Saturday, March 27, 2010
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
My attitude is to keep positive and stay busy (super busy). For me, it's my way of coping and getting through each day. Life is beyond precious and I firmly believe it should not be wasted--whether with my husband by my side or on my own two feet. I have traveled many times and embarked on exciting adventures all on my own, and for that I am thankful. This community that I live amongst has taught me to be the independent person I know I can be. We have suffered many losses over the years since 9/11, and a wonderful friend asked the other day, "can't we turn back the clocks?" and "what would our lives be like if 9/11 never happened?" Ahhh, the "what ifs.." All I know is that today I breathe, I walk, I speak, and I love and for that I am thankful to God. It's a choice I make to live and one I remind myself of each day. I hope you choose to live, too! If you would like to learn more about the Naval Special Warfare Foundation and all that they do to support the active duty members, spouses, and families please check out this link: http://www.nswfoundation.org/
Enough of that..let's be honest...I am happy he's home so he can start on my "honey do list." ;o) For those who know me well will laugh, because most things I enjoy doing myself. Although, it sure is nice to have a helping hand and have my best friend back to talk with each night. And all the other fun stuff that comes with being blessed with a significant other. So before he begins on my list I need to feed him. For his first night home I made Venison Meatloaf, Braised Cabbage, and Sourdough bread (the latter purchased). Tip: you never want a heavy meal on a romantic night! ;o)
Hope you try this out--especially if you are blessed to have venison on hand! Yum--thank you again to my nephews, brother-n-law, and folks for my stash!
- In a skillet, saute onion, peppers, garlic, and tomatoes for 4 minutes. Add in catsup, worcestershire, parsley, cayenne, and pepper sauce. With a blending wand (you can do this in a food processor or blender, too), blend until smooth. Add in bay leaves and cook for another 10 minutes. Turn off, and remove from heat to cool.
- Meanwhile, soak the bread in milk. Spray a bread pan with cooking spray and preheat oven to 350*F.
- Mix together meats and season with thyme, salt, and pepper. Add in egg, milk/bread mixture, and mix with hands. Add in 1 cup of tomato mixture and mix together.
- Place meat loaf in bread pan. Top with 1/4-1/2 cup tomato mixture and lay bacon strips on top.
- Bake at 350*F for 1 hour (internal temperature of 155*F-165*F). Allow the meat to rest for 10 minutes to allow the juices to return to the loaf--this is a moist meat loaf!
- Adapted from a recipe by Sean Rabeaux
Monday, March 15, 2010
Chicken & Broccoli Bake
partially adapted from Chicken Cookbook by Williams Sonoma
6-8 cup frozen broccoli (I prefer florets, and get a big bag from Costco)
4 chicken breasts, skinless & boneless (cut these in half to make 8 pieces)
8 slices ham (you can use pancetta, bacon, Canadian bacon, prosciutto)
Dredging station (see below and you decide what mixture you have on hand)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp butter
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 cup vegetable stock/broth
1/4 cup vermouth, white wine, or marsala wine
fresh parsley for garnish (optional)
Directions: Preheat oven to 350*F (325*F for convection). In a baking dish (like a sheet cake pan), place broccoli and set aside.
Now, set up a 3 plate dredging station of the following:
- Station 1 - flour (plain old all purpose flour seasoned with S&P)
- Station 2 - mayo (oh I know, but I did not want to use up all my eggs and mayo works as a great binder! Season this with herbs, S&P, and garlic powder. I used 1/4tsp sage, 1/4 tsp thyme, and 1/4 tsp garlic powder)
- Station 3 - panko bread crumbs (again, season with herb mixture)
Dredge all of your chicken in the above mixture.
In a skillet, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil. When it's hot, add chicken pieces. All you want to do is brown the pieces on both sides. Once browned (2-4 minutes on each side) place on top of broccoli.
Note: avoid over crowding the pan, because this drops the heat of the oil and your food will absorb more oil.
In the skillet, place crushed garlic, broth, and wine of choice. Turn the heat to medium high and allow mixture to simmer and reduce (about 5 minutes). Taste and season as needed with more herbs or S&P. Meanwhile, place ham slices over chicken. Ladle thickened sauce over chicken & broccoli. Top each piece of chicken with 2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 25-30 minutes or until bubbly. Internal temperature of chicken should read 165*F if you are worried about an undercooked product. Top with parsley and serve!
