Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Sushi and Zucchini Boats

Strange combo name for a blog, eh? Well, two very different dinners to share today: Zucchini Boats, and Sushi! The zuchs I made, and the sushi Kevin made. So first, the zuchs- they are a from a family recipe (Kevin's mom), and I like to make them, even though it's been a bit of a journey getting the boys to eat them. But now they say they like zucchini, and had no trouble finishing an entire boat each. Find about 4 large zucchinis, cut them in half length-wise, and scrape out the seedy center into a bowl. Then add a half pound of ground beef, an egg, some bread crumbs, fresh Italian herbs, a bit of cinnamon and about a third of a sweet onion, diced, and get in there with your hands to squeeze it all together. Then put the zucchinis in a dish and refill them with the mixture, and pour on tomato sauce (I use spaghetti sauce from a jar), and then top with Parmesan, or your favorite melty cheese. My melty cheese of choice is Monterey Jack, but I also added some Asiago for some extra flavor. Bake for about 45 minutes at 350. Not too hard, and the prep time is pretty short. And one super tasty dinner with all the food groups! The top picture is before the sauce, cheese and oven, and the bottom picture is the finished product! These pictures don't quite do them credit, though...

Tonight, Kevin made smoked salmon sushi for dinner, and it was ready and waiting on the kitchen table when I got home from work (and I was starving too!). How awesome is that? He said it took him an hour to make them. I have wanted to take the boys to sushi for quite some time because they love rice and fish, but I don't know if they'd eat raw fish. So tonight they tried their first sushi with smoked (cooked) salmon, and they both ate 2 or three. I'd say that's pretty successful! I think maybe they're ready for the real thing, but during the lunch hour when it tends to be a little less crowded, and less expensive. Does anyone know if they have good kid rates anywhere? Turi? I know your kids love sushi. :)

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Water Skiing!

Our friends Greg and Jessica bought a brand new boat last year, and Kevin, as a result, has turned out to be quite the water skiier! (I haven't tried water skiing because I'm afraid I'll reinjure my shoulder, despite Kevin's urging that it's not so hard on his shoulders...) Yesterday we spent the day on Frenchman's Lake in California, and I got lots of pictures of him in the water (pictured to the left here is his favorite, on one ski), and even some video footage on my nice little camera I got for my birthday (I love my camera!!!!). We spent most of the day out on the boat, and my twins also got to spend some time in the driver's seat, and getting pulled in the motopod. Me, I was just happy to spend the day with my camera in hand, sitting in the warm sun with the wind in my hair and a sunny smile on my face. Well, okay, so my hair was braided because it gets knotted pretty easily in the wind, and I did have a hat and sunglasses on (family history of skin cancer on my mother's side), but those are just minor details, and I'm trying to paint a relaxing picture for you!

It was so sunny, and the lake was calm and the temperatures were perfect, and don't you just think that everything tastes better when you're boating or camping? Here are the boys getting ready to go on the motopod- they were so excited because Greg set the speed and then graciously let them steer while each took a turn getting pulled in smaller and smaller circles. What a fun day- thanks Greg and Jess and Abbie for sharing you new toy with us! I tried to attach one of the videos of Kevin on one ski, but I haven't figured out how to do that yet...

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Butternut Squash

Once upon a time, I was a new wife, and was ready to try being domestic (this was probably 7 years ago). I wanted to try out a few recipes on my husband, and he being a good sport despite his being the far superior cook, let me. First, I made meat loaf, which was really tasty, but gave Kevin the WORST gas, and his fellow co-workers forbade me from ever making that dish again for fear of asphyxiation. Next, I created a lasagna dish that I still make today with all kinds of fresh vegetables, which always makes it a little soupy. I have modified it over the years in an effort to make less so (like leaving out the tomatoes). The third thing I created I like to call "Pumpkin Mush." I love pumpkin! Anything with pumpkin in it- pie, bread, Starbucks coffee, scones, you name it! So I decided to create something of my own. I took a small sweet pumpkin, cleaned it, cut it up into little pieces, and boiled it until it was soft. Then I peeled it and threw the pieces back into the pot and added butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and then just a bit of ginger for a little zing. I heated it back up and mashed that all up just like mashed potatoes, and voila! Pumpkin Mush was born. It's kinda like pie filling, only much better. Plus there's a ton of vitamin A, although I suppose most of it is destroyed in the heating process. Now you are probably wondering why the name of this blog is Butternut Squash. It's because this recipe also works well with this kind of squash, and I made it for my boys for the first time for dessert. They were skeptical at first, as they always are with new foods, but once they tried it, they ate it up like it was cake! Even Kevin wasn't so sure about it- he said it looked like baby crap in a bowl (which it does in this picture), but he ate his share without complaint. Just a little of my history for you. :) (I painted those bowls for my boys- an expensive and very time-consuming hobbie I don't get to do nearly enough, but which I love- painting pottery!)

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Pizza Tran!

In honor of another pizza blog, I decided to post pictures of the pizza I made (from scratch!) for dinner tonight, because I'm not much of a cook and I'm proud of myself for making this all on my own! Kevin usually makes it, but he had a gig tonight, so it was up to me. He did start the dough for me though. The dough was easy, and cheating a bit because we use our bread maker for this part. The recipe is easy, just added extra herbs to spice it up. The first picture is of the pizza all rolled out, and sauced (Boboli pizza packet).

Here are the toppings of choice: ham and pineapple- Hawaiian is my favorite! I like to put these on before the cheese, because I use that as the "glue" to keep it all sealed in together. :)

And the cheese is on and ready to go in the oven!

And voila! In less than 15 minutes preparation time (not including the dough in the breadmaker), and 17 minutes in the oven at 420 degrees, we have beautiful pizza, and the crust turned out so fluffy, and Kevin says, "Scrumptious!"

And since pizza and beer go so well together, I had a the best kind to go with it: Henry Weinhard's Root Beer! :) I don't like the real thing, and this is the best substitute. Yeah me!