Kitchen Clean Out: Monday

Ok, so here it goes!  Keep in mind that it was Matthew’s birthday, and he had some major influence on the menu.


How to use up: cornmeal, cabbage, yeast, plain yogurt, boneless skinless chicken breast, and fresh herbs that are a bit past their prime

Breakfast:

Corn Muffins with homemade jam piped into the centers.  These are very tasty and not dry at all.  I highly recommend you try them if you like yourself a corn muffin with coffee in the morning!  Piping in the jam in optional, but take the extra 5 minutes because it makes them extra special, perfect for birthdays.

Lunch:

Remember that the birthday boy got to pick, and he wanted… hot dogs.  You’re 30 today, and you want to celebrate by eating the ubiquitous toddler food?  Um… ok.  In his defense, his favorite brand of hot dogs (Sahlen’s) are locally made in Buffalo and are hard to find here so they make a special treat every once in a while.  So we had hot dogs, and salt & pepper potato chips and coleslaw for lunch!

Quick Coleslaw, from Everyday Food, April 2010

Shred 1/2 a small head of cabbage and 1 carrot into a bowl.  Mix 1 T. Cider vinegar, 1 T. Extra Virgin Olive Oil and salt & pepper in a small bowl.  Toss with cabbage and carrots 5 minutes prior to serving.

Dinner:

I don’t know about your family, but this house loves Indian food.  Give us some yogurt, garam masala, ghee, and naan and we are a happy bunch.  Matthew prefers the tandoori meats and I can pretty much eat my body weight in chickpeas.  So for his birthday dinner we decided to eat out while staying in.  Money is pretty tight here on the single salary; therefore getting take out or going to a restaurant is a rare occurrence.  I have been trying to duplicate some of our favorites from the “two-salary-before-we-had-kids” life here at home and these recipes do a good job.

Naan– Seriously here, Matt was standing next to me on the deck while I was grilling them and dipping them into the Ghee.  They are good, maybe not as authentic as the restaurant but a very tasty flatbread for sure.  The only changes I made were to proof the yeast instead of just dissolving it and to grate the garlic on the microplane and add it to the mixture right away instead of after the first rise.  I also used Ghee in place of plain old melted butter.

Ghee– Very yummy, very versatile.  Anjuli has a super tutorial on how to make ghee that has both anecdotal tips as well as great images that will make your first ghee fail-proof!

Tandoori Style Grilled Meat– This marinade is easy to make and is open to interpretation.  I didn’t have any cilantro but had a bunch of not-so-pretty but totally usable parsley that I subbed in.  I also do a lot of my cooking while Luke naps, and he is a light sleeper so I didn’t use the food processor.  I just chopped the parsley really finely and used the microplane on everything else.  I don’t know what I would do without that bad boy!  (But I am certain I would need less band-aids.)

Brownies- Ghirardelli, from a box, decorated with Spider Man sugar decorations courtesy of Luke.  Proud that I let him help and that I didn’t “fix” his work.  It’s a skill I have been honing… It’s also a slow process.  And yes, Luke manned the fire extinguisher, just in case.

I love those chubby toes, don’t you?

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