Thursday, August 12, 2010

Samantha Storm Dishes about Samanta Storm!

Domestic Goddess Wanted


I’m the first to admit I’m a bit of a slob. I never make the bed, I can easily ignore dishes in the sink, and I never think about doing laundry until there isn’t a stitch of clean clothes left to wear.


I’ve been married for eighteen years and my husband married me with the full knowledge that I am not a domestic goddess. Throughout our marriage we’ve divvied up the chores. Being a far more organized person than myself, I can tell you that on his watch the house is much neater and the laundry is done in a timely manner.


When it comes to cooking, between the two of us we can almost make a solid week’s worth of meals. I rock the scrambled eggs and he is a genius with a tuna fish sandwich. But we could not truly survive without pre-packed meals and junk food.


So you can imagine my horror when a year ago I was suddenly faced with a life altering situation—- I had to stop eating anything with preservatives in it. No pre-packed meals, no junk food. I was only supposed to eat whole foods and things made from scratch.


This change in my life wasn’t by choice, I had come down with a case of chronic fatigue, eating well was on the list of things I had to do to get better.


Things made from scratch--When I heard those words I admit I panicked. Fantasies about being fabulously rich and having a personal chef flitted across my mind, but unfortunately the ugly reality was if there were going to be meals made every day from scratch somebody was going to have to make them and that somebody was going to have to be me.


I remember the first time I lived on my own, calling my mom and asking her how long it took to boil and egg. How the heck was I going to pull this off? I had no idea, but I figured at forty-three it was time I learned how to cook.


And so it began. There were a lot of not so great meals in the beginning, but as I chugged along the food got better and I started to enjoy myself.


I can’t believe I am saying this but now I actually like to cook. There is something really satisfying about making something from scratch and having people “ooh” and “aw” after it. It’s the same satisfaction I feel when people read the stories I write. I guess I can now list cooking as one of my hobbies.


Do you have any recipes you would like to share? I’m always on the lookout for something new to make. I have a rocken recipe for apple salad and if you have never tasted watermelon salsa then you really need to give me a shout.


When I am not cooking you can find me working away on my writing. I have a bunch stories up as free reads you can access on my website: http://www.samanthastorm.com/


14 comments:

CJ Parker said...

I have a dessert recipe and a Egg Roll recipe for you. Both are my hubby's favorite of the things I make from scratch. (Oh, okay, I don't mke my own phyllo dough.)

Baklava

1 box Greek phyllo sheets (in your grocer's freezer section)
2 sticks real, unsalted butter (melted)
4 cups chopped walnuts
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsps cinnamon

In a regular 13" x 9" Pyrex baking pan, layer 8-10 sheets of phyllo
(cut to fit the pan, about half the phyllo sheet), brushing melted
butter on each sheet before adding the next sheet. Sprinkle 1/2 the
walnuts, 1/2 the sugar and 1/2 the cinnamon on the prepared phyllo
(use more or less of each depending on taste). Layer five more sheets
of phyllo, again buttering each as you go. Sprinkle the remaining
walnuts, sugar and cinnamon on top of this. Then layer about 15-18
more sheets of phyllo on top of this, buttering each sheet as you go.
Then you want to cut the pieces before baking in the pan, going
diagonally to get that diamond shape. This takes some finesse. You'll
wanna make sure your knife is sharp and you get all the way down to
the bottom of the pan. Then bake in a 350 degree oven for approx.
half an hour or until top and bottom of phyllo is golden brown. Let
it cool, then make the syrup.

Syrup:

4 cups sugar
2 cups water
honey (from 1/4 cup to 1/2 depending on taste)
a pinch of vanilla (1/2 tsp if liquid extract)
a one inch piece of lemon rind

Combine ingredients in a medium saucepan, bring to a boil then turn
down the heat and simmer for five minutes.

Pour hot syrup over the baklava, then let cool until the syrup is
absorbed.

Egg Rolls

Heat in a skillet or wok:
3 tablespoons vegetable oil

Stir-fry in it briefly:
1 med head cabbage, finely shredded
Four finely chopped scallions

Add and stir-fry for 5 minutes:
2 pounds shrimp, or two cooked chicken breasts chopped, or 1 to 2 pounds shredded pork

Add and stir-fry for 5 to 10 minutes (cook to your desire of tenderness):
1 can drained and chopped water chestnuts
1 can bean sprouts drained
2 minced cloves garlic
½ cup soy sauce
A grating of gingerroot ( just a couple or three passes over a grater)
½ tablespoon sugar

Cool the filling. Place 4 to 6 tablespoons of filling in center of each wrap and fold up envelope-style, sealing the last flap with a paste made of:
1 tablespoon of flour
2 tablespoons of water

Fry until golden brown in deep fat heated to 375* or use oil about 1 inch deep in a skillet and fry the egg rolls until golden brown.

Lara said...

I love to cook... for other people. It's finding the desire to spend an hour in the kitchen to make something i'm gonna eat myself if ten minutes. :)

As much as I love how well I've been doing on Jenny Craig (30lbs down so far woot!), and I adore the pre-packaged meals that i pull out of the freezer, pop in the microwave, and eat, I know I'm going to have a lot of difficulty when i have to start making food on my own. But, since I never want to see that 30lbs again, I guess I better get going... wanna share some recipes?

Lizzie said...

Yum, on the recipe, CJ.

