Friday, March 25, 2011

Inspired by Television

This is what happens when I watch shows about cooking.  I've been watching the TLC show, Take Home Chef with Curtis Stone, on Netflix while feeding the baby.  I've been getting all kinds of good ideas and finally decided to try some out.  I decided to surprise Jeremy with a gourmet meal.  Although he knew I was making a nice meal, he didn't know what it would be.  I made the girls fish sticks for dinner and he thought that was it!  Ha!Ha!  I would think that after 12 yrs. of marriage he would know me better than that, but I guess he just had no idea what I had up my sleeve.

Since he really likes bruised tuna steak with wasabi and I really like shrimp and scallops (which he is allergic to), I made us each a really good meal.  This is our alternative to going to a restaurant and very economical.  The girls ate their dinner in their playroom with a new movie and we got to eat a peaceful dinner.  It was very nice!  So, without further ado, here was our dinner:

My entree was Venetian Shrimp & Scallops by Rachel Ray with Red skinned mashed potatoes.  Thanks to our non-gourmet local grocery stores, I didn't get to use the saffron strands and they didn't have any fresh basil in stock.  However, it was really good anyway and I used flat-leaf Italian parsley.  YUM!
Just to set the record straight - that is Merlot Sparkling Grape Juice - no alcohol.   Just in case anyone was wondering. 

Jeremy's entree was an 8 oz. yellow-fin tuna steak pressed in black & white sesame seeds then seared in toasted sesame oil. I served it with a side of wasabi sauce.  I roasted carrot strips in Hoisin Sauce & fresh grated ginger and served it along side red-skinned mashed potatoes.

For dessert I made chocolate boxes filled with chocolate mousse and topped with raspberries.  I had the girls share one and it was still pretty intense!  It's alot of chocolate.  I would recommend adults sharing one.

Our candlelit dessert:
 Chocolate covered kids!


Overall a successful, economical gourmet dinner at home!

Good Food & Kid Friendly Recipes with a Side of Entertainment

Although I haven't been posting much, I have been cooking and making some pretty great creations.  I'm not sure how it's happened and it certainly doesn't happen every night, but I've found a couple minutes here and there.  I've been finding recipes that are fairly simple for obvious reasons.  Here are a few:

These are Eggs Benedict with tomato and avocado slices with the Happy Hollandaise Sauce.  Yum!  It's not often I get to make myself a really good brunch, but it happened this day.

Then one day I made myself a Greek Salad and my own dressing of olive oil, lemon juice and oregano.

Then there have been times that Jeremy makes us dinner.  He makes really good homemade pizzas!  We use my friend Jeanne's pizza dough recipe - it works great everytime!

1 1/2 c. warm water
1 TBL yeast
2 TBL sugar (or honey)
Mix together and let sit for a minute or two.

1 1/2 c. white flour
1 1/2 c whole wheat flour (or you can use all white)
1 TBL salt
2 TBL olive oil

Add the flour,salt and oil. Mix well.
Add up to one more cup of flour to make soft dough. Knead for 4-5 minutes. . Let rise for 30 - 40 minutes.

Punch down and shape. Will make 1 thick 16" crust or 2 fairly thick 12" crusts.

The girls enjoyed getting their hands all buttery to squish the Rice Krispy Treats into the pan.  

I never watched the TLC show, Jon & Kate Plus 8, when it actually ran.  So, during my many hours of feeding the baby, I caught up on all 5 episodes.  I've found several great recipes, including Monkey Munch and Chicken Cheese Steak.  This was the granola recipe that they made with Emeril.  It's so easy and so good!
 We made Peanut Butter Cookies too.  The girls LOVE to press them with the fork for the design.  I use the good, ole Betty Crocker Recipe for this one.

I found this recipe for a Hootenanny Pancake on a blog I follow.  It was really simple and fun to watch.  It was pretty good too, although certainly not the healthiest thing you've ever had.

I just started following another blog and found this fun jello recipe.  I used melon flavored jello for it instead of lime.

With watching the shows of Jon & Kate Plus 8, I found some good ideas for kids.  One of which was a creative way to get out their energy in this snow covered paradise we live in.  We took them to a Jump House place and it was worth every penny of $5 each for an hour!  They had so much fun.

Then some good old-fashioned fun was in order since we had so much snow.  Thank goodness the girls have a very creative Daddy!

Monkey Business

 It's hard to believe my little, twin girls turned 5 this year!  They are my pride and joy.  We are so blessed with all 3 of our little ones. 

 This year's birthday theme was chosen by Angelina & Aubrey.  They were given a barrel-o-monkeys by their Grammy for Christmas and they decided they liked them so much they wanted their birthday party themed after them.  Of course Jeremy and I jumped on board with that and started planning.  Seeing as it was only one month after Lucia was born, I had to plan for ideas that were not too complicated and could be done in advance - including the cake.  We used the color theme of sock monkeys - red, beige, and brown -  and I made a 5 layer cake that I froze several days in advance.  Here are the results of  our efforts:

Jeremy made these adorable garlands for the doorways:

Jeremy also made these birthday hats for everyone to color.  Since Angelina randomly ran a fever the night before, we had to cancel all of the kids coming over for the party in case of it being anything catchy.  Fortunately, all of the adults who came humored the girls by coloring and sporting these lovely caps!

My beautiful 5 yr. olds...
More details of the party:

Happy Birthday to you!

 We even had a King Kong sighting!