My mother taught me something long, long ago. Elegant and quick can go hand-in-hand. A touch-up with a comb and a swish of lipstick can make any frazzled soccer mom or gal-on-the-go look pretty darned good.
Well, sometimes, that's how I feel about a meal. I want quick but I want elegant. There's nothing that makes a simple salad more elegant and TASTY than shavings of cheese. You don't need a cheese grater. Don't need a lot of time. Just a potato peeler and the best tasting cheese in your refrigerator.
Add a steak (yes, this ruins the vegetarian aspect, but then I wasn't going for vegetarian) and add grilled mushrooms, and you have an elegant QUICK meal.
Every time I go to the store, I get mushrooms. They act like a side dish without all the calories. I then eat guilt-free because I'm having basically protein and vegetables.
But it's the cheese that makes the meal that much better. Cheese is tasty, colorful.
Thanks to research that I've been doing for The Long Quiche Goodbye--research that is FUN, FUN, FUN--oh, poor me [tee-hee]--I've been learning about dozens of new cheeses. Really good cheese shops sho
uld be eager for you to taste before buying. That's what Charlotte, the owner of Fromagerie Bessette in A Cheese Shop Mystery series, does. A little taste of this, a little taste of that.
For the quick meal in the picture above, I used Mimolette, a cow's milk cheese from France as well as the Netherlands, similar in some ways to Edam. It's got a hard crust, yet the cheese is very tasty with overtones of hazelnuts. Its deep orange color comes from a natural colorant called annatto. If you were to see the whole ball of cheese, at first glance, you'd think cantaloupe!
It grates...um, GREAT!
So the next time you're thinking about dinner, which could be any minute now, think about what my mother taught me. Elegant can be quick and easy. Just consider adding a taste...just a morsel...of cheese.
By the way, if I haven't shared a photo of Charlotte's rescued cat, "Rags." Rags loves a little nip of cheese. Grated on his food. Purrrrrrr-fect. You can find out more about Rags, a Ragdoll cat, on my website by click this link: Rags the Ragdoll.
Last but not least, OUR OTHER NEWS:
Congrats to our own Julie Hyzy for being the IMBA top seller in January!!! Eggsecutive Orders is a terrific read! The honor is well-deserved. Way to go, Juluie.
Don't forget to enter your suggestion for the name of a fictional cupcake. You could have your name and cupcake written into BUTTERCREAM BUMP OFF! (The sequel to SPRINKLE WITH MURDER, which just received a *Starrred Review* from Publishers Weekly!). Send proof of your pre-order of SPRINKLE WITH MURDER along with your name and cupcake name to Jenn at firstname.lastname@example.org
And finally, congratulations to Helen K. who suggested the winning Secret Ingredient for Mystery Kitchen’s Iron Chef contest! What was the secret ingredient? Find out during our next Iron Chef week in just a week!!! And keep reading our posts to find out how to enter our next contest!
Happy Valentine's Day!