I cooked for just one for several years, Lara and know where you're coming from. Just not as much fun as cooking for others. I did batches and froze my own dinners. Found I did eat a little better that way.

Lizzie said...

Samantha, thank you so much for sharing this side of yourself with us. Understand the learning curve in the kitchen. My first husdand use to tell me I could burn water...LOL

Lizzie said...

CJ, I have been looking for a egg roll recipe. Thanks so much! I’m going to print this out right now. Plan to give it a try next week. And the baklava looks deadly good ;-)



Hey Lara. Congrats on the weight loss! Man that is not an easy thing to do. And I sure can post some recipes. This apple salad has become a favorite.



Apple Salad



Ingredients:

3 medium apples peeled and chopped

2 celery stalks- finely chopped

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup vanilla yogurt

1/4 cup mayo

2 tablespoons sugar

1/4 tsp of ginger

1/8 tsp salt

1/4 cup pecans



Directions: In large bowl combine first five ingredients. In another bowl combine, yogurt, mayo, sugar, ginger, salt. Pour over apple Mixture. Toss and coat and chill. Add pecans-chopped right before serving



- Samantha Storm

Anara Bella said...

Thanks for sharing your story with us, Samantha!

Just like you, I've been trying to do away with processed and junk foods as much as possible. I've cut all of it down to almost nothing and have increased the fruits and vegetables. It's a lot more expensive when I do groceries but I do feel better so I think it's well worth the extra cost.

Fortunately, I'm actually a pretty good cook but I don't really like to cook all that much. Mostly because there are SO many other things I'd rather be doing, such as writing. LOL

Because of that, most things I cook are fast and easy but as healthy as I can make them. The next thing I want to try is quinoa. I actually bought some and it's sitting in a bag on the counter. It's supposed to be really good for you and high in protein. I'll give it a try when I'm in the mood to experiment.

I'll let you know how it goes. =)

Anara

Marie Harte said...

Hey Samantha.

I know what you mean about eating from scratch. My son is recently going through some eating problems, and I fear he may have celiac disease. I have to get him tested, but from just changing his diet, I've seen that he doesn't have stomach issues if he eats non-processed foods. Honestly, it's healthier to eat fruits and veggies anyway. So good for you.

And I just wanted to say how much I enjoy your free reads!

Thanks for sharing with interested readers.

Marie

Jewell said...

Oh noes, Samantha, no more Ramen noodles?

I'm glad to hear you are eating healthier, but sorry to know the reason.

Folks, I have known Samantha for years and I can attest Ramen noodles were a mainstay in her house, and not always out of choice.

The chronic fatigue thing doesn't suprise me though, miss thang, cuz you sure keep busy.

What with your day job, and a side job that would stress a saint, you're always writing up a storm. (I can hear the groans now. Samantha Storm, get it.)

No, seriously, I consider myself honored to have been your crit partner for a while--great stories folks--your cohort in other crimes/ventures, and your friend.

As for healthy food recipes? Can't think of a one off the top of my head. Le sigh.

Jewell said...

Oh noes, Samantha, no more Ramen noodles?

I'm glad to hear you are eating healthier, but sorry to know the reason.

Folks, I have known Samantha for years and I can attest Ramen noodles were a mainstay in her house, and not always out of choice.

The chronic fatigue thing doesn't suprise me though, miss thang, cuz you sure keep busy.

What with your day job, and a side job that would stress a saint, you're always writing up a storm. (I can hear the groans now. Samantha Storm, get it.)

No, seriously, I consider myself honored to have been your crit partner for a while--great stories folks--your cohort in other crimes/ventures, and your friend.

As for healthy food recipes? Can't think of a one off the top of my head. Le sigh.

Jewell said...

Sorry for the double post. Forgot my google ID.

Isabella said...

I emailed me, instead of leaving a comment...oh sometimes I wonder about me. Samantha, thanks for brain storming with me on how to be healthier and can't wait to try CJ's recipe's. You're awesome!!! Isabella

Ciara Gold said...

I used to love cooking but that's when I didn't work 3 jobs. Sigh. But I'd much rather eat something made from scratch than go out. I admire you for sticking by your new life change. So - here's a quicky that's tasty if you like cucumbers.

Cucumber Salad

Sliced cucumbers
red onion slices to taste
sliced banana or green peppers
Avacodo cut into bite size chunks
Rasberry Vinegrette poured on top

Very flavorful.

Lizzie said...

Thank you to everyone for stopping in and I love the recipes!

Lizzie said...

Posting this for Samantha!



Waving HI to Anara, Marie, Jewell and Isabella! ;-) I admit I use to be a huge fan of chicken Top Ramen. But can’t do it anymore. Oh well. As my husband always says, “It is what it is, so deal with it all ready.” LOL



Thanks Ciara. I’ve been looking for a cucumber recipe. This one looks good.



Here is the Watermelon Salsa Recipe. You eat it with chips just like you would normal salsa. It’s great on hot days.

Ingredients

3 cups chopped watermelon

1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper

2 tablespoons lime juice

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1 tablespoon chopped green onions

1 tablespoon chopped jalapeno pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt



Directions

In a large bowl, combine the watermelon, green bell pepper, lime juice, cilantro, green onions, jalapeno and salt. Mix well and serve.




Cat Brown AKA Chaoscat
(Chaos - It's not just a lifestyle, it's a state of mind)
Owner/Operator Romance Junkies
http://www.romancejunkies.com



Writing as Samantha Storm-

http://www.samanthastorm.com/