Sunday, July 11, 2010

MPM--Heat Wave(s)

Happy week everyone!

We are going through a string of massive heat waves here--when moms are deciding it's too hot to go to the pool 45 minutes early for swim lessons--it's hot! I changed my plans and just took advantage of one cool morning to make apricot chicken (recipe below) and chicken marinated in Trader Joy's Island Soyaki sauce. I didn't love it (the Island Soyaki) but I enjoy the apricot chicken and loved having dinner pre-made in the fridge, just needing to be sliced and tossed on a plate with some fruit and veggies. (It was a big week here for ants on a log. Next week: cream cheese in celery! woohoo--living on the edge, here.)

Monday: honeybaked ham (cold), potato salad, something from the CSA box

Tuesday: Tuesday Wednesday Spaghetti (woo!)

Wednesday: finish the ham, regular salad,

Thursday: hot dogs, chips, whatever veggies may have come-beets, probably?

Friday: (soccer)

One thing I didn't really mention enough last week: Kelly's coconut cake recipe. We had a block party and a barbeque with friends over the July 4 weekend and I made this cake and, as one of my neighbors said, "I was mad when I went back for seconds that it was gone!" If you like coconut at all, this cake is awesome. The reason I made it for the 4th was so I could use blueberries and strawberries to make a flag cake, which was cute. But wow, this stands on its own, if you are looking for a very rich, very cold, very sweet cake. Yum.

I also made her chocolate chip pound cake. For how easy it was, it was amazing. My husband had two pieces--unusual for him!--and we all loved it. "Pour" is a bit of a euphemism though--the batter was very thick and more gloppable than pourable.

Something else I haven't given adequate credit to: the marinated portobellos. As I'm getting more and more grossed out by ground beef, these have been a great thing for me this summer. (And don't get me wrong: a good burger from a source I trust is still an amazing thing. But a very undercooked burger at my reunion in May was really a last straw for me on meat from the grill that someone else is cooking.) At our farmer's market, we have a mushroom grower who had samples of these portobellos out and I have loved them. Put portobellos in a sealable plastic bag. Pour in Italian dressing. Marinate 1-4 hours. Grill or broil. Eat like a burger, or slice and serve as a side dish. I hate to even call that a recipe but they were also a hit at the July 5 block party, even with people who didn't think they would enjoy them.

I also made the Dinner: A Love Story broccoli slaw. That wasn't the humongo hit that some other things (coconut cake) were, but it all went and I liked the very old-school taste of the celery seed.

Two other recipes I made last week that I have no links for are below. One is for apricot chicken. This was a big hit with my kids a few years ago, so I'm including it, but this time, it didn't go so well. I think I'll play with it a little bit--I made it with whole chicken breasts this time instead of pieces, but I might go back to cut up again. Or I bet thighs would be great with this if you like dark meat. And it's so easy...I wish I weren't the only one who likes this.

Apricot Chicken

1 C apricot preserves
1 Tbs distilled white vinegar
1 Tbs brown sugar
Chicken meat of your choice (I use boneless skinless)

Preheat oven to 350. Mix everything but the chicken to a smooth paste. Cover chicken with mixture in a baking pan. Cover pan with aluminum foil. Bake 50 minutes; uncover; bake another 10 minutes.

The other thing I made was a buttermilk dressing from the Philadelphia Inquirer food section. I would have linked to it but I couldn't find it, so I am recreating it here because I loved it, it was all ingredients I have on hand (except the buttermilk), and I can't find the teeny clipping and want to make it again!

Buttermilk Salad Dressing

1 C buttermilk
1/2 C mayonnaise
1/4 C olive oil
pinch garlic powder
2 Tbs Dijon mustard
2 Tbs lemon juice

Put all in jar or other container with tight-fitting lid. Shake vigorously. Serve immediately, or keep up to a week.

I loved this on just lettuce and tomatoes from our CSA.

Also, just as this is essentially my family's food diary (fear not, I do keep other, far more relevant info elsewhere for them): our Co-op had two excellent cheeses out for sampling this weekend and I loved both so much, I brought home some of each and made a cheese plate for my husband and me for dessert. Yum. One was Memoire Truffle Gouda (you had me at "truffle," and they recommend it in a mac and cheese. I'll bet that's awesome but our piece wouldn't go that far, and it's too hot for mac and cheese right now). The other was LambChopper sheep's milk cheese from Cypress Grove, CA. It had bite but also creaminess and I loved it, maybe even more than the one with the truffles, which is unusual as I adore me some truffle.

1 comment:

Mom24 said...

Wow! Your week sounds delicious, you've inspired me to get busy and cook now that we have our dishwasher again. I love portobello mushrooms prepared that way, although I use Caesar dressing. I also love them as a base for pizza, fill them with some marinara, cooked sausage and fresh mozzarella, roasted red peppers, whatever, then grill or bake until everything's melted and oozy. Very yummy. I'll have to make them soon now that you've reminded me.

I completely agree with you about ground beef. I've stopped buying it from all the local grocers. They bring it in course-ground then regrind it in the store. How gross! I stick with small stores that grind their own. Still lots of potential for problems, but less so.

Have a great week.