Saturday, April 25, 2009

HI!

Hope everybody has had a good couple of weeks. *wry smile* Sorry I've been such a lousy blogger lately. I really DO miss you all, but I'm finding it hard to find new things to blog about, lately. I always seem to be griping about Tay, or about work...... I get tired of doing that.

Really don't have much news of worth to pass on today, but I've got a BOATLOAD of new recipes that I've tried in the past week and a half, so I'll share them today.

Grilled Lime Chicken

8 chicken breasts
1/2 c lime juice
1/3 c olive oil
4 green onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced (or pressed)
3 Tbsp chopped fresh dill (dried can be used successfully, but not sure of the "exchange rate")
1/4 tsp pepper

Pound chicken to flatten. (This really isn't necessary, but it helps the chicken to cook more evenly and more quickly.) Combine juice, oil, onions, garlic, 2 Tbsp dill and pepper in ziplock bag, or lidded container. Add chicken breasts, seal and refrigerate 2 to 4 hours (or longer!).

Drain chicken breasts of marinade and discard marinade. Grill chicken, uncovered, over med-hot coals/heat for 12 to 15 minutes, till tender and juices run clear. Turn after about 6 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining dill before serving. (Didn't bother sprinkling with remaining dill at all, and still it tasted fabulous.) Serves 8.

This is a relatively health-conscious chicken dish. The diabetic exchanges are 3 lean meat, 1 veggie, 1 fat. The other stats are 235 cal per serving; 66 mg sodium (ok, this is a bit high); 73 mg cholesterol; 3 g carbs; 27 g protein; 12 g fat

*****

Onion Beef Au Jus

1 boneless beef rump roast (about 4 pounds)
2 Tbsp oil
2 large sweet onions, cut into 1/4 inch slices
6 Tbsp butter, softened, divided
5 c water (would use probably 3 next time)
1/2 c soy sauce
1 envelope onion soup mix
1 garlic clove, minced/pressed (used 3 small-ish)
1 tsp browning sauce, optional (don't even know what browning sauce IS!)
1 loaf (1 pound) french bread (I used hoagie rolls)
1 c (4 oz) shredded swiss cheese

In a dutch oven, over med-high heat, brown roast on all sides in oil; drain off excess grease. In a large skillet, saute onions in 2 Tbsp butter till tender. Add the water, soy sauce, soup mix, garlic and browning sauce. Pour over roast. Cover and bake at 325 deg. F. for 2-1/2 hours or until meat is tender. Remove roast from sauce and allow to stand for 10 minutes before slicing. Return meat to pan juices. Slice bread in half lengthwise (or, slice individual rolls lengthwise); cut into 3 sections (not if using individual rolls, of course). Spread remaining butter over bread. Place on baking sheet. Broil, 4 to 6 inches from heat, for 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown. Top with beef and onions; sprinkle with cheese. Broil, 4 to 6 inches from heat, for 1 to 2 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve with pan juices for dipping.

(All that said, I prefer my usual recipe for French Dip sandwiches that I've posted in the past. This recipe just didn't seem to have the flavor I like. HOWEVER, the hubby found this one preferable, said he finds my other recipe too strongly flavored. I may try to adjust them both to find a happy medium for us both. Kinda combine and pare down the other one, ramp up this one, to create something that meets in the middle. The meat in this one was also a little tougher than from the other recipe, didn't shred quite the way my other recipe does. This one resulted in a roast in which the meat was slice-able, but not shred-able.)

*****

Carolina Style BBQ Sauce (ultimately a revamp of Guy Fieri's recipe from Food Network's "Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives" show. I kinda added to it. We loved this!!!! Marinaded some chicken pieces in it, then grilled them, brushing them with more of this as we went.)

