Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Beer chicken and some yummy carrots

Tonight I made my first braised chicken. I have to say it was a lot of work, this meal. It was tasty but a lot of work. Lately I feel like getting food to the table is such a hassle. It's the pregnant me talking but does there have to be so many steps and so many damn dishes.
So I made a Beer Braised Chicken. I hate using thigh meat but I didn't want to compromise the dish. Thought about trying it with a turkey breast but wasn't sure how long to cook it and didn't want it to become a complete failure. So the chicken did turn out super moist and tender of course, but it's a fatty cut of meat so it's no fail really. There is also bacon in this which I typically don't cook with but went with it anyhow. I ended up draining out most of the bacon fat before cooking the chicken. I just couldn't bring it upon myself to leave all that fat in there knowing I was about to put olive oil in the pot with some dark meat chicken. It still turned out. I have never cooked with pearl onions and they were a nice addition. I used Fat Tire beer because my market didn't sell a dark ale. This is an amber ale and the flavor was nice. Love the smell of beer cooking in the kitchen. Yummy.
I also cooked some Roasted Carrots with Za'atar. It's a spice I had long ago at a Christmas party. It's a blend of thyme, sumac and sesame seeds. It's a spice commonly found in Middle Eastern foods. So delish. When I had it, it was mixed with salt and olive oil and used as a pita bread dip. It was so heavenly and I had always wished to add it to my pantry. Now I have a huge bag of it. You can use it for many many things. Add it to cooked rice, pizza dough, bread dough, marinades. There are so many uses for it. The carrots were awesome. I didn't have a lemon as I thought I had so I went without but it was great still. Jason told me several times, I don't eat cooked carrots but there are awesome. Lucy had two helpings. They were really really good. I know I will be making them again for sure. I am happy there are leftovers.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A streak of cooking

I might as well post while I can as I haven't been too creative in the kitchen and who knows what I will be eating once I have this baby.
So lately I have been cooking from Everyday Food Magazine.

lemony pasta with wilted arugula
This first one I actually made two times within a week because I had a whole bag of beautiful arugula that I didn't want to go to waste and it was so good the first time. We used chicken in it the first time and shrimp the second time. I liked the chicken a little more but both were delightful. The protein was my addition to the recipe. Would be awesome without as well. Just wanted a little something extra. It's so light and summery. Kids would love this one too.

thai beef with chiles and basil over coconut rice
This was super good and a nice change of pace. It was super simple, full of flavor and kid friendly. I only used one green jalapeno and minced it as to try and hide it from my little one. It had the perfect amount of heat and not too hot for her. I didn't make coconut rice as I do not like the flavor of coconut but I know it would compliment this dish very well. I would highly recommend this one. Jason called it a keeper.

eggplant salad with israeli couscous and basil
I really enjoyed this dinner. I am excited to eat it again tomorrow. I served it hot and it was great. I know it will be good cold too. I did add one container of baby bella mushrooms chopped and made a double batch of the couscous. I used a pretty large eggplant as well along with four or five smaller shallots. It was a really nice meatless dinner.

Wild Rice Salad with Yogurt Vinaigrette
The salad here was from a girls blog that I really like Joy the Baker. She is really inventive and I love reading her blog. So she posted this salad she made and it looked good so I went for it. It was really really good. I did make the dressing too and was very good. Had to adjust it until it tasted like I liked it. Very healthy.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

feeling inspired

I have been so mad about the garbage I have been putting into my body lately that I finally decided to take action. I wanted to make a salad that I could have in the fridge and take out for any meal. I bought some tricolor pasta and cooked about half the bag for the base of it. Then for the veggies I sauteed one shallot chopped, two cloves of garlic minced, one medium sweet potato diced, one squash diced and some large white mushrooms roughly chopped in a tablespoon of olive oil and a few splashes of blasamic vinegar. I put the lid on my pan and cooked it on low for fifteen minutes to soften the veggies. I added those to the noodles with some salt, pepper, one tablespoon of olive oil and a half tablespoon of balsamic vinegar. It is delicious. I must stay I am very impressed with myself. Not that it's super complicated or anything but that it's really tasty. I think the only thing I would add now is some fresh basil or some other fresh herbs. Maybe chives or rosemary. You should really try it out. My three year old gobbled it up and she is not a veggie girl. The colored noodles probably helped. Enjoy.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

In a funk

This pregnancy is really taking a toll on my kitchen time. I think I may have mentioned this before and it goes on. My back aches as I stand there and prep the food. I don't think I enjoy it as much right now. Today I was so mad at the crap I have been putting into my body that I decided forget this. I am the only one controlling what goes into my body and I am not going to let a little effort get in the way of that. Good healthy food is simple to make. The hardest part is getting to the store to get the things you need. That and shelling shrimp. Man, I feel like it took me forever tonight. Ugh. It was worth it though. I made another recipe from one of my Everyday Food cookbooks. This one was a brown rice bowl with shrimp, snow peas, and avocado. It was so delicious. I mean way better than I thought it was going to be. A ton of flavor. Get nervous using lemon juice. Not something I usually cook with and it's such a strong flavor. It was great. The perfect flavor. Lucy loved it. Jason loved it. I can't wait to eat the leftovers tomorrow. I am going to eat it cold like a salad. Can't imagine heating it up with avocado in it. Please try this salad. It's very inexpensive and most of the ingredients you will more than likely have on had. White rice would do if you don't want to use brown. Brown just tastes so much healthier plus it's a little more substantial. I feel like white rice sometimes gets a little soggy with sauce on it. Make this recipe and enjoy! So yummy!