Saturday, February 28, 2009

Penfield Casual Night

What do you know, we went out for dinner again tonight. It was casual night at Penfield CC and we thought it would be fun to go.
There were various food stations

* Sushi
* Pasta - 3 different pastas and 3 different sauces and choices of toppings
* Stir fry - beef, chicken or shrimp
* Salad bar
* Roasted meet - beef and pork
* Dessert bar

Kim and Tim were there with their friends, the couples of Kim's Florida golfing ladies. We brought Mary who we hadn't seen in ages. We all sat together and had a great time.

Since I haven't done much cooking this week, I did have time to make pillows for Myles, Hunter and Tucker that we'll take with us when we go to visit/babysit next week.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Pizza

Besides cleaning out the refrigerator, we're working on the freezer too. We had a frozen cheese pizza in the freezer that we had bought for a party at Christmas that we never used and decided to fancy it up. We sauteed some onions, red and green peppers, mushrooms and garlic in some EVOO to soften up a little. Then we added it to the pizza and cooked it for the time on the box. It came out great, of course, and we only have one piece left over for another day.



Saute onions,peppers and garlic. Add mushrooms last.







Add to the plain cheese pizza







And viola!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Applebees

For Christmas, Laura got Larry his annual Delta Sonic car wash gift certificates. Just like last year, Delta Sonic offered a Dinner for Two certificate for Applebees with the car wash certificates and Laura included this as part of the gift. Tonight we decided to use it.

We were going to go at 5:00 PM and avoid the rush but like many good plans they don't always work out they way you hope. We didn't get there until 6:00 and were told we had a 20 minute wait. It turned out to only be 15 minutes which wasn't bad.
I got the Roasted Garlic & Asiago Chicken and Larry got the Fiesta Lime Chicken.

We got a movie on the way home, Changeling with Angelina Jolie. A very good movie but sort of got you right in the pit of your stomach because of the subject matter and knowing that it was a true story.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Shrimp Creole

I went to Ann's for a girl's dinner. Larry was playing tennis so he ate early. I brought some wine and bread - Sourdough and Whole Grain from Panera's. There were five of us and we had appetizers and wine and then a wonderful shrimp creole dinner. Ann gave me the recipe that's included here, it was her mother's. After coffee Patsy and Ann M left but Ann, Patti and I went in the hottub. A great evening and another easy dinner ;-)

Creole Sauce
2 T butter ¼ cup chopped onion
1 minced clove garlic
6 minced green olives
1 ½ cups canned tomatoes (I use petite diced)
½ chopped green pepper ½ bay leaf
A pinch of thyme
1 t chopped parsley
1 t white or brown sugar
1/3 t salt
A few grains cayenne
¼ cup chili sauce
Heat butter over low heat Add and cook onion, garlic and olives (covered). Add everything else and cook until thick (about 50 minutes). Add shrimp (or chicken) and cooked until tender. Serve over rice. Makes about 2 cups. I almost always double it (what will you do with ½ a green pepper after all???)… it freezes really well.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Pick Your Favorite Leftover Night

Another night of leftovers. It seems like we have the magical refrigerator that just keeps producing food. Tonight was pick your favorite item since there wasn't enough of one thing for both of us. We're working on cleaning out the refrigerator since we're going out of town next week. We made some fresh broccoli and Larry had the mac and cheese again and I had the leftover rice and some leftover chicken from one of those already cooked chickens at the grocery store.
Another great dinner and no fuss.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Chicken Milanese

This was another leftover recipe. The chicken has been in our freezer for a while so it was like a brand new meal. I'll include the recipe here since I don't know when we'll make it again. I added some brown Basmati rice mixed with some of that wonderful Jack's salsa from Oscar Night for a little zippy flavor and a side of fresh broccoli.

We also had a wonderful bottle of wine with it. Casa Larga (a local vineyard) French Oak Reserve Chardonnay. A very delicious and full bodied wine.

I've been very busy scanning in my slides from the 60s and 70s so having these easy meals has really been helpful. When I was single I could have just had pretzels for dinner and been happy. But now that Im married (almost 2 years) my husband likes to eat real food and he likes to have company for dinner. Go figure.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Oscar Night

Tonight is Oscar night. We planned on having leftover mac and cheese for dinner. A major part of our great dinners are leftovers. Wonderful meals and already prepared. We decided to have some guacamole, blue chips and salsa as appetizers.

Then the question w
as, what should we have to drink with it. Well, what goes better with salsa and chips than a margarita. Even though it wasn't summer, when we usually have margaritas, we made a batch any way. Just taking a whiff of the mixture in the shaker made me feel as if the rays of the sun were sinking into my skin and that it was 80 degrees outside. Sort of like what the smell of Coppertone does for me.

