Tuesday, September 23, 2014

#50 Big, Thick, Hearty Thighs and That's a Compliment

Ha! The title of this recipe cracks me up. Look at those big, thick, hearty thighs!
 I like what I see here; chicken, potatoes, and french baguette.
The meal was easy peasy to make. The thighs were indeed thick and hearty, as well as moist and delicious. Served with a side salad and some baguette this meal was a huge success! Probably the best received meal yet. So yes, yes, yes to this in our future. Tomorrow is a variation, I hope it is as good as tonight's.
-Mom

I liked the chicken, loved the fruit. -DD
It was really, really good. -The Boy

And on the cleaning front, the rest of my e-cloth products arrived today. Happy Dance!

Monday, September 22, 2014

#49 Pasta with Swiss Chard, Bacon, and Lemony Ricotta Cheese

Houston, we have a dilemma. We had to skip #48. I really did not want to but it was made with puff pastries. There are no gluten free puff pastries available on the market and to make them from scratch takes HOURS and HOURS of dedication to get them to turn out right. In the words of Sweet Brown, "Ain't nobody got time for that!"
So unless someone makes some gluten free puff pastry or I can find it at a store, we are going to have to pass on #48. Oh darn, we had to have bacon tonight. :D
 I snagged a leaf of swill chard from my momma and daddio's garden. The onion came from the Kid's Garden. And then there was BACON!
 Scrumptious bacon, chard pasta on a bed of lemony ricotta cheese. WINNER! I have a big bowl of leftovers which have my name on them. We will definitely make this one again.
-Mom

Dinner was AWESOME SAUCE! I think I may have put in a little too much ricotta because it was pretty cheesy, but still it was YUMMY! -DD

Side note- The first of my e-cloth products arrived this afternoon. My new dusting cloths. I decided to tackle my bedroom fan since it had not been dusted in ???? who knows how long, if ever. They are amazing!
 I was having so much fun that DD had to go try one out on the kitchen fan. YEAH!!
 Who knew dusting could make me happy? I can not wait for my other products to arrive. :D

Sunday, September 21, 2014

#47 Couple-of-Minute Steaks and Potato Ragout

What is not to love with a steak and potato dinner?
 This one used three different herbs; parsley, rosemary and thyme. I am so glad I purchased the mini pots of herbs. Fresh really is better. I did make the mistake of putting the parsley near an open bowl of cider vinegar, I think it yellowed some of the leaves. Easy remedy though.
Couple-of-Minute Steak and Potato Ragout
The seasoning on the steak was spot on. The ragout was good, however there was a bit of a wine aftertaste that we were not used to. Good but probably not repeated with the wine.
Mama liked.
-Mom

The steak was good but a bit fatty. The potatoes were not very good with the wine.
-DD

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Precepts

 The other day I was at the library and a new release was on the shelf. It caught my attention and I picked it up. It was one of those books that I knew instantly that for me it was not merely a library book to check out and return; it was must a book to be purchased, cherished, read, pondered and reread and pondered some more. The book?
365 Days of Wonder Mr. Browne's Book of Precepts.
If you have read Palacio's book Wonder you are familiar with Mr. Browne's precepts. I for one loved them. I have always loved quotes, reflecting on the words of others. In our home school we have quote books. Each day we choose a quote and a bible verse; writing them down in our books. We don't necessarily write responses to them as I am happy just to expose them to the words, writing and thoughts of others.
This book adds to the wealth of words in this world. Some are well known, while others were writtned by kids and sent to the author in response to the book Wonder. Wherever they come from they make my heart happy. Enjoy a few along with pictures taken yesterday before dance class. :D

To thine own self be true.-William Shakespeare
 Follow your dreams. It may be a long journey,but the path is right in front of you.-Grace
 A bit of fragrance clings to the hand that gives flowers. -Chinese proverb
The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. -Elanor Roosevelt
Just follow the day and reach for the sun! -The Polyphonic Spree

