Monday, February 24, 2014

Supper Bowls

Something in this month's Cooking Light caught my eye this month:  brown rice bowls.  Basically, a bowl of brown rice bowls with add-in ideas.  The pork one sounded intriguing, with pork  tenderloin, asparagus, dried cranberries, feta cheese, balsamic vinegar and toasted almonds.  All flavors that Brian wasn't sure could go together, but as the flavor decider in this family, I said it was worth a try.  Delicious!  Almost, in fact, good enough to lick the bowl.
  Looking forward to leftovers tomorrow.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Valentine's Day

Hubby and I aren't big on celebrating Valentine's Day.  It's a simple affair, really.  We exchange cards between ourselves and the kids, and we always get them a little box of chocolates.  Haven't gone out to dinner in years, between the crowds and reservations and (often subpar food) we just gave it up.

Besides, when your significant other can cook like THIS, why would you want to go out?  Especially if this masterpiece is followed up by Marscapone and Fudge brownies??

 Steak with a mushroom wine sauce, baked potato, crab legs and asparagus.  

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Something Different

Three "Different" dinners had in this house in the past week.  Because the "same old, same old" gets well....old!

 Fried Chicken isn't new.....but this was a cornmeal fried chicken instead of breaded.  Still was good, but I like breading better.  The batter got Hubby thinking about corn dogs.

 Flank steak with a chipotle aioli.  Delicious!  Flank steak is my new favorite cut of beef.  On the side is saffron rice and peas.

Tonight:  what I refer to as "Chinese Spaghetti."  It's kind of like a pork lo mein, but unfortunately we put too much rice noodle in it.  Still had great flavor though.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Caramel Corn

Snow day yesterday!  I don't know how many the kids have had so far this year but it feels like we're going to be doing school til the end of June for sure.

Snow days always make me feel like baking.  So there I was, going thru Pinterest for something new and exciting.  And that's when I saw it.  On my "Sweet" board, there was a recipe for homemade caramel sauce.  And the author shows it being poured over a bowl of popcorn.

Now, caramel popcorn is one of my favorite things on the planet! I never have it for a few reasons:  it's messy, it's labor-intensive and it's one of those trigger foods where I "may" just try to eat all of it.  I've loved it for years, ever since some popcorn company came out with a microwave popcorn recipe with caramel.    I'm more of a purist these days though, and don't do microwave popcorn.  (The stench of it being permeated into more than one microwave between a boyfriend whose father was addicted to the stuff, and every dorm I ever lived in reeking of burnt popcorn)

We do have an air popper machine but I leave it at work for when we host movies for the residents.  Sometimes, one less thing to drag to work and back is really a good thing!  Naturally, that's where it was yesterday.  Then I remembered that a friend of mine had posted her popcorn process on her blog recently.   And I was game!

First of all, I had no coconut oil, only vegetable oil.  Turned out just fine though.  I had never made popcorn on the stove before, and now I don't know why because it is ridiculously easy.  And smells incredible to boot!  The boys enjoyed it plain for a bit while I made the caramel sauce.  The caramel sauce was also easy, and allowed me to finally use up a bottle of corn syrup.  I did follow the suggestions of the comments and add a teaspoon of baking soda to the caramel, to have it harden a bit.

The end result was so insanely delicious, I brought a bowl and spoon out to Hubby, who was snowblowing the driveway.  Just couldn't wait, it was THAT good!  Will really liked it but Sean didn't care for it.  Will and I did like the recipe said and ate it with a spoon while watching yesterday's movie choice of "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving."  I'm proud that I didn't eat all of it, but it was quite challenging.  This is something we're going to have to make again for sure.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Pork Chop Disappointment

Last night's dinner was a shining example of how they just can't all be winners.

It was a casserole called "Pork Chop and Rice Bake" from one of my go-to cookbooks "9 x 13:  The Pan that Can."  The recipe touted itself as the perfect Sunday meal straight from the oven.  Sounds pretty good, right?

It was not.  The pork browning on the stove next to the onions sauteeing smelled delightful and promising.  My mom, who had stopped by for a visit, remarked at how good it smelled. I was looking forward to this based just on my nose.

However, the end result?  Not delightful.  In fact, it was dreadful.  Not sure how this happened, but it tasted like feet.  I've never tasted feet before, but this is my interpretation of what feet would taste like should I choose to dine on them.  And the rice....oh the horror.  After 45 minutes of baking in the oven it was still as crunchy as it would be if you took a spoonful straight out of the box and put it in your mouth.  Not sure where this went wrong, but it was horribly, horribly wrong.    Needless to say, our trashcan ate well last night, and the recipe got a big-lettered "NO!!" right on the page.  And leftovers for work today.  I'll eat Peanut butter and jelly if I have to, just glad I'm not eating that again!