Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Beef To End All Beef!

As I said before, one of the things I'm loving about NFA is learning how to cook new cuts of meat.

On Saturday, I made Pioneer Woman's Beef with Snow Peas

It made me really happy. I got to work with flank steak for the first time. I'll tell you that the cutting board I used to slice the meat was way too small and made things very awkward for me. Also adding to the awkwardness: my moderate aversion to touching raw meat.
Anyway, I also got to use fresh ginger.
This dinner was SOOOO good! The only bad thing, and I use the term "bad" very loosely, was that it was pretty salty. Perhaps owing to the 1/2 cup of soy sauce. Also, I didn't mince the ginger small enough but that was my own fault.
Saturday was kind of a busy day for us. We went to town in the morning, (yes, all 5 of us!) and then the boys laid down for what-I-wished-was-a-quick-nap-but-was-really-just-a-rest before our neighbors' daughters' birthday party. Hubster 5000 (I'm trying out the whole "cute nicknames for people you blog about regularly" thing. This is only the first try, so don't hate me.) had Worship Practice that night too, so I came home from the party to whip this together. It went pretty fast, but wasn't done in time for Jo- I mean Hubster 5000 to eat. So he left. The manlets were still at the party. Yep! We DO have that great of neighbors! So when it was done, I ate some of it myself.
On a related side note, have you all noticed that the word "Bliss" has become the vogue thing to say these days? Now, I don't have any problem with popular catch phrases (see: WINNING!) but since I have seen and heard this word so much lately, I have realized that I hate it. Not like, the meaning of the word or anything. Just the sound of it. Bliss. Gross! It makes my ears want to throw up! It's like the word, "Gussy". As in, "Get gussied up for the dance, Homer!" Seriously. Those two words make me want to crawl into a hole.
With that being said, the only word that comes to mind to describe how I feel about beef with snow peas is...BLISS! I want to make it right now, just thinking about it!
Jackosaurus Rex and Noodle Boo (Hmmm, not feeling it, but I'll keep plowing along.), I had been previously informed, had snacked all afternoon at the party and would not be hungry when they came home. When they finally tromped through the door, party favors in hand, I asked them if they would like to have some dinner. They said no. I said, "Skiddeley Doo! More for me!", and didn't feed them. It's how I roll. Later that night, we went to Hubster 5000's (growing on me) practice with cake for his birthday. Thank you, Costco, for those delicious cakes! Maybe next year I'll make him a real cake. Not that the other ones weren't real, but... never mind.
All of that was to say that I am the only person in the family that actually ate this New Food. But since my word is law around here (75-90% of the time), it's going on the keeper list.

Next up: a foray into the sea with Crispy Bourbon Glazed Salmon.

Chili for Six

This picture was from Cool & Crunchy Chicken Taco Night, but I love it and want to see it again.

Friday was my best friend Nakita's baby shower. It worked out that they came for dinner and afterwords, the girls and Emmett went a'showerin' and the boys stayed home to play Heroscape. There is absolutely no reason for me to give all that info, but I did and I don't want to use the backspace button right now.

Dinner was Microwave White Chicken Chili, again from Pampered Chef. I just got a Deep Covered Baker and I wanted to use it, hence the chili in the middle of spring.

This chili was alright. I only have this one picture of it, because I forgot to take any until after I had served everyone and the half empty baker just wasn't attractive anymore. It's sad 'cause you can't really even see the chili, just my cheese and avocado (henceforth and forevermore referred to as green butter) and cilantro.

It could be a Yumm Bowl for all you know...

The pro for this dish was that it was made in the microwave and was pretty fast. There aren't really any cons besides that it didn't blow my mind. All in all, it was a sturdy white chili. If I ever need to make a white chili for a contest, I may start with this one and tweak it till I love it. What does that even mean?

I see Beef with Snow Peas in our future...

Again With The Butter

Thursday was a great day. Thursday was the day we got to eat butter sandwiches. Not really, but kinda...

You won't be surprised to learn that this is a Pioneer Woman recipe. It's called The Marlboro Man Sandwich.

Pioneer Woman's picture is way prettier than mine. I'll tell you why.

She's a semi-professional.

She has a nicer camera than me.

She has photoshop.

Her husband didn't leave the heat way too high and burn off all the sauce and cook the onions way too long while she was feeding the baby since she can NEVER make dinner without that baby crying right at the most hands on point in the recipe.

