Bucket List. Raw.

Food Therapy

I usually like to have a theme. After spending the entire day cooking and food photographing, when I finally sat down to write this post, I kept thinking, raspberries…rainbow trout…bitter green, grapefruit and feta salad..umm…theme? Cait…what were you thinking? This goes to show that my mind is ALL over the place these days. I’m stuck in my own head. I can’t focus.

A lot of time has been spent thinking about goals. Short term, long term…Sometimes we get so hung up on the past, those even few, negative events, feelings, worries, regrets, replaying over and over…Sometimes we get so caught up in the RIGHT NOW, current stresses and feelings and then we stress about the worst of them all, the unknown, the one that probably visits the mind the most, the future.

It’s hard to think about how short life is when you have all these things flying around your brain. Then sometimes we are reminded that none of it matters. Turn on the news? Watch a sad movie? Hear a song that brings you to tears? Or you wake up in a sweat, holding your breath, searching for the phone, just to tell that someone the something that you need to tell them, just in case the worst happens.

I’m a list maker and I have this recipe bucket list on the chalkboard in my kitchen and it just hit me, just. right. now. to make an ongoing bucket list of my life. I’m not adventurous nor daring unfortunately, so I’m not talking about the jumping out of planes kind of stuffstuff, to be honest, most of it consists of food…and eating that food all around the world, sure I’m deathly afraid of planes and that Grey’s Anatomy season finale sure didn’t help, but I have to do it…I’m starting out small, I want to eat healthier, I want to actually use the juicer that is taking up half of my counter space, I want to go for walks, I want to fill my ipod with music that makes me want to just move, feel alive, all I need to do is find my  ipod… I want to take a cooking class, I want to take a photography class, I want to spend quality time with the people that I love.

I can’t rewrite my past, I can’t keep wishing on eyelashes that I get what I want in the RIGHT now, but I can try to stop fearing the future by making a bucket list and start crossing them off, visual changes.

I’ll start with these two recipes:

Menu & Recipe Links

Raspberry Italian Cream Soda (adapted)

Seared Black Bass with Bitter Greens, Grapefruit and Feta Salad

Food Photography

What I’ve Learned

1) How to supreme a grapefruit. I loved every minute of it. Rarely, I can be so easily pleased.

2) How to pan sear fish for a crispy fish skin. Like Anne Burrell says, resist the temptation to move the fish! Her restuarant chef technique? Place the fish, skin side down in the pan, rub olive oil on the bottom of another saute pan and place it on top while it cooks. It works! I once watched Sunny Anderson do something similar with skin-on chicken with two cast iron pans, genius!

3) How to play around with lighting. I loved that I could shoot in daylight today, even if it was a little cloudy. We taped some parchment paper to the one, big window in our living room (unfortunately far away from my kitchen!)  My florescent kitchen bulbs can make my photos harsh, so  I liked the soft lighting in the photos today!

4) As always, don’t walk away from the kitchen when your boiling something messy, it’ll save you the clean up.

5) After straining the raspberry syrup, I saved the “hard stuff” and bottled it for jam. It’s really fruity and sweet. I’m going to bring it over to my mom’s I think we would like it on toast!

Review the Dish

Raspberry cream soda was really fun to make and very fun to photograph! I wanted to play with the original & adorably photographed recipe by Sugar and Charm, which I found on lovely pinterest  (where have you been all of my life!?). I’m not crazy about strawberry drinks and Thomas isn’t too crazy about blueberry drinks, so I thought raspberries! He came home with a beautiful bunch of them and they instantly brightened the cloudy day.

I love those milky, creamy drinks, like iced chai & thai iced tea, so this was a winner for me. The raspberry wasn’t as sweet as I would have liked, but that could be because a good portion of my simple syrup boiled over…nevertheless, I would love to try it again, maybe I’ll even go for the strawberry or blueberry recipe above.

When I saw Anne Burrell’s, “Secrets of a Restaurant Chef Episode “The secret to seared black bass”, it was the first time I’ve watched an entire episode and I was captivated by how much fun she was having!  At the time I was pounding the heck out of a chicken breast for chicken parmesan and I was mesmerized. I pounded it pretty thin. I don’t care if Thomas doesn’t eat it, I’m making it, I thought. I was in a mood.

Thomas couldn’t find black bass so he picked out the “only fish that had the skin on it – rainbow trout”, poor guy he probably thought I’d flip out if he didn’t since that was the WHOLE POINT, I thought that was cute….he goes along with my kitchen adventures. <3 “Rainbow trout it is!”, I replied.

Her technique worked perfectly for me and Thomas actually ate it and liked it! He whipped his own tartar sauce up, probably just in case he had to cover it in something to get it down. I didn’t argue, he looked like he was having fun. Even I, a huge lover of all seafood was a little bit apprehensive about eating scaly fish skin but it was light, crispy and crunchy, almost like it was battered! The salt seasoning was just perfect. To my surprise, I watched him in amazement as he finished the whole fish too, I was really glad that he liked it, I can add it to the rotation!

The crispy rainbow trout sat on top of her bitter greens (escarole, radicchio), red onion, grapefruit and feta salad tossed in grapefruit juice, extra-virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt, it was simple, yet good. It paired well with the trout.

Feel free to put this on your bucket list of recipes to try and if you’re feeling adventurous, go ahead and cross it off!

Thanks guys for reading. What’s on your recipe/life bucket list? I’d love to hear from you.

& Happy Father’s Day weekend to my dad and yours!

<3 Cait


3 thoughts on “Bucket List. Raw.

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