Sunday, August 31, 2008

Bow, wow, wow

Poor Thatdog. He's had it rough lately. With all our running around this month, he's had to spend at least one day a week at day care. It's awful. Filled with all sorts of dogs playing together, shady outdoor areas under tents and trees, a swimming pool, naptime, treat time. Sounds pretty bad right? Well you would think it was prison the way Thatdog acts during drop off time. As soon as we pull up, he gets beyond excited, pulling and whining, dying to get out of the car. But as we approach the door, he remembers where we're going. That's when it starts. The ears go back, the tail tucks between his legs, and he presses himself against the floor. He looks back at us as though he's saying his last goodbye, begging us not to leave him at this horrible place.

There is one flaw in Thatdog's perfect act. The day care has a webcam. Ooops. That's right Thatdog. We can see you playing with your friends ALL DAY LONG. We see the tail wagging, the chasing, everything. So what's with the act? We can't decide if it's because Thatdog is a little too attached to us, or just amazing with the guilt trip.

Easy Summer Dinner
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 Tbsp of your favorite herbs, chopped
  • 1 chicken breast
  • cooked spaghetti, cooled
  • 1/4 cup Italian Dressing
  • 2 cups assorted veggies
  1. Pierce chicken breast with fork and place in ziplock bag with olive oil, garlic, and herbs. Marinate in fridge 1 hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 350. Place chicken in center of piece of aluminum foil and fold foil around chicken to create a packet. Bake 30 minutes.
  3. Combine Italian Dressing with veggies, and stir in spaghetti.
Serves 2.
Each serving has:
Calories 284.2
Total Fat 7.0 g
Saturated Fat 1.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.5 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.4 g
Cholesterol 72.4 mg
Sodium 1,323.5 mg
Potassium 337.6 mg
Total Carbohydrate 24.0 g
Dietary Fiber 3.2 g
Sugars 3.5 g
Protein 31.0 g

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Under the summer moon.

I feel like more and more often we've been doing breakfast for dinner. Mostly because breakfast comes together pretty quickly and it's a lot lighter than your typical dinner foods. Which is perfect for summer. I don't have quite as much desire for breakfast for dinner in the colder months. I've also been favoring quiches as of late, because the leftovers lead themselves to "breakfast for breakfast" for the next few days. It's also a great way to incorporate all the fresh summer produce I can't help and load up on everytime I pass a market. Honestly, I think we have more tomatoes and zucchini than any sane person should.

And we've been doing a lot more dinners outside - which is a change for us. Normally we do dinners in front of the television. I'd blame the Olympics, but really, we've been doing it for longer than most of the Chinese athletes have been alive. But during summer haitus from our favorite shows, and ever since the Olympics have ended, we've taken our meals al fresco. Enjoying the fact that we're not close enough to any still bodies of water to have to worry about West Nile Virus.

Summer Quiche
  • pie dough
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms, diced
  • 3 eggs
  • 8 oz sour cream
  • 5 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 1/2 cups swiss cheese, grated
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
  1. Preheat oven to 450. Roll out pie dough and place in pie pan. Line pie crust with foil and bake for 8 minutes. Remove foil and bake 5 more minutes.
  2. Reduce heat to 350. Saute onions, pepper, and mushrooms in butter until softened.
  3. Beat eggs together and add sauteed veggies, sour cream, bacon, and cheese. Pour into pie crust.
  4. Bake 40 minutes, or until set. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.
Serves 12.
Each serving has:
Calories 221.9
Total Fat 17.0 g
Cholesterol 90.2 mg
Sodium 227.7 mg
Potassium 108.9 mg
Total Carbohydrate 7.4 g
Protein 9.7 g

Friday, August 29, 2008

Happy home of friendship

Are you sick of shrimp recipes yet? I sure hope not, because in case you haven't picked up on the fact yet, we eat a lot of shrimp. It's just so freaking easy. I honestly can't think of an easier throw together dinner. It's especially great for last minute company. I love to entertain, and I love to have people over and it makes it that much easier when I can just throw something on the grill pan and have dinner ready in a matter of minutes. It makes me look good - Ah yes, Thatgirl is truly spectacular, she can throw together dinner at a moment's notice. It keeps them coming back for more again and again.

Shrimp Kabobs
  • 1 lime
  • 1 Tbsp chipotle chile powder
  • 1 1/2 pounds uncooked large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 pineapple, cut into chunks
  • 1 medium red onion, cut into chunks
  • 2 red bell peppers, cut into chunks
  1. Combine juice from lime, chipotle chile powder and shrimp; turn to coat. Marinate in refrigerator 30 minutes.
  2. Thread shrimp, pineapple, onion and bell peppers on wooden skewers. Grill or broil, turning once
Serves 6.
Each serving has:
Calories 137
Total Fat 1.1 g
Total Carbohydrate 18 g
Protein 12.8 g

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Who would like to sample my supply?

Hello dark fuzzy picture! Part of me is sad that these pictures didn't come out well. But another part of me is secretly glad. Because if I were to offer you cookies after showing you this picture, you probably would say "thanks, but no." Which is perfect because that leaves more for me. These cookies have oh so many hidden surprises. And even if I had taken a remarkable picture, you still wouldn't be able to see their hidden wonders.

