Sunday, March 13, 2011

crazy times

As if Charlie Sheen's rants aren't enough craziness, (does he seriously expect us to believe he's not using? The guy looks like a skeleton and talks like a lunatic! If he's not on drugs, he'd better get a cat scan because something is seriously wrong.) one of the biggest earthquakes on record shook Japan and sent flood waters across the region.  Watching that water stampede across, trampling everything in it's path, carrying cars, houses, boat and other debris, sends shocks of wonder, disbelief, awe and horror to the person who is safely sitting in their living room, watching the television or the computer.

We live in Cleveland and, yesterday, as we were driving by the airport and the Ford Plant that looks like it is its own city, I could imagine water gushing over it all taking everything in it's path.  It was humbling and a huge reminder to not take life for granted.  Nothing is really promised, is it?  When water spills over the land, rushes over houses, cars and boats and takes everything in it's path, human life is more delicate than any of us would ever like to admit.  4 trains are missing.  Doesn't that seem impossible?  How could 4 trains go missing.  Water swept them away the way the wind blows a leaf off of the front porch.

Anyway, it doesn't seem like I've been cooking much lately.  I did take a lesson from Rachael's cookbook and made a fast dinner but it really isn't one of her recipes.  She's turned me on to McCormick's Montreal Grill Seasoning mix.  It's peppery and savory and I love it!  I put it on some chicken breasts, grilled them while I had some pre-packaged waffle fries in the oven.  And, then I made my standard which I've told you about before - peppers and onions sauteed with a bit of olive oil on high heat until they start to brown, then add a dash of balsamic vinegar.  We had a salad and I steamed some broccoli.  Other than that, another night, I grilled some steaks and had baked potatoes - used the McCormick's on that too.  Anyway, I've been on my own a bit this week.  

Yesterday night, my daughter was home with a friend while my husband and I were at the game and they tried to make something from the cookbook but they didn't have the ingredients so they tried to improvise.  Well, neither one really has the skill to do that just yet and they didn't like what they made.  But, I remember that age as a cook!  You think, "Why can't I do this?"  then you do it and it's awful and you think, "Oh, that's why."

I am hoping you are well.  Safe.  Warm.  Dry.  I am a religious and spirtual  person and I will go ahead and say it - God Bless You.

Bon Jour!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Edible Arrangements

It was a banner day at the Fruit Stand as we like to call it.  Our store did about 23 arrangements today when we usually do about 10-15.  I had to cut about 5 more pineapple into shapes and there were all of these scraps so I brought them home.  There is a recipe in Rachael's cookbook for Pineapple Chicken - it calls for a whole pineapple that is cored and peeled - no sweat!

I used that McCormick's grilling seasoning on the chicken to season it before grilling it in the fry pan (is that the right technical terms?)  Then, slice up the cooked chicken, put it back into the skillet and put the pineapple sauce on top.  Also, I didn't have any spiced rum so I used coconut rum.  This recipe was a big hit with my husband.  And, there's still some of the sauce left over.  Love leftovers!  They make the best lunches.  I'll cook some more chicken and it will be great for lunch tomorrow.

With the rest of the pineapple scraps, I chunked them up and put them in a blender with six or seven frozen strawberries, the juice from the scraps and about three quarters of a cup of the coconut rum plus a little white rum just for effect and blended - daquiri anyone?  Those were quite tasty too.

Meanwhile, my son has Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark.  We keep asking ourselves questions like, "How did he move that thousand pound rock by himself?" Oh well.  It's a movie right?

My husband just complimented me again on the dinner.  It was a hit!

Bonne nuit!

Walking taco

Have you ever made a walking taco?  It is so easy and it's actually something I learned how to do at the high school where I substitute teach while I'm pursuing my license.  What you do is brown some hamburger or ground turkey, add taco seasoning mix and let it simmer for ten minutes.  In the meantime, pick out your favorite tortilla or corn chips - Fritos or Doritios or Tostitos in single serving bags.  Crush the chips just a little, scoop on some of the taco meat, put some shredded cheddar, some thinly sliced lettuce, some salsa, some sour cream, grab a fork and chow.  School groups do this a fund raiser.  They charge $2, make a huge roasting pan full of the beef, have boxed of single size chips and usually sell out before the last lunch period is over because everyone loves it so much.

Why am I telling you this?  Because it is what I made for dinner last night.  Ellen had a game she had to cheer for, my husband was with her so it was just the three of us - Audrey, Brandon and me.  I wanted something uber-simple and fun.  We watched Eat Pray Love for the four hundreth time.  Audrey and I worked on giving ourselves pedicures and Brandon talked to us about philosophical ideas like a story from Dante about which sin was the worst: gluttony, adultery or murder.  Deep kid.

I work 12-5 at Edibles today and will have time to make something.  I don't know what just yet.  I actually have to get into the shower so I'll be ready on time to leave.

Have a great day!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Chinese food

I have not been cooking.
I have had Chinese take out for dinner, lunch and dinner for the past two days.  Do you think all that MSG could be the buzzing in my head?  I'm not really kidding about that. I have eaten probably a pound and half of spicy green beans.  They are so good, I can't stop!  But, I bet they have a lot of salt on them.

Well, in our world, Senate Bill 5 just passed the Senate.  What I don't have the full scoop on but all the teachers were talking about today is how someone on the committee who planned on voting no was replaced with someone who voted yes and that won the vote 17-16.

What I can't understand is how anyone can justify attacking teachers, police and firemen.  The people that help raise our kids, protect us from the bad guys and come to our rescue when our houses are on fire or someone we love is having a heart attack - who could say any of these guys are overpaid, over-benefitted, over-compensated?  Are you kidding??  Now, they have it set that a teacher with 10 years experience and a Master degree will make, are you ready?  Wait for it.... $31,500 per year.  Now, remember that a teaching degree is a FIVE year degree and then an average masters degree costs over $15,000.  The school system does not pay for this.  It's crazy and it's making me rethink this plan to get my teaching degree.  I have a business degree but wanted to do something more for my fellow man.  But, not at the expense of my family.

Tomorrow is Friday night. I'm not sure yet what our plans are - there are two basketball games that we will probably go to.  It will probably be chicken.

Bonne nuit.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Yet another night

Well, I have not cooked much lately.  It's Tuesday night and I last cooked last Thursday night?  Is that right?  No.  Sunday night.  Last Thursday night, the girls made dinner again.  I remember it was good and chicken but I don't remember what it was.  Hmmm.  Sunday, I made lemon crusted chicken with smashed red potatoes.  The potatoes were not part of the recipe but I've got to say, I am totally into these taters.  I put some lemon juice into the mashers with some garlic butter and sour cream.  Who wouldn't be in to that??

Last night, I worked until 7:15, still had to hit Target so the hubby talked me ( you can guess how hard he had to try!) into Applebees.  I love that 2 for $20 menu!  I always get the sirloin, and while it adds some cost, I have them put the parmesan shrimp on top.  It is so good.  And, I got smashed red potatoes - told you I was into them!  Plus, even though they totally aren't good for you and have about a million calories and are a total guy food, I love buffalo chicken bites.  I use that word a lot - Love - but what else can I call it?

