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 :)

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Shabbat Dinner

I didn't really know out what I was making this week until I closed the crockpot and turned it to HIGH. I had taken out chicken thighs the night before, but that wasn't saying much. I didn't make my weekly trip to Garden Fresh, so what I had in the house was going to have to work. This is what I threw into the crockpot (I think): 3 or so lbs of partially defrosted skinless thighs (so nice to skin them before freezing!), two small onions sliced, pre-minced garlic, finely chopped fresh rosemary, salt and pepper, and one 15 oz. can of diced tomatoes. I cooked it on HIGH for 4 hours and then pulled the chicken off the bone and put it back in the sauce (the only liquid I added was from the tomatoes - crockpots are the creators of liquid). I thought it was a bit salty, so I shredded some carrot into it and added a big piece of carrot to pull out at the end - I thought I heard somewhere that a carrot absorbs some of the salt. I also added some flour to thicken it up a bit and turned it back on HIGH so it would come to a boil. I left it in there for another 40 minutes or so. Served over egg noodles, it was pretty delicious and I have a whole round tin in the freezer for next time.

I am trying to incorporate more vegetables into our meals besides the usual corn and potatoes - even though I could eat them everyday and not complain. I made this very easy squash kugel and it was tasty, but I didn't love the consistency, I am not really sure if it was even fully cooked! I was the only one who ate it and I have two small tins in the freezer to pull out the next time I make a simple chicken or meat.

This is a really easy fruit cobbler from the Cooking Thin cookbook and this was the best version I have made. I used fresh peaches, nectarines and plums and soy milk. I crumbled a little brown sugar with the cinnamon on top and it was oh-so yummy!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Waffle Update

I made waffles for lunch today and since my toughest critic wasn't home, I decided to substitute Smart Balance for the oil. I melted 6 tbsp of Smart Balance Light (big difference in fat count) for the 7 tbsp of oil and I was satisfied. The only difference was that the waffles did not stay as crispy for as long. The kids each had a whole waffle and I had my usual three...or was it four?? Anyway, I felt much better eating them knowing that I only used 30 grams of added fat (besides the eggs) instead of 90 or so. I put four sets of waffles in the freezer and have a feeling that when they are reheated in the toaster, they will be just as crispy and yummy as the original. I might just have to test out that theory tomorrow...or, maybe later tonight ;)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Good Ole' Meatloaf

Tonight, I felt like having meatloaf. I veered a little from that idea and searched the internet for Salisbury steak recipes, but I didn't have everything I needed and the thought of making patties was too much for today. This is the Dutch Meatloaf recipe from Spice and Spirit and it definitely came through for me tonight. Danny said it was the best meatloaf I have made. To go with it, mashed potatoes with soy milk, salt, Smart Balance and fresh rosemary. Danny has his lunch for tomorrow and I put a nice hunk of meatloaf in the freezer for another night. Yum.

Monday, August 25, 2008

I thought it was never going to happen...

Danny and I have been together for 11 years and I have been "allowed" to make fish for dinner ONE time. Granted, it wasn't the best experience (I would not recommend buying tuna steaks at Dominicks), but the whole idea of fish and Danny do not mix and I wasn't about to push my luck. Maybe it is because I am hormonal or maybe it is because I would like to have another protein to cook with, but I finally put my foot down and decided to make Tilapia - the worlds mildest fish - for dinner tonight. I experimented with the kids' dinner - Amelia and I breaded the fish with seasoned corn flake crumbs and pan fried it. Amelia had a sandwich and Leo had "fish sticks" and they each had seconds. I rarely use oil and definitely never pan fry, but with such a healthy and mild fish, I needed to make sure that it was going to get rave reviews. Danny and I had sandwiches with rosemary/garlic roasted potatoes and I am competely stuffed. The best part about the meal was that, as we were finishing up, these lovely words came out of Danny's mouth - "next time we have this..." :))

Shabbat Dinner

We ate dinner by ourselves this past Friday, so I tried to make everything simple so that I would not collapse by the end of the day. I also spent the morning running around with the kids and knew it would be a short day. Noone went to bed hungry...that's for sure.
I love going online for recipes, but I also try looking through my own that I have cut out - or printed out - throughout the years. This recipe for Ghana Meatball Stew is something that I have been making ever since I met Danny. I remember making it when he would come and visit me many years ago ;) I haven't made it for a looong time and the meatballs were a little dry. I am guessing it's because I formed them the night before - I was trying to save time, but I would freeze them next time and not leave them in the fridge. I also skipped the chopped onion, so that might have been the killer. I do have a pan in the freezer and when I pull them out, I am going to cut them in half and, hopefully, they will soak up more sauce as they reheat.

I was in the mood for something cinnamony and this Cinnamon Coffee Cake (cant find the link right now) was perfect. I increased the cinnamon from 1 tsp to 1 tbsp and I loved it, but I think it was too much for Danny. This picture was taken before we started dinner ;)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Scottie Roast, Dova Style

Sometimes, you just need some good ole' meat and potatoes to end the day. I had this Scottie Roast (really, thats what they call it at Hungarian...) in the freezer since my last big shopping trip and I finally put it to good use tonight. This is my second attempt at making a pot roast in the crockpot and I would never switch to the oven method. I looked for recipes, but they were all about searing the meat, making a gravy and then braising it for hours. I took my not-quite defrosted roast out of the fridge, rubbed it down with paprika, salt and pepper and stuck it in the crockpot. I squirted ketchup on the top and doused it with worchestershire. Peeled potatoes on the side, one onion cut in quarters with some pre-minced garlic on top. I added only 1 tbsp of water because the crockpot produces lots of liquid and sprinkled the whole thing with a little more salt and pepper. I forgot to keep track, but I think I had it on HIGH for 3 hours and it was more then done. I let it rest and then sliced it and put it back in the sauce. I could have gone back for thirds...

