Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Pork and Sage...A Happy Marriage

Friday Night.

Pork chops, cut into chunks.  Sliced Golden Delicious Apples and onion.  A little cumin, minced garlic, and a bunch of fresh sage that one of Hubby's co-workers sent home with him.  Sauteed together on the stove, and served atop warm flour tortillas.  Add a little shredded colby jack cheese.  Let your teeth sink in. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

That's a Bowlful!

Brian made pineapple chicken satay the other night.  It called for sweet chili sauce, which neither of us could find in the grocery store so I bought a spicy sauce instead.  I'm sure I'm not spelling this right, but it was called sriacha, and i know it's used a lot in Thai cooking.  Dinner was the chicken, on skewers, plus a pineapple salsa and the sauce made from chillies and peanut butter.  AH!  Seriously spicy but I love peanut sauce, and little bits of the sauce instead of a big spoonful made it tolerable to my palate.  Today's leftovers for lunch involved throwing the above ingredients plus a little white rice in a bowl.  I love bowl lunches!  Just a little of this, a little of that, all put together.  Mmmmmmm.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Salmon Supper

Last Night's Dinner:  Salmon with Grainy Mustard Sauce.  Buying the fish the day that you are planning on using it makes a bigger difference than I ever thought, this was so fresh!

The sauce was divine.  Not heavy, with just enough creaminess.  Onion, fresh chive and mustard all in there for savory flavor.  This tasted what I imagine what eating at a French restaurant would be like.  Garlic and pecan pilaf and sauteed asparagus rounded out the meal.  What a special meal for a Saturday night.  Who needs to go out to a restaurant when you can eat like this at home??

Friday, May 20, 2011

Chicken: It's What's for Breakfast

Sometimes on Thursdays, I get lunch out with my coworkers.  We order in, and someone goes to pick it up from somewhere on "Restaurant Row."  I love their smokehouse chicken sandwich:  chicken, bacon, roasted red peppers, onion and chipotle mayo on sourdough.  The sandwich is waaayyy too much for me to eat in one sitting, so I take half home.

Last time, I had a lot of leftovers in the house and it was looking like it was going to be a busy day so I might not get to eat the leftover sandwich after all.  To that I say nonsense!  I had it for breakfast.  And something interesting happened:  I wasn't hungry until lunch.  Most days I'm foraging for a snack around 10am or ready to eat my desk by lunchtime.

So today I salute the morning with a half a Smokehouse Chicken Sandwich.  Nontraditional....and delicious.  Happy Friday!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Using the "Good Stuff"

Oven Fried Chicken Thighs with Roasted Potato and Corn

 I went with a group of friends/family to Northampton yesterday for the Annual Tent Sale at my (our) favorite yarn store.  All that yarn goodness certainly makes you hungry, and we had lunch at an Asian restaurant that we have frequented in the past. (side bar:  the food was delicious as always, but the service left a bit to be desired.  The sneezing waitress at the end was the straw that broke the camel's back...and I think we'll try somewhere else next time we're in Northampton)  Anyway, we were talking about fried food and I lamented that though I know it is horrible for you, I miss fried chicken sometimes.  My friend Holly made a point; that if you have something fried once in a while and it's quality (i.e not fast food,) that you crave it less.  Interesting.  

In the past six months, my fried food consumption has gone down significantly.  And though I do eat it on occasion, it's usually something that we've made at home instead of something at a restaurant.  (Though I had a fried spring roll yesterday and it was heavenly.  Just one...and I was pleased to discover that it was enough.)

However, there are good substitutions for fried food out there, and the recipe that we had last night for Oven-Fried Chicken Thighs certainly was a good example.  Another thing that helps a lot is using quality ingredients.  we had leftover (real!) buttermilk that I had purchased for a recipe, as well as fresh grated Parmesan leftover from our Mother's Day pasta dinner.  Usually I "fake" buttermilk by adding vinegar to regular milk.  It really does make a difference!  

So that's my soapbox talk for today:  1.  If you're going to eat fried food, go for quality fried instead of fast food.  And 2.  Use the good stuff when cooking....at least as often as you can and can afford!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother's Day Treats

My Mother's Day was filled with delectable treats.  First up:

Buttermilk Pancakes and Fresh Strawberry Syrup.  We've made this syrup for years, it's a recipe out of Cooking Light but you'd never know it.  So good....someday I'm going to serve it over ice cream.

Spiced Squash Muffins with Dried Cranberries and Golden Raisins.  I bought butternut squash last week and it sat in the fridge with no plans....so I went to allrecipes.com and found this recipe.  Loved it!  (and so did the kids, and they're packed with good stuff.  So there.)

Chicken Pasta with homemade sauce, fresh italian bread, and salad for supper.  Not to mention my parents and my brother and sister-in-law coming over for a big family dinner.  :)

And the best for last:  Melted Ice Cream Cake with Chocolate Marshmallow Frosting!  Yes, another Cake Doctor creation!!  A tub of melted ice cream replaces all the liquid in the recipe.  Our ice cream choice:  Central Market brand Caramel Caribou.  Left on the counter to melt for the morning.  Brian then scooped out all the caramel choco-cups with a slotted spoon and added them to the cake batter.  Wow.  That is some fine cake.  :)

Happy Mother's Day, everyone!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


My new favorite veggie:  sugar snap peas.  I love buying a bag of these and just steaming them.  They even taste good raw, nice and crunchy.

To get Will to try them, we called them green beans.  "cause Will will almost always eat green beans.  Close but no cigar, as soon as he took a bite a pea popped out and he dropped it.  He did think it was funny, peas masquerading as green beans.  In fact, he told everyone at school today about the silly green beans in his house that have peas in 'em.  No go, though.  Better luck next time, Mom and Dad.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Pork Woes

Why is it when you want to buy a pork tenderloin, you can no longer buy a plain one??  Yes, I shop at the same grocery store weekly but I've been to others and there's not a plain pork tenderloin to be had.  All of them come pre-seasoned:  peppercorn, teriyaki, italian seasoning...I've even seen mushroom.  Yes, this seems like a huge convenience for the at-home cook, but the end result tastes so salty!  I'd much rather flavor my own, perhaps with mustard or rosemary and garlic. 

Ok, I'm stepping off my soapbox now.