Monday, August 14, 2017

Set the Table 2017 | Week 8


Welcome back + Happy Sunday Fun Day!
  • Each Sunday #SettheTable2017 begins with the upcoming week's game plan followed by a picture recap of last week's chaos. Warning: Selfie videos and picture shenanigans keep me cooking and laughing... C'est la vie, I'm lighting it up.
  • #CatchmyGrit on my Instagram stories throughout the week to capture the fun, the food and the family table reactions (good and bad).
  • New to this series? Here's the STORY behind my #SettheTable2017 food adventures with Pure Barre Kildeer.
Up this Week:
*Note: The first underlined/linked recipe name corresponds to the Jamie Oliver Ultimate Recipes App to help me stay organized (his grocery list feature is rad); However, IF I was unable to find Jamie's app recipe online, I have linked to a similar recipe.


Linguini Alla Puttanesca

Festive Fiesta Taco Tuesday (with Vegan Nacho Cheese

Rich & Creamy Fish TrayBake (adding catfish & shrimp; subtracting mussels, clams and flounder. I may smash it with Keralan's Fish Curry TrayBake - easy on the curry.) 

Home-made Pizza with 3 Toppings


*Here is a handy conversion link for any online euro measurements (the app uses USA measurements).
*If possible, buy antibiotic free meat (Here's why I try to know where my meat is coming from).
*Use the EWG "Clean Fifteen + Dirty Dozen produce guidelines to save money + reduce the pesticides and herbicides on your plate. 
*Avoid artificial colors and preservatives - Check your labels, grocery stores offer a variety of clean brands to help protect your family's gut microbiome --> More Guts More Glory I SAY!


Wrap it up with last week's family table action:


I was highly skeptical of this vegan cheese sauce made from potatoes and carrots (I threw a purple carrot in there for more color).


This sauce is the bomb. Seriously. SO EASY. All you need is a food processor or high speed blender. I already have it written down so I don't have to look it up on my phone.


Taco Tuesday was a total cluster. My parents came over and tried the sauce; They loved it. Abbie wouldn't even try the sauce and literally just looked at her plate the entire time before she was picked up for basketball practice. Serenity now. Tommy wolfed down his salad to get to the nachos. He at them no problem, but was not impressed. Mac hadn't even gotten home from his friend's house when I took the picture and Chris was out of town... Needless to say, I was not happy when I took the picture. Mac came home, tasted the sauce and said, "This is so good. It tastes like... like... like something from an Italian restaurant... like... Maggiano's."

To the Mullies... Geronimo... I needed that! Thanks Mac!



The next night = Chili con queso... just mix your taco concoction with the sauce. There are no words. 

Just make it.


Cucumber and watermelon radish bites with chili con queso and avocado.



The before picture.

Yea, I know what you're thinking... Chicken in milk = Not a chance. Trust me! Jamie's recipe is so easy and I made it even easier (Cuz I'm a slacker). Place the following in your slow cooker (And I did not sear the bird beforehand):

1 3lb organic chicken
Organic rice milk (poured in half way up the crockpot - I did not measure it)
1 entire bulb of separated & unpeeled (yipeeee!) garlic cloves
1 cinnamon stick
10 sage leaves or so
Zest from two organic lemons
A generous amount of sea salt and pepper all of the top of the bird

Cook on high for at least 4 hours. (Mine was in from 2:45pm to 7:30pm).

I was so excited I forgot to take a picture of the finished crock, but I did save the Instagram story video:



I ladled some of the gorgeous sauce over the top of the pulled chicken...


Everyone... totally bonkers. 

I just keep telling myself that someday... someday... Maybe we won't need ketchup on the table?


My new set the table trinkets - When you have your own initialed little plate, it makes eating salad more fun. 

This week, I'm playing Gloria in the kitchen (It was turned UP and pulsing out of my swagger van's radio rather obnoxiously Friday morning). 

It'll get us in the mood to
lift 
tone
burn
cook
eat
in no particular order
with others
and 
preferably more often.

To the Mullies we go...
xoxoL


Sunday, August 13, 2017

Set the Table 2017 | Week 32


Totally inspired by Kimberly Snyder's Mixed Veggie and Kelp Noodle Salad this week! Her recipes ROCK. My girlfriend Laura aka "chimmie" turned me on to her goodness years ago and I'm circling back to recharge home plate.

This week, I am going to follow her basic recipe & add zucchini noodles and some other vege from my garden (above) +  Radical Root Farm!

