Monthly Archives: April 2011

BAKED OATMEAL lottie + doof

A few weeks ago,  Lottie + Doof posted Heidi Swanson’s Baked Oatmeal recipe.  I finally made it this morning….and will spend the rest of my day trying not to eat the entire thing.  You should make this.  Now.

Recipe found HERE.

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WHAT’S FOR DINNER WEDNESDAY

Firstly, thanks to all my Facebook peeps for commenting on last week’s post!  I loved hearing your dinnertime plans.  Keep ‘em coming!!!

After many discussions, I’ve decided to change my strategery.  Some of my friends work outside of the home, others are stay at home moms, but what they ALL request is this:  a quick and easy weekly meal plan WITH a shopping list.  Because most of you hard working moms only have one day to shop, I’ve compiled lists, so you can do your shopping on the weekend.  (I’m trying to create printable lists, but blogger makes it tough…grrrr.  I need tech support!)

The pantry:  I’ve included ALL items on the list(s) because I don’t know what YOU need.  Read through the recipes and shopping lists to determine what you need to grab at the store this weekend.  Obviously, there are probably a lot of things that you already have in the pantry.

Recipe Sources:  I’ll try to find most of the recipes online, or share my own with you.  However, there are two books that are always my go-to’s:  ATK’s Family Cookbook and ATK’s Slow Cooker Revolution (a GREAT book, especially when you work all day and just want dinner to be done when you get home).  I will reference these a lot.  So go get ‘em.

My goal is to do a meal planner a couple times per month, so let me know what you think.  *Recurring ingredients are highlighted* 

SUNDAY: Curried Quinoa with Chicken and Peas

Source: The $5 Mom’s One Dish Dinners
List: 1.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
red onion, garlic
15 oz can diced tomato
curry powder
chili powder
nutmeg
chicken broth (2 cups)
quinoa (1 cup)
12 oz bag frozen peas

*TIP:  freeze leftover chicken broth in a freezer bag

MONDAY and TUESDAY:  Loaded Baked Potato Soup with green salad

Source: ATK Slow Cooker Revolution, pg 30
List: 3 lbs Russet Potatoes
Chicken Broth (4 cups)
yellow onion
garlic
heavy cream (1/2 cup)
bacon (TJ’s Fully Cooked, Uncured)
cheddar cheese
green onions
salad fixings

WEDNESDAY:  Southwestern BLTA’s and Mixed Green Salad

Source:  NOSH
List: bacon
lettucetomato
avocado
sour cream, mayo
chipotle peppers in adobo
lime
garlic, chili powder
salad fixings


southwestern dressing recipe (for sandwich):

1/3 cup Sour Cream
1/3 cup Mayo
2 Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce, seeds removed
Half of a lime, squeezed
1 large garlic clove, crushed
1/4 teaspoon Chili Powder
Salt to taste
Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth.  Assemble your sandwich, using bacon, lettuce, tomato, and avocado (use the back of a spoon to slightly mash the avocado into the bread), use the SW dressing on your other slice of toasted bread.
*TIP:  freeze leftover chipotle peppers (in groups of two) in freezer bags

THURSDAY:  Baja Fish Tacos and Black Beans
This is the quick and dirty version for a work night.
List:
Frozen Beer Battered Halibut Fillets (TJ’s)
La Tortilla Factory Handmade Corn Tortillas
Southwestern Dressing (left over from BLT’s)
diced tomato
cilantro
cotija or feta cheese
lime
black beans

Simmer beans (in their liquid) for about 20 minutes,  with a handful of cilantro stems (leaves removed), a clove of crushed garlic, salt and pepper.  Remove cilantro stems before serving.
Tacos:  Bake halibut, then cut into chunks.  Build tacos with preferred ingredients.







