Half Term Week...Again

the girls are off school this week. i've again been busy coming up with things to do with kids in the city. the weather hasn't been great this week, so it's been a little tricky. today we went to see the national gallery in trafalgar square. the girls enjoyed the fountains in trafalgar again and looking at all the paintings in the gallery. there was a special exhibit called take one picture that displayed some children's artwork that the girls really liked. then we had lunch at mcdonalds, browsed in borders, and sat in starbucks drinking coffee, eating chocolate cake, and reading magazines.


Bacon and Egg Rice

i made this for dinner tonight. it's a very simple fried rice to make. here's the recipe...

...recipe from the may 2007 issue of Gourmet magazine
2 cups rice
2 1/2 cups water
8 bacon slices, chopped
6 earge eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 medium onion, choppped
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup scallions, chopped
1 tablespoon sesame oil

Bring rice and water to a boil in a saucepan, then reduce to low and cook covered until the water is absorbed and the rice is tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand covered for 5 minutes. Gently stir rice from top to bottom.

Cook bacon in a large skillet. When the bacon is crisp pour into a sieve over a heat proof bowl and reserve bacon and fat separately.

Whisk together eggs, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper.

Return 3 tablespoons of the bacon fat to the skillet and saute onions until golden. Add eggs and cook, stirring, until eggs are just set. Make a well in the center of the egg mixture, then pour in vegetable oil and 2 tablespoons reserved bacon fat.. Add rice, remaining salt and pepper, and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Add bacon, scallions, and sesame oil and cook mixture, stirring, 1 minute. Serve.

Grilled Haloumi Cheese and Lemons

the girls are off of school this week for half term. we went to the park this morning and then had lunch at john and kathy's. after watching a few episodes of paula dean on dvd we made this together for our afternoon snack. it was delish! we don't have a grill so i just used our panini press instead. here's the recipe...

...recipe from the june 2007 issue of Gourmet magazine
2 lemons
1/2 pound haloumi cheese
1 large garlic clove
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons olive oil
baguette slices
2 tablespoons fresh dill, choppped

Heat grill.

Cut 8 thin slices from the lemons, then squeeze juice from remainder and put inot a bowl.

Halve cheese diagonally and then slice each triangle into 1/3-inch-thick slices.

Press garlic into the lemon juice and add salt and sugar and 1/4 cup olive oil. Stir. Separately toss the lemons and cheese with a little bit of the dressing.

Brush both sides of the bread slices with olive oil.

Grill bread, cheese, and lemon slices turning once during cooking. Bread 2-3 minutes. Cheese 3-4 minutes. Lemons 4-6 minuts.

Whisk dill into remaining dressing. Divide bread amoung plates and top with cheese and lemon slices. Drizzle with dressing and serve immeadiatly.



we gave andi a waffle iron for her birthday. we've had fun trying out different waffle recipes. this one so far has been the best by far. here's the recipe...

...recipe from Waffles and Pancakes by kate habershon
285 grams flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon yeast
140 grams butter, melted and cooled
375 milliliters milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs, separated

Start the night before. Stir together the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast in a large bowl. Stir in the cooled melted butter, milk, and vanilla to make a smooth mixture. Cover the bowl with clingfilm and leave at room temperature overnight.

In the morning, turn on the lightly greased waffle iron. Beat the egg yolks into the yeast mixture. Put the egg whites into a clean bowl and whisk until stiff peaks form. Carefully fold them into the batter.

Put batter into the hot waffle iron and cook until golden about 3-5 minutes. Serve immeadiatly.

Chicken Couscous Soup

the weather got cold this weekend and i was also feeling a little under the weather so i decided to make soup. i kept it really simple because i was making this from what i had on hand. i think the couscous makes a nice change of pace from noodles. here's the recipe...