So, I haven't been cooking much because, over the weekend, my daughter's high school cheer team competed in the State competition.  So, we had pizza on Friday night before we headed out of town and went out to dinner on Saturday night while we were still out of town.  Then ate Applebees last night.  Love eating out!!

The reason I started this  project is because I hate those periods of indecision of what to make for dinner. Tonight, I was flipping through the book, really not feeling it.  So, I went to an old stand by with a bit of Rachael Ray thrown in.  Okay, ready for the recipe?  You need around 5 boneless chicken breasts (I'm feeding five), slice them into strips or tenders and put two tablespoons of your favorite Caeser salad dressing over the chicken to coat.  Heat a skillet with two tablespoons of butter.  Heat a pot of water to boil.Slice an onion and red pepper. Once the butter is browning, throw in the chicken, wait a minute, turn the chicken and add onion and red pepper.  Add 3-4 cloves of minced or crushed garlic.  Add a pound of pasta (I used farfalle or bowties) to the boiling water and salt it. Stir chicken mixture to keep it from sticking and to help it cook evenly. In the last five minutes of the pasta, add two cups of fresh broccoli to the boiling pot.  To the chicken mixture, add a cup of baby spinach, 10 leaves of fresh basil and a 1/2 tsp of crushed red pepper.  Add one jar of your favorite alfredo sauce (cheating, I know, but it is so good!) to the chicken mixture to heat it through.  Drain the pasta.  Put some pasta into a bowl and top with the chicken alfredo.  Serve with some crusty bread and a Pinot Grigio.  It was really good, I gotta say!

Daughter needs the computer so I've got to go.  I will try to keep up a little better.
Bonne nuit!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

spicy salmon

Tonight, it was Salmon with lime and black bean and corn salad.  The salmon was just so so.  It needed more flavor added to it but the salad was fabulous.  It was onion, pepper, lime, cumin, cilantro and spinach and it was fabulous.  I could eat tons and tons of that.  I usually love salmon but this needed something else but I'm not sure what.  Perhaps there were so many flavors that the salmon got lost.  I ate a bite of salmon with a bite of the salad to try to pep it up but it still needed something more.  Maybe teryaki?  I don't know.

Last night's dinner was good but not great.  It was apple cider chicken.  It had carmelized onions with it that were delicious but it was just a bit too much vinegar for my taste.

Okay, one of the things I like to add to this is my own recipes just because maybe you'll read it if you get something more than just a review.  My son does not like salmon.  A lot of kids don't and he is no exception to this.  So, I made him a chicken breast on the George Forman.  I like to coat it with Ranch dressing before grilling it.  Because we were having kind of a Mexican flavored meal, I added about a half teaspoon of chili powder to the ranch dressing before coating the chicken.  It adds just a bit of southwest flavor and gives it a good flavor.  My friend, Audria, gave me that ranch idea years ago and it is so good on the grill.  Coat the chicken, throw it on the grill and I even add a wooden stick to the grill to get a wood-smoked taste.  It's one of our favorites with perogies and salad.  It's a very fast meal and so good.

Tomorrow night, I still don't know.  Maybe Chicken Tortilla Soup.

Have a great night,

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Ice storm

Well, as the title implies, we had an ice storm yesterday which knocked out our phone, cable and internet.  We're back up and running today and are privy to an absolutely beautiful show.  The trees look like they have been dipped in silver or are made of cut glass.  The sun was out, the sky was blue and the trees shone like angel's wings.  Gorgeous!

So, about cooking.  Saturday night, as I said before, we had Brandon's birthday party and we just had pizza.  Sunday night, I made Schnitzel.  Yes, there is a recipe for schnitzel in the Rachael Ray cookbook, which appears to be a type of fried chicken cutlet with nutmeg.  Who knew? I did not, however, have it with noodles even though I danced around my house singing "My Favorite Things" over and over again at the total embarrassment of my three teenage children! (After all, one of the joys of being a parent of teenage children is watching their eyes roll with embarrassment! I have to admit though, that my kids are so used to my antics that it takes more and more to get them to do it.)

I did not cook last night, Monday night, as I worked until 7:00 and my daughter had a game so my husband fed again!  Oh, well.  It just makes them appreciate Mommy more.  Even if she does dance around the kitchen singing the same song over and over again! They like pizza but they are not the pizza-all-the-time kind of kids so they probably would have preferred something else if I were home.  Tonight, my husband is away on business and I have no idea what to make.  Usually, this is our take night.  Ken is not gone very often but I do tend to lose my motivation to cook when he isn't here.  And, if it wasn't so cold out, I think I would be tempted.  But, my kids, like the pizza example, aren't really that normal when it comes to eating.  They don't really like McDonald's or Burger King or Wendy's.  And, since Taco Bell has grossed out everyone, they really don't want that either.  There's a KFC close but my daughter read that they mistreat their chickens so that's out too.  Chinese food is good but too far away.  So.  I have to go to Rachael Ray, which, honestly, is why I started this whole thing to begin with.  That and I like to write about nothing...  ;)

Okay, I'm off to peruse the cookbook.  I'm thinking chicken.  Mostly because we have chicken.

bonne nuit!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Saturday morning

It's Saturday morning and I am finishing my second cup of coffee.  Ahhhhhh!  The sun is out but it's in the 30's - still cold but at least it looks warm.

We've had two Rachael Ray dinners but I haven't written about either one of them:
Thursday, my soon to be 16 year old daughters, born on the Ides of March (boy, is THAT a story!), made Chicken Francese.  Can I say how awesome it was that they made it?  It was very good.  The sauce didn't make much but it was enough for my husband and I - the kids don't like anything remotely sweet and were afraid the wine would sweeten it enough for them not to like it.  They liked the chicken, though.

Last night, I made pan roasted garlic and herb chicken.  Rachael suggested making a salad but I made smashed red-skinned potatoes instead.  And, made up a recipe as I went.  The recipe calls for browning the chicken in an oven-safe skillet and I don't have one of those, so I pre-heated a stone roasting pan and, after browning the chicken, I transferred it to the roaster.  Well, I couldn't let all those little bits go to waste in the bottom of the pan, so I added some butter and flour, let that cook a minute, and added a little sweet vermouth (I'm out of wine!  Tragedy!).  Then, I put some chicken broth and even a little half and half.  While this sauce was bubbling, I put in some green beans that we had grown, blanched and frozen last summer.  I added all the herbs that were used to marinade the chicken as well.  It was quite good.  My husband loved it!

Tonight, my son is having his birthday party...His birthday is January 23rd and it's February 19th.  Yeah, just a little late!  But, it always comes so quickly after Christmas, trying to set it up, get kids to come, etc. rarely works out.  Anyway, it's going to be pizza tonight.  I doubt I will cook anything today other than breakfast which is done and over with.

