Monday Kick-Off

by Cate on March 7, 2006

So I call the surgeon’s office today and although they didn’t have office hours and I have to wait until tomorrow for my appointment, they told me what I’m feeling now is normal. This was the first surgery I’ve ever had, so I guess even though I theoretically “feel” fine that doesn’t always mean I’m fine. They said that working half-days last week is probably what made me feel so tired this weekend, and it’s going to be awhile before I really feel 100%. I guess in a roundabout way that’s good news, right? ;)

I worked until 1 today and spent the afternoon resting. When The Husband came home, he helped out in the kitchen, and in half-an-hour, we got tonight’s dinner made, as well as tomorrow’s, and also a batch of Orange Brownies. And best yet, all three recipes used ingredients I already had on hand, so I’m doing good on my pantry challenge so far.

First up, tonight’s dinner. I made another one of our favorite tried-and-trues, Giada’s Lemon Spaghetti. It’s a great go-to dish and versatile enough that it’s a perfect weeknight meal and still different enough to serve to company.

Lemon Spaghetti

While that was coming together, we took some leftover chicken and baked Ina’s Indonesian Ginger Chicken. Another favorite go-to dish of ours, it’s so quick to throw together, you can’t help but make it again and again. So that’s dinner for tomorrow night, but you’ll just have to tune in tomorrow to see what I make to go with it, and to make it more ARF/5-A-Day-friendly.

And lastly, to coincide with the upcoming Weekend Cookbook Challenge #3, I made Paula Deen’s Orange Brownies. It’s a recipe I have made before, but it was time to dig it out, dust it off and give it another go-around.

Orange Brownies

Not bad for a half-hour’s worth of work, eh? Sometimes it’s good to have a plan. It really does make all the difference. Nicholas has a new thing now when you ask him to smile for the camera… instead of smiling, he opens his mouth in a huge grin instead. Quite the little munchkin.

Now since tonight’s cooking made the rounds of a few celebrity chefs, it’s the perfect lead-in to our next topic … a new show on Food TV Network, Chefology. Four upcoming episodes highlight the careers and humble beginnings of Paula Deen, Giada DeLaurentiis, Ina Garten and Emeril Lagasse. Check your local programming for scheduling info.

One last thing before I go. I missed one pup in the Weekend Dog Blogging round-up last night, and since she’s a newcomer, I don’t want you to miss out on Stumpan’s cute, banana-eating face (from Anne’s Food in Sweden). Isn’t she adorable? That face!

OK folks, all for tonight. Get your ARF/5-A-Day entries in to me via e-mail if you’d like to be included in tomorrow’s round-up. Remember, it can be any ARF, fruit and/or veggie. Happy cooking!

A year ago today… in a stroke of pure coincedence, I actually pulled this recipe to make tomorrow. Too funny.

P.S. Hey C! You’ll have to delurk long enough to tell me how the Jugged Chicken turned out. Comment away. ;)

Indonesian Ginger Chicken
1 cup honey
3/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup minced garlic (8-12 cloves)
1/2 cup peeled and grated fresh ginger root (I use a few tablespoons of ginger paste instead)
7 lbs of chicken pieces

Cook the honey, soy sauce, garlic and ginger in a small saucepan over low heat until the honey is melted. Arrange the chicken in 1 layer in a shallow baking pan, skin side down, and pour on the sauce. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil. Marinate overnight in the refrigerator. Preheat the oven to 350. Place the baking pan in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover the pan, turn the chicken over and raise the temperature to 375. Continue baking for 30 minutes or until the juices run clear when you cut into it. Sauce will be a rich, dark brown.

Yields: 4-6 servings

Glazed Shrimp wth Bourbon Barbecue Dunk
Dunk:
1-1/2 cups chili sauce
1/4 cup finely chopped green onions
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons molasses
2 tablespoons bourbon
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
2 teaspoon minced garlic
24 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined, about 1 lb

Makes 24 skewers (we served it piled on a plate with toothpicks to make it easier)

To make the dunk: Whisk together the chili sauce, green onions, olive oil, molasses, bourbon, worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, Tabasco and garlic in small bowl. Reserve 1 cup for a dipping sauce and refrigerate. Place the shrimp and remaining dunk in a ziploc bag. Seal the bag and shake to coat. Marinate in refrigerator for at least 15 minutes, up to 8 hours.

Soak twenty-four 6-inch wooden skewers in water for 30 minutes; drain before using. Preheat a grill to medium high or the oven to 450.