...recipe my own creation
2 chicken leg quarters
1 onion, chopped
6 cups chicken stock
3/4 cup couscous
spring onions, chopped
olive oil

In a large wide pot heat olive oil. Brown chicken on both sides. Remove chicken from pot. Saute onion until soft. Return chicken to pan. Add the chicken stock. Bring to a boil and simmer about 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken and shred. Return shredded chicken to the pot. Sprinkle in couscous. Serve soup with spring onions sprinkled over the top.

Dulce de Leche Ice Cream

while i was making the strawberry sorbet i decided to try this ice cream that i had spotted in gourmet magazine. this ice cream was very easy to make and was sooooo good. here's the recipe...

... recipe from the may 2007 issue of Gourmetmagazine
2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 pound dulce de leche (i used carnation brand)
1/8 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted

Bring milk and cream just to a boil in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, then remove from heat and whisk in dulce de leche until dissolved. Whisk in vanilla. Cool completely.

Freeze mixture in an ice cream maker 25-30 minutes, or until almost firm, then add the pecans.

Transfer ice cream to a container and put in freezer to harden.

Strawberry Sorbet

we were having some hot weather last week and i got the itch to pull out the ice cream maker. this is the first time i've made a sorbet. it was delicious! of course by the time i got it done the weather started turning cold again. here's the recipe...

...recipe from Modern Classics Book 2 by donna hay
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 1/2 cups strained strawberry puree (850g/1 3/4lb fresh strawberries)
1/2 cup lime juice

Place sugar and water in a small saucepan over low heat and stir without boiling until sugar is dissolved. Increase the heat and bring to the boil for 1 minute. Set aside to cool completely.

Stir together the cooled sugar syrup, strawberry puree, and lime juice. Place in ice cream maker and churn for 25-30 minutes.

Andi's Glasses

andi got glasses about 2 weeks ago. she loves wearing them and she looks so cute in them! she says they help her to do her schoolwork better.

Birthday Party

here's andi blowing out the candles on her oreo ice cream pie. she helped me make pizzas for her birthday dinner.


Birthday Cupcakes

andi and i made these for her to take to school today. she was sooo excited! she went around school yesterday telling everyone that it was her last day being five and that her birthday was tomorrow. so today when we arrived at school lots of the kids were telling her happy birthday. we're having a small party for her tonight. i'll post party pictures later and pictures of the birthday girl.

Parmesan Zucchini

i got this recipe from a friend recently. she made them with eggplant slices and they were delicious. our store was out of eggplant so i tried them with zucchini instead and they were equally delicious. here's the recipe...

eggplant or zucchini slices
olive oil
freshly grated parmesan cheese
garlic powder

mix together the cheese with the rosemary, oregano, and garlic. dip the zucchini in the olive oil and them dip them in the cheese mixture to coat them completely on both sides. place on a cookie sheet. bake at 400 F for 15-20 minutes or until browned.


A Birthday Is Coming

andi's birthday is coming up and the presents have been ariving in the mail. the girls are so excited! sometimes they just stand there and stare at all the presents. and yes there are a few presents there for jodie as well.


Couscous with Prawns

i wrote this post several days ago and our internet went down just as i was getting ready to publish it. so here it is...finally.

i made this for dinner last night. the was to create something with what i had in the house so that i could go one day without going to the grocery store. this was the result. i had some couscous in the pantry, some frozen shrimp in the freezer, and a few tomatoes and an onion leftover from other recipes. it would also be good with a variety of other roasted vegetables it you have something different on hand. here's the recipe...

...recipe my own creation
1/2 pound couscous, cooked according to the package directions using chicken stock
1 roasted red onion (cut into chunks, drizzle with olive oil, and cook at 350F 20-30 minutes)
1/2 pound raw prawns, peeled
4 cloves garlic, pressed
1/4 cup olive oil
fresh thyme leaves
grape tomatoes
lemon wedges

saute the prawns and garlic in olive oil until the prawns turn pink. stir onions, prawns with the oil and garlic, and fresh thyme leaves into the couscous. serve with a few tomatoes sprinkled over the top and a lemon wedge.