Painful cooking… :(

Cooking while injured is not fun.  Yesterday I turned my head at just the right angle I guess and POP went the muscles running down the left side of my neck/shoulder.  So J took me to urgent care last night, and now I am taking some vicodin and motrin to help with pain/inflammation… but still gotta cook right??  UGH!  Just washing the potatoes for tonight’s dinner and slicing them was painful.  Frittatas are usually fast and simple… tonight they are tedious and painful!  Hopefully the frittata will be soft enough for me to chew without too much pain… eating has not been my joy for the past 2 days.

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Steak & Potatoes

So tonight was another grilling night… and we did up some new york strip steaks that were on sale – gotta love local on sale meat!!!  I seasoned the meat with what I had on hand: some garlic onion rub, soy sauce and worchestire sauce.  While those were sitting and marinating I washed some Yukon golds and red potatoes, wrapped them in some foil and threw them on the grill to sit and cook (~30-45mins).  The last 10 mins of the potatoes I threw on the steaks and cooked them @350 5mins both sides.  I served the potatoes however anyone liked them: butter, sour cream, cheese, seasonings… whatever.  We served up and ate dinner.  Local, easy AND kept the heat out of the house!!  WOO HOO

 J was so hungry he forgot to take a picture until he was already munching away.  🙂  This is his plate in the photo!

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Spinach & Tomato Strata – ON THE GRILL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ingredients:
5 – 6 pieces of tomato basil bread, dry and torn into pieces
8 – 10 fresh spinach, cooked and set aside to cool
8 oz shredded Swiss cheese
4 beaten eggs (we used 2 duck eggs and 2 SMALL chicken eggs)
1 ¾ cup milk
2 – 3 small tomatoes chopped
½ cup sour cream
1 tbsp Dijon style mustard
¼ tsp caraway seeds (crushed)
1/8 tsp pepper

directions:
1. place ½ of the torn bread in a 2 qt baking dish (we used a square baking dish)

2. sauté the spinach until cooked and add in tomatoes – place on a paper towel lined plate to cool and drain
3. in a mixing  bowl (at least a 4 cup capacity) beat your eggs, add in your milk, sour cream, pepper, caraway seeds and onion
4.  place cooled spinach and tomatoes over torn bread in baking dish, top with all of your cheese

5.  top with remaining torn bread
6. pour your egg mixture, over your bread/veggie/cheese in your baking dish
7. chill for 2 – 24 hours
8.  When you are ready cook at 325 for 50 – 55 mins, check for doneness with a knife or toothpick – if it comes out clean TADA it is done!

*We baked our strata on our new ELECTRIC grill, we used a thermometer to check/maintain heat and baked it outside and kept the heat out!!  It worked great… just make sure you have some space between your heating element and your baking dish OR use indirect heat… meaning don’t place the dish right over the heat… bake it on the side without the burner turned on.

**adapted from Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook – page 238

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Scalloped Asparagus (SOOOO GOOOOOD)

ingredients:
1 – 2lbs fresh asparagus
6 T butter
6 T flour
1 t salt
1/8 t pepper
2 C milk
¾ C sharp cheese, grated
5 hard boiled eggs, sliced
½ C bread crumbs

directions:
1. blanch asparagus in hot water quickly, ~2mins – drain and set aside in a 2qt baking dish (which has been LIGHTLY greased with olive oil)
2. melt butter in a sauce pan and then stir in flour, salt and pepper
3. stir milk into butter mixture and stir consistently over LOW heat until smooth, add in ½ C of your cheese and continue stirring until smooth
4. place sliced eggs on top of asparagus
5. pour white sauce over eggs and asparagus, toss gently until everything is fully covered and mixed
6. top with bread crumbs and remaining cheese
7. bake @350 for 15-20mins

** adapted from The Central Market Cookbook – page 77

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it’s electric… well at least the NEW GRILL is!!!!

Ok so we have been going ROUNDS about buying a new grill… when to buy one? What type to buy?  How much to spend? What size? Etc. etc. etc… Well today we FINALLY broke down and bought one!  YAHOO!  We have been hitting the local Sears to find a grill (along with other stores) and today it paid off.  We were searching the clearance isle and there it was… a decent size, rolling electric grill that could fit the pans I wanted to use to avoid cooking inside, it didn’t have a flame to ruin the pans, looked easy to clean, wouldn’t require propane or charcoal… AND it was 60% OFF sticker price!!  J sized it up, gave it a once over and said YUP that’s the one!  So we bought it, along with a grill thermometer; I wanted to make sure it could hold a steady temp so I could “bake” items in the grill rather than the oven inside. 

We gave it a go tonight with scalloped asparagus and grilled steaks… guess what??  It worked BEAUTIFULLY and kept all the heat out of the house!  WOO WOO!!!!!

 

 

Here is to a summer of grilling outside!!!

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Saturday is MARKET DAY

So today was market day and we went as a family, in early afternoon.  I thought later in the morning/early in the afternoon would be a good time to go, but it was PACKED!  It didn’t help that the market itself seemed to be narrowing as you headed north up the promenade.  I heard a lot of shoppers becoming cranky about the single file line you had to wait in and just leaving.  J had a way around it though and we went in the back way and made our way through, it wasn’t fast… but it got the job done.  We ended up buying: ~4-5lbs of potatoes, ~2-3lbs of carrots, 1/2lb spinach, 1lb lean ground beef, 1 block of white cheddar cheese, 1lb tomatoes, 1lb asparagus, bagels and tomato/basil bread… all for $37.50.  Not too bad of a deal I would say.  We left the market and continued on to Ken’s Fruit Market where we filled in the holes of things we needed.  We also picked up some all purpose flour (so we wouldn’t have any more bread “mistakes”), some sugar, etc.  We kept it local as well and spent a bit more money but also purchased a few more items.  Today was a grand shopping day!!

 

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Wed… Thurs… Fri…

What was on the meal for Wed…?  It was J’s night to cook and be creative and he went for it.  He made some homemade enchiladas, they were tasty.  I felt they could have used more spinach, but the flavor was good.  I wanted to take this recipe however and take the beans out and focus strictly on veggies and cheese inside… so that is what I did on Thurs.

Thurs was me trying to create a veggie based enchilada dish.  It was ok, J didn’t like it as much as S and I did… it had “too many” onions for his taste.  I felt the flavor was nice, however having the beans in it did enhance it a bit better than I was expecting.

Friday was S’s day to pick dinner… he had a walk-a-thon at school and was the student who raised the most money out of the whole school.  As a reward he got to pick what we ate for dinner… he didn’t settle on local, he went for Taco Bell.  This was fine for me, because I was feeling sick since Wed.  I did cook sick on Thurs, and ate dinner but MAN oh MAN I was not feeling so hot. TB it was and off to bed I went.

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