Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Monday, Oct. 11 - Panacea cooked us up a delicious, comforting meal of Mac 'n' Cheese, with a salad of iceberg lettuce, frozen peas, bacon, shredded cheddar, water chestnuts, some other stuff, and a super light (as in fluffy, not low fat), and creamy dressing. Oh, and roasted broccoli.
Tuesday, Oct. 12 - I have been forgetting that David and I have dates on Tuesday nights now. I had planned on making flat iron steak sandwiches. I decided to proceed with it, even though we had originally planned on tacos at Licorous. I bought potato rolls at Essential Bakery, and made super simple mini sandwiches of flat iron steak & arugula, with a drizzle of olive oil for me, and some butter for David. I also make a roasted chioggia beet salad. With the remainder of the meat, I had our sitter make the boys steak quesadillas, which they enjoyed. Though this meal was super delicious, we still had to go try out those $1 tacos!
Wednesday, Oct. 13 - For my chicken legs, I braised them with mirepoix (onion, carrots, celery), a couple bay leaves, sprigs of thyme, white wine, and water. After the legs were cooked, I removed them, then added chopped Lucques olives, and allowed the liquid to reduce a little. YUM. I served this over some whole wheat pasta.
Thursday, Oct. 14 - Braised short ribs, sauteed crimini mushrooms, and apple/parsnips puree. What a labor of love. This was a simple meal, but it did take some time, and a full dishwasher of cookware. The night before, Vincent and I seasoned the meat with salt and pepper, and added some aromatics. The day of, I pulled the meat out of the fridge and allowed to come to room temperature. When it was time to cook, I patted the pieces of meat with paper towels to dry. Then, in a dutch oven, sear the meat on all sides. Ideally, you would remove the meat, then cook your vegetables in the pan, then add the meat back in. I didn't. I just deglazed my pan with red wine, put the vegetables (leeks, carrots and celery) on top with garlic, thyme and bay, brought to a boil, then reduced the heat and covered. I cooked the meat for about 3.5 hours.
As the meat cooked, prepare the other items.
*mushrooms: sliced. Sauteed in olive oil with garlic and shallots
*parsnips puree: Peel and cut apples to large dice. Cook in a little water, lemon juice and a pinch of salt until the consistency of apple sauce. For the parsnips, peel and cut to uniform pieces. Place in a sauce pan and cover with milk. Pinch of salt. Simmer until tender. Remove the parsnips from the milk and puree in a food processor with the cooked apples until very smooth. Pass the puree through a sieve.
Friday, Oct. 15 - Dinner out.
Saturday, Oct. 16 - With the leftover short ribs, I pulled the meat off the bone, shredded it, and stored it in a container with the mushrooms and cooking liquid. On Saturday, I reduced all of this on the stove by about half. Then, I put it into an oven-safe dish, topped with the leftover apple-parsnips puree, and sprinkled leftover breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese, from Panacea's mac 'n' cheese, on top. Broil that up until nice and golden brown...Heavenly.
Sunday, Oct. 17- David took Vincen to his hockey game, so they ate out afterwards. Tyler and I had noodles with broccoli and tofu. Oh, wait, that's what he had. I had a Gardern Burger on a whole wheat english muffin. Simple.
Monday, October 11, 2010
I really have such a tough time roasting a whole chicken. I don't know why. I've posted about this the past. For some reason, I can't get that thing to the dinner table in time, no matter how well I plan. And, even when I inserted my thermometer, once again, and it read 165 degrees F, I still had some pink when I carved into the wings. The meat was cooked, but the joints were a little, well, not done, I guess. I mean, I've bought a store chicken in the past and gotten something like this. But, why?
So, here's my bird, sitting on top of a sheet of sliced yukon gold potatoes.
Really simple. Just flat iron steak, seasoned with salt and smoked paprika, pan roasted and sliced. Served with roasted delicata squash, crimini mushrooms, arugula and balsamic vinegar, and plain, short grain brown rice.
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Poached Pork TenderloinChopped herbs and extra virgin olive oil, in a Foodsaver bag, then poached in a shallow pan of water for 8 minutes on each side.
Tender and juicy...
David made this chicken dinner: Balsamic chicken with mushrooms, sauteed chard, and whole wheat linguini.
Summer squash and chicken with whole grain mustard in packets.
We were away for part of the month, so that's all I've got. But, I did make a nice meal on Sunday. It was flat iron steak with roasted sweet potatoes and steamed broccoli. Super simple, steak and potatoes kind of meal, but so good.
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Monday, August 30, 2010
I had a conversation with a friend this morning about our love for food and dieting. How do people do it? I ask because I am really trying, but losing weight is a hard thing to do. I have cut out butter whenever possible. I measure how much oil (okay, most of the time) I put into stuff. I have decreased my portion sizes. I buy fresh, local, organic. I cook most of my family's meals from scratch. We eat LOTS of vegetables. I choose lean proteins. Etc., etc. And, still, I exceed my daily allowance of Weight Watcher points. I even exceed my overall weekly points, including the ones I get for activity. Okay, okay, I'm not getting that much activity in. But, it's not like I'm sitting on my ass, either. It sounds like a lame excuse, but I can't get to the gym enough. I am lucky if I get there twice a week. And, even then things don't go my way, like last week when I had to pull the kids out of the gym's daycare early because they were coughing up a storm.
