This week/weekend was such fun. Chris and I had an at-home date night on Wednesday-complete with Truffle cheese, candied figs, and a delicious sour beer. We’ve had to get creative in how we spend time together since C’s bedtime routine starts about an hour after Chris gets home and K follows suit not long after. By the end of the day I’m spent and since we eat dinner at 5:30 I’m usually looking for some sort of snack before bed. Chris has really been into some series on TV that’s all sci-fi or war centered so I take the opportunity to prop myself up with pillows on the floor, hand him the lavender oil, and get a massage. It’s a win-win.
Thursday I made a batch of Two Peas and Their Pod’s Oatmeal Cranberry Sandwich Cookies. My take away-more cranberries, less sugar in the filling. Chris took the left overs to work because neither he nor I could restrain ourselves. I think there were maybe five left by the end of the day. So good. So very good.
For the first time in 3 1/2 years K got a haircut. By me. My calling is not in cutting my own hair but since I regularly cut Chris’s I figured I could try my skills on my preschooler. I cut off a little more than I planned but it turned out great and she thinks she’s the coolest kid on the block with her shorter locks. High five, self!
We had Chicken Schwarma this week, too. K is learning to be more helpful at dinner time with unloading the dishwasher and setting the table. See below. It has been nice to have her help while I prep dinner. She helped me decide when the tzatziki was done and ate nearly an entire cucumber for dinner. That girl loves herself some cucumbers!
1/2 c greek yogurt
1 T salt
3 T schwarma seasoning
1 T vinegar or lemon juice
1/3 c olive oil
3 lb chicken breast
1. Combine yogurt, salt, schwarma seasoning, vinegar/lemon juice, and oil in a storage container. Mix well.
2. Thinly slice chicken and place in marinade, making sure to coat well. Refrigerate overnight.
3. Heat a large skillet and dump chicken and marinade mixture in it. Cook on medium heat until heated through-about 25 minutes.
4. Serve on pita with tzatziki, cucumber, tomato, onion, olives, and/or hummus.
1 large cucumber
1 c whole milk greek yogurt
juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper to taste
1 T olive oil
1/2 t each-dill, mint, tarragon
Mix all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Allow to sit for one hour, minimum, before serving.
On Friday I realized I needed to use a spaghetti squash and bunch of kale I had bought during last weekend’s grocery trip. Chris has a leftover chicken breast from his lunches and I had a little bacon from breafkast so Crazy “Spaghetti” was born.
1 large spaghetti squash, cooked and scraped out
3 slices bacon-cut and fried
1 large chicken breast-diced
1/2 white onion-diced
1 t each-salt, pepper, parsley, paprika, garlic
1 c cherry tomatoes
1 bunch kale
1/4 c kalamata olives
3 oz goat cheese
1. Fill a large baking dish with 2″ water. Slice squash in half and remove seeds. Place squash cut side down and bake at 400 until tender, about one hour.
2. In a pan sautee bacon, onion, chicken, and seasonings until warmed through. Add tomatoes and kale. Cover to allow kale to reduce in size-about five minutes.
3. Remove squash from flesh and place in a cast iron skillet or baking dish. Top with kale and chicken mixture. Add olives and goat cheese if desired.
4. Bake at 400 for 15 minutes until warmed through.
Saturday our sweet friends took both our kiddos for the morning to Chris and I could check out a local farmer’s market. After stocking up on some Meyer Lemon Rosemary bread to snack on as we looked around and some other yumminess to take home, we continued our date into the evening. The steaks, mushrooms, garlic, and onions were all cooked in a cast iron skillet. We also had Wagyu beef and some jalapeno cheddar bread along side the homegrown tomatoes with balsamic vinegar. I think we both could have eaten another serving of each but showed restraint given I had just baked a double batch of Buttermilk Apple Cake.
Buttermilk Apple Cake
13 T butter
3/4 c granulated sugar
3/4 c brown sugar
2 whole eggs plus 2 yolks
1 T vanilla extract
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1 T cinnamon
1 t cardamom
1 1/2 t salt
3 c flour
1 1/2 c buttermilk
4 apples, peeled and thinly sliced
1/3 c brown sugar
1 T cinnamon
1/4 t each-clove, nutmeg, cardamom, allspice, salt
1 oz Crown Royal (or other whiskey)
1/2 c orange juice
1. Cream together butter, sugar, and salt.
2. Mix in baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and cardamom
3. Add in eggs one at a time and mix until well incorporated.
4. Starting with the flour in 1 c increments alternate flour and buttermilk (in 1/2 c increments) until all combined-ending with the buttermilk.
5. Spread in a well greased 13×9 baking dish.
6. Peel, core, and thinly slice four apples.
7. Combine whiskey, orange juice, sugar, and spices in a large bowl. Add apples and coat well. Place apples on cake, pressing in slightly.Reserve leftover juice mixture.
8. Bake at 325 until done-about one hour. Serve warm with reserved juice/whiskey mixture.
I was so stoked to find this White Mountain ice cream maker while we were at the Market. It was the exact one we had when I was a kid. The hours I spent sitting on that thing waiting to lick the paddles are filled with fond memories. I immediately sent it to my dad and got caught up in the nostalgia of it.
Sunday dinner:gumbo! We opted to not fry the okra from the Market and instead go Cajun. No recipe since Chris was in charge. Our Sunday was jam packed with deep cleaning the attic, cars, and house so a pot of goodness on the stove waiting for us after we finished being good stewards of our home (since I drop the ball all week long) was perfect.
I was craving a chai latte and refuse to pay the exuberant price for the Tazo stuff so I whipped up a batch to have on hand during the week. I’m on a cooking roll this week, y’all!
2 family sized tea bags
8 cups water
1/2 c brown sugar
1/4 c granulated sugar
2 t cinnamon
1/2 t each-black pepper, cardamom, nutmeg, allspice, clove
1. Stir together all ingredients in a pot and allow to simmer on low for 15 min.
2. Using a tea strainer or sifter, pour tea into a pitcher allowing excess spices to be caught by the strainer.
3. Serve warm with frothed milk or cold over ice. I find using a 1/2 milk to 1/2 chai concentrate makes it too “milky.” Mix and match with the milk/tea ratio to find your favorite balance!
Finally, I remembered some amazing goat cheese samples I had at the Market and decided I could do a decent job trying to recreate something simliar. Blueberry-Cranberry Balsamic Goat Cheese Spread was born. It’s safe to say I’ll be eating that in place of a meal several times this week. Pretty sure my new favorite anything has goat cheese in it. Behold, the creamy goodness! (Can’t you tell we just love Costco in this house?!)
Cranberry-Blueberry Balsamic Goat Cheese Spread
10.5 oz goat cheese
4T each, dried cranberries and dried blueberries
2 t honey
1 t balsamic vinegar
1/2 t salt
1. On medium heat stir together water and dried fruit until reconstituted-approximately 5 minutes
2. Using a blender mix together goat cheese, honey, balsamic and salt until creamy.
3. Strain out berries from water and stir into cheese mixture. Serve on sourdough crisps, a baguette, or as a fruit/vegetable tray dip.