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Posts from — August 2010

happy birthday, Fitz!

Today is my friend, Larry Fitzgerald’s, 27th birthday. Larry and I began cooking together when he was only 22 and I was exactly twice his age (ouch!). He was a star wide receiver even then, beginning only his second season, but now – well, now he’s a superstar. Deservedly so! He’s beyond talented. Larry has incredible work ethic and is as humble as can be, one of the nicest and most genuine people on the planet. It would be hard for the average person to imagine being as humble as he is, after you watch this amazing video from ESPN Sport Science.

Dave, Marissa, and I attended the Second Annual Larry Fitzgerald & Friends Celebrity Servers Night to benefit The Carol Fitzgerald Memorial Foundation and The Larry Fitzgerald First Down Fund, last night at Morton’s. My favorite thing about the photo of us above, is how I’m looking at my camera that Marissa is holding, and Larry is looking at the camera that his professional photog is holding. So neither picture turned out well, so typical!

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August 31, 2010   11 Comments

morning vs. night

It’s been a strange week. Dave was out of town on business Friday – Friday. I was in California that first weekend for a wedding (gorgeous wedding). Then Marissa went down to Tucson for her boyfriend’s birthday (Happy birthday, Alberto!).  And on Thursday, I took Connor up to Flagstaff to begin his sophomore year at NAU (Have a great first day today, Con! Missing you!).

The four of us were never home at the same time, and now we won’t be again until … Thanksgiving, probably (insert sad face here). After all that disruption, what we need is breakfast for dinner. There aren’t too many things that feel more cozy than having traditional morning food in the evening.

These sandwiches are delicious with or without the addition of a poached egg. I did four with and four without. Use any cheese you like, but I’m using pepper Jack to go with the jalapeno sausage I purchased at The Pork Shop… so darn good!

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August 30, 2010   1 Comment

TJ’s = love

Just in case you missed this fabulous article about Trader Joe’s, I’m posting IT HERE, for you to enjoy. Be sure to watch the piece on 2 Buck Chuck while you’re there too.

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August 29, 2010   4 Comments

no cook finale

The final recipe for our preimere shot at “Cook Once – Eat All Week” is inspired by non other than Costco!  I don’t know if you’ve tried Costco’s Sonoma Chicken Salad or not. Honestly, it would be hard not to if you’ve been there during their prime “sample time”. But if you have, you already know how deliciously fabulous it is! They shred and chop up their own rotisserie chickens and package this tangy-sweet delight. With this recipe, you can make your own for much less. I know, I’m saying out load that there is actually an item at Costco where I can beat their price! Crazy Talk!

My friend and neighbor, Rainey, served Costco’s salad as a spread for crackers the other night and that is what inspired me to “copy” it.  Enjoy it that way (addicting) or as a main coarse. Either way, it couldn’t be easier!

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August 28, 2010   2 Comments

quicker than grandma’s

Today, on our continuation of “Cook Once – Eat All Week”, we will use the au jus acquired from roasting the chickens two days ago. If you have been using store-bought rotisserie chicken, no problem, it’ll work with trumped up chicken broth. The filling won’t be quite as rich as when using the au jus, but tasty, all the same. There are also some choices when it comes to the vegetables for today’s chicken pot pie. You can use the standard peas and carrots or a delicious medley called “organic foursome” I found at Trader Joe’s which also includes corn and green beans. Finally there are options for the topping. Ready-made raw pie crust or puff pastry. I used puff pastry and nearly burnt it while trying to achieve a browner color under the broiler… so be careful with that!

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August 27, 2010   2 Comments

room temperature

This is dinner #2 using the shredded chicken from the post two days ago. I like to serve this salad a little warm/a little cold, pretty much at room temperature. When you get home from work, running the kids around, the gym, whatever it is you’re racing in the door from; throw the potatoes in the pot.

Then change your clothes or get the kids set up with their homework, or whatever it is that needs to be done pronto. Then drain the potatoes and set them aside.

