Sunday, February 22, 2009

February 22 - 26

We made massive quantities of spaghetti sauce yesterday (had to move things from the regular-sized stock pot to the "I Mean Business" -sized stockpot) and so are trying to figure out how to incorporate leftovers into our week without turning tomato-sauce colored.


I'm thinking just straightforward spaghetti again tonight.  There's leftover garlic bread too.  Shall I breathe my garlicky breath on you?


Pork tenderloin, sweet potato

We found this bottle of white zinfandel in our wine rack that we received as a gift.  Thought it would be lovely with some pork, so we'll try this:

Sear a whole tenderloin in a pan.  Pull it out.  Add some chopped onion, garlic, apples.  Saute.  Pour in some of the sweet wine, deglaze the pan, put the pork back in, simmer it up.

Also, roast some sweet potatoes in the oven.  Chop, olive oil, salt, pepper, spread on a sheet and bake at 400 for 20 - 30 or so minutes.


An actual recipe...  this one's from the Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home book:

Black Bean Soup (I'll cut the recipe in half, but I'm typing the whole thing here so I don't have to do any division this morning)

10 sun dried tomatoes (not packed in oil)
1 cup boiling water

1 1/2 cups finely chopped onions
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeno, minced, or 1/4 tsp cayenne
2 tablespoons veg. oil
1 tsp ground cumin (I will not cut this in half, for I am a lover of cumin)
1/3 c water
3 c undrained canned tomatoes (28 oz can)
4 c undrained cooked black beans (2 16 oz cans)
1/4 c chopped fresh cilantro (but let's be real...  I'll be using the dried stuff, since it's February and I really hate to buy herbs at the grocery store unless ABSOLUTELY necessary...  several dollars for a few leaves seems silly to me)
additional water or tomato juice

yogurt or sour cream

1.  In a small bowl, cover the sun-dried tomatoes with boiling water, set aside.
2.  In a soup pot, saute onions, garlic, chile/cayenne.
3.  Add cumin, 1/3 c water, juice of tomatoes.
4.  Chop up tomatoes, add them.  Cover and bring to a boil.
5.  Lower heat and simmer, covered, for 5 minutes.
6.  Add black beans and their liquid (although, you know, I'll probably rinse them and just compensate with some extra water... there's soooo much salt in the liquid in bean cans)
7.  Simmer and stir.
8.  Drain and chop the sun-dried tomatoes.  Add to the soup and cook for 5 or 10 minutes more.
9.  Puree half the soup and return it to the pot (I love my stick blender -- I can just put it right in the pot so I don't have to mess with pouring some of the hot soup into a blender and burning myself and making a huge mess).  If it's too thick, add water or tomato juice.
10.  Serve with a dollop of yogurt or sour cream.



Um, leftovers?


wheat pilaf (you know, from the box?)

Monday, February 16, 2009

February 16 - 19

Happy Presidents' Day!  

Monday, February 16

Tuesday, February 17

Vegetable Barley soup
1/c barley
olive oil
2 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 large onion, diced
2 parsnips, diced
salt and pepper
2 cans of tomatoes
1 bunch kale, chopped
1 can chickpeas, drained

Cook barley according to package directions.
Heat oil in large pot.  Add carrots, celery, onion, parsnip, salt, pepper.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the veggies begin to soften.
Add tomatoes & juices and 3 cups water.  Simmer, stirring occasionally, until soup is slightly thickened and veggies are tender.
Add kale and simmer until tender.   Stir in chickpeas and cooked barley and heat.

Wednesday, February 18

Leftover soup is SUPER!!!

Thursday, February 19

Pasta with shrimp and pesto and veggies.
Is a recipe really necessary?
Cook the pasta,
cook up veggies (onion, garlic, maybe some broccoli from the freezer, red bell pepper)
Add the shrimp, cook some more
Add pesto
Add pasta with some of the pasta water (all the starch in the water makes the veggies and pesto stick to the noodles)
Top with cheesy cheese.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

February 8 -12

It's sunny and melty out today, and so, even though I know winter will be back, I'm pretending it's early spring.  I want to make salads and light things, but I'll try to ease in...

