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Posts Tagged ‘dinner’

i hope you all enjoy the below recipe.  meanwhile, i want to alert you that i will be providing stash pics for steph at adventures in babywearing’s link up tomorrow and i will also be announcing a new wrap loan plan i intend to launch off my blog. if you have wanted to try a woven wrap but have been intimidated by the learning curve or the investment you might want to stop in and see what i have planned…

 

ready to eat

ready to eat

 

the other night flash and i enjoyed a really nice summer meal together after the kids went to bed.  i wanted to share the recipe because it was easy and light and delicious which is a great combo.  my jumping off points came from a recipe over at 101cookbooks for lemon chickpea stir-fry and from a site called wicked tasty harvest for radish leaf pesto. i am just the kind of person though who likes to look at a recipe for inspiration and then cook things my own way. so here is what i did.

the pesto:

  • two bunches of radish greens
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • one handful raw almonds
  • a small amount of freshly grated parmesan
  • olive oil

 

basically everything is going in the food processor until it reaches a consistency you like but more exactly here is what i did.

  1. put almonds in food processor and get them started down to a smaller size
  2. add radish greens and garlic and let that go for a few seconds
  3. add parmesan and process until everything is the small size you like
  4. add enough olive oil for pesto to be the thickness you like.
  5. call it a day.  or add some salt then call it a day.  up to you.

i had made this the the other night and frozen it in small portions in an ice cube tray which i then emptied into a freezer bag to store.  how handy!

 

 

my stir fry was largely shaped by the veggies i had on hand from my csa share and then influenced by the 101cookbooks recipe idea linked to above.

  • one small can chickpeas rinsed clean
  • two shallots diced small
  • one head broccoli chopped into bite sized pieces
  • one bunch bok choi chopped into bite sized pieces
  • a few inches of fresh ginger diced small
  • one lemon zezted and jucied
  • enough olive oil to cook with

 

  1. heat olive oil in a pan on medium high.
  2. get the chickpeas and shallots started together and allow the chickpeas to brown lightly.
  3. while shallots and chickpeas are getting going add ginger.
  4. once the chickpeas start to brown add broccoli.
  5. after the broccoli has cooked for two or three minutes add bok choi.
  6. after everything is fully cooked remove it from heat and toss in the lemon zest and juice.

 

 

stir-fry in the pan

stir-fry in the pan

 

 

the pesto and the lemon ginger of the stir fry went so well together.  flash and i agreed that this dinner was a very enjoyable way to “go vegetarian.”  i hope you try it and like it or that you are able to use it as a spring board for some other cooking fun.

 

oh, as a note, i have used the pesto to top pasta, as salad dressing, and on top of toast so far and loved it each way.  i never would have guessed that.  i guess this is the week of the radish for me!

 

ok folks, hope to see ya tomorrow.  

woowoo mama 

not mama llama

but we like the book (llama llama misses mama)

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words-y

it has been so long since i put any pictures up and i am feeling seriously guilty. i am sure you all are sick and tired of all these words and just want to hang out and look at a baby smile again. sorry about that. i shall try to get my act together in time for tomorrow. or, perhaps, early next week.  meanwhile lets visit this nice smiling baby even thought it isn’t that recent:

 

grin and belly pudge courtesy of chickpea

grin and belly pudge courtesy of chickpea

 

 

we had a lovely friend of ours over for brunch today. he is one of those people that is not married with kids yet but you can already see what a great father he will be when it happens for him. and he is easy to be around and talk to. flash has known him for a long time and i feel right at home with him which isn’t always the case with me. sometimes i can be a little freakish and awkward. i know, you never would have guessed right?

 

it was nice to hang around, enjoy some food, enjoy my children and watch someone else enjoy my children, and not be thinking about everything i need to get done. i am fairly certain this is the whole point of that “dirty house is a life well lived” quote. it doesn’t mean its cool to have a dirty house and spend more time reading blogs. it means, it is cool to have a dirty house and spend more time outside playing with your kids while peppering your hours with a little adult conversation here and there. and, eating a lot of good food. fresh fruit, bagels, eggs, bacon, more fruit, bread pudding, and iced tea.

