1. We cooked and cooked on Tuesday night. We made Baked Apples Stuffed with Wild Rice and Quinoa. The recipe came from Vegetarian Times and was delicious! Even the carnivores went back for seconds. That's sayin' somethin'. In case you're not familiar with Quinoa, it's a grain-like seed used in many vegetarian dishes. The recipe was sort of labor-intensive. The Wild Rice needed to be cooked for nearly 50 minutes, then the Quinoa was added and the mixture had to cook for 20 more minutes. This is all to make the stuffing that goes on top of the apple halves and can be done a few days in advance to make it go faster night-of. It was fantastic (did I mention cream cheese was involved?) and was a great example of a vegetarian main course meant to be embellished with vegetarian side dishes.
2. We make Pioneer Woman's Mac & Cheese. Click the words for a link to that recipe. Let me tell ya - it took about 20 minutes to get it into the oven, and it came out delicious! I have a feeling that, once learned, this recipe could be the kind you whip up again and again. The best part is that you can easily change and add ingredients to fit your tastes or shake things up. We followed her recipe pretty strictly (since it was our first time cooking it). However, I'm looking forward to making it with Mozzarella, tomatoes and basil. And again with broccoli and a mix of cheeses. It's a fantastic alternative to the Kraft box. Just sayin'.
3. If you haven't been to Pioneer Woman's website, you need to go there now. Read, learn, laugh, and make food. Go forth and be fruitful!
4. Due to Dad's generous offer to add me to his Amazon Prime membership, I now consistently receive packages in the mail. Amazon Prime is a paid membership that has certain benefits - namely, free second-day shipping - that make the thing very appealing. It costs extra, but Prime memberships can include a whole family. Many everyday items we use are cheaper on Amazon because if it arrives the second day without shipping charges, it's been cheaper for me to buy many things on Amazon instead of in person.
5. It's great! Yesterday I received enough fish tank filters to keep the tank running for almost a year. Isn't that great?
6. Popo is still struggling. Conversations around here are grim. We all agree that we don't want him to suffer. We also don't want to pay $700 for a test that will only tell us that he's going to die, anyway. None of us, however, are ready to let him go. He does not appear to be in pain, but he doesn't move around much. It's heartbreaking.
7. I keep telling myself that I will wake up bright and early at 7AM tomorrow. This will, in my theory, help me ease into the early school mornings that are fast approaching. I keep sabotaging my own plan by staying up until 1 or 2, reading and praying and reading.
8. Dad and The Cool Dude (I know my nicknames for my brother change all the time. It's an indication of just how cool and complicated he is in real life) told us all about their 10-day Boy Scout Trip. They went up and down the New England coast, visiting many historic landmarks. Dad brought us a souvenir from almost every stop they made. Most were pencils that we'll be able to use all year. I also received a Snowflake cookie cutter, two charms for my bracelet, and a bookmark. I've already used many of them, but the Snowflake cookie cutter will have to wait until fall. Unless we get some sort of freak snow in August. Wouldn't that be awesome?
9. Today, I'm going to make these: goldfish dumplings! Mine will be made with regular dumpling dough bought at the store, however, so they won't have the fun colors pictured on the blog. I have lots of leftover stir-fry ingredients from the cooking we've done this week. Basically, you stir-fry your mixture and put it in the dumplings, then steam them.
10. Speaking of steaming, I bought a silicone steamer yesterday at the mall. It was exactly the steamer I examined time and again at the Viking Store, but never bought. Well, I'm a vegetarian now and we steam stuff! That's my final answer.
11. Boogie had a dream I got married last night. She said that his hair was about the same color as mine. Beyond that, she didn't remember much.
12. The Master of Cool (again, referring to my brother) is going to take his driver's test today. Your prayers would be appreciated. We really, really need him to have this license!
13. I fed the fish peas this morning. It always takes them a while to figure out that the food has sunk to the bottom of the tank and isn't floating on top. Their bubble eyes give them pretty weak eyesight. It's pitiful and hysterical at the same time.
14. Oh, did I mention that I've already started my Christmas list? So far:
- A Viking Cutting Board
- Chef's Knife
Have a great Thursday!