A Simple Mussels Dinner

I feel that a plate a steaming hot mussels that have been cooked with wine, butter, garlic, maybe even some onions, makes for a great appetizer to share with friends. Or to enjoy for dinner all by yourself. This is a great meal to make because it comes together so easily. All the while you are sipping some white wine. A splash for the mussels, a sip for yourself. Remember that.

I always just strolled into my local grocery store and picked up a bag of mussels to bring back home. But when I was in Maine over the summer we did things a little bit differently. We actually went out to pluck mussels right out of the waters around an island at low tide.

I had no idea how easy it would be. Just a few  fun steps and we were then feasting on fresh food. It was so satisfying to know that the mussels were fresh from the waters, no more than 30 minutes out of the water from when they were in the pot. Plus I think all our ‘hard’ work made them taste better.

1- Go to a place where you can get some fresh mussels. In this case E took us to a spot she calls The Hub off off Deer Isle, ME.

2- Meet a skiddish green crab along the way.

3- Spot some mussels. Target acquired. We came across a lot of mussels under the seaweed. Take a peek and maybe you will find a lot that way.

4- Pluck the mussels off their rocks. Pick a bit more than you think you will eat. Trust me.

5- Throughly clean the mussels. E removed some of the barnacles off as well prior to cooking them.

6) Enjoy with some wine, melted butter, and bread. We also had some corn that I removed from the ears and sauteed.

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Whether you get the mussels fresh from the waters yourself or you go to a grocery store, you should make mussels any time you can. A few ingredients and you have a great dinner that works for any time of year.

Steamed Mussels

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds of mussels, cleaned and rinsed
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 small white onion, sliced (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for the bread
  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • 1 loaf of bread
  • paprika
  • salt and pepper

Process

  1. Starting with the bread, half the loaf lengthwise. Pour olive oil over the bread, sprinkle with paprika. Lightly toast in a 225 oven.
  2. In a large pot, combine the water, wine, 2 cloves of garlic, onion, olive oil, and salt and pepper. Upon bringing to a light boil, add the mussels to the pot. Cover and cook for 6-8 minutes, or until the mussels have opened.
  3. While the mussels are cooking, in a separate small saucepan, add the garlic and butter. Melt on low.
  4. Serve the mussels with the toasted bread, seasoned melted butter, and a cup of the cooking liquid from the mussels. Enjoy with a big glass of white wine.
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Thanks for visiting. Please leave me a comment to provide some feedback. I appreciate all the comments I receive. 

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Currently A-Z

I just saw this A-Z list on Amy Tan’s blog. I had to take a turn at it and fill it out myself. It was fun to think back about these different things as I answered the topics. You should really take a turn at it.

A. Age: 26
B. Bed size: Queen
C. Chore that you hate: folding and putting away clothes
D. Dogs: Piper. She was for my 13th birthday. She lives with my mom in CT.
E. Essential start to your day: Checking twitter in the morning for the weather, news.
F. Favorite color: Green
G. Gold or Silver:Silver
H. Height: 5’2″ish
I. Instruments you play: None. I tried violin, flute, sax. I sucked at them all
J. Job title: Job Captain
K. Kids: No little ones yet
L. Live: Newton, MA
M. Mother’s name: Linda
N. Nicknames: Nic, Spaz, Spazy
O. Overnight hospital stays: Surgery when I was younger, was in the hospital for a few days 5 years ago from viral meningitis
P. Pet peeves: Bad drivers, ignorant people.
Q. Quote from a movie: not sure, depends on the moment
R. Right or left handed: Right handed.
S. Siblings: 2
U. Underwear: sometimes
V. Vegetable you hate: I don’t really hate any, but I don’t think portobello mushrooms are all that they are hyped up to be.
W. What makes you run late: being the computer or the T. I hate being late- it gives me a lot of anxiety.
X. X-Rays you’ve had: a few. The best was when I sewed my finger with the sewing machines in high school. My mom still has it. You can see the needle going through my finger.
Y. Yummy food that you make: Guacamole, cakes, chili… all different things!
Z. Zoo animal: I love them all!

California Chicken Salad

I personally think that chicken salad is a a great example of a perfect food. Smooth yet crunchy. Salty yet sweet. Lean and yet fattening as well. The textures and flavors made great for a great combination. You have diced crunchy veggies,crunchy walnuts, and crisp grapes tossed together with moist chicken. If that was not enough all of that is held together with a creamy mayo.

 

 

I really love Waldorf Chicken Salad but the apples throw me off for some reason.  my favorite chicken salad is from Whole Foods. I love their Sonoma Chicken Salad, but my wallet doesn’t since it can add up quickly. I often think that the best way to get what you want is to combine favorites, like my donut muffins, which is exactly what I do here.

 

 

I have some rules when it comes to making chicken salad.

1- I always use a roasted chicken because the skin helps keep the chicken moist. If I take the time to make a roasted chicken at home I always make 2 so that 1 can go towards chicken salad. Or if you happen to find a roasted chicken on sale, like I did, then use one of those.

2- Shred the chicken. I think that this makes you much more careful about having consistently sized ingredients. If you chop up the chicken breast you can make the pieces too large and that is too awkward for a successful sandwich.

3- I always use Helman’s mayonnaise. Always.

California Chicken Salad

Makes 6-8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 small roasted chicken
  • 1 cup of pecans, finely chopped
  • 1 cup of celery, minced
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 2 cups red grapes, halved
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper

Process

  1. Once the chicken has completely cooled, remove the skin and set aside the pieces of meat. Shred the chicken by hand.
  2. Combine together the chopped pecans, celery, onion and grapes. Lightly combine.
  3. Add the mayo, mustard, and salt and pepper to the mixture. Combine so the chicken salad is evenly coated.
  4. Eat as a sandwich or with a salad.

Happy Birthday P-Rice

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Price and I enjoyed some Starbucks lattes for breakfast before he had to get in early for a meeting. I then surprised him by having cupcakes delivered to his office. MixBoston made such pretty cupcakes that he got to share with his coworkers. At the end of the day we went out to dinner. We had a fantastic dinner at Forum. (all thanks to a suggestion from Sean aka BostonMo) Price had the duck special, I think he would have licked the plate clean if it was acceptable. Ha!

We are hoping to head up to LL Bean this weekend so I can get Pricer his present. Plus some lobster (for me) would be nice!

Love P-rice so much!

Made Me Cry

Thankfully Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell ended on yesterday on 9/20.

This soldier came out to his father while he video taped the phone call. I saw this last night and ended up watching it a few times already. He posted several videos in the months leading up to this, ever showing his face. It all came together yesterday with him coming out to his father. I love that he was brave enough to post these videos, as well as posting his father’s reaction.

The thing that really got to me was his father’s reaction. just so sweet.