Savoury Corn Waffles with Bacon, Salsa and Fried Eggs & Meal Planning 1/22/12

This was a celebratory meal, one of many.

I’m going back to work this week – tomorrow! I can almost guarantee that if you’re in the US, Canada or the UK that you’ve heard of my new employer. I’ll be doing work that I love with a company that shares a lot of my values. My new office is in a killer part of town (about half a block from, I kid you not, a bacon-themed restaurant). And the best part? I can take the bus to work. I am not exaggerating in the slightest when I tell you, dear reader, that that is quite literally my dream.

So, yes, life is indeed sweet, and I’m trying to enjoy every moment of it. So this morning there were waffles.

Adapted from Joy the Baker

My changes –
– used 1c all-purpose flour and 1/2c white cornmeal, because I’m a Southern gal now (I defy you to even find white cornmeal up north!)
– used parsley and chipotle powder, both dried, instead of fresh parsley and chives
– included about 1/4c of finely shredded Pecorino Romano
– cooked and crumbled four slices of thick pepper bacon and mixed that in the batter

Served with an egg over easy (in Ryan’s case, an egg with two yolks, which led to a few interesting moments reading the superstitions some people have over that ‘omen’) and salsa.

Next time I make these, I will separate the eggs and beat the whites to create a more delicate waffle, as these got a bit dry and heavy. The salsa and eggs really perked them up, however.

On to the meal planning…

This will be an interesting week, with me back at work and probably arriving home after Ryan in the evenings. All three of us, the dog particularly, will have to adjust to this new arrangement.

Sunday: goulash – I didn’t get to this last week, and the roast is thawed.
Monday: butternut squash soup, salad and naan. I’ll probably cook the soup tonight, however.
Tuesday: chicken enchiladas verde
Wednesday: turkey burgers, sweet potato tots & salad. I really enjoyed this when we ate it last week.
Thursday: Ryan will cook a delicious curry!
Friday: Thai chicken pizza
Saturday: we’ll probably go out to dinner.

Meal Planning Monday 1/16/12

I wasn’t on the ball last week and we ate a lot of cobbled-together meals. This week my goal is to do a little bit better with planning and execution.

Monday: turkey burgers, sweet potato tots & salad – a quick meal before puppy school.
Tuesday: Ryan heads to Chicago for work, I’ll eat some leftovers and salad.
Wednesday: I’m thinking mac & cheese! Ryan doesn’t care for that much cheese, so him being out of town is a perfect excuse to have some.
Thursday: goulash
Friday: Thai chicken pizza
Saturday: We’ll probably go out to dinner.
Sunday: I think I’ll roast a chicken with root vegetables.

It’s the little things

Since finishing Haruni, my knitting mojo and I have lost one another. I had to rip back 3″ of a sweater, a sweater I’ve been working on since September, because I foolishly increased and then decreased again only 3/4″ later, resulting in an ugly looking pucker. I started not one – not two – but THREE – Christening gowns and they all were big fat ugly failures. I was trying to force it, trying to fake it. I just needed a break.

So I took two giant steps back, dug through my stash for leftovers and scraps and made a few tiny things. No fit issues, no complicated lace charts or trying to create my own patterns, just straight-forward ribbing and calming stocking stitch. That I made useful things out of remnants that have been hanging around for a while is a huge bonus.

(Click the images to go to the Ravelry page for each project)

This took me all of 45 minutes –

I made the cabled part of this ages ago (I have the feeling it was summer of 2010!) but I always wanted to add ribbing to keep the edges from curling. I’m glad I did.

This just makes coffee feel a little more luxurious –

Some fingering scraps made into useful things –

Haruni

Ravelry page here.

My first triangular shawl!

I love this pattern. There’s a lot I didn’t know about the construction of these kinds of shawls, and this pattern laid everything out perfectly. You really don’t find this kind of thoroughness in a free pattern ever. It’s the perfect, free, intro to triangular shawl knitting.

