Today we went to go look at a few houses. With the children. You should never look at houses with children. I'm pretty sure it's generally accepted that you just don't bring children, but we ended up towing them along. It wasn't long before the invasion of privacy performed by my daughter and her embarassing comments reached critical-humiliation-meltdown levels. ("Wow, Mom! Can you believe she has so much jewelry in her jewelry box?!", "Awww, I wish Daddy made more money so we could buy a big house like this!", and "Why does that girl look so weird in that picture?") We had to set a new rule prohibiting them from talking or touching while we were in the houses. Watching a child with ADHD trying to supress an urge to talk is like holding bacon over a dog's nose and making him sit. Next time, no children.
Needless to say, we're all pretty tired. But seeing these old photos brought out an urge to cyber-share and a girl's gotta' do what a girl's gotta' do. (These are from the good ol' Portland days.)
Nachos. Everybody needs nachos. Salty, filling, bar-style nachos. I didn't make the corn chips for these but I should have. Start with beans make from scratch (just drain the liquid), then brown some meat (preferrably steak cut into thin strips) in sauteed garlic and onions then sprinkle with a little cumin, coriander and paprika for the last minute of cooking. Make your own corn chips by cutting corn tortillas into wedges, coat them with oil, and bake them until crispy. Top it all off with tomatoes, cilantro and green or red onions. The cheese sauce is a cheddar fondue made by rubbing the sides of a pot with a cut garlic clove, then simmering a little white wine or beer (1/4 cup), adding water or chicken stock (1-1 1/2 c) until barely simmering and then finally adding cheese that has been grated and tossed with corn starch (~2 cups with 1-2 Tbs cornstarch). Quickly remove from heat or use very low heat for a smooth texture. If you don't want to use alcohol, use something acidic like diluted lemon juice. I can't find the recipe that I used but those are the broad strokes.
We enjoyed quite a few meals from the Cooking Light April issue that had 40 meals under 40 minutes. That was definitely a fun issue!
This dinner was great, but the stand-out was the quinoa with toasted pine nuts. So good. I used my preferred method of cooking quinoa with a rice cooker (still used broth instead of water) and toasted the garlic and pine nuts separately and added them at the end.
We absolutely loved this tikka pizza from that same issue. I made homemade pizza crust though instead of using a pita bread.
The 4 mushroom pizza was only so-so (maybe a homemade pesto would have rounded out the flavor better) but we loved the grapefruit salad.
Last, but definitely not least, a friend recommend I try this falafel recipe (not from the Cooking Light April issue) to use up a quantity of chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans. They were, as the recipe indicated, a sure favorite. Sooo delicious. We loved them plain as I was just too lazy to make some pita bread, but I can only imagine what delicious falafel sandwiches they would make with some tzaziki in warm homemade pita.
At this point we were definitely just trying to use up food so we served them over broccoli slaw (which was a leftover), plain brown rice with cut bell peppers that were slightly steamed from being put on top of hot rice. This meal, the nachos, and the tikka pizza are my clear favorites.