Tag Archives: basil

Giada’s Meatloaf (tweaked) and Rachael’s Orzo (tweaked)

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Everyone in my household is out of sorts today. One out of the four of us is smiling, sweet, and caring. The rest of us need a reset button.  Good thing there’s always tomorrow.

Today would have been my mother’s birthday. I didn’t have a very good relationship with her, and she was a very broken woman, but over the past couple weeks, I have caught a glimpse of her in my daily activities. The good parts. Like the flash of a smile or perfume on a breeze, these good memories come and go and make me wonder if I just imagined them in the first place.

I spent a great deal of my life trying to not be like my mother. Every thing I did was an act of defiance, a protest. I was determined to never have kids, because she had kids and she hurt us. But time smooths over rough edges and life rarely happens according to plan or protestation. One day, I stopped running from my mother’s nature and nurture (or lack thereof), embraced the stepkids at my feet, wiped sticky faces, scolded, read a book, danced, and cooked for this family I never planned for.

I still fold towels like she taught me. And I can make a damn good meatloaf.

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That being said: here’s a meatloaf recipe. And an orzo recipe. It’s what for dinner!

Giada’s Meatloaf, also known as Turkey Meatloaf with Feta and Sundried Tomatoes

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds of ground turkey
  • 1/2 onion, diced fine
  • garlic, diced fine
  • 1 cup plan bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons milk
  • 1 cup diced feta cheese
  • 3 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp pepper

Method: Mix it. Form it. Bake it at 375. It’s really good.

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Rachael’s Orzo, also known as Cheese Orzo

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups orzo
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • fresh basil and dried oregano
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan

Method: Saute onion and garlic. Add liquid and bring to a boil. Add orzo. Stir well to make sure it doesn’t clump at the bottom. Add oregano and salt and pepper. Cook pasta in liquid until the orzo soaks up the stock and sauce. Finish by stirring in cheese and basil.

 
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Ricotta Stuffed Roma Tomatoes

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  • 4 Roma tomatoes, cut in half, length-wise, seeded
  • 1 heaping teaspoon (maybe closer to a tablespoon) ricotta cheese per tomato half
  • 2 T chopped herbs (I used parsley and basil)
  • salt and pepper
  • two cloves garlic, minced
  • one egg yolk
  • breadcrumbs
  • olive oil

Cut, seed, stuff tomatoes. Top with breadcrumbs and drizzle with olive oil. Roast at 400 degrees until done.

 

 

Weekend Menu Planning

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I have been on summer vacation for the past two weeks now and have probably cooked one time.  There are a couple of reasons for this–but not really any good ones.  I haven’t blogged because I haven’t been cooking–but I also haven’t been blogging because one of my students dropped my camera on the last day of school and broke it. Excuses, excuses.  No blogging, no camera, no homemade meals…

I have been eating out way too much as a result. This. Needs. To. Change. Today.

Camera or not, here is a blog post and camera or not I will be posting recipes and attempting pictures with my phone.

Yesterday, we finally went grocery shopping.  Here’s what I got:

  • pizza dough
  • olives
  • cherry tomatoes
  • basil
  • mozzarella
  • regular tomatoes
  • chicken breasts
  • hamburger
  • ciabatta bread
  • mushrooms
  • green onions

Here is a tentative plan:

Feta Rice Stuffed Tomatoes                                                                                                      I will hollow out some tomatoes and stuff them with a feta rice dish that I made earlier this week. (Feta rice: 1 cup of rice, 1 cup of milk, 1 cup of stock, cumin, mexican oregano, garlic, a large handful of corn, 1 onion, some feta cheese. Saute the spices, garlic, and onion. Add the rice to the pan and toast it for a minute or so. Add the liquid, corn, and feta. Cover with a lid and cook until rice is tender.) After stuffing tomatoes, I will bake them in the oven at 400 degrees until they are bubbling and done.

This week, for Jeff’s birthday, I bought a TV and an Xbox.  He has been gleefully playing his games, and I have been watching Jamie Oliver’s old show, “Oliver’s Twist,” on Netflix. Let me just say this: I absolutely love Jamie Oliver. His food is accessible, passionate, playful–and Jamie seems to embody those characteristics as well.  Super love him and super love his show.  This recipe is from one of his episodes.  It looked delicious.
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I don’t have a recipe for this, but I think I will throw in whatever sounds good at the moment. I have some artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, and mushrooms that sound like a lovely combination.  I still don’t know what to do with the hamburger or chicken that I purchased, though.  Maybe meatballs, and a chicken soup?  I begin work again tomorrow (Summer School) and I need to start thinking about packing lunches again. 

Feta and Spinach Chicken Meatballs in a Tomato Sauce over Polenta

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Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of ground chicken
  • 1 egg
  • s & p
  • spinach (nuked; squeeze the liquid out)
  • feta (mine is from Israel.  Not super salty, but very mild and creamy.)
  • bread crumbs
  • oregano and basil (dried)

Mix it all together.  Form small balls.

Make your favorite tomato sauce.  I added crimini and oyster mushrooms to mine.

Brown meatballs; add them to your sauce and simmer for awhile.

Make your polenta.  Mine will include milk, chicken stock,  and feta cheese.

Top the polenta with sauce and meatballs.

Add some Parmesan cheese if you please.

Drink copious amounts of red wine.  And if you spill it on your carpet, remember:  White wine will take out red wine stains.

In process: Pasta with goat cheese, kalamata olives, roasted tomatoes, and basil

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Process: Chop tomatoes; slice onions; prepare two heads of garlic.  Douse in olive oil. Salt and pepper. 425 degree oven. Roast. Don’t let them stick or burn.

Take vegetables out of the oven.

Set tomato/onion mixture aside.

Let garlic cool. Make it into a paste. It’ll spread like butter.

Boil pasta in salty water.  I used rigatoni.

Mix garlic paste, goat cheese, basil (chiffonade), chopped kalamata olives with some starchy water reserved from the pasta. (Cut your left hand and burn your right. Drink wine to dull the pain.)

This is the sauce.

Mix the tomatoes/onions with the garlic, basil, roasted garlic goat cheese.

Drain pasta.

Pour sauce over pasta.

Done.