Archive for April, 2011

How many vegetables are you trying to feed me?

As I sit in a hotel room, waiting for my house to be repaired, I’m writing about food that I made a month ago. Sigh.  A water pipe burst on our second floor, causing water to run down through the walls and into our basement.  Hotel life with three children isn’t ideal.  They may have different memories of the experience.  Last night, we allowed them to eat dinner without shirts on because they had just come from the pool.  They are living the good life, although sharing a bed every night hasn’t been the easiest experience for the two older boys.  As for me, I long to cook in my kitchen, and make a meal with real, fresh ingredients.

Basking in the hotel life, eating pizza without shirts on.

Maybe reflecting on my past meals will make me feel better.  Back when I first started writing this blog, my boys had suggested African food.  When I came across this Morrocan stew recipe, I had to try it.  The recipe calls for 2 pounds of lamb, but I used only 1 pound in the recipe to save money.  There are plenty of veggies that make the recipe hearty enough.  And wow, did it make a lot of food!  My 5-quart dutch oven was practically overflowing.  I ate the stew on three separate occasions and still had leftovers.  In general, I have a rule that I will only eat leftover food one time.  That third time usually ruins it for me, but this tasted good enough to eat a third time.

Now, this recipe has a TON of veggies in it.  Eggplant, tomatoes, zucchini, turnips, butternut squash, onions.  I am making a mental note to make it again once our CSA is in full force late in the summer.  It would be even better to make it with veggies fresh from the farm.  How did my boys react?  Son #1 decided that zucchini was pretty darn good, Son #2 only ate it because of our rule of trying it, but he did like the couscous a lot.  Son #3 liked it all, except for the eggplant.  My husband and I thought it was delicious and I can’t wait to make it again.

Lamb and vegetable Morrocan stew with couscous, straight from the stove and still steaming.

A couple of notes on the recipe (link included):

1) I couldn’t find Harissa after searching three specialty stores, so I substituted Sriracha.  Yes, still addicted to that stuff!

2) The flavor didn’t quite come together for me, so I added some cinnamon along with the cumin and it was great.


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Green milk and reubens

I know it’s April already, but I’m just now posting about St. Patrick’s Day.  Son #2 had lots of questions about St. Patrick’s Day this year.  “Why do we celebrate it?  What do you do on St. Patrick’s Day?” Frankly, I don’t know.  My response was “We eat corned beef and wear green”.  I think I need to brush up on my Irish history.  In my mind, most people just use it as an excuse to drink beer on a random day.  For me, it’s my day to make Irish food (or food that I think might be Irish).

This year, I was craving reuben sandwiches.  Probably not the most traditional of Irish food, but the corned beef has to count in some way, right?  They were delicious.  Son #1 proclaimed “Mom, I think I found my new favorite food.  This is the best reuben I’ve ever had”.  These are the comments that keep me cooking for my boys.  A compliment can erase the ten complaints I hear from the previous meal (or from another son during the same meal).  Son #2 wasn’t a huge fan, even without the sauerkraut.  Son #3 ate a deconstructed version.

Some people drink green beer, but our family had green milk with dinner.  Son #2 asked what happened to the milk and I told him the leprechauns did it. “Really?” he asked.  “No, I think leprechauns only live in Ireland”, I responded.

In another world, my husband met up with his brothers and Dad to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, Scottish-style.  They head out to the parade and Irish bars, wearing their kilts and attracting lots of attention along the way.  I happily stayed home this year.

Reuben sandwich and leprechaun milk for St. Patrick's Day

My 8-year old reuben lover.

I used the following recipe, but used corned beef instead of turkey.

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