Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Food Survery

1. How do you like your eggs? Scrambled...Very Well Done...Some would call it rubbery, but I can't stand "gooey" eggs!
2. How do you take your coffee/tea? I don't like coffee or tea!
3. Favorite breakfast food? Everything!!! I LOVE breakfast!!!
4. Peanut butter: Smooth or crunchy? Crunchy
5. What kind of dressing on your salad? Hmmmm, depends on my mood. Italian or Ranch.
6. Coke or Pepsi? Coke if it's from Nordstrom Cafe...but otherwise Dr. Pepper. Pepsi's too sweet.
7. You’re feeling lazy, what do you make? A phone call to Eric who will stop somewhere on his way home!
8. You’re feeling really lazy. What kind of pizza do you order? Canadian Bacon with Pineapple and Green Bell Peppers.
9. You feel like cooking. What do you make? Some kind of go with Pasta of course!
10. Do any foods bring back good memories? A lot of foods bring back good memories-too many to name! Chuck E. Cheese Pizza (where I spent most of my first few birthdays), Tootie-Frooties the cereal (whenever I got to stay home from school I would eat them for breakfast), Disneyland Churros (whenever we used to go as a family), Cherry Pop-Tarts (going camping with the cousins at Carlsbad Beach), and Fuddrucker's Hamburgers (reminds me of our Sunday afternoon tradition when Eric and I were dating.)
11. Do any foods bring back bad memories? Hmmm. Ginger ale. When I was in the hospital when I was 8, I threw up about 10 feet away after drinking ginger ale. Also Baked Turkey Breast. That was the last meal I ate before I started getting Morning Sickness while pregnant with Taylor.
12. Do any foods remind you of someone? Taquitos remind me of my Mom, I remember going to Salazar's when I was little...Baked Chicken and Mashed Potatoes remind me of my Grandparents for sure.
13. Is there a food you refuse to eat? Raw anything. Especially Sushi.
14. What was your favorite food as a child? Cheese Pizza, Buttered Noodles. Plain stuff.
15. Is there a food that you hated as a child but now like? Most things. I was a very picky kid. Any kind of pasta sauce, especially pesto and cream sauce. Vegetables. Salad.
16. Is there a food that you liked as a child but now hate? Hmmmm, no.
17. Favorite fruit and vegetable? Fruit-Any of them; Vegetable-Zucchini
18. Favorite junk food? Anything sweet!
19. Favorite between meal snack? Granola bars or fruit snacks.
20. Do you have any weird food habits? Just that I love breakfast 24 hours a day!
21. You’re on a diet. What food(s) do you fill up on? Salad and bread. Bread's okay on a diet, right?
22. You’re off your diet. Now what would you like? Pizza, Enchiladas, Bread, Pasta, Burgers...I'm affectionately known as the "Carb Queen."
23. How spicy do you order Indian/Thai? I don't like ANY Indian or Thai food.
24. Can I get you a drink? Ice cold Coke from Nordstrom cafe.
25. Red or White Wine? I don't drink the stuff, but I love using Red Wine to cook with!
26. Favorite dessert? Oh, where do I start!??!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Chicken Noodle Soup

I woke up from a nap on Sunday feeling achy, tired, and overall "blah." So, what better meal than Chicken Noodle Soup?? I sauteed up some carrots and celery in butter glorious butter, then added some organic free range chicken broth, a rotisserie chicken from Vons, and a bunch of chicken-y spices like parsley, sage, rosemary, and marjoram. (You keep waiting for me to say Thyme, but I'm not going to!!! :) Anyway, as icky as I was feeling, there was still enough time to make some homemade French Bread. I started feeling much better after dinner--and a warm bath. I'm looking forward to the leftovers for lunch today!

Blueberry Oatmeal Waffles

The latest recipe I had Eric try for our Saturday Morning Breakfasts were these Blueberry Oatmeal Waffles. They turned out pretty good, although they were significantly improved with a bit of vanilla to the batter. Next time I would like them to be a little sweeter, but I have a sweet tooth, so I'm probably not the best one to ask. But, served with Scrambled Eggs and a Banana, Eric made my day by starting the morning off right--with a tasty breakfast!

Poor Little Pasta...

