Sunday, June 29, 2014

Best Ever Chicken Thighs

Allow me to introduce you to some of the BEST chicken thighs I've ever had!!

Brown Sugar and Mustard Chicken Thighs and Sweet Potatoes.  

Hooray for awesome Pinterest finds!

Only one issue:  I really need to learn to read the recipe before putting it on the weekday menu.  This was an oven recipe, with almost an hour of baking time.  That being said, it was worth it!  Not too bad in calories and delicious to boot.  

Homemade Meatballs 'n Sauce

In an effort to be more health conscious, we've been eating more fruits and vegetables, drinking more water and reading labels at our house.

One of the biggest eye openers?  How much sugar is in everything!  Places you wouldn't expect it, either.  Ketchup, salad dressing.  And the biggest surprise:  jarred spaghetti sauce!

So Brian decided to give making some a whirl.  Not even from canned tomatoes, but fresh.  I always thought that tomato sauce, though worth the effort, took a ridiculous amount of time.  Not so.

We made it on a Thursday night, from "The Joy of Cooking."  And it was wonderful!  Served with homemade meatballs that had been in our freezer, and substituting a bit of the spaghetti with spaghetti sauce.  The sauce was a bit thin, which is another big surprise.  Why is jarred sauce so thick!  The thinner sauce was much more flavorful, and savory over sweet.  Delicious!

I'm not saying that we'll make homemade all the time.  Because I know that with two working parents, some prepared foods are necessary at times.  But this was well worth the effort, and the expense.  So much in fact, that we're doing it again on Tuesday.  :)

Friday, June 6, 2014

Summer Salads

In our house, we eat well.  In fact, I think a lot of the time that the food that Brian makes is better than most restaurant food that we get to have.  I'm not being braggy...ok maybe a little.  But in terms of cooking, I've always said that he is exceptional whereas my cooking is good for everyday.

Speaking of restaurant food...there is one food that I've always found better at a restaurant than at home.  Salads.  

Salads just taste better at a restaurant.  The produce is fresher, the presentation, the variety of ingredients.  Until recently, salads at our house were just green salads with a little tomato and cucumber on top.  Maybe some celery or carrots, and almost always featured "bag-o-salad."  You know, the big bag of mixed lettuce that you buy at the grocery store and pray that it will still be good in two days.  (It usually isn't.)

I'm starting to change my mind about salads....a couple of weeks ago Brian and I made a Chinese chicken salad using romaine, rotisserie chicken, oriental noodles, toasted almonds, mandarin orange slices, etc.  It was delicious!  It was also huge--and would've made great leftovers if we hadn't dressed the whole thing.  It was a soggy mess the next day.  So I've learned a few things:  the secret to a great salad is in the dressing.  Homemade is best, and honestly, it's not difficult or really time-consuming.  Plus, you know what's going into it and can adjust it to your taste.

So Brian and I have resolved to a salad dinner once a week, and here was last night's:

Rib-eye steak over watercress, radish and a little blue cheese, with a wine vinegar dressing.  

It was quite good and surprisingly, filled us up.  Can't wait to see what the next salad turns up like!