How do people do it?
I read an article on fat free food items recently. Oh man! There is a lot of hard to pronounce ingredients that go into making food fat free. I'd rather take the fat over all that extra stuff.
So, what do I do? Frankly, I don't know.
I have allowed a few low fat items into my diet, like Skinny Cow ice cream products and Laughing Cow cheese. Maybe if I see the cow on the packaging, I'll feel like I'm having something real. I believe we also have fat free pretzels in our pantry. Oh and we have milk & yogurt. All the other stuff we have with no fat is in the form or a fresh fruit or vegetable. I feel good about that. But, it's a lot of work.
I have signed up for a 3 month plan on Weight Watchers. I'm 2 days into my 4th week. I lost 5 pounds, then gained one, so I'm down a total of 4. Ooh, did you get that complicated math I just threw out? I'm determined to make it to my goal of 10 pounds in 3 months. I thought it seemed totally reasonable and attainable, but now I'm not so sure. Stay tuned...
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
As for my rockfish, David grilled up the fillets last night and we had tacos. YUM!
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Anyway, here's what we had for dinner: Thundering Hooves smoked pork chops, with whole wheat pasta, and Rachel Ray's agrodolce relish and arugula. This was David's plate.This was mine. I cut a 4 oz portion and replaced the pasta with a 1/2 cup of brown rice. I also measured out the amount of arugula and relish, at one cup each. I was happily satisfied with the amount I ate, but the pork chops were so delicious, I wanted to eat more and feel stuffed. Alas, I had will power.
By the way, why all the Rachael Ray these days? Somehow, two weeks in a row, I've ended up at the gym right when her show comes on. I'm whimpy and only do a 30 minute workout, which is how long the show runs, and it's perfect for me. What I really want is to watch Ina Garten's show that comes on right after. But, I have to admit that Rachael does have some quick, simple, tasty ideas. Maybe I'm becoming a fan...
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Monday, June 28, 2010
Clockwise from the top: red potatoes, capers & tomatoes, red butter head lettuce, steamed green beans, white bean puree, more white bean puree, crostinis, salad dressing, hard boiled eggs, poached tuna.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Yeah, you heard me correctly. I mess up roasted chicken. Often.
Okay, okay, that's not entiredly the truth. I don't actually mess it up. Typically, it's edible, even tasty. But, it always takes me way longer than planned, and then somehow is a little underdone in the thighs. Again, edible, but we have to zap the thighs in the microwave a little.
Not this time, my friends! No, it was done, golden, and tasty.
What did I do?
First of all, I brined it that morning. I kind of made it up. Maybe a liter of water, half a liter of white wine, 1/4 cup of brown sugar, 1/4 cup of kosher salt, 5-6 black peppercorns...Tasted it. Seemed fine. In goes the chicken.
When it came time to cook, I stuffed it with fresh sprigs of parsley and thyme, a small rib or celery, and a carrot (cut up), then trussed it. I roasted the bird at 452 degrees F for 30 minutes, then another 30 minutes at 350 degrees F. I let it rest for about 10 minutes before carving into it.
Oddly enough, when I was cutting the leftovers up to put away, the joint between the breast and the little drummette part of the wing was ever-so-slightly underdone. Hmmmm. Everywhere else was perfect.
Friday, June 18, 2010
We stayed way too long at the farmers' market, of course. But, the boys didn't have their post-nap/pre-dinner snack, and they let me know it. Each time I stopped, they wanted to taste something, and when they got a taste, they wanted more. Sheesh!
Enough about the market.
We got home at a quarter to 6pm, and I still needed to fire up the grill, season the fish, ready the meat, and cut the cabbage, onions and limes. It was actually a pretty simple meal, but both kids screamed at me as I lugged the mini grill from the garage to the porch. I left them inside, looking out through the glass door, as I ran back and forth in and out of the house. Each time I opened the door, one of them would try to sneak out. I wasn't ready for them to go outside just yet. When I finally felt like I was at a holding pattern until David got home, I unleashed them.
Once David was home things went pretty quickly.
Dinner consisted of carne asada (from Thundering Hooves) cut into bite size pieces, grilled halibut bought at the farmers' market, shredded cabbage, chopped red onions, white corn tortillas, and a cut up lime. Simple. So good.
For the carne asada, I seasoned the slices with salt, pepper and smoked paprika this morning. I also put garlic cloves, sliced in half, thyme sprigs and parsley stems in the container. For the fish, I left the skin on, and seasoned with just salt and pepper.
I love when a meal is so simple and so delicious. There really wasn't much to it.
Tyler at his meal "decomposed" while Vincent made his own tacos (the boys had shredded cheddar with theirs), and even ate it like a grown up. He looked so darn cute trying to keep it from falling apart in his hands, and said to me, "It doesn't stay together so well, Mommy."