Okay, let me just tell you how to make the best scrambled eggs ever.  First off, you need a really good non-stick pan.  Warm the pan to medium heat and grease it with butter.  Take an egg or two in a bowl, add a sprinkle of salt, pepper and water and beat vigourously for a minute or so.  Put the eggs in the hot pan and constantly move them around.  It will take about 30 seconds to cook them.  The secret is to keep them moving by folding them in over themselves.  They are so tender and delicious!  I adapted this from a YouTube video of Julia Child making an omelette.  Don't let the egg brown.  If it browns, it's overdone.  Try it!

So, for breakfast, I made eggs, bacon (in the electric skillet and it comes out just perfect!) and pancakes.  I added chocolate chips to mine because I can.  So, two cups of coffee, chocolate chip pancakes, eggs, bacon...that is what I call a Saturday morning!!

Have a great rest of your day!
Bon Jour!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

not cooking

Well, I have not cooked for three days.  Valentine's Day, I worked until 7:30 and my daughters were gone with my husband to different activities and he had already fed them hamburgers by the time I arrived home.  Last night, I came home from class at 7:00 after working until 4, then I picked up the kids and went to class at 5:00, was exhausted and called Ken and asked him to bring home Chinese food.  Tonight, I cleaned up the kitchen and was planning on making chicken francese something or other when I was asked to help out a friend and left again and wasn't home until 8:45.  Frozen pizza tonight.  So, I haven't given up on this but life has interferred and messed with my grand plans.  Go figure.

I have some gossipy news.  If you have read my blog, which, so far, I don't think anyone has, but just in case, you will know that my daughter was dating someone who I thought was not really that great. He was kind of weird, a little on the chunky side and I witnessed him speak rudely to his parents - which is the kiss of death for me.  Well, my daughter has decided that he is a little weird and is planning on breaking up with him but hasn't done it yet because it's too close to Valentine's Day.  He bought her a box of Russell Stover candy.  Guys, do not EVER buy this for your girl friends unless you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that she likes it.  It screams, "I spent absolutely no time thinking about this!"  As for my daughter, she doesn't like sweets.  No, no sweets.  Weird, I know, but she really does not eat candy, pop, ice cream, cake, cookies, fruit....anything sweet.  All three of my kids are like this.  I don't know why other than it made them sick when they were very young.  So, he bought her a box of candy....she doesn't like or eat candy....she's told him this several times....does not bode well for the boyfriend!  This is not why she is breaking up with him, mind you.  It's just the cherry on the cake.

Ken, my husband, gave me a Valentine card this morning.  I still haven't read it.  I'm not sentimental about Valentine's Day.  He tells me he loves me every morning when he brings me my coffee.  I don't need roses or candy...a dinner out would be nice but it's expensive.  Some day, we will eat out - when we don't have five people to feed each time.  A night out at the theater is always nice too but again, it's pricey. 

Tomorrow night, I have class again.  We just read something called, "Paul's Case."  It's about a boy who lives in a middle class neighborhood but dreams of living in the upper class and living the upper class lifestyle.  Wouldn't it be nice?  The thing with technology is that we see everything that is available.  It makes us want things we never would have thought about on our own and adds to the dissatisfaction of life.  I have a nice life but I want more.  I want my bills paid off.  I want to go out to eat and go to plays, operas, etc.  I want to dress ina dress and go out on the town, drink wine in dark, swanky corners, eat teeny portions from beautiful exotic shaped plates, sit straight-backed in chairs with my ankles crossed because that is how a lady sits... but it isn't a priority.  My children's education is a priority.  Keeping a roof over their heads, decent clothing and real food all come way before that other stuff.  Plus, we live near Lake Erie - wouldn't a boat be fabulous?  How about cruises, trips to Europe, Asia, Australia?  We can imagine all of this but the price makes it out of reach for most of us.  That adds to the stress of our daily lives, doesn't it?  We work so hard and there is so much pressure to acheive more, more, more. 

In another class, I have a Korean professor who spoke of Americans as always looking to the future.  Most other cultures focus on their traditions and their own cultures but Americans are still evolving and our culture is not set.  Sometimes, I think we just need to breathe.  Take in air all day long and realize that we are human beings, that we are safe for the moment and find comfort in that.

It's after 10:00.  Both daughters have corrections on English papers so it's off to proof reading for me.
Bonne nuit.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

German food

On Friday night, we had a rivalry high school basketball game and we needed a quick dinner before we left.  So, I made Rachael's German Potato salad with Kielbasa.  It was good.  I especially liked the potato salad.  Having German roots, Germany's warm potato salad has been a staple at family gatherings for as long as I can remember but the family recipe was a bit too vinegary for my taste.  And, I have spoiled German food taste.

How does that happen?  How can anyone possible have spoiled German food tastes?  Can anyone actually be a Germanic food connoisseur?  Yes they can!  How you ask? Well, in my hometown of Columbus, Ohio, there is a little place called German Village with square little brick houses, brick lined streets, a fudge house and, most importantly, Schmidt's Sausage Haus.  Oh, yeah, baby.  This place made sausage back in the 1800's but is now a German tavern with great beer, sauerkraut, German potato salad, and, oh yeah, sausage.  Almost kind you can think of, they make it.  My favorite is still the bratwurst but most of my family prefers the 'Bahama Mama' which is a spicy-hot sausage that can make a grown man sweat.  Top em with a little kraut, horseradish, spicy mustard and a side of the potato salad and you are good to go.

They often have live bands there too which, add some German beer, and you have got a germanic smile the rest of the  night.  Did I mention the waitresses dress like the St. Pauli Girl?  Now, not all of them are petite little frauleins - there are some definite fraus in the bunch but it's still fun.

And, as if this wasn't enough to make you call a cab the next time you are in downtown Columbus, Ohio, this should do the trick...cream puffs.  Cream puffs the size of a toddler's head filled with luscious, wait for it, cream!  So good and definitely big enough to share.  Everytime I go, though, there is a debate....cream puff or cherry tart?  You think I'm kidding about the debate?  Oh no, my friend, it takes some serious contemplating.  The cherry tarts are like mini cheesecakes and convinced me very early in my life that cream cheese was one of the best things on earth.  You could just get one of each if 1.) you have a very big appetite.2.) desserts are your thing and you just gotta or 3.) you have someone who is just as desperate as you to have both and is willing to share.

So, if you are ever in Columbus, ask about Schmidt's - everyone knows it.  Everyone loves it!  You have to go.  Now, back to Rachael's recipe.  Her German potato salad was more like Schmidt's which makes it a good thing because Schmidt's german potato salad really is a favorite of mine and if I can sneak closer to the recipe than my German family, haha, so much the better.

Okay, it's still Valentine's day weekend and it's pajama day at Edible's as we try to make up all those arrangements for love sick puppies, sweetheart grandma's and those desperate to stay out of the dog house.  And, we expect to take loads of phone calls from panicked boyfriends who are so afraid of that foretold doggie den, you can hear them sweating over the phone.  So I have to go shower, put on clean jammies and head off to work. where I will sample the chocolate covered banana.  Be jealous!

