The next three months have me hosting a few parties and get togethers. Alex is turning 30, Emma is turning 6, and Thanksgiving and Christmas are around the corner (I know, I know, but it is true). I usually fall … Continue reading
My garden was not very fruitful this year. Boo. A few things have grown, and I am hoping that the carrots, potatoes, beets, and leeks do well this fall. The thing I was most upset about was not having tomatoes. … Continue reading
We were running late. I realised I had just over 20 minutes to get dinner on the table. Frozen pizzas were sounding appealing when I remembered I had a pork tenderloin in the fridge that needed to be used, like now. I flung the oven on and started heating up a pan while I quickly thought up a meal. I didn’t want the effort of making mashed potatoes and I really didn’t want a million dirty pans. Mushroom risotto sounded perfect, but I was out of risotto. Enter fake risotto.
I quickly rubbed up my pork with some olive oil and herbs and threw it in the pan to sear. Use any herbs you want, but I used thyme, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. I started boiling my kettle to make chicken stock too.
Trying to photograph something that is spitting hot oil all over your hands and camera is super fun. Don’t try that at home.
Next I quickly hacked up some onions and mushrooms. Once the pork was seared on all sides, I transferred it to a hot and waiting baking dish and popped it in the oven to continue cooking. Then it was the onions and mushrooms turn in the hot tub. I drizzled some olive oil in the same pan and sautéed them up. Using the same pan allowed all the flavour from the pork to get all friendly with the onions and mushrooms. Next, I dumped in a mug full of plain old rice and a little hot chicken stock and gave it a stir. Once it was mostly absorbed, I added more chicken stock. Just like risotto. And I kept on doing that until the rice was perfectly cooked.
Once the rice was perfect, I took it off the heat and added a small handful of grated parmesan cheese and a squeeze of lemon for a bit of zing. I took the pork out to rest while I steamed some green beans to go with our dinner.
Side note on how I cook veggies: I do not like to boil vegetables. I like crunch and vibrant colours in my veg. Nothing worse than grey soggy green beans. Bleh. I always get a microwave safe bowl, chuck in my fresh veggies whether it be broccoli, green beans, corn, cauliflower, you name it. Add a little salt and pepper then a dash of water. Cover the bowl in cling film and microwave for a few minutes. 3-4 minutes is usually perfect. The cling film sticks to the bowl and the water creates steam. It perfectly cooks veggies without loosing any good vitamins from boiling. And it is super quick which I like. I do the same for frozen vegetables, just don’t add any extra water.
Then I just sliced up the pork and served it over our fake mushroom risotto.
This was an amazingly delicious meal and it took less than 30 minutes to make too. Yummy. The lemon in the risotto was just enough to give it interest and the starch from the rice made it taste so creamy even though there was probably only 1/4 cup of cheese. We cannot wait for pork tenderloin to be on sale again so we can feast on more!
Is anybody else super annoyed that all the good tv shows are ending? Omg we must have had 5 shows that have wrapped up for the summer, and I am feeling so sad and lost without them! We don’t watch a lot of tv through the week, but we record a few shows which we look forward to watching on our Friday night date nights, which basically consists of pyjamas the moment the girls are in bed, a bottle of wine, and all of our shows. Super fancy. Grey’s Anatomy finished a few weeks ago and I am still freaking out over the last episode. I thought I was going to pass out watching it! At one point I was holding my face, and my breath, when Alex told me to calm down. Oh man, I don’t know if I can handle the wait until it comes back! Then we had to watch the end of Blue Bloods, Revenge (oh my word!!! What in the H was that for a season finale? I can’t take it. Alex had a moment of excitement the other night when he thought we had Revenge. Then he remembered it is over. It was a sad moment.), and The Following. I know there have been more, but I just cannot focus. Now we are waiting for Game of Thrones to end this week (what the what happened last week? I gasped out loud more than once.), Modern Family, and The Middle. I hate summer. Boo. But, we have started watching Hannibal. Anyone else? Or better yet anyone else have an idea what is going on?!? It is so crazy and freakishly confusing. We are loving it! Only Hannibal can make eating people look so delectable and civilized.
So weekly menu 2 (no people eating involved here). I love to cook. A lot. But like everyone, I have weeks where I just do not want to feed all these people. This was one of those weeks. I have been feeling tired, lazy, and just not very creative so our menu is full of quick and easy meals to make things a little easier on this momma. I do our shopping on a Thursday which is why our menu runs from Thursday-Wednesday.
Thursday: Fish sandwiches with coleslaw. Birdseye just came out with fish burgers, which are really yummy. We had them on a bun with mayo, lettuce, and a cheese slice ala McDonalds. I also make my coleslaw. Shred up cabbage, carrots, and onion. Make your dressing using 1/4c light mayo, 2tbs vinegar (i like apple cider vinegar for this), a squeeze of lemon, 2tsp of sugar, salt and pepper to taste. The key is to use your hands to squeeze the coleslaw as you mix. This helps to release the juices and really get the flavour going. I suggest making this first so it has time to sit in the fridge and get all yummy.
