Category Archives: dinner

What’s for Dinner??

I’m still here!  I keep on telling myself I have to blog but I’m worn out by the time the kids are in bed and I finally have time for myself at the end of the day.  The catch is that when I finally do have that time, I am exhausted.  Yesterday I was so incredibly tired. I was going to make myself a cup of coffee, put a mug in the Keurig and forgot to turn the machine on and make one!! What the heck?  So by the time the kids were in bed, I was utterly exhausted and not really making any sense.  I made sure I had my one cup of coffee today. Two, if you count the tea I had a few hours later for the afternoon pick me up.

Being a Stay At Home Mom is definitely more rewarding but I am beat!  I don’t miss my desk job either though and I have no regrets quitting my full time job and getting no income for the sake of spending more time with my children.  My kids love it though!  Ever since I’ve been at home, CB has been stuck to me as if he’s glued to me.  If I’m away for a just a few minutes, he will ask for me.  BB is loving it!  If I thought he was a happy kid before, he is totally loving it now!

On top of caring for my kids and feeding them – That’s a HUGE chore. No joke.  Especially for a really picky preschooler and a toddler who doesn’t really like savoury foods unless it’s fed to him by hand, not by utensil.  Wth?  Haha.  I have to have dinner figured by the time Meanie gets home!  Usually I made a huge dish on the weekend and we eat eat throughout the week.  I’ve made my mother in law’s curry chicken (2nd attempt) and it came out a lot better this time around compared to the first time. I forgot to take a pic, though.

Here are some things I’ve made so far and came out well!

whatsfordinner

 

If you start from the left top corner, there’s a pot of chicken and rice made from Goya products I received from BzzAgent.  There was a recipe on the yellow rice box from Goya but it was a bit too simplistic so I Google’d Arroz Con Pollo recipes online and kinda combined it.  I’ve been wanting to make Arroz con Pollo about forever but just never got to it.  I seasoned chicken thighs with Adobo (love that stuff!), salt and pepper and then seared and browned the chicken in a Dutch oven.  I also added onion and fresh garlic and then cooked the rice in low sodium chicken broth.  It came out pretty damn good!  I will definitely make this again but preferably from scratch and not from a box.

On the top right corner is Cajun Chicken Pasta from Pioneer Woman.  Have I mentioned how much I love that woman?  I love her recipes and her cooking show.  Most of the recipes I have tried of hers have tasted phenomenal.  I have made this dish numerous times and I think I’ve perfected it in the way how we love it.  Instead of slicing the veggies thinly, I chop them up into little squares.  I also omit the canned diced tomatoes and found my own Cajun spice to throw in.  I don’t use much cayenne since I’ve got munchkins eating it and my mom always complains how spicy it is, even when I don’t add any cayenne pepper. She thinks it’s too spicy to feed to CB…which I don’t get cuz the only thing that’s spicy in it, is black pepper and I can’t even count that as spicy.  This is nothing.  CB eats Indian food and loves it!

Under that is baked eggs. You know, the popular Pinterest pinup?  I made mine in ramekins and lined with ham. Funny story as I was making these. I handed CB a slice of ham so he can eat it while I was making these eggs.  He refused so I shrugged and ate it.  I started to line the ramekins with torn up slices of ham and the phone rang and it was my mom.  I started talking to her and then I noticed something strange. CB was eating ham…from where??  Turns out he was sneaking it out of my ramekins and chomping down on them.  ???  What the heck?  I just offered him a slice and he didn’t want it and now he’s eating the ham from the ramekins?  SMH.  At first I was like NOoo!  but then let him eat it.  At least he’s eating, right?  So I cooked them but I think I cooked them too long.  The yolks weren’t runny (one of my weaknesses is runny egg.  That was my #1 craving for pregnancy #2.  Over sushi, over steak, over anything. Runny egg!)  They were still good though.  And of course, CB wouldn’t eat them.  *sigh*  I even made it pretty and he still wouldn’t eat it.  See?

bakedeggs - Copy

 

Nope, wouldn’t touch that with a 10 foot pole.  Meanie ate it all up and was pretty happy about.  At least someone is happy that I’m cooking!

I made chili one day.  It was really simple chili with no beans.  Meanie hates beans.  It was really good!  Here’s the recipe.  I just used ground beef. It was good the first day and it tasted even better after that. I served it over white rice, topped it off with shredded cheese and scallions.  The only thing that was missing was sour cream!

