I feel lame posting without a picture, so he's a lovely picture of some grass :) I just typed these out for my madre, so I figured I would share with others who might be interested.
ingredients: 2-4 chicken breasts, diced in 1" cubes. easiest to do this when half frozen still 2 cups waterjuice of one large lemon 1/3 cup sushi or other white vinegar 2-3 Tb soy sauce 1/3 cup dried orange peel 1/2 tsp diced garlic 1/2 tsp ginger powder 1 cup brown sugar 2 Tb honeychunky chile sauce (optional) corn starch
Put all ingredients except chicken and corn starch in sauce pan, simmer until reduced to taste
while the sauce is reducing, heat 1" oil in deep saute pan, toss diced chicken in a gallon ziplock bag with cornstarch until well coated. fry in batches, until golden and cooked through. drain on paper towels and bag.
mix 3 Tb cornstarch with 2 Tb water until smooth, and add to the sauce, stir frequently until thickened. toss chicken with sauce and serve with steamed rice and steamed broccoli
Egg/wheat free chicken strips
ingredients: 2 chicken breasts cut in to very thin strips 2 cups corn meal 1-2 Tb dried dill or as much fresh as you want :) 1/2-1 tsp sea salt fresh cracked white pepper garlic powder to taste 1/3 cup grated parmesean greek yogurt
mix all dry ingredients in a pie/cake pan mix chicken and yogurt in separate bowl heat oil in large saute pan dredge yogurt coated chicken through cornmeal mix fry until golden brown, turning a few times.
tonight's salad course proved to be a hit with us adults, and a moderate hit with the littles (who are not normally fans of salad). so, here i am to share it with whoever might read this. it was super simple
first make your candied almond slices: melt butter in small sautee pan, add brown sugar and powdered mustard and ground cardamom, let that melt and bubble for a while then toss in your almonds and stir till coated, then pour onto parchment in a thin layer to cool
cut up your romaine lettuce add fresh fennel bulb thinly sliced peel 3 clementines and cut each segment in half toss these together in a large bowl
make the dressing in blender/food processor squeeze one large lemon and one clementine into the bowl 2 Tb seasoned sushi vinegar 2 Tb golden balsamic a good squeeze of honey if it's a little strong add a little water to taste turn it on and slowly add your olive oil. i admittedly didn't measure this, but i don't use much oil in my dressings, so probably 1/4 cup add a little dressing to the bowl and toss to coat
put into individual bowls and top with soft goat cheese and the almonds and the extra dressing is for those like ME who love lots of dressing :)
Tonight's dinner was such a hit, and turned out so well, I decided to share it :) I had a pound of ground beef that needed to be used, and a super picky girl who, for some reason, will eat almost anything if I add goat cheese to it. So I looked around for a recipe and came up with nothing. As a recovering vegetarian, not only do I not like to eat beef too much in a really meaty form, I also am at a loss when deciding how to cook it beyond tacos or chili. I also can't eat eggs, unless I feel like having knife-like pains in my stomach for a few hours. I found two recipes in Fanny Farmer, the meat loaf and the Salisbury Steak, and decided to use the moistened bread from the steak recipe and the idea about using a muffin tin from the meat loaf and then just made up the rest myself. I'm calling them meatballs, even though there isn't any eggs, because, well, that's the shape they ended up in after coming out of the muffin tin. These were melt in your mouth tender, and the before mentioned picky girl ate every last bite; even better, I enjoyed eating them.
