Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Valentine's Day Pierogis

Do you remember the first meal you ever cooked for your significant other? Mine was about 6 years ago, and my first meal for now-husband T was Pierogi's! I am 100% Polish, and I love to make the dishes that Grandma used to make. I don't make Pierogi's often, though, teeny kitchen on the boat, teeny cutting board for rolling out dough. I save them for a special occassion, and that's what I made for T for this Valentine's Day. I made three fillings: sauerkraut with onion, potato with onion, and mushroom with cheese, and halved the recipe so I made 18. Of course this took all afternoon, but it was worth it!
First you make the dough, roll it, and stuff it
Then you boil them a few at a time until they float

And then you pan fry them in butter! Serve with sour cream and applesauce...mmm just like Grandma used to make!

I also served them with a side of pickled beets.

The budget went REALLY well this week...we spent only $46, so we were able to put $59 into the vacation fund! We try to do a budget of $105 for the week, food and drink, and the extra goes for vacation! So this is what we ate:

Sunday: Superbowl party at friends, we brought chips and homemade salsa

Monday: Squash soup and Au Gratin potatoes

Tuesday: Visiting friends took us to dinner at Schnitzel House. We had schnitzel.

Wednesday: Made a pizza with goat cheese, olives, tomato, cilantro, and cheddar

Thursday: Baked Potatoes, I had mine with soup and T had his with steak

Friday: Asparagus and mushroom crepes

Saturday: Tapas- almonds, olives, bread

Our hanging tomato plant is doing great! We still have tons of blossoms and 8 tomatoes that I hope to be eating soon!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Joy of...English Muffins!

I just bought my very first Joy of Cooking!...what a funny book! (Did people really used to eat all those aspic recipes?) There is a thrift store on the island that is great for used books, and cookbooks go really fast- this was the first time I've actually seen any cookbook. And all 915 hardcover pages for $1!

Of course I am addicted to AR, but also love to flip through a good cookbook, and this has everything. The first recipe I tried was English Muffins, which I have never made, but always wanted to try. They cost almost $5 here, so I only buy them on sale. It was a pretty easy standard dough recipe, the surprise to me was that they are cooked on the stove top and not in the oven! I halved the recipe so only made 12. After the dough rose I rollled it out and cut circles to rise again, until about doubled

Unfortunately, when I touched them to place on the griddle, they fell flat! The muffins rose slightly while cooking, but not as high as they had been.

Time for the real test...would they have nooks and crannies? The recipe advised to fork-split them holding 2 forks back to back and gently pulling apart.

And they were perfect! I toasted up and ate 4 on the spot, and we have been enjoying them all week!

We were just under budget this week, which is $105 for food and drink. We spent $104.37 and this is what we ate:

Sunday: Taco Salad

Monday: Veggie ribs with mashed potatoes and corn

Tuesday: Turkey Chimichangas (baked in the oven not deep fried)

Wednesday: Steak salad with avocado

Thursday: Buffalo Chicken salad

Friday: Corn chowder and lobster bites (little chunks battered and fried from a lobster husband caught that day)

Saturday: Dinner at a friends, they cooked fillet tails, baked potatoes, and caprese salad

Seems like we ate a lot of meat this week! Will try to finish this week out veggie...hope eveyone has a great week!!

Monday, February 1, 2010

A Pancake Love Story

Saturday was the end of our budget week, and we did so well all week that I didn't want to spend much for Saturday's dinner, though there wasn't much in the fridge. Husband felt like something Mexican, so I went to the trusty ingredient search here on AR. You wouldn't think I would find many recipes to use up half an avocado, pancake mix, and sour cream.

Well- Avocado Stuffed Yams and Jalepeno Pancakes sounded pretty good to me! I knew that husband wouldn't be thrilled, because he thinks I experiment on him too much. But it is kind of Mexican, right? He wasn't thrilled. He thought it was weird and would make ok side dishes but not a MEAL.

We were at happy hour not feeling very happy. I was feeling unappreciated and he was feeling underfed. We sulked for a few minutes, then both looked at each other.
"Skirt Steak", he said
"Rolled in the pancake!" I finished.
(This is why we can't play Trivial Pursuit AGAINST each other.)

Anyway, it was perfect! The Jalepeno Pancakes are just pancakes with about half a can of jalepenos... we grilled the skirt steak and added sour cream and cilantro, then rolled up the pancake. It was kind of like a thick crepe! The Avocado Stuffed Yams were also great...you wouldn't think the flavors would go together so well. Our avocado was a day old and slightly brown, so this dish would have been prettier with a new avocado. But we both agreed this was one of the best meals in a while.

We spent $90.63 this week, so about $15 into vacation fund, and this is what we ate:
Sunday- Chicken Sandwiches with Pesto from our garden
Monday- Salsa Meatloaf with Parmesan Potatoes
Tuesday- Soup and Salad
Wednesday- Jambalaya
Thursday- Pesto Pasta
Friday- Roasted Red Pepper and Artichoke Pizza
Saturday- Pancakes and Yams

Our tomato did fantastic this week! If you remember, here he was a week ago:

And here he is today! We actually have one little tomato, too!