I am a wife, a mom of three, and the kitchen is my favorite place in the house. I read cookbooks in my spare time and enjoy getting kitchen appliances for presents :) I love preparing delicious and healthy food for my family and here are a some of what graces our table each week.

Email Me for any of the recipes :)

Saturday, July 19, 2008

I am pretty sure we wont starve...

...but this is the last meal I will be preparing for the next 12 days. Danny already asked me what the first thing I will be making him when we come back :)

I know I will miss the cooking, but can't wait to have "dishes" off my list for almost 2 weeks!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

I can't really follow directions...

Even though this was declared a NO POT WEEK, I decided to bend the rules and make a one pot dinner. I took the recipe for the Skillet Baked Ziti from the other week and this is what I did:
Into a huge skillet, I put a little oil, 1 Tbsp pre-minced garlic, 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, salt, and sauted for a minute. In the same skillet, I browned 1 lb. ground turkey just until no longer pink. I added 2-14.5 oz cans stewed tomatoes (smooshed a little), 2 cans of water, 4 cups dry penne, 1 tsp each, dried parsley and dried basil, 1/2 tsp. salt. I simmered it mostly uncovered and the covered it at the end. I didn't time the whole simmering process, I just tasted along the way. Imagine the difference in pasta simmered in water and pasta simmered in tomatoes and turkey with all those herbs. I think I know what I Danny and I are both having for lunch tomorrow.
Afterthoughts: By the time Danny and I ate dinner, the pasta had absorbed alot more of the liquid and was so good. I have made pasta and meat sauce before, but this is a whole different story. There wasn't one bite that didn't have that amazing flavor. I can't wait to have this tomorrow!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

No Pot Week

After our big BBQ on Sunday, Danny declared this a "No Pot Week", since it would be nice to come home from our trip to an empty sink and nothing smelling in the kitchen. Monday's dinner was hamburgers and hotdogs from the BBQ, yesterday was pizza, and tonight was drumsticks and corn from the BBQ and a little help from our friend, Ore Ida. Neither of us left the table very hungry.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

BBQ

Today we had some friends over for a lunch bbq and here is just a little of what was on the menu:

I didn't want to have heavy chips and dip, so I served roasted chickpeas, baby carrots, olives, pretzels and dates (that noone seemed to like). For the chickpeas, drain 2-15.5 oz cans and coat with 2-3 tbsp of olive oil. Roast at 450F for 35-40 min. until golden brown and then sprinkle with 1/2 tsp paprika and 1 1/2 tsp salt. Roast for 2-3 minutes more. Watch carefully because the paprika burned a little bit. Cool and devour at your leisure.



Chicken drumsticks with a thyme, brown sugar, allspice, etc. dry rub. A little too much rub, but one of my favorites. I had Danny grill more than enough so I could freeze some - yum.



This "Perfect Potato Salad" is from one of my frequently used cookbooks, Mother and Daughter Jewish Cooking, that I got from my mom. You marinate the cooked potatoes in a vinaigrette and then stir in the mayo mixture right before you serve it.



This is Danny's favorite salad and it comes from Cooking Light Magazine. Layered Lebanese Salad is the perfect salad for a crowd and I love it because you have to make it atleast 24 hours in advance and up to 48 hours. It sits in the fridge and only gets better. A funny note: I just googled the recipe and found an almost identical one on Southern Living Magazine, except that it just called for 3 additional tbsp of oil and 1/3 c. chicken broth. I am not sure what the extra oil does, but I haven't gotten any complaints yet. I leave the dill out because Danny doesn't like it, but the rest of the recipe I follow exactly.



My new thing is to grill mini-burgers for both the kids and adults and make the mini-buns from scratch. Once you make homemade buns, anything packaged will be a thing of the past. They are so light and fresh, I even caught my mom smuggling some in her bag. Like I told her, that's the best compliment she could give.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Shabbat Dinner

Last night, after a very long day, I decided that we would stay home tonight and have a quiet Shabbat dinner alone. I asked Danny what he would like for dinner and he said that he had just been thinking of his Anna Bubbie's Fried Chicken. Now, one day I *will* fry up a batch of chicken (probably right before I give birth...), but I opted for Spicy Oven Fried Chicken. I only tasted the grimness (is that a word?) and it was definitely spicy! The corn looked yucky at Garden Fresh, so it's chicken and mashed potatoes. Not bad.

Afterthoughts: Let's just say, I should have doubled the recipe. Danny said this was possibly the best chicken I have ever made. Here are the modifcations I made: I used soy milk and 2 tbsp vinegar to curdle it, 2 tbsp tobasco (and ran out) and 1/2 tsp cayenne in the marinade, and finely crushed cornflake crumbs instead of the breadcrumbs. Don't use tin foil to bake, the butter tends to burn. I had to switch to pyrex in the middle of cooking, but next time I will just use parchment paper.




If you think that I love to make Danny's favorites, you are correct. I asked him the other night what recipes he wanted me to make again and "Red Velvet Cake" was his response. Now, if you think I was about to go and buy the Duncan Hines he's used to...nuh uh. I found a vegan recipe and, from what I have tasted (sshhhh), it is pretty good.
Afterthoughts: Danny thought the cake was a bit bitter and I liked it, but I will be on the lookout for a new (and sweeter) recipe.



