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

Monday, September 08, 2014

#41 Mostly Green Curry Veggies and Tofu

It's my birthday! Over the weekend we ate at some delicious places for my birthday. My main birthday dinner was at Meat, a fabulous restaurant in Old Town that specializes in food for carnivores. So. Good! We went on Sunday though since they were closed on Monday. Which left Monday open for cooking a meal.
Since my household loves meat we were all a little skeptical about this vegetarian dish. As my daughter would say, tofu torture. I served it up with a smile. I was optimist for birthday sakes.
It is official, we are not fans of tofu. Also official, most of my household has no desire to ever be a vegetarian. Sorry dad! Without the tofu it was a decent dish of curry. With the tofu it was belch.  Even the dog did not like it. I offered her the leftovers she took one bite of tofu and walked away. She walked away people. ;)
Thankfully we had brownies and mint chocolate chip ice cream for my birthday dessert, which we served IMMEDIATELY after dinner.
:D- Mom

I WILL NEVER BE A VEGETARIAN! Tofu is pure torture. My dog will eat ANYTHING if she won't eat it, than you know it must be something really bad. -DD

Thursday, September 04, 2014

#40 Mostly Green Curry Chicken over CoconutS Jasmine Rice

Rachael has this one listed as MYOTO Make Your Own Take Out. I like Chinese food and take out so this one made me happy.
This one was called mostly green as most of the add-ins are the color green. My arch nemesis as a child was green vegetables so younger me would have despised it on title alone. Oh, how I have grown. Special note: the green pepper, jalapeno, and onion were from the garden. :)
I thought it was great. Maybe a little less peas but great none the less. Thumbs up from me. Especially the rice which had a moist sweet taste.
-Mom

So good! Not all the vegetables though.-DD

Sunday, August 31, 2014

#39 Pasta with Roasted Eggplant Sauce and Ricotta

 This year in the Kid's Club garden we grew eggplant. Beautiful purple globes. With the kids back to school the produce from the garden is up available to any one who will use it. So I used the eggplant for this recipe. Roasted with garlic and then pureed to make a vitamin rich sauce. Again with tomatoes fresh from the garden. It feels good to be using this produce to feed my family.
Sorry, poor camera quality. This was a day with no camera. Had to use DD's computer.
The ricotta. A bit of an education on the ricotta. Apparently it was suppose to be ricotta salata,which I did not even know existed. It is more of a crumble than traditional ricotta. In the end I used plain ricotta and it was fine.
This picture was taken with my old phone.
Delicious! So good I did make it again for a garden potluck. By having the ricotta on the side and using gluten free noodles. It made it a nice gluten free and vegan potluck meal. With the ricotta optional. I of course would add the ricotta.-Mom

I was surprised that the roasted eggplant tasted so good. I tried a piece before we pureed it as I had never had eggplant to my knowledge. Not bad. -DD