I recently started dabbling in wine. I’ve always been more of a vodka girl personally, but it just seems so socially grown up to drink a glass of wine at a party. Who says peer pressure stays in high school? A while back I managed to finish my first glass, but it was Moscato so I hardly think that counts. My next attempt was a Riesling. I got a local wine called 14 Hands and found it to be delightful. I’m still a long way from attempting a musky red wine, but I feel I’m maturing.
Chicken piccata always ends up being my second choice when it is on the menu at a restaurant. I have good intentions, but just never end up ordering it. Something about capers I think. They are one of those foods that I feel like I’m supposed to like, but have never really fully joined the bandwagon. I feel the same way about pesto. I try it all the time, and it’s always just ok. “Fine” and “ok” don’t cut it when I’m paying for a meal. I hate wasting a dinner out on food I’m not going to be in love with. So, the piccata always takes a back seat. I decided to make some myself to verify the caper conundrum. Do I like them? Or not? I found this recipe on my cousin’s blog and since she LOVES chicken piccata, I figured if any recipe was gonna float my boat, this one would. I was right. It was excellent. Capers and all.
My husband loves tamales. My mother-in-law Anna makes them in huge batches and brings them up when she visits. It’s a whole involved process that she tried to teach me once (long ago when I was first married), but the thought of authentic cooking was a total brain overload for me back then. I found this recipe and knew I needed to give it a whirl. It starts with a rich cornbread base filled with chilies, topped with enchilada sauce, spiced chicken and cheese. If you like Mexican food, you will love this!
Have you ever given up something you love because of someONE you love more? Some people quit smoking, drinking or gambling. Others become a slightly less obsessed sports fan because the knucklehead they are married to just doesn’t understand and can’t get on board. Not that I would know anything about that last one. My experience with sacrifice involves salmon. Delicious, flaky perfectly rich salmon. Oh how I love it. I could eat it just about every day and never grow tired of it. Honestly, it is my most favorite dinner.
Dun-dun-dun-dun. Ba-ba, ba-ba. (drums) Dun-dun-dun-dun!! Ba-ba, ba-ba! What? Don’t recognize that? Hmmm. I may be overreaching the bounds of my regular viewing audience here. Let’s try this.
That’s right! It’s back! Football season! Woo-hoo! Tonight is the return of Monday Night Football and I couldn’t be more pleased. My husband can’t wait until February 2013 when all the pigskin madness comes to a close. I know, we are NOT a normal couple. My Seahawks have two new quarterback prospects (who I’m every excited about) and a new wide receiver (who I’m trying to get on board with). It is going to be a great year! Surely I’ve mentioned before that I love football. Right? L.O.V.E. One of the beautiful things about NFL season is the food. Glorious game time snacks. There’s nothing better than settling in for three hours of helmet crunching, bone jarring hits with a table of munchies. They are one of my favorite things. Like these little poppers. Perfect for throwing back while you cheer on your favorite team. You may want to double or triple this recipe if you are having the whole gang over for a game. Pretty sure that in the heat of a the action I could take down half this batch solo. Yeah, I gain weight in the fall because of football…not holiday parties. Come on, I’ve been a Hawks fan since Kindergarten. I’m a stress eater. And usually, the Seahawks provide plenty of anxiety riddled games.
I totally need to go to the grocery store. Big time. I’ve been stalling for days. I don’t know why. Maybe because in the summer all I want to eat is fruit. Or maybe I just needed something to procrastinate about that would make me actually fold the 5 loads of clean laundry sitting on my bed. Mission accomplished! Whatever the reason, I needed a solution for dinner that did not involve any fancy ingredients. I scoured my freezer and found a bag of frozen dinner rolls and a tube of chicken sausage. I knew there was a dinner in those ingredients, it just needed a couple pantry basics to make it work. A nice jar of marinara sauce, mozzarella and some pasta did the trick. This braided spaghetti was absolutely delicious, mondo easy and will most certainly become a part of my regular rotation.
In the summer, there are lots of opportunities to bring salads and slaws to BBQs. I recently brought a sweet & sour apple slaw (light & delicious) and of course there’s always my standby Chinese chicken salad (perfection!) if I’m not sure what to bring. Last weekend I wanted to make something close to a traditional cole slaw, but with a little twist. I dunno why, it has been forever since I had just a cole slaw. I needed that kind of dressing. This is what I came up with. Crunchy apples with moist tender chicken and a killer slaw sauce with a kick from lemon juice and cider vinegar.
Do you ever come back from a few days away and just want a homey, simple meal? I always seem to need a food break after a trip. I spent last weekend camping at my Nanny’s cabin. It is my favorite place on earth because there’s no cell service, no tv, no internet and a huge field to play in with a creek to cool off in. My kids burst out of the car like rockets when we arrive and run around all day every day. The cousins build forts and mud pies and memories together. They sleep like rocks while we’re there, usually drifting off on the deck trying to spy shooting stars in the mountain skies.
These little pizzas will forever remind me of slumber parties. Growing up, this was the standard dinner fare for all things involving a gaggle of giggling girls in their jammies (I wish jammies started with a “g”). You can make dozens at a time and everyone can pick their favorite toppings. It is awesome when feeding a crowd. I remember all of us piling into my mom’s kitchen, carefully creating our pizzas and then positioning them on baking sheets so we’d know which were ours. Heaven forbid you go thru all the work of making a perfect pie only to have the neighbor girl spending the night think it is hers.
Quinoa is totally the cool kid in school right now. The topic of every conversation. Exotic. Mysterious. You aren’t sure exactly how to pronounce their name. Ok, ok…you totally do know how. But I didn’t. I had an entire conversation calling it “qwi-no-ah”. Then my sister set me straight. She’s been all over this stuff for years. Keen-wah? Seriously? Ok then. Did you know that once you tell a 5-year-old how something is pronounced, there’s practically no earthly way to convince them otherwise? Apparently “Mommy was wrong” doesn’t hold mustard with my kids. I’ll have to be careful what I tell them as fact lest they sprout off totally false information and give me all the credit.