Monday, January 31, 2011

New Year New Resolutions (Part 3)

Part of my New Year's resolution was to incorporate a new dish into hubby and my cooking rotation. So we tried a few different things this month. My original idea was to try a recipe I found in my Real Simple magazine for a marinated chicken breast and quinoa with walnuts. I ran into a few problems along the way though. I forgot to defrost the chicken ahead of time so I couldn't marinade it properly. I also couldn't find quinoa at the store. Maybe I can try these next month.
There were a few other things we tried...
Couscous - this was my first time making it. It was a little bland and E wasn't crazy about the texture. This will require some tweaking but has some potential.
Chicken coated with crackers - I've done this once before but wanted to try again. E didn't like it but I did. Might be worth adding in occasionally. The crackers aren't the healthiest things but every once in a while will be okay and I can always make E some plain chicken.
Marinara sauce - This was the big hit of the month. Unfortunately I can't take the credit. E decided he wanted to give it a try so on Saturday he tried out a recipe. It was fabulous! I'm not sure if I will be able to go back to the jarred stuff after this.
I can't wait to try some other new things in February to see what we come up with!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Halfway Done

I'm almost halfway done with my massive knitting project. I probably should have waited until tomorrow when I am actually half way done before I get excited but I finished the 32nd square of the giant checkerboard. I still need to stitch the row of squares together but the kniting has reached the halfway point! Maybe there is hope for finishing it in April after all.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Yes I know it's a stupid title for a post but right now I'm not coming up with anything better. I was actually able to get some things accomplished recently. I tried a new recipe - the lemon pound cake I mentioned in a previous post. It's really good but I had a few issues with it. I had to bake it for 60 minutes instead of the 45-50 minutes the recipe calls for. I couldn't get quite enough zest from my lemon either; it probably could have been more lemony. I also added frosting to the top. I had some vanilla frosting leftover from the cake balls I made at Christmas so I took that and added a little of the juice from the lemon I zested.

C was hilarious when I was trying to cook it. First he came up to me while I was mixing the flour, baking powder and salt together and asked "mom, can I have some?" So I tell him it's not done yet. Comes back about five minutes later to ask again and I had to tell him not yet. Then I start using the hand mixer to mix the ingredients together. At this point C has gone into the other room. A few minutes later I hear him hollering "Excuse me!" I turn off the mixture and go into the other room. He then asks "Can you keep it down?" Oh I just about died laughing. Finally finish mixing the ingredients together and he comes back to ask if it is now done. "No honey it has to cook first". However by the time it was done...he no longer wanted cake! Aaack!

My other thing, while not finished yet, still feels like quite the accomplishment. I'm making a giant checkerboard by knitting 64 squares on the diagonal until they measure 5" across. Like I said this will be huge when it's done. This weekend I finished the third row of squares. I've been seaming as I go so that it's not too overwhelming in the end. With this new row it is actually starting to look like a blanket. I feel like I've been working on it forever but part of the problem is I keep putting it down to work on things that are more fun or challenging. I'm hoping to be done with the monstrosity by April but who knows.

Friday, January 14, 2011

I think I'm going to be baking...

I perusing some of my favorite blogs - even though I'm not much of a chef I find myself graviting towards cooking blogs - and found a recipe for lemon pound cake. Here's the thing, I love lemon desserts. I will almost always pick chocolate over any dessert but if something lemon is an option the decision gets a lot harder. I love the lemon cookies at Paradise Bakery, my mom's lemon bars, Starbuck's lemon pound cake, you get the idea. So something tells me I will be attempting a new recipe this weekend. I had some luck before with quick breads of this sort; I made two dozen pumpkin loaves the first week of December. What will make this better is I will actually like this one (yes I made the pumpkin bread even though I don't like it. I had received a pumpkin and didn't know what else to do with it so I made the bread for a cookie exchange). Wish me luck with this one!

Monday, January 10, 2011

New Year New Resolutions (Part 2)

Okay this is an authentic check off my list. I actually went for Girls Night Out on Friday. With two little ones and a hubby that gets up for work before dawn, this is hard to accomplish. But I made a deal with hubby - I went out but agreed to be home by a reasonable hour.
So off I went to First Fridays. First Fridays is on the first Friday (guess how they got the name?) in Downtown. All of the restaurants and galleries stay open later that night and people actually come downtown instead of it being empty. I think it's great that this is happening - downtowns are an important part of a city. So some of us girls went to check things out. It was a blast! I had to bug out early, but still had a great time while I was there. I've got to do things like this more often. It was fun being an adult instead of just mommy.
I think the next item to cross off my list is my new January cooking. I need to find something chicken or beef  or pasta (that way hubby will at least try it) but still different from the ordinary. Maybe a soup?