disclaimer: I didn't measure a thing while making this, I am guessing as to about how much I used. use common sense and your own tastes as a guide for cooking these :) and I'm also terrible at writing recipes, so i hope this is comprehensible
Ingredients: 1 lb ground beef 4 Tb butter (yes, real butter) olive oil 1 medium shallot minced 2 Tb minced garlic 2 Tsp (or more to taste) dried Thyme 1/2 cup (or more to taste) crumbled goat cheese 1/2 cup milk 2 slices hearty wheat bread 1/4- 1 cup broth/bouillon (i made a reduced turkey stock at thanksgiving and froze it in an ice cube tray, I used 3 cubes and 1/2 cup of water to make a broth) 1/2 cup red wine salt to taste 3 Tb corn starch
preheat oven to 400F In large mixing bowl, pour the milk over your bread and let sit
in medium saute pan melt the butter and add enough olive oil to coat the pan. when the butter is sizzling, add the shallots and garlic and a pinch of salt. saute until they start to brown and add the thyme.
crumble the moistened bread and mix in the beef with your hands until uniform in texture.
continue to stir your saute pan frequently until the shallots are clear and the garlic and the shallots are both nicely browned.
turn off heat, and add 3/4 of the saute mixture to your large bowl and mix in well. leave the rest of the saute mixture in your pan.
add your goat cheese to the large bowl and fold in, keeping larger chunks as much as possible.
divide the beef mixture into 12 evenly sized balls and push into a muffin tin.
bake for 20-25 minutes at 400F until slightly browned and cooked through.
while they are baking, start your sauce. reheat the saute pan, with 1/4 of your shallot mixture in it, add your broth and wine and let reduce by half. mix your cornstarch with cold water and add to the simmering saute pan. stir until thickened and remove from heat.
i haven't gotten all of the pictures from our vacation off of austin's laptop yet, but i do have some. this is just one of the 800 or so i need to look through eventually. lyra absolutely adored the ocean, and to my surprise didn't actually eat much of the sand. despite half of our days being rainy and cold, and the unexpected few days of coughing, burning eyes and onslaught of dead fish (courtesy of the red tide), we had a wonderful time. sitting on the beach, my toes buried in the warm sand, watching my children play for hours, never getting bored, listening to the waves crash endlessly, i felt such calm and peace. with 3 little ones and a frequently out of town husband i tend to get overwhelmed and over stressed easily. i haven't reached that level of calm in a long time.
since coming home i've tried to think about the things that made life so much more peaceful there, and find small ways to bring it back. one- less internet time. i really don't need to care what everyone else in the world is doing all the time. my kids are here, they're amazing and need me now. two- less STUFF. the simplicity of the beach house kept a state of calm i want to recreate. i have begun to purge excess toys and junk. i was able to keep the beach house clean and organized, and it never felt like the mild hum of chaos that our lives here inevitably turn in to. i have to fight my own overwhelming desire for more and more stuff though. i am always fighting with two strong desires within myself. one, a life of self sustained simplicity, and the other for things- pretty things, shiny things, things i didn't get growing up. my goal is to find a way to live in harmony with a few nice things and lessen my desire for more. and i really hope i can help instill this in my children as i learn it myself. three- less obligations and wasted time, time spent running around, filling our days with stuff that doesn't matter. doing more by doing less. just going outside and chilling, exploring and relaxing, versus planned activities that entail me loading up three kids, getting frustrated, griping because we're late. i'm tired of getting frustrated and angry at my babies, about stuff that in the end doesn't matter.
i am by nature, NOT an organized person. but i also shut down in chaos. so, in order for me to keep my house clean, and keep up with the children and their needs, and still be the kind of person and mother i want to be, i need to simplify. i need to recreate the beach, here at home.
i am so thrilled that we finally have a freezer and a vaccuum sealer! i spent yesterday washing, cutting, freezing and sealing up ripe fruits for the winter. it makes so much more sense (ecologically and economically) to get things in season and save them, rather than pay higher prices for fruit to be shipped halfway across the world during the winter here. so far i've done strawberries, blueberries, peaches and raspberries. next in line are 8 mangos. they're not quite ripe enough yet.
i think everyone knows how much i love to capture just about every moment of my own family's lives with my camera, but i had the chance today to take portraits for a friend. it was a challenge, but so much fun and i hope she and her family and happy with the results. the full photoshoot can be seen on flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/23644519@N02/sets/72157621264255195/