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PEEPS SUSHI easter edition

Meet my friend Tifani.  In addition to being one of the funniest people I know, she is also amazingly creative (if you’ve witnessed Tif at a costume party, you know what I mean).  Yesterday, she showed up on my doorstep with these:

Are you freakin’ kidding me??? Peeps sushi?!  LOVE.

Check out the “peeps wasabi” and fruit roll-ups “ginger”:

I seriously about lost my everloving mind
I love this girl.  How could you not?!  We may or may not have devoured most of this eye candy together–either way, I’m not sayin’.  But I did wake up with a stomach ache this morning.
Happy Easter!
photography by Matt Klee

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SOUTHWESTERN SALAD w/ a side of book club

This is a salad that I brought to book club a few months ago, and have neglected to post.  Oops.

It’s great served with tortilla soup or corn chowder.  If it’s a work night,  shred up a rotisserie chicken and make it a meal.

SOUTHWESTERN SALAD
serves 4 (as a side)
2 cups green lettuce, roughly chopped
2 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped
1/2 cup corn
1/2 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
2 roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 green onion, sliced thin
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2 oz crumbled goat cheese OR cotija cheese
*more options: shredded jicama, tortilla strips, diced avocado

SOUTHWESTERN DRESSING
makes about 3/4 cup
1/4 cup dijon mustard
1/4 cup agave nectar
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, seeds removed
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
the juice of 1/2 lime
pinch of salt
Process ingredients in food processor or blender until smooth.  (I use the chopper attachment on  my Cuisinart Smart Stick for this).

GOOD READS:
Some of our favorite book club selections (in no particular order) have included:
1.  The Help, by Kathryn Stockett
2.  Cutting For Stone, by Abraham Verghese (I struggled through the middle of this book, but powered through)
3.  Shanghai Girls, by Lisa See (of the three in the series, I preferred Snow Flower and the Secret Fan)
4.  The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, by Stieg Larsson (I loved all three)
5.  Sarah’s Key, by Tatiana de Rosnay

Next week, we are discussing My Stroke of Insight by Jill Bolte Taylor.  If you have the time, watch her video on TED–it’s fascinating!  Not sure what’s next up, but I’m dying to read Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon.  Had your nose buried in a good book lately?  Send me your recommendations!

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THINGS I LIKE: liquid sunshine wheatgrass

Because the weather has been shite…and because I like to keep my hands dirty, I recently planted some Liquid Sunshine Wheatgrass.  It grows quickly and makes a great springtime centerpiece!
DAY ONE:  Plant the seeds according to packet directions, then place the pots in a sunny, south facing window.
DAY FIVE:  The sprouts emerge quickly!
DAY SEVEN: 

After one week the grass measured about 4 inches in height.
FUN FACTS about wheatgrass juice (by Botanical Interests, Inc.):
  • It has more vitamin C than OJ
  • Helps purify the liver (ahem…if you need that sort of thing)
  • Keeps hair from turning gray (what???) 
Caution:  Do NOT put wheatgrass in your normal juicer as it may clog it.  They manufacture commercial juicers that produce the liquid, so double check before you try it in yours!  Most people grind it up and add a little water.   OR….you can just put it on your dining room table, where it looks REALLY cute.

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WHAT’S FOR DINNER WEDNESDAY

Inspired by The Pleated Poppy’s  What I Wore Wednesday postings,  I’ve decided to start my own tradition, answering the dreaded “what’s for dinner?” question.   Lately I find myself making the same things for dinner, over and over again.  Boooooooring.  It’s high time to change things up.  So, allow me to kick this off with a statement of intention:

  • Purpose: To create more accountability with my weekly meal planning.
  • Intention: To share ideas with friends and family.
  • Disclaimer:  This is NOT about food porn, nor is it intended to showcase a collection of gourmet recipes.  It is about daily life in the kitchen–the good, the bad, and the ugly.
  • If it is appearing in this post, it is something that I would definitely make again!

Figuring out what to make for dinner each night is daunting, even more so after a long day at work.  I would love for this to evolve into a collaborative effort, so please comment or reply to me with your tips and ideas!

