Saturday, July 2, 2011

wednesday dinner: sloppy joes

I didn't take any pictures of this past Wednesday family dinner - dang it!  My poor dad was sick so my mom stopped by to help me make her delicious coleslaw and didn't stay for dinner.  My sister stayed though so it was still a nice time had by all.  I made sloppy joes and I got the recipe on  I looked for the most simple recipe I could find so I wouldn't have to buy many more ingredients.  I've made this recipe twice, a ground beef version and a meatless version, and it's delicious.

Cafeteria Sloppy Joes  
For the meatless version, I used this. 
And if anyone is interested in knowing my mom's scrumptious and easy coleslaw recipe, here goes:  thinly slice a head of cabbage (of your choosing but I especially love napa cabbage,) add that to a bag of ready-made coleslaw mix,  make a dressing using vegenaise (or mayo) and lime juice not sure on the measurements but you want the dressing to be a thin consistency and not too thick, add about a cup of thinly sliced green onion and a handful of chopped cilantro, toss it all together, finish off with salt and pepper and voila!  A delicious and simple coleslaw that goes perfectly with sloppy joes.  It even tastes good the next day!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

wednesday dinner: homemade marinara

Last night, I made Giada's homemade marinara sauce.  It is so easy to make and I got to use my immersion blender for the first time which was really exciting!  Giada doesn't actually puree hers but some people in my family (my sister) have a major aversion to tomato chunks (which I love.)  I served the sauce on capellini with a simple caesar salad on the side and Dennis picked out garlic cheese breadsticks from Trader Joe's.  To set the mood, I picked out Italian chianti and turned on a little Dean Martin on the iPod.  What a great night!  Oh and Dennis made delicious truffle brownies...from a box (TJ's) but they were still amazing!

we made the table bigger so we can all sit together!

wednesday dinner: simple curry

A couple of Wednesdays ago I made Jamie Oliver's simple curry sauce with tofu, cilantro lime rice and roasted brussel sprouts and asparagus.  If you love curry, Jamie's Food Revolution is a must buy.  He has a ton of different curry recipes and they all look delicious.  Because I was short on time, I kept it simple.  It was pretty tasty!  My family really enjoyed it.  I did substitute low-fat coconut milk from Trader Joe's but when I make this dish again I'm going with the full-fat stuff.  I like the consistency better.

simple curry with tofu

cilantro lime rice (yum)

roasted brussel sprouts with turmeric

roasted asparagus

she loved the dinner...but the picture taking not so much.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

wednesday dinner: asian chicken

A couple of Wednesdays ago I made Kelly's Asian Chicken for dinner.  My mom has been making this recipe for years.  We've shortened it to just "asian chicken" now and whenever she makes it the whole family is thrilled.  We even ask for it on special occasions still to this day.  Growing up, the house always smelled so good when my mom would make would make our mouth water.  I would describe the smell as both sweet and pungent.  And until recently I thought my mom was some sort of magician...that is until she got me my very own The Garlic Lover's Cookbook (the really old book this recipe is from.)  This cookbook is really just a collaboration of recipes from garlic loving home cooks...some of them won contests and whatnot.  Turns out Kelly's Asian Chicken won first place!  It's silly how easy it is.  It doesn't take very many ingredients at all.  And if you love garlic, you will love it! 

 loads of garlic!

 roasted some broccoli

 veggie version for myself (trader joe's chickenless strips)
 dennis squeezing out the roasted garlic for the broccoli.  yum!!!

 finished product.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

wednesday family dinners

For the past three Wednesdays, I've had my family over for dinner.  It's sorta becoming a tradition and I like it.  Dennis works insane hours right now and he's off on Wednesdays so I see it as the one night a week my family will get to hang out with him.  Plus, with him off it gives me a chance to clean up the house and go grocery shopping.  Pretty sweet arrangement if I do say so myself. 

I love to cook.  But it's hard to really try out new things when you have a husband who comes home at 11:30 p.m. every night, a 4-year-old who has become increasingly picky with age and a 6-month-old who only eats pureed stuff.  And I could care less about myself these days...if I don't eat at my mom's then I make myself something random for dinner, sometimes I only eat chips and salsa.  Yum.

