Monday, April 30, 2007
I heated up the grilled pizza's in the oven, 1 was a fontina with chicken and apple sausage, spinach, onion and mushroom, and the other was Margherita. I heated up the last of the crispy wings, and made a large salad tossed with dried cranberries and feta cheese. I was out of lemon, so used the juice of a lime, a lot of black pepper, olive oil and kosher salt. It was tangy and refreshing.
The girls went to bed late, and I'm off to soak in the tub and gear up for another day of weeding.
Sunday, April 29, 2007
That said, we had bought pork ribs to make the girls now favorite meal, Chinese spareribs. We didn't follow a recipe like they did with Papa, oh no, tonight Mom's in charge. I had the girls measure out a couple tablespoons of soy sauce, mixed in about 3 tbs. of honey, a 1/4 C. hoisin sauce and a 1/4 C. of plum sauce. They stirred the whole mess around the pork ribs, and baked them in a 425 degree oven for about 40 minutes. They were sticky and delicious. We ate it with some leftover rice from a few nights ago and a bunch of raw celery sticks.
We are all tired from our Un-Sunday. Monday's gotta be better than this!
Saturday, April 28, 2007
I helped cater a Bat Mitzvah today and it was a good but long day. I brought home a few leftovers, some homemade pizzas, a few grilled burgers, some meatballs and 2 molten lava cakes. They had a few bites of everything and finished off with a grapefruit.
We'll probably eat those tomorrow as well, but the girls want to try their hands at homemade spare ribs again. Kirk will be home Monday for round 2 of Chinese Spareribs.
Thursday, April 26, 2007
I make the rice the way I grew up eating it.
Add a Tbs. of olive oil in a heavy bottomed pan. Add a handful of thin vermicelli noodles (the kind you make chicken noodle soup with). Stir them in the oil until they become golden brown, maybe 4 minutes. Add in 1 C. of long grain white rice and stir into the oil and noodles so the oil coats the rice. Add in 2 C. of chicken stock, stir to combine, turn the heat down to low and cover. It takes about 25 minutes.
While the rice cooked, I made turkey burgers. I seasoned them with garlic salt and ground pepper. Since the turkey is so lean, I added a drizzle of olive oil into the pan and let it heat before adding the burgers. I cooked the burgers on high on one side for about 4 minutes, turned them, covered the pan and turned the heat down to medium. It's important to cover the burgers as they will dry out otherwise.
Lastly, I steamed the broccoli. Bring a little water to a boil, add the broccoli. After about 2 minutes, turn the heat off and let them finish steaming. They RARELY over cook this way. I add a little butter and a pinch of salt before serving.
As usual, a mixed bag at the table. One daughter ate both her and her sisters burger, they both ate all of the broccoli and a couple bites of rice.
I think it's hysterical that the girls bicker over who gets the last piece of broccoli!
Emma has her first day of softball practice tomorrow from 5-6p.m. (are they crazy, that's dinner time!) Anyhow, we will probably eat out tomorrow as I know the girls will be famished. I'm hoping that Friday's will become picnic night's as the weather gets warmer.
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
1 1/2 lbs. boneless thinly cut pork strips ( I only used 1 lb.)
1/4 C. water
1/4 C. soy sauce
1/4 C. corn starch
Marinate the pork for 5 minutes in the mixture
While the pork marinated, I cubed a red pepper, an onion, a zucchini and I sliced a handful of carrots on the diagonal.
I heated 1 tbs. peanut oil and added in the onions, carrots and pork. I let it cook for 5 minutes, then added in the zucchini and pepper. I let the mixture cook for 3 more minutes, then combined:
1 tbs. cornstarch
1/4 C. sugar
1/4 C. Katsup
1 1/2 C. water
Sweet and sour seasoning mix
I whisked the mixture together then added it to the stir fry. I turned the heat down to low and let the mixture simmer for 5 minutes until it thickened up. I added a can of drained pineapple chunks and served it over some white rice.
It was delicious. The girls took one look at the thick sauce and squinched their noses up. I made them eat 2 pieces of pork, Abby ate her cucumber and brown rice and Emma scoffed at the brown rice, but ate it anyways, and proceeded to make herself a peanut butter sandwich.
I had a sneaking suspicion that because they had never eaten sweet and sour pork they might respond this way, but they tried it anyways.
I have some ground turkey for tomorrow night, not totally sure what to do with it. I'm thinking turkey taco's. It can't be any worse than tonight!