To begin, I started with this concept. Except I decided that instead of the chocolate cookie, it would be incredibly incredible if I made peanut butter cookies with a peanut buttery inside. (get it? Incredibly incredible? Peanut butter cookies with peanut butter filling? I am just too damn clever for words)

But oh no my friends, I didn't stop there. (Is anyone else catching my "mess with a good thing" trend this week?) Instead I thought of another beloved cookie and decided to add it to the mix for good measure. See snickernoodles are fine and all, but they're a little meh. It's not the cinnamon and sugar's fault. The poor cinnamon and sugar work their little butts off trying to add flavor and spice, but it's the bland dough that works against them. So I decided to give cinnamon and sugar a fighting change and add them to a delicious flavorful cookie instead.

The result? I froze most of these cookies once they cooled. And after having 3 cookies, Thatboy, who doesn't like peanut butter cookies, went searching in the freezer for the rest. I hate when I make things he "hates" and then he ends up eating them all.

Snickerdoodle Peanut Butter Cookies
  1. Preheat oven to 375. Combine cinnamon and sugar and set aside.
  2. Combine peanut butter and powdered sugar and roll the mixture into 24 small balls.
  3. Divide the peanut butter dough into 24 even pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and flatten.
  4. Place peanut butter ball in the center of flattened dough and roll dough around peanut butter ball.
  5. Roll each ball in cinnamon/sugar. Place balls 2 inches apart on cookie sheet. Flatten balls with glass dipped in cinnamon/sugar mixture. Sprinkle any remaining cinnamon sugar mixture over cookies.
  6. Bake 9-10 minutes, let cool 1 minute and then cool on cooling rack.
Serves 6.
Each serving has:
Calories 255.0
Total Fat 12.0 g
Total Carbohydrate 34.5 g
Protein 3.0 g

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A boring lot

I make no pretenses about being exciting. In general, my life is very predictable and routine. I thrive off of routine. And while some may find it boring, my predictability keeps me sane. So you can almost guarantee that as soon as the weather starts getting a hint of a chill, my mind goes one place without fail. Chili. I actually had been thinking about this for days. I picked up a box of Trader Joe's corn bread especially for the occasion. And as soon as I sensed the rain was coming, I was at the stove stirring and sniffing. Because really, the art to a good chili is in the smell. You know exactly when the right about of spices have been added, because all of a sudden it smells like, chili! In fact, as I was making this one, Thatboy complained it smelled more like fajitas than chili...until I hit that magic point. This chili is one of the heartiest I make, because it used chunks of steak instead of ground meat.

And a note on the cornbread - I'm a huge fan of that Trader Joe's box, but I still love to add extra corn and jalepeno, because I just can't leave well enough alone. If you haven't tried adding jalapeno to your corn bread you are missing out, and don't be shy with those peppers, they were just MADE for corn.

Steak Chili
  • 1 Tbsp veggie oil
  • 1/2 lb steak, any cut, cubed
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/3 tsp salt
  • 1/3 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1/3 cup water

  1. In a large pot over high heat, heat vegetable oil. Add steak and brown on all sides. Remove steak from pot and set aside.
  2. Add onions, peppers, and garlic to pot. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring.
  3. Return meat to pot. Add tomato paste, tomatoes, chili powder, sugar, salt, oregano, pepper, and water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 90 minutes, stirring.
Serves 2. Each serving has:
Calories 358.0
Total Fat 17.0 g
Saturated Fat 5.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.0 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.0 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 73.0 mg
Sodium 1,049.0 mg
Potassium 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrate 21.0 g
Dietary Fiber 4.0 g
Sugars 0.0 g
Protein 32.0 g

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

a helluva fella

If you're a regular reader, you know the only time Thatboy helps out in the kitchen is if I'm incapacitated by a ridiculous amount of pain. However, he does try. I am often greeted with "Is there anything I can do to help?" Which translates into "how long till dinner is ready" for those of you that don't speak Thatboy. Luckily I'm smart enough not to take him up on his offer most nights because I end up doing it myself anyway when he can't find the pot to boil water in, or the water to put in the pot. I do try and find some little tasks to keep him occupied though, and lately, with the amount of shrimp we've been eating I've put him in charge of peeling the shrimp. It's a good task and something he can do while watching television, so we're both happy. And it makes him feel like a little bit of a chef.

Garlic and Lime Shrimp
  • 3/4 lb raw shrimp, peeled and deveined.
  • 1 lime
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • tabasco sauce
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  1. Combine shrimp, juice of 1/2 lime garlic, and salt in ziplock bag and marinate for 15 minutes in fridge.
  2. Combine sour cream, juice of other half lime, hot pepper sauce and the zest of some of that lime.
  3. Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium high heat. Cook shrimp 4 minutesw, or until shrimp turn pink. Serve with sour cream mixture.
Serves 2.
Each serving has:
Calories 306.5
Total Fat 16.0 g
Saturated Fat 5.3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2.4 g
Monounsaturated Fat 7.2 g
Cholesterol 271.1 mg
Sodium 412.6 mg
Potassium 378.2 mg
Total Carbohydrate 4.4 g
Dietary Fiber 0.1 g
Sugars 0.3 g
Protein 35.5 g