Adventures in cooking

April 6, 2012

Today, for some masochistic reason, I decided to try my hand at a couple new recipes. I say this for two reasons: 1. It’s Good Friday; therefore, I was attempting to fast and cooking two new recipes when I haven’t had much to eat all day… well, I think that’s enough said;  And 2. It’s Good Friday. Have you ever been to Market Basket right before a major holiday? Need I say more? The place was the epitome of chaos. But I remained optimistic and persevered. Oddly enough, I retained a valuable lesson about mothering (is that even a word?): Babies (or in my case a toddler) feed off their parents’ mood. Although I could hardly maneuver through the hordes of shoppers and shopping carts as I made my way through the produce section looking for zucchini, peppers and avocados, I didn’t let Gianna sense my frustration. Actually, I hardly felt frustrated. Instead, I chattered on and on to Gianna as we searched for our items.

“Where’s the polenta?” I sang as she mimicked me, repeating the phrase until we found our treasure. Oddly enough, the experience was quite pleasing: Definitely the opposite experience most customers were having as they left the store with scowls on their faces and proceeded to walk to the parking lot next door for their car(I too parked far from the entrance because I didn’t feel like even bothering searching for a spot close to the front. So not worth it!).

The two new recipes I tried today both come from the blog, Two Peas and their Pod. This husband and wife duo are a wealth of foodspiration (I’d be a whiz at creating words for the game Balderdash!)

The first recipe I tried was Baked Polenta Pie. This dish is filled with veggies, which accomplished two of my goals: cooking and adding more veggies to my diet. My plan was to make and freeze this dish for dinner one night next week.

The meal wasn’t hard to make at all. It’s slightly time consuming because it takes a while to dice up the veggies and roast them in the oven, but if you plan accordingly, it’s doable to start and finish during naptime. (Heck, I finished two meals during the span of Gia’s 2 ½ hour nap.)

The second recipe I tried was Stacked Roasted Vegetables Enchiladas. Again, it was filled with veggies.  I think my favorite part of this dish is the fresh cilantro. It gives it just the Mexican kick needed. My intention for this meal had been to freeze and save for dinner next week, but hunger (on fasting days, you are allowed to eat one meal and two small snacks) won over. This dish is sensational. My husband adores it; Gianna, well, I couldn’t get her to try it, but I will try again because it’s definitely going to become a staple meal in my home. She did enjoy the polenta (I froze all, but a small portion because I had a sneaking suspicion polenta was going to be a hit with the little one.).

I love avocadoes and so do Two Peas and a Pod, or so it seems. I found many avocado inspired dishes as I skimmed their blog and I picked up ingredients for a few other dishes I intend to try over the next couple of days: Smashed Chickpea & Avocado Sandwich, Creamy Avocado Pasta, and Guacamole Grilled Cheese Sandwich.

OK, I’m thoroughly starving yet again!

I had quite a busy day off. I jumpstarted the day with a 5:45 a.m. spin class and I think it really gave me the motivation I needed to cook this afternoon. Unfortunately, a sink full of pots and pans awaits, but I don’t even mind. In fact, I may not even get to them until the morning.

Gym, sing-a-long, cooking, egg coloring, snuggling with my baby, Mass, and (once I finish writing this blog) snuggling with hubby. Not a bad Good Friday off from work. Thank you, Jesus, yet again!


Busy, busy, busy

April 3, 2012

Wow. All of a sudden life has become super busy. Ok, who am I kidding? Life is always super busy. But there is just something about this week that leaves me feeling like I’m constantly trying to catch my breath. Oddly enough, it’s a short work week thanks to Good Friday (Yet again, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ does just what we need him to do: Dies to save us from the depths of Hell and gives us a day off from work to remember why He is so needed in our everyday lives).

Throughout this super busy week (and yes, I know it’s only Tuesday evening), I have been faced with conundrum after conundrum, mostly revolving around the issue of babysitting. Because I am constantly relying on my family as babysitters during the day for while I’m at work, I feel guilty asking them to help in the evenings.  I already need my mother to watch my little darling on Saturday evening so my husband and I can attend the Easter Vigil Mass (she doesn’t know this yet, so I’m hoping it’s not a problem. Thanks, mom!).  Since I want to attend Holy Thursday Mass on Thursday evening, my husband switched his band practice to Wednesday evening.  But tomorrow evening is the first annual parent/teacher basketball game at my school, and of course I signed up to play, hoping my hubby would be able to watch Gianna. Now, I’m stuck without a babysitter due to his band rehearsal. Guess she’ll be tagging along for the festivities. Hopefully someone in the crowd can manage to keep an eye on her so I can show all my students my slam dunk.  (This got a good laugh out my students today because they clearly know a 5’3” me cannot possibly slam dunk!)

Though my ridiculously busy week plagues me, I’m not bothered by it. Strangely, I’m happy and optimistic. This is probably because April vacation is less than two weeks away. Yay sanity check! Can’t wait for you to arrive!

On a side note, my students just unveiled their new newspaper Web site. Check it out and click on it for us. awards prizes to the school with the most hits each month and we’d love to win. Thanks for clicking!