The last picture is of pork belly braising in a caramel liquid.  I was making pork belly buns for my family to celebrate BB’s one year birthday.  I don’t have a picture of the actual bun because we snarfed them down but at least I remembered to take a pic of them.  This is the second time I made these and I really love this recipe. I took this from Steamy Kitchen and it is quite lovely.  There was one thing traumatizing about this though.  I had to click off a nipple off of one pork bellies!  None of my knives were really sharp enough to cut through the raw pig skin so I ended up getting my kitchen shears to snip them off, except they weren’t so sharp either.  So I was basically sawing through the pig skin to get that nipple off!  It was traumatizing enough to see that but can you imagine me serving it and someone finding a nipple in their bun?  No dank yoo.  Other than that, it came out wonderful.  My mother made a pickled veggie to top it off and it was so so yummy.

ramen  - Copy

 

I usually forget to eat lunch when I’m at home but today I had instant ramen.  It’s been a while.  It’s a total perfection with runny egg on top of it.  In fact, everything is perfection with runny egg is on top of it.  *drool*


What’s for Dinner, #3

I hope everyone had a nice weekend.  Was it me or did it pass by really fast?  Also, can you also believe Christmas is in 2 weeks?  Where the hell did 2012 go?  Craziness!  It seems to me that I just had BB but that was already 10 months ago! Whoa…

We finally put up the tree and some lights up.  Our house is always the darkest on the street because most of my neighbors like to decorate their houses for the holidays.  We have some minimal lighting but it’s hard to see because of the great big tree in front of my house. Oh well. We tried. 🙂

We took some pictures of the kids in front of the tree for the holiday cards.  Gosh.  Next year I’ll have to start doing these cards around Halloween to get them out on time.  At this rate, I won’t get the holiday cards till next week and that’s with priority shipping! I’ll have a week to get them out in the mail (Oh gosh). I need some little elves of my own to help me out!

By the way, I was planning on using the Folded Words promotion code I received in one of my Cravebox’s but holy moly, those cards are super duper expensive! Geez! No wonder it’s a $35 off code.  It was still expensive after using the code so I opted to not use it.  Craziness!  I’m not sure if I’ll get to use the code… I’m not made out of money.  Geesh.

meatballtues250x190

IKEA Swedish Meatballs
The last time I had it (long time ago), the meatballs were served with halved new potatoes, with the skins still on.
I’ve never had it with mashed potatoes but I’m sure it’s really good!

So this week’s weekly meal is Swedish Meatballs.  This is my second attempt at Swedish Meatballs.  I love IKEA’s version of Swedish Meatballs and I get a craving for them at times.  I found the recipe on Tasty Kitchen and I think this recipe is so much better than my first attempt at Swedish Meatballs (Alton Brown’s recipe).  I like the fact that the meatballs in the Tasty Kitchen recipe are baked, not fried in a pan. Although the next time I make it (soon!), I will cut down the butter portions.  After I baked the meatballs, they were swimming in a pool of butter.  Yummy but bad for you! Also, the next time I will make it with low sodium beef broth because I found that it was a bit salty but it went perfect on top of noodles. I also made my meatballs with already seasoned bread crumbs so I didn’t need any additional salt.  I didn’t have allspice but it was missing a touch of nutmeg.  This is how mine turned out:

photo (8)

Swedish Meatballs over Whole Wheat egg noodles
I know, I needed some garnish, like chopped parsley to make it look better

But this tastes so good! The meatballs are nice and moist, and not dry at all.  I found that the meatballs in the other recipe were a tad bit dry.  And oh boy, whole wheat noodles!  A little portion goes a long way.  They weren’t exaggerating about the effects of whole wheat noodles.  LOL

The meatballs were so good that CB snarfed these down.  Two days in a row! That never happens.  My mom is going to try again tonight to see what happens. I don’t expect him to snarf these down 3 days in a row but we’ll find out and see!

Here’s the recipe taken from TastyKitchen:

It’s actually called:

IKEA’s Swedish Meatball Recipe (Knock-Off)

The person who posted it also blogged about it –> Click.

Prep Time 20 Minutes
Cook Time 20 Minutes
Servings 7 Difficulty Easy

Ingredients

  • FOR THE MEATBALLS:
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • ⅓ cups Onion, Chopped Fine
  • 2 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • ¼ teaspoons Ground Allspice
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • ¼ teaspoons White Pepper
  • ½ cups Milk
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 cup Breadcrumbs
  • ¾ pounds Ground Beef, Lean
  • ½ pounds Ground Pork, Lean
  • 1 whole Egg
  • 1 whole Egg White, Beaten
  • FOR THE GRAVY:
  • 6 Tablespoons Butter
  • 6 Tablespoons Flour
  • 4-½ cups Beef Broth
  • 3 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • ¾ cups Heavy Cream
  • Salt To Taste
  • Pepper To Taste
  • Parsley, For Garnish

Preparation Instructions

To make the meatballs, heat the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Saute the onion, garlic, allspice, salt, and white pepper for about 5 minutes, or until garlic and onions are soft. (I just used dry minced onion, so I just cooked it for about a minute.) Add the milk and Worcestershire sauce to the mixture, and bring to a simmer.

Dump the breadcrumbs in a bowl. Pour the hot skillet mixture over the breadcrumbs and stir together. Add the beef, pork, egg and egg white to the bowl, and mix until combined. (It’s easiest to use your hands and squish everything together for about 5 minutes.) Spray a sheet pan to grease, and roll the meat into 1-inch balls, and place on a baking sheet. One recipe makes about 35-40 meatballs. Cover your sheet with plastic wrap and refrigerate the meatballs for about an hour. (I stuck them in the freezer for about 25 minutes.) Heat the oven to 400ºF and bake the meatballs for about 20 minutes, or until cooked through.

