Saturday, November 5, 2011

The weather is turning

As the weather turns cooler, my mind wanders to soup dinners. I have always loved soup, and making soup for family always feel like you are nourishing them. 
My husband took Russian in high school (Don't ask. I assume it was just to be contrarian) and one day his teacher made them borscht. In graduate school, I made it for him once, and he liked it. Last week I decided that it was such a simple recipe, I should do it again.


Here is all it takes:
In a crock pot combine:

2 10oz cans of beef consume or broth
2 14oz cans of diced red beets
2 cups shredded red cabbage
1 small red onion
1 T sugar
splash lemon juice
sour cream, if desired - added at the end before serving. (my husband dislikes sour cream, so we omit) 
Set pot on high for about 4 hours and enjoy

Friday, October 21, 2011

Salad Your Husband Will Like

In my unending quest to get my husband to eat more vegetables, I am always trying to make non-corn side dishes with dinner (hes from Iowa).
Here is a fairly successful attempt that I made a few weeks back. It was based on a recipe I found in Bon Appitite, but I recommend a few changes, here is what I came up with:


  • 3 navel oranges
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium j√≠cama (about 3/4 pound)
  • 2 firm-ripe California avocado
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

  • Supreme an orange, and place the segments into a bowl. Keep the juice (up to 1/4 cup) from the orange remains. Add the salt, vinegar and whisk in the oil . Thinly slice or julienne the jicima and mix it with a sliced avocado. Mix the salad in a bowl, and add the dressing. Add the cilantro just before serving. 

If I were making it again, I might suggest coring and thinly slicing a green apple for it as well, I think it would add a nice tart bite to the dish. We thought the avocado was a little too rich, and overpowered the other flavors a bit. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Return of Roast Chicken

Seeing as my husband & I can only eat so much roast chicken, it was time to figure out what to do with the remaining chicken from Friday. Let's face it, it's not getting any fresher. It's starting to get colder, so naturally, my thoughts turned to chicken soup.
I decided to make up a pot of chicken noodle soup. It was an informal soup making session. I just sliced some garlic, onion, celery and carrots with the mandolin. I sauteed the veggies for a few minutes, and then added some chicken broth and some of the left over chicken bones. The only seasonings were salt, pepper, and a dash of rosemary.  I let it simmer for about 2 hours. Then, I shredded up some left over chicken, and added it to the pot to warm. Then I boiled some noodles in a different pot. Just before serving I tossed in a handful of spinach and squeezed in some lemon juice. Finally, I added the noodles to each serving bowl, and poured the soup over top.
Here is what I came up with: 

Friday, October 14, 2011

Feeling Domestic

In my never-ending quest to be a good wife, this past week I have been a diligent student of the domestic arts. It makes me feel like a grown-up when I have one of these "wife fits." I also must preface this post by saying that cleaning will never be a housewifely duty I will enjoy. Usually, if I feel the urge to clean coming on, I try to sit down and wait for it to pass.

Tonight, I went full-force wife by roasting a whole chicken. Now, I am descent and pretty frequent cook, however, I do not eat that much meat, and as such, cooking large hunks of protein is still a little intimidating for me. I decided, however, that I just had to through myself into the project, and if I failed, be ready to order a pizza. It was not too difficult, but did involve a few attempts with the thermometer. Eventually, we got there. Here were the results:



 Here is the quick and dirty version of what I did. The key is to make sure the bird is DRY when you put it into the oven.  I preheated the oven to 450 F. Then gave my chicken a liberal shower with salt and pepper. Placed a half lemon in the cavity, trussed, and baked it for about an hour (internal temp at least 165).

Feeling Domestic

In my never-ending quest to be a good wife, this past week I have been a diligent student of the domestic arts. It makes me feel like a grown-up when I have one of these "wife fits." I also must preface this post by saying that cleaning will never be a housewifely duty I will enjoy. Usually, if I feel the urge to clean coming on, I try to sit down and wait for it to pass.

Tonight, I went full-force wife by roasting a whole chicken. Now, I am descent and pretty frequent cook, however, I do not eat that much meat, and as such, cooking large hunks of protein is still a little intimidating for me. I decided, however, that I just had to through myself into the project, and if I failed, be ready to order a pizza. It was not too difficult, but did involve a few attempts with the thermometer. Eventually, we got there. Here were the results:


Chicken getting a salt and pepper shower
Chicken all trussed and ready to get its potato and carrot friends
"After" fresh from the oven
The real "After" where the chicken is plated and ready for dinner
Those are the pictures, and I will tell you how we got there ( it was easy). All I did-really- was remove the innards of the chicken and dry it thoroughly with a paper towel. Pre-heat the oven to 450 F. Then, I cut a lemon in half, and stuffed it in the cavity and liberally salted and peppered the chicken. Finally, I poked a few slits into the chicken's fat deposits before trussing the legs and wings. I cut up a few small potatoes and a carrot and put the whole roasted into the oven for about an hour. 

Yesterday I spent the evening reworking a bridesmaid's dress I wore as part of a wedding a few weeks ago.   I took out the under slip, shortened the hem, adjusted some trim, and am planning on wearing it to a dinner cruise with my husband this weekend. So, stay tuned to see some before and after pictures of the dress tomorrow.

Monday, October 10, 2011

More Dinner Solutions

Some nights you have to have something easy ready for dinner. Earlier this week, I had this exchange:
Me:"What do you want for dinner?"
Husband: "I don't know. What do we have?"

Me: "Ummm, not too much. Pasta, eggs, bacon, some fruit"
Husband: "I don't want spaghetti again."
Me: "How about breakfast for dinner?"

Husband: "Oh, ok. Sounds good. Can I have french toast?"
Me:"Fine, but we have to have something healthy with that."

This is what I can up with-using bread, eggs, vanilla, apples, cinnamon, and bacon. lucky for me this dish takes only things we had on hand.


Dinner for breakfast is a long standing proud tradition when you need something easy and fast for dinner. The key for me here was to add sauteed apples as the topping to keep the french toast interesting, and you know, "healthy"

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Weekend Adventures

Hello,
So, this weekend is the first the husband and I have had where we had NOTHING already on our schedule. We did, however, receive an invitation to a friend's son's birthday party eventually (which of course we will be attending) but that wasn't until about Monday evening. Plus, that isn't until Sunday at 2:00, so basically, we had a weekend totally free of all commitment.
In planning out what we would be (and would not be) doing in the course of our weekend,we had a lot of ideas. It has been unseasonably warm here for the past week, so we wanted to take advantage of that bu eating outside some, and we also decided to go to the Chicago Premium Outlet Mall.
It seems to be that since I have been married, more of my shopping decisions are a shared venture.  Not just because the shopping money comes out of our joint account, though that is part of it. Also, my husband has taken an interest in what I wear.
Winter Coat

This trip was to focus on my need for a new winter purse. In the end, I found a purse, however, Mark picked out a new winter coat for me. I probably wouldn't have bought one if he wasn't there, encouraging me. He really liked the color and the cut, and pushed for me to get it. I really like it, but without his reaction I probably would have passed it up. In the end, he basically picked the coat for me, as well as some earrings. I picked out my purse and wallet.
I am curious, do any of your boyfriends or husbands ever pick out things for you at the store? Do they help? Suggest? Try to stay away from you when you shop?
lavender studs