Sunday, February 6, 2011

Menu Sunday: Short Week

So, last Thursday, we went to Vegas.

{Fooled you, didn't we, Potential Burglers?  We are oh-so-sneaky.}

My Sister-in-Law turned 21 a couple weeks back, and we figured that benchmark deserved a Hangover-Style Celebration. Except without the Baby Bjorns.  Or the missing teeth.  Or the Mike-Tyson's-Tigers.  Or the Roofies. 

Okay, so it was nothing like The Hangover.  Whatever.  We saw Beatles Love and I got to wear sparkly clothing and my new, early-birthday shoes {like this, kinda, but silver and with a pattern and why can't I ever find links to Tory Burch shoes that I purchase?} and Evs tried to teach my how to play Craps which ended in me saying CRAP a lot {except replace the CRAP with SHIT}.  

Anyhoo, we'll chat about our mini-break later in the week, yes?  Point is, I wasn't all Cooky-McCookerton this week.   But there were some delectable delights...

{Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything}

This recipe smells wonderful as it is cooking... Seriously, it was an utterly delightful backdrop to my 90s Time Warp Solo Dance Party.  And the taste?  YUM-O... as long as you're down with S-O-D-I-U-M.  I had to put down my wine glass to gulp down the H20 after this meal.  {As I type these words, I can just see Evs chugging home from work, driving towards His Favorite Meal He Has Yet to Discover... Seriously, I think the only woman he might leave me for would be Lot's wife.}  Next time, I will definitely go the Low Sodium Soy Sauce Route.  You'll also note that I used boneless, skinless chicken breast tenders instead of the Whole, Scary Chicken w/ Bones & Skin & Giblets & Shit.  (a) It's Monday, (b) I made King Cake yesterday, and (c) just like Shakira, these hips don't lie - I just can't afford delicious, crispy chicken skin right now.  {My oven is writing checks my ass can't cash, mmmm'kay?}  It was still excellent.  

{Edited to Add: This morning - Tuesday - I woke up at 5 A.M. to the sound of sleet pelting our window, but also really, really, really needing another huge glass of water.  Woah, Nellie, that sodium aftershock is strong. Also?  Evan loved it.  Licked the bowl.  Told 'ya.}

Served with plain white rice... which you're going to need to mop up some of that sauce.  My grandmother makes the Best. Rice. Ever.  She makes lots of Best. Things. Ever., but her rice can cure anything that ails you.  She swears she just cooks regular, ol' Uncle Ben's with chicken broth instead of water... but I think she's harboring some deep, dark secret... like maybe she adds a dash of crack or unicorn dust or something of the sort.  Regardless, cook your rice with broth and it will take it to a whole new level... but it still won't be as good as Mama J's. 

BIG TIME NOTE: The NYT version of this recipe doesn't mention the optional addition of coconut milk, which, I have to say, I really thought made the dish.  {To illustrate, the note in How to Cook Everything says "the coconut milk isn't mandatory, though it does enrich the sauce considerably."  Listen to Mark.}  Add 3/4 c. of coconut milk to the poaching liquid.  Then, after removing chicken, add another 3/4 c. before reducing the sauce.  

Snow Day: Leftovers, Plus

 Today {Tuesday} I worked from home due the massive sheet of ice gripping the DFW area.  Working from home is somewhat lovely... I woke up with a hankering for an Egg-in-the-Hole sammy but realized we didn't have any bread in the house... So I made some!  I'm realizing that bread is pretty easy once you get the hang of it... I used to be under the impression that it was mega-time consuming, but the actual hands-on work is over in a snap if you have a stand mixer or food processor.  Today, I baked this Honey Whole Wheat Bread {only change: doubling the honey per several comments}, using these helpful hints for short-cutting all that kneading with a KitchenAid.  Is there anything better than a still-warm slice of homemade bread with a double dab of butter? I think not.

My weekly trip to the market yielded 3 pints of yellow grape tomatoes - it was the first time I've seen them at such a low price in months so I snapped them up.  Last night, I roasted up some red peppers, and tonight, I did a big batch of Roasted Red Pepper Sauce... hopefully enough to get us through to true tomato season! 

Between my bread-baking and my "canning," it felt like a Little House on the Prairie kind of day... if Laura Ingles had large kitchen appliances and central heating, that is. 

Dinner wasn't quite as exciting as my other Snow Day kitchen endeavors... easy, but satisfying leftover soup.  Curried Squash with Wild Rice for Evs.  Chicken Cashew Chili for moi.  Bread for all, obviously. 

Steak Diane + Twice Baked Potatoes & Brussels Sprouts

Last year, when asked what he wanted for supper on his birthday, Evs told me to make whatever I thought he'd like.  I made Lasagna Rolls, which {fine, FINE} was really what I thought I'd like.  And I did.  Immensely.  That's a damn good recipe, folks.  But my groom's more of a meat and potatoes type of guy... and this year, when posed the exact same birthday dinner query, he answered without hesitation: "I'd like Steak Diane, twice-baked potatoes, and brussels sprouts, please."  And that is why the Birthday Boy got!  

Steak Diane is an easy way to "beef up" {ha! pun!} a delicious tenderloin steak. Honestly, I'm not a Steak Sauce Girl - preferring the taste of good beef to any of that bottled crap... but this sauce is heavenly - the perfect accompaniment for your steak dinner!  Twice baked potatoes are a favorite of mine - my Mama J always made them when I'd come for dinner in law school... oh lordie those were 3 good years of eating!  I make mine "by heart" but here's a recipe I spied on Food Gawker the other day that is similar to my non-recipe... Tonight, I used extra-sharp cheddar, Parmesan, and a tiny bit of cream in the filling.  The brussels were sauteed in a tiny bit of butter and olive oil, boiled in a small amount of chicken broth, and then finished off under the broiler.  
Top it all off with 1 Red Velvet and 1 Pumpkin Spice from Sprinkes!

And so ends our short week of home-cooking.  Hope y'all are all staying warm and toasty!  


  1. Aw, I'm so jealous of your Vegas trip! I love Vegas. So much. Sigh. And your bread looks gorgeous! All of the pictures make me hungry regardless of all the Superbowl party food I just consumed, ha ha!

  2. Domestic goddess! Impromptu homemade bread? Spontaneous canning? I'm so impressed. Laura Ingalls Wilder ain't got shit on you, girl.

  3. I really almost raided the cabinets to see if I had bread ingredients even though I have never ever made homemade bread. It looks delicious! Also I'm pretty sure I gained like 3 pounds just reading this post. Mmmmm.

  4. First let me say I've been stalking your blog for awhile(in a totally non creepy way, I swear) and I love it!

    Next, last week I made the roasted red pepper sauce and the cashew chili chicken...Good Lord!!!I'm now addicted and I'm trying to figure out what else I can pour the sauce over!!!And the chili is indeed life changing. I can't wait for the next neighborhood pot luck ot blow them out of the water;)

  5. The Adobo Chicken looks delicious! Looks like I have a new recipe to try!


happy little comments!