These are the kind of challahs you get when the kitchen is hotter than heck and you have better things to do than braiding *another* challah. Noone in this house cares, really, as long as it is served up with peanut butter, cream cheese or honey.
Afterthought: Almost all gone before Shabbat ended...

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Leftovers are yummy

- 1/2 a bag of no-yolk egg noodles
- shredded chicken from last night's dinner
- simple peanut sauce from MealLeaniYumm!
- crunchy noodles
- two big appetites

Monday, July 7, 2008

Grilled Butterflied Chicken

If you have never butterflied a chicken before, you are really missing out. I had heard of it before in passing, but had never seen a full fledged recipe until I got the cookbook Cooking Thin. In it, there is a recipe for a simple roasted butterflied chicken that cooks for 1 hour at 500F. You prepare it the night before with salt and pepper and just leave it in the fridge, uncovered, until it's time to cook. There is no real need for a rotisserie after having chicken prepared this way. For Father's Day, we butterflied and grilled 2 chickens and noone in my family left my house hungry. You can season it anyway you like - tonight I did salt, pepper, paprika and garlic powder. It's a simple dinner that calls for a salad and corn or potatoes on the side and it is more satisfying - to me, anyway - than a big steak dinner.


Sunday, July 6, 2008

Racheal Ray has nothin' on this recipe...

If you like to cook, then you really should be watching America's Test Kitchen on PBS. I find some of the chefs a bit snotty about their food preparation, but it has really good hints and techniques for producing a really good dish. This Skillet Baked Ziti was so easy and so good that it will probably become a once-a-weeker in this house. I followed most of the directions exactly, I even used the right amount of olive oil - *gasp* - but I wanted to make sure the garlic and red pepper flakes didn't burn too quickly. Speaking of garlic, I used a heaping TBSP of pre-minced garlic, instead of the 6 cloves it called for. I do not keep heavy cream in the house and have never used it in a recipe and, don't freak out, but SKIM milk worked just fine (about 1/4 c.). In the end, the only comment from Danny was that there was too much sauce and I totally agreed. I am going to add more pasta next time and leave it uncovered when it is simmering and see how that works. The method is so easy that I am going to try something similar with ground turkey and just leave out all the dairy products. The best part of the meal is that everyone sat at the table and ate...and then ate some more.


Breakfast Pour Moi - Challah French Toast :)

Mornings are the epitome of craziness in this house, no matter if we have to leave at 7am or 9am and breakfast for me is always last on the priority list. When we are home and don't have anywhere to go, I try to make myself a yummy breakfast, even if it has to wait until everyone else is finished and it's almost time for lunch...

Saturday, July 5, 2008

It aint Rockaberry's, but it comes close...

Danny's favorite pie in Montreal was the Strawberry Peach Crumb at Rockaberry's and for good reason - it was pretty darn yummy. Since the two of us haven't gone out for dessert in about 4 1/2 years, I try to make a little something special every now and then. This is one of my usuals - Apple and Berry Crisp from Panache - but I completely modified it tonight due to lack of time and energy. The usual is fresh apple/frozen cranberry and the last time I made it, I threw in some plums I had in the fridge. Tonight, canned peaches made the whole thing a breeze and I am excited to try the peach/strawberry combo. I think it has cooled enough by now :)

Friday, July 4, 2008

Batter Up

Since I have banned dry cereal from the kitchen, I am now responsible (stuck) with preparing a real breakfast for the kids every morning. This morning was pancakes, a favorite in this house and I really love making them. I even had a wonderful helper this morning who is always ready to do the stirring for me. This recipe is also from Spice and Spirit and the only thing I do is cut the oil in half and barely grease the griddle. I learned somewhere that you only need to wipe the griddle with an oiled paper towel when making pancakes. If I have leftover batter, I try to make the rest of the pancakes and freeze them. They taste just as good reheated in a warm oven.




Tonight we are having a BBQ at my parents' house and all I am bringing is dessert. I made chocolate chip cookies and lime wafers with a very yummy frosting. I bake alot and in my cookies, I always use Smart Balance Light. It creates a softer cookie, but the kids don't mind and I like the fact that I can eat 3 times as many! For the lime wafers, I colored the confectioner sugar glaze with Wilton dyes. This was the first time I had a chance to use them and they are awesome! The darker green was the first batch of frosting and I just didn't add anymore when I made the second batch. I like the contrast of the two greens. The liquid used was lime juice and it bursts in your mouth. Like I said...3 times as many ;))

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

So Sloppy

Tonight was Sloppy Joes night and they never fail to be stick-to-your-ribs delicious. I use Rachael Ray's Super Sloppy Joes recipe, with my own modifications. Here's what I do when I double the recipe, and I try to always double the recipe so Danny has lunch for the next day:
- NO oil (no need)
- 2 lbs of ground turkey
- 1/2 c. brown sugar
- however much onion I feel like (didn't have tonight)
- however much red pepper (didn't have tonight)
- 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
- 2 Tbsp. worchestershire sauce
- 3 c. tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes (I buy the HUGE thing from SAMS and freeze it in 1 c. measures)
- 4 Tbsp. tomato paste

I usually follow the directions and add everything when it is time, but tonight I did not want to sit over a hot pan - even for a "30 Minute Meal" - so I browned the turkey and threw everything in the slow cooker. High for 2 hours and the house smelled amazing when we got back from swim lessons. A few toasted challah rolls and salad and everyone was happy - especially Amelia ;)