Friday: Nothing! The girls went to stay at Papa’s as we had an engagement party to go to. Awesome.
Saturday: pizza. Yep, just the frozen kind. As I said, we went to a party the night before. Enough said.
Sunday: turkey meatballs with spaghetti. I make my meatballs just like the turkey meatloaf. Just add some basil, oregano, and italian seasoning to the mix. Shape into balls and drop into your sauce to cook. My sauce was super easy. Sauté some onions in olive oil, add garlic, and my secret is a spoon full of caramelised onion chutney. The sweetness helps with the tartness of tinned tomatoes so there is no need to add sugar. Dump in 2 tins of chopped tomatoes, season with basil, oregano, italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Thin out with a little chicken broth as needed. As mine bubbled away for over an hour, I added a bit of broth twice. Just to make sure it didn’t end up to thick.
Monday: roasted chicken thighs with mashed potatoes. I just coated my chicken with olive oil and used the left over seasoning from my chicken kebabs. Then I covered with foil and baked for 45 min. Take the foil off and cook a further 15 min to crisp up the skin. Have you seen the new stir in Philadelphia sauces? They are on sale for £1 right now and I had bought the garlic and herb one to try with fish. I used a little in my mashed potatoes though, and oh my that was a good idea.
Tuesday: ravioli and salad. Finally Tesco carries frozen ravioli. In the states it is common place to get it frozen, and it tastes amazing. I find all other ravioli to mushy and or slimy. Not good. But this? Oh this is amazing. It is four cheese ravioli, cooks in 3 minutes, and it has the perfect texture you would expect from well cooked pasta. Dump on some sauce and call it a meal. It is also only £2 and one bag is more than enough for us as it is very filling. I paired this with a salad and used our new favourite dressing. This stuff is amazing. We have made two batches and I need to make a third. The vinegar is just enough for my tastes (as I usually like it quite strong) and the girls also love it! Score. Please try it! I used an old jar to make mine for easy shaking and storing in my fridge. Also I just used whatever mustard we had to hand which was Coleman’s american style mustard. Very close to a dijon with a hint of spice.
Wednesday: oven baked fish with new potatoes. We love basa fish from Tesco. You get four large white fish fillets and it is usually on deal 2 for £6 which is a great deal for good fish. It does not taste fishy at all, and it also has a more meaty texture which I prefer in a fish. Usually I would just squeeze over a lemon and bake, then serve with salsa on top and rice on the side. But, today is quite chilly and rainy so I want it a little more comforting. As I mentioned I got the new Philadelphia stir in sauce in garlic and herb. I am going to squeeze a lemon over my fish, bake for 10-15 minutes, add the garlic and herb sauce, and then bake a further 10-15 minutes. Just boil some potatoes, toss in a little butter and steam some broccoli. Sorted.
What are you guys eating this week? Trying any new recipes or enjoying any old favourites? I would love to hear any new ideas!
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I love water. I always have a glass somewhere, usually by the sink. Why by the sink? Because if I leave it anywhere else it disappears Little people drink it, Alex steals it, and now Lily even drinks it. Thanks. So, I keep it by the sink cause lets be honest, I am always in the kitchen doing laundry, dishes, or feeding someone. Even though I love water sometimes I need something else. I don’t drink any sodas or colas or whatever. I like tea and coffee here and there, but not when it is warm outside.
I also grew up in the south. I say I am from Chicago, and I am. Most of my family lives there, and I spent my formative years there. And by that I mean my brutal hellish teenage ones. Sorry mom! But, I spent a few of my younger years in Tennessee. And anyone who knows the South knows how they like their sweet tea! I make sweet tea from time to time but it is laden with sugar and it makes me jittery because I would drink the entire pitcher in one day.
Enter sweet green tea. It is so good and refreshing. It is good for you too what with all the antioxidants in green tea and no sugar! I always tell Alex it is my detox drink. He laughs at me. With good reason.
Gather up a pitcher, a few green tea bags, a lemon, and some sort of sweetener I use Truvia. It is so sweet I do not like to use it in coffees or teas. But in this it is perfect as we only use a small amount.
I start by boiling my kettle. I add about a cup or two of boiling water to my pitcher and 4-5 green tea bags. They then steep and make extra strong green tea within a few minutes. Usually I do the dishes while and wait and by the time I am done so is my tea.
Sprinkle in 2 teaspoons of sweetener and give it a swirl around. Then drop in some sliced lemons. I like to do it at this stage when it is just hot water as I feel it extracts the most lemon flavor.
Finally top it up with cold water and chill. It really reminds me of sweet tea. It is not strong in flavor and the lemon is refreshing. I will totally drink all of this in one day. And wake up 50 million times in the night to go potty.
I would end this post with a lovely picture of it in a glass with a lemon wedge and some cute napkin and a book near by but lets be honest, I am lucky if I get to even pour it in a glass.
Hope you enjoy this switch up to water 🙂