Archives for the month of: February, 2011

Sunday evening is sacred at my house.  Around 5, I start making supper, and from then on it’s supper, dishes, wine, and relaxing.  It’s the last few moments of sanity before the week kicks in at 4:30 the following morning.  Yes, 4:30!  Some Mondays I have meetings at 6AM!  And god help my coworkers the weeks that I miss my Sunday night ritual.

Normally, I try to catch a little of those crazy Kardashian sisters, for pure, mindless (them, not me) entertain.  But tonight, I thought I’d sit down at 9:30 and watch the last few minutes of the Oscars.  Tthe choice between the stuttering Brit, the pyscho ballerina (hit kind of close to home), and the geeky millionaires.  Only to find out we are still on Best Song.  And Gwyneth Paltrow is apprarently country music’s next star?  Goop-gal who keeps telling me to do some cleanse so I can be a size zero instead of a chubby 2?  And now Celine Because the woman from the Titanic finally died??!  And how many dresses are they going to make Anne Hathaway wear?

I’m a firm believer that the best part of the Oscars is really Joan Rivers the following night. 

But enough of my rambling.  If you are like my sister, you’re just here for the recipe.  I do have a quite good and easy one adapted from The Kitchn.

Spicy Miso Glazed Chicken Breasts
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
3 Tbls miso paste
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, finely diced
4 – 6 garlic cloves, diced
1 lemon, zested
1 Tblsp canola oil
1 tsp sesame oil
1 Tblsp rice wine vinegar
1 Tblsp soy sauce
Chili garlic sauce to taste
Package of spinach

Mix the ingredients until they form a sauce.  Place chicken in a baking dish coated with cooking spray.  Top with sauce, and marinate overnight or bake immediately.

Bake at 425 degrees for 30 minute, turning chicken once.  Saute spinach in 1 tsp of olive oil until it wilts. 

Gotta find a way to use that $9 package of miso I bought at Whole Foods

 Healthy too!  Highly recommend this one – Easy and quick!
Calories = 295; Fat = 12g; Sodium = 590 mg; Carbs = 9g; Protein = 38g

Made to it best actor/actress.  4:30 is only 6 hours away, RAWR!

Beth

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I’ve become pretty pathetic when it comes down to winter weather.  If it drops much below 20 degrees, I will do anything to avoid leaving the house.  And, assuming I haven’t pissed off the actuarial gods, I make it a point to be in bed reading a book by 9.

Now the weather has perked up a bit and I’m restless.  Still too cold to run outside (or to drag my toosh to the gym at 5).  And I don’t feel like reading a book either, as evidenced by the fact that I just wasted an hour wandering around the library looking for books on traveling to Asia. 

Blech.  On better notes, I have called a housekeeper, and she is coming on Saturday.  That was, sadly, my proudest accomplishment today.

Perhaps tomorrow I’ll be home in time to make homemade Pad Thai.  It will be a recipe taken from several sources – Cooking Light, Mark Bittman, and various blogs.  We shall see if I manage to pull it off.

Off to see what I can DL on the Kindle.  After getting that thing for Christmas, I’ve been through about a dozen different books.  Have any suggestions of good reads?

Beth

After the mess of travel for the last three weeks (snowed-in in Minneapolis, several days in Sioux City, and a couple of days in NYC chasing down investment bankers), let’s just say that the house was in need of some TLC.  Sad to say, there were many rooms where walking through them required some serious dancing ability. 

So I cleaned.  And washed.  And vacuumed.  And dusted, as the warm weather has convinced this little gal that it’s time to shed all of her coat.  Ugh. 

It’s the grey & white one that’s the furrball….

I have now called a housekeeper.  Once the weather is nicer and I’ve got a garder to tend to, I won’t be able to keep up.  I probably should be able to keep up, but I like to go to sleep at night.  I realized this as I saw my tulips popping up.  Stupid tulips….it’s still February.

But I still cook.  And on weekends like this, I like to cook something that I can prep and let be.  Thus, homemade tomato sauce with meatballs!

Served with DH's homemade pasta. And wine. Plenty of wine.

