Saturday, January 28, 2012

{FFWD} Broth Braised Potatoes

Well, today is Saturday, not Friday. But that is OK. I am at least getting my post up before the weekend is over. I actually made these potatoes a couple of weeks ago while hubs and I were on the Daniel Fast. It is basically a vegan diet with even more restrictions. By changing out the chicken broth in these for vegetable broth they were able to fit the bill.

Have you ever eaten at Boston Market? That is what these tasty potatoes made me think of...mmmm Boston Market....

These were very simple to make and turned out perfectly. Both of my kiddos went back for seconds and my hubs like them as well. They will definitely go in the recipe rotation!

Make sure to check out how all the other cooks did with this recipe and make sure to pick up a copy of Around My French Table and join in the cooking fun! :)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Quinoa and Black Beans

Over the last few weeks Bobby and I have been sticking to a vegan diet plus more restrictions. I got a set of new pans for Christmas and they have been getting a workout! We have tried all kinds of new recipes and this was one that I really liked. Before the last few weeks I had never made quinoa and in the last few weeks I have eaten it three times. This recipe was fairly simple to make and everyone ate it. Munchkin ate hers quickly and went back for seconds. Little Man wrapped his in a flour tortilla and graced the dog with his crumbs that came hurtling out of the bottom of the wrap. Bobby wrapped his in corn tortillas and added his homemade pico. I just ate mine straight.

At my cooking club the other night one of the girls brought quinoa since she is on weight watchers. It was different than this recipe but it was delicious! It is nice to find a grain that has so many options and is so versatile. I can see making this with fruit instead of corn and black beans.

You can find the recipe I used here. Try it out! I think you will like it as much as I did!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Spam and Anchovies - 2012 Edition

Near the end of the year our little Spam and Anchovies group had a some trouble getting together on a regular basis. We did have a soup swap...where I didn't take soup because I am lame...but I did take cake. I brought home a delicious butternut squash soup and a delicious minestrone soup.
We also had a cookie swap where all 5 of us made it. The cookies were fantastic and we had a sweet little time together right before Christmas.

We are now onto the 2012 version of Spam and Anchovies and we are changing things up a bit. Each of us (Melissa, Vanessa, Kenna, Anne and me) invited a friend to join us. We set a regular night to meet and we decided to have the host prepare the main course. Everyone else will bring sides, drinks and dessert. Cooking together was fun but we were sitting down to eat pretty late and then we were tired. We are hoping this will work out even better than last year did.

Friday was our first 2012 get together. Melissa hosted and made chicken chili. We were missing Kenna due to a sick kiddo (we missed ya Kenna) but the rest of us were there with our guests. It was a wonderful beginning to a year of dining together!

I am looking forward to the conversation, the new recipes we are bound to try, and the fun memories with my Spam and Anchovies group! :)

Friday, January 20, 2012

{FFWD} Quarter Quarts

 One of my favorite Dorie Greenspan recipes is Swedish Visiting Cake. Since making it with Tuesdays with Dorie I have probably made it 50 times. In fact, I made it again yesterday for a class. It is fast, easy and delicious. This cake is made using a similar technique to the Swedish Visiting cake but adds a step with whipping the egg whites. It was not difficult but I did have a moment of doubt when I thought the egg whites would deflate and make my cake come out flat. Not to fear though, they did not deflate and the cake came out perfect.
Quarter Quarts means four fourths. It is basically using the same amount of certain ingredients. Dorie did some adjusting to the recipe though to convert the measurements and to make it perfect for those of baking in the US. The brown sugar sprinkled on the top gave this cake just the right amount of sweetness. My kiddos and my hubs really liked it. Unfortunately we each only got one small piece because the darn dog...who I swear is extending her reach every up on the counter and ate the rest during the night. The dog eating the cake aside, this is a recipe I would definitely make again.

