Monday, June 28, 2010

Salade Nicoise with White Bean Crostini

This is what Lightning McQueen had for dinner. This is what his best buds, Tow Mater & Sally had. Thank you, Panacea!

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

Roasted Chicken Success!!!!

And, no picture to prove it! It was so bee-oo-tiful, too! Well, maybe now I'll have learned something from myself and actually know how to roast a chicken proficiently to repeat it and take pictures.

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.

Taco Photos and Penne with Snap Peas

We had a repeat of the beef tacos, so I was able to get a picture of mine (half-eaten). So simple, yet so delicious. Thank you, m'am, may I have another?!
Here's a happy kid gettin' ready to dig into a kid version of deliciousness. And, what's that in his bowl?This is what's in the bowl! Whole wheat penne pasta with sugar snap peas. What's all that other stuff in it, you ask? I cooked up some mushrooms and spinach for lunch one day, and had leftovers, so I threw them in the food processor and tossed them into the noodles. I also bought some dill & garlic cheese curds from Golden Glen Creamery at the farmers market so I tossed those in as well. And, since I was using dilly cheese, and happened to have some fresh dill on hand, I chopped that up and tossed them in, too. I was a little skeptical, but I did a taster before putting all the dilly stuff in and it seemed alright. (BTW, if your kids try a lot of one sample at the farmers' market, are you then obligated to make a purchase? Probably not, but I did anyway...the cheese curds. But, it made for a good snack to keep them from asking for other samples the remainder of our visit to the market.)Verdict?
*Husband - quite enjoyed it. Ate it all.
*3 year old - questioned what all the chopped up stuff was, then decided to only eat the snap peas and cheese curds...too much chopped stuff stuck to the noodles, I suppose.
*1 year old - can't talk, so no questions asked. Devoured the noodles and cheese curds, tried tasting the snap peas but did not eat them.
All-in-all, everyone got something healthy out of it. Mission accomplished.

Friday, June 18, 2010


I have no picture! It was one of those Friday evening mad-rush to get dinner on the table nights (again). Isn't it every night? More so on some than others.

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

Chicken Piccata with Lemon & Capers

Rarely do I follow an exact recipe. When I do, I tend to mess it up. I think it's because I read it, then think I remembered the steps, and then I'll forget something, misread it. Even the simplest of recipes. David sort of makes fun of me about it.


This is what Vincent's plate looked like. Yummy, if you ask me. This is what my plate looked like. Even yummier.
The recipe, taken from the June 2010 issue of Parenting Magazine.
Prep time: 30 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
Serves: 4
4 small (4-5 oz) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
1/3 cup flour
3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice, divided
1 1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut in cubes
2 Tbsp capers, rinsed and drained
1 lemon, thinly sliced, for garnish (optional)
1) slice the chicken horizontally to make 8 thin cutlets. Season the chicken lightly with salt & pepper. Pound very gently between waxed paper to even thickness to about 1/4 inch. Dredge in the flour, shake off excess, and transfer to a large plate.
2) Heat 1.5 T of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add half the chicken and saute until golden, about 2 minutes. Turn and saute about 1 minute more, until browned. Transfer to a clean plate and cover with foil. Repeat with the remaining chicken, using the other 1.5 T oil.
3) After removing the chicken from the pan, add the garlic, stir about 10 seconds, then add the wine. Scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the pan, and cook until wine is reduced slightly and almost syrupy. Add the broth and 1 T of the lemon juice, and cook a few minutes more, until slightly reduced. Return the chicken to the pan, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 2 minutes.
4) Plate the chicken. Turn off the heat, swirl in the butter, the capers, and the remaining T of lemon juice; season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour the sauce over chicken, and garnish, if you like, with the lemon slices. Serve with orzo and steamed broccolini.
*I served with capellini and steamed broccolette. I don't know the difference, but that's what it was called when I got my CSA box yesterday. This was really tasty. In the photos, I didn't show the stems of the broccolette, but we did eat those as well. They're sweet, but the ends get really tough. I tossed the florettes in extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper, and sprinkled paremesan cheese on top.