Monday, January 17, 2011

Monday Menu

Well, I have to let myself off the hook and realize that blogging everyday is just not going to happen. I need time to think, plan, and write; unfortunately, this is a rare commodity! Today is MLK holiday, so I'm home with Austin and minimizing our options for our day off. We are leaning towards the Long Beach Aquarium! Full of colorful fish, different regions displaying cool aquatic areas, it's full of learning and fun.

Tonight I will make a simple spaghetti and meatball dinner, but I am going to tackle a real Caesar salad - down to the anchovy! I am going to buy a sourdough baguette and slice it into pieces. Oil both sides and bake in an oven for 5 minutes, then top with grated parmesan cheese baking for 10 - 12 minutes until cheese melts. These crisps will lay on top of the romaine lettuce in the salad bowl. The dressing will be 9 anchovy fillets, 4 tsp. minced garlic, salt, pepper, and 1/3 c lemon juice blended in the food processor or blender. With just the inner romaine lettuce leaves remaining whole, I'll drizzle the dressing over the leaves and top with the crisps and curls of parmesan.

Last night Todd and I went to see a guitarist, Joe Satiorini. I'm sure I just butchered his last name, but I really don't know who he is. Although, he is a great guitar player! It was held at the Orpheum Theater in downtown Los Angeles. I was impressed with Joe's ability to play, but I was more impressed with the architecture of the theater. Built in the 1920's, it was amazing with marble walls, ornate ceilings, custom seating everywhere and elegant chandeliers hanging from all the ceilings. Beautiful.

With a busy calendar month, I'm trying hard to keep on track with my menus! Inspiring recipes and new dishes always make squeezing in a delicious dinner more enjoyable!!
Happy Cooking!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Cleaning House

This week I have been pondering one scripture more than any other: Psalm 51:10. Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.

I am a fanatic when it comes to my house and classroom. I don't like clutter at all. This week I began thinking about the state of my heart. Are there any areas of resentment or anger that have built up? Am I jealous or envious of someone else's life? Do I harbor any ill feelings toward someone?

I want to be diligent in asking the Lord to show me if there is any "cleaning" that needs to take place in my heart.

Thank you Lord for being patient and loving with me as I fall short in my reactions and words on a daily basis. Your goodness and mercy are forever. Amen.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Tuesday's Top Five

Staples Needed in the Kitchen

Cooking for me is hard if I don't have a plan. It's even harder if I don't have what I need in the pantry! Ask my husband and he will tell you that I am notorious for always missing at least one ingredient when I cook. That is why last night I made orzo instead of couscous. I could have sworn I had couscous.
Anyway, these ingredients make it a lot easier to create a meal if all else fails, and I usually will include them at some point in the week!

1. Pasta. I have a variety at any given time to choose from. Spaghetti, fetticine, penne, are just a few that you can create so many dishes: pasta with sauce, soups, casseroles, side dishes. It goes on sale regularly, so costs are huge. Big bang for the buck.

2. Ground turkey or a bag of frozen chicken breasts. I stock up in the freezer when these go on sale.

3. Chicken and beef stock. Great to make gravy, add liquid to a pasta dish, base for a soup, add to a roast for liquid and flavor, etc...

4. Cream of Mushroom soup. Randomly I pick recipes that need this ingredient. It's nice to have on hand.

5. Olive oil and canola oil. Every recipe calls for either one or the other. Olive oil for all my pasta dishes; canola oil for all high heat purposes.

Happy cooking!

Mondays menu

I made the spicy Morrocan Chicken last night, and it was a hit! It was so simple, too!

In a small bowl, I combined cinnamon, cumin, coriander, turmeric, cayenne pepper, salt & pepper with olive oil to make a paste. I preheated the oven to 450 and placed a tray with a rim on the center rack to heat. After washing the chicken legs and thighs, I rubbed the paste all over them. Next I placed all the chicken on the heated pan and put it back in the oven for 35 minutes. I roasted the carrots on the top rack for 20 min after tossing them in olive oil, salt & pepper. Really good - comment me if you'd like exact measurements!

Friday, December 31, 2010


In about an hour, we are all going to BJ's pizza restaurant (Kalie's work) for dinner. Since she just got transferred to this location, I guess that means "low man on the totem pole" and she got the New Year's Eve shift. Well, we will keep her company!

