Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Rainy Days in the Kitchen

The last two days have been all about home & hearth. I'd like to say it was part of some awesome homemaking/mom plan, or a part of my sensible training plan and an official "recovery" from the cold & wet 10k, but it wasn't. Just didn't feel like being outside.

Sunday was filled with loads of housework and a bit of experimental cooking. Took B2 along on the Farmers Market trip. He was put in charge of keeping an eye out for a few of the less common items on the list - lemon grass stalks, for example. He enjoyed some much needed time as an only kid, and also enjoyed sampling coffee from several regions of the globe. (He's partial to Columbian french roast and the Turkish blend. Not as fond of the light roasts.)

Turned into a little bit of a stock up trip. Picked up dried apples for the next few batches of granola, replaced a few spices from the bulk bins, and grabbed most of the protein we'll need for close to two weeks. Still, the total was pretty good.

Got home, unpacked all the goodies, and set to work:

Browned up a few slices of bacon, added onions, garlic and a can of crushed fire-roasted tomatoes. The sauce was put up for any night which becomes a "fast food" night. Let it simmer on the back of the stove while I did prep for Sunday's dinner, Malaysian fish curry. Chopped veggies, roasted coconut flakes and measured out spices for the curry paste. If I have any decent pictures, I may post the recipe later this week. It was a composite of about three other recipes, and quite tasty. The kids weren't fond of it, but that wasn't really surprising. Even though two of them had a hand in making it, they just couldn't get past the fact of it being fish.

The time I'd normally be running or at yoga on Monday was also spent in the kitchen. Combined the containers of ground turkey and chicken with an assortment of fresh chopped herbs and veggies.

Turned the 4.5 pounds of poultry into ready-to-cook protein for six meals.

Lower Left:
Grated garlic and onions and a handful of basil leaves, chopped. This was mixed in everything, along with a little sea salt and black pepper. Set aside two 1/2 lb packets of the mix at this point and popped them in the freezer, to be used some other time with pasta or rice, or in tacos.

Lower Right:
1 grated carrot, 2 chopped scallions, 2 Tbs of chives, grated ginger and a handful of cilantro, chopped. Mixed with poultry, red pepper flakes, lime juice and an egg white, then formed around eight lemon grass skewers. Popped them in the freezer - they'll get moved down to the fridge 3-4 hours before cooking tonight.

Upper Right:
Bread crumbs (heel Friday's homemade bread), grated parmesan and asagio cheese, handful of parsley, chopped. Added to part of poultry mixture with egg yolk, and formed into 16 meatballs. Eight to a package, then popped in the freezer.

Upper Left:
Grated asagio, cubes of cheddar. Added asagio to poultry, then divided into balls. Added one cheese cube to the center of each, and flattened into burger form. Five burgers, stacked with foil in between, wrapped, bagged and frozen.

Since last night's supper was Vietnamese beef noodle soup (Pho), prepping the beef was next. Part of the top round was thin sliced for the soup; the rest cut small and placed in a ziploc freezer bag with honey, lime juice, teriyaki, freshly grated ginger and garlic. The bag went in the freezer, to be used for beef fried rice sometime in the near future.

Last, but not least, the cookies. A batch of cinnamon oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, ready for school lunches, rewards for trying mom's latest experimental cooking without too much complaint... whatever. Couldn't skip the cookie baking. After all, what could be better for a day you're avoiding cardio than a big bowl full of raw, buttery, cookie dough?

Sun's out today, so I'll be back on the trail. Good thing, too. My freezer is full, and the cookie jar - well - let's just stick with it being a good thing I'm out of the house today.

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