Thursday, January 28, 2010
Monday, January 25, 2010
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Sunday, January 17, 2010
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Warm Farro Salad with Roasted Mushrooms, Feta and Truffle Oil
1 1/2 cups farro or spelt
extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 pounds mushrooms, halved or quartered (I used cremini; would like to have added some shiitake)
1 1/2 c cherry tomatoes, halved
6 shallots, sliced thinly
feta (the original recipe suggests feta, goat or pecorino. I would stick with feta or use parmesan)
1. Cook the farro in salted water for 30-40 minutes until tender/chewy, then drain and mix with a little oil
2. Toss the vegetables with oil, salt and pepper and then roast at 425 degrees for about 25 minutes. MAKE SURE you give them enough room on the roasting sheet or they will steam and not roast
3. Toss everything together, serve on top of a bed of arugula and top with feta, parsley, salt and pepper and do NOT forget the truffle oil!
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
I made this quilt quite a long time ago but waited to give it to baby Jack in person during our trip to San Diego. I thought I took actual photos of it but I can't seem to find them. I sewed squares with his name into the backing fabric in the same font as the front fabric, which is from the Maisy collection. It came out really cute-- I wish I could find those pictures. Enjoy baby Jack!
Monday, January 11, 2010
Israeli Cauliflower with Panko from Cooking Light
6 cups cauliflower florets (I just used one whole head)
2 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley (I think I didn't use any because I didn't have any...)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1. Combine cauliflower and 2 tablespoons water in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at HIGH 6 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain.
2. Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add panko to pan; cook 3 minutes or until toasted, stirring constantly. Remove panko from pan.
3. Heat remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons oil and garlic in pan over medium-high heat. Add cauliflower; sauté 5 minutes or until golden, stirring occasionally. Add panko, parsley, salt, and pepper; toss to combine.
Friday, January 08, 2010
I've been cooking a lot but haven't been posting about it because, frankly, I'm too lazy to carry the recipe upstairs to the computer. I also feel guilty about posting published recipes without permission so unless I can link to it I'm not too keen on reproducing it here. The dinner I made last night though, was a mix and match of different parts of recipes put together and a decent amount of effort so I'll share...
I knew I was going to make some sort of Tofu with Thai Red Curry Sauce and I needed an Asian salad to go with it. I threw together some leftover greens with thinly sliced red peppers and cucumbers. I took my dressing recipe from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, which is a cookbook I don't use that often. It's too big; it has too many recipes in it. I can't read it like a book so I just use it as a reference guide:
Soy Ginger Dressing:
salt and pepper
2 tbl rice vinegar
1 tbl grated fresh ginger
1 tsp sugar
2 tbl soy sauce
The kids were having "Sushi and Edamame" for dinner. This after my house was cleaned yesterday; always a mistake as I ended up on my hands and knees picking up rice from the floor and carpet. For the side dish I just mixed the kids dinner ingredients and ended up with basmati rice with edamame and crumbled bits of Korean seaweed.
The Thai Red Curry Sauce was the inspiration for the dish and that came from A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen by Jack Bishop. It's a great cookbook but often involves a lot of steps and too many (unnecessary, in my opinion) dirty prep dishes. I like it because it's organized seasonally. The actual recipe I was going to make was very simple and involved searing the tofu and simmering it in the sauce-- very quick and easy for this particular cookbook. Alas, I had also recently seen a recipe for Coconut Crusted Shrimp in my Cooking Light Magazine this month and that just looked yummy so I decided to try it on tofu and combine the two recipes.
Coconut Panko Crusted Tofu:
1 block of extra firm tofu
cornstarch, salt and pepper, dash of cayenne
3 egg whites
1/3 c shredded unsweetened coconut
1/3 c panko
canola or peanut oil
Slice the tofu into 1/4 inch slabs. Dredge in cornstarch mixed with salt and peppers, then into the egg white and then into the coconut panko mixture which you have pulsed together (I'm loving the Magic Bullet these days) to a powder. Coat the bottom of your pan with oil and heat to medium-high. Lightly fry the tofu a few minutes on each side and then drain on paper towels or a rack. Sprinkle with a little salt.