So imagine this delicious Italian Feast...
Homemade Pasta Noodles baked in a combination sauce of Homemade Pesto, mixed with Italian Sausage, Ricotta, Bell Peppers and some wonderful Italian Herbs and spices. Mmmmm. Look how wonderful this pasta looks. (This was hour 5 of the endeavor. Long process indeed!)
Now to mix the noodles---UH OH!! This is going to end poorly. My noodles turned to mush!! Apparently I was supposed to let them air dry for several hours before cooking. My recipe didn't say that! Thanks a lot Michael Chiarello!
Eric ate it. I think he ate it just so I would stop pouting. (I ate the homemade bread and that was it. Oh, and a pop tart.) The filling was awesome...BUT, next time I'll try it on *REAL* pasta that came out of a box.

Mexican Chicken Rice Bowls--I HATE MAKING RICE!!!

I don't know what it is, but I cannot make rice to save my life! Take these Mexican Chicken Rice Bowls for example. Delicious spiced Chicken with Bell Peppers, Black Beans, Corn, and started out great! (Well, after I had to dig out the pieces of parsley I thought were cilantro, we were on our way to a pretty good meal!) Then I took the lid off my rice that had been cooking for an hour. STILL HARD AS ROCK! Ugh!!! (Last time I ever buy rice from the bulk bin at Sprouts without directions!) Then I get out my Minute Rice. I tried to add a little garlic and olive oil to flavor it, but I guess you can't do that to Minute Rice. It never absorbed the water! So, I had to strain the Minute Rice, and still we had a decent meal. Now, if someone could just help me make some good rice!!!
Rice attempt #1
Rice attempt #2
The finished product, despite the rice debacle.Dinner the next night--a much smarter idea--no rice! :)

Sloppy Joes (again)

I liked these Sloppy Joes so much I decided to make them again this week! The best part of the meal was the Homemade Focaccia Rolls. The Macaroni Salad and Buttered Carrots were pretty good too. This time I only used half the dressing for the Macaroni Salad, but I think I liked it better with all the dressing, just a little extra pasta. One-half was not quite enough dressing, while the full recipe yields too much. So, just adding a cup or two of extra pasta is a better bet.

White Bean and Ham Soup

Last weekened I made a giant ham--8.5 lbs to be exact--so I had plenty of leftovers for this White Bean and Ham Soup. (Not to mention the 10 C of ham I froze!) It was pretty good. I used Instant Potato Flakes to thicken up the soup--all my "real" potatoes had gone soft--and I can't stand the thought of Ham Soup without potatoes!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

My Wonderful Husband

My sweet husband made me a healthy* and delicious breakfast on Saturday. It was great to relax and enjoy being I know how Taylor feels!*By healthy, I mean "not overly unhealthy." Ignore the bacon. And the butter...and Crisco...and the pancakes. Eggs are healthy.

Italian Sausage Bow Tie Pasta with Homemade Herbed French Bread

This dish started out as a recipe, but ended as my own creation. To a pound of bowtie pasta, I added one red, and one green bell pepper, one zucchini, some spinach, asparagus, and pine nuts. Oh, and italian sausage of course. Add plenty of garlic, basil, parsley, and crushed red pepper. The sauce was going to be a beef broth-wine mixture, but I forgot the wine part a little too late, and no use adding it at the end...which I might have done had it been a stressful day, but no. I defrosted a loaf of my amazing French Bread, which I slathered with EVOO and sprinkled garlic powder, parsley and basil on before baking, and VOILA, uh, this is Italian food, PRESTO, dinner!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Snickerdoodles and Kitchen Sink Cookies

Becca made Snickerdoodles last week, and being the wonderful little baker she is, she inspired me to make my own batch. Using the same recipe as Becca, I made 2 dozen delightfully delicious, soft and chewy cookies.

Since Eric is not a Snickerdoodle kind of guy, (just the word "Snickerdoodle" is not very tough and manly, so I can understand), I made him Kitchen Sink cookies. These cookies have "everything but the kitchen sink" and are AMAZING. I used Rice Krispies instead of Cornflakes (much better), Coconut, Oats, and Chocolate Chips.

Lime Chicken Tacos with Black Beans, Chips, and Guacamole

This was a pretty popular choice on last weeks poll...Lime Chicken Tacos with Black Beans, Chips, and Guacamole. I was planning on serving the beans on the side, but I didn't have any clean pots or pans that I could use to heat them up. So, I just added the beans to the chicken while it was simmering, and I would definitely do that again. It gave the beans a great flavor, and really tied the dish together. I have been on a guacamole kick lately, and really enjoy the Wholly Guacamole packs from Costco. This was a very tasty meal, that actually lasted us two nights.

