Friday, February 26, 2010

Read All About It!

Check out if you're online or on your iPhone fairly often and would like an excuse to do a bit more quality reading during your day. I just signed up for a Berlitz daily Spanish lesson to be delivered to my inbox. Sounds perfect! The topics and reading categories are like a visit to your local library or BN. And it's free.

How does this relate to cooking? Not sure. There are probably some cookbooks available through the site. Yeah. That's it.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Week 44--winter wind-down

Monspinach souffle
TuesBBQ chicken
Wedsmeatballs w/rice avgolemono (Greek Cooking NY Style)
Thurs steak stir-fry w/broccoli
Fri catfish, cornbread & chickpea tomato soup (soup from Once Upon a Tart)
Extras canned beef & noodles; chili
Winter seems like it's wrapping up soon, or should be. I therefore wanted to get a couple soups on the menu, and some oven recipes that I know I won't be in the mood for once spring breezes are here.

This blog is likely wrapping up soon as I near the 1-year mark. For now, the race is on as to whether I'll have my third babe or reach week 52 on the blog first. Based on past due-date performance, the blog should win by a couple weeks. Not that I'll stop cooking and meal planning. I just have to set an end-date for this thing sometime or, knowing me, it'll go forever. Like the daily calendar I've kept since I was 7 years old. Maybe this weekly menu-planning thing is for a slightly obsessive personality type? Hmm... Happy cooking.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Oops. Lent!

Ok. Realized that Lent starts today and reviewed my menu for meatless options for today (Ash Weds) and Friday. Hm. Might need to rework a bit and pull out the last of my salmon from my Sam's purchase for Friday. As for tonight, the kids dove into toast and cereal, by popular request. Will be a good opportunity to focus more on meatless and seafood menus during Lent. Now I have to find some new recipes to try!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Week 43 -- Late Entry

Monturkey & peas mac & cheese (based on bistro mac-n-cheese from Taste of Home)
Tueschili and veggies w/dip
Wedssloppy joes (Deceptively Delicious -- includes sweet potatoes & squash)
Thurs 1-pot spaghetti (Better Homes & Gardens)
Fri dirty rice
Extras breakfast
Almost forgot to post this this week! Happy cooking.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


I'm getting nervous. It's been a long time since I've used the tag "kitchen mishaps" for a blog posting. What's coming? Are the number of "mishaps" I experience related to the age of my children? In which case, will the number suddenly shoot up again this summer when there's a new member of the Corral on the scene? Maybe my definition of what constitutes a mishap is just a whole lot more extreme now than it used to be, as dumped flour and eggs on the floor are taken in stride as part of the cooking experience.

Time will tell. Meanwhile, I'm knocking on Formica counter-tops.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Scone + Blueberries = Bliss

Give me a scone any day over muffins or biscotti. That said, I have them far too infrequently. Enjoyed a great strawberry scone at one of my favorite local bakeries, Patisserie, this morning. This reminded me of the recipe my daughter recently made at her preschool. I stayed true to the recipe when I made them even though it's vegan and uses some unusual ingredients. I really liked the outcome. I think it would work well using more typical substitutes as well. Scones seem to be pretty forgiving whenever I've made them—maybe this is why I like them so well.

Here's the recipe (with a hearty disclaimer that I am neither vegan nor a yoga practitioner and this website looks positively odd to me):
Vegan Blueberry Scones

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Week 42–Something Old, Something New

MonBeef stir-fry w/snow peas
TuesCrock-Pot Turkey Breast (Thanks, turkeyrollups, for the recipe!)
WedsSalmon and greens
Thurs Rigatoni Isabella
Fri Cream of Broccoli Soup (epicurious recipe that sounds promising w/changes recommended by reviewers) w/cold shredded beef sandwiches
Extras Cuban rice; Dirty Rice (box mix)
Have some great looking steaks waiting for nicer weather (above 30˚) in our freezer. For this week, some soup, pasta, and turkey dishes will keep us sustained. Made a blueberry pie on Thursday and some banana bread last night. Monkey bread or donuts—neither of which I've made before—are possibly on the agenda for Sunday. Either that or continuing our circuit of painting baseboards in the house. Which sounds more fun to you?? Happy cooking.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Homemade Ice Cream in 10 min

This is a fun food project with kids, especially siblings or play-dates so you have extra help mixing. We only had to mix it for about 5 min before it was done. Maybe be/c we packed it with snow in addition to the ice cubes, so it was REALLY cold. The recipe is from Parents magazine.

1. Fill a 1-gallon plastic baggie halfway with ice. Add 6T rock salt.
2. In a 1-quart plastic baggie (or another 1-gallon or large sandwich bag), add:
- 1c milk (the more fat, the richer your ice cream)
- 2T sugar
- 1/2t vanilla
- handful of add-ins such as choc chips, chopped strawberries, etc. as desired
3. Seal the smaller baggie and put inside the larger bag. Seal. Shake for 5-10 min until hardened. Less time if you want to enjoy something like a milk-shake.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

300th time is the charm

It took almost a year, but something clicked this week with our youngest. He's often a less-than-experimental eater unless it's a non-food item. Pieces of paper? Serve 'em up! Egg shell? Why not?

After trying a variety of tactics and ultimately returning to what seemed the most logical to us, (his theoretically all-knowing parents, right?) he understands now that when we ask him to try a bite of food that he can actually do it and survive. It used to mean he'd just get up and leave the table, preferring not to eat anything than endure this indignity.

It goes something like: "Yes, you may have another 10,000 crackers, but please try a bite of chicken first." He does it now. It doesn't always stay in, but he's trying. Really trying. And it's not ruining his evening. Yeah!

Successes with toddlers come in really weird forms sometimes. I also predict that by junior high he will be eating us out of house and home. It's just how this stuff goes.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Keeping Track

Feeling like I need to keep track of some recent bulk-purchases, I reinstated a list I've used occasionally in the past. I wrote down some of the non-standard items that are currently residing in my freezer on the chalk wall in my kitchen. Hopefully this will help me remember to use them in the coming weeks' menu plans.

On another note, I inadvertently ended up making a family-style Mexican spread tonight. Yum. I wanted to do something with the left-over rotisserie chicken from the weekend and found myself making flautas for the first time. Very fun! Lots of frying. Then I found a recipe for Mexican red rice that looked tasty--I even had lard to fry the rice in for a more authentic taste. Then I opened a can of refried beans and toasted them with a sprinkling of cheddar, mashed some avocado, chopped some spinach, more cheese, some crema, salsa, and olé.

The thing I love about Mexican cooking is that the ingredients are usually staple-type items and there are any number of ways to combine them for unique dishes. Very fun, and if you have a taste for it, nearly foolproof in terms of taste. The kids like to pick from the toppings too, which can help get them to eat a meal that they may be less than thrilled about.