Drain the shrimp. Thread 1 shrimp onto each skewer. If using a grill, brush or spray the grill rack with oil. Place the skewers on the grill rack and grill, uncovered, for about 5 minutes, rotating the skewers frequently until the shrimp are pink. If using the oven, place the skewers on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and cover loosely with more foil. Bake 5-7 minutes. Serve warm, at room temp or chilled with the remaining dunk.

Sweetnicks’ Note: Do not bake these instead. I tried that last night to save a bit of time and mess, and the shrimp just doesn’t taste as good as grilling. If you can’t use an outdoor grill, then a grill pan would work fine as well.

Orange Brownies
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
4 eggs
2 teaspoons pure orange extract
1 teaspoon grated orange zest

Glaze:
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 teaspoon grated orange zest

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 13 by 9 by 2-inch pan and set aside. In a mixing bowl, stir together flour, sugar, and salt. Add butter, eggs, orange extract, and orange zest and beat with a handheld electric mixer until well blended. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes, or until light golden brown and set. Remove from oven and pierce top of entire cake with a fork.

Glaze:
Combine all ingredients in a bowl, stirring until smooth. Pour glaze over cake. Cool cake and cut into squares.

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Anne March 7, 2006 at 6:26 am

Ah, thank you :) She’s a she though!

The lemon spaghetti sounds absolutely awesome. As soon as spring comes, I’m making that!

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Erika March 7, 2006 at 1:48 pm

I’d like to know more about that ginger paste…I never cook recipes that call for fresh ginger because I end up forgetting about the ginger in the fridge and it gets really nasty. A paste sounds like th eway to go.

And that chicken dish sounds great!

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Alicat March 7, 2006 at 3:49 pm

mmm I am all about the orange brownies! Yum.

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emily March 7, 2006 at 3:51 pm

I love the lemon spaghetti!It’s so fresh and tangy.We added some blackened & grilled chicken strips to the top of ours and it was delish.

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hereandthere123 March 7, 2006 at 8:10 pm

That is just about the cutest photo of a boy on a blog I’ve seen yet! The orange brownies look fantastic too. Great recipies. Hope you’re healing up well.

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sher March 7, 2006 at 8:39 pm

Nicholas looks adorable. My brother went through a phase just like that and we love the pictures of him from that time. And the spaghetti–drool. Hang in there. I had gall bladder surgery 2 years ago (the open version) and I was surprised at how hard it was on my body. My doctor also told me it takes time.

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ramya March 7, 2006 at 8:52 pm

Hi ,
Congrats for your happy blogging Best wishes for you health.I have sent my entry today. in yourARF/5-A-DAy.Awaiting your thoughts.?It would be best if you have archives ofARF/5-A-DAY with tecnocratie’s- tags to avoid repetition of recipes for new bloggers atleast for last 3-4 months.Orange brownies recipe is really best try.

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Easily Pleased March 7, 2006 at 9:24 pm

mmm! lemon spaghetti – never heard of it, never thought of it, must try it. thanks for that. and excuse me, but could Nicholas be CUTER? i think not. If he’d just open a liiiiitle wider, i might be able to fit a whole cupcake into that giant smile!

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Mona March 7, 2006 at 11:58 pm

yummm. lemon pasta? wow i’ve never heard of such a thing. it sounds fantastic. i can’t wait to try this…i’m all about easy pasta fixes: )

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Cate March 8, 2006 at 3:56 am

Sorr ’bout that, Anne. She’s a she now. ;)

Erika – ginger paste is great stuff. I get it from an Indian grocery store, but regular grocery stores have it too. Keeps forever in the fridge, and much easier to use than the pain of chopping fresh ginger. Hope this helps!

Alicat – yummy stuff, and always quick to go. Try ’em out. :)

emily – blackened grilled chicken sounds great. We’ve also done grilled shrimp too – yummy stuff and so simple!

hereandthere123 – thanks for stopping by! Yeah, we think he’s pretty cute too. ;)

sher – lying down and doing nothing doesn’t come to easy to me, but if that’s what it takes, there are worse things I could be forced to do. :)

ramya – actually in process of adding an ARF/5-A-Day archive, so be on the lookout for it this week.

Easily Pleased – LOL. You’re too funny, and he LOVES cupcakes. :)

Mona – I hope you try the pasta. Can’t beat the ease, and like you… easy pasta dish and I am so there.

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