Wednesday, June 23, 2010

When a friend gives you peppers

It's already Wednesday and we haven't been to the grocery store this week.  We went on Saturday for Father's Day Feast supplies, but the basic weekly staples are elusive.  In fact, I don't even remember what we ate for dinner on Monday night.  How crazy is that!

The other day, a good friend whose got produce connections, set me up with a giant bowl of peppers.  Ooooohhhhh, peppers!  We'll be eating them for the rest of the week for sure but last nights' dinner with them was pretty tasty.

Like I said, we haven't been to the store.  All I really had int he fridge was a piece of meat (Tri-tip steak), some shallots, cilantro, and oh yeah, the peppers.

We settled on steak fajitas.  The steak was grilled and sliced thin.  The peppers were sauteed with the shallots.  Cilantro was sprinkled on top as a finishing touch.

The end result turned out pretty tasty.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day Feast

Every Sunday we enjoy dinner at my parents house.  It's something I look forward to for the entire week.  On a few ocassions however, I invite the fam. over to my house for Sunday dinner.  Today being Father's Day, I decided that it would be a good time for such an invitation.

Today's Menu:
Baby Back Pork Ribs
Warm Potato Salad (with no mayonaise)
Corn Salad with Green Onions and Vinegar Dressing
Green Salad
Sourdough Rolls

Cookie Dough Cupcakes for Dessert

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Weekly Menu

Monday: Chick-fil-a (it was a long day with an impromptu basketball game in the evening)
Tuesday:  Mongolian Beef
Wednesday: Pasta with pesto and chicken
Thursday: Salad with chicken, craisins, apples and anything else I throw in.
Friday:  Pork enchiladas with rice

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The perfect onion ring


I'm a sucker for a good onion ring.  French fries are usually my first choice when going with a greasy side,  but a good onion ring?  It's part of food nirvana-land for me. 

Now, there are a few places around town to get good onion rings but making them at home has always been a challenge for me.  I've bought the packets of mix at the grocery store and made up my own recipes and nothing ever really seems to work out. 

That was, until this week.  I had buttermilk in my fridge and some self-rising flour in the pantry.  After reading a couple of recipes and knowing that I had some good onions in the crisper I embarked on an onion ring adventure.

First, I sliced those onions as thinly as I possible could.  Nothing more gross that a fat, slimy onion ring.  Next, I put the onion slices in a bowl of buttermilk and let them soak.  While they were soaking, I made a quick seasoning mix:  self-rising flour, cayenne pepper (I was brave and used a little more than I thought I should), garlic salt, some all purpose "fiesta" seasoning, salt and pepper.

How did I know if I got enough flavor in the flour?  I didn't but my rule of thumb was to make sure that the flour wasn't stark white - that the color had changed a bit because of everything I added.

So, the onion slices went from the buttermilk, to the flour mixture, to a cookie sheet covered in wax paper with a thin layer of flower to keep the onions from sticking.  Once I had most of them ready, I started to fry.

We don't fry much in our family.  In fact, we don't fry anything, but the occasional chicken finger and that's in just a little bit of oil.  Our french fries are always baked and just a few months ago we gave our fry daddy (a seven year old wedding present never opened) to good will.

I never really know how hot oil needs to be, but I just started dropping my rings in and adjusting the temperature as necessary.  One thinly sliced onion makes a lot of rings, by the way.  Once they were golden brown, I took them out of the oil, placed them on a plate with a bunch of paper towels and gave them a final dusting of salt.

Holy crap!  These suckers were good.  They were so good that I fixed them for dinner the next night and ate almost an entire onion by myself.

We ate them on steak sandwiches and hamburgers.  They were also excellent plain.  I'm not sure what to "dip" onion rings in, but they were seasoned well enough, especially the second night, that they were just super tasty all on their own.

Weekly Dinners: June 7-11, 2010

Last week I came up with this great idea; to select a cook book and plan my weekly meals out of the cookbook for some variety and new dishes. Brilliant, right?

The dinners for this week, though not completely following the recipes, were Jamie Oliver inspired.  I've got an old cook book of his and didn't really like the recipes in it, but put a twist on a few for our family this week.

The other theme for the week, that came about after the fact, was onion rings.  More on that later.

Monday:  Chicken Fajitas (garlic and lime)
Tuesday: Cheese steaks (this was Jamie Oliver inspired - used a rib eye steak pounded flat instead of thin sliced deli meat.  Much, much tastier.)
Wednesday: Burgers and fries and homemade onion rings
Thursday: Breaded pork chops and green beans
Friday:  was supposed to be pesto pasta but ended up being Smash Burger instead (and for me, more onion rings)

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Baked Goods

June 10

My friend Erin asked me to help her out with a few treats for a bridal shower. She's trading me food for hand crafted items for my home. She is extraordinarily talented and I'm so excited.

The theme of her party was lemon and lime.  I was happy to oblige with Key Lime cupcakes, Tart Lemon cupcakes and cookie dough truffles in the theme colors.

The party went of without a hitch and I'm told the treats disappeared quickly.

I love baking, especially with a theme.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Weekly Menu - Weight Watchers Style

I borrowed a WW cookbook from a friend.  I can't say that I love all the recipes, but the couple we've tried this week have been good.  The recipes are a little on the bland size, and it's been a shock for us to see some portion control in effect, but overall, pretty tasty.

Monday - Memorial Day holiday - salads from Wingers
Tuesday - Spicy beef stir fry with tangerines
Wednesday - Chicken breasts (broiled) with an orange-mustard glaze
Thursday - Sweet and Sour Chicken (with pineapple, red pepper, and snap peas)
Friday - I'm working at Shavy Jones with my brother so the boys will fend for themselves.

Saturday  - our favorite risotto