Sunday, July 31, 2005

Menu change....

Shortly before starting dinner last night I came across a recipe that I had been meaning to try so I had a last minute change of the menu. All of the veggie's I either had in our garden or neighbors so they were fresh. The rice dish was very good but not sure that it was complimentary to the chicken dish. Oh well, I cooked it, if you don't like it you don't have to eat it. Don't mess with the cook! I even got a picture of it before we ate. Didn't have any fresh parsley to decorate the plate though....sorry.

Cumin-Crusted Chicken with Gazpacho Salsa

½ c chopped tomato
¼ c chopped cucumber
¼ c chopped green bell pepper
2 Tbsp chopped red onion
½ tsp chopped, seeded jalapeno pepper
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp pepper
¼ tsp salt
4 skinned, boned chicken breast halves
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
parsley sprigs (optional)

Combine first 5 ingredients in a bowl; set aside

Combine cumin, pepper, and salt; rub chicken with cumin mixture. Place a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add chicken and cook 6 min. on each side3 or until done. Remove from skillet, reserving drippings in skillet; set chicken aside, and keep warm.

Add vinegar to skillet and cook 2 min., stirring constantly. Pour over tomato mixture and toss well. Serve with chicken. Garnish with parsley, if desired.

Creamy Rice with Lemon, Herbs, and Parmesan

4 quarts water
2 c Arborio rice or medium-grain rice
1 c chopped onion

½ c chopped fresh parsley
6 Tbsp (3/4 stick) butter, cut into small pieces, room temperature
¼ c chopped fresh basil
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp grated lemon peel
1 c (packed) plus 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese (about 3 ounces)
Fresh basil sprigs (optional)

Bring water to boil in large pot over high heat. Add rice and onion. Boil until rice is just tender, about 16 min. Drain, reserving ½ c liquid.

Mix parsley, butter, basil, lemon juice, and lemon peel in large bowl. Add hot rice mixture; stir to melt butter. Add reserved ½ c cooking liquid and 1 cup cheese; stir. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with 2 Tbsp cheese. Garnish with basil sprigs and serve.

Bon Appetit!!

Lazy days and Sundays

Well, just sitting around enjoying a nice quiet Sunday afternoon. Everyone is off doing their thing so I'm taking advantage of this time and being lazy. Yesterday played golf in the morning, 2 rounds of the scramble and won both times! Woohoo! Won $47, not bad for a couple hours of having fun! Then came home and did yard work. Didn't really mind, it was a beautiful day to be outside. Then Aubrey and I went to friends house for burgers. Had a few beers and chilled with friends so all in all a pretty good day I suppose. Layed out last night in my front yard at midnight and did some star gazing. Absolutely gorgeous night!! The sky was overflowing with stars. Unlike the city where you have the sky lights disrupting your view, here in the country it is beautiful! Even saw a shooting star. Yes I made a wish but don't ask....If I told you, it wouldn't come true. Almost fell asleep out there, till some little creature started rustling the bushes in the side of the yard and scared me inside. Was probably just a cat or raccoon or something....but with my luck it would have been a skunk that would have come over to say hello, in his own way. Peeyoooo! Didn't need that, so finally got to bed about 1:00 or so.

Well, I need to go figure out what to do for dinner. So pretty out I'd like to grill. Think I am going to do some shish-ka-bobs. Chicken and veggies with a rice dish on the side. Need to marinate chicken so gotta run. Enjoy the rest of the weekend and I'll be posting a new recipe beginning of the week.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Sweet Thursday

Why so sweet? Well, it's almost Friday and I'm going to try and make Thursdays my dessert recipe day. First let me catch up from the last couple of days.....

Tues- My day off of the week. Boys had ortho appt.'s in the morning. Zach only has one more appt in Feb for his retainer check and he'll be done. Yay! Now just have to get Aubrey out of his.... Got to go for my walk. Weather has been hot but I'm lovin' it!

