Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Ravings: So I know I’ve been a bit absent again, but I promise I’ve been saving up all the recipes. Work has just been so unbelievably hectic and Jason has been sick since Thursday, and we all know what men are like when they are sick, right? So you know how my weekend/week has been going.

I wanted to come up with a cute blog post about this little boy I saw walking into the grocery store with his mom, but I haven’t had the time, so I’ll just describe it to you and you can conjure up your own sweet images of childhood.

Sunday was a weird weather day here in Cleveland. I know, I know, I say that like its some unusual occurrence, but Sunday was a bit strange. It was nice, but cold, all morning as I was doing some housework, creating my weekly meal plan and writing my grocery list. That last item entails walking to the basement umpteen times to check if we already have an ingredient because I can’t get organized enough to do it all at once. Someday! So it was 2ish when I was finally ready to venture out and sat down with Jason for a minute and he says “Holy cow, look at it snow.” So now I’m dreading the trip to the store and all the jockeying of cars that has to be done before I can leave. Jason helps me move the cars, after some whining of course. He is sick after all. I did take this opportunity to remind him of the time he came home from work to find me curled up asleep in bed with a nasty stomach flu, only to wake me up and ask me what we were having for dinner. I think that’s why he helped me move the cars. He comes back in the house and announces “You aren’t going to the store now.” I look outside and the driveway and street are completed covered in snow already and it looks like a blizzard. It’s only been snowing 20-30 minutes!

So I take my shoes off and get sucked into the cheesy horror movie he’s watching. When it’s finally over (it was pretty bad!) I look outside and the sun is shining and the roads are clear. I’m off to the grocery store. Now it takes me about 5 minutes to the regular grocery store and before I am there it’s a blizzard again. Super fun! But I’m already out so I just keep going. Grocery shopping will have to be its own post one of these days. It’s always so eventful in my neighborhood! On my way back out to the parking lot, it’s still snowing although now quite as heavily, there is a mom and a little boy (probably about 4-5 years old) walking in. He’s all bundled up, coat, hat, scarf, boots, and can barely walk from the weight of it. The mom is holding his hand and trying to rush his tiny little legs along because it’s fairly cold out. He is completely oblivious to all of it, and is totally absorbed with catching snowflakes on his tongue. It was the sweetest scene, like in a movie (and not a bad B horror movie). It seemed like time stood still for a second and made me pause to remember to enjoy the little stuff. I smile the whole way home and even noticed the shape of the snowflakes as they hit my windshield.

Ravings: I have several recipes to share and am not sure the best way to go about it, but since I tend to write the blog in chronological order, I think I will just do the same for the recipes.

Friday: Despite being sick, Jason stayed late at work to participate in their monthly after work poker game, so I was on my own for dinner. I got to eat my edamame salad in peace.

Edamame Salad

1 cup shelled edamame (I had to use a mix because it’s all I could find at the grocery store, so mine has
          edamame, broccoli and spinach, which was still good.)
1 cup corn
½ cup cut up green beans
1 tomato, chopped
½ red onion, chopped
1 tsp each of lemon and lime zest
Juice of one lemon
¼ cup rice wine vinegar
¼ cup good olive oil
Salt and pepper

Mix all the vegetables together in a bowl. Wisk together the dressing ingredients and pour over veggies. Enjoy!

I served this with a few slices of a prosciutto and mozzarella roll that was on sale and a dollop of jarred pesto. Oh and glass of red wine, of course!

Saturday: I love all things barley, and since we were cooped up in the house all day watching movies in our pj’s I decided comfort food should be on the menu. I am calling this a stew because I made it on the thicker side. I could easily be a soup.

Beef Barley Stew

1 lb stew meat
1 onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp dried sage
1 Tbsp dried rosemary
1 Tbsp dried oregano
4 cups beef stock
½ cup red wine
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup frozen corn
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup barley (I had to use the rest of the quick cook kind, but I would recommend pearled)

Brown the meat in a dutch oven, add the onions and cook until softened a bit. Add the garlic, sage, rosemary and oregano and cook for another minute. Then add the liquids and the veggies. Turn the heat down to low and let cook for a few hours until the meat is tender. I added the barley just minutes before I was ready to serve because it was the quick cook kind. If you are using pearled, I would add it about half way through the cooking time. So warm and comforting.

