Lentils with Mustard-Herb Butter -Another 5 star!

I’ve had this recipe for months and months and months. I put it in my meal planner, buy the ingredients and when it comes time to make it, I don’t. I think it seemed intimidating. The original recipe included salmon and had the French translation at the end of the title. I think that’s why it was intimidating. I like to cook, but I’m no chef, and I certainly don’t consider myself sophisticated enough to make French food! So in an effort to clean out our freezer I decided to just do it!

The night I made this, my husband took a nap and I just took a deep breath and with great determination, entered the kitchen. I read the directions a couple of times and decided to make the lentils first (cause anyone can boil some legumes, right?). Then I made the mustard butter. Then I chopped the leeks and it all just fell into place entirely WAY too easily. Before I knew it, dinner was ready, I woke my husband up and he said “already? How’d you do that so fast?” and that’s when I realized I’d actually finally conquered this oh-so-intimidating recipe and did it like I was a professional! As it turns out, French food isn’t intimidating, it’s just all about the butter!

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When we sat down at the table, I took another deep breath and tasted the lentils. HOLY COW! They were packed with this amazing flavor! My husband and daughter loved them too! It was definitely a 5 star recipe. The next day I even ate the lentils cold, that’s how good they were!

These were so good I thought I’d just post the lentil part of the recipe so that it could be a vegetarian dish (hey! It’s Meatless Monday after all). The salmon was good, but that’s not what made this recipe worthy of 5 stars. However, I’ll post how to cook the salmon at the very end so that if you do want to have this recipe as originally written, you can.

Lentils and Mustard-Herb Butter (with Salmon) (Saumon aux Lentilles)

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Salmon-with-Lentils-and-Mustard-Herb-Butter-em-Saumon-aux-Lentilles-em-241768

  • 3 tablespoons butter softened
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives, optional
  • 1 teaspoon chopped tarragon, optional
  • 2 teaspoons grainy mustard
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup French green lentils
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 medium leeks (white and pale green parts only)
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/2-1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

If you want to add salmon:

  • 4 (6-ounce) pieces skinless salmon fillet
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

 

 

Directions

Cook lentils: Bring lentils, water, and 3/4 teaspoon salt to a boil in a heavy medium saucepan, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until lentils are just tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking liquid, then drain lentils.

Make mustard-herb butter: Stir together all ingredients with 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper.

While lentils cook, chop leeks, then wash . Cook leeks in butter in a heavy medium skillet over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 6 to 8 minutes.

Add lentils with reserved cooking liquid to leeks along with 3 tablespoons mustard-herb butter and cook, stirring, until lentils are heated through and butter is melted. Add lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and keep warm, covered.

For the salmon:

Sauté salmon while leeks cook: Pat salmon dry and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper (total).

Heat butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until foam subsides, then sauté salmon, turning once, until golden and just cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes total.

Serve salmon, topped with remaining mustard-herb butter, over lentils.

Hello my name is Tabitha and I have a freezer hoarding problem…

I may or may not have a freezer hoarding problem. It would depend on who you ask. But I’m 90% sure if you ask anyone I’ve ever lived with they’d say “yes, yes she does”. More often than not I can’t buy anything in the freezer section at the grocery store unless it’s in a malleable package which will fit in a nook or cranny. But even that’s questionable… Perhaps a therapist could help me figure out why! I mean, it’s not like it would sustain us in an emergency since it would melt after a day or so. I seriously cannot explain it! But it is a fact of my life and now I’m in a bit of a pickle. We will be moving soon and we don’t own big enough ice chests to hold it all. Not to mention we don’t exactly have a place to move just yet. That’s where the pickle part comes in. Since I don’t know where we’ll be living, I don’t know what will happen to my freezer full of food!!! I was telling a friend about it last week and she looked at me and said “why don’t you eat it?” Duhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh… right! OF COURSE!!! Hahaha!! Seriously. I’ve. got. issues.

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So the next morning when it was cool-ish, I went through the freezer and wrote down everything that was in there. Then I went to www.plantoeat.com and planned out our meals, according to the freezer, for (almost) three weeks! Yes, I said three weeks. I told you I had a problem!

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Why write a post about it? It was my mom’s idea actually. She thought it could help others, especially in the time of a low budget week. Cause let me tell you, my grocery list was very short! It’s time to get creative!

