Reigning It In….(or raining it in)

So we are all about watching what we eat at the M house.  Or at least that’s what we tell ourselves.  

No really, most of the time we try to stay on track with our exercise, buying local and organic as much as possible, and balancing the occasional treat. 

Until this summer.  And I don’t know what happened.   Well actually I do.  Unusually cool summer weather, excellent outdoor restaurants just 3 blocks away, and lots of weekend trips and parties.  

It.  Was.  Awesome.  

And now we are ready to reign it in and get back to our healthy meals.  So what better time to have a homemade healthy soup and biscuits than on a night when our plans for a campfire with the family was rained out. I had been wanting to try this recipe I had found on pinterest for Italian Orzo Spinach Soup.

http://www.gimmesomeoven.com/italian-orzo-spinach-soup-recipe/

It was like chicken noodle, amped up a gazillion notches. I didn’t have celery and instead of the herbs in the recipe I used a palm full (sp?) of italian herb seasoning, a couple shakes of dried parsley and 2 garlic cloves, minced.   I also added 1 cup of frozen green beans.  I used 3 thin chicken breasts, rubbed them with olive oil, and then sprinkled a generous shake of italian seasoning and baked at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes.  We then diced them up and added them to the soup at the end.  But not before my hubby looked at me and said “you know, homemade biscuits would be awesome with this”.  And so I made those too.  

Homemade biscuits from http://grannyskitchen.wordpress.com/2007/09/17/grannys-homemade-biscuits/    They are the best biscuits for soups, stews, and biscuits and gravy.  Or just slathered in butter.  What? It’s organic butter. Ha.

Homemade Biscuits

2c flour

2T sugar

1T baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/4c butter (I cut it into quarters) 

3/4c milk

Mix everything but the milk and butter.  Add the butter and crumble with fingers until it’s pea-sized and rough in texture.  Doesn’t have to be perfect.  Add milk and stir.  Drop onto a floured counter and let sit for 1-2 min.  Knead a couple of times and roll out.  Cut with a biscuit cutter or a glass, like this:

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Yes that’s a glass of wine.  It’s Friday night.  Don’t judge. 

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So that is the semi-finished meal. Soup is done and biscuits are ready to go in the oven.  Once the biscuits were done we were all… yum, we are starving, let’s eat.  And then about an hour later I realized we didn’t have a picture.  Oh well,  you’ll just have to take my word for it.  It was great.  The whole wheat orzo really made it yummy and filling! Can’t wait to have leftovers for lunch.~s

 

 

Confess the Mess

So I have a confession. I used to HATE to cook.  I was terrified of the kitchen.  It just wasn’t my thing.

My mom is a fabulous cook and always had a full meal on the table.  But when my parents would go out and it was MY turn to put dinner on the table for my little brothers…well, let’s just say there was more than one night my mom’s best friend and my best friend’s mom (did ya catch that?!) got a frantic call asking how to make mac & cheese.  

From a box.

No really, that actually happened.

More than once.

(I can still hear Pam trying to contain her giggles while she patiently explained that you turn the stove on, put water in the pot….)

And then a funny thing happened. A few years and a lot of takeout later, I got engaged to an amazing guy who was a great cook and had a beautiful little girl.  Suddenly I wanted to know how to cook! I wanted to put meals on our table and fill the people I love with food that they love, just like my mom does.

After a lot of mistakes and messes, note: don’t make divinity in your new kitchen aid with with the whisk attachment, and a bunch of lessons from my mom, mother-love, sister-in-love, aunts, grandmas, husband and the Barefoot Contessa (someday I will wear pearls and live in the Hampton’s and make the hubby chicken every Friday night) here I am. Do I still make a mess and have epic fails, well duh! But that’s half the fun. The other half is watching your family fight over that last piece of homemade cherry pie that’s just like Grandma Lucy used to make.

So worst case scenario, this blog becomes a journal of my cooking adventures and recipes that my family loves.  Some healthy, some ridiculously sweet.  Life is all about balance, right?  Best case scenario, someone who is terrified of cooking can learn a few things and realize that it is ok to use powdered sugar instead of flour (again, it happened) as long as you learn from it and keep trying.  ~s