Sunday, April 29, 2012

Week 118 Menu

Sunday: Pasta with  butter and green bean fries
Monday: Lasagna roll-ups from the freezer and roasted potatoes/onions
Tuesday: Roasted acorn squash with cinnamon apples and couscous
Wednesday: Dinner at church
Thursday: Vegetable soup and rustic white bread
Friday: Enchiladas (chicken for them, vegan for me)
Saturday: Out.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Week 117 Menu

Sunday: Chicken/tofu Pad Thai
Monday: Individual homemade pizzas with a variety of toppings and jicama slaw (inspired by the Cantina Laredo side I had on Saturday)
Tuesday: Baked Polenta Pie (Two Peas) with oven fries (featuring Peter Wilcox potatoes from the CSA!)
Wednesday: Dinner at church
Thursday: Husband at work dinner; for the girls - Smashed Chickpea and Avocado salad in a bread bowl (my spin on Two Peas' recipe) and roasted carrots from CSA
Friday: Leftovers
Saturday: Out

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Week 116 Menu

Sunday: Pasta, meatballs and Braised celery
Monday: Engine 2 vegetable lasagna from freezer
Tuesday: Beef soup from freezer with Rustic white bread (goodLife Eats) and Vegan green bean casserole
Wednesday: Dinner at church
Thursday: Chicken Pot Pie (maybe extras for the freezer??) with stuffed baked potatoes
Friday: Leftovers
Saturday: Out? Friends over?

   - Sweet and salty roasted chickpeas
   - Roasted butternut squash, kale, tomatoes (all with mustard vinaigrette) for salads and wraps
   - English muffins...big hit last week!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Cadbury Creme Eggs

What says Easter better than a Cadbury Creme Egg? And, seriously, how long will they continue to show the same Cadbury Chicken audition commercial from the '90s? It is pretty funny, though.

You know I love me some Pinterest - mostly just to kill some time. But, every once in a while, you see something you simply must make. And,  homemade Cadbury Creme Eggs fall in that category. Creme Eggs are Scott's favorite Easter candy. So, of course, I had to give them a shot!

I get a little nervous with candy/dessert recipes. I much prefer to cook something more on the savory side. But, this recipe is very easy to get great results just like the real thing! The taste is pretty spot-on.

- I first made a small batch. The source recipe calls to dip the eggs in chocolate twice. But, Scott said it was too much chocolate.....did you hear me? Too much chocolate??!! Can there be such a thing? They were quite tasty, but there was a lot more chocolate than the Cadbury originals (but incredibly yummy!!). My second attempt I only dipped them once, and it tasted a bit more authentic.
- If you are hand-shaping the eggs, the shape won't be completely egg-shaped like the Cadbury originals, but who the heck cares??!! You have a tray of Cadbury Creme Eggs!!!
- I only had dark corn syrup on hand. The "egg whites" were a bit off-white, but the taste was still great.
- After rolling out 8 eggs, the bowls of dough (for lack of a better word) started to get soft. So, every 8 eggs, I popped the tray of formed eggs and dough back into the fridge to firm up.
- The vanilla was a bit overpowering, so I decreased the amount.

Cadbury Creme Eggs
from A Way to His Heart

1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
3 cups powdered sugar
4 drops yellow food coloring
2 drops red food coloring
8 oz. milk chocolate chips
1.5 Tbsp shortening

1. Combine the corn syrup, butter, vanilla, and salt in a large bowl. Beat well with an electric mixer. Add sugar, one cup at a time, mixing by hand after each addition. 
2. Remove about 1/3 of the mix and place in a small bowl. Add yellow and red food coloring and stir. Cover both mixes and refrigerate at least 2 hours. 
3. When mixes are firm, roll a small ball from the orange filling and wrap around it a portion of the white filling that is twice that size. Form into the shape of an egg and place onto a cookie sheet that has been brushed with shortening. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Refrigerate 3 to 4 hours. 
4. Combine chocolate chips with shortening in glass bowl. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Then stir and microwave for another minute. 
5. Use a fork to dip each center into the chocolate. Place candy onto wax paper to dry. Refrigerate until chocolate is set.
6. If all the eggs haven't been devoured immediately, store in fridge until ready to eat.
Makes about 26 1.5 inch eggs.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Week 115 Menu

Looks like I'm not doing a lot of cooking this week. I feel kind of bad, but we have great friends and I will take the help while it's offered!