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

#46 Prosciutto, Garlic and Herb Cheese-Stuffed Chicken with Herb Pan Sauce

 No vegetables. Happy daughter.
 Stuffed chicken, never done in this house before but it was done tonight. Those breasts were smashed, prosciutto and some tasty cheese. They were rolled and cooked up.
 Tarragon was the herb the recipe called for but I could not find it so I substituted some herbs I did have and the sauce turned out awesome.
Stuffed chicken! It was really good but it was difficult to determine when the chicken was cooked through. We ended up needing to cook it longer. We will make it again but make sure to use a meat thermometer to ensure it is cooked properly the first time.
-Mom

The first few bits that were actually cooked were awesome and then I got to the part that was not cooked, not awesome.
-DD

Monday, September 15, 2014

#45 Sausage and Fennel Ragout with Creamy Polenta

We like sausage!
 I finally got smart and bought those potted herb plants in the produce section. I picked up parsley, thyme and rosemary. Such a huge difference to have fresh right from the counter-top. I misread the recipe at the store yesterday and I bought pancetta instead of polenta so I had to go back to the store today.
It was our first time using fennel. The boy was not too found of the smell when it was cooking. I thought it smelled delicious.
Appetizing to two out of the three consumers.
-Mom

I cooked the sausage. I think the polenta tasted like mac-n-cheese. Duh-lish-ous!
I also made chocolate pudding for dessert- DD

Sunday, September 14, 2014

#44 Ricotta Smothered Mushroom "Burgers" with Sweet Onion Topping

 This one took some mental preparation before we could get the courage to make it. Well I was ready on Thursday when it was first scheduled but dear sweet daughter on the other hand, she could have waited forever. 
 Finally with the promise of BBQ chips and pomegranate she bucked up and got her done.
The onions were caramelized in tomato paste, this was a new thing.
I decided to go sans bun. This is one giant portabella smothered in ricotta cheese and topped with the onions. It was a rather dramatic dinner. Gagging; some legit while some forced. Yet miraculously they both got it down. Gladly took the BBQ chips and both proclaimed, NEVER AGAIN!
I am indifferent.  In my vegetarian days I had so yummy portabella burgers so I know never say never.
-Mom

Disgusting! Never again! Excuse me while I go eat my pomegranate, this is my kind of food. -DD

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Just Keep Reading

The last month in books:
Cheaper By the Dozen
Owls in the Family
All of a Kind Family
Homesick
Ben and Me
Almost Home
Wonder

Yet again they were all fabulous.
My new favorite though would have to be Almost Home. Poetic, raw, real life with a dose of encouragement. A great read for the middle school crowd and those who love young adult fiction.

Wonder was thought provoking and sincere. Every person should read at least once.

Cheaper By the Dozen is a hilarious telling of the Gilbreth family. Written by two of the dozen. It is a wonderful glimpse into the life and mind of an efficiency expert at the start of the 20th century. Brilliant! Those who like biographies will love this book that has you laughing out loud as you turn the pages.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

#43 Chicken in Spicy andSweet Onion Sauce with Goat Cheese Smashed Potatoes and Cucumbers

 Second verse same as the verse...change a few things and we have tonight's dinner.
 We swapped out the cider vinegar with white wine, I chose Moscato which was left over from my birthday. Added some red pepper flakes to the sauce and my personal favorite, we added goat cheese to the smashed potatoes.
A decent dinner. Something about the chicken was tough and chewy, maybe the wine, maybe not. The smashed potatoes were superb! Lastly, since no one cared for the watercress cucumbers with the dijon vinaigrette, we ditched it and went with cucumbers sliced and salted. It was a good swap, Little Miss could not stop eating them.
-Mom

Chicken was tough. Smashed potatoes were yet again delicious and the cucumbers tasted like pickles, not bad at all. -DD

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

#42 Cider Vinegar Chicken with Smashed Potatoes and a Watercress and Cucumber Salad

Yeah, meat! So already this recipe was better than yesterday.
The potatoes were given to me by one of our community gardeners. I know I had honey in the house but it went MIA. I looked everywhere for it. In the end I substituted agave which turned out just fine.
 Yummy yum yum! This one gets thumbs up from me. Moist, flavorful. Easy. I do prefer sour cream smashed potatoes over half and half but they were still good. The salad got mixed reviews. I was the only one who really cared for it and even I was not a fan of watercress.
-Mom

So good. I love her smashed potatoes and her chicken was good. The watercress in the salad had a funny taste but the cucumbers were good plain. I would make it again just without the onions. :) -DD