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Monthly Archives: August 2013

Cobb Salad My Way

Cobb Salad My Way basically means salad with whatever I have on hand. My Cobb Salad is always different, but served to look like the original. Tonight I baked frozen chicken breasts drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper. While the chicken baked for forty minutes, I washed fancy lettuces from the garden, hard boiled some eggs, and sautéed some frozen shrimp in butter and garlic. By the time the chicken came out of the oven all I needed to do was assemble. These meals make me so happy: easy to prepare, fun to assemble, and so pretty the kids will eat it.

Don’t turn your nose up at frozen shrimp! They are still delicious if not over-cooked, and frozen is the only way this landlocked hula girl can get them right now. I baked more chicken than I needed, and boiled more eggs than I needed. Both will turn into chicken salad and egg salad, respectively, for lunches is weekend–which makes my weekend that much easier.

Happy Friday!

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Perfect Chicken Indeed

I made Ina Garten’s Perfect Roast Chicken one night this week for supper. It was perfect. I usually bake my whole chicken at 350 degrees for a couple of hours. I drizzle extra virgin olive oil over the top and sprinkle on some salt and pepper. We eat it with mashed potatoes and steamed veggies, and the leftovers are reincarnated into chicken salad or chicken burrito bowls. There were no leftovers from this chicken, honestly.

Her recipe calls for a five to six pound chicken stuffed with a halved lemon, a bunch of fresh thyme, a halve head of garlic; and then rubbed down with butter and salted and peppered. Roast at 450 degrees for an hour and a half. It tasted like rotisserie chicken, no joke.

I served this alongside her potato salad which wasn’t all that flavorful. It called for champagne vinegar, which I didn’t have. I used apple cider vinegar, but I can’t imagine the taste would be much different if I had used the champagne vinegar. I will make this salad again using the correct ingredients before passing final judgment.

Hope you’re enjoying your Saturday!

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What’s for lunch?

I had planned Mozzarella, Tomato, and Pesto Grilled Sandwiches for lunch, but we didn’t have enough basil in the garden to make a batch of pesto. I added bacon instead. Bacon solves everything. ūüėČ I served it alongside some leftover Greek salad and some Blenheim ginger ale. I am always hungry an hour after I have a grilled cheese sandwich, so I made these on sturdy sourdough bread. Sourdough definitely elevates the humble grilled cheese (snack, in my opinion) to meal status.

I hope you’re enjoying your Sunday!

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Greek Salad

I made Greek Salad for lunch today. My friend Brenda spent some time in Greece and made this wonderful salad for us. This is a copycat version because I’ve asked her for the recipe and she just smiled and said “I just made it up (in reference to the dressing).” Anyone can see what vegetables she used in the salad itself. There are lots of recipes online for Greek dressing, but I chose to use bottled Poppyseed dressing because I like it, and, let’s face it, I really don’t want to measure out ingredients in the middle of the day when everyone is chomping at the bit to eat.

Greek Salad

Different colors of Bell Peppers – I used 3, sliced
Half of a huge hot house cucumber, cut in half lengthwise and then sliced
Grape tomatoes
Broccoli florets
Pitted Calamata Olives
1 square of Feta cheese cubed into 16 pieces
Diced red onion

This will make four lunch sized servings. Use any dressing you desire or none at all. The tangy brininess of the olives pair oh so well with the creaminess of the feta. It’s a simple summer lunch. Enjoy!

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Weekly Menu

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of social interaction. ¬†I’ve spent my days away from my comfy home and cuddly dog to take classes with my daughter, catch $1 movies with other homeschool families, and go visiting. ¬†Last weekend we had company over, and I decided to serve lasagna because it is so easy to make. ¬†My husband suggested I make two lasagnas–just in case. ¬†He promised me he would take any leftovers to work for lunch. ¬†And then he further enticed me by saying, “We can have it for dinner again and then you wouldn’t have to cook.” ¬†Sold!

Needless to say, we had way too much lasagna. ¬†Two days ago, I asked him if he wanted quesadillas or penne with meatballs for dinner and his answer was, “I’ve had pasta for the past five days!” ¬†As if it was MY idea to make two dishes of lasagna. ¬†So, in typical knee-jerk reaction, I planned out my menu for the week. ¬†I haven’t done so for months because I kind of like flying by the seat of my pants, which you really need to do, anyway, when you’ve bloomed into a social butterfly. ¬†Last night, was the first night I cooked from my menu, and I realized that this whole week will be filled with lots of cooking and lots of dish washing. ¬†Oh well, what’s a girl to do other than document such madness and post it on the internet for perfect strangers to read about. ūüôā

So here is this week’s menu along with where I got the recipes. ¬†You may note that I am a fan of Ina Garten–that and I was too lazy to look through any of my other cookbooks for ideas. ¬†Oh, and for breakfasts we usually have some kind of bacon and eggs concoction to which I could probably dedicate another post. ¬†I plan on posting pictures of these meals throughout the week, but I might be too busy washing dishes between my socializing…we shall see.

Lunches:

Grilled Aged White Cheddar with Apple Slices and Jalapenos on Sourdough Bread (local paper)

Leftover Meatloaf Sandwiches

Bibb Salad – The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook (TBCC)

Warm Goat Cheese Salad – Barefoot Contessa Parties!

Mozzarella, Tomato, Pesto Panini РTBCC  (This will be a stretch since I need to make my own pesto from basil in my garden AND bake my own panini.)

Greek Salad

Dinners:

Turkey Meatloaf with Smash Potatoes and corn salad – TBCC

Perfect Roast Chicken, Provencal Potato Salad – TBCC – and Sweet Hawaiian Rolls

Sloppy Joes ¬†– The Food You Crave by Ellie Krieger –¬†and Beets with Orange Vinaigrette¬†–¬†TBCC

Chicken with Morels – Barefoot in Paris – Sugar Snap Peas with Sesame and Mustard Roasted Potatoes – TBCC

Desserts:

all from РBarefoot Contessa at Home

Frozen berries with Hot White Chocolate

Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Icing

Peach and Blueberry Crumbles

Summer Fruit Crostata

I usually plan 8 dinners per weekly menu, but have since learned to allow for leftovers.  Otherwise, we throw out too much food.  And for four people, this menu could easily serve us for two weeks when leftovers morph into another meal.  Also, any of these dinners could serve company with a few extra sides.

Enjoy your weekend!