Tuesday, January 26, 2010

weeknight meals



Cooking during the week is always a challenge, even if I'm home for part of the day with William. (He doesn't really like to hang out while I'm busy with other things). By the time we get home from work, preparing a meal always seems to take more time and planning than we can muster. I think the solution for us will be to establish the habit of 1. preparing bulk foods on Sunday, such as soups, stews, hummus, pilafs, etc. that we can re-heat during the week and 2. having easy to prepare staples on hand. These meals, that we enjoyed last week, reflect both of these strategies.

On Wednesday night we had a delicious big salad using the greens, avocado, and pears that arrived in our produce delivery, and pantry/fridge staples for dressing, nuts, and cheese. On Thursday we had a mix of leftovers (including the not-so-photogenic but highly delicious cabbage soup) and sauteed chard that Andres prepared in about 15 minutes. We rounded out the meal with some orange slices and leftover spanakopita that my mom had brought us over the holidays (it's from the Greek Orthodox Church in Ann Arbor and is very delicious). All the variety on the plate made this assortment of leftovers feel like a real meal.

Overall, not much time investment and super yum compared to buying food or eating a pre-made burrito from Trader Joes!

Monday, January 25, 2010

pizza night




Taking a tip from Barbara Kingsolver's clan in Animal Vegetable Miracle, we have designated Friday night as family pizza night (the movie part of the routine Kingsolver endorses will have to wait until our son decides to start going to bed again...).

We have had two pizza nights so far, and both were considered successes, although the crust turned out MUCH better the second time around with a longer rise time and no whole wheat flour (the proscuitto probably helped too!). We used this recipe for the crust on round two, and were able to mix it up in the Kitchen Aid mixer which meant no messy hands!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Bouilla-kasha!



Today it was cold and overcast and I honestly wasn't excited about
going to the farmer's market, but we were in need of serious caffeine
after another challenging and sleepless night of parenthood- and the
market is on the way to Peet's. There's a very knowledgeable and
cheerful fisherman who operates a deep sea boat out of Pillar Point
(BKA Mavericks!) and he had some very nice looking lingcod today, so
we picked up about 2 pounds of it. Kate also scored some other
goodies, including some grass-fed ground beef and a dozen free range
eggs (www.holdingranch.com).

I was really excited about the fish and the dreary weather seemed to
suggest soup; I'd always wanted to try a bouillabaisse so I read a couple
of recipes and decided on a Jamie and Julia kibbutz. I skipped out on
Jamie's cartouche but did go with his hand-blender approach over
Julia's strain+remove technique. Cutting up the fish was fun and I'm
eager to mix in some different species next time- I think halibut
would be a nice addition. Definitely will make this again soon-
and it's another dish that uses saffron!

AT

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Cheesy Zucchini and Mint Risotto!

First off, let it be known that (despite my ample web-browsing skills), this is my first post on Saffron Says. However, I am so excited to be participating in this blog project because I hope it will bring me closer to my family, and especially to my miracle of a new nephew, William Alexander. Well, it’s just past New Year’s and I have made some resolutions. Law school has caused all of my eating and exercising habits to deteriorate significantly, and has given me a little hot pot of a belly. I weighed myself over the Xmas break, and the amount of weight gained is too obscene to be published here. In addition, my future prospects for fitness are grim—the impending Law Firm Lifestyle (of 100 hour weeks and processed food) is fast approaching. So during this (my last semester of law school) I have decided to make a change. For a start, I have decided to reform my wayward ways and begin exercising. So today, I went to Safeway and lifted grocery bags full of fresh food, after which I went to the gym and lifted weights. Oh wait—this is a food blog, not a personal fitness diary. Okay, so after my gym excursion, I made a scrumptious zucchini and buffalo mozzarella risotto.



The recipe found its way to my kitchen via Jamie Oliver's 20 minute meals on my iphone. (20 minutes for Jamie Oliver continues to mean 60 minutes for me.) Spicy and piping hot, it was just the dish to ease myself into a home-cooking routine, and the perfect antidote to the freezing cold D.C. weather. Complimented with a bottle of white wine and salad, I have to say, I am enjoying this new ‘fit’ lifestyle—it tastes so good!! Looking forward to my future contributions to this yummy project and trying out all of the wonderful recipes that my family cooks up.


Sunday, January 3, 2010

two in a row!




Having a baby has left us with considerably less time to spend running errands, especially since little William absolutely hates riding in his car seat. Going to the farmers' market used to be a fun outing for us, but it has become a stressful chore. In order to make sure we were eating our veggies we signed up for this produce delivery service and have enjoyed receiving a big box of food each week.

Tonight we made butternut squash risotto using the squash and onions we had on hand from last week's delivery. The recipe came from Janet Fletcher's cookbook. My sister gave me the book for Christmas, and it's convenient to use because the recipes are organized by season. We substituted some leftover tomato soup for part of the chicken broth, which made it extra orange, and skipped the truffle oil, but otherwise we followed the recipe and enjoyed the results. Best part of recipes involving wine is that you get to drink the leftovers with dinner!

new year, new food

Welcome to our family food blog. The name was inspired by Andres' love of paella and its golden ingredient. Here we hope to share the meals we make our lives around with far flung family members, and to encourage and inspire one another with examples of tasty, healthy food choices.


To start us off, here's a simple pasta Andres whipped up after William's shower last night. It's not very true to locavore standards, but it was prepared with staples we had on hand (sauce, onions, canned tomatoes), leftovers from our holiday guests (Mexican green peppers from Trader Joe's, Kalmata olives in the jar), and gifts we received earlier this fall (artichoke hearts). Fettucine with tomato sauce and veggies, garnished with parsley and pecorino: Yum!

More soon . . .