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!