The first Wednesday, Dennis barbequed chicken and I made pesto and salad and corn on the cob.  It was tasty.  (I made myself Trader Joe's chicken-less strips to have with the pesto.)  The second Wednesday, I made orecchiette pasta with white beans, parsley and balsamic vinegar with a salad - oh and a really good artichoke dip.  The third Wednesday, I made Jamie Oliver's Chile con Carne minus the carne...except I added smoked paprika, coriander and turmeric into the spice mix and used kidney beans, white cannelini beans and black beans instead of garbanzo beans.  Everyone liked it, even my dad who is not partial to spicy food.  Next time, I'm keeping the garbanzo beans and making a batch with ground beef since Dennis told me he likes his chili with meat.  I asked him for his opinion, at least he was honest!  I love Jamie Oliver and this cookbook is amazing!  I plan on making many more of his recipes.

I'm still looking for ideas for this Wednesday...I'm thinking Giada de Laurentiis this time?  I'll try to post my cooking endeavors on here every week (with pictures hopefully.)  This should be fun!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

grass, art and rolling over!

I haven't been on here for a while.  But I figured since I have Penelope taking a nap and Olivia watching a movie on the iPad I have a few moments to write down what's been going on lately in the McDonald household (mostly for my own benefit because I am truly so so forgetful!)

This weekend has been a bummer because both girls are sick with cold/coughs and yesterday Olivia had a fever for most of the day.  Sad.  We've been lounging around the house spying on our landlords who installed grass in our backyard yesterday!  We've lived here for a few months with just dirt for a backyard so this is so exciting for us!  Our landlords live on the same property but in a completely separate area in the back.  They are awesome people and the best landlords we've ever had.  They've also given us some places to plant flowers, herbs and vegetables.  My mom bought me some herbs to plant.  Let's see if I can manage to keep them alive!  Liv is starting some flowers from seed (see picture below.)  :)

While our landlords are weekend warriors outside, we've been pretty unproductive although I've managed to keep the house semi-clean while Dennis finally agreed to hang up a wire art gallery so we can hang the trillions of art projects Olivia brings home from school.  I bought the Dignitet wire system from Ikea on eBay.  It's meant to hang curtains but it will hang paper art projects just fine.

Even though our little Penelope (4 1/2 months old) is a little sick, she's still as active and feisty as ever!  She rolled over for the first time yesterday.  From back to front and then from front to back.  She's a rolling machine now!  She's rolled over a few times last night in her crib and couldn't get back over because of her sleepsack.  Poor thing.  I know if they can roll over it decreases the risk of SIDS significantly but I still worry.

Today we're off to buy another humidifier...stupid coughs!  Happy Sunday everybody!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

my attempt at vegan baking

So I've officially been off dairy, caffeine and chocolate for over 3 weeks now (with the exception of a special occasion day where I splurged on my mom's homemade spinach and ricotta ravioli and her friend Leonor's angel food cake with lemon curd mouth is watering as I write this.)  I have to say being vegan is a lot easier than I thought it was going to be!  Still, I find myself craving eggs and cheese but to distract myself I buy vegan cookbooks and attempt to make vegan baked goods.  First, I made oatmeal raisin cookies.  They were pretty good.  And yesterday I made vanilla cupcakes with vanilla frosting.  I modified a recipe I found on  Chloe is this super cute vegan gal who won Cupcake Wars on Food Network with her all-vegan cupcakes!  She has a ton of super delicious looking recipes on her blog.  I want to make her avocado pesto recipe next.  It looks scrumptious!

I am so happy to report that Penelope's colic has come to an end.  Hallelujah!  I'm not sure if it's my diet or if she just outgrew it once she turned 3 months old.  She is however a complete cling on!  She won't even let my mom hold her.  Seriously...and Olivia was obsessed with my mom as a baby so I'm not used to this!  I am hoping it's just a phase and that by making new people hold her on a regular basis she will start to become more comfortable with different people.  I really do hope so because my arms and back are going to literally fall off of my body pretty soon.  But I'd still take a clingy baby over a colicky baby any day hands down.

Yesterday, I took some pictures of Penelope for SUPER LATE baby announcements.  Olivia wanted in on the action...see below.