Here are some meals that we ate last week:

Taco Tuesday

It was just me & mini-me so we had:

Frozen Pre-packaged Chicken Enchiladas (which I had bought for my husband to eat while I was out of town, and he didn’t)

Un-Refried Refried Beans (1/2 recipe so I didn’t have to freeze the leftovers!)

Zucchini (from my mom’s garden)

(A Non-Crock Pot) Wednesday

Antioxidant Supreme smoothie (which wasn’t good enough to share the recipe with you all)- using the frozen blueberries, strawberries & mango I had in the freezer

Salmon with Lentils and Mustard-Herb Butter (look for this recipe, coming soon)- using frozen salmon and lentils I already had in the cupboard

Fun Friday

Frozen cheese tortellini mixed with a bag of frozen veggies

Summer Sunday

Frozen Pumpkin Croissants (I finally managed to remember the night before to defrost them!!! Wahoo!)

So that’s what we’ve had so far to help clean out the freezer. Unfortunately it isn’t enough to see a dent in the freezer big enough to feel accomplished, but we are getting there!

Stay tuned for more freezer hoarding updates!

#TBT Slow Cooker Chicken Chile Verde

Any of you remember when Martha bashed bloggers last October? Well I wrote this back then and just found it! So I’m Throw Back Thursday-ing this blog post, because it’s funny and tasty:

Did you see the Martha Stewart interview about her take on bloggers? Obviously a lot of people are upset, but you just have to take a deep breath and blow it off. She’s so far from reality it’s hard to take anything (or recipe or craft) she says seriously.

Read this hilarious comment I found from The Kitchn (www.thekitchn.com/weekend-cooking-whats-the-most-51991) in regards to the most difficult meal you’ve ever made:

“I’ve made pretty complicated things — my initiation into gastronomic pursuits at age 14 was a 6 layer torte with 2 kinds of buttercream as well as layers of dacquoise; or the nutmeat paté in brioche, or the many Christmas feasts I have made single-handedly. But the experience that brought me to my knees was my Martha Day. I had decided to make one of her monthly meals — you know, the ones that come on the little card squares in the magazine. I seem to recall it was shell steak with mushrooms, homemade spaetzle, baked orange beets, and apple brown betty. Simple enough, right? Well, add to that a Martha Weddings present wrapping (artfully wrapped wedding presents as featured in the Wedding mag). A friend was getting married… Anyways, I had to drive 200 km roundtrip to the city (we lived in a little town on the Prairie back then) to buy all the ingredients. In those days, there was no Michael’s, so shopping for the crafty stuff was a pain. And my husband was going on a business trip and needed his shirts ironed. Well I think we ate that damn shell steak at 11 pm, and the apple brown betty after midnight. The damn presents took the whole friggin’ day to wrap, and the shirts and clean-up had me going until almost 3 a.m., when I fell into bed, exhausted and blubbering. Okay, more was involved than merely cooking, but it sure showed how misleading Martha’s mags are. She makes it look as if she does everything (well, at the time, the mid-nineties, she still did), but my little ‘experiment’ in real time showed how difficult it is for us mere mortals to follow in her footsteps…

mschatelaine

Five Years Ago

Don’t get me wrong, I love Martha. I wanna be Martha. She’s “perfect” in the homemaking sense and she clearly loves what she does and (she and) her people come up with some amazing stuff, but she’s unrelatable to us normal people. But bloggers? We are relatable. Most of us don’t have millions of dollars or acres of land, much less perfectly groomed land, nor do we have the ability to throw massive parties for the elite, much less our neighbors. We have children and insane schedules and most of us don’t have help to keep it all together. She has obviously forgotten where she came from in the beginning, is clearly thoughtless, and has so much, she forgot how to be grateful, or at least being grateful isn’t a top priority to her, because without us she would be nothing. So shake it off and get on with your blogging self, inspiring people to better their lives!!! Boo-yeah!

Onwards and forwards I say! So, when was the last time I had Chile Verde? I think the answer is never. Unless I had it when I was a kid and don’t remember. But since I don’t eat pork (except for that Christmas ham. I just can’t resist!), I never have chile verde. When I saw this recipe, I got excited and decided to give it a try and I’m glad I did! It did take some prep work, but I’d definitely keep this on hand for company or even a potluck! I didn’t 5 star love it, but it was worthy of keeping the recipe in my book. And my husband really liked it. So I’ll put it in our repertoire for the future.