Next, in-between doing all the things that get in the way of concentrating on making dinner, stop and make the vinaigrette and set it aside. And then when you’re ready to assemble it all; just slice the potatoes, and throw it in all together in a bowl and dinner is on that table before you know it.

Please be sure to get one of those people, who always need to be fed, to set the table. I honestly hope you’re not doing that and making dinner, put those kids and husbands to work!

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August 26, 2010   3 Comments

shredded chicken ease

This is meal #1, using the idea of “Cook Once – Eat All Week”. Yesterday we roasted 2 chickens, shredded the meat, and will use that for several meals. Each meal will be simple to slam together and slap on the table during busy weeknights. Use as many or as few connivence items as you please. For example; roast, peel, core, and seed your own fresh red bell pepper – or use the jarred version. Shred a block of cheese, or buy pre-shredded. Grind cumin seed or use already ground. You get the drift – make it easy on yourself! This takes only a few minutes to assemble and just 20 minutes to bake. Serve with the garnishes or not.

Tomorrow’s shredded chicken dinner will be – Honey Mustard Potato and Chicken Salad.

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August 25, 2010   3 Comments

Cook Once – Eat All Week (chicken)

I admit, that title is a little misleading, but it is catchy! If you read yesterday’s post, you already know what I am thinking though. One day you cook a large piece of meat and then use that meat all week to make quick-shortcut meals on busy weeknights. Today I shall give you the recipe for perfect roast chicken. You’ll actually roast 2 chickens and from there you’ll have several options.

The first choice is to cut off 4 pieces of the roasted chicken (preferably 1/2 breast, 1 thigh, and 2 legs) and use those for the first dinner of the week, along with sides of your choice. Maybe mashed potatoes and green beans would be nice. The meat from remaining 1 1/2 chickens will then be shredded, refrigerated, and used for meals the rest of the week.

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August 24, 2010   No Comments

Winner winner, chicken dinner

I tossed all the eligible names into a large copper pot, blindfolded myself, tightly squeezed my eyes shut, held my breath, and then drew one name out from all the comment/entries; and the winner is….

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August 23, 2010   5 Comments

shrimp hoarding contest

Shrimp: My darling daughter, Marissa, made dinner for the family last night.  I’m guessing she did this for two reasons. First, she misses making “roomie dinners” for her college roommates now that they’ve all graduated. And second, she feels sorry for me, her sad exhausted mother.

Hoarding: Yes, hoarding is the reason for both my sadness and my complete and utter emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion. No, I am not the hoarder. Someone very close to me, who shall remain nameless, is though. When said person goes out of town for more than a week, (which only happens once, maybe twice, a year) I go over and clean up the disgusting mess that this person calls home. I won’t go into the gory details, but trust me, it’s awful! During this particular cleaning and tossing session, I went deep, deeper than I have in many years. I began on Saturday and have been working on it every single day, every waking hour, since. Hence, cooking and taking care of myself, my family, and this blog have been on the back burner (pun intended) and that burner has been turned off! I’ve missed a couple days of posting and will miss a few more. But the next few days will be due to something much more fun and happy. I’ll be in Laguna Beach this weekend for the wedding of a dear friend’s beautiful daughter. I’ll me back on Monday.

Contest: No, as you’ve probably figured out by now, this is not an actual “Shrimp Hoarding Contest”, although that doesn’t sound all bad. The contest I am referring to is the one that ends at 11:59 PM Mountain Time on August 22, 2010. That is Sunday night, so get on the stick and ENTER HERE! I don’t want any of you to miss out. The winner will be named when I return to blogging on Monday morning, it’ll be here before you know it.

Now for Marissa’s dinner. A wonderful cookbook for novice or experienced cooks alike is Homemade in a Hurry by Andrew Schloss. In fact it is on my list of “must have cookbooks” which you can view HERE. Marissa adapted the recipe a bit to match her taste and it was delicious! Thank you sweetheart, not only did you make dinner – you made my day! xoxox [Read more →]

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August 20, 2010   4 Comments