Sunday: Since Jason was still feeling pretty crappy. And making it known! I decided some Chicken soup would help. It’s so similar to the beef barley recipe, I almost feel like I’m cheating. Almost!

Chicken and Spaetzle Soup

2-3 cups shredded chicken (I had this left from the massive roast chicken I did a while back)
4 cups chicken stock
¼ cup dried onion
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup frozen corn
1 cup diced carrot
1 Tbsp dried oregano
½ Tbsp dried tarragon
½ Tbsp onion powder
1 package spaetzle (you could make your own or use noodles, but we have a place in our town that makes
          these and sells the fresh packages at the grocery store so why not)
Parmesan cheese to garnish

Mix all ingredients except spaetzle in large pot and cook on low for about an hour. Add spaetzle or noodles and cook for another 10 minutes or until your noodles are done. Serve with some parmesan cheese sprinkled on top. My grandma swears this is the ultimate cure all, and who argues with grandmas?

Monday: In all fairness, I gave Jason three choices for dinner and he chose the eggs. I think he would have liked them, except that I snuck in the last bit of the smoked salmon. He originally gave me the “we don’t have to have this again” line, but then did concede that we could have it again if promised not to put fish in it! I have to agree, it would have been way better with bacon. But we all know how I feel about bacon. I am trying to sneak him some omega-3’s any way I can. If only bacon had omega-3’s. As an I’m sorry gesture I made him a gooey chocolate dessert. It made me feel better too.

Baked Eggs (from The Year in Food, found on Pinterest)

8 large eggs
1.5 cups diced leeks, white and pale green parts only
1.5 cups chopped arugula, plus a little extra for garnish
4 ounces smoked salmon, cut into small cubes
2/3 cup grated Manchego cheese, plus more for garnish
1 tablespoon olive oil or butter
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

4 eight-ounce ramekins or oven-safe bowls

Note: because the Manchego and the smoked salmon are both salty, err on the side of caution when adding salt. It may not need much at all!

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Warm a saute pan over medium-low heat. Add the oil or butter. When hot, add the leeks and saute until just soft, about 4 or 5 minutes. Turn heat off, but keep the leeks in the pan. Add the arugula and stir, allowing the greens to wilt.

Grease the four ramekins. Divide the leek/arugula mixture evenly between them. Repeat with the salmon, adding about one ounce to each container in a thin layer over the greens. Next, divide the Manchego amongst the four, also in a thin layer, over the salmon.

Carefully crack two eggs into each ramekin, taking care to not break the yolk. Atop the eggs, sprinkle a touch more Manchego and finish with a few twists of the pepper mill. Place the ramekins on a shallow baking sheet and bake until the whites have set, about 12-15 minutes. When they are ready, let them rest for a couple minutes- they’ll be too hot to eat immediately! Garnish with a little more chopped arugula and serve.

Chocolate Cobbler (from Becky Bakes, also found on Pinterest)

1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoons salt
7 tablespoons cocoa powder, divided
1 ¼ cup sugar, divided
½ cup milk (I used soy)
⅓ cup melted butter (I used Earth Balance)
1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup light brown sugar, packed
1-½ cup hot tap water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, 3 tablespoons of the cocoa, and 3/4 cup of the white sugar. Reserve the remaining cocoa and sugar. Stir in the milk, melted butter, and vanilla to the flour mixture. Mix until smooth. Pour the mixture into an ungreased 8-inch baking dish.

In a separate small bowl, mix the remaining white sugar (1/2 cup), the brown sugar, and remaining 4 tablespoons of cocoa. Sprinkle this mixture evenly over the batter. Pour the hot tap water over all. Do not stir! Bake for about 40 minutes or until the center is set. (My note: It never really seemed to set, it was just gooey and bubbly. I didn’t have any ice cream, so we just sprinkled it with powdered sugar.)

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