Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Housewife Revamped!

Okay, so the past two days have been rather odd around here...the SUN was out! Well I think it was the sun, it's been so long since we've actually seen the sun around these parts so I can't consider myself a reliable witness. In other news...big changes around this place...do you like them???

I've been under pressure from a friend of mine to make my blog look "cleaner." I didn't realize that being The REAL Housewife of Snohomish County required my blog to be "clean." :) But sometimes in life it is a push like this that helps shake a person out of a bit of a rut. So yesterday I sat down at the kitchen table and revamped the blog until my eyes were twirling. Now I happen to like the design and the changes that I've made and I hope you do as well! :)

So now that all that is out of the way...lets get onto FOOD! Over the past week I have been having some fun in my kitchen! I've tried not only new recipes, but new foods as well! Michael has been after me to make more seafood for him. So I've been trying. I have made several types of salmon, cod, and even shrimp. But the other day I decided to brave the creature known as a scallop! :) So I thumbed through my Nigella cookbooks as well as Anne Burrell's recipes. I narrowed it down to two and gave Michael the choice. So I set out to Whole Foods and picked up all the ingredients to make:
I'm not going to lie...I was pretty nervous because Mike said that scallops are easy to over cook, and when that happens they turn into rubbery pieces of yuck! No pressure! To make matters worse, I couldn't find clementines, so I settled on a ruby red grapefruit and some blood oranges. And I have to say that this meal turned out quite well! I bought 4 scallops to cook, and then made the arugula and citrus salad to go underneath it. Michael was pretty impressed, and I was able to wipe the sweat from my brow that I somehow pulled off that meal!

But that left me without a meal...so I turned to Nigella's newest book, "Nigelissima" for my lunch.  I stumbled upon the first great meal that is to come out of this book, "Italian Tray Bake!" This meal proved to be not only delicious but incredibly simple, which as you know really makes my day!
Nigella's Italian Tray Bake - "Nigellisima" pages 88-89
3 Large yukon Gold Potatoes (approx. 1 3/4 lbs total)
     Unpeeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
8 Chicken Thighs, Bone-in and skin on
8 Italian Sausages (Approx. 1 3/4 lbs.) ~Sweet or Spicy (I like the spicy ones!)
Small Bunch (6 or 7) sprigs of fresh Rosemary
Zest of 1 Unwaxed Lemon
1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt (or 1/2 tsp of table salt)
Ground Pepper
1/4 cup of Olive Oil
Now I can't even begin to explain how simple this is to make! Preheat your oven to 425. Now get everything ready....ready for this? Grab a sheet tray large enough to hold all the ingredients, or use two if need be. Cut up the potatoes and toss them on the tray. Now nestle in between the potatoes the chicken thighs and Italian sausages. Finely chop the leaves from 2 sprigs of rosemary, place the other 4 or 5 whole sprigs in amongst the chicken/sausages/potatoes. Zest the lemon over the top of everything. Sprinkle with Kosher Salt and fresh grind of black pepper (to taste). Then pour the 1/4 cup of oil oil over everything. Then...throw it all in the oven for 50 - 60 minutes. Simple, right?
Everything ready to go into the oven
Yummy! (I forgot to take the picture before I dished my plate up!)

I could NOT wait to dig in!
Okay, so this was such an amazing meal, and nothing is simpler than a one dish meal! The skin on the chicken was nice and crispy and the rosemary made its way lovingly into the potatoes and everything else it touched! I am not lying when I say that Nigella's recipes have yet to disappoint me or Michael! I can't wait to figure out what one I'll be trying out next.

Right now on the stove I have turkey bones and vegetables simmering down to make a nice stock for turkey and rice soup. I also have a turkey Shepard's pie waiting to be tossed into the oven. These two meals are courtesy of a sale on turkey parts at the grocery store a few days ago! But lets rewind to the original meal two nights ago courtesy of Emeril Lagasse:
Bacon and Herb Roasted Turkey
You know how I feel about anything with bacon, so this was a no brainer. It was also a pretty simple recipe, and rather easy to follow from the link above, so I won't bore you with the process! :) But I will share some pictures!

