Wednesday, January 20, 2010

My Jan. 31 - Feb. 6 Menu

Alcohol, Caffine, Sugar, Gluten Free Week for me so the rest of the family gets to eat from the freezer,

Sunday: Chicken Rice Soup

Monday: Baked Ziti

Tuesday: Chicken Enchiladas

Wednesday: Swedish Meatballs

Thursday: Leftovers

Friday: Homemade Pizza

Saturday: Leftovers

Alcohol, Caffine, Sugar, Gluten, Animal Free Week so more freezer eating for the family

Sunday: Lemon Garlic Tilapia with Baked Garlic Rice

Monday: Mexican Casserole

Tuesday: Baked Ziti

Wednesday: Vegetable Pad Thai

Thursday: Leftovers

Friday: Homemade Pizza

Saturday: Leftovers

Key Lime Pie Martini Jam

I've never worked with limes. I've never made a marmalade. And, although I've added vanilla, schnapps's and chambord to certain fruit jam recipes, I've never created my own recipe. From scratch. How hard could it really be? Twice as much fruit as sugar, boil until you reach the gel point, do the plate test, can...

Little did I know the secret to my jam would be in how I prepared the juice.

I started with a bowl of key limes.

And made juice. I decided to try slicing the limes thinly while removing the seeds, just like this recipe described. This worked famously.

Next, I boiled the slices with five cups of water for about 30 minutes. After letting it cool a bit, I tasted it. The juice was extremely bitter and pithy tasting.

So I started over. This time I sliced all the rinds off the limes.

Cooked the fruit with another five cups of water to extract the juice.

Then, I tasted the juice. Much better. So I made a key lime pie martini. Once I had my drink to taste the jam against, I was good to go!

Key Lime Pie Martini Jam

2 cups of key lime juice

3 cups of pineapple juice

3 cups of sugar

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1/4 cup triple sec

1/2 cup citrus or vanilla vodka

Mix fruit juices and sugar in a large pot and bring to a boil until gel point is reached. Remove from the heat. Add the vanilla, triple sec, and vodka. Pour into jars and seal in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.

I've been enjoying the jam on homemade bread since Sunday. It is a touch bitter but it's growing on me. I think I may try mixing it with cream cheese and eating it with graham crackers.

Friday, January 15, 2010

My Jan 17 - 30 Menu

Last week's meal planning went so well I decided to do it again. It was so nice knowing what I was going to do about dinner when I got home from work. A lot less stress.

This week I decided to go through one of my cookbooks. I chose The Great American Favorite Band Name Cookbook. Here goes:

Sunday: Chicken & Rice Soup (page 78) and Apple Pie

Monday: Santa Fe Casserole (page 283)

Tuesday: Sweet and Sour Pork Chops (page 182)

Wednesday: Leftovers

Thursday: Lenita's Pot Roast - This is a recipe given to me by a favorite coworker. We were talking about my menu plans, how Thursday was pot roast day and how I needed more pot roast recipes. She offered this one with cheese soup - yummy!

Friday: Homemade Pizza

Saturday: Leftovers

Sunday: Garden Cheese Soup (page 64) and Cherry Pie

Monday: Tacos in Pasta Shells (page 308)

Tuesday: Thai Chicken (page 211)

Wednesday: Leftovers

Thursday: Enchiladas from the freezer

Friday: Baked Ziti from the freezer

Saturday: Homemade Pizza

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

What I learned this week: Being a Mom has Given Me New Ways to Get My Point Across

Before becoming a mom I was an advertising account exec. I don't know if it is the ad industry, the industry I was servicing or just the agency I worked for, but I developed quite the potty mouth. The first time they heard me drop the 'F' bomb, my coworkers celebrated. It was all down hill from there and it's something I have been working on since.

So far the only repeated slips have been about those pesky Asian Beetles. My two year old son was at grandma's one night stepping on them saying, "Damn Bugs, Damn Bugs." At least he was using it correctly,right? And they are the most worthless creature ever created. I STILL have them in my house even though it hasn't gotten above freezing since Christmas. But I digress...

Fast forward to last night. I was changing the laundry around and moved funny. The lid came down on the bridge of my nose, right between my eyes. OUCH.

But instead of 'ouch, out came 'holy cats', 'Oh my gosh', 'Son of a fudgicicle,' and a few more I'm not remembering right now. All in a mumbled, garbled voice that sounded much like that of Ralphie's dad from the Christmas Story using the real words. Even though I was talking in code, I must have gotten my point across because hubby kept the kids from coming into the laundry room to check on me.

I didn't realize until last night, I have replaced my naughty words with new words that mean the same to me but won't get me a note home from school. And, they came out under duress.

That's progress, right?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Tigress' Can Jam Challenge: January Assignment

I stumbled upon the Tigress' Can Jam Challenge this week. Even though I missed the deadline, she let me join! I am so excited!

The ingredient this month is citrus. I immediately decided to use limes. I googled lime jam recipes and found a couple I would like to try. Recipes like Red Chili and Lime Jam and Mojito Jam.

But I found my inspiration in a martini - a Key Lime Pie Martini to be exact. So in the next couple of weeks I will be drinking martinis and trying to alter and perfect a recipe for Key Lime Martini Jam. Anyone want to be a taste tester?

Friday, January 1, 2010

35 before 35

A few years back a friend made a list of 101 things to do in 1001 days. It sounded neat but a bit overwhelming.

When I stumbled upon Yes and Yes' blog today and saw her 31 things do do before turning 31 I was intrigued. It seemed much more manageable. Since I am past 31 and my next birthday is just nine months away, I decided to go with a different target. I decided to come up with my own list of the 35 things I would like to do before turning 35 in September 2011.

Hopefully my feelings of accomplishment will override my horror of being closer to 50 than 19.

My list is a work in progress because I would really like the 35 things I choose to be meaningful and attainable. So here goes!

1. Learn how to sew. Start with making an advent garland for each of the kiddos.

2. Make my own Christmas wreaths. Definitely an evergreen wreath but these too:

3. Finish my response to Michael Pollan's Omnivore's Dilemma.
4. Actually complete a body cleanse.

5. Travel to Europe, the Provence region of France in particular.

6. Visit the site of the World Trade Center attack in New York City.

7. Purchase new filters for our reverse osmosis system.

8. Organize my spice rack in a more sustainable way.

9. Construct a boot rack near my basement door so we are not always swimming in shoes, boots, slippers, and flip flops.