Saturday, May 29, 2010

What I Made for Dinner: May 29, 2010

Scallops in saffron cream sauce; shaved asparagus tart.

The first one, Josh requested.

When the boys were in Arizona, apparently Josh tried scallops and loved them and now he wants to go on an eating tour of Italy and Spain. For now, eating this dish will have to do.

(Josh would seem to be a perfect candidate for learning to cook at a young age. I read Pete Wells's columns about cooking with his young son and I think, Josh and I could do that. He loves food, he appreciates different flavors, he has a curious mind and a sense of the creative possibilities in the kitchen. But then he makes toast and drops the tongs in the toaster and doesn't notice until they catch fire; he opens a can and, as soon as I warn him not to touch the lid's edge, he slices his finger on it. And I think, no, Josh can wait to learn to cook.)

The second one was my pick, after I read Smitten Kitchen's post today and then Chuck came home from Costco with pounds and pounds of asparagus.

It was absolutely great, even though I used Pillsbury pizza crust from the pop-open canister.

So this was a nice dinner. Now I want to know: are you making anything special for the holiday weekend? Grilling out? Do tell!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Why I Didn't Make Dinner: May 26, 2010

Someone at our house is THREE!

He doesn't much like food at all, but if he's going to eat something he would very much prefer that it be processed crap, thank you so much, and above all not prepared by his mother. I got to make him a cake, though. It was iced with an ocean of green frosting.

He loves the Beatles and musical instruments of all kinds.

He thinks Scooby Doo is wildly entertaining. He adores his brothers above everything else.

He is very, very bossy.

He has very occasional moments of self-doubt, but mostly he figures he likes everyone in the world, so everyone in the world must like him back.

Monday, May 24, 2010

What My Mom and I Made for Dinner: May 24, 2010

Pasta alfredo with chicken, sausage and broccoli.

This is just the best way I can think of to use the leftovers from a fabulous cookout party on Saturday night. 

On Saturday, we hosted the women I work with and their families, and it was so fun.  There are ten children between us, and they all seemed to find someone to play with and to get along with each other, leaving the grownups to have a nice relaxed visit.  We grilled chicken and Italian sausages for the party and I made a couple of side salads, and of course I forgot to take any pictures at all.

But now I have some really nice leftovers, specifically some of those sausages and the chicken breasts, which were marinated in olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic before grilling.  My mom and dad came over for dinner tonight and we talked through how best to use these things.  There are a lot of great ideas.  Make sandwiches, put them in a salad, pizza, calzones.  The least effort seemed to be to slice them thin and toss them with pasta and broccoli and this alfredo sauce, made with half-and-half because I didn't have any cream in the house.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

What I Made for Dinner: May 19, 2010

Eight-hour pork roast with garlic bread and chopped salad.

Here's something to drive a person crazy:

This roast smells fantastic as it cooks, which is all day.  So Eli notices, and says it smells delicious, and wants to know what's cooking in the oven.  "It's meat for dinner," I say, solicitously.  "Do you think you'd like to try some?"  And then he runs across the house screaming "NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!" like I offered to serve him his own leg.


Monday, May 17, 2010

What I Made for Dinner: May 17, 2010

Fried rice with chicken, corn, and snap peas.

Another victory in the ongoing struggle to convince my father that he does, in fact, like vegetables.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

What I Made for Dinner: May 16, 2010

Chicken cutlets and pasta puttanesca, sauteed broccoli with garlic.

My boys are back and I am so happy, not least because I have someone to cook for again! It was relaxing when it was just Eli and me, because he isn't interested in food much these days so I got to eat like I was single.

(By the way, I believe this not-eating thing with Eli will pass eventually. He has never been a great eater but it's gotten a little worse as he approaches his third birthday. It's disturbing to live with a person who is perfectly content with three bites of a bagel for breakfast, a bowl of pretzels and apple slices for lunch, and recriminations for dinner. But at the same age, Josh and Alex, who had always loved to eat, went through this thing too. It passed. We like our food in this family; I have confidence Eli will get there. For now, though, as a dining companion he ranges from indifferent to hostile.)

