Saturday, February 23, 2013

What We Cooked for Grandpa

My father-in-law came to visit - a little unexpectedly - so I had to re-work the meal plan a bit (I didn't think he would like black bean chili or braised kale with chickpeas), but this is what I managed to feed him.

While browsing the web, I came across a cookbook title that was so applicable to my life that I had to borrow it from the library: Parents Need to Eat Too: Nap Friendly Recipes, One-Handed Meals, and Time-Saving Kitchen Tricks for New Parents. I'm not a new parent but with the baby demanding to be held all the time and snatching anything in my hand so she can shove it into her mouth, I thought it would give it a try.

Honey Soy Salmon - A winner. The marinade is made of honey, soy sauce, and sriracha. Incredibly easy. Marinate salmon fillets for 20 minutes at room temperature or overnight in the fridge and stick in the oven for 12 minutes then serve. Everyone loved this meal, including the 4 year old, who gobbled it up, and my father-in-law, who ate it with as much gusto but with much more refined table manners. My husband asked that I add this one into the regular meal rotation. I served it with steamed rice and stir-fried broccoli.

Apparently, this is also a freezer friendly meal. Just marinate the fillets and freeze. The fish will marinate while it thaws.

Overnight French Onion Chicken - I wasn't a big fan of this dish but I'm glad that I tried it. The recipe calls for caramelizing 6 finely sliced onions in the slow cooker overnight and then adding chicken, broth, sherry, and thyme in the morning. Just before dinner, I also toasted Italian bread in the oven and melted gruyere on top. The preschooler refused to touch it. The husband picked out the onions. I thought it was a little too sweet and slightly disappointing for the effort. My father-in-law really liked it. One note in the book suggested keeping the leftover onions and using as a base for French Onion Soup so I may do that.

I haven't decided what else I'll make from the book. Below are recipes that I found elsewhere.

Lacinato Kale and Ricotta Salata Salad - This was my first time making a raw kale salad, which I served with the French Onion Chicken above because I wanted some kind of green added to the meal. I liked it but everyone else refused to touch it. I think I'll try to make other raw kale salads.

Roasted Mushroom and Beef Barley Soup A nice standby soup recipe for cold weather. My 4 year old used to love the barley in this soup and would ignore the mushrooms, but this time around, she refused to touch the barley and would only eat the mushrooms.

Chocolate Banana Bread - A recipe I found off the Cook's Illustrated site - I didn't add the link since you need to be a subscriber to get the full recipe. I am not a good baker, but this was simple and good. The bread was nice and moist, it had good banana flavor, and it wasn't too dense. It has been our unhealthy snack of the week.

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