Sunday, March 23, 2014

Frozen and Food

To continue with my months-belated movie references, we finally watched American Hustle, Dallas Buyers club, and Frozen this weekend! So many Oscar contenders! So long after anyone is talking about them! In sum, though American Hustle was the one I was most excited to watch, it  ended up being my 3rd favorite of the three (though, still a great movie and very fun). Dallas Buyers Club was phenomenal. Seriously so very good- real and sad and funny and poignant. I've decided both men deserved their Oscars, so don't worry Academy, I approve. And then we finally experienced Frozen yesterday afternoon and we've now watched it 3 times. 3 times! You guys, our kids watch approximately 2 hours of TV a week. We're totally anti-electronics and Landon thinks you have to be a married grown-up to watch TV on schooldays and we watched all 3 viewings in like 18 hours. Part bad weather, part good movie, part JP being mad he missed the first 1.5 viewings and insisting on a full redo this morning, complete with all kids snuggling on couches.

Yesterday, after viewings 1 and 2, I googled a bunch of those funny Frozen parody videos everyone has been posting on facebook for months but I've been skipping over because I didn't understand what they were referencing. I (belatedly) like them all! And then we watched the "Let It Go" sing-a-long video on the official Disney youtube channel on my phone until JP made us stop. Cora was also totally over it.

On to food (sorry, I really like it when other people write about their food, mostly because it gives me ideas and weekly menu brainstorming is still my least favorite part about being a grown-up, but I always do food posts on Sundays and Sundays are one of the only nights I always have time to post, so you end up reading a lot about Lag Liv family dinners.):

Tonight was supposed to be Martha Stewart's Christmas Morning Breakfast Bake, though it is neither Christmas nor morning, but I had barre (holy hell, hardest class ever, and my love only grows stronger each time I say that) and then stopped at the grocery store and didn't get home until 4ish and realized we'd be eating about 8:30 if I allowed for all the soaking and baking that was supposed to be happening. So I still made it all (using day-old sourdough bread bought for $1 at the store, diced prosciutto instead of Canadian bacon, and freshly grated Manchego and Basque cheeses leftover from JP and my wine and cheese in-home date night last Saturday) and now it's soaking and ready for baking tomorrow night!

Cora is my helper.  Mostly by smiling and finding it hilarious when I dance, which I do a lot when I cook because I blast all my favorite pandora stations together on shuffle.

After I cleaned up the 3 bowls, 2 pans, and 2 cutting boards from that prep experience, I got even more bowls and cutting boards out for dinner option #2: Greek Quinoa Salad with pita bread.

I can't believe I failed to chop in rainbow order. With the white feta cheese, brown quinoa, and black Kalamata olives, I really had a nice palette going. This recipe was absolutely fantastic. I added diced grilled chicken, subbed raw orange bell pepper for pickled peppers (are those really a thing? I thought they were just a tongue twister), used red quinoa and 1.5x the quantity, made about 2x the dressing (4x the vinegar, 2x everything else), and used way more feta than the "sprinkle" Bobby Flay suggests (and I mixed it all in with the veggies to let marinade rather than just sprinkling on top at the end). I'm sure Bobby's way is good too. The kids loved it and have requested the leftovers in their lunch tomorrow, but they'll have to share because JP and I want more too.

Full week:
Monday: Christmas Breakfast Strata deliciousness, fruit.
Tuesday: Shishless Kebabs. We made it up a few weeks ago when I planned to do shish-kebabs only to discover we didn't own skewers. Basically I do a large dice of raw chicken, fresh pineapple, red pepper, and red onion; spread it all on a baking pan covered in foil, brush/smother with Trader Joe's soyaki sauce, and broil until cooked and the pineapple carmelizes a bit. Serve over rice with extra soyaki sauce. It's Landon's new favorite meal. (And to accommodate my new "I'm trying not to spend 45 minutes on weekday dinners but can't help it because those are the dinners that I like plan," JP has promised to dice all items for me before he goes to lessons so I will just toss and broil them when I get home. Teamwork!)
Wednesday: Pasta of some sort (I have the makings for many options; outcome will depend on how the week is going), garlic bread, veggies.
Thursday: frozen mahi mahi fillets (from Costco), steamed frozen veggies, rice.
Friday: Pancakes (in a reprisal of last week's EXTREMELY popular green pancakes, these will probably also be a color), fried eggs, turkey sausage.

Cora's menu: bottles; all the chewy toys

In other food happenings, I'm completely obsessed with these giant and amazing apple fritters from Paul's Donuts, Subs, and Gyros on Hemphill near downtown (if you live here, GO!). The owner's family is a client of JP's and they're constantly giving us free donuts and other delicacies that I both love and hate to have in the house. On Saturday while I went to barre, JP took the kids to get donuts and gyros to take to the park. I was feeling so virtuous for missing the whole adventure (and a little sad, but barre is good for me and I'm refusing to feel guilty for taking the time to do it, though clearly I still have a few issues with it since I just bothered to type that out- ANYWAY), but then I came home to this little baby sitting in a white bakery box because JP loves me and knew that when I told him not to bring anything home for me that I was lying. I inhaled it while standing over the sink.

I don't even like fritters, baked fruit, or fried things that aren't french fries and I would eat one of these every day if I wasn't afraid I'd have a heart attack.

When not watching Frozen (and when the sun decided to show up), the kids played outside a lot. I took a break from taking pictures of Cora smiling and zoomed in on them doing exactly what we hoped they'd do when we invested in the swingset.

When did she get so big?

Time to stop typing and humming Frozen songs ("Let it go... Let it g-oooooo...") and go to bed. I hope you all have a marvelous week! and that I stop singing these songs before JP tries to kill me. I think I just need to get them out of my system, a timely 4 months after everyone else did.


  1. Maybe it's because I was sitting in a plane, but I just thought Frozen was ok. It was enjoyable but I feel like it was totally hyped up. When you broil your chicken, is the texture ok? Whenever I cook chicken in a skillet, the texture is weird but I've never tried broiling it.

    Love that picture of Cora on her boppy!

  2. Based on plot alone, you're probably right- you can tell there were a few re-writes along the way. But I thought the music was really good, particulary anything by Idine Menzel ("let it go" really is ridiculously catchy)- back on par with some of the older Disney classics, and I liked the sisters theme. But mostly the kids were enraptured and that's always fun to watch :)

    As for the chicken- the broiling worked out so well! I dislike nearly all ways to cook chicken that aren't outside on a grill or chopped up in a casserole or crockpot, but these were cooked through, tender and moist, with a bit of "grill-like" crisp in places on the outside. I'd definitely use the method for other recipes that needed some relatively stand-alone chicken to go with other things.

    1. Thanks!!! I'm definitely going to give it a try!

    2. Have you tried cooking quinoa in chicken stock? I tried it once, and never went back! It makes quinoa SO much more flavorful! This recipe sounds delicious. Don't think my 2.5 yo would eat it as she hates having her food "mixed" together, but it should be a hit with my JP.

    3. I should have written that change in- like you, I tried it once and never looked back! So much more flavor, I love it, and now I jut consider it part of the basic directions (as it should be!). Veggie stock is good too.

  3. Dear LL, please share your secret for how you manage to truly succeed (as far as I can tell from the blog) at work-life balance. I am a first year attorney who very much wants kids but I can't figure out how I would work less and still do my job well. Any interest in doing a day in the life post?? Or a post about how you mentally put away work on the weekend? I would love to read about that. Thanks! I love your blog :)