General Tsao's Chicken and Vegetable Stir Fry

My Mom gave me a bottle of Trader Joe's General Tsao's stir fry sauce a few months ago, and I have just gotten over my fear of "spicy" foods, so we made it this week. SO GOOD! I highly recommend this sauce. I used a plethora of fresh ingredients, including asparagus, bell peppers, carrots, celery, chicken, corn, pineapple, snap peas, and zucchini. It was great served over white rice.

Italian Sausage Stuffed Shells--Sara Style

I made these incredible stuffed shells for my Dad's poker night. All the guys raved, and so did my Husband...I even snuck one, and Taylor didn't seem to mind the tomatoes, onions, and dairy...I kind of did "a little here, a little there", sort of thing, but here's the basic idea...

2 LB sweet italian sausage, casings discarded
1 red bell pepper chopped
1 green bell pepper chopped
1 bag 10 oz baby spinach
1 onion chopped
4 cloves minced garlic
32 oz. ricotta cheese
12 oz. mozzerella cheese
1 C parmesan cheese
2 eggs
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp dried parsley
2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
salt and pepper to taste
1 box (12 oz.) large pasta shells
2 (16 oz) jars spaghetti sauce
In a large skillet, saute italian sausage, garlic, and onion until sausage is close to done.
Add bell peppers, cook until peppers are slightly crispy and sausage is cooked, brown and crumbly.
Add spinach until wilted.
Set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, mix cheeses, and seasonings. Taste and adjust as necessary.
When flavor is good, add the eggs, and stir until well combined.
Add cheese mixture to cooled meat mixture.
Cook pasta shells as directed, until al dente, or still fairly hard on the bottoms.
Drain and run under cold water to stop cooking process.
Stuff meat and cheese mixture into shells.
Spread some sauce on the bottom of a baking dish.
Place stuffed shells in baking dish.
Top with the rest of the sauce, and a little parmesan cheese.
Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes until bubbly.

Pulled Pork with Macaroni Salad and Maple Dill Carrots

There was only one word to describe this meal...DELISH! The Pulled Pork, Macaroni Salad, and Maple Dill Carrots paired together perfectly. I didn't get a chance to make homemade French Rolls, but maybe next time.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

This Week's Menu

Pulled Pork Sandwiches
Homemade Macaroni Salad
Maple Carrots with Dill Butter

Eric: Stuffed Shells
Sara: Pancakes and Eggs

General Tsao's Chicken Stir Fry
White Rice

Lime Chicken Tacos
Refried Beans
Chips and Guacamole

Lime Chicken Tacos
Refried Beans
Chips and Guacamole

Italian Sausage Pasta in Homemade Bread Bowls
Balsamic Asparagus

BBQ Steak Kebobs
Grilled Potatoes
Grilled Asparagus

Baked Ham
Green Beans

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Oatmeal Waffles

So, this is how our Saturday morning went...
Eric: "What do you want me to make you for breakfast?" (I'm serious, he likes to make me breakfast on Saturdays. I have the perfect husband, thank you.)
Sara: "I don't know."
(Sara goes upstairs to her trusted, and comes down with this recipe...
Eric: "Okay, I'll make these. Have you seen the baking powder?"
Sara: "It expired. I threw it away. Use Baking Soda plus Cream of Tartar."
(They spend the next 20 minutes looking for Cream of Tartar, until phone rings. It's Mom.)
Sara: "Have you seen my Cream of Tartar, Mom?"
Mom: "You left it at my house."
Sara: "CRAPPOLA! Eric, take the baking soda out of the trash!"
(Eric takes baking soda out of trash and uses it. We're not dead yet, thank heavens."

So, here are the Oatmeal Waffles Eric made, topped with my Spiced Sliced Apples. Really good. The oatmeal makes it seem healthy. We won't talk about the butter content...

Balsamic Garlic Chicken

This was pretty good. Despite my usual aversion to the fungi, I actually liked the mushrooms in this dish. Also topped with Feta Cheese, it was a very easy, and pretty tasty one-pot meal.
I served it with Smashed Red Potatoes and cooked Carrots. I have found that cooking my carrots in my potato water alleviates the need to season the carrots. At least it makes me feel like I'm cooking a little healthier!