Monday, December 20, 2010

Gutsy Cooks week 10

I don't know why it totally slipped my mind to blog about this.  Perhaps the busyness of life?  We celebrated Asked's seventh birthday and now we're gearing up for Christmas. 

It's been a little busy, I guess.  Anyway, Week 10's menu was Chicken a la King, Spinach Timbales and Kasha Pilaf.  I made several changes, as per my usual.  Well, except to the Spinach Timbales, I followed that one pretty closely.  It turned out super fancy.  I wouldn't make this for our regular family dinners, but if I was having a dinner party and was wearing high heels, pearls and a spotless apron, I may pull this one out again.  But, probably not.

For the Chicken a la king I used all the suggested vegetables except green peppers and instead of chicken, I used rabbit.  It turned out so super good!  Yummy!  I will definitely make this again.
Look at all the yummy vegetables!

The house smelled SO very very good while everything was cooking.

For the Kasha Pilaf, I used bulgar wheat instead.  It turned out well.  It went perfectly with the Rabbit.  So, yay!  Good menu.
Boy.  That is not a very appetizing photo.  Poor food, I did not do it justice.  Just know that it was delicious.

Over the next few weeks we'll be visiting with family for the holidays.  We'll see if I get to make any more gutsy meals before the new year.  I'll be taking my book with me... so we'll see!!  Perhaps a little Gutsy Cooking on the road???


We have chickens, so we are accustom to eggs that don't necessarily look like the ones you get in the store.  But we were recently given some quail eggs.  They are SO CUTE!  They sat in the fridge for a while before I knew what to do with them.
I mean, seriously!  Look how cute they are!
Here is one compared to one of our chicken eggs.  The chicken egg is maybe a 'large' sized egg.
 The internet said they were good boiled.  But they kids are not fans of boiled eggs, so I just fried them.
The chicken egg.

The quail eggs in the same pan.
 The whole adventure amused me greatly.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Lovin the library

I love my local library.  They have some really great family programs.  They are quite often things we do as a whole family.  But as of late, I've had to work on Sundays (when the programs are offered) and Jim has been braving it alone. 

Once a month they do a 'drive in'.   They play a recent movie on the big screen in the large meeting room and they provide pop corn.  It's so nice because the whole family usually wants to go and since it's free, you don't feel too bad if the kids are a little noisy (or if you fall sleep part of the way through.)  We go most months. 

Reciently we discoverd that they do a monthly craft as well.  The first one Jim took the kids to, they made messenger bags out of a mailing envenope and duct tape!  This month they made a mini marshmallow shooter.
Very cool!
Joy showing off her shooter

Asked really wants to shoot his sister (who is sitting just out of the shot)

Even cooler were the goggles they made.  They used a clear 2 liter pop bottle, electrical tape and elastic!  Pure genius!
Joy sportin her goggles.
Wish I would have come up with this idea!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Gutsy Cooks week 7

We took a little break over the Thanksgiving holiday, I probably should have used that time to catch up, but I didn't.  I hope everyone had a tasty Thanksgiving.  We sure did!
Well, so back to my gutsy cooking.  I think that everyone else is on week 10 or something and I just did week 7.  So I guess gutsy- yes, quick- no.
This week's menu was Lamb Tangine with Couscous and Tabbouleh.  I was excited for this weeks menu.  It just so happened that I made this tasty stew on the first of December and it snowed.  What better day for a warm tasty stew?  I had to make a few substitutions in the spices because, as seems my 'MO', I was out of a few things.  I swapped out some chili powder for ground cumin and dried cilantro for ground coriander.   I also didn't use lamb.  As I've said before, just for the sake of convenience, I mostly shop at Wal Mart.  I don't think they're known for their section of lamb.  But they did have a nice beef roast on sale.  So we had beef.
Here's the beef, seasonings and onions after marinading in my fridge for 4 hours.  I cooked it on the stove to brown the meat, then added chicken stock and orange juice.  
After all that was brought to a boil, I baked it in the oven for an hour and a half.  I will totally make stew this way again.  Yum.  The beef was so super tender.  I served it over Couscous.  I've never made it before.  It was so easy.  I'll definitely do that again!  I forgot to take a picture, but here's one of the leftovers all ready for my lunch!
The other dish was Tabbouleh.  I was so excited for this.  I'm a big fan.  But I have to say that this recipe left quite a bit to be desired.  It was so sour!  I'm going to tell you what I put in it and if you make a tasty Tabbouleh, let me know what I can do differently.  It WAS very pretty, though.
cracked wheat, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper, scallions, parsley, mint and tomatoes.  I couldn't find fresh mint and had to use dried, but I don't think that was the issue.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

For Susan

I have been neglecting my blogging responsibilities.  My friend Susan has brought this fact to my attention.  I told her I should quit caring for my family and just blog about them.

So, today I made foccacia bread.  My house smells like garlic and olive oil and it is very lovely.  I make the dough in my bread machine, coat my hands in olive oil and then press it into a 9X13in pan.  I warmed about 1/3 cup of olive oil in a pan and when it was hot I turned off the fire and added garlic, basil and chopped tomatoes. I smear that all over the dough, then sprinkled it with parm cheese.  It's still rising, but I would like to eat it now.
It's not baked yet, so the oil is kind of pooled on top.
Maybe I should have taken a picture after it was baked.  But, whatever.  If you don't like it, you don't have to have any.  More for me!