Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Aspragus, Goat Cheese, and Lemon Pasta

Ok, while cruising Pinterest, I came across this recipe for Asparagus, Goat Cheese, and Lemon Pasta. If you know my love for goat cheese, pasta, asparagus, and well, anything citrus, you would know this is like my dream food. Seriously, if you love goat cheese, like I do, try this!

Asparagus, Goat Cheese, and Lemon Pasta

1 lb pasta
1 lb slender asparagus spears, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbsp finely grated lemon peel
2 tsp fresh terragon
1 5 - 5 1/2 ounce log of soft fresh goat cheese (pre crumbled will not melt as well)
fresh lemon juice to taste

Cook your pasta in a pot of well salted water until it is almost tender, about 3 minutes shy of what the package suggests.  Add the asparagus and cook until firm tender, about another 2-3 minutes.  Drain the pasta and the asparagus together reserving 1 cup of pasta water.
Meanwhile, combine the oil, lemon zest, terragon, and cheese in a large bowl, breaking up the cheese as you put it in.
Add the pasta and asparagus to the cheese mix with a couple slashes of pasta water.  Toss until smoothly combined adding more pasta water if necessary.  Season generously with salt, pepper, and lemon juice.

Bloody Good Steak

Ok, so I'm new at the steak thing. I mean not new at eating it, or even grilling it, but when it comes to cooking steak inside my home, I'm so clueless.  Ok, so I fibbed a little there because I don't grill it either, my husband does that for me.  Either way, I don't really cook steaks but I saw these gorgeous flank steaks at the shop and just had to have them.  Not ideal cuts I know, but trust me.  I should have photographed them raw, because they were so lovely I just couldn't pass them up.  After looking through pinterest for a way to cook them, I came across this recipe for Bloody Good Steak. And it was quite good!

Bloody Good Steak

1 slab of flank steak
2 tbsp black peppercorns
Extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
Balsamic Vinegar

Place peppercorns in a plastic bag and smash with a hammer until they are coarsely crushed. (Ok, I cheated here.  I have 3 settings on my pepper grinder and just set it on the biggest setting.)
Drizzle olive oil and salt on both sides of the steak and then rub with the peppercorns.
Heat a cast iron skillet until hot (not too hot or you have a lovely smoke filled house and multiple smoke detectors going off through out your entire two story home...)  Cook meat on both sides 3-4 minutes or so depending on size of meat. Meat should be well browned but still rare and soft to the touch when pressed.
Remove steak and drizzle liberally on both sides with vinegar.  Let rest for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.

Spring Chicken

Ok, so I've really been slacking on my recipe posting.  Trust me though, there has been some really yummy things coming out of this kitchen.  This recipe, Spring Chicken by Nigella Lawson, became my husbands new number one, favorite recipe.  I have a feeling a Nigella Lawson cookbook in my future.

I did make a few substitutions for things that I didn't have which I will list here.  If you want the original recipe, click on the link up above.

Spring Chicken

(My picture isn't the best. I should have taken it with them all still pretty in the pan. I'll replace the picture the next time I cook it.)

1 tsp vegetable oil
4 or 5 strips of bacon, cut into small pieces
8 chicken thighs
1 leek, cleaned, quartered, and thinly sliced
1 stick celery, quartered and thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
2 tsp dried marjoram
1/2 tsp salt
1 bottle woodchucks hard apple cider (I used crisp since it's more bitter and less sweet)
1 tbsp dijon mustard
3-4 handfuls of spinach, cut into strips

(The recipe does call for 2 1/3 cup of frozen peas, which I didn't have on hand.  That's the one thing I will add or change next time that I didn't do this time.)

Heat the oil in a large pan.  Add the bacon and cook until the color starts to change and they begin to give off juices.
Add the chicken thighs to the pan, tossing the bacon on top of them.  Cook for about 5 minutes over medium heat.
Turn the thighs over and add the leek, celery, and garlic.  Season with the marjoram, salt, and pepper, stirring everything around for a bit and let cook for another 5 minutes.
Pour in the cider (and the frozen peas if you have them) bring to a boil and then cover, turning the heat down to simmer.
Cook for 20 minutes if boneless or 40 if the bone is still in, checking after 30 minutes.
Remove the lid, stir in the mustard, and add the spinach over the chicken.  Let it welt in the heat and the sauce for a few minutes.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Happy Homemaker Monday

Good morning!  It's a new day and a new week.  I'm exhausted from our mini weekend holiday.  Hope this Monday morning finds everyone well.  Now, lets get on with it.

