Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Menu Plan for this week

Never, ever on time, I know!

Monday - Daddy grilled some burgers, super tasty but no pics
Tuesday - Lemon Garlic Shrimp Pasta
Wednesday - Peachy Keen Chicken
Thursday - Chicken Paella
Friday - Asian Noodles
Saturday - Chicken Parm
Sunday - Home made pizza

Should be an interesting week...last week with all my babies at home.  Aiden starts Kindergarten on Monday and baby Cole will be starting daycare part time.  Husband has made sure that I will not be bored however.  I have staining the wood for our new dining room table and prepping for painting the house!!  Can't wait...really.  Except for the stress that Kindergarten and leaving my baby with new people for the first time ever in his whole little life...everything will be great!!

Friday, July 09, 2010

Like a ton of bricks!

So today while waiting for my nurse to come, yes I am that cool, I got a phone call from the baby's doctor.  It's time for his 9 month old check up.  Seriously???  What has happened to my tiny baby?  9 months already?  Sounds like a bad joke to me.
So we start to make an appointment and she says, looks like he will be 9 months on the 26th - do you want to come in that day?
Sure, why not...then I remember, we have something that day.  I said it like it was no big deal, my oldest starts Kindergarten that day so we would have to do it in the afternoon.
Then it hit me...Aiden is starting Kindergarten.
When did all of this happen?  First you rudely remind me that my baby is not so much a baby anymore then you have the audacity to make me face the fact that Aiden is a little person that will be sitting in a classroom.  Reading books without me.  Learning things that I did not teach him.
Break my heart on a Friday morning.  That's a really sucky way to start a weekend.
Then I start thinking more about that little person sitting at a desk.  What will those around him think of him?  What will the teachers think of US?  All the good will be there...but all our mistakes will be sitting in a classroom ready for someones judgment.  Do I not get enough of that from family members, from myself...that we need to add teachers to the mix now?
I know I am sounding paranoid, but it's just that I have come to the point where I have to hope and pray that all that I have done, all that I have tried to teach him about the world and people, right and wrong, respect for others, how to be a friend...I have to hope that I did all of this the right way.  That I haven't messed him up, led him astray or broken him.
My mind wanders and I wonder are the other kids going to like him.  Will his teachers appreciate his little personality in the same way that we, his parents and our friends, do?  What will I do if he comes home and he's sad because someone was mean to him, or made fun of him?  At some point this is inevitable, right?  He'll be out in the world with other people.  People I didn't raise.  He'll be out of the safety of this home and all the love in it.
I am coming to the realization that time happens whether we like it or not.  I am here to say I do not like it and I am not ready for this.  Not at all.
On the plus side...I do have a back-up kid, so maybe I can fix my wrongs with him as they are pointed out to me by the other!  (Kidding...kinda)

Hug your babies tonight, even if they aren't babies, because before you know it they will be all grown up.

I strike again!

Last nights dinner...another huge success!  I am on such a roll that I am scaring myself.  I fear that I will not be able to keep this up and we will have to turn back to a life of frozen chicken nuggets and canned veggies!

I am sure everyone - minus Aiden - hopes not!

Grilled Steak with Basil Puree over Tuscan Beans

1 tsp. lemon juice
1/4 cup EVOO
3 garlic cloves
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1 lb. 1/2 inch thick sirloin steak
2 15.5 oz. can white beans (rinsed and drained)
1 cup grape tomatoes (halved)
1 cup fresh chopped basil

In a food processor (or blender in my case since my food processor has suspiciously disappeared since we moved into this house!!) combine the lemon juice, olive oil, basil, 1 garlic clove, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. of black pepper.  Puree until smooth and set aside.
I will tell on myself here.  We have a basil plant on the back porch.  I was under the impression that there were much more leaves on said plant than actually existed.  I didn't have a cup - barely even had a half of a cup.  I did, however, have some left over cilantro...so I added that.  It was good...really good.  Sometimes mistakes taste delicious!
Heat your grill to medium high and mist with a cooking spray.  Cut one of your remaining garlic cloves in half and rub onto your steaks.
Season with salt and pepper then grill for 5-6 minutes per side.  (The actual time will vary on the thickness of your steaks and your desired doneness, of course!)
Mince your remaining clove of garlic and saute in a pan with some cooking spray.  Add your beans and tomatoes just long enough to warm through.
Divide the beans among 4 plates and top with the steak.  Drizzle the puree over the top and serve.

This was really a delicious dinner.  It was so flavorful and really filling.  Husband even said that the more he ate the more he wanted.  That's always a good sign.

(PS - My plate really wasn't as dirty as it looks.  Gross!)

I hope you try this out.  If you do, let me know what you think!

Nutritional Information:
478 calories/ 35 grams Protein/ 32 grams Carbs/ 28 grams Fat (7.5 sat.)/ 11 grams Fiber

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Wednesday...Salad...So So good!

Last nights dinner was ridiculous.  To tell the truth, it was no Beef Wellington, but for 387 calories, it was robust and ridiculously satisfying.

