Thursday, October 15, 2009


Tonight was special for a number of reasons:
1.  Morgan came to spend the night and hang out!
2.  My parents came over for dinner.
3.  The Mavs were on tv!!

Nights don't get much better or more exhausting (in a good way)!  For dinner tonight I tried a menu from Southern Living's Christmas Cookbook (latest edition) and was very pleased with the results.    The menu: Easy Weeknight Favorites, including Crispy Oven-Fried Catfish, Ranch Potatoes, Pecan Broccoli, and Rosemary Roasted Cherry Tomatoes.  This was one of those "all out" kind of nights and I don't understand how someone would call this an easy weeknight.  Nonetheless, none of the recipes were difficult and they were nice flavors.  I did enjoy the prep plan included in the cookbook to help you get everything on the table at the same time.  If I had actually followed it a little more closely, I am sure everything would have been the right temperature, too!  Oh, tasted good. 

The first recipe I started was the Ranch Potatoes and I LOVED them.  Such simple flavors, such wonderful results!  If you are in the mood for great mashed potatoes, I recommend this heartily.  Morgan recommends them, too; she recommends potatoes of any kind.  Liked the bacon crumbles - but then again who in their right gastrointestinal mind doesn't like bacon crumbles?
Next I got started on the catfish.  Liked the buttermilk bath and the cajun seasoning (used PC Creole seasoning).  The catfish was breaded with crushed Corn Flakes and I liked the crunch produced.  I would definitely use this oven method in the future for all types of fish with different seasonings. 

Then the side dishes.  Both of them were nothing fancy, but had nice simple flavors.  I made everyone try a tomato (including myself) considering this was a tomato unfriendly crowd.  I made them  1. for my mom and 2. because I like the color.  I have to say they were actually pretty good.  Drew said they were, "too Italiany." (I am not kidding)  I would make them again for a tomato loving crowd or recommend the recipe.  The broccoli was good.  I don't think the procedure of the recipe really warranted the results.  What I mean by that is it was a lot of work for not that much different of a flavor than I would do when I make broccoli normally.  I think the editor of this particular recipe thought, "I want some broccoli and then I would like to do a lot of dishes.  Do you think I can accomplish these two goals with just this recipe?"  I would reply, "Yes."  I did four separate dishes for this one recipe!   You won't get me again broccoli editor (insert ridiculous George W. Bush imitation/joke here).
Overall a great "weeknight" menu.  I did not make the S'mores Sundaes that were included on this menu.  Instead we had the best ice cream known to man, courtesey of my parents.  Thanks for the Blue Bell, Mom and Dad!  We are looking forward to the Blueberry Cheesecake!
Mavs 113, Pistons 88


Yesterday was a lazy day for the record books.  As such, I was sort of proud of myself for dragging myself from the self-imposed title of "keeper of the couch" to make dinner.  My ambition knew many bounds, however, and so you are not reading about last night's dinner until this morning. 
I do have much to say about last night's meal from PC Season's Best (past season): Sun-Dried Tomato and Suasage Risotto.  First, this is officially the first time I have either eaten or prepared risotto (so I have nothing to base my review upon).  Second, this being the inaugural risotto, I would have liked for the instructions to have been more clear.  I know what you are thinking.  "Risotto takes lots of time over the stove and is delicate in nature" (at least, so I have heard).  Well, food snobs of the world, this one was done in the covered baker in the microwave (and goodbye all foodie readers, forever).  The problem was that the instructions did not say to cover the baker.  I know this sounds like a no brainer, given the name of the baker, but it, I assure you, is not (there are some recipes that do not require the use of the cover).   Thus, the cooking time was extended by quite a lot of minutes until I took matters into my own hands and covered the baker.  Very quickly after that I had risotto of the consistency you see on tv and was pleased to finish the dish and serve it to my husband. 
The result: very good, surprisingly so.  I was kind of expecting Drew not to like it, but he did.  He was not a fan of the tomatoes, but he did say that if it had stewed tomatoes, it might be better (love the feedback from him!).  It was truly a comfort food dish and a great one for early fall.  I think I would try some modifications in the future, but I might be spoiled on making risotto in the microwave and likely will not do it the "proper way" for some time.  Thanks PC for a great dish, a little more clear on the instructions next time, ok? 
Remember how I said my ambition knew many bounds.  Another of those was picture taking.  Sorry, readers, you will just have to imagine what it looked like.  After all, I had a couch to hold down.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Moo Shu (it's a good thing you don't contain duck sauce)

Long kitchen hiatus concluded.  Back in the Hudson house tonight, we had some Asian food to start off the week (yes, I know it is Tuesday)!  On the menu: PC 29 Minutes to Dinner 2 Moo Shu Pork with Mock Mandarin Pancakes. I love Asian food because of the flavors, but I love to cook Asian food because it takes so little time.  Tonight's dinner met both of these maxims for me.  The innovative use of flour tortillas as the "pancakes" turned out really good.  (Is it just me or is there always a "throwaway" while making pancakes?  If so, these are no exception to that rule.)  The filling for the pancakes, the moo shu, goes together quickly and your nose can basically tell you when it is done.  When your kitchen smells adequately Asian, you are done.  I also enjoyed the crisp-tender nature of the cabbage and green onions.  Drew must have enjoyed it because he had a second helping.  The only negative thing I can say about this dish is it is not very photogenic.  Sorry moo, there are just prettier dishes to be had.  Thus, the picture is at the end of the post.  I want you to love her for what is on the inside, not for what is on the outside.

See I told you!