Homemade pizza -- we make the dough (1/2 whole wheat flour and 1/2 white) in the food processor, then top with all sorts of good stuff.  Probably some sweet Italian chicken sausage, mushrooms, artichokes, onion, red pepper...  I have to learn to scale back on toppings.  Top it off with some mozzarella and parmesan cheese, bake for about 25 minutes at 425.

We'll have salad too.

Colcannon (and we'll add some bacon -- Irish food always needs bacon)

Pasta night!  Probably penne, but who knows?
Saute some mushrooms, tomato, pesto, cannellini beans, add in the pasta, mix it up, sprinkle with parmesan.  Yummy!

Oh you know it...  leftovers.

I'm thinking sandwiches...  What about grilled ham and cheese?  I'm thinking about the panini that Mike and Dave had yesterday afternoon at the Book Cadillac lobby bar (while Phil and I munched the homemade potato chips)...  I wasn't hungry then, but it looked sooooo good.  Is it worth it to buy a panini maker?  Probably not, but I'll be thinking about those sandwiches for a while.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

February 1 - 5

And now, on to dinner...

Sunday, February 1
Even though we're too lazy to go out for Super Bowl (and I'm always in my pajamas by halftime -- why oh why do they have it on Sunday nights?) we make appetizers and graze the day away instead of making actual meals.

Here's what we're having today:

Panko-crusted Pepper Parmesan Chicken Strips (It's a wing recipe, but we're using strips of chicken breast instead) with celery, carrots and ranch for dipping

Stuffed mushrooms:  saute some spicy jalapeno chicken sausage (or whatever...  it's what we had in the freezer), add a bit of chopped onion, maybe some shredded zucchini, salt and pepper, stuff into mushroom caps, bake for 15 - 20 minutes.

Monday, February 2

Meatball & Broccoli Spaghetti

This is a recipe I had growing up that my mom ripped out of a magazine.  I get a craving for it every few years.  I've adjusted it a bit from the original...  And this is one of those recipes where measuring is optional.  My favorite!

chopped mushrooms  (8 oz or so)
olive oil
beef or vegetable broth or stock (2c)
1 lb. ground beef  (we'll use venison, I bet turkey would be good too)
1 c broken spaghetti
3 c chopped broccoli
parmesan cheese

Saute mushrooms in olive oil until tender.  Add broth, bring to a boil.  Combine beef, salt and pepper.  Shape into walnut-sized meatballs.  Drop in broth, simmer 10 minutes.  Stir in spaghetti, cook 10 minutes (or a bit less), stir in broccoli, cook 10 minutes or until broccoli is done.  Top with parmesan cheese.

Tuesday, February 3

Wednesday, February 4

We're finding that Wed. tends to be a good leftover day.  So, leftovers.

Thursday, February 5

This meal is based on barbecue sauce.  We have a local company, Sansonetti foods, that makes BQ sauce, salsa, etc.  Bought some of the barbecue sauce last summer at the farmers' market and haven't used it yet.  But tonight we will!  And we'll pretend summer is coming soon.

Grilled salmon with barbecue sauce
Roasted baby redskin potatoes
Grilled green beans (wrap 'em in foil with olive oil, salt, pepper, put on the top rack and let 'em cook along with the salmon).

If only there was corn on the cob...

It's February Now! Let's have breakfast.

One of the best parts about training for a marathon is that sometimes I wake up just starving, and once in a while I feel like I can indulge and make a lovely breakfast.  So no, it wasn't dinner, but I made coffee cake this morning and wanted to share the recipe.  It's from a wedding shower my co-workers threw for me back in '97 -- everyone gave a recipe.  I've changed schools 3 times since, but I'm once again teaching with the person who gave me this recipe -- thanks, Pat!

Sour Cream Coffee Cake
1/4 lb butter
1 c sugar
2 eggs
1 c sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
2 c flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt (I added that -- I just think baked goods need salt -- K)

Cream butter and sugar.  Add eggs one at a time.  Add sour cream, vanilla, mix.  Add flour, baking powder and soda (and salt).  Beat for 5 minutes.  

Mix together some brown sugar and cinnamon.

Put half the batter in a greased tube pan.  Put the sugar & cinnamon mixture in.  Add the rest of the batter.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35 - 40 min.

Peeled grapefruit (yum) goes well with this!

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