Tomato Sauce
2 28 oz cans crushed tomatoes
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes with italian seasoning
5 – 6 cloves garlic, diced
1 large onion, diced
Small pinch of cloves
2 -3 Tbsl dried  basis
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
2 – 3 Tbsp balsamic vinaigrette

In a large pot, saute onions and garlic in the olive oil until translucent.  Add tomatoes and all ingredients (except balsamic) to pot to simmer.  Add meatballs at this point.  Simmer for at least 3 hours, then add the balsamic to taste right before serving.

Meatballs
1 lb lean ground beef or ground turkey
1 egg
1/4 cup skim milk
1/2 cup italian breadcrumbs
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp dried oregano
1 Tbsp dried parsley
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1/4 cup fresh parmesan cheese

Mix ingredients in a metal bowl by hand.  Roll into balls (about the size of golf balls.  Drop into the sauce to simmer!

Assuming I buy the right canned tomatoes, it turns out rich and thick every time.  I very rarely make a recipe more than once, but this is one we can count on (and I can whip it together and be out of the kitchen before DH destroys it making pasta).

Here’s to hoping I can find a good housekeeper.  And can hopefully keep my feet in St. Louis for the next couple of weeks.

Beth



After 3 days on the road, DH and I finally got home this afternoon (just in time to turn around and head back to work – ick!)  I decided I needed a good distraction, as cleaning up the house wasn’t going to help my ‘tude.  Cupcakes it was.  I may regret that decision later this week.  I may regret that decision when I try to get into my suit tomorrow.  Although, after this weekend, I don’t know if it’s really fair to blame the cupcakes.

So, cupcakes.  I turned to Annie’s Eats, a blog that I have followed for quite a while, and she has not steered me wrong on a desert yet.  DH’s choice for cupcakes?  Coffee Stout Cupcakes with Bailey’s Buttercream.  I’m going to link to Annie’s recipe here – I made mine pretty close to hers, except that I chose to use a local beer – Schlafy’s coffee stout – in the cupcake.  It’s made with Kaldi’s coffee.  I could write an entire tribute to Kaldi’s.  I will some day.

Here’s some pictures of the cupcakes in the making.  I’m happy to say that this time, the cupcakes turned out!

    Dee-licious.  I’m sure hoping that the weather starts to get warmer so that I can run outside….goodness knows I haven’t been getting to the gym AND I keep baking cupcakes.  To work they go, I’m afraid.  (After DH picks out his keepers).

Beth

Whoo, have I been a bad blogger.  With the holidays and the mess that is January at my office, I have NOT had much time to do much. 

Except watch infomercials of the latest Beachbody product.  I can watch the entire commercials for TurboFire with my mouth gaping open at those crazy women.  And I get kind of wrapped up in it all and have caught myself seriously thinking about ordering it.

And then I get distracted.  By pear galette.  I believe that it’s much healthier for me than jumping around in my basement until I puke.  It has pears! 

I used my sister’s birthday as an excuse to make it.  I managed to devour half of it over last weekend.  That’s burned off with a 5K run, right?  Ah well, chalk it up t0 my desire to make sure my meager pastry skills don’t get any worse.

To make Crust:
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup coarse cornmeal
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into small pieces
1/3 cup skim milk
ice water, as needed.

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Cut in butter using a pastry blender – bigger chunks of butter is better! (approximately size of dimes is still OK).  Slowly add the milk and combine with your hands into a ball.  If dough is still crumbly (is that a word?), then add ice water until dough comes together.  Wrap in plastic wrap and place in fridge.

Preheat oven to 350.  Slice 3 bartlett pears in thin slices.  Unwrap cold dough and roll out to a 14-15 inch circle.  Transfer the dough to a cookie sheet  at this point (trust me!)  Brush the bottom of the dough with apricot preserves.  Arrange pears in the center of the dough, leaving 2 – 3 inches of space at edges.  (Make the pears into a circular pattern – it will look pretty!)

Fold the edges of the dough just over the edges of the pears.  Brush dough with a beaten egg.   Bake for 45-50 minutes or until pears are soft and crust is golden.  Cool on a wire rack.

Perfect weekend diversion

I highly recommend this one!  And it would be easy to modify to use other fruits.  You know, for that trip to the farmer’s market where you buy so much produce you’re still finding it in your fridge a week and a half later.

Beth