For the Thai Red Curry Sauce:
1/4 c unsweetened coconut milk
1/4 c vegetable broth
1 tbl soy sauce
1 tbl fresh lime juice
1 tsp thai red curry paste
1 tsp sugar
I just put it on the stove and heated it gently and let it thicken. Then I put it in a gravy container (actually I think it was a creamer...) and served it alongside the tofu. That way you can add some just before eating so the crusty tofu doesn't get soggy. The sauce was delicious and really easy. It was barely enough for two. Ron and I were fighting over it so next time I would definitely double it; especially since you have almost an entire can of coconut milk leftover anyway. It tasted great on the rice with edamame too. Just yummy yummy yummy.
All in all it was a really delicious meal. A little stressful for me with the tofu frying (I wasn't sure it was going to work!) but Ron and I each ended up eating a half a block of tofu and wanting more more more. Not too bad for you-- just a little coconut milk and some oil, most of which isn't REALLY absorbed during the cooking process (is it?). Remember the salad dressing didn't even have any oil in it. Ron really liked the salad, by the way. Alex, my little 2 1/2 year old chef, made the dressing and the red curry sauce. He's obsessed with cooking.
So that's all for now. I have a new cooking plan that seems to be working and I'll elaborate some other time (nothing shocking, just picking out a month's worth of recipes and actually cooking them). We've been eating healthily and home cooked around here-- trying to eat seasonally as well. That's the hardest part. Hope you're eating well too!
Thursday, January 07, 2010
The weather wasn't as warm as we had hoped it would be but compared to Wisconsin and snow, it was just fine. Never warm enough to sit by a pool though, much less get into water. That's ok-- I'm not looking so great in my maternity bathing suit these days! We met up with my family (staying 75 minutes north in a resort while we stayed in my in-laws' condo) 4 times. Two of those days, unfortunately, were the colder, rainier days of the trip. We explored a little bit of the coast with them, went to Disneyland (my favorite part of the trip!) and hung out at the condo on one rainy day (played poker too and I won $40). My sister and her family came down to SD and we went to Seaworld. Without my extended family we went to Balboa Park and the Science museum and explored the cactus and rose gardens which was something we hadn't done before. We also went to the La Jolla farmer's market, which we love, and when my in-laws came at the end of our stay we went to the Wild Animal Park.
All in all, a lot of activities but I think that's another key to our trip's success. Make a plan and get out. We did all of our activities early and therefore were able to be home by 3 or 4 and give Alex a little bit of a nap. We ate many meals in the condo and packed lunches for each trip so we could eat healthy but save room for a treat. It just feels better that way. I actually lost a pound over the holidays despite being 34 weeks pregnant! Must have been all that walking. The kids actually slept together in a bed, in their own room, for the first time ever and it worked out great. I wish now that we had gotten the twin-over-full bunk bed so they could continue, if they wanted. Then again, they seem to be doing ok now that we're home so that's better. PUTTING them to bed together was nice but Alex is a kicker for sure. Ron and I were able to have our own room too, although sharing a queen is NOT the same as a king. Plus I need lots of room these days.
Now we're home, it's snowing again and it's time to settle in for our long winter's nap. 6 more weeks until the baby is due. It doesn't seem like a very long time. I have been on a spending frenzy, trying to control some anxiety through shopping for baby essentials. I bought ONE bottle and ONE pacifier and ONE box of diapers, a few outfits, a Moby Wrap carrier and one of those car seat cover things so your baby doesn't freeze when you take her outside (never needed one before). That may not sound like a spending frenzy but I also bought new bedding for the big kids (new beds = new bedding) and lots of other bigger ticket items that I can't seem to think of right now. I'm giving myself a break and signing up for the cloth diaper service for a few months-- I didn't use cloth for Alex when he was a newborn and he was never a pooper so I don't even know HOW to clean newborn poopy diapers. I'm excited about all the cute cloth diapers I've been seeing around.
I still don't know how I'll ever be able to take the kids to school in this weather with a new one but other people do it so I can do it too. Today Talia walked into school by herself for the second time (the first time a friend was walking in at the same time) and I was able to attach her snowsuit to her backpack so hopefully it worked out ok. I think I see a lot of that happening from now on. The parking lot is really small and messy and filled with snow. Often I can't even get to both sides of the car to open the doors. Enough procrastination for now-- I have a lot to do today!