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Showing posts from February, 2008

Tuesday

Not much cooking going on here tonight. Dev had class and I had yoga. Nights like tonight make me so glad I have an extra freezer. I defrosted some chili I made a few weeks ago and served it with some of the mayonnaise biscuits I made for dinner last night.

It occured to me this morning that we have definitely been eating well since we read "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" by Barbara Kingsolver. We didn't starve before, but we are being more deliberate in our food choices now. For instance, for breakfast this week I have been eating homemade granola on top of homemade vanilla yogurt. I had no idea yogurt could be this good. I always ate it because I knew it was good for me. Now I eat it because it tastes insane! For lunch today I took a huge salad with homemade white wine vinaigrette and a bowl of the soup I made for dinner last night.

And I can honestly say I'm not slaving away in the kitchen...I'm just planning ahead a little better. We'll see if I can …

Rachael Ray's Leeky Creamy Chicken and Dumpling Stoup

IMG_1097, originally uploaded by All Things Mimi. I really like Rachael Ray's magazine. The best part about it is you get the great 30 minute recipes, without having to hear her annoying voice and watch her ridiculous mannerisms.
This turned out really well. I tweaked a few things, and I'll note them in the recipe. This soup paired very well with the salad and mayannaise biscuits I made. And the leftover Quadruple Chocolate Loaf Cake rounded off a pretty darn perfect meal.

Leeky Creamy Chicken and Dumpling Stoup
from Rachael Ray's Magazine- March 2008

2 tablespoons olive oil
3 leeks, white and tender green parts split lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
5 ribs celery from the heart with leafy tops, thinly sliced
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper
32 ounce container (4 cups) chicken broth
2 cups heavy cream (I used half n half)
1 pound chicken tenders, cut into small chunks
2 packages fresh gnocchi (I used one pack vacuum sealed gnocchi from the pasta aisle)
1/2 cup chopped parlsey (I didn…

Mayonnaise Biscuits and Salad

IMG_1096, originally uploaded by All Things Mimi. I know this is a horrible picture, but I tried several times and this was the best I could do.

I made Leeky Creamy Chicken and Dumpling Stoup for dinner and decided I needed to serve a salad along side- mostly because I was craving veggies again. So I cut up some romaine hearts and threw on some raw onion, cucumber, mushrooms and avacado. I then had to consider the dressing options. In my blender I threw a couple of globs of champagne honey mustard, some fig vinegar, a splash of white wine, salt, pepper and some olive oil. I whizzed it around for a few seconds and voila! Not bad for dressing on the fly.

The mayonnaise biscuits are an old family recipe. The recipe comes from an old church cookbook. It is ridiculously simple and NEVER fails.

Mayonnaise Biscuits
from the White Bluff Presbyterian Church Cookbook- 1988

1 c. self rising flour
3 tablespoons mayo
1/2 c. milk

Mix everything together and put in a muffin tin, half way up to the top. I mad…

Nigella's Quadruple Chocolate Loaf Cake

IMG_1043, originally uploaded by All Things Mimi. At long last- I have finished my project for the Nigella Lawson contest over at one of my favorite food blogs, Foodie Chickie.
Basically I could choose any Nigella recipe I wanted. I have had this recipe for quite a while and I've always wanted to try it. Now I had my opportunity!

Let me start by giving you the recipe.

Quadruple Chocolate Loaf Cake by Nigella Lawson

Cake:
1 2/3 c. all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 c. cocoa powder
1 1/3 c. sugar
1 1/2 sticks soft unsalted butter
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/3 c. sour cream (I used full fat yogurt)
1/2 c. boiling water
1 c. semisweet chocolate chips
Syrup:
1 teaspoon cocoa (I used raspberry preserves cuz I was out of cocoa)
1/2 c. water
1/2 c. sugar

1 oz. dark chocolate (from a thick bar if possible) cut into splinters of varying thickness, for garnish- I skipped this and used powdered sugar

The recipe said to put oiled foil in a 2-pound loaf pan. Because I have a phobia about large…

Red Curry Chicken Wraps

IMG_1041, originally uploaded by All Things Mimi. I had some chicken and onions, peppers, mushrooms and couscous left over from the red curry chicken kabobs last night, so this afternoon I heated the meat and veggies, made a spread out of Dev’s homemade yogurt and some greek seasoning, put that on a 6″ tortilla with the meat and veggies, added some feta cheese and a side of cracked black pepper potato chips.

Not a bad lunch considering all the other projects we’ve got going on around here today…..

