Archive for category Main Courses

Lasagna: Layer on the Veggies

My father-in-law’s favorite meal strategy is to “use up.” He rummages in the fridge and pulls out anything that requires immediate eating. He evaluates the pile of bits and bobs on the counter, grabs a frying pan and starts cooking.

It’s never the same twice but it’s always (surprisingly) delicious.

People I’ve asked about the cons to their weekly produce box say it’s a challenge to use everything. From the advice they’ve given me, emptying the box seems to require a vigilant using-up mindset, like my father-in-law’s.

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The Weekly Organics Box Stir Fry

It had to be done. I fixed a firm expression on my face and told my husband the news, “We’re not having stir fries anymore.”

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Permission, Imperfection and Pizza = The Best Baby Gifts of All

My toddler is transitioning from crib to bed. Every time he wakes up, he realizes that he’s no longer confined. What does he do? He JUMPS! An excited thunder from bed to floor, from floor to bed and then back again.

His floor also happens to be our bedroom ceiling.

I am so tired. Read the rest of this entry »

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An Unscary Supper: Cumin Scented Chickpeas with Organic Chicken Sausage

Alongside Garlic Couscous Peppered with Golden Raisins

Don’t forget to check out my post Eating Alone: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly this week on Scary Mommy‘s Scary Mommy Society.

Now back to this week’s theme: Strategies for getting dinner on the table.

I’m not great at dashing madly around the kitchen for half an hour.

Well, I can do it if G’s at work, J’s napping and NPR’s talking on my headphones. I cannot do it when G’s just gotten home, J’s rangy and Barnie‘s taunting that he loves me. Need I say arsenic hour?

I like recipes with minimal prep that go in the oven and mind their own business ’til I’m good and ready for ’em. Even better if I can do the prep earlier in the day before all crankiness breaks loose.

With the tiny bit of prep done, dinner cooks while I ask G about his day (and listen to his answer!), read J a story and swap Barnie for some Jack (my two faves: Upside Down and Better Together).

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Make Dinner Wait for You: Simple Salt and Pepper Salmon with Lemon Thyme Rice and Roasted Green Beans

Next week I’ll have a post on Scary Mommy‘s Scary Mommy Society. To go along with it, I’m offering you some of my strategies for getting dinner on the table. Check out my other family-themed posts: the good, the bad and the ugly.

Today: Make Dinner Wait for You

I like weeknight recipes that are not time-dependent. If there’s an emergency poo-plosion, dinner must wait!

Contrast a typical spaghetti alla carbonara that cries out for you to sit and eat as soon as its noodles are cooked, to a typical baked ziti that relaxes in a warm oven (or even on the counter under foil) for an extra 20-30 minutes waiting for you to enjoy its stringy cheese.

Recipes with a bit of patience are easy to find if you’re on the lookout but very few include fish. Fish doesn’t wait for anyone. Read the rest of this entry »

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What My Husband Hates: Shrimp, Feta and Olive Pasta on a Tangle of Arugula

Yesterday I told you about the mischief I get up to when my hubs goes out of town. Synopsis: I watch Glee, listen to cheesy 80s dance music, drink pink girlie drinks (like French Martinis) and eat feta and olives.

Here’s my favorite recipe to make when G goes away. Note that you can double, triple or quadruple this. Just increase the amounts accordingly and use bigger pots, bowls and pans (and make sure that everyone you’re cooking for likes shrimp, feta, olives and arugula!).

Shrimp, Feta and Olive Pasta on a Tangle of Arugula

Serves 1. (It’s a big serving because I’m starving by the time I get little J to bed, surf the net, read some fiction, chat on the phone, paint my toenails and then finally get around to cooking). Read the rest of this entry »

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When Does Food Taste THE BEST? Part 4: Party’s in the Kitchen

The sea air and sunshine contributed to the tastiness we experienced this weekend but I’ve had everything-tastes-so-good weekends that cannot be attributed solely to the weather.

For instance:

  • My husband, toddler and I chilled out in the Georgia Mountains for a few days in October. We took a few basic seasonings and winged it in the small kitchen. Sipping on pinot noir, we sang out loud to bluegrass (like  Nickel Creek) while spareribs roasted slowly on foil. No hours of smoking. No special blend of spices. Only ketchup and honey for a glaze. We ended up licking sticky sauce from our fingers and watching meat fall off bones while Read the rest of this entry »

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When Does Food Taste THE BEST? Part 2: The Mystery of the Chicken Sandwich

Saturday I tasted a sandwich that puzzled me. It was the best one I’d ever eaten and yet I couldn’t detect anything particularly special about it.

My fingers tugged at cling film as my lips rested on a brown bun. My teeth crumbled cheese as my tongue prodded roast chicken. Everything slid together and yet the spinach crunched. Breathing in, the seasonings intensified as I struggled to identify a mystery ingredient.

Mystery unsolved, I regretted answering “no” when my mom asked, “Do you want an extra sandwich for the cooler?” Read the rest of this entry »

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Mexican-Ukrainian Fusion???

If Mexican-Korean Fusion works, maybe Mexican-Anything Fusion can. Let’s test this theory with these Mexican Holubtsi (a.k.a. cabbage rolls).

This recipe fulfills my New Year’s Resolution since it’s good for me (brown rice, cabbage and lean poultry), it’s got Zumba in the seasonings AND it makes me feel good, like all things Ukrainian.

My grandfather (Gee Gee) came from the Ukraine as did the parents of my grandmother (Baba, the one who made such wonderful chicken soup). Ukrainian food (perogies, pyrizhky, holubtsi) takes me back to their kitchen and to my own childhood home. Read the rest of this entry »

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“Oh Sh*t, My Bowl is Empty. That Sucks!” Soup

(a.k.a. Smokey Soup with Some Shrimp, Some Sausage, Some Barley AND SOME HEAT)

While jumping up and down to Raise Your Glass by P!nk in a Zumba class, my New Year’s resolution changed from, “This year I will exercise more, eat healthier, eat less, blah, blah, blah”  to “This year I will do things that are good for me because they feel good.” (Read about my resolution shift here.)

As part of this new resolution, I sifted through my index cards to find recipes that are good for me, make me feel good and are like Zumba:

Fast. Fun. HOT!

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