Don't forget to go to the French Fridays with Dorie site and check out the Leave your Link to see how other cooks from around the world fared with this sweet cake. You can also purchase Around My French Table and join in the cooking fun!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Creative Discovery Museum

On Saturday I sent a message to my friend Angela to see if she could meet me in Chattanooga on MLK Day so we could hang out for the day. We ended up at the Creative Discovery Museum which was perfect for us and the kids. Munchkin and The Sports Star have been buddies since they were babies so we love to get together when we can. One of my first memories of Angela is her coming to visit me in the hospital when I had Munchkin. So, she has been a part of my life for over nine year. I am blessed to call her friend! :)
The Big Kahuna looks like a little wizard in this photo. :) This museum was completely hands on and the kids loved it. I loved the layout because Ang and I could sit in one area and talk and could see the kids from where we were. It is so weird to be able to go to a place like that and not have to be on top of my babies every single second. They are big enough that as long as I could see them I felt like they were fine.
One of the great things about this museum was that you could leave and come back. This means that we were able to go out to lunch and come back. It was a little less busy when we came back from lunch, I am sure partially because all the little kids went home for naptime. Another great thing was that parking was $5 for the entire day. Since everything was close by we were able to leave the cars and walk to lunch.
It was difficult to leave our sweet friends at the end of the day. We do not get to see them nearly enough so it is days like these with them that I treasure. :)

Tuesday, January 03, 2012


 Back before Christmas, when it was slightly warm the moon was fantastic! These are a couple of different nights when I had a few minutes to be outside taking pictures.

This last one is one of my favorites. 
Do you ever hang out and watch the stars and the moon? Munchkin has been pointing out Orion and The Big Dipper the last few nights. It is fun to share that with our kiddos. 

Monday, January 02, 2012

{FFWD} - Chard Stuffed Pork and Cauliflower Gratin

So, I realize that this is French Fridays with Dorie and that this is Monday. However, since I am trying to get back on track these are 2 recipes from December that I made, took photos of and did not post. I will keep this post short and sweet so you can just enjoy the recipes. To see how other cooks around the world did with these two recipes check out French Fridays with Dorie. You can pick up the cookbook (Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan) to try out the recipes!
I made the Cauliflower Bacon Gratin last week and it was met with favorable reviews. My hubs and the kids said it was like Mac and Cheese with cauliflower and went back for seconds. That is always a sign of a yummy recipe in my house!

The pork loin I made for New Years Eve dinner. We had some friends come over and everyone ate it up. Melissa said she really like the flavor of the filling in it. My sweet husband, when I told him about it, thought I said "Charred", stuffed pork loin. When I explained that it was "Chard" stuffed pork loin he wasn't as thrilled but ended up liking the finished product anyway. :)

Both recipes were delicious and I can see making both of them again sometime. Now on to the January recipes. They include Bubble Topped Brioche Rolls, Jacques Armagnac Chicken, Quarter Quarts and Broth Braised Potatoes. I am hoping to complete all of them so make sure to check in on Fridays!

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Happy New Year 2012

Well, 2011 has come and gone and here we are in 2012. Of course it will be May before I actually write 2012 on anything. With the dawning of a new year there are always resolutions to think of. Are you a resolution person or a "resolutions are lame" person?

The new year to me always feels like a fresh start. I know it is silly but the changing of the year is a big deal in my mind! So, even though I don't necessarily make resolutions I do think about things I would like to do better or more of in the year to come. Some of my friends focus on a word for the year and I think that is a great idea. One friend (Sarah) is focusing on the word "Friendship". We just had a conversation about how so many of us have just let our friendships fall away because we are so busy raising our kids and focusing on really important things that we use busyness as an excuse not to call up a friend for coffee. However, we have to be intentional about friendships in this time in our lives so that our friendships can be cultivated and stay strong. Several other words that friends shared for the year are Freedom, Calm, and Love. I think if I was to choose a word for the year it would have to be Self Discipline. It is something I am lacking and hope to focus on this year.

One of the areas I would like to have self discipline in this year is cooking for my family. We eat out far too often and really need to eat at home. I also want to be disciplined in posting a photo each day on my crazyblessedlife365 blog and in keeping up with French Fridays with Dorie and with Baking with Julia. For those people that cook for their families on a very regular basis this might seem silly but it is an area where I struggle. Yes, I bake lots of goodies but I need to actually cook too. :) I suppose if I keep up on the blogging you will be able to tell if I have kept up with Self Discipline this year.

If you were to choose a word what would it be? If you don't choose a word, have you set some goals or resolutions for the year? I would love to hear what you are planning for least until the end of the world in December. ;)