So, I’ve found a recipe for basically caesar salad without anchovies! Yay!

It also includes grilled romaine, which is one of my new favorite things. It works in the winter even if you live in one of those cold snowy areas, if you have a grill pan. This is the one I have. I love it.

And now the recipe? Super simple. Basically five ingredients for the dressing – sans salt and pepper. (Which everyone has, right?) I found it at food 52. I’ve been making a lot of their recipes lately, with great success, even adapting them.

Doesn’t it just look delicious? And you know, if you wanted a more substantial meal, you could add in some grilled chicken. Cook the chicken first on the grill/grill pan – and then the lettuce. Extra flavor, pot double duty. I see no drawbacks.

And now, the winners! (I know it’s what you all care about. 😉 And that’s okay!)

First up – BA Tortuga’s great spotlight. The winner is… Pam! You know the drill!

The winner of Not Wicked Enough (I do love that cover!) by the fantastic Carolyn Jewel is Diane D. – please send me your address (via the contact form) to claim your prize.

And remember when Joely Sue Burkhart was so sweet and shared a lengthy excerpt with us? Well she also offered up a prize. Her lucky winner is Jeanne Miro.

Pam, Diane, and Jeanne, you have until the end of Saturday, March 10 to contact me. (Let’s go with EST – 11:59 PM and all.)

And remember – there are still many other giveaways open at the blog and to come! Thanks for sticking around. Xoxo

A Snack for Shannon Stacey… and a Winner

So this isn’t a very detailed “Feeding Shannon Stacey” post, but you know. Can’t win ’em all. There are also no pictures because well, it’s pretty self explanatory, and not that pretty. Tastes great though!

You know how sometimes you just need something sweet? It’s beyond want. I imagine most people have the ingredients too – and if not, they’re easy enough to get.

Take chocolate chips – dark, milk, semi-sweet, whatever you like. And if you want it a tad sweeter (and like a hint of vanilla), add white chocolate chips too. Just measure out 1.5 tablespoons, and put them in a microwave safe bowl. Nuke it for 12 seconds, then mix. (This is key, you don’t want to scorch the chocolate.) If it’s not melted, nuke it again for another 12 seconds. At this point, with this amount of chocolate, it should be done. (If it’s really still solid, nuke it for 9 seconds.) The power on our microwaves varies, of course, but it’s easier to add heat than take it away.

Anyway, you now have a lovely bowl of melted chocolate. To make it more decadent – add in 1 T of peanut butter. Whatever type you like most. Mix well. (Conveniently, you can use the same tablespoon measure, because solid chocolate wouldn’t have left any residue.) If you want to be really fancy I think a pinch of cinnamon would be really good too.

Now? Well I ate my mix with a banana. But I suppose apples, strawberries (though that might be weird what with the peanut butter), or whatever fruit you like.

If you’re on weight watchers or anything the points should be easy enough to figure out. It’s filling, delicious, fulfills whatever sweet tooth cravings you might have, and is better than eating a candy bar, or other junk food.

Incidentally – the method can be used to melt chocolate for so many other things. Mousse, for making candy, coating cake balls, and so on.

Now the winners.

Smartmouthtexan gets a lovely copy of How to Dance with a Duke  from when Manda Collins came and discussed book covers with us. (Please email me your address via the contact form.) And as for. B.A. Totuga’s giveaway of a $25 GC, and Carolyn Jewel’s offering of Not Wicked Enough? I’ll leave those open until next week. 🙂


Guess What Just Turned One?

This blog! Crazy how quickly that happened right?

I’ve actually been blogging continuously for a decade now. >.> Maybe. If I’m old enough. (Kidding.) I joined LJ back when you still needed an invite to be part of it. (Don’t bother looking – this citrus fruit has had a number of name changes even since joining the online romance community in ~’05.) I started this blog, however, for various reasons. The desire to strike out on my own. Also because of various reasons that are truly unimportant in the grand scheme of things and simply whiny or gossipy.

If I could, I’d give someone the prize of a soda stream – aka the current love of my life. Unfortunately that’s crazy out of my budget. (You guys need to click more buy links on my blog! ;)) Uh… so I’m in a weird mood and maybe should not be typing this up right now. Ah well.

I’ve been playing around with what to give away… if anything. I mean… I thought about this one “infinity” pearl necklace I bought a while ago. (I’ve never worn it!) Or something from MyHabit. Or… that I should just buy me something and post a picture of it, with “Happy Blogiversary to me, Bitches!” Heh.

I thought about doing a run through on how many of what type of posts I did. I had way more than 12 author guests. I want to say I had at least 12 reader guests as well. I know I had 3 readers post their very first ever blog post here! Which I think is super cool. A bunch of exclusive excerpts and giveaways… and a painfully low number of reviews. Also… a drop off of images used. Too much fear with copyright or whatever or crazycakes. And time – lack of that one. (*Who knows. I might update this post at some point in the future to reflect the stats. … Don’t hold your breath though.)

