Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Now not many of you know this, but I try and volunteer regularly. And my new thing is the Downtown Women's Center. This is a place where woman on the streets, people down and out on their luck can come and sleep, or if they need to live in a group environment, there are permanent rooms available for the women, to help them keep off the streets. It is actually an amazing place that affords many women who would otherwise be out on skid row, a place to sleep, a community, responsibilities, jobs, classes, seminars, and a chance at personal and professional growth. I began by saying, I love cooking, and they make some really delicious lunches for the ladies through a volunteer program called the 'Cooking Club.' Sounds right up my alley.

This is what happens. An email is sent out telling us what the ‘Cooking Club’ is making that week. We get assigned to bring certain groceries and we cook! It’s usually a good 2.5 hours of hard work and sweaty faces in the kitchen. I wear a hairnet. Last week we made Panchetta and Manchego Roulade with salad and dessert. This week we made asparagus and bacon quiche with salad and cookies. when i say ‘cook’, i mean work in a professional kitchen where 8 quiches are made with 42 eggs, 1/2 gallon of half and half, 5 lbs of mashed potatoes, you get the drift. And as i was cooking this crazy rich and absolutely delicious meal, like sticking an entire stick of butter, tub of sour cream and cups of milk and half and half in my mashed potatoes, all i could think of was, ‘man, these ladies are without a lot, but heart disease won’t be one of them once they finish this food!’

Now just having had a manicure the night before I cooked, I was pissed when i was washing those industrial pots and pans, but again, i was in a hairnet, so i gave up the ghost and got sudsy with it! Holler!

Since that evening of quiche making, I have been wanting to try the recipe for myself and my sister. It's perfect brunch food. But if you knew me, you know I'd look for cheating way I could to squeeze some of the salt, fat and badness out of the meal that gets it's pretty face from being so fattening. this is my thinking, if Felicia Rashad's character said to Bill Cosby's character in 'The Cosby Show', you shouldn't be eating that, I think, if it isn't good for Bill Cosby's health in the 90s, it ain't good for Chi-Lan's health in 2008. So at times you'll see me sneaking a huge piece out of a cake, replacing it with paper towels, and put icing over it. Yet, not sure why I do that since no one is really policing me.

Ok so i get it together enough to make 3 trips to the grocery store for all the ingredients needed for my most decadent meal. But something comes over me...Paula Dean whispers in my kitchen and says, just put all the goodness in, and i follow. Sure the picture above isn't super impressive, but lemme just say...wow, my broccoli, manchego and romano cheese quiche was gorgeous and decadent. My roasted garlic caprese salad kicked serious ass, and roasted garlic mashed potatoes, complete with about 1/2 cup of half and half and butter was delicious! I truly outdid myself. I am satisfied and desperately need to visit the devil at the gym, but for tonight, i revel in the fat farm that i created for myself. And there is nothing soy or low-fat about it.

My decadent dinner

It is now about 10:50 and after eating the most decadent dinner I have made myself in a long time, i am finally able to get back online and blog about it. Seriously, i really, truly outdid myself this night. Let's talk about it.