 

speaking of good food. i made about 13 tons of the tikka masala last night. enough for us to have two dinners out of it with the chicken i made and then two more times worth of the sauce to throw chickpeas in for dinner some other time. so the freezer is stocked with tikka masala, baby. i figured, as long as i was doing it, go for the gold. kind of like the olden days when i thought i was going to be the type of person who pull off a regular big cook like gohan/cakeissweet/my lovely sister in law does. in the name of all things holy i did cook my little tush off last night. not only did i cook enough tikka masala for a small army of nursing mothers but i also made up a batch of radish leaf pesto which i froze in an ice cube tray a la homemade baby food puree for future use. it is a firey little pesto if my finger dip taste test is to be trusted but i didn’t actually eat any yet.

 

gohan/cakeissweet/my lovely sister in law asked me if i was taking blow by blow pictures of all this cooking and i had to laugh her off. it was all i could do to accomplish the cooking during witching hour home alone with both kids. i would have been much smarter to do it in the morning, but, alas, i didn’t have any food at that point and i was dragging the kidlets around the grocery store in a mad dash to get home before lunch time and naptime. we were late of course and everyone was tired and crashing including me. i cannot wait until the pea is ready to move to one nap. seriously, two naps is nice and all but there is not time to do anything that is not also a meal time or dangerously close to a meal time.

 

anyway, i think g/cis/mlsil just asked because she so amazingly put up a fantastic looking recipe on her blog the other day, pioneer woman style, with great pics and everything up the wazoo, for contraband kimchi fried rice. go, learn, drool, cook, and for the love of woowoo mama share! i haven’t had time to get to my kimchi source yet so thus far the recipe just taunts me from afar. a very very far. hey, cakeissweet, why do you guys live so far away?!

 

i love cooking. in fact, i love it so much i have taken over i’d say ninety eight percent of the cooking that goes on around here. flash also likes to cook and asked me the other day, “do i get to start cooking again sometime?” i love the fact that i am married to someone who also has a passion for food and cooking. the drawback is that somehow we do not cook well together and so it is an either or thing. when he is around and i have the chance to cook something without also juggling the kids i really want to take it. so often, i take over dinner and ask him to be the person doing the parenting. perhaps we should start splitting up the weekend so we each get a night of cooking and a night of playing pre-dinner hour without also trying to cook. me thinks i might have just stumbled upon an idea.

 

right now the bean is sitting on the couch completely in the nude with a bowl of cashews in his lap which he is happily munching. it is too much. the cuteness factor is over the moon.  i, on the other hand, am still several pounds above my optimal weight and i am bouncing on the ball while wearing chickpea in lovely eva (i know shocking news) and eating way more than my fair share of terra kettle, sea salt & pepper, krinkle cut potato chips.  not only am i not losing weight…i am basically just painting it on here.  oh well.  another day another day.

 

this seems as good a place as any to end this long winded post and let you all get back to your own lives.  if you made it this far that is.  i had thought i was just going to throw up a few brief points but as always, i am just too wordy.  or words-y as the title says.  

 

hasta la pasta peoples.  happy living.

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some friends and i thought we’d start a place where we could share meal plans and recipes so we launched “bacon & cookies.”  it is very bare bones right now and i am not sure any of us have the time or skills to make it any better.  but, i did get my meal plan for the week typed up along with all the recipes so i thought i should share it here too.  see what you think.  i should confess that although i meal plan with days of the week i hardly ever stick to those days.  i like to make what i am in the mood for so i pick and chose what i want each day.  it just makes more sense to look at it next to days.

monday – homemade pasta with “normande” sauce.  (the pasta is from pw’s site and i ended up using 1/2 whole wheat flour and 1/2 white just to be a little healthier.  they still got rave reviews.  flash made the sauce and i did my best here to type up his recipe.)

tuesday – pork chops w fennel crust, lemony grilled veggies, sage lemon vinaigrette for everything.

wednesday – lemon shallot grilled chicken on top of arugula based green salad (left over sage vinaigrette)

thursday – cajun/bbq pork shoulder ribs, corn bread, braised cabbage

friday – leftovers or homemade pizza (on the grill?)

