Tuesday, January 27, 2015

How is Cooking Like Writing? Ask Chris Redding!

               I like to cook. I love to eat. I married a man who loves to cook and likes to eat. We have two teen sons, so you can guess that there is a lot of food consumed in my house
               And cooked. I’m kind of amused by this “clean eating” movement. It’s a great idea, but for me it’s just called eating. When the kids were younger I used the occasional packaged rice or a can of soup in something. Most of the time they didn’t like it. My older son loves steamed rice. The kind you get from the Chinese restaurant. He’d eat a bowl of that all by itself.
               A few years ago, I decided to cut out all of those products completely. I make things of my own like enchilada sauce or even taco seasoning.
Author Chris Redding
               The upshot of this is we have started our own binder of recipes. Our family cookbook you might want to call it. When each son moves out, he will get a copy of it. And, yes, both boys can cook basic stuff. Neither has taken to it, but I wasn’t a fan of cooking at that age either. In college I lived on boxed mac and cheese, Hamburger Helper and pizza from where I worked. I didn’t really start cooking until I got married.
               I find cooking to be a lot like writing.
               You have ingredients, which are your character and your plot. You have to cook them, or in the case of a book, make those ingredients do what you want for the story. I usually finish a draft, then let it sit. This is the meat resting after it’s cooked and before you cut it. The revision process is the putting more salt or pepper if the dish needs it.
               Now, that I have you all hungry, I’m going to share a recipe. This is an appetizer, great for a party. Any person whose house I have brought this to asked me to bring it the next time.
Cheese Puff Appetizers

2C shredded cheddar cheese
2C shredded low fat cheese
1 cup butter melted
2 C all purpose flour
2 dashes any hot sauce, any heat level
1 jar pitted green olives or can of sliced jalapenos

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a cookie sheet

In a small bowl, mix together cheeses, butter, flour, and Worcestershire sauce. Knead the dough. Pinch the dough into small balls, flatten them in the palm of your hand, then wrap an olive in the dough. Arrange the wrapped olives on the cookie sheet.

Bake for 15 minutes or slightly brown.

You can use all regular fat cheese, but the texture is better with some lower fat cheese because of the moisture content. I found the olives from the olive bar stay too wet to use for this. A substitute if you don’t like olives would be a jalapeno pepper, but I’d cut down on the hot sauce then.

Chris Redding lives in New Jersey with her husband, two sons, one dog and three rabbits. She graduated from  Penn State with a degree in journalism. She teaches online writing workshops and a creative writing course for a local continuing education organization. When she isn’t writing or teaching, she works part time for a local winery.

Waking up next to a dead guy can ruin your whole day. 

When a wise-cracking interior decorator wants to put her past behind her, the dead body of the mayor’s son makes her realize that won’t happen too easily. 

A conservative former computer geek for the FBI is holding on too tightly to his past. His wife died under suspicious circumstances, and he believes the decorator has the information to solve the case. Unfortunately for him, she isn’t speaking until a series of events convinces her she needs protection, especially when her biggest secret threatens to destroy both of their lives. 

Originally published as A View to a Kilt.

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks for visiting, Chris! I also love to cook--for me it's very creative.