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Saturday, May 13, 2006

Saturday Book Blog

XTINA GOES WILD

You know how it is — your husband leaves, you’re alone in the house for six whole days, and you go wild. You do all the things you want to do but can’t because he wants stuff like, oh, food on some weird schedule (three times a day? who made up that rule?), sleep on some weird schedule (what’s wrong with staying up until three in the morning?) and conversation when you’re sobbing, for the forty-seventh time, over Beth dying (“But haven’t you read that book before?”)

So for Mother’s Day this year, I got the best present of all — the house to myself. (Or almost to myself — the dogs are here.) Before Scott left, I performed the ritual I always perform — I got a new cookbook, picked out some recipes, and went wild! (Did you think I was going to flash my boobies?)

And this time I picked a real winner. It’s called THE BEST LIGHT RECIPE from the Editors of COOK’S ILLUSTRATED. In case you don’t know about these guys, they test every recipe extensively until they come up with the best one. Not only that, they tell you the perambulations they go through to get to the recipe (that can be interesting or boring depending on how food-fixated you are.) They tell you what brands to use, what pieces of meat to use, how to prepare the food. In THE BEST LIGHT RECIPE, they tell you the perambulations they take to remove calories and still make the food taste good. What they don’t do is good, appetizing photos of the dishes. The recipes are printed on plain white paper and occasionally they slap in a bunch of photos. But that’s a minor caveat, because THE BEST LIGHT RECIPE are truly the best light recipes!

I made their Chinese Chicken Salad. It was so good (and plentiful) that when I got done with the chicken breast that topped it, I cooked another chicken breast and ate half of it with more of the salad. And did I feel guilty? Not at all. Calories for a single serving was 250. With my splurge, I probably got it up to what? 400 calories. Horrors!

I’ve tried one of their pasta salads (OMG), the Greek-Style Chickpea Salad (OMG), their Mac and Cheese and their Chicken Tortilla Soup (OMG.) I haven’t done their desserts, but here’s the situation — they say if they can’t make a recipe light and still have it taste good, they don’t put it in the cookbook.

So far, I’ve found no reason not to believe them. So you go wild, too, get THE BEST LIGHT RECIPE!
Christina Dodd, 2:43 PM
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