Notes from me:

  • I found tomatillos at Whole Foods. I bought them all and even then it wasn’t an exact 2 pounds. Go tomatillo hunting before you buy the rest of the ingredients.
  • Not sure which pepper is an Anaheim? Ask. You don’t want to pick the wrong one and then have a fiery meal!
  • I totally ran out of onion… don’t ask. I’m sure it would have been way better with onion. Ha!
  • Even though my husband doesn’t like cilantro, I still added it. He didn’t even notice.
  • I had leftover vegetable broth from Meatless Monday so I used that instead of chicken broth.
  • Those peppers & tomatillos didn’t roast like this recipe said they would and the 450 temp was making my kitchen hot so I stopped the roasting after 15 minutes and those dang peppers did not sweat in the paper bag… I ended up roasting them over the gas flame which was a pain and they still didn’t peel well. I’m not sure what the point of peeling them was because I peeled what I could and left the rest on and it was fine.

P.S. If you make this, leave me a comment below and let me know how you liked it! Thanks!

Slow Cooker Chicken Chile Verde

Recipe adapted from: www.twopeasandtheirpod.com/slow-cooker-chicken-chile-verde/

Yield: Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs tomatillos husked, washed and dried, and cut in half
  • 10 medium Anaheim peppers, cut in half, seeds removed
  • 1 jalapeño pepper
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 cups roughly chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast
  • Tortilla, beans, and rice for serving, optional

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Place tomatillos and Anaheim peppers on two large greased baking sheets. Roast until tomatillos are golden brown about 5-7 minutes, and until peppers are charred.

2. Place peppers in a brown paper bag to sweat for about ten minutes. Remove the peppers from the bag and peel.

3. In a blender or food processor, combine 6 peppers (12 pepper halves), tomatillos, jalapeños, onion, garlic, cilantro, cumin, paprika, lime zest and juice, sugar, and salt and pepper to taste. Blend until smooth.

4. Dice the remaining Anaheim peppers. Pour salsa verde, chicken broth, diced Anaheim peppers, and chicken into the slow cooker. Add salt and pepper.

5. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-8 hours or until chicken is at least 165 degrees in center of meat.

6. Once chicken is cooked using a slotted spoon remove chunks of chicken to a cutting board and shred and return to crock pot with chile verde sauce. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve warm with tortillas, beans, and rice.

Happy Saturday Morning! Cinnamon Bun Scones- 5 Stars!

I got to sleep in this morning! That’s a rare occurrence around here and was much appreciated! I’ve totally been MIA on my blog because of the insanity around our place (which is part of the reason sleeping in was such a luxury), but I’m hoping it’s calmed down enough that I can blog again! Besides, with the insanity, few meals have been cooked, so there hasn’t been much to blog about anyway!

Because I was so refreshed I wanted to have a delicious breakfast. I scrolled through my recipe list and came across this recipe which, fortunately, had popped up in my newsfeed from recipegirl.com this week so I was really excited! I realize it’s too late (or maybe not…) to make it today, but you can always make it tomorrow morning! It’s totally a 5 star recipe, but seriously, when is a baked good not worth 5 stars?! Image

I took my first bite, second bite, third bite, and was like “these are SO amazing and SO chewy! But why?” and then remembered the oats! Have I told you my love of oatmeal cookies? They’re so chewy!!! Maybe THAT’S why I loved these so… the oats! And the cinnamon, and the fluffy-ness, and the sweetness… ahhhhh!

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Let’s get down to business so you can get in the kitchen and make these puppies!

P.S. If you make these, leave me a comment below and let me know how you liked them! Thanks!

Cinnamon Bun Scones

Recipe from: http://www.recipegirl.com/2012/04/20/cinnamon-bun-scones/

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Camp Blogaway

Is it possible to learn too much? Cause if so, I totally did. I had no idea sitting and listening to people talk could be SO exhausting! Someone I told said they would have fallen asleep during the 9 hours of hearing people speak on Saturday but there was no way that could have been possible! All of the speakers were so full of valuable information I didn’t want to miss a word!! I wrote nine pages of notes in tiny writing so I could fit it all in and wouldn’t forget a thing.

We got to sleep in cabins in the woods in bunk beds. Thankfully there were only three of us, so we all got a bottom bunk! My roomies (@PersianKitchen & @TarynJeffries) were friends from last years camp, but they took me under their wing and showed me the ropes, which was MUCH appreciated! Thanks girls! It was all much needed break from the hustle and bustle of city life!

Some highlights of the weekend were, of course, the swag bags (!!!)