1 c cider-vinegar
1/2 c ketchup
1/4 c white sugar (brown sugar may be better)
1/4 c honey
1 Tbsp salt
1 Tbsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp worchestershire sauce
3 or 4 drops liquid smoke
small dash tobasco sauce

(All those different peppers combine to make a very deep flavor, but depending on your tolerance for heat, you may want to cut even further back on some of them than I did. Ultimately it should be SPICY but not so HOT that you burn your tastebuds off.)

Simmer all together to reduce. Cool before brushing on meat. This would be fabulous on brisket, on pork, and obviously on chicken. Wouldn't probably want to try it on fish, though. Maybe a slab of shark, but anything less "meaty" than shark probably wouldn't taste quite right.

*****

Cucumber Tuna Boats

3 medium cucumbers
1 can (6 oz) tuna, flaked and drained of liquids
2 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
1/2 c shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 c diced celery
1/4 c mayonnaise or salad dressing
2 Tbsp sweet pickle relish
1 Tbsp finely chopped onion
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt

Cut cucumbers in half lengthwise; remove and discard seeds. Cut a thin slice from bottom of cucumber if necessary, so they sit flat on plate. In a bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Spoon into the cucumbers. Serve immediately. Serves 3. (I added some dried dill, black pepper and 1 Tbsp yellow mustard. Really enhanced the flavor!)

*****

Cajun Potato Salad

2 pounds small red potatoes
1/2 c chopped red onion (really, use RED onion, not regular white. The red have a different flavor that is much better when raw than is a regular white onion. A sweet onion may work better than a white onion as well.)
1/2 c sliced green onions
1/4 c minced fresh parsley
6 Tbsp cider vinegar, divided (I used a total of 8 Tbsp, 4 for each step.)
1/2 pound precooked smoked kielbasa or Cajun sausage, sliced
6 Tbsp olive or veggie oil
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 to 1/2 tsp cayenne

Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water for 20 to 30 minutes or until tender (may take less than 20 minutes, depending on the size of the potato); drain. Rinse with cold water; cool completely. (Would be best to do this part early in the day, then refrigerate your cooked potatoes before completing the recipe at dinner time.) Cut into 1/4 inch slices; place in a large bowl. Add onions, parsley and 3 (4!) Tbsp vinegar; toss. In a medium skillet, cook sausage in oil for 5 to 10 minutes or until it begins to brown. Rmove with slotted spoon and add to potato mixture. To drippings in skillet, add mustard, garlic, pepper, cayenne pepper and remaining vinegar; bring to a boil, whisking constantly. (Careful breathing those vinegar fumes!!!! They can be harsh!) Pour over salad; toss gently. Serve at once! Serves 6.

*****

Lettuce with Hot Bacon Dressing (This is a "new" take on our family-favorite of swiss chard with hot bacon dressing. It makes even ice-berg lettuce taste good.)

5 bacon strips, diced
8 c torn (or shredded) salad greens
2 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
2 green onions, sliced
1/2 c sugar (I used 1/3 c, knowing we like it a LITTLE less sweet.)
1/2 c vinegar (cider works best, or rice-wine, don't use white distilled in this! It's too harsh.)
1/2 tsp seasoned salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp dry ground mustard

In a skillet, cook bacon till crisp. Remove and drain off drippings. Return 1/4 c drippings back to skillet. In a seperate bowl, combine greens, eggs, onions and bacon. Add remaining ingredients to drippings in skillet. Bring to a boil. Drizzle over the salad and toss to coat. Serve immediately! Serves 8. (Or 3, in my family!)

