Sunday, August 25, 2013

Weekend Cooking; A few recipes from our week

"Welcome to the weekend!", is just what I said on Friday afternoon as I headed out of school.  It is exhausting getting back into the swing of school days.  Now that it is Sunday afternoon and I still have a bucket-load of work to do I'm trying to reel Friday night back.  It's okay, I'll get it all done after a little nap.

Our oldest daughter, my step-daughter, Kaylee, spent the week with us in-between her job as a camp counselor in WI and before she heads back for her senior year at Oberlin.  I cannot even wrap my head around the fact that she will graduate this year.  We did have fun while she was here though and that will have to last us as we won't see her again in person until Christmas.

The first night she arrived I made an easy taco bar with seasoned rice and black beans as the main ingredients.  We had fresh lettuce, chopped tomatoes from the garden, salsa, and some shredded cheese to decorate our flour tortilla shells.  This is often my go-to meal on busy week nights.  I probably make a variation of this theme at least once a week. I'm glad my kids like rice and it is a perfect meal for self-expression as everyone can design their own taco ideas.

Another night we went to a new local Thai restaurant.  It was packed and busy but once our food arrived we were all very happy with the flavors.  I had a tofu red curry dish and Kaylee had a coconut chicken noodle dish.  I have leftovers to eat today!

We also made fresh Iowa sweet corn one night using this new method my mother-in-law turned me on to through this video:

The corn does come out VERY hot so make sure you have an oven mitt on your hand.  I didn't the first time I did it and I almost dropped the ear of corn getting it to the cutting board.  The corn comes out if you help it along and it tastes delicious.  I think of all the years of boiling a big pot of water to feed my summertime sweet corn love.

We made my friend Stephanie's margaritas (recipe is at the end of this long-winded post but well-worth the scroll) last night after we'd spent the day at a downtown festival.  Happy hour rushed right into dinner as I sipped and pounded meat at the same time.  We had the chicken cutlets from Dinner; A Love Story by Jenny Rosenstrach.  This has become Groovy Girl's all-time favorite meal.  She not only ate her cutlet but begged for the rest of her dad's when he was resting between bites.  "Can I have that?" as she pointed at his plate.  He raised his eyebrows in a funny way and said, "I'll split it with you" and she took him up on it.  I'm not making this every night yet it is a delight to have her eat heartily and not pick. Find that cutlet recipe at this previous blog post.

She and I biked to the farmer's market in the morning and we picked up a bag of green beans, a big bunch of beets, and some eggplant.  We found a new type of eggplant and had to bring some home.  The grower says it will be good in a stir-fry so that will be on the menu for this coming week.

{Aren't they cute!}

{Beets, of course}

{Japanese eggplant}
Groovy Girl and I carry our own bags to the market (really, where ever we might shop) hardly ever accepting despicable plastic grocery bags.  The ones we do pick up on occasion are reused to pick up doggie poo. It kind of annoys me that all these growers hand out plastic bags with every little thing, just like the big box stores.  I wish they could be motivated to move beyond the bag-offer a discount-for anyone going bag free.  I know not everyone comes prepared yet it seems we are enabling the customer to be lazy.  In my utopia plastic bags would be outlawed.  Just my little green soap box for today...thank you for listening.  I'm sure I'll feel better now.  Do you carry your own shopping bags?  If not, this is such an easy thing to change as so many retail places offer their own variety of canvas bags.  The ones I carry around in my purse fold into their own little sack, making it easy to take them everywhere.  Mine look a little like this example. 

We were somewhere this summer (on the East Coast) where they were NOT giving away bags-you had to pay for a bag and I was in heaven.  Enjoy the produce photos.  Eat healthy this week.  Try the cutlets just because Groovy Girl loves them.

This post is linked to Beth Fish Reads weekend cooking meme.  Click the blog link to view many other food-related posts and join in with one of your own.  And now that I've typed about food for over an hour I find myself a bit peckish.  Roasted beets or leftover Thai?


Beth F said...

We've making corn in the microwave for years. It comes out perfect! Dinner: A Love Story is one of my new favorite cookbooks. Really. I just love it.

You failed to give me that drink recipe but the photo source link saved the day. :)

Where does the time go? My little niece went off to college this week. Sob!

Marie said...

I've been carrying my own bags for years! I had a one-woman mostly-silent campaign going called "Bag Me Not!" I HATE plastic bags. Our recycling centre won't take them and they just end up in the land fill. We *can* return them to the store, who in turn ships them to a distant recycling place. However, that seems like a waste of time/transportation costs when carrying your own reusable bags is so easy. I accept plastic every now and then, but usually because I'm engaged in a conversation and realize too late that my purchases have been bagged. Uggg...

My biggest pet peeve is bananas or a gallon (4 litres) of milk. When that's all you are buying, you don't need a bag! I'm not sure why those two items bother me the most, but they do. I guess because I see them purchased so often and bagged by themselves.

A few stores around here offer discounts when you bring your own bags and a few charge for plastic bags. They don't always tell you either way, though. I think if it was better advertised, there'd be more 'bring-your-own' types.

Sorry, I'm going to shut up now. Thanks for letting me vent. As you can see I'm passionate about bags. ;)