Friday, April 1, 2016

Food for Thought

I'm exhausted.  For no reason.  It's gonna be hard to do anything today when all I want to do is sleep.  I've got the In-Law dinner tonight.  I need a dessert.  My house feels trashed, well cluttered, even though regular chores are done.  I think it's three weeks of kids-on-break just making the house feel like it's never clean, so I'd like to head into the weekend a little less cluttered.

At least I won't have to mess with thinking about meals, between what is planned and what is left over, I should be good for the weekend.  If you're looking for recipe to work with, look no further.

I'm not good with sides that aren't rolls or tossed salad, so I'm trying to make an effort at getting some in my repertoire when possible.  This Parmesan Ranch Corn was something fast and easy to go with tacos (below.)  It was tasty too.  I used this homemade Ranch mix.

Simple is the name of the game with these Simple Scottish Shortbread cookies.  But delicious should be in there, too.  These are light and buttery.  The dough is delicate, almost crumbly, but I was able to re-roll scraps a couple times without it affecting the outcome of the cookies.  I didn't have the 1 3/4" scallop cookie cutter (I wasn't about to try cutting them free-hand) but the 1 1/2" round cutter worked just fine.  Cut that way, I got about six dozen cookies.

This Sweet Potato Taco with Lime Crema recipe was our last Lenten Friday dinner, that I paired with the above corn.  I doubled the recipe because I misread how many it fed, so I had some leftovers, which was fine, they hold up.  I also had a few undercooked sweet potatoes, but that was my fault, pan was too crowded.  The only other thing, was black beans beans tend to break down when they cook, so they get "messy", which is a visual thing, not a taste thing.  The family seemed to like them, their only comment (besides the the odd undercooked potato) was they were expecting a traditional "taco" flavor.  I would say these are more Baja - fresher, lighter.  The only seasoning is a smokey cumin flavor, but the crema is bright and limey.

I had planned this Spinach and Artichoke Dip Tortellini Soup for during the week and then was too lazy to pull it together - which is ridiculous because opening a can isn't much more simple than this recipe.  But, I moved it to Saturday, which was perfect because we were attending Easter Vigil and this was a good meal for us to grab as we got dressed.  It was rich and creamy.  Warm and filling.  I added two cups of chopped rotisserie chicken to it, but it would be perfectly fine without it.  I also chopped the artichokes a little more; I don't like the big chunks, but if you do. . .go for it.  It will take a fair hand at seasoning with salt and pepper.  You may actually feel like you're over- seasoning, but it will need it.  Taste as you go for this one. 

It was a cold, snowy evening when we had this Nacho Pot Pie.  It's better if you can serve it hot, the cheese topping is creamier then.  Using a Monterrey Jack mixed cheese will keep the topping softer, longer, especially if you have to wait to serve, but eventually it will still set up a bit.  I made this Nacho Cheese Sauce to go with it, as a dip, but you could probably put this on top with the grated cheese, too.

We've got an open weekend.  I think I have cabin fever.  The Kite Festival might be enough (if we go), but I think I may need something stronger.  But, first, a nap.

Happy Friday,

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