Lunar Eclipse Pic

IMG_1035, originally uploaded by All Things Mimi. I know I'm a little late on this post, but here is a pic I took of the lunar eclipse earlier this week. There is one more pic, so click on this one to see the other on my flickr page.

Saturday Stuff

It's 11:00am. Dev and I got up about 7:15 so he could read some stuff for homework and I could finally catch Jamie Oliver's new show on foodtv.

I think the name of the show is "Jamie at Home," or something like that. The format is really nice, as is the kitchen. Of all the foodtv shows, it is probably the least pretentious kitchen set.

The subject of this week's show was rhubarb. I have never really eaten rhubarb. Dev's parents grow it in their garden every year so his mom can make rhubarb jam and rhubarb/strawberry pies- both of which are really good. Jamie took it in a different direction and used it to make a base for a pork stew. Actually, he made a big batch of rhubarb compote at the beginning, then used the compote to make a few other things.

I liked the show and if I'm up at 7:30am on a Saturday, I'll watch it again.

In other news, while preparing breakfast for us this morning, I found other products in my fridge containing the dreaded High Fructos…

TGIF!!!!!

It's Friday again.

We have big plans for the weekend.

We are embarking upon 2 additional lifestyle changes (brought about by my reading of Barbara Kingsolver's novel "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle") this weekend.

We are going to do our best to eliminate as many sources of high fructose corn syrup as we can find. So far, I've identified it in every jar of jelly in the fridge, and even some of the yogurts. Soda's won't be a very big sacrifice, because we don't drink many of those anyway. I'm scared to venture into the pantry, although we don't buy lots of pre-packaged things. We mostly stock canned beans, canned tomatoes and pastas. I have a feeling my beloved Jiffy cornbread mix might be on the chopping block, though. (UPDATE- I just checked- it's ok...)

We have been making our own ricotta and mozzarella cheeses for over a year now. But we just ordered the cultures to make our own cream cheese and yogurt. I am looking forward to being able to cont…

Wednesday

It's Wednesday.

Dev made dinner tonight- which means it was much healthier than anything else we've eaten recently. He put a piece of pork in the crockpot with mushrooms and onions and wine. He also roasted some brussel sprouts- then served it all up with some crusty bread. Yummie.

Of course, it's almost 9:15pm, and he just walked in the bedroom with a bag of almond M&M's...dammit.

We've been darting in and out watching the lunar eclipse. I will try to post a photo tomorrow, but I don't know if any of them actually turned out.

I need to narrow down which Nigella recipe I am going to use to enter 1 of the 2 food blog contests I'm interested in. The other contest is for pie. That shouldn't be too difficult.

I know I won't be doing any heavy cooking tomorrow. I have yoga, then "I love to read" night at school. Not to mention Dev will be in class until 8:30pm. Bleh.

"Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" by Barbara Kingsolver

So Diane and I were talking the other day and she mentioned that she was reading this book. She said she was reading the part about seeds and seed catalogues and it was freaking her out.

I had read about this book, and had wanted to read it for quite a while, so after talking to Di, I looked at my local library. Lo and behold, they had it!

I brought it home and couldn't wait to dive in.

Firstly let me say that I realize the average person could never do an experiment like this and pull it off. However, after reading this book, I now think about my grocery purchasing and eating habits in a whole new light.

The basic gist of the book is that Barbara Kingsolver and her family (husband and 2 daughters) leave their home in the Arizona desert to return to her ancestral home in the Appalachian region of Virginia. It just so happens that someone in her family (or her husband's, I don't remember which) has a small farm and the Kingsolvers are inheriting it. Must be nice, huh? Anyway, t…

Mental Traffic Jam

It seems like forever since I sat down to do a real blog entry.

I really haven't been cooking much over the last week because things have been pretty busy around here, now that I'm over the flu.

Let's see....where to begin. I'll just do things like I normally do and talk about things in the order they come to me.

Yoga. I haven't been in 2 weeks. One week because I was sick, and the other week because my yoga instructor was sick. Just in case you were curious, if you skip 2 weeks, it's like starting over. Although I did have my brand new swanky purple yoga mat this week. I had been using the ones at the rec center, but the last few have had some pretty weird looking stains on them so I decided to invest the $25 in one of my own. I felt quite accomplished walking in the rec center with my own yoga mat under my arm. Now if I could just quit craving fried chicken the whole time I'm there I might make some progress.

Speaking of things that aren't good for me....…

Yay Kindergarten!!

IMG_1029, originally uploaded by All Things Mimi. Some days I wonder whether or not I will survive my first year in kindergarten...
But today, kindergarten was a cool place to be! I've never received this many Valentines in one day in my whole life!!!!
Plus- I got pizza and tons of chocolate! Wahoo!!!!
AND- we have a half day work day tomorrow with Monday completely off!!! Somebody pinch me......