After having the appetizers we were pretty full but decided to have a little mac and cheese anyway to help soak up the tequila. We wanted to make sure we didn't fall asleep during the Oscars - or at least I did. And we were successful. We watched the whole thing and even had some dessert midway through - Death by Chocolate ice cream.

Recipes:
Margaritas
4 parts Tequila
1 part Triple Sec
1 part Rose's Lime Juice

Garden Fresh Gourmet Jack's Special Medium salsa - we first found this in Whole Foods in Atlanta and then Publix in Florida. We were excited to find it at Wegmans last spring. Delish!!

Wholly Guacamole - pico de gallo style - had a sample of this at Wegmans before the Super Bowl and had to try some at home. Great for when you don't want to make your own.

Perry's Death by Chocolate
ice cream
Tostitos Natural Blue Corn Tortilla Chips

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Chicken Pesto


What a beautiful day. The sky was so blue and there was fresh snow. We planned on going cross country skiing but there wasn't enough snow so we hiked instead. We decided beforehand to bring hiking boots just in case. We met a man from Hungary in the parking lot at Durand Eastman Park who came here for business for a few days and was going to hike too so we invited him to join us.
That night, we went to Linda and Ovid's for dinner and had a wonderful chicken pesto dish, mashed sweet potatoes, salad and wonderful chocolate raspberry cake with a choice of chocolate or berry gelato. I had chocolate and berry. YUM!
If I get the recipe from Linda for the chicken pesto, I will make it and then publish it on that day.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Spinach and Artichoke Mac and Cheese

Today was a nasty day. After a few days of almost spring like weather, winter decided to return. Just the previous morning we woke up to the sound of birds singing and it made us feel like spring was in the air.
WRONG. . .

We had snow overnight and more during the day. I had some errands to do and went to Wegmans to buy the ingredients for dinner. Couldn't decide between the Fontina in the recipe or the suggestion of using Provolone for more flavor so I got both. I also got a cheese called Fontinella. I used all the cheeses, just made the total quantity what was called for in the recipe.
Here's the link to the recipe
http://www.rachaelrayshow.com/food/recipes/spinach-and-artichoke-mac-and-cheese

It was delicious. Not like your ordinary mac and cheese.  But someone must be kidding about 4 servings - it made a ton!!



Spinach and Artichoke Mac and Cheese
Ingredients

* Salt
* 1 pound regular or whole wheat penne
* 2 tablespoons EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
* 3 tablespoons butter
* 1 large onion, finely chopped
* 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
* 3 tablespoons flour
* 1/2 cup white wine
* 2 cups milk
* A few grates fresh nutmeg
* 1 10-ounce box frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and wrung dry in a kitchen towel
* 1 10-ounce box frozen chopped artichokes, defrosted and wrung dry in a kitchen towel
* Ground black pepper
* 1 1/4 cups shredded Italian Fontina cheese, plus additional for sprinkling on top
* 1 1/4 cups grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, plus additional for sprinkling on top

Yields: 4 servings
Preparation

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Place a large pot of water over high heat to cook the pasta. When the water is boiling, salt it well and drop the pasta in. Cook to al dente according to package directions. Drain the pasta and reserve.
Step

While the pasta is cooking, place a medium pot over medium-low heat with 2 turns of the pan of EVOO, about 2 tablespoons, and the butter. Add the onion and garlic to the pan and cook the veggies until very soft, about 10 minutes.

Turn the heat up to medium-high and sprinkle the flour into the pan. Cook for about 1 minute then whisk the wine into the pan, cooking for another minute to burn off the alcohol. Whisk the milk into the pan and bring up to a bubble. Add the nutmeg, veggies, some salt and pepper to the sauce, and simmer until thickened, 2-3 minutes. Add the cheeses to the sauce and stir until melted.

Toss the prepared sauce with the cooked pasta and transfer to a casserole dish. Sprinkle some more Fontina and Parmigiano over the top and bake until the cheese has melted and the top is golden brown, about 30 minutes.

Toss the prepared sauce with the cooked pasta and transfer to a casserole dish. Sprinkle some more Fontina and Parmigiano over the top and bake until the cheese has melted and the top is golden brown, about 30 minutes.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Miscellaneous Leftovers

Today is the day I was going to start keeping track of what our dinners are. It seems like we always have these great meals that never seem to take much time and are really good. Some of them may be a little less than what one may think of as a dinner but they work for us.

However, one problem is that we can never remember what they are to make them again. This is one way to do that.

I have bridge tonight so we won't be having dinner together.

We saw a recipe for Spinach and Artichoke Mac and Cheese on Rachael Ray this morning so we'll try that one tomorrow.