Saturday, December 29, 2012
Brian got me a cookbook as a joke gift....it's called "50 Shades of Chicken." It's a parody of "Fifty Shades of Grey" and is pretty hilarious. And well....dirty too. We had chicken in basil cream sauce (I won't tell you its dirty name...it's too embarrassing) and it was so very good! I can't believe some of the recipes in this book. Can't wait to try the chicken with apricot jam, sage and lemon zest next sometime next week.
If you read the books, you'll get a kick out of this cookbook's play on words. If you just like good chicken, well, you'll like this cookbook too!
Today's lunch, courtesy of Will: peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, with fruit salad. He did everything except cut up the apple...I did that. He found out that butter knives don't cut everything! I had him help me cut up the apple, I taught him that you need a cutting board, and then slowly slowly...with my hand over his, we cut the apple into slices. Then I cut it into chunks and he tossed them into the salad. Both kids devoured every bite!
We broke out of our norm and instead of having spaghetti for dinner, we roasted a chicken. And it was excellent. :)
Potato side dish: originally was going to be a crockpot potato recipe so no oven space was needed. Then I saw that the recipe took 10-12 hours to cook! No way! (Yes...that was on low, and I didn't feel like experimenting on Christmas eve with the crockpot on high.) Instead we roasted red potatoes with garlic, then topped with cheese and bacon. What's not to love?
Thursday, December 27, 2012
Saturday, December 22, 2012
Cookies, Cookies and Cookies. Over the years we've cut down on the number of different kinds, usually choosing 4-6 types. These fall into the "It's Just Not Christmas Without..." category: coconut macaroons, old-fashioned sugar cookies, snickerdoodles, Rollo cookies and biscotti. No biscotti yet, but everything else has been baked, one kind a night in the past week. No power outage is gonna stop us, either. :)
Fudge. I haven't made fudge in about five years...and now I remember why. It's because I love it so damn much! I am bringing Rocky Road fudge to my family's Christmas party tomorrow, and it's heavenly.
Garlic and Chicken "Stew." This was dinner tonight, and it's one of my all-time favorite meals. Two heads (yes, HEADS not cloves) of garlic, chicken parts (tonight we used thighs and breasts) and various other ingredients left to stew in a Dutch oven is such an incredible smell.
Coming up on the horizon: Christmas eve dinner, which is getting changed up this year from Spaghetti to Roast Chicken. Christmas morning breakfast....overnight baked french toast. (In my humble opinion, the best kind) And we're doing dessert for the family get-together on Christmas Day, and have some great things!
Sunday, December 9, 2012
Mrs. Alvarez and her husband were originally from Colombia, and enjoyed showing me pictures of their life there. She also made the BEST empanadas. She would bring them down to the office at 9:30 in the morning, and they would smell so good I would eat one right then and there. (I've always had the ability to eat pretty much anything at any hour) Eating these kinds of things has led me to a love of Hispanic foods.
When I saw a recipe for empanadas, I immediately remembered these little beef "pies" that she would bring down. Plus I am always game for something that is not your typical hamburger use. (i.e. meatloaf, meatballs or cheeseburgers) The recipe was spiced beef and cheese, baked in piecrust. They tasted pretty good, but obviously weren't the same. Mrs. Alvarez also used diced potatoes, and her empanadas were spicier and also fried. Still, they were pretty delicious, and now I have ideas on how to improve. I served them with home-fried potatoes and green beans. Next time I will use black beans. All in all, it was a nice visit to a memory.
Monday, December 3, 2012
What does one do with their newly honed knife skills? Make a soup that requires lots of chopping, of course!
This is an Italian-style sausage soup, with garlic, onion, spinach, tomatoes, pasta and cannelloni beans. The grocery store didn't have two pounds of sweet sausage, so we bought one hot, one sweet. Even the stock was homemade this time!
It was a good soup, and made a ridiculously large pot. I brought some to a friend who's due with her first child, a boy, any day now.
So that is three of the four soups on my Day Zero list. The last one will be clam chowder. Brian and I both adore a good clam chowder and have never made one. Then there will be one more thing to cross off the list!