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monday morning.  what should i do today?  monday is a good day to get my act together, come up with a meal plan for the week, and get to the grocery store.  actually, sunday is a better day for that but seeing as sunday didn’t happen monday is good.  this morning i checked the freezer, scanned some blogs, and came up with a plan.  

  • today pw’s favorite burger with sweet potato fries and salad.
  • tuesday pw’s quiche which she just put up today and victory pointed out to me. as soon as i saw that it has onions and mushrooms sauteed in bacon drippings AND butter i knew i had to have it as soon as possible. my farm bacon is frozen so that will be tomorrow. be still my heart. i’ll also make a salad.
  • wednesday beef and potato burritos. these are really easy and pretty good but don’t skip the jalapeno or they’ll be dull.
  • thursday a whole roasted chicken with rice and broccoli. no recipe. you all know how to roast a chicken. if you don’t shout out i’ll get something up.
  • friday will have to come up with a plan but assuming there will be leftovers from one or more of the above nights to eat for dinner.

 

it took me about three years this morning to come up with the shopping list to make that all happen this week.  luckily i did remember to bring it to the store.  and also luckily there was one of those carts with the car on front so the bean could “drive” cause he was in quite the mood and that distracted him from being ornery.

 

while i was in the produce section, near the cucumbers, a clerk noticed a forgotten shopping list on the tomato pile right next to me.  it was on a piece of paper about the sie of a standard post it note.  “miss,” she asked “did you forget your list?”  i held up my list which was a completely full piece of 8.5 x 11 college lined paper and said, “no this is my sized list.”  the surrounding shoppers chuckled.  i would imagine that i am kind of a grocery store sight.  i am trying to maneuver that huge cart with the car attached (i hate that thing even though it makes the bean like shopping.  it is like my curse.  impossible to steer.  big and ugly.  humph.) and hold my full page list and wearing the pea on my back.  seems like a normal day at the store to me but looking around most people are alone with one of those nice little carts that fits just enough for a dinner or two.  

 

the quiche with bacon keeps me going.  i have to get all the ingredients or i do not get to eat and i boy do muffy and i want it.  thank you victory for starting an obsession that will not cease until the beast is fed her bacon, bacon drippings and butter sauteed onion and mushroom, cheesey, artichoke heart quiche.

 

speaking of muffy and her obsessions.  my sister in law, gohan, mentioned to me the other day that i should consider the pastry as a worthwhile midday pick me up.  just to be sure i leave no possible midday pick me up stone unturned i have decided to test out her suggestion.  yesterday we went to the local bakery and got a sampling of mini pastry desserts to bring for dinner with my dad.  the left overs are in my fridge just waiting to be discovered.  i think muffy and i will (each) have one.  mini eclairs, mini chocolate carmel tarts, mini chocolate truffle tarts.  hello my loves, please come to me.

 

for now i better finish the baby carrots i set out to eat as part of my lunch.  glamorous, no.  good to eat, i suppose.  

 

what topped the whole grocery store trip off was that one of the baggers decided it would be nice to give each of my kids one of the old easter balloons.  very sweet.  of course, my 8 month old can hardly be expected to hold such a thing.  so the bean holds one and i hold one and when i get out to the car i have to get the bean in his seat while wearing the pea and holding two helium balloons.  luckily, the spot next to me on his car seat side is empty.  that is it was, until right before i got to my car, at which point a huge ford f50 backed in leaving me about six inches of space on that side.  i told you, the quiche is keeping me going.  no you cannot get me down when i’ve got a good bacon recipe to look forward to.  park as close as you want.  give me the freakin’ huge 3 foot easter egg balloons to wrangle into my car along with two children.  you can’t bring me down!  bacon is coming my way!

 

at least, that is the plan.

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the burgers

because not a single person asked i will put these up.  give them a try.  live a little.