Valentine's Day 2008

IMG_1028, originally uploaded by All Things Mimi. What girl doesn't love getting flowers? Dev sent these to me at school this morning. Aren't they beautiful???
Everyone else got the same old roses...I was the only one who received a gorgeous white bouquet of huge blooms.
Too bad Dev has class til late tonight..... :)

Better Luck Next Time....

The winner of the "Hay Hay it's Donna Day" pizza contest was announced today. Congratulations to Bordeaux of "Marita Says" for his Spanako-Pizza. I just went and looked at the recipe and will probably try it out this Friday. Anyway, you should go to

http://80breakfasts.blogspot.com/

and read the post for yourself.

I haven't done much cooking this weekend because I have the flu and feel generally pretty crappy. But I should rally soon and get back with the program. I haven't even done a menu for this week. Maybe I'll do that after a hot shower and another cup of green tea......

Chicken Kabobs

IMG_1026, originally uploaded by All Things Mimi. Day before yesterday I cut up 2 boneless chicken breasts and marinated them in a mixture of plain yogurt and red curry paste. When I got home this afternoon, I made kebabs with the marinated chicken pieces, red and yellow peppers, portabello mushroom chunks, onion and grape tomatoes. I put them under the broiler, turning every 3 minutes. The veggies were tossed in olive oil, salt, pepper and a little spice blend.

I served the kebabs on a bed of quinoa pilaf. I toasted the quinoa in olive oil over high heat for about 2 minutes. Then I put it in a saucepan with chicken broth and a bay leaf. I brought it to a boil, then covered it and turned the heat down to low. After 20 minutes, I uncovered and mixed in a few frozen early peas, some parmesan cheese and a little olive oil.

A tasty meal to end the work week!

In the morning.....gingerbread waffles!!!

Salad!!

IMG_1025, originally uploaded by All Things Mimi. I know it's February. And I know that lovely, fresh veggies in a salad are not in season. But there are some times when i just have to buy this stuff and make a salad. I can't help it.

The salad was made of portabellos, cucumbers, tomatoes, avacado and goat cheese. I dressed it with simple red wine vinegar vinaigrette (red wine vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice, honey, s/p).

Just what I needed. I served the salad as a first course before my chicken kabobs.....

Bleck!

I have chicken marinating in the ice box. It is getting all cozy with some yogurt and red curry paste.

Unfortunately, I feel like crap. I think I am getting the flu.

All I feel like eating is scrambled eggs and toast. Bleck.

Wednesday Night...Shepherd's Pie

IMG_1024, originally uploaded by All Things Mimi. It was snowing again when I got home from school today, so it was the perfect night for this dish. I don't even remember where I got this recipe, although if it's like most of the ones I use, it was a frankenstein recipe made from 15 other recipes I looked up on the internet. I just use the things I like about each one and put them all together.
Anyway, without further ado, here is the recipe....

Shepherd’s Pie

1 lg. onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
2 lg. carrots, diced
1 clove garlic, minced (or finely grated)
2 T. olive oil
1 lb. ground turkey (or beef)
1 T. tomato paste (or ketchup)
1 t. parsley
½ t. thyme
1 T. cinnamon
½ t. sage
2/3 c. beef or chicken broth
2 lg. baking potatoes
½ cup whipped cream cheese
¼ cup butter (half a stick)
¼ cup half n half
1 c. cheddar cheese
s/p to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Peel potatoes and cut in large chunks. Put in a pot of water and bring to a boil. Turn down a little and let cook til done (th…

Roasted Veggie Enchiladas Part II

IMG_1021, originally uploaded by All Things Mimi. To call these enchiladas is actually a gross miscarriage of culinary justice. They are in the shape of enchiladas, but that's where the similarities end. I used flour tortillas instead of corn (cuz that's what I had) and several other substitutions about which you are fixing to read.

Here's what I did....

After I made and blended the sauce, and chopped up the veggies, I sauteed half an onion (chopped) in some olive oil. Then I added the chopped veggies, just to warm them through.

To the veggies I added 2 tablespoons of whipped cream cheese, and 2 tablespoons of goat cheese. After that melted in, I took the filling off the heat.

I put about 2 tablespoons of filling in each tortilla, then sprinkled in some finely chopped cheddar cheese and pepper jack cheese. I rolled them up and put them in my 8x8 brownie pan, then smothered the rolls with the sauce. Then to completely confuse the ethnic/culinary issue- I sprinkled an Italian c…

Roasted Veggie Enchiladas

Here is the beginning of my enchiladas.