*****

Pork Kabobs (kinda like suvlaki (sp?) or gyros)

1/2 c olive oil
1/4 c chopped onion
3 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp minced fresh parsley
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp kosher or sea salt
1/2 tsp dried marjoram (I used italian seasoning, as I don't have any plain marjoram. It worked well enough.)
1/8 tsp black pepper
2 pounds boneless pork, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1-inch cubes

Cucumber Yogurt sauce (also called tatziki sauce)

1 carton (8 oz) plain yogurt
1/2 c chopped cucumber
1 tbsp chopped onion
1 tbsp minced fresh parsley
1 tsp lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced or pressed

Pita bread to serve

In a resealable plastic bag or shallow covered container, combine the first eight ingredients; add pork and toss to coat. Seal or cover and refrigerate several hours or overnight. (I mixed it up in the morning before work, then refrigerated the rest of the day till Scott got home to grill that evening.) Meanwhile, combine sause ingredients; cover and refrigerate for several hours. (I've tried better recipes for tatziki sauce that call for more cucumber and some olive oil. This recipe I wasn't too impressed with.)

Drain pork and discard marinade; thread pork on skewers, leaving a small space between pieces. Grill, uncovered over medium coals for 8 to 10 minutes or until meat is no longer pink, turning frequently. Serve in pita bread with sauce. (I also cut some tomato into slender slices and some onion into slender slices to stuff into the pita bread with the meat. Definitely ups the health-quotient to have those fresh veggies included.) Serves 8. (Or, 3 in my family!)

*****

South of the Border Salad

1-1/2 lb ground beef (I used one pound, worked just fine.)
1-1/4 oz pkg taco seasoning mix
1/2 to 1 c water (depending on how much the seasoning pkg calls for)
1 to 2 heads lettuce, chopped
15 oz bag corn chips (frito corn chips are preferable, but tortilla chips would be ok too)
2 tomatos, chopped
1 onion, chopped
12-oz pkg shredded cheddar (or mexican blend!) cheese
favorite salad dressing (or sour cream!)
16 oz jar salsa

Cook ground beef in a skillet over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes or until no longer pink; drain. (I added the onions to the meat to sautee up, instead of serving them raw in the salad. As I said, white onions are just too harsh when raw, most of the time.) Add taco seasoning and water. Simmer for 10 minutes; set aside. To assemble salad, layer as follows on individual plates: lettuce, corn chips, beef mixture, tomatoes, onion and shredded cheese. Top with favorite dressing (or sour cream!) and salsa. (I also heated a can of refried beans, added enough water to make them stir-able and a bit of cumin to flavor. Then dolloped a bit over my salad, as did Scott and Tay.) Serves 4 to 6.

*****

So, there are some new recipes for y'all. Hope you enjoy them as much as well all did. (Excepting for the tatziki sauce in the one recipe, and the beef au jus which was too weakly flavored for my taste, we loved all these new recipes. This past week was a week in which I really didn't do any of our old recipes, just new ones. Except for the night I made the lettuce salad with hot bacon dressing. I served that alongside bangers & mash, which is something we have frequently throughout the winter.)

**********

Other than all that...... The only real matter of any importance worth sharing this week has been the weather. We had beautiful weather through Wednesday, then woke up Thursday to gray skies. It started raining by mid-afternoon, and by evening it was snowing a bit. Snowed even yesterday morning, and was pretty well windy all day long. Today the skies are still fairly over-cast, but more lightly so. The clouds aren't sitting low enough to be dumping rain or snow on us. It's a bit warmer than it was yesterday as well. The snow is mostly melted, though there are still strips and patches of it on pretty much everybody's lawn.

As for seeds and planting and such..... A couple of weeks ago now, I'd planted one pot (that held my sole pepper plant last year) with a few lettuce seeds and one pepper seed in the middle. I've put it outside during the day on nice warm days, bringing it inside during the night, and these past few days that have been cloudy and yucky. By the beginning of this week, 3 of the lettuce seeds had sprouted. Yesterday I'd noticed that the pepper seed has also sprouted, and it looks like one of the other lettuce seeds has sprouted. (Figured that at least to begin, the pepper plant doesn't need the whole pot to itself, and I just want some baby-lettuce, so I planted 3 seeds each of 2 different variety of lettuce around the outer edge of the pot, with the pepper seed in the middle. One variety, obviously, is coming up well at this point. The other variety I'm not sure is going to come up.)