 

this was another case of trying to use up things in the fridge/pantry to make a dinner.  here is what i found:

  • less then a pound of ground burger meat
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic
  • handful of fresh parsley
  • one small can of red beans
  • one egg
  • bread crumbs
  • salsa
  • chili powder
  • black pepper
  • salt
  • jalapeno montery jack cheese
  • ripe avocado

 

we grilled these but you really don’t want to so i will just tell you how they should have been cooked and how i will cook then next time.  

  1. wash the beans and put them in a mixing bowl
  2. mash them with a potato masher until they are partially small pieces and partially thick mashed beans
  3. add the burger meat to the bowl
  4. add the four cloves of garlic put through a press or cut finely (but why anyone is still cutting finely when there are garlic presses out there is beyond me.)
  5. shake in less then a cup of bread crumbs
  6. add one egg
  7. chop up the parsley and add that
  8. add about 2-3 teaspoons of chili powder
  9. one teaspoon of black pepper (i would have used cayenne if she’d had it)
  10. some salt
  11. maybe 1/4 c of salsa
  12. now you want to stir these up until everything is really well combined (use a fork or your hands depending on  your mood).  then you are going to form little patties. if you start trying to form patties and the meat is too wet you can add more bread crumbs.  the mixture seems to dry add a little more salsa or another egg.  you are going to have to do some judging here – i made up the amounts when i typed this up.  when i made it i was just throwing things in as i am known to do without even pausing to think how that might be difficult for some people who might possibly wish that i would just figure out how much of things i am using.  
  13. so you are going to form patties.  you want to make them small.  lets say 2 – 3 inches across.  then each person can have 2 – 3 of them.  heat a frying pan and pop them in there and cook to your liking.  serve them with the fresh avocado and jalapeno cheese.  

 

some thoughts.  we had ours with rice and salad.  it was good.  i also had made them normal burger sized and we grilled them.  they tasted super yum but they were falling apart on the grill which is never fun to manage.  thus, i told you to make them small and cook them in the pan.  i think they would do much better there.  you could eat them on rice with salad like we did.  or, you could throw then in a tortilla which would also be good.  if you are shopping to cook these i might trade out the parsley for cilantro but they were good with parsley too if that is your thing.  

 

easy, peasy, one two threesy and also fresh and new.  what’s not to like.  make them and let me know if they hold up to pan frying?

 

peace out people.

and happy easter.

 

hop hop hop hop hop.

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food break

 

dinner oh so yum

dinner oh so yum

i have so much on my mind today.  i re-immersed myself in the experience of the beans pregnancy and birth yesterday.  i heard a member of my extended family crossed over.  we are packing this morning and leaving SC and flying home today.  i have been thinking so much about the future.  there is just so much on my mind that it only made sense to me to do one thing – take a food break.  so, here i will write a wee bit about recent cooking.

 

one of my absolute most favorite things to do is open the the fridge and pull things out and make up a meal.  i hardly ever do this anymore because a part of staying on a stricter budget and managing two kids has been serious meal planning.  but, the other day here in SC i got the opportunity to open my mom’s fridge, look around, invent a plan, and cook.  maybe other people might find this kind of thing stressful or exhausting but for me it is like doing some yoga.  it centers me and grounds me and brings me right into the present.  and, best of all, better then yoga, at the end i get to eat.  oh that makes muffy and i especially happy.  

 

(meet muffy, my left over poundage in the belly region that two pregnancies and a great love of food have gifted me.  i am on a mission to learn to love muffy instead of always wishing she would just magically disappear.  and, it has been brought to my attention that if she is going to disappear i need to start exercising.  fancy that.)

 

so on tuesday (i believe) i opened the fridge and this is what i pulled out:

  • butter
  • olive oil
  • 2 sausages
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1/4 red pepper
  • 1 bunch of asparagus
  • 1/2 box baby spinach
  • fresh sage
  • white wine
  • chicken broth
  • gorgonzola cheese
  • salt 
  • pepper
  • rotini/shells

 

 

ok, so not all of that was in her fridge but most of it was and it seemed to make sense to list it all together rather then explain that the salt and pepper were in the corner cupboard and the pasta was in the pantry and so on, right?