Speaking of – anyone interested in writing reviews here? Nothing really to offer you other than you sharing your love of books with others. If so, please use the contact form to send me a sample – follow the “template”/format of the few reviews that have been posted here.

Anyway, I foresee much of the same. I’m still determined to feed Shannon Stacey and her family… and I’d like to write more reviews this year. Although with that, post a “Grading Scale” somewhere. (I think we’re “stricter” here than other places. No grade inflation in this Tart and Sweet world!)

So what’d you think of this year? Any positives from my little blog? Anything I should change? Is there any chance I can tempt you lurkers to come out and comment? I’d love to know who you all are!

And… what you’d like to win, actually. A guest spot? A feature? Books? A GC? Radio silence from yours truly? Let me know – I wanna try to make it happen!

Shannon’s Great Cooking Adventure!

Today, my lucky friends, we have a guest post from the wonderful Shannon Stacey herself! She told me the recipe didn’t… erm, quite turn out, and I asked her to tell me what went wrong. She kindly detailed it in the post. So without further ado:

As you may have read in the recent blog post titled Feeding Shannon Stacey, Lime’s trying to feed me. And, being somewhat familiar with our excessively finicky nature and my total lack of cooking skills, she went with chicken. If you haven’t read it, take a second to click on that link and check out the easy recipe.

Ingredients needed: pretzel crisps flavor of choice, boneless skinless chicken breasts, flour or corn starch, vegetable and/or olive oil

And look at the ingredient list. Nothing fancy. Nothing I’ve never heard of before. (Hey, did you all know capers aren’t little sardine-like fish? I didn’t know that.) And, while we’ve never actually had Pretzel Crisps before, it looks like every member of my family would eat it. (There are maybe a half-dozen meals that all four of us will eat.)

I’m guessing there are many people who would look at that recipe and think even a drunken monkey couldn’t screw that up. Well, I must have been sucking down the banana daiquiris that day because not only did I screw it up, but I pretty much killed it dead. It all started going wrong with the grocery shopping.

Problem: None of our local grocery stores carry Pretzel Crisps.
Probably not a good solution: I bought Regenie’s Original Pita Chips in garlic parmesan flavor instead. Why? Because I’d already bought the chicken.

Problem: I don’t know what cornstarch is and I don’t know where in the store to find it.
Probably not a good solution: I saw cornmeal and figured it must be close enough, right?

The screwing up process continued in the preparation…

Problem: I don’t have a food processor or a rolling pin to crush the pita chips into “flour”.
Probably not a good solution: I used a juice glass, but it didn’t do a very good job and my hand got tired and I got bored, so I crushed them more into “small cornflake-ish bits”.

Problem: This bit of directions – Dredge the chicken in the pretzel crisp flour. Pan fry it. Done. Well, I didn’t really have pretzel crisp flour at this point.
Probably not a good solution: I dredged the chicken in the weird mixture of semi-crushed pita chips and cornmeal, then pan fried. Done.

I wish I’d taken a picture of the finished product. It was bizarre looking, with the not-crushed pita chips looking like big polka dots and the cornmeal (which I’ve since discovered is not the same thing as cornstarch) giving it a grainy, speckled look.

BUT…all four of us ate it. And all four of us had seconds. For this house, that’s a rare success. So, despite my finickiness and lack of cooking schools and lack of ability to follow a pretty basic recipe, Lime did manage to “Feed Shannon Stacey”!

Whee! Well, kinda. So sorry it didn’t turn out as expected, Shannon, but yay that you all had seconds? I’m all for adapting recipes anyway… The pita chips/pretzel crisps are so you don’t have to buy or worry about seasonings and measurements… I say next time assign SK or TK the task of smashing the pita chips.

But now I’m even more determined to find/create a recipe that you will all eat and that won’t cause you so many problems! And friends, I’d appreciate it if you’d help me on this quest. Suggestions, hints and tips on what the Stacey’s do/don’t eat, you know – gimme the good stuff!

*NB: Shannon asked for a monkey drinking a banana daiquiri, picture wise, so this is the best I could do. She okay’d both – just in case you were ready to be all offended on her behalf. It also amuses me because “the drunken monkey” is a style/form of kung-fu.

Feeding Shannon Stacey [v 2.0]

*NB: Some of you may have seen something like this post in the feed yesterday. I was trying to schedule it but it published. Sorry.