Bon Jour!

Valentine's Day weekend

Two days have passed since I have written.  It's Valentine's Day weekend and Edible Arrangements, my little part-time job, is crazy busy with people wanting to buy large, chocolate covered fruit bouquets for that someone special that they are trying desperately to impress.  Did that sound cynical?  Well, if it didn't, I must try harder.  Maybe it's because I have been married for almost 19 years and have 3 teenage kids.  Valentine's Day has meant to me over the last, let's say, 10 years that I have to rush around buying or making every kid in my kid's class a Valentine that I have to force my kid to sign, decorate, etc.  It's fun but it's exhausting too.

This year, my son decided he didn't want to do our traditional Valentine.  Which makes me a little sad but also relieved.  Every year, it seems anyway, we made chocolate chip cookies in the shape of a heart, baked them, wrapped them in cello and tied them with red and white ribbon with a cute little 'from' tag hanging down.  They were very cute!  Perhaps that's why the 13 year old boy said no, he'd rather give straight candy.  Maybe it was the 'straight' that really sent him over the edge.  Who knows.

So, how do you achieve a heart shaped chocolate chip cookie.  Well, it's not so hard.  Make up your favorite recipe as long as your cookies don't come out looking like pancakes, (If they do, add a couple tablespoons of flour)  take two small dough balls from the batch, roll one end so that the dough ball looks more like a club you see in cave man cartoons.  It should be pointy at one end and thick and rounded on the other.  Take the two cave-man clubs and put them on the cookie sheet.  Pinch the pointy ends together so that you have one cookie that looks like a V.  Bake as usual.  The cookie will spread into a heart shape.  The pointy end won't be extremely pointy but it will look like a heart just the same. 

I think this is a long enough post so I will move on to a new one.  As it's 6 am, I will say:

Bon Jour!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Asian Chicken

I made Asian Chicken tonight but I didn't quite do it the Rachael Ray way.  I added peanut butter, thai chili sauce and took out the red pepper.  It was very spicy but very good.

Another cold day in Ohio - right around that zero mark.  So ready for warm weather!  Maybe I should make some sort of Carribean thing.  Ah, warm ocean waters, blue sky, sun, sand - doesn't that sound wonderful! 

I think I will go to be dreaming about the ocean.

Bonne nuit!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Late night

It feels like it's after midnight and it's only 10:20.  Ever get that way?  Every noise knits your brows together and makes you feel absolutely nutty and cranky?  My husband just honked his nose.  Well, he blew his nose.  Same thing.  Ugh!

Anyway, once I write this, I'm off to bed.  My list has continued in this manner for the last hour.  Once I clean up the kitchen, I'm off to bed.  Darn it!  There's a load of laundry that has my son's pants in it that he'll need for tomorrow.  Once I fold that basket of laundry, I'm off to bed.  Darn it!  Daughter needs help proof-reading her essay.  Once I finish that, I'm off to bed.  Darn it!  I forgot to blog about Rachael Ray!  Once I do that...blah, blah, blah.  Nice mood, huh?

Well, let's talk about Rachael's recipe.  Tonight, I made French Onion Steak Croissants - oh, my dear God!  They were so good!  Now, I have preface this with I LOVE french dips - you know - steak with provolone on a hoagie with some au jus on the side - so good.  Anyway, this was a croissant with steak, onions and,  yes, I served it with au jus.  I changed the recipe a bit by using provolone instead of gruyere because gruyere is about $15 a pound and provolone is about $3 a pound. Yeah, we're on a budget here people!  And, the recipe called for chicken stock to de-glaze the onions but I used beef stock so I could have some extra to dip in.  Loved it!  My husband loved it too and my kids (not Ellen - my 'cows are cute' kid - she wasn't home) liked it too even though it had a lot of onions and they aren't big onion fans.  I served it with some steamed broccoli and we were good to go.  And, a perk:  once you slice the steak, you just can't help but nibble.  A piece for my son, a piece for my daughter, a piece for me and there was plenty left for the sandwiches.  I will definitely make this again.  I used London Broil and have to admit this is the first time I have ever bought that particular piece of meat.  I did use a meat mallet/tenderizer on it a bit because the recipe says to marinate the steak for a while and I thought that would help the process and I was afraid that it might be a little tough. It was tender and juicy and very satisfying in the way that beef, cheese, onions and a croissant would be satisfying.  It sounds ridiculous, doesn't it?  It was ridiculous!  Ridiculously good!

Okay, I really do think I'm off to bed.  Yeah, right...

Bonne nuit!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

busy, busy, busy

Well, here I go adjusting again. Oiy. I didn't cook last night and I made myself a grilled cheese for dinner tonight. Why? Well, last night, I got home from work around 7:30 and my daughters were off in two different directions. Only my son was home and he had made some pasta. So, I poured some jarred sauce on it, baked some chicken nuggets, put some Parmesan cheese on...Voila - dinner.

Tonight, I got home at 7:05 and Audrey had to leave in 25 minutes for basketball practice with Ken, my husband so he put some burgers on the George Foreman and out the door they went.

I had class tonight and we were talking about modern literature. Today, we're in the post-modern era. (Wonder what comes after that??) In Modernism, they wrote about their disillusionment and discontentment about the way the world worked. For the first time, the lowest classes had a voice because they could read and write and they could talk about their struggles. It's an interesting to think that we go through our lives thinking that we can work hard, achieve more, become successful but it doesn't always work out that way, does it?

I don't think of myself as successful in a career. I have a marketing degree, was a retail manager for several years, worked as an ad rep for a radio station, moved back to my hometown, worked again in retail at a cookie store and then, I had twins. I would have paid two-thirds of my salary to day care so I stayed home instead. I worked part-time as a cookie store shift supervisor, ended up with my own store when my girls were two and got pregnant because I was so busy, I didn't have time to go to the pharmacy. Since then, I have had several part-time jobs but nothing that leads me into full time work. So, I started on a teaching degree. And, each year, the state of Ohio adds new requirements so that I will spend around $40,000 by the time I am done. That's more than a year's salary. I have wanted to work full time for quite awhile but nothing ever pans out. For example, I had two friends/acquaintances who offered to help me at a company that had a job that I would have been perfect for but the company was bought out by another company and the position was eliminated before they interviewed anyone for it. It's always something.
Right now, I am working three jobs and going to school and raising a family. So to say if you work hard, you will have success in a career isn't necessarily true. I'm proof of that. But, I also think it has a lot to do with stay at home moms. I have many friends who have had a very difficult time finding work. Now, I'm 43. Who wants to hire a 43 year old on an entry level job and put them on a career track? It just doesn't work, does it? So, what's a girl to do? Blog about it, I guess.

Tomorrow, I have some free time after class so I will go through the cookbook, plan out menus and go shopping so I have the ingredients. I don't want to do too many fish dishes because I will need those when Lent comes around...that's if I don't work the fish frys.