To make the gravy, melt the butter in a skillet and add the flour. Cook for a few minutes while whisking. Pour in the beef broth and Worcestershire sauce, bring to a simmer. Finally, add the heavy cream and the cooked meatballs. Let simmer, until the gravy thickens, about 10 minutes Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve as is, or on top of a bed of rice, noodles, or potatoes. Garnish with parsley.

********

Delicious! I will definitely make this again.  Meanie AND my picky toddler loved it.  Success!


What’s for Dinner, #2

I’ve been dabbling in new recipes here and there. I usually cook one big thing on the weekend and then we eat during the whole week, alternating with other meals my mom may bring or something else that’s lying in our fridge/freezer.  Hurricane Sandy destroyed a lot of our storage in our basement freezer and fridge.  We tried to save everything by using the generator but there just wasn’t enough gas to power up the freezer/fridge for almost 10 days straight.  So we had to throw everything out. I didn’t want to take a massive risk on my family with 2 young kids, me with the sensitive stomach and Meanie, too, with gall bladder (or lack of, I should say) issues.

I have a SUPER PICKY toddler that will graze over his meals like a cow.  If he likes it, he will say “Mmmm!” and then gobble it up right then and there.  If he doesn’t like it, he’ll take the bite and hold it into his mouth until his saliva breaks down the food and then he’s forced to swallow it. It’s absolutely disgusting and vile.  And even when we try to pry it out of his mouth or to spit it out in our hand, he gets really pissed off and throws a fit.  Ugh.  So I just need to find food that he will eat.  He is a cheese monster.  My fallback meal is a grilled cheese sandwich or Japanese soba noodles with a little soy sauce and sesame oil.

So I often make a new dish and see if he likes it and then I’ll put it in my recipe folder as a “successful” recipe.

I love Ree Drummond (aka the Pioneer Woman)’s recipes.  I have her cookbook and I try to follow her blog, her recipes and I DVR her cooking show on the Food Channel.  I just find that her recipes are usually really tasty and very easy to follow.

This weekend I made her French Onion Soup.

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Does that look good or what?
Nice and bubbly and browned cheese on the top
with a thick slice of French baguette = Heaven!

I had to pat myself on the back this one.  It tasted like it came from a restaurant and it’s a really handsome dish, too!  I only have two of these bowls, too.  I need get more of these.  I bought them a while ago telling myself I wanted to make French Onion soup and I finally just got around to it.  The next time I make this soup, I’m going to use onions from Costco because they sell ginormous onions.  I used the ones you get from the grocery in a bag and most were small to medium sized.  I couldn’t find Swiss Gruyere cheese (cheese that Pioneer Woman specified) at Costco and I didn’t want to make a separate trip to the local grocery for just a specific kind of cheese so I just used whatever I had in my fridge.  I had just made Pioneer Woman’s Mac and Cheese (sorry, no picture taken) a week ago so I had some sharp aged cheddar and regular cheddar lying around, as well as mozzarella cheese.  So I used a combination of the sharp cheddar and mozzarella cheese.  It was still so yummy!  You need something like mozzarella to make the cheese all ooey-gooey cuz French Onion Soup without all ooey-gooey-ness just isn’t the same thing!

I also added a large Beef Bouillon cube at the end because I think French Onion soup should taste like beef broth, not chicken broth.  This is just a matter of preference.  And I also added a little salt to the pot before I put the cheese and bread on top.

Here is the recipe from the website:

Recipe: French Onion Soup

Prep Time: 20 Minutes  |  Cook Time: 2 Hours  |  Difficulty: Easy  |  Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 1 stick Butter
  • 4 whole Large (or 6 Medium) Yellow Onions, Halved Root To Tip, And Sliced Thin
  • 1 cup (generous) Dry White Wine
  • 4 cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 4 cups Beef Broth
  • 2 cloves Minced Garlic
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • Several Thick Slices Of French Bread Or Baguette
  • 5 ounces, weight (to 7 Ounces) Gruyere Cheese, Grated

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Melt butter in a heavy soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add onions and cook, covered, for 20 minutes. Place soup pot into the oven with the lid slightly ajar to ensure the onions will brown. Allow onions to cook in the oven for 1 hour, stirring at least once during the cooking process so onions won’t stick and burn.

Remove pot from oven and place back on stovetop over medium heat. Stir, scraping off all the brown, flavorful bits. Turn off heat and pour in wine. Turn heat back to medium. Cook wine for five minutes, allowing it to reduce. Add broths, Worcestershire Sauce and minced garlic and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 30 to 45 minutes.

Butter one side of the bread slices and broil over low heat, allowing bread to brown and become crispy.
When soup is ready, ladle into bowl or ramekin. Place crispy bread on top, and then sprinkle generously with grated cheese. Broil until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Serve immediately.

******

It’s an easy recipe to follow. I thought this soup was really complicated to make but it’s not.  Totally well worth it.  I will definitely make this again.  I’m so glad I have leftovers! And I’m pretty sure CB will definitely eat this soup.  Every time Meanie gets this from Panera, CB gobbles it all up!

My next project is Wild Mushroom Bisque! I’m still looking for a good recipe.  Please let me know if you have one! 🙂


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