Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Cheesy Mama

You know you're messed up when...

A mama asks you for non-dairy recipes (their little one does not seem to be tolerating milk, so they are attempting to cut dairy out of their diet) and you hit her up with a gazillion links then proceed to create a cheese-centric supper for yourself. 

Yep, we had cheesy meatloaf, mashed 'taters and cheese and let us not forget the mixed veggies in a brown gravy with... (wait for it)... cheese.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Working Towards My {Goals}

Remember {Goal} #1, tomorrow I pay for 7wks (two days a week) of Zumba classes... Yep, I'm shakin' what my mama gave me (and hopefully melt some of it off). 

As for {Goal} #2, the hubs and I are both on the healthier train, I always do so much better when I have him cheering me along (and not sneaking illicit substances [cupcakes] into the house)

Definitely gotta work on the variety and totally did not Chef Michael Smith at all this week (and by that, I mean... I didn't craft a Chef Michael Smith meal... )

Baby steps, right?  *wink wink*

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Making A Difference

Something wonderful.  Something fabulous.  Something AMAZING. 

Something happened tonight that made me so happy that I am such an outspoken loudmouth. 

A friend of mine linked Keep Kids Rear-Facing! on her Facebook page... and I'll be honest, it gave me a warm tingly feeling (in a non-pervy manner) because I knew that I had done that!  I'd shared the information that caused that mama to re-evaluate car seats. 

I'd done that and dammit, I'm proud of it!  It may be only a small difference but it is pretty darn big to me. 

We "extended rear-face" (or ERF), TT didn't turn FF until 2.5yrs (and C-McC will see the world in reverse well into his third year.... but he's just a bitty guy).

Just a quick post to toot my own horn... I'll try to get a post extolling the virtues of ERF banged out soon...

Thursday, January 5, 2012

2012 {Goals}

I'm not a big fan of "Resolutions".  I don't do them... not at all (probably because I have very little resolve) but after much thought and consideration, I'm going to create my 2012 {Goals}

1)  Get back on the jogging/running/fitness train (this will be facilitated by a 1-month trial gym membership, thoughtful gifted to me by the hubs... I luuuuuurve him)
2)  Eat better (Christmas [and lack of resolve] has kicked my eating-well ass... must.get.back.on.that.)
3)  Eat more diversely... (it is so easy to get stuck in the "Chicken Thursday" rut... I want to continue to branch out from my culinary comfort zone... {Goal} number 4 is going to help with this)
4)  "The Best of Chef at Home" inspired menu (weird {Goal} I know, but at least once a week I want to serve a Chef Michael Smith inspired meal... I'll do my very best to remember to blog about it too!)
5)  Take more time to enjoy my family more (turn the screens off, get outside, play games, whatever it takes to be a more active participant)
6)  Craft more (I have so many ideas running through my head, I just need.to.follow.through and do some [kid an adult] crafts)

So, these are my 2012 goals... I may (or may not) add to them as the year progresses... either way, I do my very best to keep you abreast on how I'm faring...

What are your goals for 2012?

Speedy Moroccan Zucchini & Couscous {A La Chef Michael Smith}

If you're a frequent reader (sorry, I haven't given you much to read in the last couple of months), I'm sure you've noticed that not only do I love to create and adapt new things in my kitchen (by taking inspiration from a recipe because I couldn't follow one verbatim to save.my.life), you probably also know that I *love* Chef Michael Smith...

So, when Speedy Moroccan Zucchini & Couscous came up while I was perusing his website, I.had.to.try.it...with my own personal twist (because I'm sure I've never, ever mentioned this before... but I, uhhhhh, can't follow a recipe, seriously... I can't... )

Speedy Moroccan Zucchini & Couscous

Photo courtesy of:
http://chefmichaelsmith.com/Recipe/speedy-moroccan-zucchini-couscous/
My plating did not look nearly as awesome
 Serving: 4

Ingredients
For the Zucchini:
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 small zucchini, chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 teaspoon cinnamon * didn't use at all...
1 teaspoon ground cumin * didn't have any on hand (whoops, may need to restock my pantry)
1-19 oz can chick peas, drained and rinsed
1 pint Cherry Tomatoes * used one vine ripened tomato
1-2 sprinkles salt & lots of freshly ground pepper
1 red onion, sliced
My zucchini additions: 
1tbsp Italian seasoning
2 tbsp chopped basil
1/4 cup chicken stock
1-2 cups spinach

For the Couscous
1 lemon, juiced and zested *
1 lemon, juiced and zested *
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil *
A bunch of fresh parsley, chopped *
1 cup couscous *
So, I used Casbah Lemon & Spinach couscous because I may have forgotten to pick up some lemons and parsley (and I had some sitting in my pantry)...

Instructions
Make the couscous first. Simmer the water with the lemon juice and zest. Pour in the olive oil, stir in the couscous and parsley. Cover with a tight fitting lid and wait 5 minutes or so.

Splash the olive oil in the bottom of a large saucepot and heat over medium-high heat. Toss in the zucchini, onion and garlic. Sauté and stir in basil and Italian seasoning. Cook until the vegetables begin to soften. Fold in the chickpeas and tomatoes and heat through. Season with salt and pepper to your taste. Toss in spinach just before you're ready to serve (so it just slightly wiltsServe and share!

As seen on Chef Michael Smith's Kitchen
© Chef Michael Smith

All-in-all, this was an absolutely delicious meal... I made enough to have leftovers as lunch the following day but there wasn't any left over (that's how you know it's good... when you can barely resist licking the plate).  We've definitely added it to our "make again" list.