Monday, May 30, 2011

Menu Plan Monday- May 30, 2011

The pies I made last week for Martijn to take to work were a hit. They didn't even save a sliver for me... which if I'm being honest isn't a completely bad thing!

On to the eats for this week:

Fusion Grilled Chicken and Grilled Eggplant- Chicken and eggplant were on sale this week so I took it as a sign that I needed to make this!

Almond Flour Crusted Fish- I need to use some fish we have in the freezer. The last almond crusted fish we had was really good so hopefully this will be too!

Pork & Veggie Stir Fry- I admit to being lazy for this one. I totally bought the stir-fry veg and meat pre-chopped which made this a 10 minute meal!

Chicken Rollatini with Spinach al la Parmigiana- I just think this looks delicious. It's probable that mine won't look nearly as good but hopefully it'll taste amazing!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Menu Plan Monday- May 23, 2011

This week is a short one because it's Martijn's birthday and we're going to his parents for dinner that night. The next day he's got his weekly dinner group somewhere else so that makes two easy days for me.

Veggie Thali- According to wikipedia "a thali is a selection of different dishes, usually served in small bowls on a round tray... Typical dishes include rice, dhal, vegetables, roti, papad, curd (yoghurt), small amounts of chutney or pickle, and a sweet dish to top it off." I've made this once before (with a few tweaks here and there) and it's quite tasty.

Chicken Cordon Bleu and Potato Salad- I'm using pre-made chicken cordon bleu since I'm laaaazy.

Potato, Green Bean & Tuna Salad

Since Dutch tradition dictates that you bring pie to work on your birthday I'll be making a lime pie, cherry blueberry pie, and a nut pie for Martijn to take on Wednesday.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Lime Pie Recipe

It was Martijn's turn to cook for his dinner group this week so I offered to make the dessert. We had cilantro-lime rice with dinner and I decided to carry on the lime theme by making lime pie! Plus it gave me an opportunity to use my little whipped cream gun that I decided I REALLY REALLY needed a few weeks ago and have only had the opportunity to use once. You could use key lime juice for this if you want to but since I didn't have urges to search 100 places to find them I just used normal limes for the juice.

Lime Pie

125 grams (1 cup plus a little bit extra) graham cracker or digestive biscuit crumbs
85 grams (6 tbsp) butter, melted

1 can (395 grams or 14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
3 large egg yolks
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tsp lime zest

Preheat the oven to 175 C (350 F). Grease a 9 inch (23cm) pie plate. Mix together the cookie crumbs and the butter and press into the pie plate to form the crust. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove and let cool on a wire rack while you make the filling.

Using an electric mixer (or your wildly strong arms and a whisk), beat the egg yolks until they've lightened in color and become creamy (about 3-4 minutes). Slowly drizzle in the sweetened condensed milk and mix until combined. Finally add in the lime juice and lime zest and mix well. Pour the filling into your crust and bake for about 15 minutes. You want the filling to still have a little jiggle if you wiggle the pan but not much.

Let it cool on a wire rack and then poke it in the fridge for a few hours.

Decorate with whipped cream and enjoy!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Diaper Wreath Baby Shower Gift

My standard go-to gift for baby showers the past several years has always been a diaper cake but a few weeks ago the lovely Lori turned me onto the next big thing: Diaper Wreaths. They appeared to have all of the cute and about half of the work as a diaper cake. Since we needed a gift for someone we both decided it was a brilliant plan and she went shopping to find awesome cute things to use for it. I was in charge of supplies and assembly and buying a few things to "fill in the holes."

If you google you'll find a gaggle of different ideas and techniques for making them so I'm just going to show you the finished product and some random commentary in bulleted form on the process.

  • You probably don't want to use a straw wreath for the base. They are poky and kinda messy. If you do use a straw wreath this can be overcome by wrapping it all the way around with some wide ribbon and pretending you meant to do that all along.

  • I had 9 diapers leftover from the last diaper cake I made and they've been sitting in my closet forever. I've nearly thrown them away about 80 times but I always felt guilty about that so in my closet they sat. Since the wreaths don't take nearly as many diapers as the cakes I thought this would be enough. It's not. I don't think diapers come in smaller quantities than 50. I understand this to be because babies are pooping machines and you can probably go through that many diapers in about 12 minutes flat but it isn't very useful to me when I only need about 6 more.

  • Tulle is magic. And it can make it look like only 9 diapers was a well thought through plan.

  • I need a personal shopper! Lori found such cute things for this and I would've been laying on the floor in the department store weeping trying to figure out what to use.

  • I bet you're just really wishing I would get to the point and show you a picture of the darn thing, aren't you?

  • I'll show you if you promise to act like it's completely normal to hang a wreath on a laundry drying rack, okay?

Diaper Wreath

I kept having "How am I going to make this look like a monkey didn't assemble it??" at times during the process but I LOVE the way it turned out and I sure hope the recipient loves it too!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em!

Remember way back in October when I applied for my Dutch citizenship?

Well after many many many months of waiting I'm the proud new owner of THIS BABY!


They say you can't smile in your passport and ID photos anymore because it messes with the facial recognition systems. I used to wonder why they couldn't program the facial recognition software to just figure out the smile vs. angry convict face. But now I believe that the disgruntled unsmiling expression is becoming the standard facial expression by all passengers at the airport these days... so it's just easier to have your passport face match what you're actually going to be looking like as you're being felt up searched by the TSA.

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