Monday, August 30, 2010

Monday Supper, Aug 30

Tonight's supper was spaghetti. Another dear hubs meal. He was nearly late for work this morning because he stayed home to make the sauce. (Apparently, mine isn't up to snuff. Again, it's the finely chopping of the veggies that annoys me to no end.)

We had dinner guests from out of town. They brought their 2 boys. What beautiful chaos! Four boys under the age of 4 . Yikes!!! And this is why there are no pictures of tonight's supper.

Finely chop green peppers, onions and fresh mushrooms. Saute and add to jarred sauce. Brown ground beef and add to sauce and veggies. Pour over cooked spaghetti pasta. Top with shredded cheddar and parmesan cheese. Serve with store bought garlic bread and bagged salad. And lots of napkins.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sunday Supper, Aug 28

Tonight's supper is a crowd pleaser. We call it "Daddy's Beef Hash", since hubby makes it. I don't have the patience to chop the potatoes that small. And since it's his baby, I'm gonna hand the reins over to him so he can tell you all about making his hash. Internetz, meet hubby.

Daddy's Beef Hash

5-7 potatoes
1/2 each red & green Pepper
1/2 onion
Small pkg ground beef

Peel then chop potatoes into small cubes. Boil until slightly soft but not mushy. Drain. Finely dice onion and peppers. Brown the ground beef, remove from pan and add vegetables (except potato). Saute until tender. Mix potatoes, vegetables and ground beef together in large bowl. Melt butter in frying pan. In 2 batches, stir meat and potato mixture into the butter and fry until potatoes start to crisp. Enjoy!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Saturday Supper

Welllll, we didn't make it to the grocery store today, but luckily, a friend brought over some supper for us. Which was really sweet, since it was his birthday and he was feeding us a yummy stew. So I made cake. A delicious self-saucing chocolate cake from my mom's recipe collection.

Self-Saucing Chocolate Cake

1 cup flour
2 Tbsp cocoa
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup melted butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup milk

1 cup sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
2 cups boiling water

Preheat oven to 350. Mix all batter ingredients together and pat into prepared 9x9 pan. Combine sauce ingredients separately and then pour over batter. Bake for 45 minutes. Serve warm. The sauce will form a yummy pudding around the cake.

I forgot we we all out of cocoa, but then remembered I had some baker's chocolate squares in the back of the cupboard. A quick google search help me convert from squares to ounces to cups. Melted it in with the butter and poured into the batter mixture.  Also, since we haven't yet been to the grocery store, all I had on hand was egg whites. Added almost 4 Tbsp to equal one large egg. Voila!

Sauce on and ready to bake
Baked to perfection


Grocery Day, Aug 28

Yep, giving those potato boats another go... the sausage soup from 2 weeks ago was a big hit, so we're trying it again. I'm most looking forward to the mini chicken pot pies - the recipe I have for the crust calls for vodka!!! Stay tuned...

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Back at it

Spent some time vacationing at my mom's and have been living off of the sparse contents of the fridge since we got home. Trying to avoid the grocery store until our usual Saturday run, but we're out of some essentials (bread, milk, eggs) so we'll see...

Today I tried a recipe a bunch of moms on one of my message boards raved about: Kale Chips.

Tear kale into tiny bits. I seasoned them with vegetable oil, sea salt and Epicure's Red Garlic Sansel spice. Baked on a cookie sheet at 375 for unknown minutes. (Supposed to be 15.)

Crispy out of the oven

The verdict? Tasty - but next time I won't cook them for so long. I was on the phone and couldn't even begin to tell you how long they were in for!

Elliot is not a fan. Not a surprise.

Felix will eat anything.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Friday Supper

Decided on corn-on-the-cob with ham steak and chickpea salad for supper tonight.

Now, when you're already in a bit of a rage due to not drinking enough water and being a tad dehydrated and full of too many sweets and ubercranky that it took f.o.r.e.v.e.r. to get the boys home from daycare...and then the cats started figure-eighting through your feet and the phone kept cutting out while listening to the messages... and... and... and...well, then I might venture a guess that trying to shuck corn isn't the brightest move? There were cornsilks everywhere and I was struggling to hold my curses in. Luckily, there's TV, and that kept the boys away from the madness.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Thursday Supper

Well, it was supposed to be cheesy potato boats tonight. But I didn't think I had enough time to get everything assembled, so I skipped to Bacon Pasta (basically, pasta carbonara). I was reallllllllly nervous about the raw egg - would it actually cook enough in only the heat of the pasta??? So I changed things up again.

