Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Change isn't always good

Recently, I've tried to cut back on my cosumption of caffine-filled pop. It's been a week since I had a Diet Coke or DDP (Diet Dr. Pepper), which is a pretty big deal since I used to be a 2 or 3x/day drinker. The thing is, I have to get that jolt from somewhere at least once a day. So I've turned into a full-blown coffee drinker. I'm not talking about the free machine-brewed coffee at work...I'm talking about lattes.

The thing is--this new habit is not very wallet-friendly. So, on my way to work this morning I stopped by the Starbucks on the Plaza because I had a giftcard that could help to support this new indulgence. It had recently gone under construction and I hadn't been in to check it out since they finished the work. Unfortunately, I was extremely disappointed. Gone were the warm-colored walls. Gone was the cozy furniture that you could sit back and relax in. Gone was the welcoming space.

Honestly when I walked in, I thought the place was still under construction. Unfortunately, I was wrong. The warm caramel paint was replaced with stark, white walls and the backsplash behind the counter is now covered with white subway tiles. Instead of comfy seating areas, there are now high top tables with cafe-style barstools.

I get that Starbucks felt they needed to update their look, but they definitely went in the wrong direction. Next time a Saturday morning comes along when I want to partake in some people watching and coffee drinking, I'll be going elsewhere.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Mediterranean Herbed Chicken Kabobs

So, this post isn't very exciting...my camera died right as I was preparing to take pictures of this dish. No worries though, it was so yummy that I will be making it again (and making sure the camera is charged). We're a big fan of anything Mediterranean, so this was right up our alley. Served with grilled zucchini, couscous and tzatziki, it's a great weeknight meal.

adapted from Joelen's Culinary Adventures
3-4 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
4 medium cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, minced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
1 tablespoon fresh sage, minced
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced
bamboo skewers

Place the bamboo skewers in a shallow dish and cover with water to soak before using.

Cut the chicken into bite sized cubes and place in a gallon sized storage bag.Place the garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, oil and herbs into the storage bag along with the chicken. Allow the chicken to marinate for 20-30 minutes.

Remove the bamboo skewers from the water and begin skewering chicken. Place the skewers on a hot grill until chicken is fully cooked.

Tzatziki Sauce
1 cup plain yogurt
1/2 large cucumber, seeded and chopped
zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lemon
1 T minced garlic
1/4 cup fresh rosemary leaves
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves
1/4 cup fresh thyme leaves
Place all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth. Chill for at least 30 minutes before serving over grilled kabobs.

Weekly Menu Plan--week of 5.23.10

It's a super busy week at our house, so planning this week's menu was super easy. I actually didn't even need to go to the supermarket.

Sunday: Bacon-wrapped sirloin medallions with vegetable skewers and Parmesan mashed potatoes
Monday: Homemade pizza
Tuesday: I'm headed to the Royals game, so Dave is on his own
Wednesday: I have a wine tasting at JP Wine Bar, while Dave has a work dinner at Hereford House
Thursday: Head for the Cure Kickoff reception
Friday: Happy hour at the Blue Moose, so probably appetizers there
Saturday: Smoked pulled pork, since we didn't get to it last week

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Ahi Tuna with Poblano-Corn Salsa

Dave and I have recently been adding more fish to our weekly menus. Since he grew up in Louisiana he's used to the freshest fish around, which we obviously don't have here in the Midwest. Luckily, we've found that Costco has seafood that is fresh enough for his taste and there is a great variety available.

We picked up two ahi tuna fillets to experiment with--it was our first try with ahi and it sure didn't disappoint. The only problem with this meal is that there really isn't a "recipe" to share. Basically, Dave took the tuna and seasoned it with salt and pepper then seared it on the grill. It was delish!

Ahi Tuna with Poblano-Corn Salsa
A Warren Original Recipe

As far as the salsa goes, here are the ingredients that were used:

1 poblano pepper
1 ear corn
1/2 cup red onion
Juice of one lime
2 T chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tomatoes, chopped
Salt and pepper

Basically, we did a rough chop on the pepper, corn and red onion and sauteed those ingredients with the lime juice, cilantro and red wine vinegar for about 5 minutes. After removing from the heat, the tomatoes were added and the salsa was seasoned with salt and pepper. We then chilled it in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.

We served this with wild rice and sliced avocado, creating a fresh and easy meal that's perfect for the upcoming summer months.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Chipotle-Honey Glazed Chicken

Recently, we discovered the wonderful flavors of chipotle in adobo. I had heard about them all over the blogosphere and decided that we must try using them in a dish. Now, I love everything about them...the smoky, intense flavor just adds something special to whatever recipe they're featured in. This recipe was no exception.

from Elly Says Opa

1 chipotle in adobo
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp. dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. ancho chili powder, divided
salt and pepper
1 Tbsp. canola oil, divided
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. Spanish paprika
2-3 chicken breast halves
Salt and pepper

Preheat the broiler (if you’re not grilling).

Place the chipotle in a mini food processor and puree. Then add the honey, mustard, 1.5 tsp. ancho chili powder, 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/2 Tbsp. canola oil and pulse to combine. Set aside.

Stir together the remaining ancho chili powder, coriander, cumin, paprika, and remaining 1/2 Tbsp. oil. Add the chicken breasts to the mixture, coating all sides. Season with salt and pepper.

Heat a pan over medium heat (or use a grill), add the chicken, and cook about 3-4 minutes per side. Place the chicken on a broiler pan and brush the top with the glaze. Broil for 1 minute. Flip, brush with more glaze and broil another minute or two until the glaze is caramelized and chicken is cooked through. Top with more glaze (if you want) and garnish as desired.

We also made some great roasted potatoes with this chicken...I would definitely recommend if you're wanting to try something new and different!

adapted from the Food Network
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
6 small or 4 large red potatoes
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon coarse black pepper
1 small red onion, diced

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a large bowl, mix vinegar, cumin chipotle and chili powder. Slice potatoes into 1-inch size chunks. Toss potatoes and onions with vinegar mixture. Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes.

Drizzle olive oil over potatoes and place them in a single layer in large rimmed baking pan or roasting dish. Season with salt and pepper. Roast, uncovered for 60 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

And we're back!

So Feasting on Life might have gone on a little blogging hiatus...the good news is that we're back! Life has been so crazy for both of us that this little project definitely got put on the back burner. I've had friends and family ask why the posting stopped and there really wasn't a good reason. With everything that we've got going on there won't be a lack of content, so expect posts on a more regular basis from here on out!

Since I'm easing back into this, let's start with something simple. As a way to make things easier during the week and to save on the grocery bill, I've started planning our meals again. Here is what's on the menu this week:

Sunday: Peppercorn encrusted ahi tuna with a corn-poblano salsa, avocado and brown rice (So delish and will have its own post this week!)
Monday: Chipotle-Honey Glazed Chicken and Vinegar-Chipotle Roasted Potatoes 
Tuesday: Pork Chops with Balsamic-Mushroom sauce, brussel sprouts and wild rice
Wednesday: Mediterranean Herbed Chicken Kabobs with Tzatziki Sauce and Couscous
Thursday: Clothing swap, so apps and wine!
Friday: Cumin and Chili Shrimp with Roasted Corn-Poblano Polenta
Saturday: the weather is supposed to be nice, so Dave is thinking about smoking a pork shoulder. Yum!

So far, we've done a good job of sticking to the menu. We'll see how the rest of the week goes!