 

here is what i did:

 

  1. put about 1/4 stick of butter and a tablespoon on olive in the pan on med/high and once the pan was heated add the sausage to start browning it.
  2. while the sausage was starting a filled a pot with water, a liberal amount of salt, and two splashes of olive oil.  i covered it and turned it on high so the water would come to a boil for me to cook my pasta in.*
  3. once the sausage was nice and started i added the onion which i had cut in half from top to bottom and then into 1/4 inch strips from side to side.
  4. once the onion was softened, sweet, and yummy looking i added the pepper which i had cut into about 1/2 inch squares.
  5. about two seconds later i added the asparagus which i had trimmed the woody ends off of and then cut into 1 – 2 inch pieces.
  6. i threw in about 8 fresh sage leaves that i had torn into smaller bits.
  7. a few second later i added 1.5 – 2 cups of white wine to the pan.  i let it come to a boil and then i scraped the brown burned stuff off the bottom of the pan that the sausage cooking had created.  (this is known as deglazing.)
  8. around this time my water was well boiling so i put the pasta in, stirred it, and let it cook uncovered.
  9. once i knew all the delicious brown stuff was up and incorporated into the sauce i i added about 1.5 – 2 cups of chicken stock.  
  10. i let the whole thing simmer for a few minutes before turning it down to the lowest possible setting.
  11. i dumped the baby spinach on top and put a lid on the pan.
  12. in a minute or two my pasta was cooked to al dente – how i like it – so i drained it and put it back in the pot with another pat of butter.
  13. i cut the gorgonzola into cubes about 1/4 inch.
  14. i stirred the spinach in the sauce and added some salt and pepper until it tasted right to me.
  15. i put a serving of pasta in a pasta bowl, spooned on the veggies and sausage, and then ladled a lot of sauce on.  then i put the gorgonzola on top and a few pieces of fresh sage.  voila!  dinner.  scrumdiddliumtious.  it was so good.  i had to have seconds.  not to have seconds would have been a sin in the eyes of muffy.

 

 

*a note about cooking pasta.  it seems to me like everyone has their way of doing this but i’ll tell you mine.  i like to use a big pot so that i get a lot of water space for the noodles to swim around it.  i add what i would call a very liberal amount of salt.  and i also put olive oil in the water at some point before putting the pasta in so it has to go through the oil to hit the water.  i find this method makes pasta the way i like it.  you can try it or just do things your way.

 

 

ok so that was the pasta dinner.  and i even figured out how to format it kind of.  what do you think?  here i am pausing to ask myself if i should continue on and post the recipe for the strange new burgers i made last night.  or maybe one recipe a post is enough.  maybe i should just be quiet or else i just be stuck here bouncing the sleeping pea who really needs a good nap before the 7 hour journey home and i will be hungry.  starving.  hoping not to salivate on my keyboard.  hoping the growling stomach doesn’t wake her up.  trying not to drink the iced tea/lemon ginger echinacea juice drink i made myself for her nap or else i just have to pee even more then i already do.  but, i am thirsty.  

 

yes, ok, clearly i need to stop typing now.  you have already been subjected to more inner dialog then anyone should have to be.

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i haven’t gone to the grocery store yet this week so we have been eating dinners out of the freezer with random cupboard additions.  on monday we had chili i had made a few weeks ago.  i didn’t really like how it came out back then though so when i thawed it i also thawed some ground beef.  i browned up the beef, added the thawed chili, and some cayenne and red pepper flakes, and simmered it for awhile.  just so you all know — twice cooked chili is finger lickin’ good.  really, it was super.  