Well, off to study.
Bonne nuit!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Superbowl Sunday!

I'm sitting here watching the Superbowl with probably 50 million other Americans doing the same thing. What do you think of Roethleisburger? Think he did all the things he's been accused of? Any thoughts on the commercials? I just have one comment - if I never see that Doritos commercial where the guy puts another guys Dorito fingers into his mouth, that will be okay with me. Yuck!

I am sort of rooting for Pittsburgh - they are a rival of the Cleveland Browns, but they're closer to Ohio than Green Bay... I don't know, guess I don't really care. But, if you are a Green Bay fan, this is really good news for you because my record for picking the winner of the SuperBowl is pretty slim. I was always a Dallas fan as a girl so if you are a sports fan, you know what that means. Yeah, I can't pick em. At least when it comes to this particular game. Ask me about the Buckeyes and I'm your girl!

So, what do you make for Superbowl Sunday? Well, I focused on the Sunday part and made Brick Roasted Chicken which features the old fashioned, skin on, bone in chicken breasts with an herb crust. The funny thing is that Ellen actually said, "Oh, there is a bone in here! Is there supposed to be?" What can I say? I've raised boneless, skinless chicken breast kids. Once we went to one of those dinners with the jousting show and where they serve half a chicken. My girls couldn't eat it because they said it looked like a dead chicken on their plates! Uh, well it is but so is that boneless, skinless slab of meat. My grandmother back in the day had to help cut the chicken's heads off, pluck them and gut them and my kids have trouble just eating pieces of chicken that don't look like a big nugget! We've come a long way, Baby!

The chicken was good. I didn't make the salad like Rachael suggested because it had capers and I don't much care for capers. I made my favorite salad instead which goes something like this - Spring mix is best but all we had was Romaine so that works, gorgonzola, dried cranberries, fresh pear, walnuts and a dressing of two prepared dressings mixed together in equal amounts - Paul Newmans light balsamic vinagrette and Kraft Asian Toasted Sesame dressing. The two balance the spicy/tart with a slightly sweet and gingery and balance the fruit with the cheese. It is so good!

Okay, it's 3rd quarter, Steelers have burned two time outs and is down 21-17. I think Green Bay has got it but they have a lot of their defensive players out with injuries so we will see. Good night! Have fun!
Bonne nuit!

Bus Ride

Last night, I did not cook. Here's why: Yesterday morning, Feb. 5th, Ellen and I left the house at 6:45 in the morning, drove to school to meet her cheerleading team to hop onto a bus and drive to Toledo for a cheerleading competition. On the way there, I fell asleep and when I awoke, it was snowing. We got lost but with the help of a cheerleader's GPS via her cell phone, we made it.

I spent the day watching cheerleaders go through their routines, do back handsprings, tucks, cartwheels, etc. and sometimes was forced to watch cheerleaders make grotesque faces called "spirit faces." If you've never seen this, oh my! The girls contort their faces to exaggerated smiles, 'Ooh' faces, winks, and such to the point that they look like they have some sort of disease that makes their faces into something like your mother warned you your face would freeze that way if you didn't stop making that expression. Seriously. The first time I saw this, I was so appalled that, without thinking, I literally said out loud, 'What's wrong with their faces?' and the lady in front of me said, "I know. They're trained to do that!" Oh, it is so ugly and it lowers the perception of IQ for all women kind. You just have to try to avert your eyes when you watch.

Anyway, our girls performed, did pretty well except they did drop one stunt but they made enough points to go to states. Then came the ride home. By this time, the snow was coming down heavily and there were six inches of snow on top of the bus. We started down the road, following another bus that was headed our way and at one point, I thought there was a white out because we couldn't see it. No. It was that the driver's window was so foggy that we couldn't see the bus that was 20 feet in front of us. So, the driver turns on this little fan and uses tissues to wipe it off. Why she needed us to say something before she did anything about it was a concern. But, we want to trust her, right? Well, then the window fogs up again and snow covers the out side of the window because the wiper is not working properly and she literally cannot see out the window and is still driving us! For 3 and a half hours, we drove like this, stopping twice so she can use a broom to know the snow off the front of the bus. It normally takes an hour and a half to get to Toledo and we more than doubled that time. Meanwhile, we are seeing cars spun out on the side of the road, cars are spinning out in front of us and we all are thinking we are going to die. I could see the headline now - "School Bus Careens Off Road, Killing Cheerleading Team. Oh, dear God, it was so scary. And, honestly, I think it was all our prayers that saved us.

So, we got home late, the girls had a game to cheer for so we all just stayed and I didn't get home until 10:30. It was a little late to make dinner. Such a long day. And we are so tired of the snow. Every day it snows. I need to move to Phoenix. I really, really do.

Okay, I will make a new post for tonight's dinner.
Bonne nuit

Friday, February 4, 2011

wrap something in bacon, it's bound to be better!

Just checking in tonight. It's late and I have an early morning as Ellen has a cheerleading competition tomorrow.
I made the bacon wrapped individual meatloaves with red skin mashed potatoes. Very good. I used ground pork instead of hamburger so that Ellen, my 'cow's are cute!' daughter could eat with us. It was fast, fairly easy and looked cool. I mean, c'mon, you can't go wrong wrapping something in bacon! Most of the bacon crisped nicely. If I had a little more time, I might have turned the loaves on their sides to crisp that little bit a bit more but it was good enough.

I subbed today and then worked in the fruit shop - 13 hour day. I'm tired. Going to bed now.

Bonne nuit!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Bad day

Like the title clearly states, it was a bad day. It started off with an opportunity that I was hoping to get into and I found out that it wasn't going to happen. Then, I was called for subbing at the last possible minute so I had to run around like crazy, got in the car, I'm half way there...where is my I.D.? Husband took it out of the van because he thought I might need it and we were trading cars for the day - last week!! I had told him I didn't need and he didn't replace it right away and Voila! I'm half way to work without my i.d. Crud!

Even before that, though, the day started off with a bad dream that repeated itself and seems so true and just fits what I have been feeling lately. Aren't dreams amazing that way? So, I'm going to try to explain it and, honestly, as cheesy as it sounds, I swear a poem is the best way because it follows the thought process so here goes.

Eyes glued shut.
Can't open them.
Driving my car.
Going down the road.
My hands are gripping the wheel.
But I can't open my eyes!
Pulling, pulling my lids
They will not open!
But I'm driving!
Where am I going?
Expecting to crash
Any minute
Can't get my eyes open!