This is a delectable sandwich! One of the things I love about NFA is that I'm learning how to prepare cuts of meat that I've never used before. For example; cube steak. I'll be honest and tell you that I'm a little afraid of any meat that's not chicken, ground beef, or pork loin chops. In recent years, I've branched out to include tri tip steaks and london broil, but even those make me a little wary sometimes. But now I have an almost no fail recipe that we all really like and it uses cube steak! Last week, I didn't know what cube steak was. And thus concludes my essay on why I love New Food April...

This meal started off with sauteeing onions in butter, then I cooked the meat in butter, then I added butter to the meat and juices to finish the sauce, then Josh toasted the rolls in a pan filled with melted butter. DUDE! We'll only be able to eat this once a quarter so we don't get enormous!!! We ate it with a side of mixed veggies. We did not, just this once, add butter. I feel like that would have been overkill.

Next time I make this, I'm gonna cook it with some sherry and add mushrooms and provolone cheese to it. Oh, my mouth is watering just thinking about it!!!!

In 15 minutes: White Chili

Sun Dried Blah Blah Blah

Last year, when I came up with the awesomeness that is New Food April, I did not know some things. At the end of NFA, I did. One thing I learned is that Rachael Ray feeds teams of hungry school boys. She must, otherwise she would not consider a half pound of uncooked noodles to be one serving. There was so much leftover food last year, that I swore to try to remember to put in a few leftover days into NFA 2011. Well, I did it. I used my leftover days strategically this year, putting them on Home Group night, the day I leave for the Ladies' Retreat (YAY!!!!) and the day after Noah's Birthday. Incidentally, for Noah's birthday, we are having tacos. He asked for that and cupcake pie. I'm still working on how to make cupcake pie a reality. I think it could possibly change my financial status if it's good... When we asked him about presents, he said he wanted a dead fish... I'm gonna go with Hungry Hungry Hippos instead. Back to the point at hand. Wednesday was Home Group night. But, alas! There were NO leftovers! I blame this on the extra awesome food as well as the lack of Rachael Ray meals. It worked out though, because since we didn't eat the Risotto on Monday, I had all the ingredients on hand for Wednesday. I had plans to go to town late in the afternoon, and I knew I wouldn't make it home in time to make dinner, so I made it before I left. This was also a Pampered Chef recipe. Just now, I tried to link to it, but apparently it's not on the website. I don't know why anyone would ask you to take the casing off of a raw sausage when you could just buy bulk sausage and cook that. I really don't. There's that. I added an extra sausage and some asparagus I had that was about to go bad. When it was done, it was beautiful! I had to get to town, so I didn't take any pictures. I figured that I would just take a picture when I got home and we ate it. Then I was super late getting home and the boys ate before I got there. Then, when I got home to eat it, it wasn't pretty at all. It tasted good to me, the boys disliked it a LOT! I put up that video of Hungry Hungry Hippos to distract you from the fact that there are no pics... Coming up: The Butter Sammie

Ohhhhh Man!

So, last Monday, we were supposed to have Sun dried Tomato and Sausage Risotto. We did not have that. I don't know what we had. It was not a NFA approved meal. I think we were "away". I honestly don't know where though. So, we skip Monday...

On Tuesday, our besties, the Guth's came over. We had Cool and Crunchy Chicken Tacos from Pampered Chef. I'll let you in on a little secret. I've had this before!!! It was like, a whole summer ago, so it almost doesn't count, right? No one else in the family had, so I feel okay about it...

Someday, I will get to prepare and consume dinner without having to stop to console screaming boy... someday...

These tacos incorporate a few of my favorite things:

chicken: it's chicken, what's not to like?

tacos: one of my very favorite things ever!

mangos: my husband once wrote me a song about how much I like them.

(notice if you will, that in the last three sentences, I have used all three punctuation marks.)

cumin: quickly becoming a new go to spice for me.

jicama: not a favorite, but I believe it deserves an honorable mention.

I think 5 is a sufficient number of things.

These tacos were a big hit with the family!

There was the chicken mixture, which was grilled chicken (I got a bag of the already grilled strips at Costco, not a great idea in the long run because of the price, but it worked for me this time.), cumin, lime juice and mayo. Then there was the salsa! Mango, lime juice, jicama and cilantro! It was the crowning glory of these tacos! The recipe said to cut the mango and jicama into thin strips with a mandolin slicer (namely the Pampered Chef one, but I don't got that). Have you ever tried to cut a mango and a jicama into thin strips while a very sad and hungry baby is screaming at you? Needless to say, my strips were not very uniform. Next time, it'll all get chopped up small like salsa, 'cause that what it really is anyway.

