Sunday, January 15, 2012

Italian Wedding Soup

From my Day Zero List, or 100 Things in 1,001 Days:

71.  Make four different kinds of soup from scratch that I have never tried to make before.

Soup #1:  Italian Wedding Soup

Got the recipe from  I've had this soup before and it's pretty simple.  Just spinach, mini-meatballs, mini shell pasta, chicken broth and diced carrots.   I briefly considered adding a can of cannelloni beans, but I know that Hubby doesn't like beans and I wanted him to eat some of this soup.  Plus we have a rule around here, the first time you make a recipe you do it as-is.  The next time around, if it's worth keeping, is when you tinker.  I'd say we obey it about 80% of the time.

 The most challenging part was dicing the carrots and making the meatballs.  I used to make my own meatballs to go with spaghetti and sauce all the time.  I'd make them just like I used to watch my mother make them:  mix the ground beef with bread crumbs, herbs and egg, roll out, and fry in oil.  Now she and I both buy the kind frozen in a bag, because they taste good and are really a timesaver!  As for the carrots, I don't have a ton of experience cutting up veggies other than coarsely chopped.  Hence, the reason for #42.  take a “knife skills” cooking class.

So there you have it, Italian Wedding Soup on a chilly winter day.  No wedding required!  

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Breakfast Experiment

A friend's facebook post yesterday about oatmeal for dinner caught my eye yesterday.  (If you're reading, Hi Jes!)  She made a mean oatmeal for her kids for dinner the other night, with add-ins such as almond meal and cinnamon.  It got me thinking about oatmeal, which I like a lot.  I've never really considered it for dinner, because only Sean likes it.  Will won't touch it, which is too bad because it's delicious!

I'm not really good about breakfast during the week, I never eat enough and I'm always starved at my desk long before lunch.  Guess what...I'm not great with snacks either.  So this morning, I was standing in front of the fridge looking for a quick meal.  That's when I saw the leftover pork tenderloin and mashed potatoes, in a Tupperware container with no lid.  Obviously I cannot bring tupperware with saran wrap on top to work too easily, so how about eating it for breakfast?  I've always prided myself on being able to eat anything at any hour.  Hostess cupcakes at 6AM?  Sure. Cold spaghetti at midnight?  Yep.  Buffalo wings before bed in college? I'm your girl. 

Into the microwave it goes, and I go off to dry my hair.  Soon Will wanders into the bathroom, informing me that I need to check his brother's diaper.  I check, and it's fine.  (Which is good, since I had just changed him.)  I told him that it was fine, and he said, "Well, what's that disgusting smell then?"  The smell: leftover Brussels sprouts.

Humph.  Turns out that there IS something that I can't eat at any time of the day.  However, mashed potato and pork tenderloin weren't too bad for breakfast.  :)

Monday, January 9, 2012

A Side Dish Worth Remembering

Dinner tonight:  pork tenderloin, mashed potatoes and Brussel Sprouts with Bacon.

BACON!!!!  it makes everything fantastic.  But especially brussel sprouts.  

They were so good, I ate them first.  Eat your veggies!

Birthday Fiesta!

Tomorrow is Sean's second birthday, so yesterday we had the family over for a little Tex-Mex birthday party!  The boys love flour tortillas, cheese and meat so it was a meal enjoyed by everyone.  Plus, a casual birthday party with family is perfect for when your little boy is turning two.

Brian making Alton Brown's "Man Nachos."  I loved his (Alton's, that is) making of "spacers" (i.e. big balls of crunched-up foil) to sit between the nachos.  These nachos were special!  Plus homemade guacamole, soooooo good!

Taco station in the kitchen.  Everyone plates their own meal and then finds a spot to eat.  Love it  :)

Followed by...dessert and our Happy Birthday song stylings.  Vanilla buttercream cupcakes with ice cream.  As usual...Cake Doctor recipe.  Something strange happened when we went to put the sprinkles on the cupcakes...the buttercream had set and the sprinkles would HIT the cupcake, bounce off and land on the floor.  It really was pretty funny.

 The birthday boy is very serious about his chocolate ice cream....not a drop was wasted.

Happy Birthday, Sean!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Friday Night Breakfast

Tonight's Dinner:  "Man Breakfast" by Alton Brown.  Big slabs of bacon, eggs, and the best hash browns I've ever had courtesy of Brian.  The secret ingredient?  They're cooked in a bit of bacon fat.  No wonder they're so damn delicious.  :)  No pictures.  By the time I thought to take one, my plate was clean!

Also, with Sean's impending second birthday in four days, we decided to throw caution to the wind and gave both boys peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for supper.  Sean devoured his like it was going out of style!  I think it's safe to say that he likes peanut butter.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Made with Love

First breakfast of 2012:  Homemade Eggs Benedict.  I suspect that Brian picked this so he could cross off one thing on his own "Day Zero" list on the first day of the new year!

A labor of love, indeed.  Hollandaise sauce is a bit of a pain to make, but it's creamy deliciousness is worth the work.  The cookbook said that you should be able to mix it up in about 15 took Brian 35 minutes.  Probably because it was his first time.

Poached eggs, crispy strips of Canadian bacon, whole-wheat English muffins and a little hollandaise.  What better way to start the year?