Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Sunday, June 20, 2010
No ruminations, just food for my thoughts today. This was our Father's Day/Jeff's birthday meal. He spoke Korean on his mission and fell in love with the food (and the people). It's absolutely delicious and super duper easy. The cake is obviously not Korean, but it's also really really good. But the cake is not super duper easy (it's kind of time-intensive, but worth it).
This is the very best thing in the whole world. I'd even pick Bul Go Gi over cookies, that's how good it is! It melts in your mouth. Yum. I usually buy a 2 lb. oven roast (eye of round) which would technically double the recipe, except I really like the sauce so I actually triple everything else. Have the grocery store butcher slice the roast as thinly as possible - just barely thick enough to hold together.
1 lb. beef, thinly sliced
4 Tbs. brown sugar
2 Tbs. sesame oil
6 Tbs. soy sauce
few grains black pepper
1 green onion, chopped w/tops
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
4 Tbs. sesame seeds (you can toast these lightly in a skillet for extra flavor & crunch)
1 Tbs. flour
Combine sugar & oil in a 1 gl. zip-top plastic bag & mix well. Add soy sauce, pepper, chopped onion, garlic, sesame seed & flour and mix well in bag. (I just mush it around) Add meat and mush it around to coat as much as possible ("mush" is a word, isn't it?). Seal bag and lay on plate or place in large bowl and marinate overnight or at least a couple of hours in the refrigerator. You can grill the meat, but it's so thin that it sticks to the grill and cooks really fast (ie, burns easily), so I prefer to cook ( working in batches) on a skillet in a small amount of oil until tender. Don't overcook. Any left-over marinade can be used to cook chopped bok choy, spinach, kale or other veggie of choice. Serve with sticky rice, mandu (we just use pre-made frozen pot stickers), and - if you have a steel stomach - kim chi. Home bottled peaches are really tasty with this meal.
A friend gave me this recipe years ago, and I've been guarding it as a secret family recipe ever since. Guarding it, that is, until I noticed one time that the recipe was a verbatim copy of the one on the back of the Baker's German Chocolate bar (find it with the chocolate chips). So I'm not going to re-write the recipe. It's on the box. I would just say that if you use cake flour, it makes the batter rise too much for 2 cake pans (9"), so use three (work in batches if you don't have 3 pans). I also frost the outside with a buttercream chocolate frosting because, well, you can never have too much chocolate.
This uses the dry lentil & ABC pasta soup mix available in bulk from places like waltonfeed.com or the LDS Church Cannery.
2 C. Soup mix
8+ cups water (add more as it cooks off)
Simmer for 2 - 2 1/2 hours until lentils are well cooked. Stir frequently, especially near the end to keep from burning on the bottom.
1/3 to 1 can diced tomatoes w/chilis (a whole can makes it really spicy - too much for my kids)
2 Cans Italian Stewed (diced) tomatoes
1 Tbs. Salt (or less, to taste)
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 lb. Kielbasa, sliced into bite-size pieces, and browned in skillet.
Simmer up to 1/2 hour longer.
1 cup milk
1 cup whole wheat, uncooked (the wheat berries)
2 Tbsp. oil
2 tsp. baking powder
2 Tbs. honey or sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
Put milk and wheat in blender. Bend on highest speed for about 2-3 minutes (to have bits of wheat crunch) or 4-5 minutes (for no crunch) (I like having bits of wheat :) it's yummy). Add eggs, oil, baking powder, honey, and salt and blend on low. Bake on pre-heated griddle (low heat works best). FOR WAFFLES: add one additional Tbs. wheat, increase oil to 4 Tbs.
Picnic Lunch. When the sun shines in Rexburg we rush outside. I can't imagine what the neighbors must think as I sit in the driveway folding laundry. We usually eat out on the grass, but since this was a soup lunch we needed a flat surface to avoid spills. It was sunny, but a little chilly. Thankfully it has warmed up since this photo was taken two days ago. I LOVE SUNSHINE!
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Recipes, Swimming, and Ruminations all bundled up together:
So I'm feeling guilty for my last post. It was pretty gloomy. Thankfully a little time, a few cookies, and a morning swim have pulled me through. Plus the sun is shining. That makes me happy. I am planning on being outside this entire day. No housework (except a little laundry), no cooking (oh, dang, we still have to eat. Hmm, cereal, anyone?) no nuttin' but enjoying the sun. Oh, please, please, please don't let my grand plans of doing nothing be thwarted by my compulsion to always be doing something! :)
Today is going to be a wonderful day.