Here’s a reflection of our dinner table last week:

WEDNESDAY

Meal: Moroccan Chicken Stew, Spinach Salad
Stew Recipe:  ATK Slow Cooker Revolution, pg 47
Prep:  Easy (perfect for a work day)

SATURDAY

Meal:  Homemade Pizza, Caesar Salad, Mayerdale Merlot
Pizza Recipe: NOSH
Prep:  The dough needs about 1.5 hrs to rise, after that it goes quickly



MONDAY

Meal:  Stir-Fried Shrimp and Snow Peas w/ Coconut Curry Sauce over Jasmine Rice
Recipe: ATK Healthy Family Cookbook, pg 335
Prep: Easy

TUESDAY

Meal:  Pho Bo
Recipe:  A combo of many (I’ll post later), including this one from Steamy Kitchen.
Prep:  I simmered the broth in the slow cooker all night, and threw the rest of it together when I came home from work.  With the broth done, it was manageable on a weeknight.

Obviously I’m missing a day or two because we either went out to dinner or went to someone else’s house…or all of the above.  I should probably also apologize for my lack of photography skills,  as I was  starving when most of these were taken (and the photog of the family was already chowing down).

I showed you mine…now you show me yours!

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HOMEMADE PIZZA the situation

On Saturday night we FINALLY got around to watching this movie…

…while noshing on our favorite homemade pizza.  Originally inspired by Double Mountain’s “Jersey Pie”, we like to call our version “The Situation”.

Pizza Dough 
4 cups Bread Flour (plus extra to work with)
1 envelope Rapid-Rise Yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon dried oregano (optional)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 3/4 cups warm water
cornmeal (to work with)

1.  Making the dough: Fit your food processor with the dough blade and pulse together all of the dry ingredients.  With the processor running add the oil, then the water, through the feed tube.  Allow to run until the dough begins to form a ball.  Let it rest for about a minute and then run the processor for 30 seconds longer.  Remove the dough and knead on the counter (using extra bread flour to prevent sticking) for another 3 or 4 minutes.  Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl (cover the bowl with plastic wrap and keep it in area that is not drafty).  The dough should double in size, which takes about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

2.  Working with the dough:  Preheat your oven to 500 degrees, leaving your pizza stone on the middle rack to get hot.  Lightly punch the dough down, in the bowl,  to remove the air, then divide it into two sections.  Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the size of the pizza stone and lightly dust with cornmeal.  Working with one section of dough at a time,  flatten it, and pull the edges out, until it forms a small disk.  You can then use your fists or a rolling pin to stretch the dough into your desired shape.  If the dough is too “springy”, cover it with plastic wrap, allow it to rest for ten minutes, then continue working with it.

“THE SITUATION” 

I should preface this by stating that I am a pizza sauce snob.  I used to make my own sauce from scratch, until I tried this:

It’s the shiz and it has become my “quick and easy” go-to.  Slather a ton of Muir Glen’s sauce on to the formed pizza dough, then sprinkle with very finely grated parmesan and a grated mozzarella blend (I prefer Trader Joe’s Smoked Cheese Blend).  Then top with the following:

“The Situation”
 *there’s a lot going on here, so use sparingly*
hot capicola (an Italian ham, found in the deli section)
orange bell pepper, very thinly sliced
peppadew peppers OR pepperoncini peppers, sliced
red onion, very thinly sliced
sun dried tomato, julienned
kalamata olives, quartered
crumbled goat cheese
sprinkle of dried oregano and dried red pepper flake
fresh basil, chopped (AFTER it comes out of the oven)
Using a pizza “paddle” OR a flat cookie sheet, slide the completed pizza (parchment paper included) on to the hot pizza stone.  Bake at 500 degrees for 10-13 minutes.  Remove the parchment paper, sprinkle with fresh basil, and cut into eight even sections.

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