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Archive for the ‘Dinner/Meals’ Category

Madagascar Cake and Par-tay!

In Baby, cake, Dessert, Dinner/Meals, Kids on April 29, 2010 at 4:17 am

I just arrived home this afternoon from my very first trip to California. I spent the last six days in Danville and had probably the most FUN day of my entire life!!!! I have Baby Wyatt to thank for the occasion and his parents for having a baby one year ago last Friday. I also have his Aunt Jennie to thank for inviting me to join the party and stay with her family (Becky didn’t ask…she pretty much told me I was going to come and make her kid’s cake…love you Becky!)

While I was there, I enjoyed the most amazing bowl of fettuccine with fresh scallops and prawns in a sherry cream sauce from The Great Impasta. Jennie’s ravioli was incredible, too….I also enjoyed Bruce’s tri-tip and famous party chicken. Mary made some AMAZING lasagna from scratch (which I, to this day, have still not done!) I am going to miss the incredible sourdough, too – we had lunch at Boudin’s on Pier 39 in San Francisco and I wanted to try so many things, I ordered myself two meals. Clam Chowder and a turkey sandwich on sourdough. O.M.G. I should have smuggled more bread on the plane in my bra or something…it was SOOOO good!

Let’s get to the main event….we spent 3 days  on this cake…filled with approx 20+ hours! of hard labor, teaching and baby tending. About five minutes into cake making I was labeled as the “Warden”. What can I say? I am really good at delegating. It also helps when I have such talented you-know-what’s do do my work with me!

I do wish I’d gotten more pictures of the cake making process, including frosting and powdered sugar fights…alas, all I have are photos of the finished product and some slices of the most tasty cake I think I’ve ever had the pleasure of Baking.

In perfect baby’s-first-birthday and Becky fashion, she requested that we have fresh fruit in the cakes….what better fruit to use in California than fresh strawberries? They were quite ripe, perfectly sweet and mine for the tasting….

The zebra layer of Wyatt’s cake was OH SO delicious and Jennie and I had shared our cake (one piece of each) so we really didn’t get as much as we would have like to. So, late Saturday night, we decided to run out to the store and bake another cake, this time really only going for the easiest way to get the flavor. It turned out just as delicious as we dreamed. We didn’t go to be till after midnight, but we’d been up that late the previous two nights, so we figured, what the heck! It was totally worth it, too.

Wyatt shared a piece of his cake with my little one, who was well past his nap time but didn’t want to give up his cake. We gave him a little more later to make up for it!

My boy, eating his piece of cake

I very much enjoyed my trip to California – the weather, the people, the trees and all the fun!!!!! I will miss having helpers to make cake with! We’ll be back together in June this year, so we might have to create something else! Thanks for all the fun ladies!


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Roasted Sweet Potato Fries and Veggies

In Dinner/Meals, Food, Kids, Recipes on March 5, 2010 at 10:00 pm

As promised, here is how to make them yourself…a day late!

I love sweet potato fries, but they can be a little too fatty for those of us who are still losing baby weight….so here is a delicious alternative. Surprisingly, the idea stolen from my mom. Only, when she made them, they accompanied chicken tenderloins that had been rolled in mashed potato flakes and (extremely dry) whole wheat pancakes….this was for dinner…and recently….

Anyhow, in this post, we’re going to roast some vegetables. My son is just a little guy-we’re trying to put some weight on him without clogging his arteries. He loves french fries- especially from In N Out – so this easy side is perfect for adding a little extra carb without the extra grease.

Of course, start with your vegetables.

Peel them...

Cut them into your desired shape

Toss them onto your cookie sheet

Sprinkle or drizzle a little olive oil and a little salt over your veggies before you put them on the tray

Roast them at 450 degrees for about 20 minutes. Put them on a higher rack for a crispier outside.

Toss a little salt on your sweet potatoes and carrots. Less salt is of course healthier!

And viola! Lunch for the little guy. I also made him a pork chop, which he ignored and ate all his veggies instead.

You can, of course drizzle a little caramel over the sweet potato for a little Sammy’s-like flavor, or just eat them as a side to a little steak or other protein-filled main dish.