 

never mind i forgot to make the rice to go with it.  i had some quinoa in the pantry cupboard from my quinoa salad the other week so i cooked that up to go with it.  chili and quinoa is actually yummy.  and just to be random i sauteed up some mushrooms and a zucchini i found in the fridge, whipped up my version of the quinoa salad dressing, chopped up some lettuce, and we had a salad too.

in case you are curious my version of the dressing is something like this (because you know it kills me to measure things).
find a measuring cup – i used my pyrex 2c one.
pour in about 1/4c tahini
zest on lemon in there
squeeze all that lemon’s juice in there
put a clove of garlic through your garlic press in there
shake in some salt
add good olive oil (i counted a slow one and two for those of you who can’t stand it when i give no direction at all)
add some warm water until it is thinned to your liking.
now take a bite. if it doesn’t bite you back you need another clove of garlic (mine did on monday).

store any leftover in the fridge. if you are like me you will find an excuse to dip almost anything you eat in it for days. i really like this dressing.

ok so where was i?

the bean has been counting lately and it cracks me up. it goes like this. “one, two, three, four, seven, eight, nine, ten, leven, thirteen, fiveteen, fortyteen” and so on. several random numbers are thrown out in a row with a teen at the end. i love it. i keep asking him to count things. “oh, can you count the goldfish you are eating?” or, “how many piece of pepperoni do you have there?”

as you can see i have him on a strictly healthy diet.

last night i pulled a ham steak out of the freezer that we had gotten last month as part of our farm share. i am always thanking god for the pigs this farm raises because prior to this i really didn’t love pork that much but all pig products that come from the farm i like so much i can be seen digging into them with my bare hands, fork forgotten in my haste. i also pulled out some curried roasted veggies from i think october. that might be too old to eat but flash and i are both pretty iron stomach brave so i just threw caution to the wind.

while i was putting the pea to bed (a million times cause she is still so sick and does not want to sleep without mama) flash fried up the steak, reheated the veggies, and cooked up a magical kind of fig red wine reduction thing. what a treat! we had the left over quinoa as well because quinoa seems to go with everything.

what will we have tonight? only the freezer knows. borscht? veggie and bean soup? waffles?

it is dreary here and rainy and it is reminding me of how much i enjoyed listening to jo dee messina’s song “bring on the rain” in the car yesterday. i have a thing for country music right now. it is full of stories, and i can remember the lyrics and just go nuts belting it out in the car with my sunglasses on. joy of all joys. i love singing in the car with my sunglasses on. it isn’t as good without the sunglasses. and, for the record, i have a thing for $5 sunglasses found on the clearance rack at CVS. go figure. if i spend any more i lose them in two seconds. if i buy the cheap ones i can hold onto them for years.

yesterday was warm enough for a little outdoor play. bean and i spent about 30 minutes holding hands and splashing in puddles. the pea was on my back in cassis in a ruck with a lexi. (if you understand that you are a wrap geek.)  then we went to the backyard and the bean wanted to play in the sand and the pea wanted to nurse so i took her down and i used cassis’ tail to wipe the forty pounds of snot off of her that she had gathered while she was on my back. i haven’t dared to look at my sweater yet.

 

then the bean wanted to go down the slide but it was wet so he asked me to dry it off. i said, “what should i use?” and he said, “a towel.” so i said, “sorry but i don’t have a towel out here.” and he said, “that is ok mama. you can use the wrap.” poor poor cassis really had to be a team player yesterday. she got snotted and she wiped down the slide. yay for all cotton weaves.

when we came in we decided dancing would be good so i put on this awesome cd we got as a gift recently. it is by sol y canto and it is called el doble de amigos (twice as many friends). we danced and danced and danced and sang and we had a blast and i felt — happy. fancy that. go buy the cd. it is fun, bilingual, and kid friendly. then try doing a funny dance while you hold both your kids. mine laughed and laughed and loved it. but, it could be contributing to my sore back today.

oh and do you want to know what else? i found a free online photoshop tutorial. and i did lesson 1a, 1b, 1c, 1d, took a quiz, 2a and 2b yesterday while the pea took her afternoon nap on me. woot. learning is possible.

 

now i have rambled on and on and on.

 

and in case you were wondering my title is from the gd song not the movie.

 

if you read all of this you must either be bored or saintly. either way you deserve a standing ovation. i’ll give you one as soon as i can stop bouncing this sick sick baby.

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