Checking off the to-do list makes for busy times | NevadaAppeal.com

Checking off the to-do list makes for busy times

Linda Marrone
For the Appeal

Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal Linda Marrone's Asparagus and Cheese Frittata with Lemon Pull-Apart Coffee Cake.

It seems like there is always so much to do this time of year and with so many activities going on it’s hard to fit in everything you want to do along with all the stuff you need to get done. I’ve had a list of things I’ve been meaning to get off my plate, so to speak, so for the last month and a half I’ve been checking things off my “to do” list.

I’ve re-joined Weight-Watchers for the umpteenth time. When they asked, “Are you a lifetime member?” I had to confess that I was a lifetime dropout, there in lies the problem. Like anything else in life you have to stick with it if you want to succeed, so I’m working on it.

I’ve wanted to have Charlie and Karen Abowd over for dinner again, along with my friends from Smith & Smith Farms and give them both a chance to sit down and have a normal conversation at the dinner table. I don’t think there is anyone busier than a restaurant owner and a farmer. With two of us on WeightÐWatchers, one diabetic, and one person allergic to eggs, not to mention two hungry guys coming from a baseball tournament, I tried my best to satisfy everyone. We had Chicken Cacciatore with polenta, mixed greens (supplied by Smith & Smith Farms) with grilled vegetables and fresh mozzarella and a whole-grain French bread topped off with a panna cotta with assorted berries for dessert. Panna Cotta is a pure white, lightly sweetened custard made without eggs. Charlie brought a wonderful Bethel Heights pinot noir from the Willamette Valley.

Some people asked if I was nervous cooking for Charlie but I know from first-hand experience that most hard-working professionals are happy to get a chance to break bread and sit down with their friends, it doesn’t have to be fancy.

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I took a six-week Tai Chi class in Minden with my friend Sharon Fiori. It was right at dinner time on Tuesdays, so we made a point of having a light soup and salad dinner before class and always sharing a cup of tea afterwards. It may not seem like Minden is that far away but it was sure nice seeing so much of my friend and the class allowed us to visit in a way we haven’t done in years.

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It’s been two years since I’ve had one of my teas and the invitations are in the mail.

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I gave myself an early Mother’s Day present (Ralph helped) and went to a reducing spa (the do-it-your-self kind) for a week. A little treat before I go back to Kennedy Meadows for my summer job.

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With Mother’s Day coming up I have two recipes to share with you that would make any mother or grandmother happy.

And, if you are looking for a different kind of gift for Mother’s Day or any occasion and want to help out a good cause go on the Web to http://www.fourthwardschool.org and check out their offerings for some truly different online auction items.

This recipe comes from Bristol Farms which is a high-end grocery store. They just opened one in Palm Dessert and also have one in San Francisco that I’ve been in but you can go online and get some great recipes. This first recipe is easy because it starts out with a can of refrigerated biscuits. Whether you decide to cook or go out for Mother’s Day enjoy the day with people you love.

Lemon Pull-Apart Coffee Cake

• 1Ú4 cup sugar

• 1Ú4 cup golden raisins

• 1Ú4 chopped walnuts

• 2 tsp. grated lemon peal

• Dash of cinnamon

• 2 T. melted butter

• 1 can 12 oz. Pillsbury Golden Layers refrigerated buttermilk or original flaky biscuits

Heat oven to 375, butter bottom of 8- or 9-inch round pan. Mix all dry ingredients in bowl. Separate dough into 10 biscuits and cut each biscuit into quarters. Pick up biscuit and dip in butter then sugar mixture, toss to coat and arrange in single layer. Sprinkle top with any remaining mixture. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Asparagus and Cheese Frittata

• 12 oz. cooked asparagus

• 1 T. olive oil

• 1Ú2 cup sliced green onions

• 1Ú4 cup sliced mushrooms, chopped a little

• 1 cup rice (I used brown rice)

• 1 tsp. fresh thyme or 1Ú2 tsp. dried

• 3 large eggs

• 5 large egg whites

• 1 T. Parmesan cheese, little more for top

Preheat oven to 400. Cut asparagus into 1Ú2 inch diagonal slices. Heat oil in large oven-safe skillet and add onions and mushrooms and cook about 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in rice, asparagus, thyme, and salt and pepper to taste. Whisk eggs and egg whites until frothy, add Parmesan cheese. Stir in eggs until they begin to set, about one minute on high heat. Lower heat and cook two minutes. Transfer skillet to oven and cook five more minutes.

Loosen frittata from sides and bottom of skillet with rubber spatula. Either slide out onto a platter or turn upside down. Dietary Recommendation: diabetic, reduced fat and low calorie.

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One last note, my next column will be written by Tami Westergard who is an inspiration to anyone trying to lose weight. She’s going to share her story on how she lost 75 pounds. The column after that will be written by Gilles Galhaut the owner of Z Bistro the fairly new restaurant in town on Basque Way.

• Linda Marrone has lived in Carson City since 1973, and with her husband, Ralph, formerly operated Marrone’s Restaurant in Carson City and Somethin’s Cookin’ Catering.