Friday, February 26, 2016

Food for Thought

It's a pretty full weekend for us here - along the lines of what it used to be like when the kids played sports.  We're looking over the precipice of that life again, as the 7 y.o. contemplates a hockey career.  I'm not sure I'm ready.

The weekend begins early, with a day off for the 7 y.o.  Hubby is heading to Cheyenne to get new carriage lights for the house.  Girlie is coming home this afternoon.  The 17 y.o. will be going to a company bowling party (the company he interns for has team building events - this time it's bowling.)  There's a birthday party for our 4 y.o. niece at a local My Little Gym, where, while I love my niece and it's fun to watch her at such places, I'm sure I'll be needing the cone of silence when it's over.  THEN, drum roll please, the ultimate of ultimates - the NHL Stadium Series. 

If you aren't tapped in, in any way, to the NHL, chances are you are out of the loop and you'd get the "pity look" from Girlie.  The NHL hosts a few, highly coveted, games on outdoor rinks.  The U.L.T.I.M.A.T.E. experience whether you are a player or a fan.  And we all know Girlie is a FAN!  We scored these tickets via the 7 y.o.'s Mile Hi Mites Hockey camp.  Quite a few perks came with the program, among which were two tickets to this dream game.  Actually, two games - an alumni game featuring players from the Av's the Stanley Cup years; hubby's into that one in particular.  The other is a regular season game.  Both are against the Red Wings (boo!)

Two nights of major league hockey.  Our Girlie can hardly contain herself. 

Saturday we're hosting a breakfast for hubby's side of the family.  Then it's game time for the 7 y.o., Mass and the second Stadium Series game.  Sunday hubby is heading out for a shooting competition, there's another game for the 7 y.o.  Life Teen for the boys.  Girlie heads back up to school.  And I cloister myself away for the remainder of the weekend. 

It's the kind of weekend where quick, fast and filling is the name of the game for meals.  I menu planned from Pinterest for this week.  If you have a weekend stacking up like ours, check out the following for a meal or two.

I love oven fries.  Fresh cut doesn't take any longer than a frozen bagged variety, save the fact that you need a couple minutes to slice them up - about as long as it takes to preheat the oven.  These Thick Cut Parmesan Oven Fries, were even faster because I didn't need to peel them.  The recipe is for one, so I used four potatoes (I was feeding six) and then doubled the spices.  The only change I would make is to flip the fries.  They came out crispy without flipping, but we like thick cut fries even more so.  Flipping them half way through will get them how we like them.

I'm not sure why this Butter Coffee caught my eye, but it did.  It is a different creamer, with butter as its base.  The recipe recommended KerryGold butter; $5.99 for a half pound of Irish butter.  The cream comes in the form of Cashew Milk.  It was different.  Not bad, just different.  Maybe a tad healthier, with the addition of coconut oil and cashew milk.  The recipe makes one cup at a time, so between that and the cost of the ingredients, I'm not sure it's a practical everyday kind of thing, but it could be fun for a small gathering or just a special morning.  I'm sure you could sub in a high quality domestic butter, for the Irish import, or actually whip up some fresh butter at home.

The Thick Cut Fries above where a side to these Green Chile Chicken Sliders.  I made my 40-minute Hamburger Buns.  These were really good.  I griddle fried them, too cold to grill.  They were moist and flavorful without being hot.  I used provolone, as I'm not a fan of Pepper Jack.  I made my own guacamole, which is just ripe avocados, a dash of salt, half a lime's worth of juice and some chopped cilantro.  You could do slices, but they are gonna slide around a bit.  They reheat wonderfully, too.

I love cobblers, crisps and crumbs.  They're easy, especially for groups.  So, on In-Law Monday I made this Butterscotch Apple Pecan Cobbler.  I loved the addition of butterscotch chips which sort of became a butterscotch caramel as the dish baked.

These Creamy Chicken and Corn Turnovers were really good and easy to whip up.  My only change, when I make them again, would be to double the spices in the cream base.  You could totally make these up in pie crusts to save some money.  I actually had some filling left over, so I would roll out the dough just a bit to make the squares a little larger to be able to use the filling and still be able to close the pastries.

I needed some Mexican on my menu, and this Burrito Bake worked just fine.  It came together quickly on the night of hockey practice, in less than 30 minutes.  I used the Crescent Sheet, instead of pinching the rolls together - I hate doing that.  I used my homemade taco seasoning, instead of store-bought.

I had originally intended this to be the main dish, but I ended up using this Loaded Baked Gnocchi as a side to smoked sausage.  Oh my.  Creamy, warm, cheesy.  The only thing that would have made it better would be to have it snowing outside.  The garlic was a little strong for me, and I love garlic.  The strong bite could just be the bulb I currently have, the size of the clove I used or it could be just too much for the sauce.  I may try using garlic powder, added once the cream sauce has thickened, just to see if I like that more subtle flavor better.  If I made it as a main dish, I'd use two pounds of gnocchi.  Regardless, it's a do-again.

Happy Friday,

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