Yesterday, however, was another story. Sundays are always a little tricky, and are both great and dreadful. Jeff spends Sunday mornings rounding at the hospital and going to choir practice. I'm okay with that. But it also means that I spend Sunday mornings getting our kids up, breakfasted, bathed, dressed, and occupied (well, the boys mostly take care of themselves but I'm still Sole Supervisor). I feel pretty good when everyone is washed and dried, has their church clothes on (and especially if they keep them on and keep them clean), everyone has eaten (and the food isn't on the church clothes), nobody is fighting (anymore), and all shoes are matching and on (doesn't matter if shoes are on the right feet). I feel REALLY good when the kids then play quietly together. We've had some pretty good magic shows, music shows, and lego creations the past few Sundays.
No matter how well things go, though, the last ten minutes before we leave for Church everything falls apart. It makes me laugh, sort of. "Mom, I'm hungry!" (we just ate!), "Where's my other shoe, Mom?" (where'd you leave it?), "Oops, I spilled, Mom." (ugh), "Mom, he's yelling at me!" (DON'T YELL!!!).
Yesterday it was especially bad because my sweet, five-year-old little Eleanor - who looked lovely with her hair finally grown out of her last unfortunate own haircut - walked into the kitchen just before church started with a big chunk of hair cut from her bangs. Again. I was not happy. Now I laugh, but I didn't laugh yesterday!
We made it through, got to church on time, and managed the "Sit still" and "Be quiet" pretty well. After church, everyone was starving. I opened the fridge and, oops, there wasn't anything made to feed the fam.
Time to work a miracle. In five minutes I had dinner on the table. While not gourmet at least it was good and healthy!
In 8x8 pan, combine in order:
2 cans chili
2 cups shredded cheese
(warm chili & cheese in microwave until cheese is melted)
Serve with salsa and chips. We had a bottle of peaches with it to complete the meal.
I know, nothing fancy. But it worked. I did make the following tasty (not-good-for-you) cake Sunday morning, so I figured that fulfilled my cooking duties for the day.
When we first moved into this home, our sweet neighbor brought us this coffee cake/cinnamon cobbler. It was so good that we devoured the whole thing, then called her for the recipe and made another right away. They call it Mickey Cake in honor of Mickey from Maurice Sendak's rather odd book, "In the Night Kitchen."
1 ½ c. flour
1 c. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
Mix together the above ingredients in a mixing bowl. Put one egg in a one cup measuring cup and lightly beat. Fill the measuring cup with milk to 1 cup line. Stir into dry ingredients and then add 3 tbls. melted butter. Stir until blended. Pour into a greased and floured 7½ x13 baking dish. Sprinkle over the top a mixture of ½ c. brown sugar and 1 to 2 tsp. cinnamon. Put in oven for 25 to 30 minute at 350. When cake is removed from oven pour 2 tbls. melted butter over the top. Serve warm.
I had to top off the day with cookies, of course. While Jeff had the kids occupied, I made myself very happy yesterday by making these. If I can't run, at least I can still bake! (I wonder if there are any zero calorie cookie recipes for cookie monsters, like myself, who can't run off the cookie...? Hmm, I may have to change my eating habits!)
Chocolate Pudding Cookies
1 1/2 C. butter/margarine (you can use shortening to substitute for up to half of the butter/margarine)
1 C. brown sugar
1/2 c. sugar
1 large or 2 small pkgs instant pudding (pick a flavor - for these cookies pictured above I used chocolate; pistachio is really good, or vanilla, or mix vanilla w/pistachio. )
1 1 /2 tsp. vanilla (or use other flavoring of choice - about 1/4- 1/2 tsp. mint or cherry or whatever)
3 1/3 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 pkg (12 oz) chips (or mix flavors - I used white & semi-sweet chips; use mint chips or peanut butter chips for different flavors)
1 1/2 c. chopped nuts, optional.
Cream butter, sugar and pudding mix. Mix in eggs and vanilla. Add flour and soda. Stir in chips (and nuts). Bake at 350 about 8 minutes or until just barely brown (you can't tell if they're brown when using chocolate pudding).
I'm so glad Saturday is over, and Sunday eased me out of my gloom, and that today is a good day. Not running my race Saturday was the pits, and my dad knew it. My dad is my hero. He is the kindest, gentlest, most considerate dad in the world. He brought me this rose and card Saturday afternoon. He knew how disappointed I was with missing the marathon and how frustrated I am with my back injury. Somehow running, although still up on my list of favorite things, doesn't seem so globally important anymore. Not when I have a dad's love like I do. Thanks, Dad.
Saturday, June 12, 2010
1 dozen eggs, beaten until the yellow turns palea whole bunch of veggies & stuff: For example, this Quiche has the following, which I sauteed before adding to the eggs: onion, red bell pepper, shredded carrot, diced baby bok choy, canned mushrooms, chopped tomato (just squeeze out the juice after first slice, then continue cutting), chopped olives, chopped broccoli.8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled2 + cups of shredded cheese of choice (mild or medium - or even sharp - cheddar, colby jack, whatever)I had extra half-and-half I had to get rid of, so I added that, too, but I usually don't add it.
