Sunday, August 21, 2011

Boy or Girl?

Chinese gender predictor says it's a boy.

Our son says baby sister.

My husband and MIL say boy.

I'd like to balance it out and have a girl, I guess... It really doesn't matter as long as it's healthy! So we find out tomorrow morning. Your guess??

Friday, August 12, 2011

Pissa mood

In twenty fours hours, my mood has drastically changed from bad to good. Good thing since I was in the dumps. The house has been a disaster, and that always causes inner turmoil for me. On top of that, due dates for drawings were building up. The pressure to get them done was looming. Besides when my child is unruly and bills are unpaid, these are the most common pressures that push me over the edge.

All it took was to make progress. Since Wednesday I've been hitting the drawing board. Three were done that day, and I still had more. Yesterday morning I did more on a project that was due at 12 and finished at the lst minute since he didn't care to preview. This morning I knocked out another due for today, and a few sketches of ongoing drawings that still need work after approval. I still have one more, a back piece, to do for review tomorrow. However I'm done until later or tomorrow morning. I've been up since 6am drawing and intermittently checking and sending emails, confirming appointments, eating breakfast. Now it's time to get ready for a long day at the studio. There's two large outlines that need to be done, and a second drawing review for a back piece.

Perhaps I booked a little too many new pieces for this week. Someday I will learn to properly and efficiently fill my schedule! Why do I feel bad that people have to wait so long and try to pile it up as I have time available? I just don't always consider how much homework has to be done. This is a lesson to be learned.

Here are a couple of things I've worked on this week.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Split Pea Burgers

1 tablespoon olive oil, plus 2 - 4 additional tablespoons for sauteing
1/2 cup chopped onion
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons minced garlic
4 ounces mushrooms, diced (portobello)
3 cups vegetable broth
1 cup dry split peas, picked and rinsed
1/2 cup dry brown rice
1 egg
3/4 cup plain dry bread crumbs, plus 1/2 - 1 cup for coating (panko)

Add the broth, peas, and rice to a soup pan. Turn the heat to high and bring to a boil. Decrease heat to low, cover and cook at a simmer for 1 hour or until the rice and peas are tender.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large (4 to 6-quart) saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and a generous pinch of salt. Sweat for 5 minutes or until the onions are soft. Add the garlic and mushrooms and continue to cook for another 4 minutes.

Remove from the heat and gently pour the sauteed vegetables and cooked peas and rice into the bowl of a food processor and process until just combined.* Do not puree. Pour this mixture into a bowl and stir in the 3/4 cup of bread crumbs. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground pepper. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Add the egg and mix together well. Shape the mixture into patties and dredge on each side in the remaining bread crumbs. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add 2 burgers at a time and saute until brown on each side, approximately 3 to 4 minutes per side. To grill, cook on high for 3 to 4 minutes per side as well. You might have to add more olive oil on each batch. Serve immediately.

Butternut Squash Soup on the Food Network

Butternut Squash Soup on the Food Network

I omitted the nutmeg and added a creamy roux after blending while heating on low (butter, flour and then whisked in some milk and heavy cream sine I like it low fat. lol)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A key to a man's heart: Pot Roast

If how your husband devours a dish divulges how much he loves you, I'll make this pot roast once a week. It was wicked easy to make too. Recently I've been upset with the outcome of my crock pot recipes, but this one has give me hope again.

3 tbs olive oil
1.2 lb -piece beef bolar blade
2 large onions, halved, cut into thin wedges
1 cups red wine
1/2 cup stock (beef)
tsp black peppercorns
4 large fresh thyme sprigs
3 fresh or dried bay leaves
2 tbs butter
2 tbs flour

1. Heat half the oil in a fry pan over medium-high heat. Add the beef and cook, turning occasionally, for 8-10 minutes or until browned. Transfer to a plate.
2. Heat the remaining oil in the pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until soft.
3. Add the beef, red wine, stock, peppercorns, thyme and bay leaves to the crock pot. Turn on crock pot to low for 7 hours.
4. Remove beef and let rest before slicing (or shredding). Reserve liquid from crock pot using a strainer and set aside.
5. Melt butter in sauce pan, and add flour. Cook for one minute. Whisk in reserved liquid from crock pot and whisk until thickened to make a gravy.
6. Serve with mashed potatoes and a comfort veggie like peas.

Despite my husbands awful sinus infection, he ate more than one giant portion. Actually I was shocked at how much he ate. The leftovers (if any) are also great as a sandwich with cheddar cheese, horseradish mayonnaise, and roasted red peppers on a roll.