Friday, November 12, 2010

Roasted Salmon Stuffed with Spinach, Feta, and Ricotta

Roasted Salmon Stuffed with Spinach, Ricotta, and Feta
recipe from Serves 6

1 (2lb)center cut boneless, skinless salmon fillet
1 cup of ricotta cheese
1 cup of feta cheese, crumbled
salt and pepper to taste
1TBSP dijon mustard
1 cup baby spinach, divided
extra virgin olive oil
chopped dill
chopped oregano


Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Butterfly salmon fillet through the center so that it lays open flat in one large piece like a book. turn salmon over so the gray underside is facing up and arrange on a clean work surface. In a bowl, mash together ricotta and feta until well blended, then season with salt and pepper.

Season salmon with salt and pepper then spread fillet with dijon mustard and arrange half the spinach over the top leaving a 1 inch border around the edges. Evenly spread the cheese mixture on top of the spinach, then top with the remaining spinach. Starting from one of the long sides, gently roll up the salmon and tie snuggly with cooking twine at 1 inch intervals.

Gently transfer salmon to a greased baking sheet then brush the top with olive oil and season the outside with salt and pepper. Scatter the dill and oregano over the top and sides and roast until just cooked through.

Okay so as you can see, I don't follow directions very well. I forgot to buy twine, so I have to do it a different way. I also used a smaller fillet and thus a smaller amount of all of the ingredients. I also used reduced fat ricotta and feta. Salmon is fatty enough by itself, and last time I checked, there is not any reduced fat salmon on the market. Salmon does however have the omega 3 fatty acids so it is still a healthy food. And really yummy!

End Result: It was really yummy! I may have overcooked it a tad. I am not a professional chef. Did I mention that? But it wasn't too too overcooked. It was still quite good. I served mine with some brown rice and broccoli because my 5 year old will eat rice, and my 3 year old picked out the broccoli at the store. So really you can serve this with whatever you want.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Minestrone Stir Fry

One of my goals for this "deployment" is to try a new recipe each week. My criteria for the weekly recipe is that it must be healthy and something I would not typically make. I also aim to only use fresh produce and herbs when possible. Hopefully after 52 weeks of this I will have a handful of healthy meals that we have discovered we actually like!
Week 1: Minestrone Stir Fry (found on serves 4
~The Recipe~
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped, peeled eggplant
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
1/3 cup chopped carrot
1 tsp dried italian seasoning
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1/4 tsp red chile flakes
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1/3 cup tomato juice or vegetable broth
1 cup of cooked whole wheat pasta
1 cup chopped spinach
1/3 cup chopped basil
1/2 tsp salt

Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add eggplant, celery, bell peppers, onions, carrots, italian seasoning, fennel seeds, chile flakes, and garlic and cook for 5 minutes adding a little water to prevent sticking. Add tomatoes and tomato juice and continue to cook for 3 minutes longer. Add pasta, basil, and spinach and salt and cook 1-2 minutes longer to heat through.

***My thoughts***
I gave my youngest a plastic kids knife and my 5 year old a butter knife to help chop the veggies. They love helping me cook and when there is actual prep work involved like preparing veggies instead of just dumping a box of macaroni in a pot, it can create a really nice experience of working together and cameraderie in the kitchen.
I told my girls that all great "cookers" (Shea's term) taste test their food. I was shocked when my girls who tend to be insanely picky, taste tested each vegetable! My kids are seriously the pickiest kids I have EVER met. Most foods that people consider kid friendly are not MY kid friendly. Thats how picky they are. So just having them taste test each of the raw veggies they were chopping made tonight a success.
I then followed the recipe and it was very easy and fast to make! Once it was cooked, Bethany wanted no part of it, but Shea actually ate a few spoonfuls of it. It didn't taste bad at all. The flavor was just fine. I didn't love it, but I may just need to get used to this healthier fare.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Day 1 New Adventure

We are nearly a civilian family now. We have to turn in our ID cards in a week! It feels weird. Very weird. I can't really explain how I feel about it, because I am not sure I understand myself. I think I will always consider us an Army family to some extent. You would think that this would mean no more deployments wouldn't you? Well, not so much. We are doing it one more time. I can't give too many details too soon, but I will share as I can.

Day 1:

As I type this I have a 5 year old laying next to me whining because she wants to do a puzzle on the computer. Just 2 minutes ago she was engrossed in her Leapster. My 3 year old is sitting on my back bouncing up and down. I am laying on the floor as we do not have any furniture yet. We just moved and our household goods wont arrive for another 5 days. So my 2 girls and I are hanging out in a fairly empty house. Tomorrow Bethany starts back to school. I was feeling a bit sad to see summer end, but with an empty house and little money for entertainment at the moment, the kids are bored, and whining to fill their time. We kept toys to bring with us instead of being packed, but they are tired of those toys. I think I am ready for her to go to school tomorrow, just to curb the whining. She is super excited.