You can also use a variety of other vegetables, adding a little black pepper, too. Some yellow squash, zucchini, red potatoes (really any kind of potato).

Next to some pasta, lasagna, or chicken parm, you can use a little Italian dressing instead of Olive Oil on and add some halved cherry tomatoes with asparagus (broiling them in the oven would be good, t00!). In this case, a dash of garlic powder couldn’t hurt, either.

I also would like to recommend those McCormick grinders – they have a sea salt and peppercorn grinders -the flavor is so much more vibrant than usual!

P.S. I made curry last night and it was delicious! I had leftovers for lunch….

Good Eatin’ in Provo – Sammy’s Cafe

In Dessert, Dinner/Meals, Food, Restaurants on March 4, 2010 at 5:27 am

I stumbled upon this little joint last year when I went to have lunch with my friend in downtown Provo. Ever since then, I frequently crave the perfectly crispety-crunch outside and soft potatoey center of their seasoned fries. What really gets me, though, is their fry sauce…..

For those of you who are not from Utah or have never been near Utah, I’d like to explain this ketchup/mayonnaise (gag here) phenomenon. I have never liked “traditional” fry sauce. I probably never will like fry sauce. Occasionally, however, I will stumble upon some people who know how to dip right (like Sammy’s!) who will skip the ketchup and opt for some bbq sauce instead. I still can’t say that I love fry sauce in general, but if that’s what they’re serving in Utah, I will get mine at Sammy’s.

The second part of my favorite starchy side dish is their sweet potato fries. Delish! And to top it off, instead of anything else to dip it in – go with the house suggestion and dip them in some caramel. It’s like dessert.

I very much adore the simplicity of Sammy’s. The cafe is small, but it has the feel of a classic soda bar from back in the day, modernized by blue walls painted with a silver tree and covered in old school polaroid shots of regular customers and faces that don’t want to be forgotten.

I like that much of the food construction is right in front of me, so I can make sure my burger is done right (and since I’m a germ-a-phobe, I can make sure they’re wearing clean gloves!). Speaking of their burgers – delicious! I try to pick something new on the menu each time so I can see how they all turn out, although I very much like my past orders and am tempted to get them again.

Last night, I shared one of “Robi’s South of the Border” along with two orders of fries….did I mention their prices are pretty good, too?

OOOOoooohhh I love guacamole on my burger!

Other great news, Sammy’s now delivers! To Provo and S Orem with a $15 (and greater) order. While I’m excited they now deliver, in their bright yellow van…it will take a lot of food to hit that minimum dollar. All this, plus two cokes – still only cost under $12.

Did I also mention that they make PIE shakes? They take a whole piece of pie, put it in a cup and make it into a shake…for real….I love those guys.

You can find more information (including their menu!) about Sammy’s here on their blog: http://sammyscafe.blogspot.com/

And for tomorrow…stay tuned for my own healthier, easier version of sweet potato fries!

I Eat VERY Well When I Go Home…

In Dinner/Meals, Food, Thai Food on March 2, 2010 at 6:20 am

Here are a few delightful dishes from my recent trip back home to visit my family. My dad and my sister did most of the cooking…naturally – it was my vacation! Besides, who do you think I learned it all from????

We had Cao Man Gai, one of my favorites – which comes along with tofu cucumber soup, of course. We also had turkey and “Mista Chai Noodle” – one of my dad’s specialities…also more commonly referred to as “soy sauce noodles” with Gailon, a chinese broccoli. This pictures are making me hungry!

Veggie Soup

In Dinner/Meals, Food, Soup on March 2, 2010 at 5:56 am

Please forgive me for not also posting a picture…I didn’t like any of the ones I took…and well, the soup got eaten too fast for me to try and take another!

It is, indeed, the new year and basically everyone is on some sort of crazy diet. I decided not to have any major resolutions, just to try and get back down to my pre-baby size (and I’m almost there!). I am not a huge meat eater – unless I’m going all the way with some great BBQ or a guaranteed-to-be delicious steak. On a regular basis, I prefer veggies, carbs and oh, fish is okay. So last night I decided to make an “Everything veggie in my cabinet and fridge” soup. It included the following ingredients (and they can certainly be substituted for your favorite coordinating vegetables).