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Tonight they grilled steak, steamed green beans and cooked rice. The girls loved helping, and he let them snap the beans, measure the water and rice and grind the pepper and salt onto the steaks. Abby even did my job and set the table.
I stayed firmly put on the couch and read my book. It is certainly a treat to leave the cooking up to someone else one night a week.
I finally got organized and bought supplies for dinner for the next few nights. Tomorrow night will be sweet and sour pork. I've never made it before, but how hard can it be?
Sunday, April 22, 2007
People often times make the mistake of grilling boneless, skinless chicken breasts and they invariably end up dry and tough. Thighs are delicious and always end up moist when grilled. I made them similarly to last night, a drizzle of olive oil, kosher salt and ground pepper. They are so delicious and incredibly easy. They only need to be turned once. The other trick I've found for moist grilled chicken is when it is finished, wrap all of the chicken in some foil and keep it warm in the oven until ready to serve.
Unfortunately I need to go back to the market again tomorrow as we don't have any leftovers from tonight.
On second thought, we always have pasta with tomato sauce...
Saturday, April 21, 2007
I had bought some frozen boneless, skinless chicken thighs from Trader Joe's and wanted to see how they tasted. Although I buy a lot of frozen veggies and shrimp, I don't usually buy any other frozen products.
In the morning, I took out 4 thighs and stuck them in a Ziploc bag with some soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, a little peanut oil and a drizzle of honey. When we got back from the beach, I fired up the grill to high, and once it was really hot, turned it down to medium. I placed the thighs on the grill, closed the top and went inside to assemble the rest of dinner. I peeled 2 sweet potatoes, cut them into thick fries, drizzled them with olive oil, cumin, a hearty shake of pepper and Lawry's season salt. They went into a 425 degree oven on a Silpat lined cookie sheet for about 30 minutes.
I also assembled a salad of arugula, frozen peas (they thaw in a few minutes in the salad), some feta cheese, and some diced cucumber. I made a quick dressing from the juice of 1 lime, olive oil, kosher salt, pepper and cumin.
Once the roasted sweet potato fries were done, I squeezed the juice from 1/2 lime over them with another shake of cumin and let them sit. I brought the chicken in, sliced it, and added it to the salad. I brought out some leftover whole wheat tortillas as the kids like them, and we ate our first meal outside.
My kids LOVED the chicken that we picked out from the salad, and ate theirs wrapped in a tortilla with guacamole (Trader Joe's and Costco both sell really good "fresh" guac-in-a-bag).
The next three days are supposed to be beautiful, I guess the soup pot will be replaced with the grill!
Friday, April 20, 2007
I sauteed a little onion in a pan with about a tablespoon of olive oil. I added in a cup of assorted mushroom and sauteed for a few minutes. Then I added in about a cup of shredded cabbage and a cup of shredded carrot. I added a few cubes of frozen garlic and ginger, a little hoisin sauce, about 1/2 C. of coconut milk and a little soy sauce. Long story short.... It was ok, not great.
While we were away, I had an amazing Tom Yum Soup and must get a recipe to recreate it. Tonight's vegetables were a sttttreeetttchhh of the imagination.
I'd love to hear other people's dinner mishaps.
I was coming down from grilled lobsters for lunch and felt the need to purify. What better to do that with than a chicken soup. The recipe is basic and yields a delicious clear broth.
You will need:
1 whole smallish chicken
3-4 peeled and sliced carrots
1 whole head of celery sliced
6 C. chicken stock
In a large soup pot set to medium high heat, add about 2 tsp. olive oil, add in the carrots and celery and stir for about a minute. While that is cooking, rinse and pat dry the chicken. Season with a generous amount of kosher salt, pepper and Greek Seasoning. Add the chicken to the pot and add the chicken stock. Cover and keep at a simmer on medium low heat. Cook for about 1 1/2-2 hours. Before serving, remove the skin from the chicken using a fork and peel off the meat from the bones. It will separate easily and the meat will be very tender.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Roasting a chicken is one of my favorite things to cook. It's incredibly easy and produces a great meal that can be eaten for at least a couple of days. To make the chicken, preheat the oven to 425 and rinse the chicken. Make a paste with a couple tablespoons of unsalted butter, about 1/4 C. olive oil, kosher salt, a good amount of cracked pepper, juice from a whole lemon, and about a teaspoon of Greek Seasoning (you can use Italian Seasoning if you don't have the Greek). Mix it all together in a bowl.
With your index finger, separate the skin from the chicken breast side without tearing it. Pour 3/4 of the mixture between the skin and the meat, and rub the rest of the smear with the remaining mixture and an extra sprinkling of kosher salt.
