on the menu this week: now and then.

what a time we have been having around these parts! everyone here has been sick then not sick then someone else gets sick.....so needless to say i did not prepare most of the culinary delights we had in store, opting for the more palate pleasing soup and toasted sandwiches. not very exciting to report about.

but we seem to have turned a corner. we are all doing well - sniffles are gone, dinners being held down - so on that note i wanted to let you in on the few tasty creations from last week and the current outlook for this week.

sunday: tony's amazing ribs, sweet potato fries, grilled garlic baguette and lemon vinaigrette spring salad.

monday: ina's roast chicken, steamed brown rice and steamed asparagus.

tuesday: taco's with fresh avocado salsa. unless the husband has to work late then we will make a cheese pizza - our new breakthrough food that the munchkins will eat!!! so excited that we have added another item to the small list.

wednesday: pasta pomodoro, spring salad. hockey day - gotta fill that guy up!

thursday: spinach salad, grilled garlic baguette and breaded chicken cutlet.

friday: pork stir-fry.

saturday: big huge over-stuffed hamburgers.

sunday: roast chicken dinner.

last weeks gems:

saturday - steak sandwiches. now i have never really been good at making these restaurant style but it looks like we are now heading in the right direction. of course while out shopping i had a completely different idea but then i spotted a deal on fast fry steaks and demi ciabatta baguettes and thought why not? we marinated the steaks in worchester, steak spice and garlic for about 1 hour - they are thin so you don't need much time. i then proceeded to melt 2 large onions cut into rings (wish i had done 3) and 1/2 a pint of mushrooms (wish i had done the whole pint) over medium to low heat for about an hour, keeping an eye on them and occasionally stirring. once the meat was ready to go on the grill i sliced open my baguettes length wise (one whole demi per person) drizzled it with oil and cracked fresh pepper over them. these went on with the steaks to get toasted and a bit of bbq flavour. when done it was all brought in and i rubbed a freshly cut clove of garlic over the toasted side of the bread - what a difference this made! i tossed the onions and mushrooms with a bit of balsamic vinaigrette before serving. then assemble. place meat on bread, top with onion mixture - this point i drizzled some hp on top, the husband used some 57 sauce - then place other half of bread on top, slice and eat. we paired this with sweet potato fries and asian coleslaw. yum!

tuesday - spicy noodles with prawns. hooray for donna hay! i was really looking for a asian inspired recipe in which i could use wide rice noodles and the prawns which have been burning a whole in our freezer and i accomplished both.  i was hunting through her cookbook, as she has a real asian theme throughout her cooking, and came across a recipe which i had notes all over from a previous dinner (completely forgot which is weird because i remember everything!) and knew this was the one. i had almost everything but was able to improvise and get dinner on the table.
1 pound peeled prawns or chopped meat of your choice - i have used chicken before.
400gr (14oz) fresh or dried thick rice noodles
2 tbsp veg oil
2 tsp freshly grated ginger - a pain but totally worth it!
1 tsp mild chili flakes - i would add only a half tsp of red pepper flakes and i like it spicy but whoa!!
6 green onion, diced.
150 gr green beans, trimmed and 1-inch diced.
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 tbsp lime juice - original
1/2 tbsp brown sugar - original
1 tbsp fish sauce - original
2/3 cup oyster sauce - original
a big blob of hoisin sauce - my substitution
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)
1/2 cup roasted unsalted peanuts, chopped (optional)
**the italicized ingredients are from the original recipe that i did not have on hand therefore i improvised. 

place rice noodles in a bowl and cover with boiling water. allow to stand for 2 minutes for fresh noodles and 5-7 for dried, stir to separate, then drain. heat a wok or stir-fry pan over high heat. add the oil, ginger and chilli and cook for two minutes. if adding prawns or chicken add along now. cook the protein through. add onions and beans and cook for 3 minutes. add the chicken stock, lime juice, sugar, fish sauce, oyster sauce, hoisin sauce and rice noodles and cook, stirring for 2 minutes. toss through the cilantro and peanuts and serve. serves 4.  
served us 2 as a main course and i went back looking for more and was disappointed to find none!

wednesday: my chicken enchiladas. we just absolutely love these and it's such a great way to use up leftover chicken. i had no peppers on hand as the price of vegetables has sky rocketed so i substituted mushrooms instead and they were quite lovely. here again is another example of colouring outside the lines and being calm & accepting about it. and not letting vegetables go walking out the door.

thursday: brinner. tonight we indulged in brinner. fried eggs, seared ham and a stack of flap jacks. i had been wanting to make pancakes ever since that disappointing display at the sugar shack and i seized my opportunity on thursday. i love pairing the cakes with just the whites cooked eggs so the yolks spill out with vigor over the rest of the plate once pierced and drown the rest of the dinner in there yellowy goodness. there was nothing healthy about this and i felt guilty serving it as we have to watch the husband's cholesterol but man was it good.

image via stephmodo.

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