Today I hit the “Publish Button” at ACX. So the audio version of A Shot in the Bark is in the pipeline and will be ready for purchase in two to three weeks. To whet your appetite, I’ve posted the five minute sample on Sound Cloud. https://soundcloud.com/carol-ann-newsome/a-shot-in-the-bark-a-dog-park
I’m awed by the fabulous job Jane Boyer did with the narration, bringing Lia, Anna, Peter, Bailey and the rest of the dog park gang to life. When I first contacted her, I told her that the tone of Shot ranged from creepy to cozy. I said it had a large cast of characters. She didn’t blink, and she’s been a consummate professional throughout the entire process. Jane has committed to continuing the series with Drool Baby, and I couldn’t be happier. Expect the second audiobook before the middle of August. I can’t wait, because I know the next book is going to be even better.
My evening job is over until June, so I’m back to regular hours and getting my Aztec Diet in hand. Not that it was totally out of hand, but I did make a number of concessions, including having a solid food in the evenings. I still managed to lose a few pounds. Now I’m looking at Phase II in earnest, and working on more quick and easy recipes for one to suit the Aztec Diet.
I’m a big proponent of raw food, and it fits well with the Aztec Diet. No, I can’t do a 100% raw food diet. But 50% raw food is do-able for most folks and still gives significant benefits.
Most raw foodies are vegan. I’m not. Fish is easy to consume raw. Easiest is sushi. Of course, we aren’t allowed to have sticky rice. But you can have sashimi. I occasionally stop at the sushi counter at Kroger’s and ask them to make me a sashimi plate. Sushi is still a fringe food in Cincinnati, so the sushi chefs at Kroger’s are always thrilled to get a special order. They fix it up with avocado and cucumber on a bed of baby romaine. Yum.
If you want to do-it-yourself, you can always pick up a package of individually frozen tuna steaks, a jar of pickled ginger, a tube of wasabi and a bottle of soy sauce or Bragg’s Liquid Amino’s. No, the tuna won’t be as tender as sushi quality, but it will be cheaper and you can have it at your leisure, at home. Be sure to slice against the grain.
Only use tuna. Sushi grade fish is frozen for an extended period at 0 degrees to kill any parasites. If you have a source for sushi-grade fish, great. If you’re like me, you’re stuck with the grocery store. Tuna is the only readily available fish safe to eat raw, as it does not get parasites like other types of fish.
Another wonderful raw fish option is ceviche. Ceviche is a South American specialty consisting of raw fish that is “cooked” by marinating it in something acidic. I fell in love with it when I was in Peru. You can use vinegar, fresh lemon juice or lime juice. Lime juice gives the tastiest results. If you are feeling decadent, you can use vodka. Ceviche can be made from any white fish. Shrimp and scallops are also used. Tilapia is inexpensive and gives nice results. Raw salad vegetables and spices are added to the marinated fish. Often oil is included. You can check out these recipes: Tilapia Ceviche http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/marcela-valladolid/tilapia-ceviche-recipe/index.html and Vodka Ceviche http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/30/dining/302prex.html
Or, you can try my recipe for a single serving, below:
Carol’s Easy-Peasy Ceviche
Dice 6 ounces of tilapia filets (or other white fish), place in a glass jar
Add juice from 2 large limes put the lid on the jar and rotate the jar to ensure the juice has coated all the fish. Put the jar in the refrigerator, rotate occasionally to re-coat the fish. Fish is ‘done’ when it is white and opaque. Time will vary, depending on the size of the pieces. Minimum 20 minutes to a couple hours.
While the fish is marinating, dice 1/4 – 1/3 Cup each: English cucumber, red bell pepper, tomato (optional. I don’t use tomatoes because I can’t eat them, but they are a classic ceviche ingredient)
Thinly slice the white part of 1 green onion
Dice 1/2 avocado (optional)
Dice 1 serano pepper (optional)
When the fish is ready, drain the lime juice and discard.
Season with salt and pepper, if desired.
Add hot sauce to taste, if desired
sprinkle on fresh or dried cilantro
Stir in 1 heaping TBSP mayonnaise or Miracle Whip (optional, but don’t knock it till you’ve tried it)
Stir in vegetables
Many folks eat this on saltines or tortilla chips. Since we’re all about lowering carbs, I suggest simply eating it with a fork. You can also spoon the ceviche onto baby romaine leaves for finger food.