Yeah, wake up after having that same dream twice in one night and see if you don't feel a little out of sorts. And, it feels absolutely true. I'm in school, working on a teaching degree but the state of Ohio keeps adding on requirements and it's expensive. I'm subbing but haven't been getting the work that I need to pay for school. I'm painting but that keeps me from subbing and doesn't pay as much. I'm really not sure what is going to happen next and it feels like I could crash at any minute. If I do finish my degree, I have five years to spend another $15,000 on a Master's degree. At age 43, is this worth it? I love the kids, I love teaching them! Today, I taught, actually taught Algebra 2. Yeah. My specializations are Social Studies and English. Last year, I taught French as a long term sub. Yeah! French!! I had three years of it in high school! I had to re-teach it to myself and then teach it to my students! It was so hard but I loved it and loved them. Now, I don't know if financially I can follow through and I'm struggling with that. If I knew I could get a job right away - it is a question in Ohio, we have a surplus of teachers here. If I knew that we could swing it financially. If I could just open my eyes for crying out loud! Then, I would know what decision to make. I'll keep praying on it.

So what the heck does this have to do with Rachael Ray and the 365 day cookbook? I didn't cook tonight. I figured out that if I took one day off per week, that would still be over 300 recipes made. I will try to do it every night and hopefully, I won't take 52 days off over the year (way more than that 3 days I was allotting myself, right?) but tonight, I needed WonTon soup and some Chow Mei Fun and I needed not to cook.

Time for bed. I need this stinky day to be over!
Bonne nuit!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Pretzel coated chicken

Tonight, my daughter made the meal which was so nice. It was a pretzel coated chicken with a cheddar mustard sauce. The sauce was so so - not great, not bad. But, the chicken was soooo good! Oh, so good. It was crunchy and crispy and fried in vegetable oil which means it was probably fattening but oh! delish. It made me think of Chick-fil-a's chicken nuggets which I love too.

And this was very good entre for such crappy weather. Ice, snow, cold, wind - we had it all today. The kids had another snow day (they had yesterday off as well) and I painted a basement with a friend of mine. I came home, realized I had to run out to Kohls to pay my bill and my daughter, Audrey, offered to make dinner tonight. Nice, huh? I had planned on a beef meal but Ellen, my 'cow's are cute!' daughter doesn't eat beef. She was supposed to have cheerleading practice tonight but the schools are closed so no practice which means she would skip her usual mac and cheese and eat dinner with us. I love that I didn't have to drive over and back - takes me an hour round trip. She's bummed though because regional competitition is this weekend and they need the practice!

Having high school kids who don't drive yet is one of the most time consuming things possible. An hour round trip here, an hour round trip there. Oiy. Sometimes I feel like I spend more time in my car than in my bed. Not good. They will be driving soon and then the worry will start. Life is a balancing act, isn't it? On one side, thank goodness they're driving because it means that I don't have to drive them here, there, everywhere. But, on the other, oh Dear God, please keep my baby safe! She's driving!! Can you feel my pain?

Okay, for tomorrow night....I have no idea. Tonight's dinner was what I planned for tomorrow night so I will have to shoot from the hip. I do love that there are all these ideas for dinners. What I will do at the end of this year when I have run through everything but the mushroom casserole, I don't know. But for now, I still have approximately 350 recipes to try. That'll hold me for a while.

Well, good night. Bonne nuit!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

My favorite so far

Tonight was Spinach and Spicy Ham Pasta Bake and it was dee-lish-ous! Now, I didn't have spicy ham - I had left over spiral glazed ham that I had frozen after Christmas but take that ham, parmesan cheese, some onion, some garlic (I threw that in) spinach in a bechemel sauce with nutmeg and a hint of cayenne pepper over pasta! Oh, yeah, baby! Then, if that isn't enough, throw in some chunks of fresh mozzarella and a bread crumb topping! Rachael calls it a gut buster and I don't even want to know the calorie count but it was fabulous and perfect on a night like this.

This is the night, if you live in the Midwest and you are reading this later on, is the night of the big snow and ice storm. It's after 10:00 and the ice has been hitting the roof and the windows since before 6:00. My son's school is already canceled for tomorrow. Now, we just have to wait for the girls' school.

Today, they were off because of this crazy weather and we watched the obligatory movie for this time of year - Groundhog Day. Made some pizza and mac and cheese and sat and watched Bill Murray go through the same crappy day over and over until he finally gets the girl. Classic.

I have the rest of the week planned out for meals and went to the store tonight to stock up - who knows how long this ice will last. In this area, we can deal with snow pretty easily but ice is another story. Tomorrow, it will be bacon wrapped meatloaf. Sounds good for a crappy winter night, right?

Bonne nuit!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Rachael vs Rachel

Finally figured out how to edit the title so I've spelled Rachael correctly! Yay!!

Jan 31, 2011

I don't remember what day I am on the 365 days - I think it may be day 7 or 8 and I am realizing that I am going to have to get my act together and make some grocery lists so that I can make some of the things in this cookbook.

Also, I said I could only have three days off...that was wishful thinking. I need to count up how many recipes that we will never ever in a million years make. Recipes with portabello mushrooms as the main course for instance. Or veal - we just don't eat veal. I can't eat a baby cow. Sorry. Lamb may be a problem but we'll give it a try at least once. And, I just saw a recipe for mussels. Hmm. Not so in to mussels. Maybe I can swap some shrimp for that one. Anyway, there are some recipes that just don't fit our family, so I need to count those up and go from there.

Oh, I got my paper done. Went to bed after midnight, got up at 6 this morning, painted with my friend then worked at Edible Arrangements until 7:20. Came home and made a chicken and super mashers. Basically, it was stir fried chicken with onions and peppers served over mashed potatoes. It was good. But, I do need to go to the store so we aren't just eating the same foods over and over again because that's all I have in the fridge. Gotta be just a wee bit more organized.

So, as this is sort of like a journal for me - no readers so far - hopefully that will change but I won't be holding my breath - I thought I would talk a little about what is going on in the world. Egypt is going crazy. The people are revolting against the president and are demanding democracy. Will that work in an Islamic state? The media is speculating that an extremist Islamic regime may take over. I doubt it. If the people are revolting on the strictness of this regime, it seems doubtful to me that an even stricter regime could take over. It's history in the making.

In other news, we are supposed to get a snow storm that should turn to ice tomorrow. Nice. I'm supposed to work at Edibles from 12-4 tomorrow. We'll see how this goes.

Bonne nuit mes lecteurs
( just used Google says good night my readers but I just realized that I was using the wrong form of bon all this time. Right up there with misspelling Rachael Ray's name and using her cookbook for a blog. Huh. One of these days I'll get my act together.)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Had the Smokey Turkey Shepherd's Pie tonight - quite good. I have a paper due tomorrow morning and it's after 9 pm so this will be very short. My kids loved it. I did a one and a half times of the recipe because the package of ground turkey I had was 3 lbs and the recipe called for 2.

Bon nuit....I gotta get cracking on this thing...It's on Sojourner Truth - fascinating person - google her!


Last night, as I was by myself, I watched "Eat Pray Love." In a scene, a rather chubby Italian man says that Amercians don't know how to experience pleasure, that we sit in our pajamas and watch t.v. on the weekends and talked about how Italians have 'the sweetness of doing nothing.'