Pictured you see the chopped roasted veggies (leftover from the sushi roll adventure).

I chopped the veggies while the sauce was cooking. Here's the recipe for the sauce:

Enchilada Sauce
From “The Colorado Farmer’s Market Cookbook”


2 T. olive oil
½ white onion, finely chopped
½ green bell pepper, finely chopped
3 stalks celery, trimmed and finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 cups (or 1 28oz. can) crushed tomatoes
2 T. ground cumin (the freshest you can get)
1 t. sugar
2 t. paprika
1 t. dried oregano
1 bay leaf
Cayenne pepper, to taste

In a heavy saucepan, heat the oil and cook the onions, bell pepper and celery over medium heat until soft. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, cumin, sugar, paprika, oregano, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Add cayenne to taste. Simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Discard bay leaf.

The longer this simmers, the better it is. I substituted Greek seasonings for the oregano, because I didn’t have any.

There w…

Clancy's- A Review

I don't know why I hadn't been to Clancy's before last night. I've heard several people say wonderful things about it, but I just never think about it when we are going out to eat.
Yesterday was the anniversary of my first date with Dev, so I was looking for something different to do for dinner and decided to give Clancy's a try...

There were not very many people there, considering it was Monday night and really cold, so I wasn't surprised. But that also meant that slow service could not be blamed on the volume of customers.

We were seated quickly, and our waiter immediately came over to get drink orders. He came back to take our orders, but Dev needed a little more time. Of course, he didn't need the amount of time it took for our waiter to come back, but, oh well.

Dev ordered the pan fried trout and the chicken soup. I had the eggplant parm with a house salad.

The salad and soup were delivered with reasonable promptness. Dev said the soup was ok, but not…

Going out for supplies.

IMG_1018, originally uploaded by All Things Mimi. Dev and I finally ventured out after lunch to get some supplies from WalMart (I know- I hate the place but don't have many other retail choices).
What have I done with my day???? Hmmmm....

I've consumed numerous cups of hot green tea, watched foodtv til my head is about to explode and even watched a couple of Bermuda Triangle and UFO documentaries. A good day, I'd say.

Tonight I am going to make a good hot dinner. I decided instead of the roasted veggie risotto I had planned to make, we're going to have roasted veggie smothered enchiladas with mexican rice and home made refried beans. I made this decision because I have everything on hand for the enchilidas, but would have to buy Vermouth and parmesan cheese to make the risotto. So much for planning ahead, right???

OCD Behaviors and Such....

IMG_1010, originally uploaded by All Things Mimi. Dev has this thing about knocking icicles off our overhang. I think secretly he harbors the hope that one might bore a hole through the skulls of the loud people who live below us.

Poor Schmuck!!!

IMG_1011, originally uploaded by All Things Mimi. Looks like this guy is scraping ice because he has to go to work! Muhahahahahahahahahaha!!!!! I don't!

Oops!

IMG_1012, originally uploaded by All Things Mimi. At 6:00am, Dev heard on the radio that Alamosa schools were closed. I wondered why I hadn't heard the news from the school- then I remembered I left my phone in the truck last night. Dev went out in the snow to rescue it.
Sorry about the crappy pic, but by this time it was 6:30am, and I am barely functional before sunrise.

What is this?????

IMG_1008, originally uploaded by All Things Mimi. In Alamosa, we call it a SNOW DAY!!!!!! YIPPEEE!!!!!! YAHOO!!!!!!!

I get to waller around in bed longer, and eat breakfast without being rushed.

What shall I do with my snow day??? Stay tuned and find out......

Just Another Manic Monday....

Hopefully today was the last day my teacher will be out. She was out all last week and again today. I tried to lay back and let the subs sub, but I am a type A, and that ain't easy for me to do.

We taught the kids in the morning class how to cut hearts out of folded paper. If I remember to take my camera to school tomorrow, I'll take some shots of the results- very cute! Some took to it more easily than others. Some never did get it.

I took leftover sushi for lunch today. I must say it was still pretty darn tasty...especially the veggie rolls. I'm not sure I'll ever be able to roll any with sashimi grade fish, mostly cuz I don't know that I can get it here. I suppose I could source it out on the internet, but I don't want to spend a month's salary on a pound of tuna (or maybe I should choose salmon after everything I've read lately).

Today is the second anniversary of my very first date with Dev. I have on my menu to have lentil/sausage salad, bu…

The Big Game

I missed the first half while I was rolling sushi. Now the game has my attention.

