Monday, May 24, 2010

Recipe #47: HALFWAY THROUGH THE BOOK!!

(47 recipes down, 47 more to go!)
Life is one big juggling act, isn't it? I've gained quite an understanding (and appreciation) for the BALANCING that must have been done in the Julie & Julia Project. Its no easy task to fit intricate recipes among everyday routines! And if you've ever read snippets of Julie's blog, you know some days are truly disastrous! My saving grace is that I haven't put a deadline on finishing the book, like she did. (An insane thought!) Between work, finances, activities, & a mending husband, its quite a challenge to tackle so many recipes. -Oh and housework, let's not forget the never-ending housework! Looking around me right now; dishes need to be done, yard needs mowed. And this overcast weather is causing such a "blah" attitude. Ya know how some days are "sing out loud good?" Well, this ain't one of 'em. But, the silver-lining to this Moody Monday is the excitement of being halfway through the Chico Cookbook! It feels like quite a feat! And that realization has slightly improved today's disposition.
This halfway milestone has come at the end of my asparagus week... (Mmm, love that tasty green giant.) Yesterday's recipe was the cookbook's Beef Broth added to an Asparagus Stir-Fry I got from the Swanson's Creative Cooking Newsletter (Delish!). And let me just say, I know Chico's recipes are definitely meant as eleborate celebrations, not quick school-night dishes. But. It didn't occur to me that something easy-sounding like beef broth would require so much time! I should have paid closer attention to the recipe. SIX HOURS that broth is supposed to simmer! Well, I didn't plan for that. So my broth was on the stove for only about an hour. To my surprise, it actually turned out pretty good. Honestly though, as much as I enjoyed my homemade broth; pretty sure the convenience of a can is in my future.
Tonight we kicked off the workweek (well just my workweek I guess, since hubby remains on medical leave #2) with the Asparagus French Bread Pizza I mentioned in Recipe #45. (It was good, filling, & worth re-mentioning!) And speaking of past recipes, do you recall the dye project I did in Recipe #31? Well, I've been wearing another creation; a sunny yellow top. Especially with today's buzz-kill rain, I figured posting these pics could help channel in some glorious SUNSHINE!!!
Here's the non-Chico asparagus recipes I highly recommend when you're looking for a quick, easy, weekday meal. I opted to cook them in my jammies; it went well with my mood since I'm alternating between food preparations & cleaning duties. -Most women can relate to that! ENJOY!
Beef Asparagus Stir-Fry
Stir 2 c beef stock, 2 tbsp cornstarch, 1/4 tsp black pepper, 2 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tbsp brown sugar, & 1 tsp garlic powder in a bowl. Cook 1 lb sliced beef in a skillet over medium-high heat until it's browned. Add 1 lb cut-up asparagus, 2 large sliced portobello mushrooms, and 1/2 c sliced red pepper to the skillet. Stir the broth mixture in the skillet. Cook and stir until the mixture boils and thickens. Serve over rice.
Asparagus French Bread Pizza
Line baking sheet with foil, spray with canola oil spray and lay down thickly sliced french bread. Spread on pizza sauce. In a bowl mix 1 c diced asparagus, 1 c diced roma tomatoes, 1 c diced red pepper, & 1 tbsp minced garlic- toss. Put heaping amounts on the bread and sprinkle with cheese. Bake in 400 degrees till brown (8-10 min).
~Rating of Beef Broth: 7.5 stars (out of 10)
~Quote of the day: Women are angels, And when someone breaks our wing, we simply continue to fly... on a broomstick! We are flexible." -Author Unknown.
~Music while cooking: Kid Rocks' Rebel Without A Cause, Brad Paisley's Who Needs Pictures, & Putumayo's Music From the Wine Lands.

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