Saturday, September 26, 2009

Saturday Night Indulgences



Some people see no harm in giving in to temptation and indulging once-in-a-while in unhealthy life pleasures. The best excess is eating dishes without counting the calories that go with them. What's your guilty secret when it comes to food?

Indulgence is defined as the act of rewarding desire and as thoughtless or meaningless behavior. There is a little of each when we spoil ourselves with food and for me – well, I do it once a week on Saturday night.

Food indulgence is a form of raw bliss. For a moment we break out of our required rules of eating to give in to our desire. Anything forbidden or restricted and considered unhealthy or too much of a good thing is an indulgence. Yep – and I am pretty sure that I have more than just a few. In fact, I have many!

My Food Indulgences in no particular order are:

Chocolate:

I wrote an entire blog on chocolate September 15th. I will admit, like my mother, I am hooked. No getting around it, I would choose chocolate over almost anything else.

Key Lime Pie:

I love Key Lime Pie…so much that when I need a sweet fix, Key Lime Pie is my indulgence of choice. The recipe in this picture is about 500 calories and 26 G of fat…a far cry from the Weight Watcher’s version that I wrote about some weeks back. I just have to run a lot longer on the day I decide to eat the “real” Key Lime Pie recipe. Worth it – most definitely!

Smoked Gouda:

Like Julia Child, it’s all about the butter! I'm not a cheese expert but the best extra aged gouda I've ever had was definitely buttery. Extra Aged Gouda is one of the finest cheeses in the world and I can’t get enough of it when my indulgence screams cheese.

Kendall-Jackson Chardonnay:

As I mentioned, I like everything a little buttery in particular my Chardonnay. So this is what the Tasting Notes say on the KJ website:
"Elegant and tropical with hints of lemon oil essence, key lime and yellow grapefruit. Notes of ripe pineapple and mango can be found throughout this exquisitely balanced Chardonnay. Lushly layered and viscous with a firm acidity and enchanting creamy texture. The finish lingers on and on." I think that my next job in life is that of a wine taster.
Some of the awards they have won this year are:

Double Gold - 2009 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition
Four Star Gold - 2009 Orange County Wine Competition
Gold Medal - 2009 California State Fair

This has always been a celebrated indulgence with friends. Open a bottle of KJ and who knows what kind of other optional extras you will give in to when you decide to kick back and let it all pass for just one night.

Bruschetta:

Italians love Bruschetta and it's perfectly all right to dream up your own variations, as long as you do not invite an Italian purist to the table. Like Pizza, use lots of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and garlic. For bruschetta that tastes like the classic pizza Margherita, pile on tomatoes, cover with shredded mozzarella and bits of fresh basil, top with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and broil just long enough to melt the cheese.
Also, try spreading an olive tapenade over the bruschetta, add finely diced shallots, and finish with a dash of fresh oregano or marjoram. You can try any variation...heaps of mushrooms, zucchini, or other substantial foods and you've got a great lunch or dinner.

Before Dinner Drinks:

Cooking and drinking go together for me. When I'm at home in my own kitchen, bring it on. Unless it's something really complex, or something that I can't fake my way through I love a drink while I cook dinner. Last night I only had one glass of wine while making dinner and one with dinner. Incredible self-discipline if I must say so myself.

Fried Chicken:

Whoever has the best fried chicken recipe wins! If one thing can side track me faster from the blueprint of healthy eating, fried chicken is it! I loved Kentucky Fried Chicken before we even knew there were indulgences!

French Fries/Hash Browns/Potato Chips/ Baked Potatoes…loaded thank you!

I love potatoes. Give me a plate of hash browns, extra crispy French fries, baked potatoes loaded, or my mother’s pan or riced potatoes with gravy and I am a girl in food heaven. I now am in search of the perfect French fry recipe and will try a million using fresh cut potatoes until I find one. If you have one, send it to me. Stay tuned.

Bread Pudding:

Give me a bowl of New Orleans Bread Pudding and I know that fall just arrived. For the many who never got the familiarity of the late Austin Leslie’s expertise, he was one of the great, real Creole Chefs in the country and his bread pudding recipe happens to be one of my favorites. Look for other recipes this fall that will leave you in after-dinner ecstasy.

Jalape├▒o Cornbread Muffins:

I never liked living in the south but I LOVE Jalapeno Cornbread Muffins. Cannot think of anything I enjoy more on a cold day in the middle of winter with a big bowl of gumbo. More comfort food recipes to come including my homemade gumbo that I learned to make at the New Orleans Cooking School.

Bread:

Man cannot live on bread alone but this woman can…need I say more? Some easy and homemade bread recipes from my favorite bread chef this fall.

Ice Cream:

http://www.facebook.com/apps/application.php?id=111497501690

This is the “I love Ice Cream” Facebook Page. Me? Long before Facebook, I use to eat it for breakfast.I grew up with Bridgeman’s Ice Cream so pardon me for sounding like an Ice Cream snob but I like GOOD ICE CREAM!

Did you know that 97% of Americans love Ice Cream? Over one-quarter (27%) say chocolate is their favorite flavor while 22% each say vanilla and cookie dough/cookies and cream is. These are some recent results from The Harris Poll® by Harris Interactive®.

Having an occasional treat once a week makes me happy. Tonight is Saturday and I am already planning my weekly indulgence.And since it was a pretty crazy week, I'm going to indulge in a few of them.

Bon Appetit!