Thursday, June 10, 2010
This is what Vincent's plate looked like. Yummy, if you ask me. This is what my plate looked like. Even yummier.
Saturday, May 29, 2010
What I did was slice up two chicken breast on a bias, so that the pieces were sort of small and flat. Then, I dredged them in a little bit of seasoned flour and seared them in a little oil in a frying pan. Once all the pieces were seared on both sides, I placed them on a baking sheet & finished cooking them in the oven.
While the chicken cooked, I prepared my sauce. I sauteed sliced crimini mushrooms (I know, so uninteresting, but in these economic times, they're more affordable than wild mushrooms) on medium-high heat, added chopped garlic and deglazed the pan with marsala wine. I allowed that to reduce by about half, then added mushroom broth (I took the stems off the mushrooms and just put them in a small pan with water and made a light broth). When the chicken was done cooking, I added them into the sauce and finished with some butter. Chopped parsley makes a nice garnish. White asparagus...mmmmmm.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
I got the idea for this the night before I made it, when I made chorizo sandwiches (not as good as I pictured in my head). I had purchased wild caught prawns on a whim that day & the wheels began to turn. I wrote down on a piece of paper my preparation idea, held on to it after the dish was made, and apparently lost it since then. So I'll do my best to remember.
Here's what I did (I think):
-1/2 pound orecchietti pasta, cooked as per packaging, drizzled with olive oil and set aside.
-1 pound size 10/15 (I think mine were more like 15) wild caught prawns, peeled, deveined &
set aside until time to cook.
Put the prawn shells into a small pan, cover with water and simmer for approximately 45 minutes. You may add aromatics, such as the green part of a leek, garlic, onion, fennel, but I didn't. Strain and set aside in a warm place until ready to use.
-1 chorizo sausage link, squeezed out of its casing; approx. 1/4 pound
Pour about 1T of cooking oil to a medium/large hot skillet. Add the chorizo and break up into
bits. Allow to cook on med/high heat until the meat starts to brown, then add...
-1/2 sweet onion, brunoise (I actually diced mine slightly thicker than in this video, but either
should work). Cook onions about 2 minutes. Deglaze the pan with white wine, enough to almost cover the chorizo & onions. Let the wine reduce by about half.
Add the prawns to the pan (I didn't season them ahead of time, but you may choose to do so).
Add enough of the shell stock to just cover the prawns. Allow the broth to simmer until the
prawns are almost cooked, approximately 3 minutes on each side, then drizzle with a good
amount of extra virgin olive oil & bring to a quick boil (it helps emulsify the oil & broth a bit).
Add the orecchietti, and allow to cook just until the noodles are warmed through, stirring
gently. Check for seasoning and adjust as needed. Sprinkle with chopped Italian parsley. EAT!
Have your favorite crusty, dipping bread on the side for this...you'll want to sop up this broth, for sure. That's the one thing I forgot, but I was sure to finish up all my broth with a spoon.
Friday, April 30, 2010
The salad is baby arugula with proscuitto and pinenuts with a pear balsamic vinegar & extra-virgin olive oil. Minced shallots. Use minced shallots in your salads. So good.
For Tyler, I put some of the vegetables in a food processor and chopped it up finely, then added it to the risotto.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Here's the recipe for the onions and potatoes (a la Jamie Oliver):
3 1/2 lbs medium-sized waxy potatoes, peeled and quartered lengthwise
freshly ground black pepper
7 ounces butter, cubed
a bunch of fresh rosemary, leaves picked and chopped
1 whole bulb of garlic, quartered or smashed
5 medium red onions, peeled and quartered
1 1/2 cups cheap balsamic vinegar
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Put the potatoes into a pan of boiling, salted water and cook for around 8 minutes, then drain and return to the pan. Chuff them up a bit by shaking the pan.**Jamie, what does "chuff" mean???
Get a roasting pan, into which you can fit the potatoes in one layer, and heat it on the stove. When hot, pour a glug of olive oil into it and add the butter, rosemary and garlic. Add the potatoes and toss them in all the flavors. Add the onions and all the balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes on the burner to reduce the vinegar a little. Place the pan on the top shelf and cook for around 50 minutes, until the potatoes and onions are dark, sticky and crispy - removing the pan to toss the onions and potatoes halfway through.
**Mmm, mmmm, good.
I'm obsessed with Jamie Oliver, by the way.
Saturday, April 10, 2010
My whole roasted chicken. I got the recipe from Art Smith's, "Return To The Table," and made a few changes. Basically, tons of herbs, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, salt & pepper, all mixed together and rubbed under the skin & inside the cavity of the bird. I put one half of a lemon in the cavity and trussed the whole thing. More seasoning all over & into a 400 degree oven for 45 minutes...
...Unfortunately, even for as small of a chicken as we had, it still took FOREVER to cook. I lost track of how long, but more than 45 minutes for sure. We did have the turnips on there, too, so I'm sure that made a difference. Nonetheless, beautiful, juicy, and delicious was the result.