The kids got their meat, too, just in the form of mini-burgers ;)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Not Tonight...

After the day I had, turning the toaster oven to "ON" was the most I could handle tonight. Doesn't look like the kids minded so much. Of course, any meal eaten on the porch is a treat for them ;)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Change in plans...

These Sticky Chicken Wings were supposed to be part of our dinner for tomorrow night, along with tofu fried rice and salad...but, that's what I get for leaving them out for Danny to see *tonight* :)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Isn't He Lucky?

Wouldn't you look forward to going to work if you knew that this was in the fridge waiting for you? Five Spice Chicken salad with Nappa Salad Dressing....Yummo.

It's Morphin' Time

As I was contemplating how I was going to freeze the leftovers from last night, I decided not to freeze it at all, but to make it into something else for tonight. There is no better comfort meal - winter or summer - than Shepherds Pie. I start with this recipe from Everyday Food, usually following the recipe, but sometimes throwing in leftover chili, or - like tonight - leftover taco meat. As you can see, we enjoyed it.
The taco meat, ready to be topped...

Before going into the oven...

After Danny, Amelia and I got our forks into it ;)) (Leo chose to sit this one out)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A Taco Night Success Story

A regular meal in this house are beef tacos. Well, I actually use ground turkey, but they are just as awesome. They freeze really well, that's if there is anything left after dinner and lunch the next day. The recipe comes from Panache...I guess those Montrealers really know their tacos!
As with any good recipe, you cook the spices for a minute before adding the meat. The recipe calls for garlic, onions, and jalepeno - but even I dont feel like chopping on a weeknight, so they are left out.

I doubled the recipe so we would have some to freeze...

The finished product - I add corn because I love corn in anything that has ground meat in it.

About 10 minutes before Danny pulled up, I thought I would bake some tortilla chips. Corn tortillas, cut into 1/6ths, brushed with oil and sprinkled with fine salt...350F for 10-12 minutes, flipped once. Let's just say that in the middle of dinner, I had to throw in another batch. Next time I am going to try to dip them in Alton Brown's lime/salt mixture before baking and then I may never have to go to Chipotle again.

Danny's beautiful plate of tacos...

Leo, enjoying chips and "taco meat"...

Monday, August 11, 2008

Better Late Than Never

Danny worked late tonight, but that doesn't mean we can't have a nice dinner. I actually made Easy Mac for the kids and had the dinner ready for when Danny came home. This recipe is the best lasagna I have ever had, at home or anywhere else. It is baked with a cream sauce and only served with marinara on the side. I might have had enough lasagna noodles, but I wanted to use up my box of manicotti so I modified the recipe a little. I filled the manicotti and topped it with only 2 cups of mozzerella and, instead of adding 1 1/2 c. of the cream sauce to the ricotta mixture, I added 1/c c. and used the rest to spread (or glop) on top. I have never used romano or fontina and it has made no difference to me. As a side, I made challah garlic toasts - a favorite in this house - challah from this week, Smart Balance, dried parsley, minced garlic, and parmesan cheese. I stuck them in the oven right before the manicotti was done. And, who doesn't need a little peach/apple crisp to end the night?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

This wasn't pasta weather...

I had planned to make stuffed shells tonight, but I couldn't pass up Danny's suggestion to grill instead, the weather was just too perfect. I bought Danny the Weber's Real Grilling cookbook for his birthday a couple of years ago, as a "side-dish" to his beautiful new grill. I use it regularly for bbq sauce recipes, dry rubs, marinades and full blown recipes. The recipe I used tonight was for Rotissirie 5-spice Chicken. I had thighs and legs, so that's what we used. I was right in thinking that the kids may not like it, so I made them drumsticks with poultry seasoning and they gobbled them up. Napa cabbage salad, white rice, and sauteed corn on the side. Yum.

Napa Cabbage Salad:
1 c. oil
3/4 c. sugar
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1/2 c. red wine vinegar
3-4 scallions
sesame seeds
sunflower seeds
napa cabbage

My kind of dinner...

Amelia's kind of dinner...

Friday, August 8, 2008

Shabbat Dinner - This Week's Contributions

I made these Lime Wafer Cookies on July 4th and they were a hit. I knew I wanted to make them again, but today was not the day to make 6 dozen drop cookies and then frost them all individually. I used one 9X13 dish and spread it fairly thin and with whatever was left, I did a free form on a cookie sheet with parchment paper. The kids approve ;)

I was so thrilled to have salad and veggies in the fridge, already washed and ready to be dumped into the bowl. The salad dressing is mayo/oil based and was given to me by my friend, Feigel. I will post it later...

I did not have enough eggs to do an egg wash, but I did glaze one of the challahs with honey when it came out of the oven. I am hoping that it hardens and forms a little crust of heaven.