Add a little water (about 1/2 C.) to the bottom of the pan and throw in a few carrots.
For the roasted sweet potato coins, peel 2-3 sweet potatoes and slice into about 1/4" thick rounds. Line a cookie sheet with foil and lay the sweet potatoes in the sheet so they don't overlap. Drizzle olive oil over the potatoes, and flip them over so they are coated on both sides. Sprinkle a little Lawry's Seasoning Salt over the potatoes.
Roast the potatoes on the lower rack of the oven and cook the chicken on the upper rack. The chicken does NOT have to be basted or covered. It takes about 45 minutes to cook. The potatoes need to be turned about 20 minutes into the cooking. They will take 40-45 minutes also.
I'm going to make an easy salad with hearts of romaine, celery and and tomatoes. One of my favorite ways to dress any salad is to use the juice from 1/2 a lemon squeezed directly over the salad with 1/2 c. olive oil and a couple pinches of kosher salt and pepper. Toss and serve.
Monday, April 9, 2007
It was a nice evening, and I had steamed mussels and a side of sauteed sugar snap peas. The peas were a little over cooked, which is very easy to do, and I've had better mussels, but it was a fun night and I got to talk to a lot of moms I hadn't ever gotten to know.
Kirk took the easy way out tonight for dinner and went to our local deli down the hill. He got the girls tuna salad and crackers, and a chef's salad for himself with some of the leftover Chinese food.
We have dinner out with friends for tomorrow night, but I am going to make the girls edamame, rice and honeydew melon for dinner.
Sunday, April 8, 2007
We had 13 kids over today for Egg hunting while the 10 adults drank coffee and enjoyed a leisurely Sunday together. Everyone had a good time, and after the last person left, I went upstairs for a decadent Sunday afternoon nap.
I couldn't bear cooking tonight, so we had the ever popular Chinese takeout. The girls are expanding their rather limited repertoire of spareribs and rice to include won ton soup, moo shu pork (which they loved tonight), and the vegetables they picked out of the sesame chicken.
I'm having dinner with the class moms tomorrow night, so Kirk and the girls are on their own. Will they shop to cook a meal, eat peanut butter, or do take out again?
Tune in to find out...
Saturday, April 7, 2007
As promised, here is the Tuna Nicoise Sandwich I did today on WTNH. It's a great way to use all of those leftover hard boiled eggs; it also makes a great salad over arugula for a crowd.
Nicoise Tuna sandwich
- 1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar, plus additional to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus additional to taste
- 1/8 of a small red onion thinly sliced
black pepper to taste
- 1 6-ounce can tuna packed in olive oil
- lemon juice to taste
- washed arugula
2 tomatoes sliced
- 2 hard-boiled eggs-sliced
- Niçoise olives, pitted
Combine the onion with 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, red-wine vinegar, salt, and several grinds of black pepper in a bowl. Let sit for at least 10 minutes, can be made 1 day in advance.
Add the tuna (including the oil) and Niçoise olives. Season with fresh lemon juice, red-wine vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste.
Slice baguette in ½ lengthwise. Scoop out a little of the insides of the bread. Add a handful of arugula, a couple slices of tomatoes, then add about half the tuna mixture and 3 to 4 slices of hard-boiled egg. Generously drizzle with a little more olive oil.
*This sandwich can also be served as an appetizer with slices of baguette.
Dinner tonight was barbecued chicken drumsticks, steamed broccoli and egg noodles.
I preheated the oven to 450. Lined a cookie sheet with foil and laid out the drumsticks in a single layer. I doused them with barbecue sauce and baked them in the oven for 25 minutes. While that cooked, I steamed some broccoli and boiled some water for the egg noodles.
I also made a salad with the leftover marinated red onions from this mornings TV show, feta cheese, cucumber, tomato, a large handful of flat leaf parsley and romaine. I drizzled the salad with a little more olive oil, a healthy pinch of salt and pepper and the rest of the red wine vinegar that the onions were in.
It was an easy meal because the chicken needed no tending to and the broccoli and noodles cooked so quickly. The girls loved the chicken and ate 2 drumsticks a piece.
Friday, April 6, 2007
While the girls played, I made some spaghetti with a little butter and a bit of sauce on the side in case anyone wanted a ladle or two. I also made the salmon I had bought from yesterday.
