Earth Day Dinner

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008 | edibles, tuesday night dinner | No Comments

It’s Earth Day today so we went vegetarian. And remember, kids, ALWAYS use canvas bags for your grocery shopping!

Peach Caprese Salad
Makes 8 salads
4 balls Mozzarella (I used 2 tubs of Trader Joe’s pre-cut “Medallions”)
4 large frim-ripe yellow or white peaches (I used 2 glass jars of Trader Joe’s Peach Halves)
Any kind of Salad
Salt and Pepper, to taste

Place salad in plate and layer peaches and mozzarella, repeating layers 2 or 3 times. Get fancy. I made a simple olive oil/vinegar/honey dressing, but balsamic dressing works great too. The recipe I took this from also layers mint sprigs and basil leaves in the mix, topped with a curry/olive oil/vinegar/honey dressing if you’re looking for fresh ideas (1/2 Tbsp. curry, 1/2 olive oil c. and 1/2 c. vinegar, 1/2 tsp. mild honey). This salad can be made any number of ways…so just make it how you like it.

Penne with Spinach Walnut Pesto
(Surprise–no basil in this pesto!)
Serves 8

1 pound penne pasta (1 bag of wheat penne)
4 oz. chopped walnuts
1 cup veggie broth
10 oz (about 1 package) of baby spinach
2 cloves garlic
2/3 cup grated Parmigiano or Romano Cheese
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and Pepper, to taste

Heat 1 cup veggie broth to a boil and remove from heat. Using a food processor, working in batches, grind spinach leaves with nuts, veggie broth, and garlic (Hint–I pre-ground the nuts and spinach individually to make this process work better in my ancient blender). Transfer ground spinach nut paste into a large bowl. Stir in the cheese, nutmeg, olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Spoon over pasta, or toss together. Best served with extra cheese on top of the pasta/pesto, with some additonal salt and pepper.

P.S. The pesto is really great on leftover crostini slices!

Added Bonus: Peach and Strawberry Bellinis
Ingredients: Proscecco + Fruit Nectar

Chicken And Dumplings, Y’all!

Tuesday, March 25th, 2008 | edibles | No Comments

Chicken and Dumplings

Soup:
2/3 cup Bisquick baking mix
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
2 ½ -to- 3 ½ pound chicken, cut up
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 can (10 ¾ oz each) condensed cream of chicken soup
1 ¼ cups water
3 medium carrots, sliced
1 medium onion, sliced
Dumplings (see below)

Mix baking mix, salt and pepper; coat chicken. Heat oil in Dutch oven. Cook chicken in oil until brown on all sides. Remove chicken, drain fat from Dutch oven. Mix soup, water, carrots, and onion in Dutch oven. Place chicken, skin side up, on soup mixture. Cover and heat to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer 40 minutes. Prepare dumplings. 6 servings.

Dumplings:
Mix 2 cups Bisquick baking mix and 2/3 cup milk until soft dough forms. Drop dough by spoonfuls onto boiling mixture; reduce heat (place on top of chicken or veggies where possible so they don’t get soggy). Simmer uncovered 10 minutes; cover and simmer 10 minutes longer. 10-12 dumplings.

(Variation) Herb Dumplings: Mix in 1 teaspoon dried sage leaves with the baking mix.

Chef’s Notes: We got about 6 servings out of this, and I used an extra can of soup. I used less chicken on accident. Add any extra veggies that you’d like to the soup mixture. We made 1 ½ times the dumpling recipe to make sure that everybody got as many as they wanted.

Water Closet Claustrophobia

Monday, February 25th, 2008 | rants | No Comments

Ah, total pet peeve when people take the stall next to you when there are plenty of other open stalls. Why would you sit right next to me if you don’t have to! Especially at work. Totally claustrophobic!!

Your New Obama Toy

Thursday, February 21st, 2008 | ramblings | No Comments

So, want to entertain yourself with all the great things Obama has done for you!?!?!? Just keep hitting refresh on the linked site for your new Obama toy: http://barackobamaisyournewbicycle.com/

WWW: A Week Without Wine..not even with dinner(!)

Wednesday, February 20th, 2008 | ramblings | No Comments

Small daily rituals can often become somewhat of a reflex. I think this can be especially true for rituals regarding meals and winding down for bed. But as somebody who likes routines, I also like to break them.
Every once and a while I like to disrupt patterns in order to re-think certain activities that may have turned into passive choices. Ordering wine or having wine with dinner at home has become this type of habit recently, and in response I’ve embarked on my “week without wine…not even with dinner.” Seeing as everybody around me has committed to giving up far bigger habits/pleasures for the 40 days of Lent, I could be worse off. So far, so good.
On night four, I am coming to terms with the fact that I probably won’t reach any grand epiphanies with this exercise. No major struggles, no strife. Realistically I didn’t set the bar that high with just seven days, but I am pleased with this exercise just the same. It’s a great opportunity to disrupt my routine and get back in touch with the motivations behind my day-to-day choices.

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