I got to talk to Aaron a little while ago. He is still stateside for the time being while he is in training. he asked me to send him boots and paperwork. Well, I suppose I will wait for my friend Nicole to show up. We are going to shampoo the carpet this afternoon. Totally exciting. I better let Bethany do her puzzle and go get Shea out of the refrigerator. I hear her in the kitchen helping herself.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Way of life

I watch a lot of HGTV. I love every show on that station. Lately House Hunters cracks me up though. On House Hunters, they show someone looking to buy a house and the realtor shows them 3 different homes. Then they choose one. In nearly every episode you hear the same things. From watching this show, I now know that just about everyone considers, a good view, granite counters, crown molding and hard wood floors the epitome of perfection.

One thing people complain about a lot is the noise. If there is a highway within 3 miles, people will grimace, and don't know if they can live like that. Or they only have 1 acre of land so their neighbors are too close. Or it is not a gourmet kitchen.

I think Aaron and I should be on House Hunters when we eventually buy. We will be the easiest people they have ever had on.

You see, we live in on post housing. We live in a duplex which means we share a wall with our closest neighbor. We also share a front lawn. Our nearest unattached neighbor is approximately 20 feet away. In the morning and about 3 times between dinner and 11 pm we hear colors and retreat (the bugle and canon), and Taps played over loud speakers. We have train tracks approximately 1/4 of a mile from the front door. When it goes by the walls vibrate. It is extremely common to hear soldiers practicing their shooting at the range at all hours of the day or night. My kitchen is small even for a galley kitchen. I have next to no counter space. 2 outlets total in the kitchen and laminate counter tops. We have linoleum floors throughout.

And I am happy.

OK ok, when we do buy a house, I will be looking for a bigger kitchen. Some counter space would be nice. But honestly, I sleep through trains, and bugles, and shooting, as do my kids. The floors are easy to clean and so cheap that I don't hold my breathe all day and live in fear of a kid spilling their juice or anything. We have plenty of space.

What it all boils down to is that we have enough. And I have learned that home is what you make it. This is one lesson I have learned during my time as an Army wife. I think I am going to miss Army life a little.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Just a funny

Shea kept telling me her butt is too big. I kept telling her it is not. I told her she has a little butt! So then she started saying, "My little butt is too big!" I know exactly where she got this fixation on having a big butt. She got it from her big sister Bethany who comments regularly on my big butt.


My Bethany has such an imagination. I love that about her. Her and Shea have a bunch of Fisher-Price Little People Toys. They are really into playing with the Noah's Ark animals lately.

I was folding laundry and Bethany came running up to me and tol me, "Mommy I have some bad news! Zebra needs to go to the Dr.!" So I asked her why. "Because his stripes are bleeding!" At this point, I can't resist asking how he got hurt. "I was throwing him at the ceiling and he bumped his ear on a lady bug and the ladybug went crunch and her spots fell off. Then zebra landed on her spots and slided across the floor and hit his butt on the wall and I stepped on him and my shoes scraped up his stripes." Oh, ok. Makes sense. I told her to go ahead and take him to the Dr. So she had Shea get out the doctor kit toy and they checked him out before wrapping him in a toilet paper bandage until he was one big ball of TP.

Monday, January 25, 2010

I'm still alive

Wow! It's only been about 6 months since my last blog entry! But now I have a new back round and pics, so I am ready to start posting on my redecorated beautiful blog. Got to give a shout out to Becki for giving my blog a make over! Call Becki for all of your blog makeover needs! She only has 4 young kids to raise, so she is really bored and has nothing better to do.

so where have I been the last 6 months? Dealing with a very personal crisis. I will spare the details, but I did bring it up, because I have learned that how you deal with things in life is very important. I leaned on a family friend who has been through the same thing, except she chose to keep the drama going and be totally miserable. For 20 years. She is still complaining and negative about every single thing in her life because she feels cheated by what happened, but is not interested in changing her circumstances or attitude.

I realized real quick that I do not want to be her when I grow up. So I went back to school, and started caring about myself a little more because that is the only thing I could do. I made the choice to respect myself. It feels good to be a little selfish and do for myself. I don't feel guilty at all. I feel like I am happier, therefore so are my kids.

Anyway, this blog will not typically be so serious. Anyone who knows me, knows that I can talk about my kids a LOT. I am surprised people don't run in the other direction when they see me coming, out of fear I will make them listen to the latest thing Bethany or Shea said. I may also complain about neighbors, talk about school and boring mundane daily tasks, and just type anything on my mind to avoid housework.

More to come...