Tuesday, August 23, 2011

So far this week....

Sunday we made BBQ chicken with mac-n-cheese and green beans:

It's like the chicken is hugging the pasta... best friends....
Then Monday I roasted a chicken with lemon slices beneath the skin and stuffed with lemon and fresh thyme. With the chicken I roasted potatoes and carrots. While that was going I made this yummy asparagus dish and it was a huge hit and I can't wait to make it again. Since there is lemon in the asparagus sauce and the chicken, they went together nicely.

I meant to get a photo of the chicken but when I asked Lee to check it for doneness, he kind of hacked into it with hunger-frenzy.

With that we had Wine-of-the-Week and we are on letter C. Donald brought one of my old favorites:

As for the rest of the week - Lee had a happy hour tonight and so he is picking up food on the way home. Then tomorrow night he isn't home at all for dinner and then we have been invited over by friends on Thursday. So there goes my menu...

Somehow a photo of a ham sandwich doesn't seem like something that would make anyone drool, so I will spare you.

Have a great rest of the week!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

This Week's Menu

We stocked up the kitchen on Saturday at HEB, rather than Costco and I am ready for some cookin!

This week I am going to try a few new things. But Sunday night is just a Keep It Simple night, going to a family favorite of Home Cookin. 

Monday - Donald night and I am roasting a chicken with lemon and herbs. Then I am going to make this asparagus dish I saw on the Cooking Channel and just couldn't wait to try. Chilled Asparagus Salad

Tuesday - I have some left over enchilada sauce so I might make a small pan of enchiladas with some turkey meat I have in the freezer. I also have some shredded cheddar I need to use up.

Wednesday - I see a lack of pasta in this week's menu so far, and I have some crushed tomatoes to use. How about spaghetti with meat sauce? I could use 1/2 the turkey (unseasoned) from the night before and add in some italian sausage and easily make a meat sauce. This would go well with the Pinot Noir I picked up in the cabinet...

Thursday - At this point I may be looking to see what's left over and let us just scrounge.

I will do my best to remember to take photos and update how these recipes played out.

Have a great week!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Chipotle Pulled Pork Enchiladas

Last night for Monday night dinner, we had extra guests and I found that as an excuse to be a little fancy.
Sunday I roasted a pork shoulder in onions, tomatoes, and a can of chipotles. This results in a smokey yet not too spicy meat.

We usually eat this pork in a corn tortilla with a little avacado. Since we had a ton left over, I came up with an idea to make enchiladas.

I made homemade red sauce, rolled the pork with a little monterrey jack cheese, topped it all with the sauce and sharp cheddar.

These enchiladas were A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.

I added a little sour cream, green onion, and dashes of Chipotle Tobasco. 

Donald brought wine and this week we are on "B".

I didn't really get to drink any but I heard it wasn't a real hit.

What do you cook when you are having guests over?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Italian Chicken with Polenta

After Saturday's big meal of spaghetti where Donald and Lee raved and made innapropriate noises, I felt the pressure Monday night (A.K.A. Donald/Uncle Bunny Night) to make another meal that would impress them.

The funny thing about cooking for men is that they tend to forget you have made them something before, especially if you go long stretches without making it. I pulled out a recipe that I always enjoy and it was a real winner.

This is a Rachael Ray that I saw on her Food Network show randomly and it's super yummy. You can find it here: Italian BBQ Chicken with Polenta.

The finished product was this:

The first response was "OOOOOOHHHHHHH YUMMMMMMMMMMMMMM where did you find this recipe? Please make it again!"

Me: I have made this before... more than once... but ok!

Donald: What is this hybrid potato/pasta stuff? OMG it's awesome!

Monday nights it is also customary for Donald to bring over a bottle of wine. He started going through the alphabet to keep things interesting. Here is the first run on "A":

It went well with the chicken, a little "crisper" than I like my chardonnay - as I prefer a deep, buttery version - but in the middle of this incredible heat, it was nice.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Spaghetti is sexy...

I am addicted to Spaghetti and meatballs. I have posted about it many times, especially while pregnant since that is the major food group I ate.

I even branched out with the recipe once.

But Saturday night I made the most epic spaghetti sauce I have ever made. Lee and Donald wouldn't stop ooohing and aahhing and moaning.

See? Spaghetti is sexy.

Now, I barely followed the recipe I have previously posted. I just started throwin stuff in the pot and let it simmer. When Lee said "You need to put up this recipe, it will make the world a better place," I said "I can't! I didn't keep notes or anything!"

So here is how I made spaghetti the other night - in realistic terms...

First, I diced up half a very large onion and threw it in the pot to soften with some olive oil.

As it started to soften and brown, I added some minced garlic. The kind from a jar, maybe about 1 teaspoon?

Then I added a palmful of Italian Seasoning, a few shakes of tobasco, about 6 shakes of worcestershire sauce, and a little chili powder.

After that, I started ladeling in crushed tomatoes from the large can I got at Costco. That can is 106 ounces and I used about 2/3 of it.
Then I added a 16 ounce can of diced tomatoes (and the juice) and a pinch of red pepper flakes.
I started to wonder if I had enough seasoning for that much sauce, so I added a little more italian seasoning and a little more chili powder. I also added some salt and pepper.
Once I had all this stirred together I let it bubble and simmer for almost and hour, and made the meatballs...
In a large bowl, I beat one egg and added a little milk, bread crumbs, and a pound of ground turkey. Once that was mixed together I added grated parmesean until the meatballs were sticky and would hold form.

Next was a nice squirt of garlic paste, some salt and pepper.

When I started the water for the pasta to boil, I started browning the meatballs, then throwing them in the sauce to cook through.

The finished product looked like this:

It was wonderful, heavy, and a little spicy,

This is how I cook, not really measuring, just throwing things in until it tastes good.

What about you? Do you measure to the T or just wing it?