The weather outside is::::
COLD! Very cold, but it will be nice and warm later today.

On the breakfast plate this morning::::
Blueberry oatmeal with a banana, some green machine, and I'm thinking about making some coffee.

As I look outside my window:::
Everything is covered in frost.  It looks cold but beautiful.  Later today though, it will be really warm.

Right now I am::::
Sitting at the kitchen table typing up this post and eating my breakfast.
As I look around the house::::
Sydney is sitting at the table watching the Fresh Beat band on her iPad, Scottie is sleeping in her carseat on the table, and Rylie is still asleep in her bed upstairs.  The house could use a little picking up, and I still have a bag or two to unpack from this weekend.  I also have a little bit of laundry piled up from this weekend to fold and some to wash.
On today's to do list::::
Laundry....I need to fold the clothes from our weekend holiday and wash the kids sleeping bags, and our clothes from yesterday.
Cleaning....In the kitchen....Dishes, and the floor really could use some attention, so I'll be sweeping and mopping it.  Also, there are a couple bags left in the kitchen on the floor that need unpacked.
In the living room....Just need to fold up the couch blankets, put the pillows back on the couches and pick up a couple of toys.
In the bedrooms....The beds need to be made.   
In the bathrooms....Maybe a quick wipedown, but I tried to leave the house clean before we left so I wiped them all down Friday.
Grocery shopping.... I don't dare do a big trip with the kids, but I do need a few things from the shop. I also need to work on my meal plan.
Cooking.....I'm not sure yet what I'll be cooking today, but I sure will be. 
Sydney's Dance
Ben's Wrestling
Currently reading::::
Game of Thrones and Becoming Laura Ingalls Wilder by John E Miller   

On the TV today::::
I've been watching Miranda on Hulu and laughing so hard.  Miranda Hart is hysterical!  I'll probably watch some more of it today.

On the menu this week::::
I'm not really sure yet.  I have to do my week meal plan first.
Monday - 
Tuesday - 
Wednesday - 
Thursday - 
Friday - 
Saturday -
Sunday - 

What I am creating at the moment::::
I started a pretty little bunting for my room, but haven't had much of an opportunity.  

New recipe I tried or want to try this week::::
I may have something for this later but at the moment I don't have one.

Favorite photo from the camera::::

Prayers, Inspirational Quotes or Devotionals::::

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Catching Up In The Chaos

Ok, so I've been a pretty crappy blog owner lately.  Christmas came and went.  As anyone, especially someone with children, can understand that the holidays become a huge blur.  Shawn took off from the day after Christmas until January 5th from work, so he had a little over a week of time to just hang out with us.  We were originally going to do a vacation to Colorado, but having to buy a new car at the end of November kind of killed that plan.  Then we planned on doing all of the fun stuff we could find and pack into our days.  Well, Ben continued to have wrestling, so we had to stay around home.  We didn't really do anything special, just took down the Christmas decorations and got the house back in order.

Here's my new car. She's really beautiful.  Also, here's a picture of the kids in the van, saying goodbye.  She was a good van.  The kids love the Explorer, but were sad to see the van go.

The day after Shawn went back to work, he was traveling again...  Actually as I type this, he is in Chicago on his 2nd of 3 business trips this month.  I hate him being gone this much, and he doesn't like it either, but it's what pays the bills, so we're just dealing with it.

I did some snacks for Ben's school Christmas party, and was so excited to get to stay at the party while Shawn stayed home with the girls.  He was so excited for me to be there, and even the other moms were wow'd by my snacks of snowmen cheese sticks and reindeer food.

The weekend before Christmas we took the kids to the Plaza.  They have horses pulling fun carriages and sleighs and at Christmas time, they cover every building in Christmas lights.  There are always tons of pan handlers there, some more talented than others, but honestly, it wouldn't be the same down there with out them.  We had a really great time and we took Shawn's Aunt Susie with us. She's so neat.