Fresh Garlic (minced)
Carrots (whole carrots sliced – more flavor!)
Celery (sliced)
Canned Stewed Tomatoes (diced – I took mine out of the can to cut them smaller, they came halved)
Canned Green Beans
Fresh Romaine Lettuce
Black Pepper
Garlic Powder
Chicken stock (32oz box, or coordinating amount to your veggies)

I like to use whole carrots – they are much more fragrant and flavorful than the baby carrots. The stewed tomatoes won’t get soggy and fall apart like fresh tomatoes would – they also have a little more flavor to them.  You can certainly use fresh green beans, also – but I find they’re softer from the can. You can substitute the romaine lettuce for any of your other favorite greens like spinach or kale. You could also add onions and potatoes if you wish – you can add the potatoes along with your other fresh veggies. If you want meat, you can also add that – just put it in and cook thoroughly along with the garlic (and onions) – or cook separately and add in the meat later…but of course, it would no longer be veggie soup – it would be regular soup!

I started with a little bit of olive oil in the bottom of my pot to brown my garlic, on medium-high heat. If you have any onions, you could dice them and add them in with the garlic – I just didn’t have one. Once garlic and onion is browned, add in the chicken stock. I then added in all of my carrots and celery. Bring to a boil and let these fresh vegetables soften for about 5-10 min (you want to give them a head start since the canned ones are already soft).
Turn the heat down to medium. Then add in your canned veggies. I think the tomato really makes the dish- it adds such a great flavor and provides adequate salt. You could, of course, add more salt if needed, but we’re trying to stay away from that, too. Stir periodically. Once everything is well incorporated, add in your greens. It’s okay if your pot is VERY full – it’ll go down as it cooks. Cover with lid, and let your greens cook down and soften. Stir occasionally, mixing in your greens as they cook down. Add in black pepper, garlic powder and, if desired, salt to taste. Viola! Stone soup.

Quiche

In Dinner/Meals, Food on February 28, 2010 at 10:13 pm

It’s my aunt’s recipe….bacon, onion & swiss cheese.

A Cold Weather Favorite

In Dinner/Meals, Food, Thai Food on February 28, 2010 at 9:52 pm

It is supposed to snow here tomorrow! To warm us up for dinner, I made a secret family recipe that I learned from my Dad when I was just a little one: Thai Red Curry. Just spicy enough – with green beans, bamboo shoots and chicken breast on a lovely bed of Jasmine rice. Lightly sprinkled with some soy sauce and I’m good to go. Definitely enough spice to heat things up!

Mummies

In Dinner/Meals, Food, Kids, Recipes on February 28, 2010 at 9:22 pm

Obviously, I love to cook and bake treats. I have always enjoyed cooking and have, many times since the beginning of my relationship with my husband created elaborate and delicious meals for him to eat. While he certainly enjoyed them, I often wonder if he would enjoy a microwaved frozen chimichanga just as much. He’s definitely into the ‘quick fix’ type foods and most things that you might normally feed your elementary-age child. So, just for fun, I decided to do a little Halloween spin on the classic kids’ finger food, pigs in a blanket.

They were super easy – you will need the following:

Hot dogs

Pillsbury crescent roll dough

Kraft American Singles

Mustard (and ketchup if you so desire)

Pre-heat your oven to 375. Line a baking sheet with foil. Cut the Kraft Singles (or a cheese of your choice) into 1/4 pieces. I actually used sharp cheddar for mine (I have a weird thing about American cheese), and they were still good. The only thing was that the cheddar was thicker and more stiff than the American singles, and was therefore more difficult to wrap and would break apart.

Flour a clean surface and roll out your package of crescent rolls. Smoosh the perforated edges together and give the dough a quick roll out with your rolling pin, just to make it a little bigger. Use a pizza cutter to make 1/4 inch strips, by 4 (ish) inch strips.

Stick your cheese on your hot dog, and then wrap him with the strips. Bake for approx 15min at 375, or until your mummy’s wrap is golden brown.

Garnish with a little mustard to make his face.

*You can add a little more grown up taste to it by adding a nice hearty bowl of chili to dip him in*

It’s a fun treat for the kids and of course, the kid in you…or your husband.