Monday, September 15, 2008

New Routine, College Football, and Last Week's Recipes Reviewed (in no particular order)

I have a lot to say but not much to say about any one thing, so I thought I'd combine them all in one. Let's start with the good news first, not that any of the other things are bad, but this one deserves to be first. In a matter of 1 day, Colin has changed his sleeping routine. I suppose this new trend started on Saturday when he only took an hour and half nap (as opposed to his normal 3 hours). We had a full day of activities and then I put him to bed about 7:15pm. He sang, cried, and grunted until he finally conked out about 8ish. Well something magical happened between 8pm and the next morning. Some divine intervention prevented him from waking up at his normal 6:45-7am hour. I hope you're sitting down. He slept until 7:35! Now for those non-parent readers, you might not fully appreciate the joy of an extra 30 minutes, but trust me it's an everyday-is-your-birthday kind of good! Of course this meant his nap routine was also thrown off. With the gale force winds blowing our house from side to side, it's amazing he was able to nap at all! I ended up rocking him to sleep (notice I'm not complaining since I haven't got to do this for several months). I had little to no expectations that he would repeat this treat again this morning. Well he fooled me, he slept even longer! This morning he slept until 7:45 and laid quietly in his crib until 8am! Did someone speed up the clocks and it's really Christmas? I'll just shut my mouth and be thankful for the extra z's! Of course I'm used to him being my alarm clock, so I overslept by 15 minutes. Oh well, it was worth it!

It's no secret that my husband loves college football. In fact, love might not be a strong enough word. He lives, breaths, and eats football (yes, he's already planning the food for the next tailgate). When the season first started, a friend of his started a fantasy football thingie on FoxSports. Thankfully, there's no money involved, just bragging rights should you win. I happened to talk to his friend at the beginning and he offered me a chance to play too. He wanted females in there so he could give others a hard time should they get beat by a girl. I wasn't sure about this back-handed compliment, but I agreed. The first week I did quite well and placed 5th out of 12. I think I maintained the next week but I dropped off a bit this week. Each week I learn another little nuance that Wes allegedly "forgot" or said he told me - each one crucial to my picking! Now, I have no excuses because I know all the rules. I don't want to deceive anyone into thinking I have any clue what I'm doing. I pick based on traditional female logic - those favored, team colors, mascots, and location. If I could just get FoxSports to put little pictures of the mascots next to the college name, then I'd surely win!

A fellow blogger, Amy in Ohio, is going to launch the BFL (Blogger Football League) for picking NFL games. I have NO knowledge here but now we're getting into celebrity gossip! I can surely pick now. Do I choose Tony Romo's team because he must be good looking based on the fact he's had both Carrie Underwood and now Jessica Simpson as girlfriends? But then how much time does he really have to practice football if he's out whoring around with them? Now there's a real conundrum. Stay tuned to see if my logic holds up with those truly in the know!

I just wanted to quickly give you a thumbs up or thumbs down for the recipes I made last week. The ham with my made up glaze was fabulous. I just pressed some brown sugar into the ham before baking (it had already been cooked previously), added a little water to the pan, and heated for 25 minutes. While it was cooking, I melted a little butter in a saucepan and added more brown sugar. I poured that on the ham after cutting. Yum. The corn casserole was also tasty. It was more like corn spoonbread but I will still repeat it. The mashed sweet potatoes was another made up recipe but I was trying to duplicate something I had at Corbett's in Louisville. While I didn't succeed in replicating the taste, they were still tasty. I peeled and sliced the potatoes, tossed them with olive oil, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper. I roasted them in the oven at 425 for about 30 minutes, removed and pureed in a food processor. I then added a few dashes of liquid smoke, trying to simulate the smokey flavor. I was hesitant to add too much because I didn't want it to be overpowering, but it turned out I didn't add enough.

The gnocchi was good. My mom had never had gnocchi and thoroughly enjoyed. I used some fresh shrimp from Fresh Market and yummo! I used two types of gnocchi, sweet potato and spinach. I much prefer the sweet potato, which ironically tastes nothing like sweet potatoes!

The roast beef swirlwiches and the cranberry quinoa salad were also big hits. The quinoa salad makes enough for an army so you could easily half the recipe. If you haven't tried quinoa before, this would be a good recipe to try. It's one of the best, if not the best grain you can eat. It has a very mild flavor and it's very versatile.

The Asian chicken slaw was a repeat recipe, which is very rare for me. It was tasty and is better after it has set for several hours, or overnight. I always enjoy it more the next day after the flavors have melded together.

Last night were the caramelized beef skewers, warm potato salad, and fried corn. The skewers and the corn were to be grilled, but Mother Nature had other plans. I improvised and cut the corn off the cob and cooked it in the skillet. The warm potato salad was made with fingerling, red-skinned, and purple potatoes. Then it had raclette cheese on top, all tossed with a vinaigrette dressing. I was so anxious to try the purple potatoes. While pretty, the taste is no different than any other potato. They are hard to find though - definitely seasonal. I found mine at the Good Foods Coop.

I hope you're able to try some of these recipes. Let me know if you do and if you like them! Sorry for the long post, but I warned you I had a lot to say!

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