I Heart Cooking Clubs: Mark Bittman Edition - Garlic!

Technical computer difficulties continue (things did not go well with the new pc, still working on it), so the only way I can participate in this week's I Heart Cooking Clubs, themed GARLIC!!, is to go back to my archives and see what I have available.

Nothing, unfortunately, with the words garlic in the title, but at least one recipe with garlic in it, so that's the best I could do.

Spaghetti is a staple in this household. My hubby would be happy if we had it at least once a week. And by spaghetti, I mean spaghetti. Not fusilli, rotini, capivati, especially not fettucini and linguini, or any of the other types of pasta you can get. Spaghetti!

So for a change, I made Mark Bittman's Spaghetti and Meatballs recipe, from page 152 of How to Cook Everything.

Now this recipe only calls for 1 tsp on minced garlic in it, which I of course ignored. I think I went with something like 3 or 4 cloves instead. And I could have used alot more garlic. And chili peppers. And basil. And anything else to impart some flavor.

It was a good basic recipe, good for someone who had never made meatballs and sauce from scratch before, but as we've found with alot of Bittman's recipes, bland.

Anyways, while the computer troubles continue (and my new pc is being replaced by another new pc due to the difficulties), I'll still be a little scarce around here and in reading other blogs.

Have a good week and get cooking!

Down due to technical difficulties

Good difficulties, new computer kind, but still down for a bit.

Taking me awhile to move things from one pc to the other, and I will get there, but for now, not going to make this week's I Hearts Cooking Club, and may not make Menu Plan Monday either.

Have a lovely holiday weekend!

Menu Plan Monday: May 16

I know, it isn't Monday.

Been a change in the last few weeks, the way I've been shopping and planning. Instead of my going out Saturday or Sunday and doing my shopping, I've been going Monday night, after work, while my son is still in tkd class. Upside to this is that I'm shopping without, "Mom, can we get some of this?" Downside is I'm doing it after work, so I'm usually quite hungry.

As a result, I have not been doing my menu planning on the weekend. It is still getting done, just not in advance.

Sunday: Left over night. We had so many different left over's in the house, it was foolish to cook.

Monday: Salsa chicken with rice (put frozen chicken breast in the slow cooker with a cup or more of a good, strong, salsa, cook on low for 6-8 hours, serve over rice.)

Tuesday: Sausages done on the bbq with corn on the cobb.

Wednesday: Chicken fried steak with smashed potatoes.

Thursday: Pasta with tomatoes, garlic and chili.

Friday: Grilled bbq chicken pizza.

And that's my plan for Menu Plan Monday.

I Hearts Cooking Club: Mark Bittman Edition, Movie Night

A quickie for me today, running late for what I'd like to do this morning but did not want to miss this week's posting for I Hearts Cooking Club, where we are cooking up Mark Bittman. Theme for this week is Movie Night, which leaves a very broad interpretation.

Sure popcorn or candy is traditional (and if I'd had time, I would have made some homemade peanut brittle from HTCE, but I didn't), but who says you have to be stuck with traditional snacks for movie night?

Lately our little family has been gathering around and watching Doctor Who together, fresh from the pvr, which is as close to movie night as we can manage.

For a fun "snack" or fancy dessert, try a chocolate souffle, with creme anglaise (vanilla custard sauce.) A little prep work in advance, pop it in the oven while eating dinner, and it is good to go when you want to snuggle down on the couch for a good night of traveling through space in a tiny blue box.

Leftovers, while not as fluffy, work well in a lunch box the next day.

Or skip the souffle and just drink the custard with a straw, right out of the pot.

Both these recipes can be found in How to Cook Everything, on pages 673 for the custard, and 674 for the souffle.

Now to find my shoes and head out to the farmer's market! Ack! Where did I put my camera!?!

Menu Plan Monday: I think I forgot something

Yup, I forgot to write up my menu plan for the week.

I remembered, sometime Monday, but I was at work when I remembered. Which did my blog no good at all.

So here it is, Wednesday, and I'm finally posting my plan for the week for Menu Plan Monday.

Sunday: Mother's Day and I had a pj day, eating nachos while watching tv. The boys left me alone and went elsewhere for supper.

Monday: Hamburgers on the bbq.

Tuesday: Pizza (take out, the plan ahead did not work due to unforeseen circumstances.)

Wednesday: Pork souvlaki with tzaziki and pita, pasta salad.

Thursday: Chicken drum sticks, with whatever the hubby wants to make with them.

Friday: Something on the bbq, not sure what.

