Sunday, February 12, 2012

Salt and Vinegar Potato Wedges

I'm still trying to get over a cold and instead of doing anything productive Friday at home, I read a book and ate potatoes. These potatoes to be exact with a dip of sour cream and chives. It was so good and I gave it a bit thumbs up...and the Little Mouths didn't get any, because they were in school.

So in the interest of my do nothing day, I was messing around on the internet. Pinternet, I might as well call it because it seems I'm spending most of my time these days on Pinterest. It's great for many things, but what I love about it is that its such a good jumping off place for ideas.

Friday, I was pining away when I saw figerling potatoes that had been parboiled in vinegar, then grilled. I love vinegar, but I don't put it on fries because it makes them soggy.  I didn't have any fingerline potatoes, but I had some getting-past-their-prime russets in my potato bin so I decided to give it a shot. I did peal these, but only because they were starting to get eyes. Eeek!

I would have left the skins on if I would have had the fingerlings or even some nice yukon golds...

Oh, and it was 14 degrees and snowing, so no grill. I used the broiler, added a healthy dose of pepper and some thyme.


Parboil potatoes in one part vinegar, two parts water. If you really like vinegar, you could skip the water, but I wasn't sure. Next time I might do a 1:1 ratio.

I boiled them in a small saucepan with just enough liquid to cover. I also just used the cheapest vinegar I owned, the stuff I normally only buy to clean with, but I think it they would be amazing if you want to spend the extra $ and use a flavored vinegar.

When they were just starting to be a bit tender, I drained them and patted them dry. Then I sprayed a baking sheet with olive oil, added the potato slices in a single layer, brushed the tops with olive oil and added salt and pepper.

I broiled until starting to brown, then flipped and browned the other side.  Very tasty!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Garlic Cheddar Biscuits

I needed something to go with yesterday's soup.  Grilled cheese sounded good and so did BLTs. Then I saw a commercial for Red Lobster and saw a photo of those luscious cheddar biscuits and decided to try to copy.

I think I did a good job, all things considered.

This is what I did...

1 cup biscuit mix, I used Jiffy
2/3 cup milk
1 cup shredded cheddar

Mix these three ingredients together and drop onto greased cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.

While that is in the oven, melt 2 tablespoons of butter and mix in 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic and 1/2 teaspoon dry herb of your choice. I used thyme.

Pull biscuits out of the oven and brush on the butter mixture.  Bake for 10 more minutes or until done.

I had more butter so I actually basted them twice, once at ten minutes and once after baking for 15 minutes. Aren't they pretty?

Thumbs up from everyone!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Broccoli-Cauliflower Soup

Last week broccoli and califlower were on sale at our local grocery store. I stocked up because I thought I'd make some purees to use later.

Then I got a terrible cold and pretty much forgot about them in the crisper.

In search of makings for soup, because of said cold, I found them and decided to make up a new recipe so they didn't go to waste. 

Broccoli-Cauliflower Soup

1 large onion, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large clove of minced garlic
1 bunch of broccoli
1 bunch of cauliflower
1 large potato
1 cup white wine (optional)
4 cups of chicken stock
4 cups water
1 package of cream cheese (I used Tofutti cause I love it and it adds a lot of extra nutrition)
1 cup plain Greek yogurt (which I'm still trying to use up)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Crisp turkey bacon and a dollop of sour cream and chives to garnish

Saute chopped onion in olive oil until just translucent. Add garlic for a minute. Add potatoes, cauliflower, broccoli.  Add white wine to deglaze pan, then add chicken stock and four cups water.

Cover and cook until veggies are very tender.  Blend with an immersion blender, regular blender or a food processor.

At this point, I froze half of the soup because it made A LOT of soup. I will add the dairy ingredients when I heat it up later.

Add cream cheese, yogurt and cheese until melted.  I served it with the cheddar biscuits I'll have on tomorrow.

Thumbs up from big mama and the bigger little mouth. Thumbs down from little, little mouth because it was green and there was no way I was going to get him to eat it.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Alfredo as a Protein??

A couple of weeks ago, I accidentally bought a very large container of plain Greek yogurt. I usually purchase vanilla, and I had no idea of what I was going to do with it. It's full of protein and fat free...but I think plain yogurt tastes terrible.

Then I remembered flipping through a cookbook at the library a while back and seeing a recipe for a healthier Alfredo sauce. I have another in this blog that I love, love, love, but it is light and I thought this one looked very thick and creamy.

I served it over Ronzoni Garden Delight pasta so the Little, Little Mouth would actually get a serving of veggies.  I tossed in some grilled chicken breast and served it with a Caesar Salad.

12 oz. box of your favorite pasta
2 tablespoons butter
3 cloves of garlic
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 cup chicken broth
1cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 cup fat free half and half 
Salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste

Follow directions on the pasta and cook in a large pot of boiling water until desired tenderness. 
Melt butter in saute pan and cook garlic for 1-2 minutes. Do not go check on science fair project while its on the stove. Garlic will burn quickly and you'll have to start over!

Add cornstarch and cook for a minute or so. Add chicken stock and stir well.  A kind of gravy will form.  Mix in the yogurt, cheese, seasonings and half and half. Simmer until it is the desired consistency. If it gets too thick, don't worry. Just add a bit of the pasta water and stir. Add a protein if desired and serve over the cooked pasta.
I garnished with a bit of finely chopped parsley.   

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Getting old...

A few months ago, I went to dinner with my best girls, Kelli and Lisa. We grew up together and always stay in touch by phone and facebook, but we don't all get the opportunity to get together often.

The three of us have been friends for more than three decades now, and I've known Lisa since birth. While a part of me will always blanch when I hear "20 or 30 years ago..." and realize I remember the event in question quite well,  I take comfort in their familiar faces. We all have more wrinkles and more chins than our youthful counterparts, but I have decided we wear them well.

I am over forty and happy to be. Actually, if I were completely honest, I am shocked to be to content with my advancing age.  My son is still cuddly enough to make me feel young, but my tweenager daughter can, at times, make me feel ancient or at least hopelessly out of date. Oprah says 40 is the new 30, but to be perfectly honest, I never expected to feel that way.

But then I had no idea there is such freedom in being over 40. For instance. I do not wear underwear that is not comfortable. Ever.

I drive a mini van. It has heated seats and three TVs and I will not apologize. There is nothing better than a warm butt on a cold day.

I also have a wonderful collection of Yoga pants, even though I thought downward facing dog was from the Kama Sutra.

But the best thing of all is that I accept who I am...and those I love, as we are. We're not perfect or even that petite, but we are wise enough to be happy in the skin we're in and to celebrate a life well lived...everyday.

Here's to middle age!

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