I modified an old stand-by baked mac & cheese recipe, based on what I had on hand. Used some sour cream, lots of cheddar cheese, milk, organic vegetarian spread instead of butter (since I'm still out), some seasonings... Anyhoo, I didn't do the french toast topping, but I did add some of the pre-cooked bacon purchased for the carbonara meal. (First time ever purchasing that! I'm reminded of the Bare Naked Ladies song, where one original line goes "They have precooked sausages, but do they have precooked bacon... you blame them? yeah!" And now they do!)

But dessert, ahhhh sweet dessert.

Tomorrow is Elliot's last day at his current daycare. Many of the kids on their last day bring in treats - cake or cookies or something to share with everyone. I asked Elliot what he'd like to bring and he said 'apple turnovers'... I thought about it and convinced him that apple cake might be good. He agreed.

So we made a big cake to take to school tomorrow. And a smaller cake for us to eat, to test it to make sure it was yummy. And it was, boy oh boy it was!

Hop on over to Smitten Kitchen for the full recipe and some amazing pictures.  It was fairly easy to make, but cooking times took some playing - since I don't have a tube or bundt pan, I used a regular pan, and a mini loaf pan. It ended up at just about the suggested cook time for the full cake, even though the pan was much lower than called for, but only an hour for the small one.

Annnnd, we're probably skipping cheesy potato boats again tomorrow, since I neglected to bake the potatoes tonight. It works so much better pre-cooked and cooled ones. *sigh* Tomorrow will be a scramble...

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wednesday Supper

Yet another Canadian Family recipe... it was fast, it was delicious. I'll make it again - with some modifications.... While using packaged items saved a lot of time, it took away from the flavour. I'll try browning my own ground beef next time and shredding my own cheese! The boys complained that it was too spicy. I *think* that came from the salsa, so I'll try less spice next time, but it could have been the spice in the ground soy or even in the cheese.

Tex-Mex Veggie Bake

1 (340g) package seasoned ground soy
2 cups salsa (I made my own using canned tomatoes and Epicure's salsa spice)
1 (341 ml) can corn kernels
1 cup drained black beans (I used a whole can - 540 ml)
3 - 10 inch flour tortillas
2 1/2 cups shredded Tex-Mex cheese (I used a 340 g bag)

Preheat oven to 425 F
In a bowl, mix ground soy, salsa, corn and black beans
Coat a deep oven-safe pie plate or casserole dish (I used a fry pan) with oil. Put one tortilla on the bottom, add half the salsa mixture and top with 1/2 cup cheese. Repeat. Top the final tortilla with the remaining cheese.
Bake for 10-15 minutes, until cheese is bubbly. 

***I found 10 minutes in the oven wasn't long enough. The layered cheese wasn't melted and the insides were still cold! The boys didn't care and I popped mine into the microwave for 30 seconds - perfection! I'd suggest making the whole thing in the microwave, except that the oven crisps the tortillas quite nicely!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Tuesday Supper

An awesome 1-pan meal. Gotta love that! The pork was delicious, but the apples were too mushy and tasted porky. Will try cooking separately next time.

Maple Glazed Pork Tenderloin and Baked Apples

(from the September 2010 issue of Canadian Family)

1 tsp oil
2 pork tenderloins*
1 tbsp butter (I ran out of butter making dessert, so I used and Earth Balance organic vegetarian spread)
3 small Ida Red apples (None at the grocery store, so I used Granny Smiths) - cored and sliced into 5 pc
3 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp grainy Dijon mustard
3/4 cup chicken broth
1 tsp dried thyme
salt and pepper (whoops, forgot to add those!)

Preheat oven to 450 F.
Heat oil in large oven-proof fry pan on high heat
Add tenderloins and sear for 3 minutes on each side, remove to a dish
Lower heat to medium high and add butter and apples, aiming for a single layer
Add maple syrup and mustard, toss apples to coat and lay flat again
Sprinkle on thyme and lay tenderloins on top, pour broth over everything, bring to light boil
Put pan in oven and bake for 12 minutes
Don't forget to turn off the burner!

*Try to get tenderloins that are the same size. Mine weren't and I ended up cooking them in shifts, since one was done around the 12 minute mark but the other needed close to 20... which meant some of the apples were verrry overdone. Mmmm, applesauce in a peel!

Add the most amazing chocolate cake I've had in a looong time and now we're talking YUM!

For the recipe, jump on over to Smitten Kitchen and drool a bit, too.  One note - it called for buttermilk, which I didn't have, but a quick google search turned up this tip: put a tablespoon of lemon juice (or white vinegar) into a measuring cup and add milk to the 1 cup mark. Let sit for 5 minutes and VOILA! Nicely done.

I was fooling around with the boys in the kitchen while baking (Elliot was waiting impatiently, hand on the mixer, for me to return and Felix was playing at the sink counter with some toys) Add in some silly dancing and whooops! The cocoa slipped out of my hand and hit the floor...