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We had huge delicious meals and I ate myself silly at each one. I have no self control when it comes to buffets, I mean none, and although it wasn’t exactly a buffet, there was a ton of food being served and I had to try some of each thing! Image

And the most amazing thing of all? I lost a pound! For real! Of course, I could have worked it all off helping Officer Franklin push my cousin Katherine’s car uphill at 6’000 feet (in my gold glitter shoes):Image

Cute, right?! And soooo not practical for doing such things as:

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But I managed to be a bad ass and almost have my heart explode out of my chest! Ha! And of course that was all after this happened: Image

That’s my car on the left being jumped by @mistermartha! I can only assume that as I rolled into Camp Blogaway at 8 PM on Friday night after sitting in traffic for 4 hours (uh huh) I was a bit frazzled and left a dome light on. My husband asked me how I could not have noticed and I told him that his stupid dark tinted windows might have prevented me from seeing it!!

I met a bunch of super great food bloggers from all aspects and levels of food blogging. I met hobby food bloggers all the way to food bloggers who make a decent living. I’m inspired and ready to roll! Now if only I could hire a time manager…

Until next year Camp Blogaway!

 

@TarynJeffries

Hello Muddah! Hello Fadduh!

Here I am at Camp Blogaway
Camp is very entertaining,
And they say we’ll have some fun if we start wine tasting!

(I’m a terrible poet, but I know it)

I get to go to camp this weekend! Food blogger camp! I’m so excited! It happened suddenly and strangely, but I figure it was meant to be! I’m going to learn so much and get to meet a lot of people and I just can’t wait. But I’m going to have to wait a little, in traffic, as I make my way across the LA basin in rush hour traffic… on a Friday afternoon… but hey! It’ll be worth it!

The fam gets a break from routine and will enjoy some daddy/daughter bonding time. And I get a break from this blasted heat and go up to the mountains and hang out with my cousin, Katherine, from http://www.bombayblonde.com! Yay!

 

 

Crock Pot Turkey and Gravy

Here we go again with the turkey breast in the wrong month. But this time I got it all backward! I went into Whole Foods and saw they had turkey breasts so I bought one, except I didn’t have a recipe this time! I came home, googled crock pot turkey breast and came up with this delightful recipe. And it’s a low fat recipe if you follow the recipe correctly and aren’t rushed for time like I was… again… ode to life with a toddler! I went ahead and just made a fatty gravy because I literally didn’t have 15 minutes to make the gravy sauce. I didn’t have fresh sage either, which is a darn shame because sage is one of my all time favorite fresh herbs. Have you tried anything with brown butter and sage? It makes the world go ’round! But that’s for another time.

www.skinnytaste.com

I’d most definitely try this with mashed “potatoes” made with cauliflower. We’ve had those and they really are quite delicious! But because of our time crunch and the fact that I didn’t think ahead about a side, I mean come on, this was an impromptu buy, we just had regular mashed potatoes. I suppose that’s better than instant mashed potatoes, right? Oh and as crazy as this is, my Trader Joes had left over cornbread stuffing out on the shelf so I had gone ahead and bought some a few weeks prior, so I made that too. My husband was in heaven! I’d make this again and give it 4 stars. It most definitely was not a Thanksgiving turkey roasted in the oven, but a tasty mid-year Thanksgiving treat!

Crock Pot Turkey and Gravy

Adapted from skinnytaste.com

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter or olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped medium
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped medium
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tbsp fresh sage
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4-5 lb whole bone-in turkey breast, skin on, trimmed of fat
  • salt and pepper

Directions:

Melt butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot, celery and garlic and cook until onion is soft, about 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in flour and cook until golden, about 2 minutes. Stir in 1 cup of broth and scrape up any browned bits and smooth out any lumps; transfer to slow cooker.

Stir in remaining broth, water, wine, sage, and bay leaves into the slow cooker. Season turkey with salt and pepper, place skin side up in the slow cooker, cover and cook 5 to 7 hours on low, or until the turkey reaches 165 degrees with an instant-read thermometer.

Transfer turkey to a cutting board tent loosely with with foil and let it rest 20 minutes. Let braising liquid settle for 5 minutes, then remove the fat from the surface using a large spoon or a gravy fat separator. Strain braising liquid into saucepan, discard celery, bay leaves and simmer until thickened, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Discard the skin and carve the turkey and serve with gravy. Makes 2 1/2 cups of gravy.