Wednesday, November 30, 2011

What's Cooking Wednesday



Lime and Soy-Glazed Chicken With Cabbage Slaw
Ingredients
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
6 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 1/2 to 3 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces
1/4 head red cabbage, thinly sliced (4 cups)
2 large carrots, coarsely grated
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
kosher salt and black pepper
Directions
Heat oven to 400° F. In a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, stir together the sugar, soy sauce, and 3 tablespoons of the lime juice; add the chicken and turn to coat. Roast, skin-side down, until the sauce is simmering, about 10 minutes. Turn the chicken skin-side up and roast, basting occasionally, until cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes more.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, toss the cabbage, carrots, scallions, and mint with the ginger, canola oil, sesame oil, the remaining 3 tablespoons of lime juice, and ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Serve with the chicken.

Heidi's changes: Used green cabbage instead of red (gotta use what you have!)
Skipped the mint and the ginger
Used regular onion instead of scallions (had on hand)


I thought this dish was good. Might have been better if I ate the skin of the chicken, but I don't usually do that. The chicken was moist and flavorful. The slaw was yummy!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

What's Cooking Sister's Edition



Pasta With Sausage and Tomatoes
Ingredients
2 28-ounce cans whole peeled tomatoes, broken up with your hands
2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
2 tablespoons olive oil
kosher salt and black pepper
3/4 pound sweet or hot Italian sausage links
12 ounces cavatappi or some other short pasta
3 cups baby spinach (2 1/2 ounces)
grated Parmesan, for serving
Directions
1.Heat oven to 450° F. On a rimmed baking sheet, mix the tomatoes (with their juices) and garlic with the oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Roast until the tomatoes have charred in spots and the juices have thickened, 40 to 45 minutes.
2.After the tomatoes have roasted for 20 minutes, place the sausage on a second rimmed baking sheet. Roast, turning occasionally, until browned and cooked through, 15 to 17 minutes. Thinly slice the sausage.
3.Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the package directions. Reserve ¼ cup of the cooking water; drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Add the tomatoes, sausage, spinach, and 2 tablespoons of the cooking water and toss to combine (add more cooking water if the pasta seems dry). Sprinkle with the Parmesan

I sat this one out - but it got rave reviews! Even niece A said, "Nom NOM!" after eating it! Bro-in-law 1 said, "How could anything with spaghetti sauce and hamburger be bad?" That was when I told him that it wasn't hamburger, it was sausage and it wasn't spaghetti sauce, it was just tomatoes (he doesn't really like tomatoes!) we even had a little bit of a discussion about it (because he swore it was spag. sauce!) haha!

J used fresh tomatoes from the garden instead of canned.
H used Penne instead of cavatappi, and ground sausage instead of links (and I used 1 lb instead of 3/4) also I left the tomatos in for 45 min and the sauces did cook down but the tomatoes didn't really brown... (neither did J's)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

What's Cooking Wednesday



Lemony Tuna and Olive Oil Pasta
Ingredients
12 ounces linguine (3/4 box)
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 6-ounce cans oil-packed tuna
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
kosher salt and black pepper
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Directions
Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Reserve ½ cup of the cooking water; drain the pasta.
Wipe out the pasta pot and cook the oil, garlic, and red pepper over medium heat, stirring frequently, until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the pasta, tuna, lemon zest, ¾ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper, and the reserved pasta water to the pasta pot and cook over low heat, tossing, until the sauce is slightly thickened and coats the pasta, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the parsley and toss to combine.

Heidi's changes: Instead of lemon zest I used some lemon juice
Skipped the parsley


I like my dishes with more color! This dish just looked bland. Maybe it would have been better (at least looking) with the parsley. Overall I thought this was ok. Not repeatable though.

Monday, November 21, 2011

In my own little corner...


Im not really sure why, but I just had this thought of Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady, talking about having her own chair off in a warm room. That is what this precious little chair made me think of. Or in the old Cinderella, singing of her "own little corner, with my own little chair." ;-)




It started out looking like this. I saw it in a pile of broken furniture at an auction. In all honesty, it looked like the old farmer's "burn pile". He was going to have PLENTY of pieces for winter. The auctioneer was about to move on, when I asked if I could just buy one piece. I pulled this out and payed $2 for it. Honestly, it was the legs that drew my eye. They were so ornate, yet it was the only bit of it that could be called that. I loved that all the rest was simple.




The back looked like it would have held a bar, but both pieces were broken...so I wasnt going to be able to do anything to that. I decided to saw them off and sand them down. They ended up looking like little nubbins, which actually worked out quite well.




On closer inspection, the ornate pieces around the legs became even more interesting. They were not actually attached to the legs as you would think. They were four pieces that all fit together to surround the leg and stay put. It was amazing work, as it didnt take nails or glue. However, I did end up gluing the pieces down, since I was going to paint it. I did not want the pieces to move or anything.