Well, there I was, not in jammies but close, watching t.v. How about the sweetness of doing nothing combined with worry, worry, worry? Do Italians do that? It was, "Oh, I hope the boys are warm enough camping!" and "That boyfriend that I know so little about, he better be nice to my daughter at the dance! He better be safe when he's driving her home! He better not try any funny business!" and for the daughter who didn't go to the dance " I hope she's okay and not disappointed that she didn't ask anyone to go. I hope she's having fun with her friend and they aren't sitting there commiserating." That's how I spent my evening. Watching someone else go to Italy, India and Bali while on my couch thinking about my family who was not there and worrying about them. Sounds pathetic doesn't it?

But, I'm trying to find the gratitude in my life, so let's turn this thing around. I have a couch. I have a t.v. I have a house that keeps me warm. And I have someone to miss and love and worry about. Those are blessings indeed.

The boys come home today (my husband and son.) I can't wait. I'll make pancakes for breakfast. Which the only kind of pancakes you can have in this house are made with Bisquick. If you make pancakes with some box of crap that you only have to add water to it, throw it out and go get some Bisquick. Seriously. You add a half cup of milk and one egg to every cup of Bisquick. It's very easy and they make the best pancakes out there. Even better than the Betty Crocker recipe where you make them from scratch. Seriously! And then, if the mood strikes, you can make biscuits or waffles some time.

I'll write later when I have figured out what to make tonight. It's got to be something with either chicken, ground turkey or ground pork because that's what I've have in the freezer!

Bon jour! Off to make 3 cups of bisquick, 1 and half cups of milk and three eggs.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Saturday night is a night for leftovers

I am by myself tonight. Ken and son are camping, one daughter is at the school dance with her boyfriend, other daughter is at a friend's house. So, I had said that I would only give myself three days to not make a Rachael Ray 365-No Repeats dinner. Well, there is a porkchop that is leftover that's calling my name so I'll heat that up, have a glass of Pinot Grigio and call it a night.

It's strange to be in the house by myself. Is this what it will be like in a couple of years when they've all left? Not my husband of course - at least I hope not! But, it's so quiet. Empty nest syndrome, I guess.

Well, off to heat up that pork chop. Bon nuit!

Friday, January 28, 2011

day 7 which means recipe 6

Okay, so this is an awkward night. My husband is away with our son camping and my 16 year old daughter has her boyfriend over. I've met him maybe 3 times and well, I can't say much about him other than it's awkward having him here. Do you know what I mean? He doesn't like to wear shoes and wears flip flops in the snow. That's about the extent of what I know about him. He's kind of short. A little chunky. And, my daughter is this really petite, cute freakin' cheerleader! Shouldn't she be dating some amazing hunky guy? I don't know. I've hardly heard him talk. The girls (my twin daughters who, amazingly, are both 16) say he's funny. I haven't heard it but that doesn't mean he isn't. It's just awkward.

So what do you make when you're having an awkward night? I made the chicken in mustard sauce with a box of Chicken Rice a Roni and canned green beans. And, he had just eaten so he didn't have any so I don't even know what his eating habits are. Is he picky? I don't know. He made jokes about watching us eat but we ate while we watched t.v. to make it very casual. Is that okay?

The chicken was quite tasty and I only changed the recipe a smidge. I have all this flat leaf parsley and no fresh tyme so I used the parsely and I added a bit of white wine to the sauce. What can I say? I like white wine with dijon mustard. It was delish and I liked the parsely added to it.

Now, you're wondering what they are doing as I type, right? My twin girls are watching Toy Story 3 with this guy. I'm in the kitchen. They're in the family room. Oiy. How do I get him to leave after the movie? How long is he allowed to stay? I have to work early in the morning...I don't think I can go to bed while he's here! Maybe I should put some big, fat curlers in my hair, put on my jammies and a nice green mask on my face and tell him goodnight. That should turn his stomach enough that he won't want anything more from my daughter than a little peck on the cheek! Maybe I'll try that.

Good night Readers!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Fancy Pants Bangers 'n' Mash

As I was making dinner tonight, realizing that I don't have any red wine because we drank the last bottle last night, and as I was improvising once again - I don't think I have made a single recipe exactly as it's written, I wondered what would Rachael Ray say about that?

So, no red wine and I needed it for a sauce with onions and sausage. In cooking the sausage, I wasn't getting any fat coming out, which I would need to cook the onions and garlic. So, I had a brilliant, beyond brilliant idea. I threw in 3 slices of bacon into the skillet with the sausage and used that fat for the onions and added sweet peppers and green beans (this is a favorite of mine.) In the mashed red potatoes, I put in the 3 slices of bacon!! Oh, how awesome was that! So delish.

My peppers, onions and green beans recipe is super easy. Just slice the peppers and onions. Heat some EVOO on high heat in a non-stick frying pan and throw in the peppers and onions. After about 5 minutes, put in the frozen green beans. Let everything brown just a bit (almost like they're grilled) and then drizzle about two tablespoons of balsamic vinegar over everything. Love this with zucchini too. Tonight, the recipe called for chicken stock so I put some of that in as it tames the spicyness of the balsamic vinegar. It was quite good.

I loaded the pasta bowls with the red-skinned mashed potatoes, put some of the veggie mix on one side and the sausages on top. It was quite good.

Tomorrow, we're having some salmon. We tend to center our dinners around the meat and I love how many different options I've been able to do.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Day 5

Tonight, it was London Broil with Mushroom Vinaigrette. If you've read my first post, you know that mushrooms are a no no in my house. And, when I went to the store for shoulder/london broil, I had no luck. Wierd, I know, but that's the way it goes. So, I bought some sirloin instead.

This recipe didn't have any kind of starch (bread, pasta, etc.) and it was suggested to be served with spinach salad. Hmmm. Not great for kids, so I made my own recipe which my kids love, love, love and it's so simple, we actually make this when we are camping. Pull out your electric skillet, turn it to 350, put 2 tablespoons of butter in and let it start to brown. Add one sliced or diced onion and take 4 -5 potatoes, peel them or not, and use your mandolin to slice them very thinly directly into the pan. If you don't have a mandolin, you have my sympathies....put it on your Christmas list because, trust me, you will love it and it will make your life so much easier. Slice the potatoes as thinly as you can if you are mandolin-less. Put the lid on, flip them every 5 minutes or so, let them brown and they're done when they're done. Oh, salt and pepper the potatoes after they have all gone in. So easy and yet so good.

As for Rachael's recipe... I didn't put the mushrooms in so maybe that would have added liquid, I don't know, but it needed more liquid so I put a bit of half and half in that I bought for another recipe. And, I added a tablespoon of prepared horseradish because I thought I would like it. It was quite tasty but the sauce looked kind of icky. My kids tried some, agreed it was flavorful, which it really was, but were discouraged by all the green parsely floating in this lumpy (from the onion and chopped garlic) sauce. It reminded me of a much stronger-flavored bearnaise sauce. It was tasty and a little went a long way.