Mix:2 C. Flour (wheat, white, or combo)3 tsp. baking powder1 tsp. salt2 Tbs. sugarCut in:1/2 C. butter flavored shortening (regular is okay, too)Stir in:3/4 C. Milk
Put in bread machine in order, or in the order your machine suggests (wet first or dry first)1 C. warm milk1/2 c. butter or margarine, softened1/4 c. sugar2 large eggs, lightly beaten3/4 tsp. salt4 C. flour (bread flour is preferable)1 Tbs. instant yeast
Melt 2 Tbs. butter in skillet, saute 6-8 minced garlic cloves for about 3 minutes.Roll about 2/3 of the dough into an 8 x 12 inch rectangle. Spread garlic mixture over top of dough. Cut into 4 strips vertically, then horizontally to get 16 (3x2 inch) pieces. Place pieces in a greased 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch loaf pan. (The arrangement will look like an accordion pleat.) I tip the loaf pan up a little to help stack the rectangles, turning each one with a corner up opposite to the rectangle before and after so it alternates. When I'm done, I set the pan down and move everything to fill the pan evenly. Cover with a cloth and let rise in a warm place until slices fill pan, about 1 hour.Preheat oven to 375 F.Bake about 30 minutes, until golden brown, placing foil on top after 10 minutes. Immediately invert bread onto a wire rack; cool slightly. Serve warm. Makes 1 loaf. Serves 8.
Sunday, June 6, 2010
Recipes: This has got to be the easiest dessert in the world. And probably the tastiest & unhealthiest. Oh, well.
Scottish Shortbread w/Chocolate
4 C. Flour
1 C. Granulated Sugar
2 C. Butter (no substitutes)Mix flour and sugar. Soften butter and cut into dry ingredients with a pastry cutter - or knead and combine with fingers. Pat dough into large jelly-roll/cookie sheet until evenly covered. Prick dough with fork every couple of inches. Bake 25-30 minutes at 325.As soon as it comes out of the oven, you can dust with powdered sugar or drizzle chocolate (which is the way we like it).Chocolate: Melt 2-3 cups chocolate chips (we like semi-sweet) and 1-2 Tbs. shortening in microwave until melted completely (about 2 minutes). Stir until smooth. Drizzle chocolate by the spoonful over the shortbread in a lattice pattern - or however you like.If you use white chocolate or vanilla chips, you will have to add quite a bit more shortening to make it smooth and runny enough to drizzle.Let cool for several hours for chocolate to harden.
Reading: Today I started Magyk, by Angie Sage, because my son Samuel (age 10) recommended it. If he likes it, then that's good enough for me to give it a go. So far so good (all 15 pages I've read so far).
Ruminations: Another busy but good day, despite the continual rainy weather. I took the kids to the local University's indoor track during the open-community hour at lunch time. They had fun running and playing and getting out their wiggles. A trip to three stores (including a bookstore) filled our afternoon, and we came home bearing the spoils of our travels: five new books. I love books. I love that my kids love books.
But, since the sun decided to shine right when we got home, we put aside the books and played outside. I love the sun. I love when my kids play outside.
We're joining some friends for a Family Night dinner and hike tonight. Even if the mountainside is muddy, we're going to get out and enjoy the wildflowers, by golly! I'm tired of being stuck inside. The husband, by the way, is my old geology professor from about 18 years ago. I followed him down the Grand Canyon for a three-day trip, and up in the Tetons, and through various other National Parks (Arches, Canyonlands, etc) to learn hands-on about geology. That was really cool, although I don't remember much of the science. It's been a long time. But I do remember the experience - and it was definitely one of the highlights of my life.
Talk about a walk down memory lane! What a fun time. There is just a tiny sting, though, every once in awhile when I remember the neat things I've done. I'm not doing them now. Not traveling to exotic places, summiting any peaks, or experiencing different cultures. I'm not getting graded, or finishing big projects or practicing law. But I am in charge of the lives of four very wonderful, very amazing, real live people. Living my life for them is hands-down more challenging and more satisfying than just living life for myself. And who knows? Maybe someday I'll lead them - or maybe just cheer them on - up the peaks, down into the canyons, and to the other side of the world...
Saturday, June 5, 2010
Preheat oven to 350. Grease 9x9 (or 8x8 for thicker brownies - or double the recipe and use a 9x13).
In microwave-safe mixing bowl, melt together the following (about 2 minutes):
1 Cup butter or margarine
3/4 C. baking cocoa powder (or 4 oz unsweetened baking chocolate, and reduce butter/margarine to 3/4 cup)
2 C. sugar
Stir well until completely combined. Add and mix well:
1 tsp. vanilla.
1 C. flour
1 C. walnuts, chopped (optional).
Spread batter evenly into pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out with fudgy crumbs.