Saturday, September 26, 2009

Food Networkers Ride Again

Here we are again. It's the third installment of the Food Networkers. It was my turn to choose this time. I haven't read what Laurie, Steena and Clorie thought of the recipes yet, so you'll need to check them out for yourself.

Appetizer: Prosciutto-Roasted Figs
The recipe called for fresh figs. Apparently I missed the end of fresh fig season by like two weeks or something. Whoops! So I used dried figs instead. You can soak the dried figs in hot water if you wish, but I didn't feel like going through that trouble. I just used them dried. I loved this recipe. I would make it again just for me. Braden at a couple and seemed to like them ok, Rob hated them, Jade and Megan wouldn't even try them.

Main Course: Roast Chicken with Herbed Mushrooms
This was a fairly easy recipe to make. Roasted chicken is always a big hit around here and this was no exception. It was simple, flavorful and juicy. It wasn't profound in comparison to any other chicken I've made. Everyone loves mushrooms though, so I will probably make it again. My chicken didn't come out very pretty, so no picture this time.

Side Dish: Honey Roasted Cipollini Onions
I couldn't find Cipollini onions. So what I used were broiler onions. I'm not sure what kind of difference the right onions would have made. If I do ever see them in the store, I will most likely buy them and try this recipe again. I may even try it with pearl onions. This was full of flavor and even once they had gone cold were still delicious. The only problem was that the outer layer became a tough skin. But we just tossed that to the chickens and all was well. None of the kids liked this recipe, but I didn't expect them to. Bottom line is it's more of a "grown up" flavor. My mother-in-law tried them and thought they were delicious.
Dessert: Chocolate Pudding
Now this is what it's all about. Rich, thick, creamy and delicious. I have thought several time about learning to make pudding from scratch. It was just one of those things I never really got around to. The recipe was easy to follow and came together perfectly. A big hit all around.
Next up it's Clorie's chance to choose our recipes. Tune in two weeks from today to find out what deliciousness she has in store for us.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

What are your kitchen essentials?

After talking to a friend about my cooking style today, I started to think about what I need to have in my kitchen to know that I can serve my family a "good" meal. So here are the bare minimums that I need to have on hand.

  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Italian Seasoning

  • Mayo
  • Mustard
  • Hot Sauce
  • Salsa

  • Chicken
  • Canned Tuna
  • Ground Beef

  • Milk
  • Butter
  • Flour
  • Rice
  • Eggs
  • Misc. Veggies

Now I do keep much more than this in my kitchen. But if I had to choose what I just could not run out of, this would be the list. With this, I can make many things. Creamed Tuna on rice, bread, soups, casseroles, pasta, the list goes on and on.

What are your kitchen essentials?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Mr. Swayze, you will be missed.

Sometimes you don't realize that someone meant anything in your life until you hear they have died. In a way, that's how I am feeling about Patrick Swayze. I didn't know him personally, most of us didn't. But most of us knew his work, and knew it well.

There are a lot of things out there I could mention, but two stand out. North and South is the first, and Dirty Dancing is the other.

North and South was and still is a favorite of my mom. She has a love of the south and the Civil War era. I remember her excitement when she was finally able to get the series on VHS so she could watch it anytime she wanted. My mom and North and South will always be connected in my mind. I may have just been to young to realize sooner, but I really don't remember my mom talking about the south or Civil War era things before she saw North and South. I'm sure she loved them before then, but I think maybe it brought it to the surface for her.

As for Dirty Dancing, I was a teen when I first saw this movie. I was at an age where it was exciting and appealed to me because I could see myself as Baby. And I wanted to be Baby, LOL. It was very much a coming of age film for many of my generation. It represented the freedom I was craving as a teen who was too young to be without rules, but too old to feel like a kid.

I woke up this morning feeling like a part of my youth had died along with Patrick Swayze. And I know I will miss him in a different way than I have other public figures. My heart goes out to his family, especially his wife. May they find comfort in knowing that he really did touch the lives of his fans in some way.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Food Networkers Round Two

I can't believe two weeks have passed already. So much for my vow to keep up with blogging better for once. Maybe things will get better now that Jade is back to school. At any rate, today we are talking about one of my favorite subjects, FOOD!

This time the recipes were chosen by Laurie. And along with her and Steena, we have a new participant, Clorie, joining us. Be sure to checkout their blogs to see what they though of the recipe.

And now without further ado, here are the four recipes that were chosen for this round.

Appetizer: Pizza Pockets. These were OK. They weren't hard to make, and the kids loved them. I couldn't find arugula, so I substituted with chopped swiss chard. I think Spinach would have been a better choice, but the chard worked. Would I make them again? Probably not. Or at least I would make a homemade dough. I think that would have been easier to work with. Still, it was good enough to make all three of my kids happy, and that says a lot.
Side Dish: Broiled Zucchini and Potatoes With Parmesan Crust. I would totally do this again with the potatoes. Maybe even the zucchini. But probably not together. I think that maybe my potatoes were under boiled and the zucchini was really mushy on the top. I don't like mushy zucchini at all. But the cheese was good. The kids wouldn't try the zucchini, but loved the potatoes.

Main Course: Roast Beef With Spicy Parsley Tomato Sauce. This was delicious. They sauce was great. The kids didn't care for the sauce unfortunately, but there was no meat left. Megan even chose to have the roast as a snack later in the evening. I would make this recipe for company.
Dessert: Lemon Thyme Bars. This the recipe I was least looking forward to. I am not a big fan of thyme, and it just did not sound right that it should be in a dessert. I was surprised to find I liked the bars. They weren't the best dessert I've ever had, but not the worst either. Megan liked the glaze because it was really sour. Jade took one bite and hated it. Braden ate two and then finished Megan's. Would I make this again? Probably not. But it was worth trying just to find that the combination of thyme and lemon actually works well.
Next round I get to choose the recipes. I'm so excited. I'd love to give you a preview of what we'll be making. No, that's not true. I totally want to make you wait and have to come back in two weeks to see the awesomness that I chose. :o)
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