That's what I'm finding so far - lots of flavor in these recipes. Tomorrow night is a busy night for me. Pick up my girls, go to class, come home and make dinner around 7 pm. So, with that in mind, and the sausage that I bought for my son's birthday breakfast that needs eaten, it's Fancy-Pants Bangers n Mash! See you then!

Bon noir!
(Okay, the family on my father's and my mother's side has heavy French influences. Plus, as a sub, I taught French for about 7 weeks last year. So, it's in my blood and my life. Not trying to be pretentious....just fun!)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

day 4

Tonight, it was the Balsamic glazed pork chops with arugula rice pilaf. I had a different kind of boxed rice mix and I must say, I needed two boxes to serve 5 people. And, no arugula....I used baby spinach...not quite the same but you know, close enough. My kids liked it and my husband said, "Why is it that when you cook it, it tastes so much better?" Ummmm. Cause I can cook, Honey! Love him but if it's not spaghetti, well, yeah. Chances are it's not going to be so good.

I had planned on something else -something about Thick Thighs and that being a Compliment- but my husband brought home pork chops which is quite unusual for him. He made a point this morning about asking if everyone would be home for dinner and that, since we all would be, that we would eat around the table instead of heading into the t.v. room for an episode of Wipeout. (Which, truth be told, is quite dangerous to watch while you're eating because of the choking hazard! You take a big bite, someone takes a digger into the lake, and spinach ends up your nose from laughing so hard!) So, he dropped by the grocery to pick up some dinner items. Wasn't that sweet? And, he brought home crusty bread! Score!!

So, dinner was a hit. And I made a list to get me through Sunday. I will grocery shop tomorrow and then be good to go for the rest of the week.

Bon noir! (Good night in French - story about that later.)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Day 2 or 3 depending on how you look at it!

Dear Reader,

Tonight, it's Chicken, Black Bean and Corn Stoup. Sounds good for a day that started at 4 degrees, doesn't it? So far, it's not smelling that good but I haven't added the lime or cilantro yet. Got you with that, didn't I? Who doesn't love lime and cilantro??

It's been another crazy day. First, let me tell you a little bit about what I mean by freakishly busy. I'm going back to school to get my teaching degree. (I have a business degree but I love kids and want to teach!) I substitute teach in two school districts, work at Edible Arrangements part time and today, I painted with my friend who has a painting business. On top of this, I have three kids - identical twin girls who will be 16 in March and my son, who just turned 13 yesterday. Today, I painted until 3:30, picked up my girls from school, took one of them to tumbling, came home, made phone calls because my daughter needs a flu shot for an intership she wants to do, ate a little something, got back in the car, picked up my daughter, picked up a prescription, dropped off bb's for my friend's son's science project, got the flu shot for the daughter and then came home to make dinner. You see why I need this crazy book?? Can you imagine trying to figure out what's for dinner after all that?? Oiy.

Okay, so we finished the soup. It was a little spicy but I did alter the recipe a bit. I have some fresh jalepenos that I'm trying to use up so I put one in along with a small chipotle pepper - no hot sauce needed. We had a good chunk of bread to go with it and we were good to go with two lunch leftovers. Love that!

Now, I have to go study. Bon noir!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Day 2 part 2

So, I made the Scramblewiches - recipe number 1. It says that it serves four...well, I cut the bread into eight pieces instead of four and, with five of us eating, there are three left and we all were full. I served it with some chips and fast and dirty caesar salad. (Basically, baby spinach with some Caesar dressing on it. Not exactly the real thing but it's tasty and gets our veggies in.)

Scramblewiches are a baguette (mine was good sized) with scrambled eggs, meat (I used deli ham) and cheese. It called for slices of cheese but I had shredded cheddar in both sharp and mild and I used some of each. The spice was hot sauce...I wonder what it would taste like with some dijon mustard smeared on the bread before the eggs, ham and cheese went in. I think I would like that. Hmmm. Maybe next time.

It was fast which was good because the husband, Ken, brought one daughter home from a competition and had to take the other daughter to her basketball game. My son, basketball playing daughter and I went to church and then Costco for free samples (not really but my husband kids us that the only reason we go.) and had just gotten home. Completion time for Scramblewiches - about 10 minutes from start to finish.

I'll have to see what I'll pick for tomorrow. See you then!

Okay, so day 2 and I realized that I misspelled Rachael...well, there goes any t.v. appearances! No matter. That's not really the reason I started this project and, it may protect me from trademark infringement...maybe? I don't know why anyone would be bothered by this but then I can't believe some woman sued McDonald's because her kids are fat!

I started it because I like to cook but I am so freakishly busy that I thought this would be a good way to avoid the nightly, "what do I want to make for dinner?" I hate that! Standing at the freezer thinking, "we have nothing." Yes we do! But, I am out of ideas.

So, today, for the first day, I will make recipe number 1 called Scramblewiches. I'm making this for lunch as my husband talks to me, kids run around and a couple of them have to leave in a few minutes. It's supposed to serve 4 but it will have to serve 5 today.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Getting Started

Hi Readers!

So, I had this idea to buy the Rachel Ray cook book with 365 recipes and use one recipe for each day for a year. Yes, I know. It's a little Julie/Julia, isn't it? Yes. It is. But, look - if I end up meeting Rachel Ray, that could be fun, right? A little t.v. time would be cool. We all secretly wish we could be on t.v. just once in our lives. Wonder where she tapes her show....hmmm. As it's about 17 degrees here tonight, some place warm seems preferable.

But, that's getting way ahead of myself. Because, let's face it - this won't be as easy as it sounds. 365 days includes Christmas, Easter, birthdays...Am I seriously going to make a Rachel Ray 30 minute recipe on those days?? I would like to try. There is a section for fancier food so I will peruse that.

I guess some rules should be put into place:
1. I have to make one meal from the cookbook per day but I will give myself 3 days to fudge it. Meaning, if I'm throwing up with a 24 hour flu bug, okay, maybe it's best not to make anything from the book that day. But, that also means that if Christmas rolls around and I still have a day, I can take it then. Think of it as 3 sick/personal days.
2. Only make each thing once. Once it's checked off, it's done. UNLESS! I make something new that day as well. I have recipe number 1 in mind for this. I don't have the book right next to me - I think it's like the scrambler sandwich would sounds like a good breakfast food as well. So, if that becomes breakfast of champions, I can make something else for dinner.
3. I will post something every day so that on January 23rd, 2012, I will have fulfilled my purpose and have 366 postings.
4. I will try to do my best to use the ingredients as listed. I have mushrooms in mind here - YUCK! I have serious fungus issues - can't eat that! No one in my family likes mushrooms so I may be skipping those. Oh, God...I bet there's a portabello sandwich recipe or something like that in there. Oiy. I will try it....maybe.

Okay, that's it so far. I will start tomorrow. Why tomorrow? It's my youngest son's (my only son but not my only child) 13th birthday! January 23rd. Maybe I'll tell his birth story tomorrow. He'll love that!

Good night readers! Love ya!