Archive | April, 2013

Those Days When You Needed Extra Sauce

11 Apr

For every bad day of attempted yard work, there’s hollandaise sauce.

We recently acquired some old kitchen cabinets from our even older family cabin that have been retired in a storage community since Clinton was president. There comes a moment when you’re cleaning out a storage unit where you decide that every ludicrous up-cycle you can dream up is a fantastic idea. I’m not sure if any of them were brilliant or if I’m just too cheap to pay someone to get rid of my family’s old junk. We may know by the year 2043 because that’s about the time I will have finished all of these charmingly unique projects.

It was around the end of The Great Storage Evacuation Project of 2012 & 2013 that we planted our garden starts for the year and I went to work on convincing my husband that spending hundreds of dollars on a garden for me to kill was a good idea because it would be a fun and educational experience for Cannon. I poured over plans for raised beds and container gardens in an effort to find the attractive and cheap option I was looking for. As I stood, sweaty and dusty looking up at a towering white kitchen cabinet, I realized the answer was right in front of me. We lovingly tossed the kitchen furniture into our side yard for two months, preventing the landscaper from being able to keep it from growing into a jungle. Naturally, this maximized the amount of work there was to do when I would finally announce to the family that I was sick of staring at the ugly, overgrown side yard with the dilapidated furniture cemetary, dammit.

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Aaron cursed me affectionately as he laid the cabinet down, with Cannon’s help, of course.

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¬†The guys drilled some holes around the bottom and lower sides of the cabinet so that our sprouts don’t get soggy. As they did, I wondered when this cabinet was painted last.

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It was about that time, I figured I would worry about lead poisoning another day and get to fixing dinner. We had farm fresh asparagus in our organic produce box this week and hubby picked up some steaks. On the grill, they went, while I threw together a salad. Our weekly special for the pizza biz last week was a Greek pie so we have some extra feta cheese and kalamata olives lying around. I added some sundried tomatoes and topped the red leaf lettuce that we get in our box every week. Some garlic-infused olive oil and balsamic reduction were the perfect dressing. For such a simple salad, I was in heaven! It had so much flavor with very little effort on my part. Now, although I appreciate a tasty meal from scratch, I digress when it comes to this sauce! I’ve tried hollandaise from scratch countless times and I just can’t beat the effortless preparation of the Knorr’s packet. I was craving that Sunday brunch staple so I whipped it up while the steaks rested. Perfection!

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Taco Thursdays…

4 Apr

I could act like we have designated meal nights, but that would be a bold-faced lie to convince you that I have my act together.

Tonight I made tacos, today is Thursday. Purely coincidental alliteration.

I also managed to eat three scoops of ice cream for under 75 calories! More on that later…

These Tacos were quick and easy and I had everything on hand! For someone who doesn’t meal plan or purposefully grocery shop, it’s a match made in heaven! Deciding on tacos in this house used to mean committing to a night of preparing 500 toppings. It left me feeling sweaty, used and staring at that extra baggie of shredded lettuce for a week. I’ve had a fish taco obsession lately so this was a quick way to mimic the simple fish taco recipes that I love. It also had two huge advantages: I didn’t have to change out of my hole-y leggings and put a bra on OR listen to my husband tell me we are eating out too much. He turned to me tonight while preparing his fifth taco and asked, “Why are these so good?” That, my love, is the taste of money in your pocket.

Act Together Tacos

Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of frozen chicken (or so… I used what was left in a bag of thighs)
  • 1 packet of chicken taco seasoning (or some chicken seasoning with a dash of chili powder)
  • 1 pack of tortillas (I used some white corn tortillas)
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese (I used half pepper jack, half white cheddar)
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • 1/4 white onion, finely chopped
  • salsa, to taste

1. Place the frozen chicken in a pot and fill with water just enough to submerge the chicken. Cover the pot and place on high heat for 20 minutes.

2. While the chicken is cooking, shred the cheese, chop the avocado and onion, and sandwich some tortillas between two generously damp paper towels.

3. After 20 minutes, drain the chicken and return it to the pot. Season the chicken with a packet or spices and use two forks to shred the meat, if you notice any pink centers as you shred, turn the burner back on until chicken is cooked completely.

4. Microwave the towel-wrapped tortillas for 45 seconds to 1 minute.

Build some tacos and enjoy!

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Then, to congratulate myself on being so damn coordinated, I dug into three scoops. Three very miniature scoops.

You see, we still have these little cups and spoons hanging around from a fun DIY ice cream activity at our rehearsal dinner, since we had to order around 1000 of each minimum. My 4 year old goes crazy over them but that’s nothing compared to my excitement for making miniature versions of some of my favorite things. ¬†Tonight was three adorable scoops of sherbet (a tablespoon measure made the perfect scoop), a quick squirt of whipped cream and some fun sprinkles. And I enjoyed it all for less than 75 calories. Perfect end to That Taco Thursday That Happened That One Time.

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Four

2 Apr

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