Is it me or are the commercials pretty lame this year?? The only one that has even made me chuckle is the one with Shaq playing a jockey. Just the visual is hilarious. But the rest have been awful. Maybe they are saving the best for last.

I am hoping the Patriots win, just because I think it would be cool to have a perfect season. Right now they are behind 10-7. But it ain't over til it's over, right?

The Finished Spread

IMG_1007, originally uploaded by All Things Mimi. What insights do I have to share after surviving my first at home sushi experience?
Hmmmmmm.....
My rice was too sweet, and the rolls were too ricey. Next time I won't use all the seasoning mixture. I will also use a little less rice on the nori.
Oh- and I didn't get a pic of one of my favorite rolls- the Veggie Roll. I used roasted portabello, tomato and asparugus. It tasted great and was really pretty, too!
I will definitely do this again, only I will make less rice. 2 cups of sushi rice made 5 rolls. Dev and I couldn't eat it all. I am taking about a roll and a half of leftovers to school tomorrow.
I may attempt to do some crunchy shrimp rolls next time. And maybe I'll even work my way up to a tempura roll.
Who knows?
But at least I faced my fear of sushi rice and learned that I am capable of making sushi at home. I am already working on how to make more southwestern fusion rolls...... :)

The Classic Philly Roll

IMG_1006, originally uploaded by All Things Mimi. Avacado, cream cheese and smoked salmon. What's not to love????

Rio Grande Roll

IMG_1005, originally uploaded by All Things Mimi. For this roll, I used shrimp, cucumber and asparagus, then topped each individual piece with a little pico de gallo.
This one was really yummie- but next time I will add some extra heat.

California Roll for Dev

IMG_1003, originally uploaded by All Things Mimi. So Dev doesn't like avacado. I made this California roll for him. I used the sauteed shrimp, asparagus and cucumber. He seemed pleased....
Sorry about the sucky pic. I was far too focused on the rolling to worry about the photography... :)

My first ever Sushi Roll!!

IMG_0999, originally uploaded by All Things Mimi. This is my version of a California Roll. I substituted sauteed shrimp for the crabstick, and used avacado and cucumber.

The rolling was not as hard as I remembered it being when Di and I did this a year or two ago. I have been doing some research on the internet, and found a 10 minute video on how to use the mat to roll, so maybe I picked up a tip or two from there.

The Adventure Begins....

IMG_0998, originally uploaded by All Things Mimi. I rinsed two cups of sushi rice (several times) until rinse water ran almost clear. I put it in a heavy sauce pan with 2 1/2 cups of water (just enough to cover the rice) and put it on high heat to boil. After it reached the boiling point, I turned it down to a simmer and let it go about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, I put 1/3 cup of rice wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons of sugar and 1 teaspoon of salt over very low heat, just until the sugar and salt dissolved. I then put it in the freezer to cool a little.
I transfered the rice to a large bowl and had Dev fan it while I cut the rice wine vinegar mixture into it.
Up next.....the rolls.

The Calm Before the Storm

IMG_0996, originally uploaded by All Things Mimi. I am practising some deep breathing exercises, trying not to be nervous about my date with destiny.
Today I will face my fear of sushi rice. Head on. No safety net.
I went ahead and prepared all the items I will need for the rolls (except the avacado).
Here is the list of rolls I'm planning to make (if the rice works, and if I have enough):
1. California Roll- cucumber, shrimp (instead of crabstick) and avacado.
2. Dev's California Roll- cucumber, shrimp and asparagus
3. Veggie Roll- roasted mushroom, tomato and asparagus
4. Shrimp Roll- shrimp and cucumber
5. Philly Roll- smoked salmon, cream cheese and avacado
6. Shrimp Rio Grande Roll- shrimp and cucumber, topped with pico de gallo
I am planning to start rinsing the rice and making the seasoning mixture at 4:00. I think this is when the pre-game shows start as well.
Stay tuned- more pics to come!

Super Bowl Sunday!!!!

Yes, today is the day the two best NFL teams will meet up and determine a champion. Today is also the day I challenge one of my biggest culinary fears- SUSHI. I will be making sushi for the big game tonight, as well as offering some commentary on the game (and commercials).

I decided to do this on my personal blog instead of the food blog for several reasons, among them 1- this could fail miserably and 2- it might take up a lot of space, and I don't want to post tons of pics only to use up the space for Diane.

I will put a link on the other blog, so it will all work out, I'm sure.

It is 1:15 here, and I am going to roast some asparagus and some portabello sliced for my veggie rolls...

Check back soon!