Monthly Archives: August 2010

I *heart* you, Crock Pot

Last night I wanted to drink wine and not cook – preparing for my busy week.  I just started a new job at a LARGE property – and while I LOVE it so far, it is a lot of work and I want to do a good job.  That being said, I knew that Monday would be busy – so I got out my friend, the red crock pot, and made dinner for Monday on SUNDAY (genius, I know!)

Beef Stew!

1 lb stew beef in the bottom of the pot with about 1 tsp of olive oil, 4 crushed garlic cloves, and 1 sliced shallot – browned it

Added 3-4 cups chicken stock (actually, leftover pasta/chicken water and a little chicken stock), 5 sliced carrots, about 8-10 cubed red potatoes, 1/2 a red onion in large dices, 3-4 green peppers in large dices, about a cup of red wine, s&p, and a handful of pear tomatoes sliced in half

Let that do it’s thing and cook.  Usually I let things cook overnight while we are sleeping – then Wes turns it off when he gets up and then it is cool and I can put it in the fridge so we can heat it up and eat it that night.

It was more ‘soupy’ than ‘stewy’ – but it was SO GOOD!

Crock Pot=Magic *I know my friend Brooke will agree!!!

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Simple Dinner

Boneless Pork loin chops/Butterflied – marinated in red wine, garlic, pepper, lemon juice – cooked on medium heat in a non-stick pan, browning both sides – cooks them perfectly/not too tough

Cauliflower – mashed with a laughing cow cheese mixed in and some S&P and a little butter – just like potatoes….but a little better for you!  *cook it in the microwave, lightly covered with a little bit of water in the bottom of a bowl for about 10 minutes – then mash it up and add what you would add to potatoes – Laughing Cow Cheeses are perfect – one wedge for one head of cauliflower -my niece Karina LOVES mashed cauliflower!

Fresh tomato salad with balsamic and extra virgin olive oil with salt and pepper and a little bleu cheese or feta cheese – totally forgot I had fresh basil until JUST NOW (damnit!)

Simple, took hardly any time at all – healthy!

Byzeks together = Cooking up a STORM

Wes & I went to Cary to see the family, as Barader & Saskia were in the States from Germany.  When we all get together, there is a A LOT of cooking and eating and drinking going on.

Thursday night we had salad, as mom, JM, & Saskia had just gotten back from the beach with Jeff, Yeva, and the girls.  They were wanting light, so we cooked shrimp and steak and had big salads with a vinaigrette potato salad – yummy and light!

Friday night Jeff, Yeva, and the girls came over to mom’s and he made paella – YUM!

Paella

It was chock full of good stuff from the beach, along with green beans and asparagus (mainly due to the fact that yours truly does not like green peas).

Saturday night was when EVERYONE was there to visit during dinner time – Uncle Jim and his friend Anne, our cousin Nancy, all of us – party!  We grilled out and made steak, portobello mushrooms, chicken thighs, mushrooms, and scallops.

Sunday morning was my request for Special Breakfast.  This is something my Dzedo used to make when we went to Pennsylvania or he would come visit us.  It takes a while to cut everything (thank you Nancy for the peppers being cut) and then cook it in stages.  Potatoes, peppers, sausage, bacon with eggs (eggs are separate, though some in the extended family may disagree).  When it was all done, supper yummy!

Special Breakfast!

You can smell this and it just reminds you of Babi & Dzedo’s house when you woke up and this was waiting for you!

As imagined, there was a lot of beer and wine consumption.  I normally drink wine, but when around the brothers, consume lots of beer instead.  Our cousin, Chris, sent some yummy Nut Brown Ale from Jax with Uncle Jim and that was quickly consumed with praise all around.

Great trip, great to see everyone.  Girls were adorable and lovable – sad to leave and drive home to Atlanta.

Monday Night – I actually cooked!

So Mondays at work kick my ass.  We are always super busy, phones are ringing, reports are due, you all know the drill.

Normally I get home and firmly state that I am not cooking – tonight, however, I was actually ready to cook and relax myself a little bit.

We haven’t had our favorite pasta in a while, so I decided to make that.  I was also feeling extra ambitious (and aware that I had yellow squash about to be no good anymore) so I made two things – I AM CRAZY!

Pasta with Kale, Chicken, and Tomatoes – a few things about this pasta

*Boil the chicken and then boil the pasta in the same water, then you can cut a cross in the bottom of the tomatoes and boil them too for about 5 minutes.  You can peel the tomatoes and chop them up, adding them in

*Cook the kale in a little bit of olive oil until it is soft

*Pull the pasta out of the water and you can save it for later (strain it first, you can put it in a ziploc freezer bag)

*Add some pasta water to the pasta, chicken, tomatoes, kale mix and then a little of that parmesan cheese you grate with your microplane grater/zester.  The water keeps the pasta moist and not oily.

Pasta with Kale, Chicken, & Tomatoes

So I also made a squash ‘lasagna’ with just the squash (sliced thin with a mandoline), tomato sauce, ricotta mixed with italian spices, and low fat mozzarella cheese.  Baked it until the cheese was lightly browned and can save it for tomorrow or later in the week.

Should be pretty good even though there aren’t any actual noodles in it!

Squash 'Lasagna'

Breakfast for Dinner

Breakfast for dinner is just awesome.
Tonight, made Wes some chorizo and eggs that he ate in warm tortillas with a tiny bit of cheese. I enjoyed egg whites with some chicken, peppers, and onion with a little cheese.

Also had YUMMY fresh green tomatoes from our garden.

So simple and easy. Aside from Beck, any other Breakfast for Dinner fans?

Meatloaf!

So some people think meatloaf is gross.  I, nor my husband, are two of those people.  I can also say with a large degree of certainty that no one in my family is against meatloaf and do not think it is gross, but instead, quite yummy.

As I am doing WW, Stephanie told me about a good recipe for meatloaf that is 5 points per 2 slices.  I, of course, modified it.

1 lb lean ground beef and 1 lb ground turkey

1/2 c bread crumbs (usually I use oatmeal, but I am out)

1 egg white

Grated carrots, chopped peppers, chopped zucchini, chopped onion *all of these are not required and just enhance the flavor – put in whatever veggies you like or have around

about 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes or tomato sauce

1 tablespoon of that good balsamic you have in your kitchen (see previous post)

S&P

1 tsp of crushed red pepper

Get your hands in there and mix it all together and then put it in a lightly greased (spray olive oil works great here – see above link next to the balsamic) bread/loaf pan

Bake at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes

YUM!

*We ate ours with spaetzle from GERMANY that traveled to the States in my backpack (that went over my head when I fell in the airport walking to the cab).  Luckily, the spaetzle was safe and yummy tonight!

Blog Looks Weird – I know

So they have removed the theme I used for my blog and substituted it with something ‘better’ – which is not proving to be better at present, as I had to add everything back in and it isn’t recognizing the font I have – hopefully this will be fixed in a few days, or I will abandon this theme and find something else.