Sunday, May 26, 2013

I Meant It

I really am going to give you the promised recipes and tell you about our meeting with the principal and how I went from withdrawing the girls to sitting on the PTL.  I will.  I have 8.5 days of school left and then I'm all yours.  Well, in between kindergarten graduation, dance recital, swimming lessons, road trips, braces, and the inevitability of another eye surgery looming (unfortunately) in the not too distant future.

The least I can do is give you a sneak peak at the recipes I've been cooking (I was kind of hoping I'd have a chance to photograph more of these...or write them up in a way that makes any sense... but it just hasn't happened):

Go to this site:  Alexandra Cooks  Add it to your soon to be defunct Google Reader (and if you have a substitute please tell me ASAP... I depend on my reader!!) or subscribe.  Her recipes are what you want to cook if you have the time... and they are beautiful... and every so often I realize that I really can pull off some of them on a school night.

Like THIS AMAZING CHICKEN.  Holy crap it is so good and everyone in the house eats it up (even Baby).  Do what she says and it will be great.  I use all bone in chicken thighs and because they give off a fair amount of fat, I find I can halve the butter in the recipe.  I also only use about half the marinade and save the rest to use on all sorts of stuff... put a dab on salmon and broil it... delicious!  FYI, I've tried this recipe with chicken breasts and it was meh... don't bother... thighs are so much better and really take on the flavors better.  Also, go crazy and make a lot, if you don't eat it all it makes fantastic curried chicken salad.  The sauce comes together really quickly and the chicken cooks pretty much hands off for an hour.  I can actually do this on a school night and it is pretty low stress.

I also made both THIS HONEY SOY CHICKEN (nearly identical method to the one above) and THESE PEANUT NOODLES for a dinner party the other weekend.  There were lots of kids and there was barely a piece of chicken left for the adults (I made two huge pans of drumsticks and thighs).  Both of these dishes were winners... the chicken is great hot or at room temp... so it made a great low key dinner party fare.  Mr F and Kid love the noodles (weirdly Baby does not...) but I've made some taste adjustments to the original recipe.  I halve the cider vinegar and up the lime juice and peanut butter.

Now, I also promised to write out our Tortellini Bake recipe.  It is another one of those recipes that is so easy it's embarrassing.  We had it for so many weeks in a row over the fall and winter and now that I want a picture... it's kind of too hot for me to want to make.  Ah well, I'll do a real write up with pictures whenever I make it again (think October!).  This is easy and obviously easily changed per your tastes.  We've changed it a bit over time.  Basically you need ground meat, onions & peppers, approx 1 lb good cheese tortellini (I prefer frozen for this since you'll be cooking it twice & I find they hold up better, my kind is 19 oz), 1 jar pasta sauce, and mozzarella & parmesan cheese.  See?  I'm already embarrassed just writing that out.  Mr F cannot eat red meat anymore (we're not sure why) so I make this with either ground turkey or Italian sausage.  If you go the turkey route and live in the US, for the love of God, get yourself the Italian seasoned Jennie-O turkey... it's VERY close to Italian sausage.  At this point I use that for almost everything.  If you aren't using that, you'll want to season your meat with minced garlic & onion, salt, pepper, & Italian seasoning.  

Here's the play by play:  Preheat your oven to 350 F.  Boil your water.  In a large saute pan brown up your meat (3/4 pound) and season if needed, once cooked through remove to a separate bowl.  Add 1 T olive oil to the pan and add a 1/2 sliced onion and 1 sliced bell pepper (or again use frozen, we always have this on hand).  Season with salt, pepper, and italian seasoning.  Add your tortellini to your pasta water and cook per package directions.  In a greased casserole dish spoon in about 1/2 C of good pasta sauce and spread over the bottom of the dish.  When your peppers and onions are looking awesome, turn off the heat but leave them in the pan.  Your tortellini should be finished, so drain and add to the peppers & onions.  Add the browned seasoned meat to the pan and add enough pasta sauce to thoroughly coat everything.  Dump the mixture into the casserole dish.  Top with grated mozzarella and parmesan cheese (I use about 1.5 C mozzarella & 1/4 C parm... it will depend on the size of your casserole dish).  Pop the casserole in the oven for about 20 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly.  This takes about 10-15 minutes of active cooking and then bakes for another 20. This can be changed to meet your tastes, omit the peppers & onions, add spinach, whatever... it all works.  


Tiffany said...

I use Bloglovin as my reader. It takes you directly to pages but its the best I could find. Boo to losing Google Reader!

charm73 said...

I am using Feedly now, it automatically pulls all your info over from google reader, and now that I made a few tweaks, I love it.

Krista said...

Hey, thanks so much for posting the recipes! The tortellini bake looks like it'll fit right in with DH's favourite foods, and I really like the sound of it as well. The ingredients are added to next week's shopping list and we can't wait to try it. :)

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