Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Iron Chefs and Plastic Eggs

Isaac and I eat after the kids go to bed. Usually.

Last night, I wanted to make a new recipe that was sort of a bruschetta without the bread. He wasn't real excited about that idea. So, I suggested we split our raw chicken and we could each make our own meal using it. Our own Smith vs. Smith Iron Chef.

Isaac likes to cook, and sometimes I like cooking too. That is, if I am craving something specific or if I am trying to complete some type of morgan-induced-challenge. What type of challenge would that be? If I don't want to go to the store (again) or have to spend one more $ out of my budget, I'm forced to get creative with what we have on hand. This is the kind of challenge I kind of like. It's also why I buy ingredients that I have figured out how to use several different ways in the same week. Examples: Cabbage. I can roast it one night, make a slaw one night, and throw the leftovers in a salad another night. Spinach. I use it in omelettes or egg muffins for breakfast, put it in a salad for lunch, and saute it for dinner. Sliced turkey. I use it in omelettes, egg muffins, sandwhiches, and even for wrapping chicken and stuffing it with cheese. Cheese. for salads, snacking, omelettes, sandwhiches, baked dishes, etc. You get the idea.

Groceries are in the same budget as clothes for me and my family. So, I am pretty money-conscience when it comes to what I put in my grocery cart : )

So, here are the two dishes we each came up with.

I marinated mine in balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Next time I'll add some minced garlic in there.

Isaac browned his chicken in a pan and then removed the chicken for a bit. He used the drippings from browning as a base to create a yummy sauce.  He added garlic, mushrooms, and onions to the sauce.

I cooked my chicken in some olive oil until it felt done to the touch.

While the chicken was cooking, I put some cherry tomatoes in the oven to broil for just a few minutes.
Then, I added a chunk of mozzarella on top of the warm chicken once it was cooked through. And then some fresh basil from the basil plant I am trying so hard not to kill. (I have kept it alive for about 2 weeks now, which is the best I've ever done.) And topped that off with the broiled tomatoes. 

 I also heated the basil up in the pan before I put them on the meat.

Such pretty colors, right?? I told Isaac I won the points for best presentation.

Isaac would have to tell you exactly what he did to his dish. But, I think I can give you the gist. While the mushrooms, garlic, onions were cooking down in the chicken juices, he added a bit of milk to thicken it up. Then, he added just a bit of butter. He added some salt and pepper, too.  Then he put the chicken back in to  finish cooking it all the way through. At the end, he 'garnished' it with some fresh $.70 parsley. Which I think makes the world of difference. I need to start growing some of that once I figure out how NOT to kill my herbs.

And they both tasted amazing. We did not have even one bite left. I almost took a picture of our licked-clean plates.

So we decided there was not a clear winner. Or maybe we both won. Or maybe we should take a vote based off pictures and descriptions ;)


To document what we are doing to prepare for Easter, I had to share this idea I found on Pinterest, which I think is a great version for my 3 year old Annette. She so enjoyed it last night, and is already begging to open the next one. Plus, it only has 6 eggs, which meant it wasn't too late for me to start yesterday! :)

Last night, the first egg had bread in it. We read the story about the Last Supper and how Jesus shared the bread with his friends. We ate the bread together and talked. So simple, but so good to talk with her about the story of Jesus.

Here they are this morning, eager to open the number 2 egg. I'm making them wait until the evenings and they have pjs on and are settling down for bed. Seems like that's when they are the best listeners : )

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