The kids made wishes rubbing the boars nose.

We sang and danced with the Hare Krishnas.

We ate a little treat at Natasha's.

Here's my best Christmas pictures:

We've really started our house search.  We've been looking for a while, but now, we are getting serious.  It's exciting, stressful, and frustrating all at the same time.  We know what we want and need, and aren't wanting to compromise on those things.

We managed to get a very small amount of snow at one point this season so far.  Bummer we haven't gotten more, but we weren't allowed to let this snow go with out being played in.  Sydney and Rylie had a stomach bug but Ben and I managed to get out and play in it for a short amount of time.

Shawn's birthday, is literally 3 days after Christmas, and he wanted a low key birthday, so I made chili for the whole family and Sydney made the cake.

On New Years Eve, we stayed home (like we usually do) and did our fun little party.

I've been trying really hard to keep up on housework and get the normal tasks done.  And with 4 kids, no task is quick or small.  Grocery shopping is a nightmare.  I've started back up Door to Door Organics, which delivers organic fruits and vegetables to our doorstep.  I've also ordered from Amazon Pantry a few times which is nice also.  On little grocery trips, I've found that if you get Rylie a nice treat, like a cake pop and chocolate milk, she stays content in the cart the entire time.

Scotland is now pulling herself up on everything and yesterday even took one tiny little step before face planting in the living room carpet.  We've started cloth diapers out of frustration with constant leaks and blowouts in the disposables.  We've had good luck with only one leak, overnight, and only pee, so not quite so bad.  I'm looking at other diapers for overnight.  She's also still getting up a lot in the night and I can't keep doing this.  I'm completely exhausted and the doctor told me that she doesn't need to continue with middle of the night feedings and all that is happening is I'm creating a monster.  A cute little monster that wakes up in the middle of the night, keeping me up and making me her human pacifier.  This momma could use a little sleep!

Ben lost both of his front teeth.  He looked so cute with that toothless smile, but it really didn't last long.  He has two front teeth growing in very quickly now.

I have a couple of really good recipes I need to post on here also.  I mean really good ones!

Yesterday was Shawn and I's 7 year wedding anniversary.  We celebrated this last weekend by going out to dinner at McCormick and Schmicks.  It was so amazing.

For an appetizer we had crab tater tots that were giant tater tots filled with lump crab meat, brie cheese, and potatoes.  We each had a bowl of clam chowder as well.  Honestly, it was the best clam chowder I've ever had.
Shawn got a steak and lobster meal.

I got steak and stuffed shrimp.  The shrimp were stuffed with lump crab meat.

For dessert we got the chocolate bag, and the crème brûlée.

After dinner and picking up the kids from the in-laws, we finally decorated our bedroom.  I'd been dying to put up some things in our bedroom that we had in the garage, and I've been trying really hard to come up with something for over our bed.  Shawn surprised me for our anniversary by taking me to a really neat store downtown and buying me two copper bracelets as well as a beautiful wall hanging for over our bed.

I'm so in love with how it looks.  I'm actually sitting on the bed, right now, while I type this.  I just love my room.

Ben is home sick today from school.  He's got a pretty yucky cough, he's clogged up, and has a pounding headache.  Sydney and Scotland do also, but Rylie seems pretty ok, a little clogged up but not coughing.

The weather here has been completely insane.  Up and down... We've had days where the high was like 2 degrees and then days like yesterday that made it into the 60s.  We actually walked to pick up Ben from school on Friday.

We've been having Smash nights every week with Shawn's sister and her boyfriend.  The kids got a Wii U and several games for Christmas.  We've been enjoying Super Smash Bros together as a family.  It's really a lot of fun and can have up to 8 players at a time.

We even made it out to the Nelson Atkins Art Museum to see their Plains Indians exhibit on their last day.  It was really cool and the kids enjoyed it too.  Maybe I'll do a full post on that tonight or tomorrow, since I really did get so many pictures of the amazing artifacts.

Ok, I think I got the last month or so all summed up.  It's been insane.  Now, I'm going to try to do better with keeping up, because I really do miss this.