I mentioned before, I have a goal of finding a recipe for Shannon Stacey and her family. She’s not a cook – her own words – and her entire family consists of picky eaters. [Again, her.] She’s also quite cagey about what she and her family will or will not eat, so I’m going with the spaghetti method here. (Toss and see what sticks :P)

But first… yesterday HarperCollins made the decision to limit the number of times an e-book can be circulated at digital libraries. I love the digital library collections at my libraries. Their cap? Twenty-six times. It makes my brain cramp. I personally, think it’s incredibly stupid. Courtney Milan quickly had a thoughtful response to this situation, as usual. And I’m sure there will be many more posts popping up. Twitter friends who are librarians also had a lot of great comments: @SuperWendy, @MandaCollins, and @Tuphlos. (I won’t link their feeds because you know, it’s twitter and by the time you check they could very well be talking about pastrami.) Also, there’s a hashtag for HarperCollins, where you can say how you feel about the policy on twitter: #hcod. And since I just commented on the Smart Bitches post I feel obligated to link it :).

Wendy did say, there’s a common misconception – there aren’t “limitless digital copies” at an e-library (usually overdrive) collection. There are wait lists, hold lists, and the like – just as there are for print books. For example, I’ve been patron number 22 on a pre-release title before. I feel sorry for hold number 27 on a HC book now… and I also feel like I have to stalk my library to make it on the pre-cut off list. If my library even continues to buy them…

Ok. So, book/industry rant over. No more head-explodery. [Erm, and in case it wasn’t clear, the Happy Bunny pictures are what I imagine the publishing executives have on their doors… :P] Now we get to Ms. Shannon Stacey. First up recipe-wise… something simple, that I think will have mass appeal. It involves… Pretzel Crisps! Currently not available (at least not the updated version) on Amazon, but I asked [Pretzel Crisps] about it and they said hopefully in a month or two. So, yay! (You can also buy them from the website.)

This is a pretty no fuss no muss recipe, and great stress relief as well. You take your pretzel crisp flavor of choice- I’d recommend Buffalo Wing, or Garlic Parmesan, personally. I figure Tuscan Three Cheese would also be delicious, and possibly Supreme or the Everything pretzel crisps.

Ingredients needed: pretzel crisps flavor of choice, boneless skinless chicken breasts, flour or corn starch, vegetable and/or olive oil

“Tools” needed: food processor [optional], rolling pin and/or heavy/large surface, saran wrap or zip lock bags.

I’d say take 2.5 cups of pretzel crisps, and if you have a food processor, pulse them until they’re a flour-like consistency. Mix this with 1/3 cup either flour, or cornstarch. (The cornstarch is because it’s finer and might stick to the chicken better – but if you don’t have it, flour is fine too.) Basically it’s the workings of chicken piccata, but already seasoned/flavored.
If you don’t have a food processor, fret not. Or, if you do have one, but need some stress relief, here’s the option for you. Dump the pretzel crisps in a freezer size zip lock bag. Depending on how bad your mood is, double, or triple bag it. Then go to town. Smash the hell out of it. Use a rolling pin, cutting board, pan, your hand, throw it on the ground, have your kid do it, whatever. Kill it.

Spread the “flour” on a large plate in a relatively even manner. Set it aside.

Now, for the chicken. Trim it however you like. Either put it in a bag (you can use the pretzel crisp smashing one if it survived), or just cover it with saran wrap. Depending on how you feel about clean up, you can put saran wrap under, and over the chicken breast. This I recommend doing on a cutting board, or if your counters are sturdy, that. Flatten the meat to about 1/4″ – it’s pretty easy, actually. Take said rolling pin, or make shift rolling pin, pan, whatever, and whack away. Obviously if you have a meat tenderizer, you can use that.

If you’re feeling perfectly fine and don’t want to exert yourself, you can halve the chicken breast [or cut them into thirds] – just as if you were going to butterfly it, but slicing all the way through.

Preheat a pan with a large flat bottom, and pour in about 4 tablespoons of oil. You don’t need to cover the bottom of the pan. Medium to medium-high heat is fine. You want to hear a sizzle when you place the chicken in the pan.

Dredge the chicken in the pretzel crisp flour. Pan fry it. Done. [Because it’s thin it should only take a few minutes on each side – the chicken should be a golden brown color – adjust heat as needed. Medium high initially, turn it down after 30 seconds so the chicken gets a crust but doesn’t burn, and then depending on how full the pan is you might want to adjust the heat.]

If the bottom is almost completely dry – add one or two tablespoons of oil as needed.

You can serve it with bread, rice, or pasta, and your vegetables of choice. Done!

And… I got an email from Carrie offering up this suggestion: Ginger Soy Chicken. Carrie says, “We had it this week and was really good.  She could easily substitute Chicken tenders for the thighs if she only likes white meat.  Very few ingredients and took me less than 1/2 hour to make start to finish.”

Can you tell I’m not much of a recipe person? I’m the “a dash of this and a bit of that” type cook. I very rarely follow recipes to the letter. So, if you have any questions, ask, and I’ll clarify the best I can in the comments. Because we all know one thing I’m good at is talking 😛

What do you think? Gonna try the recipe? Maybe you’ll get lucky and Pretzel Crisps will send you a nice sample. And then… if you want, let’s wade into the whole publishing … muck. Or you know – random weekend! What are your plans? Got a recipe to share? Do you have a stress relief/go to town dish?