Anyway, it was kind of fun to eat whatever I felt like. All of these dinners came from when I was first out on my own and learning to cook to please myself.

Leftover rotisserie chicken with broccoli and sun-dried tomatoes. This is too much food for one person, but I got lunch the next day and I got to use up leftovers. Win.

One night, my parents came over and we had wine and cheese for dinner, but my mom brought some asparagus and I felt we needed a vegetable. This is sauteed in olive oil, garlic, and sourdough breadcrumbs.

And finally, if I'm not that hungry, a baked tortilla with mashed avocado. If I was hungrier, I might add rice with tomato sauce and a fried egg.

No more single eating for a while now!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

What I Made for Dinner: May 12, 2010

Baked stuffed artichokes and cheese ravioli with sun-dried tomatoes and basil in olive oil.

I had to rush, squeezing my cooking time in between grading and running errands and getting the boys ready to go away tomorrow.  I wanted to make dinner for the family, though.  It will just be me and E at home for the next few days.  My big guys are going on a trip, their first without me, and it's freaking me out a little. 

I hope they are nice to each other.  I hope they look out for each other and don't eat too much garbage and remember to brush their teeth and wear sunblock.  I hope they have fun!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

What I Made for Dinner: May 5-9, 2010

A little of this, a little of that.

I don't even know, I'm so deep into the grading process and end-of-school-year activities for the kids. Every time I turn around, there's a Last Dinner for this and a Dinner Meeting for that and an anxiety attack for that other thing I forgot about. Before you know it, it has been a week and the kids have been eating frozen pizza and scrambled eggs and the grownups have been eating sauteed asparagus and popcorn and Eli has had more than one dinner of pretzels and carrots dipped in peanut butter.

There was something last weekend, I think . . . a night when Chuck grilled hamburgers. I made pasta salad with kalamata olives and the last of last summer's basil pesto. Sunday was Mother's Day. What did we do? We got a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store and I made some really good wilted spinach with caramelized onion. It's all getting a little blurry.

Anyhow, tonight I am heating up leftovers, although not of anything that I personally cooked. There's a little bit of India Palace takeout that's looking pretty good. The leftover rotisserie chicken will go into pasta with sauteed broccoli and garlic and olive oil, which I will admire for its thrift but which the children probably won't eat.

Next week will be back to our regularly-scheduled programming, I am pretty sure. I surely hope so.

Monday, May 3, 2010

What I Made for Dinner: May 3, 2010

Steamed tilapia with scallions and ginger.

Chuck's cousin (and mine, I guess?  By marriage and marriage?) Sarah pointed me to this recipe randomizer (which uses the F-Word a tremendous amount so if a person has a constitution that's not up to seeing an F-Word he should not click the link but really, what would such a person be doing on the Internet in the first place) and it led me here and I have to say, that first site (which extremely delicate and sensitive people should not visit lest they see an F-Word) is very handy.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

What I Made for Dinner: May 2, 2010

Grilled chicken breasts; salad of asparagus, yellow pepper, and hearts of palm.

We celebrated a gorgeous weekend of gardening (and soccer--lots of soccer) with a lovely meal cooked on the grill and eaten on the patio. Thanks to a fun and productive day with my friend Holly, I have the herb garden in

Hi,sideways Teddy!
and an excessive number of tomato plants.

(You can't tell. There's eight. If they all make it, that's a lot of tomatoes.) I also have a seriously uncool left-side-only sunburn from working in the morning. Enough distractions! Back to grading.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Why I Haven't Made Dinner: April 25-May 1, 2010

I am grading final papers. Between that and the ordinary press of business, Chuck and I have managed to keep the children nourished, but not interestingly.

Back to the land of the living shortly, with any luck.