If you have a lot of people coming for dinner serve with rice or pasta. I sliced up my tomatoes from my garden and served it with naan bread instead. Let me know what you think!!
PS--I'll post a picture soon. I forgot to last night when I was serving it, so today I will get a photo of the leftovers. It still looks really yummy! Is it lunch time yet???
Friday, March 12, 2010
Beets are also a good source of the following nutrients, making it a great pick for your next meal:
- Vitamin C
Ingredients to serve 2:
2 beets, peeled and sliced
1 cup green beans, blanched and chilled
2 boiled eggs, chopped or sliced
4 cups salad greens
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
Preheat oven to 400*F. On a shallow baking sheet toss beets with olive oil. Bake beets for 20 minutes or until tender. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar (basically you are deglazing the pan with the vinegar--this creates a hot dressing). On two plates arrange greens, beans, and eggs. Serve beets over top and drizzle with vinaigrette. Season wtih S& P as needed. Please note that beets are naturally high in sodium so you really don't need much (if at all).
For me, this was a complete meal. This would be a great side dish with grilled chicken and quinoa. I hope you think it is as "beet-iful" as I do! And please note, beets sometimes cause beet-uria (red urine) and other red things, so don't be alarmed if this happens to you. It's normal for some of us! ;o)
Thursday, March 11, 2010
- So, to my blog followers, what is it that you like about food blogs and blogs in general?
- How do you suggest bloggers keep your readership or get you to become a reader?
Your tips and comments are what matters! Thanks for reading and for all of the bloggers that I follow can you PLEASE shorten things up a bit and make your RSS feed show the full story, because I prefer to read your blog on my NetNewsWire account instead. Thanks! ;)
Some of my favorite food and/or nutrition blogs:
Sunday, March 7, 2010
The sound of the rain falling in San Diego. It's going to be a gorgeously green spring! After dealing with the drought I am ecstatic about the rain, and truly it doesn't seem to stop me or my labs as we hit the trails. Just put some shampoo on them before we hit the trails and they come out washed! ;o)
This morning I am whipped up a batch of Orange Cranberry Muffins adapted from my favorite muffin cookbook by Williams Sonoma. I doubled the recipe so I could freeze some for a later day.
Orange Cranberry Muffins (adapted from Williams Sonoma Muffins Cookbook)
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour (or just use 2 cps white flour in place of both flours)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 orange, zested
1 large egg
4 Tbsp butter, melted (I used 1/2 butter and 1/2 canola oil)
1/2 cup low-fat milk
1/2 cup orange juice
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen whole cranberries
1/2 cup pecans (I toasted mine in a skillet)
Preheat oven to 375*F. Toss together flours, sugars, baking powder, salt, and zest in a large bowl. Melt butter in a liquid measuring cup (should measure 1/4 cup) in the microwave. Add in 1/2 cup milk to measuring cup. Make a "well" in the dry ingredients and pour milk/butter mixture into well. Add in egg, orange juice, cranberries, and nuts and mix until moistened--you NEVER over mix quick breads (aka make it smooth). Spray muffin cups with cooking spray and fill pan 2/3's full. Makes 10-12 muffins. Bake for 20-25 minutes. I have a convection oven; thus, it only took 20 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes and serve.
Friday, March 5, 2010
Thursday, March 4, 2010
As spring approaches, I am reminded of how lucky I am to live in San Diego, a city with a temperate climate and fresh air. I grew up living in Bakersfield, the city ranked number one in the nation for the worst air quality. There, “Bad Air Days” prevent children from playing outside at recess because it is unhealthy for anyone to be outdoors inhaling the smog! So since living in San Diego, I always find an excuse to get outside and enjoy my surroundings.
- Hike Cowles Mountain
- Take a bike ride around Coronado Island
- Go for a hike in Torrey Pines and bring a picnic lunch
- Take a stroll along Sunset Cliffs National Park
- Take a day trip to Julian to enjoy a scenic hike
- Go for a bike ride along Spanish Landing
- Explore Balboa Park
- Play beach volleyball on the sand courts at the south end of Mission Beach
- Go golfing and instead of renting a golf cart, walk the course
- Go for a jog on Mission Trails
- Rent a kayak and explore La Jolla Cove