Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Hood: Continued

The hood is still hanging there (see post below), my husband Matt, propped it up with just a wooden spoon and it held there throughout the night without so much as a budge. And I thought my invention was so much better, then in he comes with all his skills and gets it to stay. This just is not going to go over very well though, if it is not fixed soon.
Here's the whole thing, the hood was screwed in by two of the oldest screws I've ever seen in my life on the right hand side. They are incredibly rusty and bent up. Then on the left hand side it was held up with three of the other oldest screws I've ever seen. Plus it was screwed into the particle board on the edge of the cabinet, instead of directly into the actual wood of the cabinet, which just couldn't hold the weight of the metal hood. I'm not an expert in cabinet/hood installation, but I do know it just wasn't going to stay up there for the long haul, obviously. I don't know how it's stayed as long as it has.
The stove just looks so sad, don't you think? It's almost like she's going through a season of depression.
Anyways, telling you about this is sending me into a slight depression; so on another topic we did end up having the dinner I planned, and I can't wait to share it with you! As my son would say as he rubs his cute, little belly, "yummy in my tummy!"

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Hood

The hood above my stove fell off today! Not kidding! Pushed the button on the hood to start the fan and BOOM! The right side just fell. A complete mess. So I tried to fix it, the "pennyless" way of course, by first trying to nail it back up; nope that didn't work. Then, you'll be really proud of me for this invention; I took the longest wooden spoon I could find and my biggest bowl, turned the bowl upside down and the spoon on top of the bowl to prop up the hood. Voila! It's working! I don't know how long this is going to last I think.
So I leave the kitchen because it is giving me a complete panic attack, mainly due to the fact that we are having guests over tonight for this big dinner that I have been joyfully anticipating (using the second pound of the ground turkey, I might add-see post below).
I go to the bedroom and start to make my bed, Martha Stewart style, and then from the kitchen I hear CRASH! Yep, you guessed it, the entire hood has now fallen off. This is awesome.
I'll keep you posted on this current "Pennyless Cook" adventure.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Meatloaf used 3 ways

This week Meijer is having a sale on ground 2 pounds for $5. Pretty stinkin' good deal if you ask me. So I took them up on their offer and scoured my pantry for what I could whip up. Then it came to me! Meatloaf! I hadn't made meatloaf in I don't know how long, and plus this is a healthier version because of the lean ground turkey.
Serve a salad on the side like we did and you've got a healthy, WAY inexpensive meal for you and your family.

Turkey Meatloaf with Feta and Sun-Dried Tomatoes*
-Vegetable cooking spray
-1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
-1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
-1/4 cup chopped garlic and herb-marinated sun-dried tomatoes
-2 cloves garlic, minced, optional
-2 eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
-2 tablespoons whole milk
-1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
-1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
-1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
-1 pound ground turkey, preferably dark meat
Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Spray a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, stir together the bread crumbs, parsley, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, if using, eggs, milk, feta, salt, and pepper. Add the turkey and gently stir to combine, being careful not to overwork the meat.

Carefully pack the meat mixture into the prepared pan and bake until the internal temperature registers 165 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer, about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and slice. Put on a serving platter and serve.

This recipe is delicious, but I didn't have chopped garlic and herb-marinated sun-dried tomatoes. So I added garlic to the meat and made up my own concoction of roasted tomatoes and sweet onion.

Roasted Tomatoes and Sweet Onion
-1 fresh garden tomato finely chopped
-1/4 cup of sweet onion finely chopped
-A drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
-1 pinch of sea salt
-fresh ground black pepper
Turn oven on to broil. Spread out the onion and tomato on a baking sheet. Drizzle on olive oil; add salt and pepper. Broil for about 7 minutes or until a the vegetables get a bit browned. Remove from oven and take off any browned skin on the vegetables

I also didn't have plain bread crumbs, so I used Panko bread crumbs from my pantry instead. And I didn't have feta cheese on hand so I left that out, but I know adding the cheese would make it even yummier.

This meatloaf was fresh, simple and delicious without the exact ingredients it called for, so basically this is my take. Don't be afraid to try out different recipes even if you don't have the exact ingredients; you could miss out on a fun, creative spark that may come about as you make a meal, and you never know, yours may turn out even better then the original!

The other great thing about this particular meatloaf is it made a an amazing sandwich for lunch today on whole grain bread with mayonnaise, and even better then that is I already have a completely different dinner made for tonight using the leftover meatloaf!

Meatloaf to Spaghetti
-1/4 or 1/2 of leftover meatloaf, finely chopped (recipe above)
-1 large can of tomato puree
-1/4 cup sweet onion, finely diced
-Drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
-1 tbsp chopped garlic
-1 tsp of fresh sage, chopped
-1 sprig of fresh thyme
-1 tbsp of fresh basil, chopped
-1 bay leaf
-1 pinch of red pepper flakes
-sea salt
-fresh ground black pepper
-5 roasted tomatoes, diced (see recipe Roasted Tomatoes and Sweet Onion above-just leave off onion of course)
-1 pound of whole grain spaghetti, cooked
On medium heat add olive oil so it covers the bottom of a large sauce pan. Add garlic and onion, saute till tender. Add can of tomato puree and leftover meatloaf that has been finely chopped. Simmer for 5 minutes and continue to stir; then add remaining ingredients. Cover and simmer on low heat for at least 30 minutes. The longer the better as the flavors will combine. Taste, add more salt and pepper if needed. Serve over spaghetti! Add some more more fresh herbs on top. Ciao!

*Recipe courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis

Friday, September 17, 2010

Friday, September 10, 2010

Red Peppers 10 for 10

My dear friends Nina and Bonnie let me in on a little peppers are 10 for 10 at Kroger this week. For those that need help in the math department like me that's $1 a piece; something worth getting excited about! I know it's not much of a secret, but it was to me since I missed that ad this week. Plus, I have this simple and extremely healthy recipe for red pepper soup, that even my 3 year old keeps asking me to make. Red peppers are usually so expensive, but not today. Enjoy.....

Roasted Red Pepper Soup*

1/4 cup, raw cashews soaked 1-2 hours in water (this surprisingly adds so much creaminess and richness without the fat)
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon
black pepper to taste
3/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon agave nectar (couldn't find agave nectar so substituted mango nectar which worked just as well)
1 pinch cayenne
1 pinch red chili flakes
1 cup roasted red bell peppers 1 cup
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 large basil leaf chopped (dried worked fine; sprinkle quite a bit to garnish with)

Blend all ingredients, except basil, in a blender until smooth. Heat mixture in a saucepan until just warmed. Garnish with chopped basil.

How to roast red peppers: Halve and seed two red peppers, brush with olive oil and place under a broiler for 5-7 mins, until skin is slightly blackened. Use a sharp knife to remove skin that is blackened. This recipe only makes 2 servings; I usually double it.

*Taken from "The 3-Day Cleanse" by Zoe Sakoutis & Erica Huss