Wed- Golfed in the morning. Got par on 3 holes, bogied one, dbl bogie another and we just won't discuss the other 3 holes, but I only 1 putted 5 holes! Got a whole grocery bag of greenbeans from neighbor so had to clean, blanch, and vacuum seal and freeze those. Gotta love those fresh veggies!

Ok, now to today....went into work early, opened for the boss (he is making a habit of this). Slow day on the course so got a bunch of piddly things done in the clubhouse. ie: washed golf balls...rolled silverware.....boring day. Taking oldest son out to dinner for Chinese. A special mom/son time. So that's about it with me, how 'bout you?

Now onto what your probably here for (definitely not to read about my boring life). ~~~~~~~~~~

Todays treat is~~~~~~Cheesecake!~~~~~~~~~~this is a truly awsome recipe but extemely rich. Add fresh raspberry topping and it rocks! ;)

3 lb's cream cheese
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
2 c sugar
5 whole eggs & 3 egg yolks

1 1/4 c Graham Cracker Crumbs
3 Tbsp sugar
1/3 c butter or marg. melted

Make crust -
Combine crumbs and sugar in medium-sized bowl. Stir in melted butter or marg. until thouroughly blended. Pack firmly into a spingform pan. Cover bottom and partially up sides. Chill for one hour before filling or bake in 350 degree oven for 8 min, cool, chill, and fill.

cream the creamcheese then add sugar, vanilla and salt. Add eggs, one at a time. Rub sides of pan with veg. oil. Pour in filling (do not scrape). Bake at 350 for 45 min or till set. When done use a hot wet knife to loosen then allow to set for 1 hour. Freeze for 24 hours.

I know this sounds like a lot of trouble but trust is well worth it! Be sure to slice thin and enjoy!!

Monday, July 25, 2005

A drive through the past

Well the highlight of my day today was a nice little afternoon drive in a 1926 Ford model T. Adorable car! Didn't exactly have the wind whipping through my hair like my old MG (I miss that car!), but it was very nostalgic.
Another past time that I have recently picked up is canning. The zucchini in the garden is coming in and I think we overdid it. One or two plants would have been plenty, but I think my gardener (ie: other half) planted a dozen or more. AGHH! So I have been making and canning zucchini relish. Next comes zucchini bread, then pickled zucchini. Any zucchini recipes are welcome! We also have a few (2 dozen +) pepper plants. Green peppers, hot wax, and jalapeno. Been pickling those too! Need some tomatoes and I can do up some Salsa.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Open again!

Okay, the Caffeine Pit Stop is open once again....back by request. A new element to this Blog is going to be recipe sharing. You may at any time try any of the recipes posted but in return I ask that you post one of your favorites to share. This is NOT a requirement, but it would make things more interesting and fun. I will also, for the benefit of friends and family, comment on things going on in my life to keep them updated......ok, here we go.......

how's this for a starter?.....I just rode my daughters friends dirtbike! Ha! Don't try and tell me I'm too old!! I also got up on one ski a couple weeks ago and water skiied! Your only as old as you let yourself believe....and boy have I got myself fooled!

Okay, the first recipe to start this off is going to be a family favorite. Let me give you a little history on this......a Verlander Thanksgiving would not be the same without this served, it is a family tradition (more than is a MUST!!) I can remember as a child, in a family of 8 kids, we would count each others to make sure that no one else got more than we did! Looking back it's pretty amusing but back then we took it very seriously! I have served this to many people who don't like spinach, but they love these! I hope you enjoy them just as much......

Spinach Balls

2 pkg frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained well
3 c. Pepperidge Farms Herb flavored stuffing
1 onion, diced
6 eggs, beaten
¾ c. butter, melted
½ c. Parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp pepper (or to taste, I use 1/1/2 tsp so it is not too spicy for kids)
1 ½ tsp garlic salt
½ tsp thyme
Combine all ingredients. Roll into walnut sized balls and place on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 325 degrees for 8-10 min. (until slightly brown on bottom). Enjoy!

If you try them please feel free to comment. Good or bad!

And welcome to my Blog!!