Friday, July 29, 2011

Fabulous Fungus

I know lots of my fans are vegetarians. (Seriously, I don't know how you do it).  So, here is something I used as a side dish, but you might serve with a large salad and call it a meal. (I still don't understand HOW you don't crave a huge bacon-cheeseburger at least one a month.  It's not normal).  I served it with the Bourbon-Vanilla brined Pork Chops from this month's issue of Fine Cooking.  They were ok.  Next time I plan to use a pork loin.  Bone it pork chops just aren't good.  That's my opinion.  Take it or get out.

These are fabulous, easy to make and super tasty.  Indulge.  Don't you dare use fat free cream cheese. It's not proper and offends the delicate nature of my being.  In short, its crap. 

Stuffed Portabello Mushrooms
(This recipe is courtesy of "Pure Flavor" by Kurt Beecher Demmeir with Laura Holmes Haddad)

Serves 6


1/3 cup plus 3 tbs extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 large mushrooms, such as portabellos, stems and gills removed, caps wiped clean
3 medium zucchini, diced
1 medium red bell pepper, sliced
1 large yellow onion, diced
3 oz (6 tbs) cream cheese
3 tbs unsalted butter, softened
1 green onion (white and green parts), thinly sliced
1 oz Parmesan or other hard cheese, grated (1/4 cup)
2 tbs sliced drained sun-dried tomatoes in oil
1 tbs chopped fresh basil
1 tbs chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tbs fresh bread crumbs
Plum tomatoes, cut into slices
4 oz semisoft cheese, grated (1 cup)


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

To cook the mushrooms, combine 1/3 cup of the olive oil, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper and half the garlic in a large bowl. Using a pastry brush, coat the surface of the mushrooms, inside and out, with the oil mixture. Place the mushrooms on a baking sheet, domed side down. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the centers of the mushrooms are tender. Drain the mushrooms on paper towels and set aside to cool. Keep the oven on.
To make the filling, in a large skillet, heat 2 tbs of the olive oil over high heat. When the oil is nearly smoking, add enough of the zucchini to make a single layer in the pan. Cook the zucchini without stirring until browned on one side, about 5 minutes. Stir the zucchini and cook for an additional 2 minutes, or until lightly browned on all sides. Remove to a medium bowl and repeat the remaining zucchini.

Add the bell pepper, onion, and remaining tbs of oil to the skillet, and cook, without stirring, for 5 minutes, or until browned. Stir the mixture and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Add the bell pepper mixture to the zucchini.

Season the vegetable mixture with 1/4 tsp salt and pepper to taste. Let it cool in the fridge while preparing the rest of the filling.

Combine the cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl. Fold in the green onions, Parmesan cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, basil, parsley, remaining garlic, bread crumbs, and 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper. Mix the cheese mixture into the vegetable mixture, combining thoroughly but gently.

Place the mushrooms, domed side down, on a baking sheet. Divide the filling evenly among the mushroom caps, mounding it slightly. Push the filling to the edges to fill the entire cap.

Top each with slices of tomato and sprinkle with the semisoft cheese mounding it high. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the mushrooms are heated through and the cheese is melted and is beginning to brown.

Bon Appetit!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Case of the Missing Urge.

I've always wondered what sex would be like at 50.  Would I still be having lots of sex?  Would my sex life still be as crazy?  I've often read articles about women in their 40's & 50's (I read Redbook and More Magazine)  who say they don't want to have sex - that they just don't have the urge anymore.  I've also read about women in their 20's, who don't want to have sex because they have kids.  Men are always complaining about their wives frigid behavior.  But, what do you do if you're in your early 30's, childless, married to a Sex God and suddenly stop feeling the urge?

Yes, I'm talking about me.  Yes, I know this is a crushing blow to all of you.  Imagine how I feel? 

I started noticing it a few months ago.  Normally, I'm as randy as a high school boy on prom night.  Six months ago, I would feel a twinge when my cell phone vibrated.  This past month, VinDiesel could have been lying naked on my bed, oiled up, holding a plate of mozzarella sticks and I might not have the urge to do anything about it. Well, I'd have eaten the mozzy sticks. You can see why this troubling. Food before beefcake.  Cheese before fantasy man.  Was I becoming another person?  I had read about early menopause.  Was I a new case?  This was freaking me out.  Even gay porn wasn't doing it for me.  I had lost my mojo!

I decided to chat it up with my Box Doctor.  We had a date this past Tuesday for my annual check up.  As I was sitting in the stirrups, trying to deal with a metal clamp thingy in my netherregions, she said to me

"So any problems"?

Usually my answer to this is, "Nope.  All good".  But today, determined to get to the bottom of my plunging libido, I forged ahead. 

"I have no sex drive.  Usually, I'm like a monkey on crack, but in the past 6 months I'm limp like a noodle"

I know. Not subtle.  But, these are extreme times.

I'm sure the look on my face was utter desperation and panic.  She glanced up over my sheet draped legs with look of understanding.   "It's the pill", she said, with a snap of her rubber glove.  "You've been on it so long your body is processing all the testosterone.  It's putting a damper on your hormones."

Crap.  I was become more of a whiny chick by the minute and now my testosterone was disappearing.

"I need to know how to fix this." I said.  "Can I take testosterone. Is there cream?  What are we going to do about this!"  The pitch of my voice was starting to rise.

"Well, you could stop the pill and...." The look on my face stopped that one.  There was no way I was returning to the land of rubber.  No way, no how. 

"Alright, " she said.  "Why don't you try DHEA.  It's a supplement and most people say it helps."

HALLELUJAH!!!  HALLE LUUUUUUUUUUUUU JAH!!!!!!!  Drugs for my lady bits!  Help for my love button.  Therapy for my VaJaJay!

Light at the end of my orgasmless tunnel.  There is help for me.  I will return to the land of naughty and heavy breathing.

I made the mistake of telling my mother about my problem and the solution.  I had meant to horrify her with the news.  After all, she gets embarrassed when I talk about sex, my sex life, my blog, my vagina or anything else having to do with an orgasm.  But, she took this in stride.  Today, she phoned me and said she wants to send me some books on sexual health.

EXCUSE ME??  Mom is sending me sex help books.  Hell hath frozen over.

I told her I was all set.  I was picking up my pills and they should kick in less than a day. She told me to start taking them immediately.  If I didn't have lots of sex than she wouldn't have any grandchildren. 

This has become my life, lovers.  Hormones and sex talks with my mother.  I'm officially in my 30's.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Farewell to Crazy

                                                                       R.I.P Amy. 

You were a hot mess.