Pasta Salad with Tomatoes and Blue Cheese

3 Tbl. EVOO
2 tsp. cider vinegar
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
2 tsp. chopped fresh marjoram
1 tsp. salt
a pinch of red pepper flakes
3/4 lb. cherry tomatoes
1 lb. farfalle pasta
1 cup baby arugula
2 oz. crumbled blue cheese (about 1/2 cup...I used more because we love the stinky stuff)
fresh ground black pepper to taste

This was just about the easiest thing in the world to make.
First mix up the vinaigrette by whisking together the oil, vinegar, garlic, marjoram, salt and pepper flakes.

Next cut your cherry tomatoes in half.
Having a little person assist in the cutting of tomatoes may result in some of them being squished!
Add the cut tomatoes to your vinaigrette and toss.
Next cook the pasta per instructions.  Once done, drain and add to tomatoes mix and toss.
Once it has cooled to at least room temperature add the arugula and blue cheese.
Top with freshly ground black pepper and enjoy!

Nutritional information:
387 calories/ 13 grams Protein/ 59 grams Carbs/ 11 grams Fat (2.9g saturated)/ 3 grams Fiber

Dinner...Ramsey Style!

So last night's dinner was my homage to Chef Gordon Ramsey.  I super love him.  I love the yelling and the drama, because it's really not necessary but definitely fun to watch.  I'm not right that way.

Typically Beef Wellington is made with a large beef fillet and then later portioned out.  I chose not to do things this way.  We had separate smaller fillets and I thought it would be fun to make them as individual portions.
  I started by seasoning the fillets with just salt and pepper and placing them in a hot skillet, basically just to sear them off to preserve the juices inside.
Once this was complete I set them to the side to cool a bit.  Once cool, brush the tops with about a teaspoon of English Mustard.
Then I moved on to the mushrooms.  I had a large container, about a pound, of presliced steak mushrooms.
Use a food processor to chop these little guys into a puree of sorts.  Once complete place then into a hot, dry pan to allow the moisture to cook off.
When sufficiently dried out, set the mix aside to cool.

Now you want to roll out a generous amount of cling wrap.  Lay out 2 slices of prosciutto so that one slightly overlaps the other.
Next you will want to spread out a portion of the mushroom puree.
Now place your fillet in the middle and, keeping a tight hold of the cling wrap from the outside edge, neatly roll the prosciutto and mushroom mix over the beef into a tight barrel shape. Twist the ends of the cling wrap - sort of like a piece of candy.

Place your barrels in the fridge for 10-15 minutes.  This will help the whole thing set up a bit and keep its shape.
While waiting, roll out your puff pastry.  I cut mine into 5 strips and rolled out each piece individually.  Once the meat is ready unroll the plastic wrap (important step) and place the beef in the middle.
Using an egg yolk, brush this along the outside of the puff pastry to help it stick to itself.  The roll the pastry around the meat and tuck underneath.  Place all Wellington's on a baking sheet.
Brush the tops all with the egg yolk.
Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 35-45 minutes.  Let them rest for about 10 minutes before serving and enjoy. 

These are really, really good.  I had made another version last week, loving called Beef Tarynton since I had to improvise.  We had no prosciutto or mushrooms, so I ended up using bacon strips.  It was really good but probably could have killed us!!

The sauteed potatoes and peas were really easy.  Quarter up some potatoes then cover in salted cold water in a pan on the stove.  Partially cover with a lid and simmer for about 15-20 minutes until knofe tender.  Drain and transfer to a pan with a few sprigs of rosemary and a few cloves of garlic along with 3 tablespoons of olive oil.  Add peas and sautee til golden brown.  Serve along side the Wellington!

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Menu Plan...Tuesday

That's right, I did it again.  I don't like to conform to rules!
I have been a bit incapasitated lately and haven't had the time or energy to post anything interesting.  I had a very lame and horrific surgical "procedure".  I am almost completely healed and hoping to get back to my version of "normal".

Here is this weeks meal plan:

Monday:  Asian Salmon Slider with Citrus Yogurt sauce
This was quite tasty and came in at only 292 calories.  Sorry no pictures - I forgot my brain yesterday.

Tuesday:  Beef Wellington with Sauteed Potatoes and Peas
I actually don't want to know the calorie count on this...we'll just call it a treat!

Wednesday:  Pasta Salad with Tomatoes and Blue Cheese
Only 387 calories

Thursday:  Grilled Beef with Basil Puree over Tuscan Beans
478 calories

Friday: Grilled Lamb Loin with Tomato & Cucumber Raita and Israeli Couscous
339 calories

Saturday:  Shrimp Salad Pitas
356 calories

I will take tons of pictures and follow up with the complete receipes and nutritional info.    If you are interested in the Salmon Sliders let me know and I will shoot you the recipe.  It was really good.  Husband even said, "everything you make is usually really good but this is just a little something extra!"  That's always nice to hear.

I also have a super cool artsy crafty project I am gearing up for - so stay tuned!!