The fabric was in a box that we got at a different auction. It was simple, being just one color. Yet it was so grand. It reminded me of ornate fabrics used 200 years ago in castles. Who doesnt like being reminded of a castle, right? It was velvety, and had a scheen.



I got a cushion from Hobby Lobby and cut it to fit the seat. I used the old board that came with it to be my template and also to use as support. I then fitted the fabric around it and nailed it all in place.





Then, it was paint time. I went to the standard white. Its classic and goes with most anything, so it was a safe choice. If you look closely at the ornamentation, you can see how the pieces fit on there.








Then, I screwed the seat on and voila! It just says "Sit in ME." Doesn't it?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

What's Cooking Sisters Edition

In following the month of cooking that we did in November.



Pasta With Sausage and Tomatoes
Ingredients
2 28-ounce cans whole peeled tomatoes, broken up with your hands
2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
2 tablespoons olive oil
kosher salt and black pepper
3/4 pound sweet or hot Italian sausage links
12 ounces cavatappi or some other short pasta
3 cups baby spinach (2 1/2 ounces)
grated Parmesan, for serving
Directions
Heat oven to 450° F. On a rimmed baking sheet, mix the tomatoes (with their juices) and garlic with the oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Roast until the tomatoes have charred in spots and the juices have thickened, 40 to 45 minutes.
After the tomatoes have roasted for 20 minutes, place the sausage on a second rimmed baking sheet. Roast, turning occasionally, until browned and cooked through, 15 to 17 minutes. Thinly slice the sausage.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the package directions. Reserve ¼ cup of the cooking water; drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Add the tomatoes, sausage, spinach, and 2 tablespoons of the cooking water and toss to combine (add more cooking water if the pasta seems dry). Sprinkle with the Parmesan.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

What's Cooking Wednesday



Roasted Vegetable and Quinoa Salad With Pistachios
Ingredients
1 pound carrots, cut into 1 1/2-inch lengths
1 pound shiitake or cremini mushrooms, stems trimmed
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
kosher salt and black pepper
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 cup quinoa
5 cups baby spinach (4 ounces)
1/4 cup chopped salted, roasted pistachios
Directions
Heat oven to 425° F. On 2 rimmed baking sheets, toss the carrots and mushrooms with the oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Roast, tossing once, until tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Combine the vegetables in a large bowl and toss with the lemon juice and thyme.
Meanwhile, cook the quinoa according to the package directions. Divide the spinach among plates and top with the warm quinoa and vegetables. Sprinkle with the pistachios and drizzle with the oil.

Serves 4.

Heidi's changes: Used regular brown mushrooms
Skipped the pistachios


Since it's gotten colder I'm LOVING roasted vegetables! But overall I found this dish lacking. I didn't think it was robust enough to be a full meal. I know that all the key "needs" are there, but I was left feeling hungry.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

What's Cooking Sisters Edition

Yes, the month of October is in our rear view mirror - but I didn't keep up with what we cooked in October! As you might remember we started with the Real Simple month of cooking...and after the first week, the 3 of us didn't cook the same dish again! So I'll highlight dishes that at least 2 of us made.


Chicken With Wild Rice and Grapes

Ingredients
1 cup wild rice blend
2 teaspoons olive oil
8 chicken thighs (about 3 pounds)
kosher salt and black pepper
2 cups red seedless grapes
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 pound green beans, trimmed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Directions
Heat oven to 425° F. Cook the rice according to the package directions.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the chicken with ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper. In 2 batches, cook the chicken, skin-side down, until golden, 5 to 6 minutes, then transfer to a rimmed baking sheet. Place skin-side up and roast until cooked through, 12 to 15 minutes.
Add the grapes and thyme to the drippings in the skillet and cook, tossing occasionally, until the grapes begin to burst, 5 to 7 minutes.

Heidi's changes: Brown rice instead of wild
Chicken breast instead of thighs (gotta go with what's on sale!)
No green beans


H's changes; I used Chicken breast instead of thighs. Made my own "wild rice blend" 1 cup brown rice 2 T of Long grain wild rice. Used Dried Thyme. and used 1 T of marg. instead of 2 on the green beans. Oh and I boiled them for just a short amount of time instead of using a steamer. But maybe necessary if we used thighs instead of breasts. I felt like the green beans were still a little too greasy even with 1/2 the marg... wished I would have used Molly Mc. and ignored the marg. all together.

Everyone involved loved it! We did feel that the baking after "sealing" the juices in the skillet was redundant I left my grapes in the pan a bit too long and so there were some "burnt" attributes to them, but I liked the different texture a cooked grape takes on (my bro-in-law also loved the grapes!).

