Sunday, March 17, 2013

Crabby Tacos

You won't be in a bad mood after tasting these keep-you-from-being-crabby-crabby tacos!  Like many good things that come out of my kitchen, these were tossed together in attempt to feed us and ended up becoming a family favorite.

Ingredients Needed: Imitation crab meat (I used sticks), lemon juice, lime juice, wedding blend seasoning (see What's in My Pantry?), fresh baby spinach, green onions, olive oil, and corn tortillas.

I started by cutting up about 6-8 imitation crab sticks into pieces.  The size doesn't really matter because it flakes apart anyway, it just makes it easier to work with.  The chunks of crab meat were moved into a bowl, where I added equal parts lemon and lime juice (just enough to coat the meat a bit...probably a tablespoon or two at the most).  I then added the wedding blend seasoning and tossed the meat, juices, and seasoning until everything was pretty evenly distributed.  I then set the bowl aside to soak as I prepared the tortillas.

I gently moistened each corn tortilla with a little water before throwing them into a hot skillet.  I cooked them on each side until there were a few little brown spots on the surface.  The tortillas should be harder than when uncooked, but should still be pliable. This takes 3-5 minutes/tortilla.  If you have a griddle and the space (which I don't, sadly) you could cook several at once and work on the stuffing in the meantime.

Next, I cut up a few handfuls of baby spinach into strips. (You don't have to do this, but it makes it easier to work with and easier to eat without dragging big bits out of your tacos!)

It was time to cook up the crabby stuffing! I heated a tablespoon or so of olive oil in a skillet and added the crab meat mixture.  I then added some green onions by cutting the stems straight into my skillet using kitchen scissors.  I cooked the mix until the crab meat was flaking, then added the spinach.  I continued cooking until the spinach was wilted and mixed in well with the rest of the ingredients.

The stuffing was then added to the tortillas.  I put out cheese and hot sauce, but they were so good we didn't even use them! (Not even my husband, who puts hot sauce on his hot sauce! :p)  They were awesome! Chief, Hubby, and Roommate approved! :)

So, I didn't get a picture of the tacos themselves because we ate them too quick,
but here's a shot of the stuffing almost ready to come out of the skillet.
Seriously, you should make these...they are one of my proudest culinary accomplishments! :D

Monday, March 11, 2013

Self-Interview for Rise of the Wobanzi

Today I received this on my Facebook page from a member of my supervisory committee and writing buddy during NaNoWriMo 2012:
"I received an invitation from a writer, Denise Banker, whose English Department doctoral committee I was on (as an outside member). The invitation is to do a self-interview about a book project you’re working on now, then post that interview on your blog, and invite five other authors to do the same thing (they are also supposed to invite another five authors). This pyramid/chain letter/share-your-working ideas, called (like a bunch of other stuff!) “The Next Big Thing”, was started by Catherine Keefe, a creative writing instructor at Chapman College. So some of you are going to get a similar note from me. The world will not come to an end if the chain is broken or the pyramid is truncated, but I know that a couple of you have books in progress that you’re getting behind on because you (supposedly) have too much real work to do."
Guess this is his subtle way of telling me to get the lead out with my book revisions!  I don't know 5 other authors, but I did forward it to another NaNoWriMo writing buddy who probably knows at least that many! Below are my responses to the self-interview that he posted.
What is your working title for the book (or story)?   Rise of the Wobanzi

Where did the idea come from for the book? I guess I had been thinking about it for awhile as a side thought, but I never thought I would be able to actually write a novel out of the idea.  Then I discovered NaNoWriMo, and I learned I had more of a story in me than I ever expected.

What genre does your book fall into? Horror/Science Fiction/Thriller

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? Good Question! I have a lot of characters that could be considered "main" characters, so I had a lot of people to think about.  I automatically started thinking of actors I love who actually would have been a little old for most of these roles.  After spending more time thinking, (and a little google searching) I have landed on the following list for the bigger roles:
Henry-Nathan Fillion
Zoey-Natalie Portman
Cayson-Josh Radnor
Adelaide-Emma Watson
Zeke-Matthew Lewis
Violet-Evanna Lynch
Neil Patrick Harris
Connie-Jewel Staite
Ted-Jake Johnson
Whitney-Raven Symone
Shannyn SossamonDarius-Benedict Cumberbatch
Christian-Olivia Wilde

Jesse Eisenberg
And just for the record, it should be directed by Joss Wheaton...naturally! :p

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? After an ancient disease is accidentally introduced to the world from the rock forests of Madagascar, a group of friends strives to survive the chaos and to unlock the mysteries of curing the pandemic.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? 19 days...with 3 days of  non-writing due to other 16 days actually.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? Hopefully by an agency, but if I don't get anyone to pick it up by May, then I'll be self-publishing.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? I'm not sure, it is similar to other zombie novels in a sense, but it is also rather unique in the idea of a cure being possible rather than a mindless killing of zombies.  Plus I'm not much of a fiction reader truth be told...I'm much more into non-fiction making this a fun project for me!

Who or what inspired you to write this book? My amazing friends and family! A number of them inspired characters directly. One of them turned me on to NaNoWriMo, so I guess she gets a good portion of the credit. Thanks Kaysi!

What else about your book might pique the reader's interest? This story is a twist on traditional zombie apocalypse stories where the survivors aren't just able to survive the chaos, but are actually able to contribute to the downfall of the disease.  It's much more empowering to the main characters than most novels on similar subjects.  It's something like a dystopian novel with a hopeful least in the first book. I'm hoping to make this book part of a trilogy eventually.