Sunday, we will be going to La Palapa, Kalie's wedding site, to bring centerpieces and hopefully meet with the DJ. We want to see how the tables will look with our Pier I purchases. I plan on taking photos, so I'll show you next week. The DJ needs to center the K & J initials that will be projected onto the dance floor.

Kalie chose La Palapa for a few reasons.
1. Jeremy wanted to be married ON THE SAND. Not next to the sand, not looking down from a cliff to the sand, not looking at sand through a window of a church. ON.THE.SAND!
La Palapa has a beautiful runner that extends from the sidewalk area onto the sand and ends under palm trees with a gazebo. Chairs are set on each side (bride's side and groom's side) of the runner. Their feet will never actually touch sand. They will be on the runner. Mine however will. Not thrilled. I'm still trying to figure this situation out. I guess I could supply sandals in a beach tub for guests, or maybe offer hot towels to wipe their feet after the ceremony, or pretend we are really not on actual sand and simply smile a lot. Still working this situation out.

2. Kalie did not want anyone to have to travel from wedding site to reception site. La Palapa is a funky bar type restaurant on the beach in Long Beach. CUTE, CUTE, CUTE. My girlfriends and I have spent many a night there having a rip roaring time. When my mom told me that a friend of hers attended a wedding there, I was significantly puzzled. My mom said the reception was upstairs. What I recalled was a tiki style rooftop with no stairs anywhere in sight. However, when Kalie and I made an appointment to see the reception spot, we went outside to stairs that ran along the side of the building. Intriguing. Elizabeth, owner and coordinator, opened the double doors and both Kalie and I took a collective gasp. BEAUTIFUL. Simply gorgeous. A full bar as you walk in, a "cigar or international coffee room" to the left, down the wide foyer hall was a beautiful gazebo with crystal chandelier that the wedding cake sat under. The ballroom had a gigantic crystal chandelier with red and ivory swags that started in the center of the ceiling above the dance floor and extended the wall. Unbelievable. The floor to ceiling windows overlooking the shoreline and Queen Mary was gorgeous. Everywhere were European looking armoires, wing backed chairs, and beautiful wood. Stunning. We signed the contract that day!

3. Both Kalie and Jeremy were born and raised in Long Beach. This is a Long Beach wedding! 90% of our friends and family all live in Long Beach. We are using as many local vendors as possible. We love our little hometown! Their wedding night will be spent down the street a ways where they will have more beautiful ocean views, and the rest of us won't have far to travel to curl up in our own beds after a blissful night.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Thankful Thursday

There is always so much to be thankful for. I wish I focused more on those things during the week than all the problems or concerns that I am facing. One way that a thankful heart arises within me every time is listening to my Christian radio station in the car. I have now found Pandora at home! If you don't know about this-! It is a radio station that you can create your own music stations. I entered Alli Rogers, and now a plethora of wonderful music comes on that put me in a very thankful state of mind!

This was a low key week. Yes, I'm thankful for that, too! Christmas Eve was spent with Todd, Austin, Ashley and Laura at my favorite Chinese restaurant, Chens. I decided cooking on Christmas Eve and having my family for brunch on Christmas Day was just TOO MUCH!! Kalie spent the evening with Jeremy's family; a new tradition that will now carry on through their married life!

After watching "A Christmas Story" and going to bed relatively early, Todd and I woke up at 6 to put the Christmas ham in the oven. Actually, he did all the work, I watched and sipped my coffee on the sidelines! By 8:00 we woke the kids and announced that Santa had arrived!
After presents, I made some deviled eggs, put the ham on a platter, shared the lox, cream cheese & bagels, and set out the fruit. A light brunch was perfect!

We enjoyed our presents and our family!

Because of so much rain here, we have played until our hearts content! It has been a relaxing vacation! For that, I am extremely thankful!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Wednesday's Worship

I began praying this years ago. Insert your husband and children's names to have greater impact for your family!

Ephesians 3:14 - 19

14 For this reason, I bow my knees before the Father,

15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name,

16 that He would grant (name), according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man;

17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and they (name), being rooted and grounded in love,

18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,

19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that (name) may be filled up to all the fulness of God.