I doubled the recipe, and it's a good thing I did! We ate all of it and I think we would have put away a tripled batch. They were really that good.

This New Food made it into permanent rotation!

Next: Sun Dried Tomato and Sausage Risotto

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Bread That Could Kill You and Other Things...

No one who knows me could ever say that I am a fan of moderation. It's part of my personality to be ALL or nothing. It's just who I am. With that in mind, you may discern the joy I get when I have a good piece of garlic cheese bread. I mean, you start with bread, which I love. Add butter (c'mon, I'm an Easterday... nuff said.) and garlic, which I also love, and then top it off with cheese. In truth, the only thing that could make those things better is bacon. Hmmmm... I may have to make that happen...

Anyway, when I saw the recipe for Pasta alla Marlboro Man on Pioneer Woman's site I thought, "Hmm, that looks good. Wait. What is that next to the bowl? Garlic Cheese Bread? Holy Moly!" Really, that's almost verbatim what I thought. An aside: can a thought be 'verbatim' if it isn't verbalized? Just wondering...

In the past 6 days of NFA I have repeatedly made the exact same mistake at dinner making time. So far, I have failed to read the recipe fully and fully understand the process that will get that dinner made. Case in point: 2 half chicken breasts does not mean 4 whole chicken breasts. On the day that I made this, the whole family was playing outside with a couple of the neighbor families. Let me just take this time to say that I LOVE having my house and I LOVE the neighborhood it's in and I LOVE having neighbors! I'm glad I got that out there.

Well, on said day, I came inside around 5:45 to start dinner. I know, I know, that's a little late to start on dinner, but I thought it was a fast one. I mean, it's pasta with meat sauce. Well, first I had to clean the kitchen. You see, a few days ago, my amazing wonderful talented husband lost a bet to me. So, it's been up to him to do the dishes. So I had to clean the kitchen. I'll leave you to figure out the finer details of that story. Anyway, when I read this recipe, I realized it takes an hour to cook... awesome. But it was a nice day... blah blah blah. The boys were having fun outside, it's ok if they go to bed a little late. We ate at 8:15. Yowza! But this blog isn't sposed to be the wordy, long winded story of my life. Let's get to the food, shall we?

This pasta sauce was mostly meat. I'm serious. It was 2 lbs. of meat and two cans of whole tomatoes. It was good. The picture is a little red... Don't blame me, I don't have Photoshop like all the cool kids.

The bread is really the star of this show... let's have a look.

Again with the direction reading... it said to mince the green onions and I only chopped them so the onion flavor was a little intense. In fact the whole thing was a little intense.

I am not one of those "healthy" people. I promise you. I should have loved this bread. It has all my favorites on it. With one glaring exception. Mayonaise. In all my years, I have never been able to get past the ingredient list of this condiment. Raw egg, oil, and vinegar. GUH- ROHSE! If I don't know that it's in something, I can handle mayo. However, when I saw that this cheese bread had mayo in it, I tried real hard to like it. I determined in my heart to love it as much as my own wonderful cheese bread.

PW is not known for her healthy dishes. I daresay she has a few, but this is not one of them. This bread has a grand total of 3 1/2 cups of cheese, a whole stick of butter and that nefarious 1/2 cup of mayo. Along with 4 cloves of garlic. I can feel my arteries closing just writing about it. I wasn't lying when I said that it was bread that could kill you.

I really was determined to like it, but knowing that there was warm mayonaise in it really just put it over the edge for me. I am honestly sad that I didn't love it. Maybe someday, I'll try it again with no mayo and (if you ever say I said this, I'll deny it and kill you) less butter. I must be getting old...

All in all, the pasta was a winner and the bread was a winner with my family.

Next up, Pampered Chef Cool and Crunchy Chicken Tacos... here's a hint: AWESOME!

NFA: Blackened Chicken

So, Day Two was supposed to be Pasta alla Marlboro Man from Pioneer Woman's website. Somehow, I managed to read my calendar wrong. So, it was Blackened Chicken from Allrecipes. A few things:

1: I ain't buyin' white pepper for five bucks just for this meal... My little family don't do spicy.

2: A half a chicken breast is NOT a whole chicken breast. I know that this should be self evident, but it wasn't at cooking time. Me no follow dyrecshuns so gud. This particular recipe called for 2 chicken breast halves. So, I used 4 whole boobs and only doubled the spice mixture. It worked out though.

3: My kids are AWESOME! (That's a freebie, I'm just throwing it in there!)