I can’t get over blocking lace. It’s so addictive. You take this crumply, kind of blah thing, soak it in water, pin it on a chunk of carpet that you don’t walk on (if you’re me; other people, people who aren’t me, have special foam tiles for this kind of thing. Someday, someday.), I mean really stretch it and pin the crap out of it, trying all the while to keep your dog from walking on it as he’s jumping on you and giving kisses, “why are you doing whatever you’re doing, mama?”, trying to teach your dog that “T-PINS ARE NOT FOOD! WHY ARE YOU TRYING TO EAT THAT?” (I mean, seriously, dog, why do you keep trying to eat t-pins?). Then you wait a day or so and you take out the pins and the crumpled thing you had is now delicate and perfect and you feel ever so proud of yourself. LOOK. LOOK AT WHAT I MADE!

Having said all that, I don’t know that triangular shawls are really my thing. I did enjoy the knitting of it, and I love the final result. But the wearing? It’s just not for me. I tried it on the other day, after blocking and taking pictures. I’m a stole person. Rectangles, that’s my thing. Maybe because it is relatively small – 46″ at its widest point; my wingspan is 70″ – that it felt silly on me. It’s so, so pretty. It’ll make a fantastic gift for someone.

Meal Planning (not) Monday 1/2/12

We are back from our wonderful 10 day trip to Minnesota, and Texas welcomed us with temps in the low 70s! No complaints here. As soon as I find a job I’m as happy at as the one I left in MN, life will be perfect.

Since I’m late this week I’ll just recap what we’ve had so far.

Monday: We took Kristin & Brian out to dinner at PF Chang’s to thank them for watching Baxter while we were gone. Neither Ryan nor I had ever been there before, although we’re both big fans of Pei Wei.
Tuesday: Curried Butternut Squash Soup (I don’t use that recipe, but it’s very similar) with pita bread and salads.
Wednesday: Ryan made chicken fajitas, with green and red pepper and a red onion. They were delicious.
Thursday (aka tonight): I’m thinking something simple – big salads and assorted leftovers.
Friday: Date night! We’re going out for Tex-Mex (we craved it the entire time we were in MN! We’ll probably go to Chuy’s) and then to see Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. I’ve been excited to see this movie for months!

Thai Chicken Pizza and Meal Planning Monday 12/19/11

it tastes better cut into squares

Mmm… Thai chicken pizza. We have it once a week at the G household. Once you get the hang of making pizza dough, everything else is easy. I can’t believe I ever didn’t make pizza at home…it’s so easy and the results are so, so good.

This pizza is based off of one made by Galactic Pizza on 29th & Lyndale Ave S in Minneapolis. Funnily enough I was never a big fan of this pizza when we got it from Galactic. I think the first time I had it, it upset my stomach and so I never wanted to eat it again. But Ryan loved it so we made our own version, and I love it now! It’s basically pad thai, minus the noodles.

You’ll need:
– one pizza crust of your choosing (we love this recipe, substituting in 1/2 whole wheat bread flour)
– one-third cup peanut or satay sauce (or amount required to cover whole crust; this is your pizza sauce). I’ve frequently made my own – just Google ‘peanut sauce recipe’ – but this kind sold by H-E-B/Central Market is inexpensive and really very tasty, with a nice flavor of coconut.
– one-half to one red pepper, slivered (red pepper is insanely cheap in Texas, so I use it freely; in Minnesota it was quite the opposite and I would only use about 1/2 pepper)
– two carrots, peeled and slivered
– three green onions, chopped
– one cup bean sprouts
– about 4 oz chicken, cooked and chopped (we use half of an average chicken breast, cooked on the Foreman grill)
– one-quarter cup cilantro, minced
– one and a half cups mozzarella cheese, shredded


Preheat your oven to 450F. If you have a pizza stone, use it!

Prep vegetables and combine in a bowl while chicken is cooking. Roll out pizza dough onto parchment paper; spread with peanut sauce and layer chicken (putting the chicken on the bottom of the pizza helps to keep it from drying out in the hot, hot oven). Evenly coat pizza with vegetable mix. Sprinkle cilantro over the entire pizza and layer cheese on.

Slide pizza in to oven and cook, 12-14 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and golden brown and crust is browned. Let cool for five minutes, slice and serve.

on to…
Meal Planning Monday
this week is all about cleaning out the fridge before we go north for the holidays.
Monday – takeout (we have puppy school with Baxter)
Tuesday – pasta with chicken sausage
Wednesday – the Megos are coming over and I am roasting a chicken
Thursday – leftovers
Friday – we fly to MN at night; in the morning I am making a Christmas breakfast and Ryan, Baxter and I will exchange gifts.