May I Have Seconds…Make That Thirds Please

I’m assuming from the title you can guess this is a meal that we enjoyed. We chose another Filipino recipe, Pork Estofado. Raymund at Ang Sarap has been a wonderful inspiration for our Filipino food selections. He made a version of this back in September and I was completely intrigued by cooking bananas in a pork dish.

It’s been a hectic week and we’re all fighting off colds, so no one is really running at full steam. We also wanted something that was going to be easy for a weeknight full of the kids’ activities. That’s why we opted to make a few adaptations to this dish, one of which was to make use of the slow cooker.

We started by bundling our spices and seasonings, including bay leaves, peppercorn, minced garlic and star anise in a cheesecloth.  Continue reading

Mushroom Madness

The kids set and ready to roll at 5 a.m.!

Today we roll back in from our big family road trip (regional recipes to come!). We’ve toured around for the past couple of weeks and had a wonderful time. That said, we’re all ready to be home. So while we get ourselves back in the groove of “real life” here’s another Portabello mushroom recipe for ya. This one is my favorite!

Our weeknights can get awfully hectic around here. Fortunately it’s a little less crazy in the summer, but not by much. And with all of this international and regional cooking it’s nice to have a meal that doesn’t pack on the calories, but still offers wonderful and savory flavors. I came across this recipe years ago in a Mayo Clinic e-health newsletter. Portabellos with Provolone is an easy dish that’s great for a meal if you’re looking for something light, but can also be served as an appetizer.

It’s very easy. Start with a few fresh portabellos, brown sugar, garlic, rosemary and balsamic vinegar. Continue reading

Pure Michigan. Pure Yummy.

Ah Michigan. I love everything about it – the quaint lake towns, Traverse City, Trattoria Stella, amazing wineries, B&B’s, even its ad campaign. There are exactly two ad campaigns that can capture my attention and transport my mind and Michigan is at the top of that list. Any season, any medium – radio, billboard, television – and I’m mentally planning my next trip. (The other is Corona. I relax just seeing those commercials!) But back to Michigan. It’s been one of our favorite weekend getaway destinations whether for a romantic getaway or a family trip to a beach house; and then there’s the winery hopping, apple picking, fall drives and pumpkin farms.

I could really go on and on, but let’s get to the food. This week we obviously picked Michigan for our state night dinner which meant that cherries had to be the star of the meal. Afterall, Michigan is home to the National Cherry Festival. We also wanted to make something healthy since we’re still recovering from our soul food dinner, and we wanted to use ingredients we had on hand. The result – a Salmon Spinach Salad with Cherry Sauce.  Continue reading

A Healthy and Tasty Enchilada

After our big British feast this past weekend, and its piles of leftovers, we’ve been preparing meals a bit on the lighter side. We also decided to break from our usual state night dinner in honor of Cinco de Mayo and cook another new recipe from Mexico. Mr. N was very excited about this because Mexico was his first choice at the start of this adventure. He’s a big fan. So for our fiesta we tried a recipe from Parents Magazine from March 2010. It’s a low-cal take on a traditional Mexican favorite – the enchilada. These Gooey Enchiladasreportedly lost 131 calories, 14 grams of fat and 400 mg of sodium from a standard Enchilada recipe.

Dad started by heating the oil in a large skillet to cook the onions and garlic. After about 7 minutes he added the fire-roasted tomatoes, coriander, cumin, oregano and pepper; and in a separate skillet he was browning the ground chicken and black beans. In the meantime, Miss A and I chopped up the cilantro which was added to the sauce. She was on a chopping kick this week. Continue reading

A Contradictory Day

Today didn’t quite bring the same joyful bliss that we had yesterday. It was a Monday. It was cold again. I had (have)  four extensive work assignments all due by the end of the week. And we had to replace the brakes on the car, buy a new printer after it stopped working mid-day, deal with a messy plumbing issue, sooth a cut on Mr. N’s ear courtesy of the hair stylist, and still run through our daily routines. Thankfully, tonight’s recipe was super easy. Yesterday we made far more lamb than our family of four could consume which gave us the opportunity to try a leftover lamb recipe. Tonight’s recipe, Lamb Curry, will work with leftover shanks or roasts of lamb.  Continue reading

Crayons and Kumara

I have to first call your attention to the right hand-side of your screen. Mr. N has unveiled his “Eat, Play, Love” logo. After working up several concepts, this is his final masterpiece. He even had Dad, Miss A and me color a piece of the final logo so that we could all share in the design. I think it made our little budding designer’s day when I showed him how we could give it a permanent home on our blog. I think it gives the page a finishing touch. 😉

One of the many things that we’re learning from this whole experience is that there are thousands (maybe millions) of recipes in cookbooks and magazines, on the internet and in the blogosphere. In an effort to expand our weeknight repertoire we’ve decided to start trying some of these recipes. The new recipes may come from other blogs, internet sites, friends, family or the stack of magazine clippings that’s been piling up in my desk. As for tonight, we tried another kumara recipe from New Zealand – Kumara and Fish Cakes. Continue reading