Since I have the whitest husband on the planet, I did not double the cayenne pepper like I should have. I didn't want it to be too hot for him and the Manlets. It wasn't.

This chicken was very tasty! Both the boys ate a whole piece of chicken which NEVER happens! I made garlic horseradish parmesan mashed potatoes too. Just writing that sentence makes me happy. I love potatoes! You know who doesn't? Jackson. He likes french fries, but a starch in any other form is unacceptable to him. These potatoes were so good that even Jackson asked for seconds! Score one for Mom!

The only thing I didn't like about this recipe was that no one said how you coat both sides of the chicken with the spice mixture without losing some of it when you flip it over to do the second side. But that's really not that big a deal now is it?

Here's a picture of my actual plate. Notice the bite already cut out of the chicken. Notice that there are no other pictures of this meal because I forgot to take them.

Coming up: Pasta alla Marlboro Man and Bread That Could End Your Life

Monday, April 4, 2011


Why, THANK you! It IS a witty title! Quinoa. I felt a little bad starting off New Food April with a vegetarian dish. In this house, we are most certainly carnivores. But it looked so good. "IT" was Black Beans and Quinoa, which is NOT a witty title. But I didn't name this dish. If I had, it would be called something like, "Super Versatile Bowl of Deliciousness", or, "Smoky Happy Time". Upon further consideration, "Black Beans and Quinoa" will do.

I got this recipe from my cousins' blog. You'd like her. She is in fact witty. And also very interesting. I'm not just saying that because I know she's gonna read this. She got it from this website. I only just today went onto the site, past the link to the recipe. I think I will like it. Just sayin'.

Anyway, this dish is UH-MAY-ZING! I loved it! Yes, I am on a bit of a quinoa bender, but it really really is wonderful! All the flavors just made me really happy. (It's 11pm and my descriptive ability is wholly depleted. My apologies.)

As far as the "Who Will Eat This In My House" list goes, here's the tally.

Me: Heck yes I will!

Josh: (and I quote) "I am 100% neutral about this food. I will not ask you to make it again, but if you did, I would eat it." (really, that's exactly what he said. He's so cute!)

Jackson: ate it only after he was bribed with a doughnut. No joke. Side note: he lost the doughnut shortly after finishing his dinner for some infraction. Poor Guy.

Noah: ahhhh, little Mini Me... I love this kid! I understand him in a way that his father never will. It's like seeing what I would have been like if I was a boy... Noah will eat almost anything. It's so cute to hear him say in his little lispy voice, "Mmmm, I yuv keen wah!" Yay Noah!

So there you have it. 3 out of 5 Davises will eat this happily.

Because I love my family, I made this dish with chicken broth instead of vegetable. Actually, I just didn't want to buy veggie broth for only one thing, but love is a much better reason, I think. So, it wasn't vegan. Also, I put cheese and bacon in our salad. And that really was 'cause I love my family.

My next post will be Blackened Chicken. May not be new to you, but it's new to us!

It's April! You Know What That Means!

New Food April. I know, you're really excited. I am too! I'm going to start with a meal I made in March. It's cheating, I know, but I took the pictures and was going to do a preview blog for NFA, but it didn't happen. I blame the baby.

Bacon Cheddar Waffles with Homemade Applesauce

I KNOW right??? I took this recipe from Rachael Ray's magazine. I adapted it a little, but sort of not really. I just made it how I knew my family would eat it. Rachael Ray. I like her. So, this one's super easy. I started with bacon. *pauses for all the cheers* I like bacon. A lot. A whole lot. I think maybe God told the Jews they couldn't have bacon so there would be more for Him. That doesn't sound like Him... Sounds more like me... I digress.

Then I made waffle mix. Then I put cheese in it. I used very snobby imported cheese.

Then I made some applesauce. I used like three, ok it was exactly three, different apples. I don't know why. Really, I don't. I cooked them in some of the bacon grease 'cause that's how I do! Then I used some water 'cause I needed to. I put in some nutmeg and cloves and a little cinnamon. Then some syrup and a little honey. Those apples were delish.

So, I mixed the bacon and cheese into the waffle mix and made waffles. Then we ate them. They were good. I mean GOOD.

They were so good that I made another double batch the very next day for the freezer. Some things to note: The snobby cheese was indistinguishable from regular old Tillamook Cheddar (that I love!). In the new batch, I used bacon grease instead of the oil. That's right. You know I did! So that was that for the NFA preview post. It's a little late, I know. Sorry 'bout it.