Do you have teenagers at home? Honestly, I think these kids are going to eat the house down. An entire flat of cherries and raspberries gone in one day. Two pounds of flank steak devoured tonight at dinner. I’m not sure I can make it through the summer at the pace we are going.Read More
People, I can’t take a picture of a taco to save my life. I know, I probably should have taken a nice photo of the whole spread – tortillas, chicken, grilled limes, sliced jalapeños, grilled onions and peppers… I didn’t. We had friends over and it just didn’t seem like the right thing to do to make everyone wait to eat. The original photos from Confections of a Foodie Bride are lovely. So there. Take my word for it, these chicken fajitas are good.
What’s better than how they tasted is that I didn’t cook them. My husband did all the work. Marinated the chicken all day, prepped and grilled the veggies, even set the table. I can’t in good conscience review something that I didn’t make. But you should. This was tasty chicken.
I did, however, lift a finger for something related to Saturday night’s dinner. I made dessert. Not just any dessert. Key lime squares with coconut crust. Hello little bites of heaven!Read More
I was really excited to make rosemary-citrus shrimp tacos. Gluten free, vegetarian, and still appealing to the carnivores in my house? Sign me up. I was looking for big flavor. A tasty little Sunday night treat. Right. So Sunday morning, I started my usual process of going through each recipe on the weekly menu to build my grocery list and that’s when I noticed that the “rosemary-citrus” portion of these shrimp tacos was a pre-made dressing. Really? There was no way I was going to find rosemary citrus dressing in my local grocery store.Read More
I had high hopes for spicy fish taco bowls. High hopes. The recipe photographs were beautiful and colorful. The ingredients looked excellent. I’ve made some really good things from this particular blog. But not tonight. Major let down. I have no idea what I did wrong but this may have been the most bland dish that I’ve made in a long time. Possibly forever.Read More
A few months ago, one of our kids decided to give up eating meat temporarily during a food unit at school. Temporarily turned into permanently. And then she decided to also give up gluten.
The meat piece of the equation was pretty easy as we try to eat seafood around here and I am usually pretty good at using beans. It was also easy for me to prepare dinners as usual with some form of substitute for Lauren to get her the protein that she needed. The gluten piece combined with the meat piece has posed some challenges. The primary challenge is how to get her protein without vegetarian substitutes that contain gluten. Many of the gluten free recipes that I have come across are meat based. I keep finding that I can take out one item but not the other. When I do find something that is both gluten free and vegetarian, often times it is not something that my husband, who is a firm believer that there should be meat on the table at dinner, really wants to eat. And let’s be honest. Seafood for eight people (in a land locked state) is not cheap.Read More
I don’t know why I continue to plan meals for the day prior to going out of town. I never actually have the time to cook on those days. I do hope you enjoyed the seared scallops with greens and orzo, because I didn’t get to make it and you will be seeing it again on another menu. I did, however, enjoy chili and grilled cheese at our local pub. Especially the part where I didn't have to clean the kitchen.Read More
Wow. We are on a roll, people. This was a good dinner. I totally forgot to make rice, and almost forgot the salad, but no matter. The enchiladas were awesome (The Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook, page 350). I know, lame word, but absolutely appropriate description.
We were in full force tonight, so I doubled the order and made 20 enchiladas. We had three left.Read More
Remember how I said this week’s theme was going to be simple? Well I should have said that this week’s theme was going to be distracted.
If you haven’t checked out the recipe for flank steak tacos, it is pretty simple but does involve a series of distinct steps. First step is to marinate the meat for six hours or overnight. There is also a cilantro pesto (made in the food processer) and a grilled fruit salsa that goes on top of the meat. These can be prepped in advance. If you have the ingredients. Finally, you grill the steak, slice it up and top it with the goodies. Pretty straight-forward.
I had such good intentions of marinating the flank steak overnight. I finally got to it at 1 pm day of. That’s pretty good, right? I may have not read the fine print on the recipe and did not have lemon pepper. I substituted dried lemon peel and cracked pepper. (Side note: if you live anywhere near a Penzey’s and haven’t gone there, do yourself a favor and go. While you are there getting lemon peel, get some hot chocolate, cinnamon, and greek seasoning. Hokey website, great store. Trust me.)
Next, I started to make the cilantro pesto while I still had light in my kitchen so that I could get a good photos. This was at about 1:15. Let’s just say I finally got back to it at 5 pm. No light. I intended to grill my fruit (mango, avocado, pineapple) for the salsa next, but ended up bringing my mango and avocado over to my mom’s where we were eating dinner and decorating her tree. The plan was to pick up pineapple on the way to Mom’s. No pineapple at the store. When we got to Mom’s, the mango was bad and I forgot the red onion and cilantro. Scrapped the salsa. If you do make this, let me know if the fruit salsa was tasty.
I also forgot my grill pan, and since it was 5° outside, that wasn’t really an option. Enter the George Foreman! My mom actually has one of these and uses it. Welcome back to 2006. (Sorry, Mom.) It was quick and easy. We served the steak with corn and avocado for the kids and over mixed greens for the adults. We also added some Newman’s Own Lime Dressing to replace the missing salsa. Overall, and considering how flighty a cook I was, dinner was pretty good. The dressing helped. I wish I had made the salsa because I could see how the meat would have been better in combination with the grilled fruit.
In case you can’t tell, I also forgot my camera. Geesh. Better luck tonight.
I think I might be a snail. Truly. It took me two hours to make enchiladas verde (Cook's Illustrated Cookbook, page 350) tonight. And my kitchen looked like this when I was done.
It was good. Not exceptional, but good. I felt like it was
kind of dry. My husband said the consistency was good, but it needed either a
little more sweet or a little more spicy. Or maybe both. He still said he would
eat it again. And the kids ate two servings of the chicken but wouldn’t touch
The flavor of the salsa verde was good and was easy to make. I couldn’t find poblano chiles, so I used pasilla. A little online research (completely unverified, mind you) indicates that these are in fact the same pepper. There is a huge debate about pepper nomenclature apparently. Trust me on this one.
Since you don’t have access to this recipe online, it involves a few pretty simple steps. Saying it outloud actually makes me feel more like a slow-poke. The chicken is boiled in stock and smothered onions, garlic and cumin, then needs to cool in order to be shredded for the enchilada filling. Meanwhile, the poblano peppers and tomatillos are roasted, peeled, cooled, then pureed with garlic, a little broth, salt, pepper, and sugar.
Finally, the chicken, shredded cheese and cilantro are rolled into tortillas and stacked together in a pan with a layer of verde sauce below and a nice covering of sauce and cheese on top. Bake for 20 minutes. Why did this take me two hours? Who knows.
The roasting of the peppers and tomatillos is very simple. I would recommend the old bag the pepper trick after roasting. Surprisingly, it isn’t in the recipe, but try throwing your roasted peppers in a bag to steam for a bit. The skins will come off quickly this way.
One tip I would suggest is to get your chicken started right away. Or maybe cut your chicken into smaller pieces to decrease the cooking time. You can still shred it after it is cooked, but the waiting for the chicken to cool ended up being a time waster for me. I could have roasted the peppers while the chicken was cooling and been ok but instead, my chicken and peppers were cooking at the same time, resulting in a bit of waiting time for the chicken to cool with my sauce already complete. No biggie unless you are in a hurry to serve dinner.
If you are following along, one of the indicators of a successful dinner around here is that the adults think it is tasty and the kids don’t need to be bribed with oreos to eat it. This dinner fit the bill. Tasty but not too strange. Will probably make this again when all the kids are here. It is a great meal for a cold night.