So last week Kara asked me an interesting question about regional differences for bbq'ing and grilling: Sorry Kara, it must be a regional thing - if someone invites me for a bbq, it can be anything from hamburgers to steak, veggies, fruit or anything really. No one say's they are going to grill, they just say bbq.

Happy Mother's Day, Mark Bittman Style

I'm a mom.

Meet my punks, my boys....

Yup, that's my oldest. Growing up so fast and gaining maturity. (hehehe)

And my little Sous Chef, in a very normal, typical position for him.

If asked what I've accomplished in my life so far, those two are my answer. I have two beautiful, silly boys, each confident in their own selves, polite to others, and unique in their own way.

My little one greeted me this morning with a couple of lovely Mother's Day cards he'd made at school, then jumped right in to make juice for me. But first he said, "Pancakes! I want you to make pancakes for breakfast this morning!"

I declined on the pancakes and instead jazzed up my selection for this week's entry for the I Hearts Cooking Club, where the theme was Breakfast in Bed.

I have been craving scones lately, so when my copy of How to Cook Everything just happened to be open to page 252, where Cream Scones are featured, I took it as a sign I should make my own.

What I'd really like is white chocolate blueberry scones (thanks so much Starbucks, you put the idea in my head!), but I keep forgetting to pick up dried blueberries for them. Instead I made only one change to this recipe (other than shape) - I replaced the dried currents/raisins with vanilla bean instead, to give these scones a delicate vanilla flavor.

The scones on their own, not bad, but as I've found with almost every Bittman recipe I've made so far, lacking in the flavor department.

So I added some....

Now, I don't know that I'd want to eat this in bed exactly, unless I had a very big napkin to catch any drips I might make with that lovely, bright strawberry juice. I'm a messy eater, and probably would splash something.

Happy Mother's Day to all you other Mom's out there. May your morning include breakfast in bed, and funky homemade cards from your own punks.

Foodie Fans of the Pioneer Woman: Have a 3 pack

It wasn't hard to pick a selection for this version of Foodie Fans of the Pioneer Woman. What was hard was finding one with a picture I was willing to show anyone!

First up we had the Rib Eye Steak with Whiskey Cream Sauce, on pages 166 and 167. Scrumptious, and tasty it was. Wish I'd made more. Will definitely make it again. But if you want to see a good picture of it, open the book up and look at that one. Mine was awful (and I was too hungry at the time to try for better ones.)

Next we have PW's Potato Skins on pages 22 to 24. Much tastier than they sound (cause skins does not sound appetizing), we ate these so fast that no pictures were taken at all! Even my potato disliking children, who only willingly eat mashed potatoes and french fries, had seconds.

But at last we come to a recipe that I got a picture of!

Here you go, PW's Perfect Pie Crust, used to make my apple-caramel crumble pie, and found on pages 128-129.

I admit I wasn't as happy with the end results of this, though I suspect it was because I made this in my mother's kitchen, without my pastry cutter, my rolling pin, or my measuring cups. That and I had the very firm belief that the pie could have used another 10 minutes in the oven, something everyone else told me I was crazy about.

Ree's pie crust was fine, but I suspect it would have been better had I made it in my own kitchen. Oh well, maybe next time.

I think with these three, I've run out of back up recipes for my Pioneer Woman folder and I had best get into the kitchen and do some cooking!

Menu Plan Monday: It's BBQ time!

Oh happy day! Happy, happy day!

Saturday morning saw me putting down all the seats of my car so my brand new bbq could be loaded up into it! Saturday afternoon/evening saw rain, rain and more rain but I did not care! I was bbq'ing even if it was a blizzard! A hurricane! A monsoon!

Yes, that is rain you see on my bbq, and steam you see rising off the grills, but I persisted and we had a bbq on Saturday.

And Sunday.

And likely will for the entire rest of the week!

(Go ahead, see me dancing around, bbq tongs in hand. Probably not far from the truth.)

Did I mention the weather forecast for this week calls for rain? Every single day of the week.

(So add me getting rained on while dancing around. Good image.)

Menu Plan Monday, here we go!

Sunday: Steak with bbq baked potatoes and garlic mushrooms

Monday: Hot dogs with fruit (I'm not home until after 8:30, hubby gets to decide if he's going to try the new bbq)

Tuesday: Chicken and apple salad (I bbq'd a whole chicken, butterflied, last night, to be used this week for salad and another night.)

Wednesday: Korean bbq beef with rice. Or pork chops with sticky glaze.

Thursday: Club sandwiches (using more of that chicken I bbq'd last night.)

Friday: No plans.