I heated a little olive oil in a pan with 2 cubes of frozen garlic. Once that began to sizzle, I put the salmon in, skin side down. I added a pinch of kosher salt and a hearty pinch of black pepper. I used the rest of the Riesling wine to poach the fish. I squeezed the juice from 1/2 of a Meyer lemon that my mother had overnight mailed me from California, put the top on the pan and let it poach. After about 6 minutes, it was beautiful and pink. I removed the salmon from the liquid and added in a small pat of unsalted butter, letting the liquid reduce down to a nice beurre blanc to go over the fish.
I had roasted the brussel sprouts earlier in the day for lunch. This is my favorite way to cook them, and they are foolproof. I rinsed the sprouts and cut them in half. I placed them on a cookie sheet lined with foil and preheated the oven to 425. I drizzled olive oil, salt and pepper to them and tossed them lightly to spread them out over the cookie sheet. I let them roast in the oven for about 15-20 minutes until they became crispy and soft. There were a few left over which we had for dinner.
The girls made faces about both the fish and the sprouts, but ate a bite anyhow. Some nights are just plain pasta nights.
Thursday, April 5, 2007
It was an all girls night, 7 of us in total. She made some capellini and had bought some chicken francaise. We both agreed the chicken was missing something, but it was nice to have dinner with friends again.
The salmon and brussel sprouts will have to be lunch tomorrow. My in-laws are flying in tomorrow and I don't know what time they'll arrive. The pantry is pretty well stocked with stuff for black bean and chicken taco's or the well worn pasta and a salad.
Wednesday, April 4, 2007
I added a little olive oil to a large pot. I added in a sliced onion and let that cook for a few minutes. While that was cooking, I cut up a couple of carrots and threw that into the pot. I threw in a bag of colossal uncooked, peeled, cleaned and deveined raw shrimp and stirred the pot around for a minute as the shrimp began to thaw. Then I added in a new find from Trader Joe's. It's a bag of frozen chopped spinach. I love this product because you don't need to thaw a block of spinach, you can take a handful as needed and add it to any dish. I took about 2 cups and added it to the pot. I added in the Tika Masala sauce and a can of drained garbanzo beans. Finally, I added a can of light coconut milk. I stirred it all around, turned the heat to medium, put the lid on it, and left it alone for 20 minutes.
We went to a friend's house for dinner tonight. These are dear friends and we've been doing family dinners together since our eldest kids were infants. She made a salad and rice.
The kids didn't get to eat this meal, as it was fairly spicy and I won't make the kids eat spicy foods (yet!). They ate rice, carrots and ranch dip, strawberries and some fish sticks that my friend had made.
It was a nice night and I love eating dinner with friends and their kids.
Kirk heads back to work tomorrow, and I have to go to the market to prep for a TV show I'm doing on Saturday morning. The segment is, " What to do with your leftover Easter eggs."
I think tomorrow will be a piece of salmon with roasted brussel sprouts and crispy roasted potatoes.
Tuesday, April 3, 2007
They made homemade pizza and miso soup. I stayed upstairs while they cooked and came down at the end to make a salad. The girls made 1/3 cheese, 1/3 turkey pepperoni and 1 piece with onions. Kirk bought miso for the soup and everyone seemed to enjoy the meal. Each girl ate exactly one piece of lettuce from the salad, saying the dressing was too tart. I made a simple dressing with rice wine vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. I sliced some purple onion and added a little sugar and rice wine vinegar. I let it sit for 5 minutes to take the bite out of the onion and added the vinegar to the salad.
They are really enjoying their weekly cooking and I am hopeful they will begin to branch out and try some new foods.
Monday, April 2, 2007
I made some sushi rice, steamed some beautiful thick asparagus in one pan, and sauteed some baby bella mushrooms in a little peanut oil in another. I cooked the mushrooms for about 3 minutes, then added in a mixture of soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, a couple cubes of frozen ginger and a little sugar. I let that cook down until there was barely any liquid left. I also had a handful of sugar snap peas that I threw into the hot water that had steamed the asparagus. I pulled those out after 30 seconds just until their color perked up and served those along side the asparagus.
It was a simple, quiet dinner. Emma was at an extended play date/dinner with a friend, so it was just Abby, Kirk and I. We enjoyed eating asparagus with our fingers, and Abby even tried sesame seeds. She picked them out of the palm of my hand, ate a few, then decided they weren't for her. She ate most of the asparagus, as well as the rice and some mushrooms.
I love vegging out for dinner!
Sunday, April 1, 2007
I brought those delicious leftovers from Friday's event (which we enjoyed for lunch), and we ended up ordering pizzas for dinner. To top off the day, we did make-your-own ice cream sundae's.
It was a perfect Sunday.