Sunday: Steaks on the grill, homemade rolls, roasted brussel sprouts, pumpkin pie (so not an "Easter dessert," but a family favorite!)
Monday: Friend bringing over Garlic Parmesan Chicken!
Tuesday: Another friend bringing Chicken Artichoke Pasta Bake!
Wednesday: Dinner at church
Thursday: Leftovers
Friday: Probably more leftovers!
Saturday: Chicken & Dumplings, biscuits and green beans from a friend

Since I'm home for lunch during maternity leave, I'm trying to have some healthy options around the house. So, I'm making (or have already made this weekend):
- Black bean hummus with various crudite
- Rustic white bread
- English muffins
- Roasted butternut squash, roasted cherry tomatoes & sautéed swiss chard for wraps

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Welcome, Peter!

Peter Scott Lawrence was born on Tuesday, March 20th at 5:51pm. He was 7 lbs, 6oz. March 20th is special not only because it's the first day of spring, but it's also Scott's birthday! Who could ask for a better present!

While Pete was born on Tuesday, his birth story really begins the Friday before. I had my 38-week appointment with my doctor on Friday. Peanut was still sideways. He wasn't quite ready, but the doctor thought we might have a baby sometime that next week. I am an engineer by training and nature. So, I am not a superstitious girl. But, I do subscribe wholly to Murphy's Law. I went back to work, went grocery shopping, and prepared a menu for the following week. I also hedged my bet: got my toes painted (since I hand't been able to see them for 8 weeks) and put Baba Randy & Gemma on standby for the next week.

Monday morning: I went to work - same as usual. I prepared my weekly reports - same as usual. But, something wasn't quite right. I've had contractions since 28 weeks. But, those that morning were a bit stronger and a regular 10 minutes apart. I drank a bottle of water (the OB's remedy for everything), walked around, and gave it an hour. The contractions didn't subside. So I went in to the doctor. She said Peanut was in position and I was indeed in labor! Baba Randy and Gemma decided to make the trip to Jacksonville the next day canceling a tee time. :)

Tuesday morning: The doctor said things have definitely progressed! She sent me across the street to be admitted to the hospital. We were having a baby today! Scott and I met at the hospital, called all Babas, gave a heads-up to daycare and tried to quickly mentally prepare for Peanut's arrival. :)

I was a little gun shy about getting an epidural because there was no joy during Shelby's delivery. Things got pretty intense pretty quickly, and I opted to take my chances. This epidural took famously. While still not a pleasant experience, my pain relief expectations were met making it tolerable! Then, at 5:51pm, Peter was born! He was a bit stunned right after birth. After 5 minutes (but what seemed like forever!), he started to perk up.

We are so blessed to have a very healthy, happy little boy and his helpful and reverent big sister.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breast

I love to watch The Food Network. The obsession began when I was on maternity leave with Shelby. Over the last year, my interests branched out to include Chef Anne Burrell (here and here). I watched one of her "Secrets of a Restaurant Chef" episodes during a mini-bedrest episode a couple months ago featuring stuffed chicken breasts. Mmmm! Gotta keep that idea in mind!

I was looking for some inspiration for dinner a couple weeks ago and remembered the stuffed chicken breasts from the episode I saw. The possibilities for stuffing the chicken are virtually endless. I looked to see what I had to play with and the following recipe uses up some items in my fridge. Scott gave the dish a "Wow!" Score!

I made these guys again tonight, but featured some different crisper drawer headliners (mushrooms, greens, garlic and a little parmesan)!

Both versions were a success and I will definitely keep them in our dinner rotation!

Stuffed Chicken Breasts
adapted from Anne Burrell

4 chicken breasts
4 oz goat cheese
1 roasted red pepper, small dice
1 zucchini, small dice
2 T dill, finely chopped (optional)
1 c bread crumbs
1 egg, beaten
1 c flour
2 T olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Fold peppers, zucchini and dill into goat cheese.
3. Cut a pocket into chicken breasts. Stuff each breast with about 1/4 c of the filling.
4. Dredge the stuffed chicken in flour. Then dip in egg and then bread crumbs.
5. Heat oil over medium heat and brown chicken until crispy on the outside (~5 minutes per side).
6. Transfer chicken to a baking sheet and bake until chicken is cooked through (~10 - 15 minutes depending on thickness).

Week 114 Menu

Sunday: Chicken breast stuffed with couscous/mushrooms and mashed purple sweet potatoes (yayfor fun CSA produce!)
Monday: Pizza quesadillas
Tuesday: Friend bringing dinner
Wednesday: Dinner at church
Thursday: Beef and vegetable soup from freezer
Friday: Leftovers
Saturday: Grandma & Grandpa in town!