Grilled Asparagus with Creamy Scallion Dressing

Grilled Asparagus with Creamy Scallion Dressing

A few weeks ago, I went home for a last minute trip back home to Tennessee. The timing was just right, and I was overdue for a visit: my grandmother had open-heart surgery recently and was recuperating. I also wanted to spend some time with my niece and nephew before they moved back to North Carolina. Luckily I was able to find a reasonable fare, and I bought a ticket with 2 days notice to make my way back south.

Let me just say that my niece and nephew are 1 and 3 years old, and after three days with them my appreciation and respect for my sister-in-law went through the roof. Being home all day with those two requires an energy level that I just didn’t know possible. If I could figure out a way to bottle those kids’ energy and sell it, I could quit my day job.

It goes without saying that they’re absolutely adorable; they just happen to also be ornery little monsters. I was relieved to see that my grandmother is spunkier than ever and made sure to provide large spreads for us each day. Even though we beg and plead for her to let us help, she refuses and goes about her way making salads, sandwiches and corned beef – plying the wee ones with popsicles and conveniently hearing “sure, one more slice” when offering pie.

In addition to the food and baby time, I got to spend time with my dad and brother doing one of our favorite family activities: watching horrible action movies. My brother and I spent most of the evening trying to convince my dad to watch a good action movie and take him to see Pacific Rim. We were not so successful on that front, but it was a delightful visit, nonetheless.

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Saffron Sauce with Chicken & Asparagus

A while back, I had dogeared this recipe from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything that used a cream based saffron sauce with white fish. A few weeks ago, I had decided to throw Mr. Bittman’s wise sauce/fish pairing suggestion aside; I took a chance and made this dish using salmon. I am the first to admit that it simply wasn’t a success. This saffron sauce needs to be the star of the show, and salmon rarely wants to share the spotlight. As with almost any other time you that put two divas in the same show together, there was very little working together.

The next day for our lunches,  I had made some chicken and rice and upon seeing my poor, neglected saffron sauce in the fridge – I suddenly became overcome with regret at my fish hubris. In that moment, I decided that what this bootleg bento box needed was a dollop of bright yellow saffron. I have to say, I definitely ate well for lunch that day.

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