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  • Each #SettheTable2017 post begins with a featured recipe(s) + upcoming week's game plan followed by a picture diary of last week's chaos. I sign off every post with a handy reference list of my favorite foodie articles (some new, some repeated). 
  • #CatchmyGrit on my Instagram throughout the week to capture the fun, the food and the family table reactions (good and bad). C'est la vie, I selfy-ishly light it UP in pics and videos to keep truckin! 
  • New to this series? Here's the STORY behind my #SettheTable2017 food adventures with Pure Barre Kildeer.
  • My go to's for meal planning organization (the grocery list app features are rad): 1. Jamie's Ultimate Recipes App 2. Sarah's My New Roots Recipe App 3. Rachael Ray's Week in a Day Cookbook 4. KimberlySnyder.com

Week 32's Game Plan:


  • Taco Tuesday
  • Soffritto Lasagna (Might make the cashew basil cheese from this recipe)


Wrap it UP with last week's action:



Tommy and my Jamaican Jerk Sauce mise en place! Mise en place = (MEEZ ahn plahs) which is a French term for having "all your ingredients measured, cut, peeled, sliced, grated, etc. before you start cooking. Pans are prepared. Mixing bowls, tools and equipment set out. It is a technique chefs use to assemble meals so quickly and effortlessly."

Now if I could just do this every time we cook...


Tommy was such a huge helper. We worked on his knife safety skills:)


And my pan still has some burned jerk residue = A little love left in my pot!





One pot with more scotch bonnet peppers than the other for some who like it HOT.

Mac LOVED the rice. I'll be making that side again for sure!


Thanks for making the slaw Jenn!



Afterwards, we watched a double header of Games of Thrones with full, happy bellies.

It was a perfect pairing.


Jerk leftovers made into last week's taco night!


Lego Man's fav snack = Green apples + peanut butter.


I can't believe school starts back this week; I'm not sure if I want to cry or jump for joy.

Either way, Summer, please give us another month or two on the Diamond!


It all starts at hOMe plate.


To the Mullies we go...

xoxoL




ps

Monday, August 7, 2017

Set the Table 2017 | Week 31




A Jamaica to Chicago Jerk Sauce

Many Thanks to you Chef Kennard for helping me make this first draft recipe local & authentic! I did a little recipe research as I was on my way to the airport yesterday (Basic ingredients passed down by Chef Kennard and I'm taking liberties with additional ingredients, amounts and cooking order - I am guessing on some things as he couldn't give give away all of his Jamaican secrets, per order of "The Colonel" - His boss I'm guessing?!). *Recipe updated from original post after I made it later that night - Picture story to come next Sunday Fun Day!

2-3 Onions diced
1 Bunch scallions diced
3-4 Tbsp Fresh thyme leaves
10 Celery ribs diced
6 Carrots diced 
6-7 Garlic cloves minced 
6 Tbsp Fresh grated ginger 
3 Tbsp's of ghee or grass fed butter 
A nice pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place this Jamaican soffritto in a large pot and cook for 15 minutes over medium heat until it all begins to soften up.

Then add: 
2 Fresh pineapples cored and pureed in food processor
1.5 c Coconut sugar 

Turn up the heat and burn & caramelize!!! This took at least 30 minutes to reduce and brown.

Then add:
3/4 c Tomato paste 
1.5 c Apple cider vinegar
5 cups of water 
3-4 Tbsp Molasses
3 Tbsp Ground Allspice
2 tsp sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
Freshly ground nutmeg
Stir and bring to a boil. Lid and simmer for at least 30 minutes. Puree with an emersion blender or transfer to a high speed blender. I decided not to strain as I wanted this batch to have some chunk to it. Chef Kennard says, "If too bright add Browning sauce!! (Never, ever liquid smoke)"

Lastly, add some HEAT to your liking. I divided my batch to make one pot with heat and one without for the kids.
1-4+ Tbsp red pepper flakes, habanero peppers, or scotch bonnet peppers (dry, fresh or in sauce form).
I only used about 1.5 Tbsp of the Jamaican scotch bonnet sauce. Holy wows is it HOT and wonderful!


Lid and simmer a bit longer to let the flavors blend. Smother over grilled/pulled chicken, pork, fish, shrimp, slaw, and rice & beans! Thank you for the amazing food inspiration Jamaica - YEA MON!

***************************
  • Each #SettheTable2017 post begins with a featured recipe(s) + upcoming week's game plan followed by a picture diary of last week's chaos. I sign off every post with a handy reference list of my favorite foodie articles (some new, some repeated). 
  • #CatchmyGrit on my Instagram throughout the week to capture the fun, the food and the family table reactions (good and bad). C'est la vie, I selfy-ishly light it UP in pics and videos to keep truckin! 
  • New to this series? Here's the STORY behind my #SettheTable2017 food adventures with Pure Barre Kildeer.
  • My go to's for meal planning organization (the grocery list app features are rad): 1. Jamie's Ultimate Recipes App 2. Sarah's My New Roots Recipe App 3. Rachael Ray's Week in a Day Cookbook.


Week 31's Game Plan:

Jamaican Jerk Cookout (which will parlay into more dinners + dishes throughout the week!)

I'm easing back into real life low and slow... More meal planning next week!



Wrap it UP with last week's action:



Our last family table on the Diamond before our Jamaican adventure! We're gonna miss you kids!






The Royal Palladian in Jamaica.





I do love to cook + sew!




SO happy we could Facetime the celebration home!








Our last breakfast in paradise yesterday was so lovely.


Grateful for Jamaica, for a growing family tree and for most especially...

some upcoming cooking adventures with jerk sauce.