Bed of potatoes and onions with salt and pepper

The turkey parts rubbed with the herb/bacon/butter spread and ready to go into the oven

A turkey wing for Mikey

And a drumstick for me!
 What a great meal. I realized that so many times I will over look the turkey parts in the grocery store if it isn't around Thanksgiving, and this is such a mistake! I make quite a few roasted chickens and then re purpose the meat in several dishes, but when you do turkey parts you have a lot more to work with! So that's how tonight's meal and tomorrow's meal came to be! I love me a good Shepard's Pie, and you can't go wrong with any kind of soup!

Waiting on the counter to be heated up in the oven!
 Shepard's Pies are so simple to make. Saute onions, carrots, mushrooms, jalapenos, peas and whatever other veggies you want to put in there. Then choose your protein; I've used chicken, turkey and even lamb. Now I always save the gravy from the original meal, and of course this gravy is made from the drippings of the turkey or chicken. If more gravy is needed I'll mix more chicken stock into the left overs, and if needed add a cornstarch slurry to thicken it up. Then make mashed potatoes and slather those over the top. This time I added a surprise! A layer of pepper jack cheese under the potatoes! :)

Turkey Stock simmering for tomorrow's soup
The pie is in the oven right now heating up, and the stock is simmering on the stove. The house smells so good right now! I know this was a long post, but I had a lot of cooking to talk about! Let me know if you try these recipes! I love hearing about people trying the recipes I've written about or made videos for!

Two last things before I go...Do you have an recipes that you are interested in but want to know how simple they are or if they really are good? Send me an e-mail snocohousewife@gmail.com with the recipe in there and I will make the recipe and relay my findings to you!

Also, thanks to my friend Dustin for making the new logo for my blog! :) He knows I'm picky, and we finally settled on one that I like! (now if only I could get a background for my blog that HE likes...hahahaha) But I encourage you to check out his page www.sogd.com. He is an amazing web designer and has designed many sites including Reba's! Thank you so much Dustin for your help!!

Until next time, keep cookin' and leave me some comments!!!!


  1. Yum! Regarding the seafood, I've been obsessively overanalyzing the USDA My Plate and Food Cost chart. We definitely fall into the "liberal" side (thanks a lot PCC!). In March I'm going to experiment with whether or not I can stick to the thrifty side. I think I'm going to check out Silvana Meats. Have you ever been?

    1. We actually purchased a large amount of New York Strip steaks from them last year. We chose them because the butcher we used, S&L Meats, closed! Sadly, we don't enjoy the steaks from Silvana Meats as much. I'm actually wanting to go to Bill the Butcher now that it's open in Edmonds! :)

  2. Duh! I didn't finish my train of thought about seafood... The USDA My Plate chart says to eat seafood twice a week. I think that would be hard to do on the USDA thrifty budget and still eat fish that was sustainably caught.

  3. Love the new changes! Looking good!

  4. Love the look of the new blog!!!!!!! It is much "cleaner" and easier on the eyes- bravo!!!! I wish I could find some turkey parts in the store. I looked the other day because I was craving it but could only find ground turkey (yuk). Tempted to buy a small turkey and try to butterfly it. That's something I am interested in learning if you ever want to tackle it- how to butterfly a chicken or small turkey!
    How are the chickens? Haven't seen an update on them in a long time.

    1. I love using ground turkey to make turkey tacos :) also I make a mean turkey burger! When you say butterfly a turkey or chicken, do you mean completely take it apart? Explain to me what you mean and I can totally make a video!

    2. I always see them on cooking shows with chickens all flattened out yet still intact. So instead of still "round" shaped with a cavity it is all flat and they can cook them on a grill or roast them or whatnot. Does that make sense? Also want to get over my fear of cutting the whole raw birdie up! I really need to work on my butchering skills :)

    3. I totally get it! I will make a video and get it posted :) thanks for the "challenge"!!!