Thursday, February 28, 2013

Yeah, and?

Sometimes the best pantry meal you can come up with really IS defrosted chicken thighs with buffalo sauce, ranch beans, and bagged salad.

...and by "buffalo sauce," I mean "the rest of the Frank's that was in the fridge."

But I chopped some carrots. It's not like I made ZERO effort here.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Canned pears are not to be underestimated.

Here's what I hate about feeding a baby. On Tuesday and Wednesday, said baby LOVES pears. Not fresh pears you've peeled and chopped, mind you. He loves the canned pears you've painstakingly chosen due to their low sugar content and own-juice marinating they've been doing. (No heavy syrup, thanks.)

Whatever. He wants to eat something other than cheese, peas, or yogurt. I. don't. care.

On Thursday, you offer him these same pears, but since they have been refrigerated, or because they've been open for more than 6 hours, or simply because babies are just kind of jerks sometimes, damnit, he's not having ANY of it.

And so you find other things to do with the can of sliced pears. (And the juice. Don't drain too quickly)

Blue Cheese Topped Pork Chops with Pear and Blue Cheese Arugula Salad  
Salad from a Sandra Lee Recipe (serves 2 large servings)
 2 tbsp pear juice
1.5 tbsp Olive Oil
.5 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
Pinch each salt and pepper
Several cups Baby Arugula (4? What's in a bag?)
About 8 pear slices (slice the canned slices in half)
2 tbsp blue cheese
2 tbsp candied pecan pieces (whatever you find that look good. Mine were honey glazed)

Combine pear juice, oil and vinegar and S&P. Toss with Arugula. Top with pear, blue cheese and pecan.

Blue Cheese Pork Chops
 Two boneless pork chops
salt and pepper
dried thyme
blue cheese
Spray oil

Season each chop well with S&P and thyme. (A good pinch of each)
Cook over high heat for 3 minutes until brown, and then flip. Cook another 3 minutes, then add a 1/4 of water of so, cover, and cook another 6-8 minutes or so until cooked through. When almost done, sprinkle blue cheese on top, cover (with heat off) and let sit a few minutes until cheese has mostly melted.

Served with multi-grain rice. Because E usually will eat the leftovers.

Friday, February 1, 2013

You should make this curry after you hire me.

As usual, the new year has brought some changes around my house…Hubby's still busting his ass, getting paid far less than he's worth, E's been requiring more and more attention (and therefore requiring more nanny hours), and this exhausted mama has officially gone freelance, meaning way more flexibility, way more new work needed, way more say over the projects I do choose to work, and unfortunately, (for the time being, anyway) way less regular income. In other words, we're broke asses, and having to meal plan again.

And this is where I ever so gracefully segue into telling you how to reach me for any freelance design projects you may need: And I'm currently working on jobs in Cali (branding, packaging design and a direct mail campaign), Kentucky (logo), and Florida (wedding invites) so I'm freakin' national right now. Email and Skype are my BFFs. Fingers in the hang loose sign, wiggling by my ear. Call me! 

And so I've been trolling the usual sites, looking for new ideas. I'm hoping that when they do work, I'll be lucid enough by the end of the day to actually write them down for you.

This original recipe is actually called Chickpea Curry with Basmati Rice, so when my basmati-obsessed Hubby walked into the kitchen, saw me measuring brown rice and subsequently glanced at my recipe, he of course so helpfully offered, "It says Basmati…?"

1. Read the ingredients, buddy. It says OR brown rice. 2. I'm cooking, you're eating. Shhhhhh.

Also awesome as leftovers with cooked red meat heated up with it. We used leftover tri-tip, but next time Hubs wants to try lamb.

Vegetarian Chickpea Curry
Cooked brown rice (Get a bag, follow directions for 1 cup. Heads up: it takes about 45 minutes)
Canola oil (about a tbsp)
3 large shallots, thinly sliced
5 garlic cloves, minced
3 tsp garam masala
2 tsp madras curry
 large pinch (fresh white) pepper
2 cans chickpeas, rinsed/drained
1 29oz can crushed tomato
1 6oz package baby spinach
About 1/2 cup nonfat greek yogurt
Large handful chopped cilantro
Salt to taste (1/2 tsp or so)
Good squeeze fresh lemon juice

In large soup pot or dutch oven, heat oil over medium high. Add shallot and saute a couple of minutes. Add garlic, cook another minute or two. Add garam masala, curry and pepper and saute 30 seconds or so.

Stir in chickpeas and tomato, and cook about 4 minutes over medium heat or until hot. Gently stir in spinach until wilted, a minute or two. Turn off heat and stir in yogurt, cilantro and salt. Stir in lemon juice. Serve over rice.