It's been awhile, and the blog has been neglected. There are a myriad of reasons, same as anyone's I suppose, work has been a bit crazy which causes me to be tired when I get home and not terribly anxious to sit on the computer, and most importantly, G's been really sick, and after two weeks of doctor's appointments and emergency procedures, she's on the mend, and we are all a little more relaxed as a result. That's a nicer way to be.
So, in the spirit of good health, G and I have had a busy weekend watching her brother's kids and visiting family and watching the Patriot's scrape together a win. (Green Bay's on now... good times.)
But while I have not been posting, or taking many photos, I have captured a few food tests...
There is a restaurant back home called Zio's where they make an amazing Artichoke Spinach Pasta. Yum. So I have been trying to figure out how to recreate it at home. I made an attempt while G was in her "fasting" mode, since she hates creamy pastas...
I made it with the President's Choice artichoke spinach dip, which I heated with a tiny bit of broth while mixing with the penne. I then took a chicken breast, pounded it out, sprinkled on some dried basil and oregano, some paprika, and salt and pepper and cooked it in the pan. I cut up the chicken and mixed it in.
Verdict? Unh. It was okay. It was WAYYYY to thick, but you know, it was a good first effort at a recreation.
Next up... Roast Chicken dinner. Once again, G and I wanted to have a nice roast chicken, so off to get the organic chicken breasts on the bone (which made me feel grown-up!) and away we went. This was pretty standard, in terms of traditional sides. We made a little bit of bread stuffing, some mashed squash and
I used some of our mushrooms in the stuffing, and it made a really nice little stuffing, though it stuck wickedly to the pan. The stuffing is also a work in progress.
I am no good at it. I put in day old bread cubes (which were too big), an egg, some chicken broth, sauteed mushrooms and onion, poultry seasoning and pepper. The egg was a bit too much for the amount of bread so it was more like a bread pudding. Weird. I'll keep trying, though.
After G's procedure, she really wanted hot dogs. I had gotten some really nice organic beef hot dogs, and bought some nice buns on the way home from work. G sauteed some red pepper and onion, and away we went.
I bought some baked Lay's, which are made with potato flakes, so oooh yuck, but they were tasty and were the sacrifice we made for two women in their late 30's having a hot dog dinner at 8pm.
Then came tonights dinner... one of my standards...
In the cookbook, Forever Summer, Nigella Lawson has a recipe for Baked Pasta Shells with Spinach. These are amazing. If you haven't ever made them, you should. I have altered her recipe to make it even easier...
I take a tub of ricotta, mix it with 2 beaten eggs and some parmesan, pepper and nutmeg. I then stir in some chopped spinach. I take the passata in the bottle and I pour a tiny bit in the pan, without doctoring it up like she does in the recipe. From there, I stuff the shells (tonight I used dried canneloni shells) and then top with more passata straight from the jar and then sprinkle on parmesan. Cover and pop in the oven (375) for 30 minutes, open her up and cook for another 15. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes and eat her up.
Otherwise, we anticipate things getting a little bit more normal around these parts. G is feeling much better, and having her more positive helps us both immeasurably. We were really worried that something even more serious was wrong, and as it affected G's stomach, we really just tried to keep the food as a non-focus. But all seems better (knock on wood).