Luckily, there was still some left in the canister and it was just about enough for the cake.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Monday supper

Made this yesterday afternoon, since I was working late and hubby was picking up the boys from daycare tonight. I try to be all wifey and have supper ready for them when they stumble in. Next time I make this soup, I'll not put the tortellini in as early... it was a bit overcooked and absorbed SO MUCH of the soup. This was really saucy, as opposed to soupy. But delicious! And boy-approved.

Sausage Tortellini Soup
(slightly modified from the 2-serving version in the September 2010 issue of Canadian Family)

1 pkg breakfast sausage
4 carrots, peeled & chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
6 cups broth (I used Epicure's chicken bouillon base)
1 pkg tortellini noodles 
1/2 cup pasta sauce (I used a pepper/sausage blend)
salt & pepper to taste

Slide the sausages out of their casings and pan fry into small rounds until cooked through. Bring remaining ingredients, except for pasta, to a low boil until veggies are tender. Add pasta and allow to boil for 2-3 minutes before removing from heat. Let sit 5 minutes before serving. 

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sunday supper

Hungover and coasting on a sugar crash today. Ugh. So not good for weight or mental health.

Hubby was in charge of tonight's supper and it's a favourite around here: a modified version of Annabel Karmel's Finger-licking chicken & potato balls.

 Chicken Veggie Balls

3-4 medium sized white potatoes
1 large sweet potato
1/2 cup shredded carrot
3/4 cup small broccoli florets
1/4 onion, diced
1 chicken breast, chopped small
flour for dusting
oil/butter for pan frying

Boil water, cook potatoes until tender. Steam broccoli and carrots (we used a basket on the potato pot to save space/time)
Saute onion in fry pan, add chicken and cook until done.
Mash together all cooked ingredients. When cook enough to handle, roll mixture into balls, coat with flour, saute in butter on medium heat until golden. Serve with sour cream or cottage cheese for dipping.

Last minute nectarine and apple crisp with ice cream

1 nectarine, sliced
1 apple, peeled and sliced

(measurements are approximates)
2 TBSP butter, melted
1/2 cup oats
1/3 cups flour
1 TBSP brown sugar, plus more for dusting
Pinch of cinnamon, for dusting

Arrange sliced fruit in oven proof dish. Dust with cinnamon and a pinch of brown sugar. In a small bowl, combine butter, oats, flour and sugar. Stir to mix, spoon over fruit. Bake at 350 for 20 m inutes or until fruit is soft. Let cool for a few minutes, serve and enjoy!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Grocery Day

This week's meal plan and shopping list:

Trying a few new things this week: TexMex bake, sausage tortellini soup, Baked pork tenderloin with apples, bacon and egg pasta (essentially pasta carbonara, which makes me nervous, what with all the raw egg. So we'll see if that gets made.) All from the September issue of Canadian Family... recipes and reviews to be posted as we try 'em!

Tonight's masterpiece: store bought pirogies pan-fried in real butter, BBQ'd steak and salad. The boys had fresh blueberries with milk for dessert.
BBQ Chef Extraordinaire

Monday, August 2, 2010

Coffee and candy and cake, oh my!


Not a great food day. Started with carbs and coffee, then we headed over to one of them "all you can eat" breakfast buffets at a local hotel restaurant. The breakfast standards of eggs, bacon, hash browns, sausage... plus some extras like waffles, fruit, dry cereal, yogurt, vegetarian quiche, caramelized onion and mushroom egg bake, and looooots of pastries. Of course I had to sample everything. Sometimes twice. Plus more coffee.

This afternoon I introduced the boys to candy - something Elliot's only ever had once or twice and I don't think Felix has ever really had. And it was a big hit. Smarties. Swedish Berries. BBQ coated peanuts, Chili & lime almonds. Bridge Mixture. And more coffee (for me - not them. At least I switched to decaf)

Supper was a true Brilliant Parenting Move: the tried and tested Mac & Cheese with hotdogs. Again, something the boys rarely get. And they wolfed it down, of course. I have to eat broken up plain rippled potato chips on my hotdogs, along with ketchup. It's my thing. And I have a hard time eating one plain now, since I've done this for as long as I can remember. I don't know when or why I started. But it's delish!

Which brings us to dessert. Ahhhhhh, sweet dessert. Blueberries were on sale at the grocery store this morning, and we still had about a cup's worth of raspberries growing out back, so I made a berry buckle, or cobbler. I've made it before, with just blueberries, and this time the raspberries gave it a wonderful tartness. Hot out of the oven and topped with vanilla-chocolate-crinkle ice cream and wow. Bliss!

My tummy is so happy, even hours later. But yep, it's pretty round today. And my digestive system is not pleased with me.

Wheat, dairy and sugar free berry cake with ice cream. Mmmmmm!