Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Back in the Saddle

I know, I know, it's been a while. But please believe me when I say that I've thought of you often. And to boot, I've been really busy. So, as you know, my son turned two last week. To be expected the week was filled with celebration, eating, and family. Phew, what a week.
So I've made another decision about my cooking though Rachel Ray's 365: No Repeats. It is now too hot to be eating soups and casseroles (although there probably will be some randomly thrown in there) but perfect weather for the more grill-friendly recipes. So, over the next couple of days I will go through and sort through the recipes, and find the weather friendly ones.

In the mean time, I will give you this... Lemon and Artichoke Risotto with Shrimp (314). I can honestly say that I have never eaten, made, or wanted risotto before. I've always heard that it is a complicated, time consuming process. But really, it wasn't all that bad. It did take some constant stirring, but the ''labor'' was worth it. The risotto was really well balanced, between the tangy lemon, creamy rice, and sweet peas. I'm looking forward to trying another risotto.
Happy eating.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Happy Birthday

My son turns two today. It is hard to believe that this could be happening, the time has gone so quickly! Someone once told me, "the days are long, but the years are short." I believe every word in that statement.
We celebrated his birthday this weekend, with friends and family surrounding us. And we had a blast!
So what does a two year old want for his birthday?
The coolest gift, ever...
And some reading time to cool down...
He couldn't be happier. Thanks to all who helped us celebrate! And happy birthday little one- I love you!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

I love soup

It's true. I love soup. I could eat it on a daily basis. It's nutritious, and delicious, easy to make and makes your house smell homey and inviting. Usually during the winter, I make at least one pot of soup a week. So imagine my delight, when I drew not one, but two soups in this most recent batch of recipes! Soups are easy. Usually the only effort put into making soup is throwing your ingredients into a pot and let it simmer away. The clean-up is minimal, and you can fake out your diners to think you've slaved away all day.

Last night I made recipe number 99 from Rachel Ray's 365: No Repeats cookbook, Chicken, Corn, and Black Bean Stoup. Everything I said previously held true. It was quick, easy, smelled delicious, and filled us up to the brim! I served it along side a mexi salad (greens with corn, cheese, avocado, tomato and salsa to dress it) and some jalapeno poppers (the kind you find in the freezer section of the grocery store). Aah, my bowl runnith over.

A word of warning to those who don't like it hot (spicy that is), this is a bit of a fiery soup. This calls for a chipotle chili pepper in adobo sauce. This is a smoked jalapeno which just gets more and more hot through the process. You could do a couple of things to tame the fire. Instead of adding the pepper you could add some smokey chili powder or chipotle flavored hot sauce (Tabasco makes a version of this). This is infinitely easier to add to suit your spice level (add until its hot enough). You could also add fresh (or canned) jalapenos, which are less spicy than the chipotle version. I loved it the way it was, but there are lesser spice-tolerant people in my family and the next time I make this I will tone down the spice to suit their tender tongues.

How do you feel about soup? Are you an 'eat it every day' or only an 'only when its cold' kinda person. Will you eat it for a meal or only as an appetizer? Curious minds want to know...

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Two for One

So as far as this past week was concerned, cooking was successful, blogging was not. I realized that I have three dinners to tell you about, that I haven't even talked about. Tonight I will give you a taste of two of the meals, and will save the third for another night.

Meal number one, or rather 232: Chicken Sausage with Fennel and Onions, was moderately successful. Try as I may, I could not find fennel. I searched three different grocery stores and to no avail. I didn't think it would be so hard to find, I am wondering if it's not in season- any clue? So anyway, I made the sausage and onions as per the recipe and then added some bacon-y brussel sprouts and crusty bread to round out the meal. I suppose that it only sort of counts since one of the three ingredients in the recipe was missing, but I don't think I will repeat this one since it was just a quickie that we make on a variation on a very frequent basis (like for dinner tonight we had sausage with mac and cheese).
Earlier in the week I made meal number 104: Garlic and Herb Chicken and Romesco Sauce for my hubs and bro. It. Was. Awesome! There is this fantasticly spicy sauce made with roasted red peppers, tomato, and garlic. It was really tasty and even had a bit of a kick to it, which was even appreciated by our two year old. It was really fast to make, just throw everything in a food processor and let it go then serve it over the cooked chicken (which did take a bit of time). I was supposed to serve it over spicy arugula greens, but decided to instead serve it over some spaghetti. It will definitely be on the list of repeats, excellent!

Well there you have it. One more post and I will be all caught up, but that will have to wait for another day. See you next time, happy eating!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Hello and welcome back after a most enjoyable holiday weekend. I hope that you had a wonderful time doing whatever it is you did. Every Memorial Weekend, for the last thirteen years, my family and four other families make our way down the Oregon Coast for three relaxing days filled with absolutely nothing! Except for sand castle building, ocean exploring, aquarium visiting, shopping, and of course eating! What a great way to recharge the batteries!

We're home again, and that means that I am back to cooking my way through Rachel Ray's 365: No Repeats cookbook. The recipe that I'm going to tell you about today was number 294, (Chicken #14753) Deviled Divan. We had this before we left on vacation, and was a great quick and inexpensive meal (I had everything needed for this in the pantry and freezer!). You bake up the chicken (with lemon and thyme), add some mustard sauce and cooked broccoli, top it with cheese and pop it under the broiler to melt together. The 'deviled' part is some hot sauce added to the mustard sauce to give it a kick (next time I'll add a bit more, because it was completely lost in the final product). It was fast, easy and delicious- what more could you ask for the night before leaving on vacation?

Sorry the picture isn't the greatest, we were so excited to be eating, that I forgot to take the picture before diving in!

I should get at least three more cooking nights in this week, so come back and see what's in store! Happy eating!