Hi all--feeling frantic here, but in mostly good ways. Lots going on, including (yet another) vacation week for my son... happily, it looks like March of 2008 was a very good month for the crockpot challenge. Two of my recipes for the week are coming from there. Reviews from last week after the meal plan...
Monday: Mediterranean Chicken, salad, rice with my new method (see below) or possibly noodles on the side
Tuesday: Taco Tuesday is back! I have a ton of cilantro here from last week so I'll try to do something spiffy for grownups but I might not have it in me this week.
Wednesday: Crockpot Vegetable Curry, rice, naan if I get to Trader Joe's
Thursday: Happy St. Patrick's Day! Ham, mashed potatoes, some green veggie, Irish soda bread, and probably green something for dessert.
Friday: Continuing the Irish theme, salmon, mashed potatoes, and leftover curry vegetables.
Sunday, I quickly made the broccoli recipe from Dorie Greenspan. I steamed the broccoli, as suggested, with mixed results; at first, it was too crunchy, then it was a little soggy, so the timing clearly was off. Also, my old nemesis in the steaming department returned: I almost ruined my pot by running out of water by the end. There was barely any left in there by the time the broccoli was ready. When done, the broccoli gets tossed in with buttery bread crumbs. Nothing wrong with that either. Overall, though--not worth the extra effort considering how much we enjoy our "regular" broccoli. The directions (I can't call it a "recipe"): cut desired amount of broccoli in to florets of desired size. Place in microwavable bowl. Drizzle with small amount of olive oil and pepper to taste. Cover (best with a plate or lid rather than plastic wrap) and microwave 2-3 minutes to desired crispness/tenderness.
For Mardi Gras, since I happened to find Goya ginger beer in my shopping trip, we made pancakes, bacon, and Dark & Stormies for the grownups. I am not a big drinker at all, so to go half and half might have killed me. As it was, I went with lots of ice, two oz. rum (I had Goslings), and then topped mine off with ginger beer. It was actually spicy--too spicy for me, alas. I'll be interested to try it again this summer with a different ginger beer, maybe, and see how it goes. I liked it, and I can see where it will be great in summer, but I am not sorry to have it off my mind before Lent.
While my rational brain tells me "if you want your life to be 'real simple'--a good start would be purging all the magazines"...my lizard brain just screams, oh, surely THIS one has the answer to my life's problems! And they don't, and I buy them anyway. This month's Real Simple pulled me in with the superfoods, which of course I knew but continue to not incorporate as fully as I should, but there were a few recipes I tried this time around. One was the roast beef wrap with horseradish slaw. It won't go in to weekly rotation but I loved having the spinach in there, and it scratched a roast beef sandwich itch while getting more veggies than my typical sandwich would. They also had a truly different photo spread on 10 smoothies to try. One of them, the spinach-grape-coconut smoothie caught my eye, not only for its bizzareness, but because I had a quarter cup of coconut milk hanging out in my fridge from an earlier recipe, and spinach there for this week. So I entered the land of the green smoothie, and while I wouldn't say I loved it, it was definitely a great use for all those things, more nutritious than many of my usual grab-n-go foods, and a worthy experiment. I don't know that I'll rush to repeat it but when I have the leftover coconut milk--this will reappear, I think.
And on Friday, I went off the track a little with the shrimp-spinach-asparagus stir fry from Cup and Table. I have a huge bottle of fish sauce but the smell of it makes me so nauseous every time I open it, it is hard for me to cook with it. But I had a ton of spinach and really everything but the shrimp (and the palm sugar but I used my agave nectar) so I barged ahead with it. It was a solid stir fry; easy, including prep (slicing bunches of straight veggies in to large pieces=my kind of prep), tasty, fast. I hate sliding shrimp (or anything else) in to hot oil but otherwise--it was superfast and a nice Lenten meal. I also experimented, making jasmine rice in the microwave. Put 1/2 c rice in 1 c water in an uncovered Corningware. The blog tip said 20-30 seconds. Hah! I think in the end I was at 7 or 8 minutes...but it worked. And I will try it again because it was fabulously easy and freed up part of my stovetop.
And that's the week that was and will be, God willing. Have a great week and for more inspiration, try I'm an Organizing Junkie!