Over at the FIL's house, Scott says we've got a good lot of "broccoli" sprouting, as well as some of our cabbage seeds, so far. He said nothing else has sprouted quite yet. I hope it's staying warm enough in FIL's garage this year. He doesn't tend to keep it warm, which is fine most of the year, but if he wants to be starting seed in the garage, he needs to keep it a bit warmer than he does. Anyway, we'll see I suppose.

*****

The plan for today is to get outside and mostly uncover my strawberry patch, and pull out the dead plants from last year from the south side of the house. I need to clear my pea-patch so that I can plant beans next weekend. As soon as Scott gets home from work, we're both going to go out to the dog kennel and shovel a bunch of doggy-doo. Between the water and the winter's worth of "doggy-doo", the dogs won't even go into their kennel. Not that I can really blame them. But it means getting them out for a walk a couple of times a day to vacant areas of the neighbourhood where nobody will mind them doing their business. At least when the kennel is cleaned and dry of water, letting them out IS as simple as letting them out. REALLY don't enjoy the job of cleaning up that pen, out there. Nasty, smelly work. *sigh* Oh well, it really must be done.

*****

Next, I seem to have fallen off the radar as far as Tay's coordinator and the special ed. teacher at the Raven program. The coordinator promised me TWICE that he would find out what is now required to get Tay into the Yess program. He hasn't called me back, and it has been a week since I last asked him. The Special Ed. teacher at the Raven program hasn't gotten back to me in over 2 weeks as to the behavioral assessement I had asked about for Tay. So, it seems everybody is intent on just dragging their feet on this matter. Monday, I need to call the School District building myself and ask about the requirements for enrollement into the Yess program. Then I need to call the Special Ed. teacher and ask if she's had a chance to review my check-list on the behavioral assessement and where we're at for having an actual evaluation for that.

Until I get both of those matters figured out, we can't do ANYTHING about enrolling Taylor ANYWHERE for next year. And for a lot of places, the enroll-by date is May 1. *sigh*

*****

Last but not least, tomorrow is my older nephew's 7th birthday. So, just want to throw a "Happy Birthday Aaron" wish out there. *wry smile* He's really a pretty good kid, when he's got somebody keeping an eye on him and isn't being allowed to combine efforts with his little brother. (Get the two of them together, and they're pretty damn destructive.) But, I definitely see the potential in that one. He's terribly over-sensative, may well get made fun of in school if he doesn't stop crying every time somebody looks at him cross-wise. (I know, I know..... Little boys should be encouraged to be MORE sensative than they have, historically, but even then there IS a point at which it just becomes aggrivating. And that's whether the over-sensative one is a boy OR girl!) Gotta say, of the 3 on my hubby's side, this one is my favorite so far. And he's now getting to the point where he is actually pretty helpful. Gotta love it when a kid gets to that stage! *wink*

Ok..... Gotta get outside and get those dead plants pulled out and cleared away from the new growth (in the case of my rhubarb and chive plants), and get those leaves taken off my strawberry patch. (Though, where I'm going to put them in the mean-time, I don't know. I had HOPED to get them into my compost bin, but that's still surrounded by knee-deep snow as it's in a cool, dim corner of the back yard.)

Have a Blessed Week!

3 comments:

Tori_z said...

Thanks for sharing the recipes. :)

I'm glad some of your veggies are beginning to sprout. Hope more do soon.

And, good luck getting Tay sorted in a suitable school in time for the enroll by date.

Robin said...

Re: Next, I seem to have fallen off the radar as far as Tay's coordinator and the special ed. teacher at the Raven program. The coordinator promised me TWICE that he would find out what is now required to get Tay into the Yess program.

Bitch! Girl.....Bitch.

I know you're tired of it all, but the answer could be your sanity and Tays salvation.

Have at it!

MarmiteToasty said...

Dam dam dam.... now I want food lol

x