Friday, November 11, 2011

What I'm Reading Now



Meg moves from Phoenix to Spaulding, WA. The story follows her journey to get to know her neighbors and to make friends. It also includes a "beauty pageant" with only 3 requirements: you are a resident of Spaulding, you have a sponsor who was a past Queen(?) and you perform a talent.

This was my latest book club book. I have to admit - I wouldn't have picked this up on my own (and one of the main reasons I love my book club!). There were times I thought this book was very slow. There are moments she has "flashbacks" and I started just skipping those. There were times I thought this book was very funny. There were times this book just made me thing "huh?". Overall I'm glad I read it - would I recommend it? Probably not. My book club was also very divided in what we thought about the book. I have been told her first book was better (and non-fiction)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

What's Cooking Wednesday

Today I share some of the things I bring to Football Sunday. First you need to know that it's at least 80% male and that I've been watching a lot of Steelers football (hanging head in shame).

A couple Sundays ago I thought I'd bring some food along - some semi-healthy food ;-)

Stuffed Baguette
Makes one 12-inch long baguette; about 24 slices
Ingredients:
Baguette about 14-inch long
8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
4 oz fresh goat cheese
1 large garlic clove, minced
½ cup finely chopped red bell pepper (about 1 medium)
½ cup finely chopped sun dried tomatoes in olive oil
¼ cup finely chopped Kalamata olives
2 oz finely chopped spicy salami
About 2 tbsp minced Italian parsley
About 1 tsp minced fresh thyme
Freshly ground black pepper
Salt to taste (very unlikely since there’re plenty of salty ingredients)
Preparation:
Slice off both ends of the baguette. Using a long thin knife and working from the both ends, hollow the baguette out leaving about ½-inch thick crust all around.
Using an electric mixer beat the cream cheese until smooth and lump-free. Beat in the goat cheese and garlic. Stir in the rest of the ingredients.
Working again from the both ends, fill the baguette with the cheese mixture. Pack the filling tight. I like to use a slender tequila shot glass for pressing the filling in. Wrap the stuffed baguette very well in plastic and refrigerate for at least two hours and up to two days. Right before serving, slice the baguette into ½-inch thick slices and serve. For the most neat looking slices, treat it as a cheesecake – each time slice it with a hot dry knife.

Heidi's changes: I started with a baguette from one of my favorite places the Merchantile
Didn't use the olives
Used pepperoni instead of salami


This was loved by all!



Roasted Chickpeas
INGREDIENTS:
1 (12 ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained
2 tablespoons olive oil
garlic salt
cumin

DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
2. Blot chickpeas with a paper towel to dry them. In a bowl, toss chickpeas with olive oil, and season to taste with salt, garlic salt, and cumin, if using. Spread on a baking sheet, and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until browned and crunchy. Watch carefully the last few minutes to avoid burning.

Heidi's changes: I really didn't change anything at all. While the chickpeas I tried were done, all of them weren't (making them chewy-like.

The boys were not a fan. I will try again and bake them long enough and I think I'll be a fan!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Bringing a fridge back to normal...

I've been picking out paint colors, working on seating arrangements, coming up with a menu and hiring staff. The long story about that will come some day, but today a project I'm working on in regards to that.

When we bought all the equipment we got this beer fridge:

Lovely isn't it?

When I started to sand it down (the advice I got online instead of trying to take the stickers off), most of the stickers just started coming off. So I worked on getting them off. Of course, in my stubbornness I was doing it with my hands and got a few cuts under my fingernails. Lessons learned for "next time"! After peeling for hours I got to this point:


And then I was ready to paint! I used a black spray paint that also had a primer in it. And 2 1/2 coats later we have this!


There are some places where I just couldn't get the sticker goo off (should have used goo gone!), but overall I'm pleased with the new look. It also now matches all the other fridges ;-)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

A year long quest for a corn dog....

Wow - the blog has been neglected by me lately. I have so much to blog and yet so little time to do it!

Yesterday was beautiful here. Fall is my favorite season and so when it's a beautiful day - a girl has to be outside enjoying it! I headed to the Cabbagetown's Chomp and Stomp in the early afternoon with 1 goal in mind: to get a corndog I hear about a year ago. This man (Jim Stacy) has a food truck and makes corndogs...yum?

The line was pretty crazy (my number was 226 and they were in the 190s when I got there) - which made me a little scared (what if it really wasn't worth the hype?). But all in all = worth it. I just got a regular corndog this time around...keeping it simple. But next time I'll try the polish kielbasa or the spicy italian sausage! Great mix of batter with just a touch of sweet. And the hotdog was good too!








Of course I left having not taken enough pictures or buying the 1 piece of art that caught my eye.... One day I will learn and be better prepared!