Reading was what I missed most about my life before kids, but thankfully Book Club got me back in the habit of reading and showed me I could find the time.
I read on the treadmill, in the car line while waiting for the kids to come out of school, while on an airplane, a passenger in a car, sitting beside the pool, curled up on the couch in a blanket, and I always carry my current book in my purse just in case the line at the post office is too long, or I'm waiting on a friend at a restaurant.
I have recently devoured a couple of books that, along with delicious stories included wonderful recipes.
Today is the National Education Associations "Read Across America" day - and with the kids out of school due to snow and ice, this delicious combination of nourishment for the mind and body is definitely worth celebrating.
FRIED FLOUNDER WITH BLACK BEAN AND AVOCADO SALSA
FOR THE BLACK BEAN AND AVOCADO SALSA
2 (14 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup halved grape tomatoes
4 green onions, finely chopped
1/2 small jalapeño pepper, finely chopped
juice from 1 lime
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
few dashes of hot sauce
handful of chopped cilantro
2 avocados, cut into cubes
In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients.
FOR THE FLOUNDER
1/2 cup flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs, seasoned with salt, pepper and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/4 pounds flounder fillets
tartar sauce, for serving
lemon wedges, for serving
Set up your dredging stations: one plate or bowl for the flour, one for the eggs and one for the panko.
Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
Dredge your fish fillets, first in the flour, then in the egg, then in the panko.
Add 2 to 4 fillets at a time to the skillet and fry 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until cooked through. Remove from the skillet, tent with foil to keep warm, and fry the remaining fillets, adding more oil as necessary.
Serve with a dollop of tartar sauce, lemon wedges and the black bean and avocado salad.
Recipe adapted from Dinner a Love Story, Jenny Rosenstrach, 2012
LEMON BUTTER COOKIES
1 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extreact
zest of one lemon
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup cornstarch
Cream butter, sugar, vanilla and zest until smooth. Add dry ingredients, mix until just incorporated. Use waxed paper to shape and roll dough into 2 8-inch logs, (about the width of a cookie).
Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
Heat oven to 350F.
Slice cookies about 1/4 inch thick, put on ungreased cookie sheets, sprinkle on sugar crystals or roll the logs in sugar before cutting.
Bake for 15 minutes, until slightly golden. Cool on waxed paper.
Recipe adapted from A Fine Romance: Falling in Love with the English Countryside, Susan Branch, 2013