Monday, February 7, 2011

Superbowl Spread

I was thinking about devoting an entire week to meal-planning. Is that something you think you might enjoy? I know I promised a meal-planning post last week and I just never got around to it so I'm thinking maybe an entire week might do us all some good. It's something I've totally been nailing lately and I want to get out all my good pointers before I lose my mojo.

In the spirit of meal-planning I'd like to share what we had cookin' yesterday for Superbowl Sunday. It was a special Superbowl because Brian's family is all a bunch of Packer fans. I, myself, bleed purple (Vikings!) but since the 2010 season didn't treat them so hot I converted to green and yellow for just one day.

First, breakfast. Or brunch, rather, since the kids had already had a banana and some cereal.

Does your man cook? Mine does. And he's really good at it. But he's also really, really, painfully slow. It's OK that I just wrote that. We both acknowledge this weakness and laugh about it. He almost never cooks dinner because the kids are too starvin' marvin to wait that long so for him brunch is the perfect meal to take his sweet time.

Here he is whipping up some cornmeal and blueberry pancakes. Yum! See?

We follow the recipe except replacing blue cornmeal with the regular yellow and replacing the pine nuts with blueberries.  I like it better than regular pancakes because they're a bit stiffer and thus don't make a huge crumbly mess when the kiddos dig in.  They're also a bit sweeter than your average pancake so we ate ours without any syrup.
Next up I started preparing for our Superbowl feast.  I grabbed my slowcooker and got started on a Spinach and Artichoke Casserole.  This recipe comes out of this book which I totally recommend if you're BFFs with your slowcooker as am I.
You'll need some fresh sliced mushrooms, a tablespoon of butter, two garlic cloves and the juice from one lemon.  You saute that all up until the mushrooms are nice and tender.

Then you throw it in the slowcooker and add two packages of frozen chopped spinach, 8 ounces of sour cream, a can of cream of mushroom soup, a teaspoon of worcestershire sauce, two tablespoons of flour, one can of artichoke hearts (drained) and one cup of shredded Monterrey jack cheese.

You stir it all up nice and pretty and then you smooth out the top like you would any other casserole. Then top it with an additional cup of shredded Monterrey jack cheese.  Then you put on the lid and set it on low for four hours.

(P.S. I've been trying to steer clear of cream-of-whatever soups in a can because of the added chemicals but I didn't have time to Google a substitute for the cream of mushroom.  I suppose you could add an additional package of fresh mushrooms and then a cup of heavy cream?  What do you think?)
Here's the finished, cheesy, gooey, delicious-ness.  I never said Superbowl Sunday was low in calories.

Brian and I both loved this but agreed that it was very rich.  It serves well as a side dish in a small portion.
Next up was Chicken Adobo courtesy of Giada.  I followed this recipe exactly except I left out the red pepper flakes for the kids and used cornstarch instead of arrowroot.  I also took the cilantro option instead of parsley because I will walk over fire and hot coals for cilantro.  Some people cannot stand cilantro.  I do not understand some people.
Here's a rare picture of me cooking in the kitchen.  Rare because there's usually not another adult around to snap a picture of me.  Check out the one-sock wonder on my hip.
I'll leave all the instructions for Chicken Adobo to Giada but here's a picture of the final product.  This was a definite keeper.  I loved that I didn't have to bake, fry, broil or roast the chicken.  It just sat and in the marinade and simmered away until it was falling-off-the-bone amazing.  I think Lucy ate three of these bad boys.  No joke.

And because we needed something to munch on while those first two dishes were cooking away, I threw together these little gems.
I diced up a smoked ham steak and some dill pickles. Then I mixed those together with some softened cream cheese, about a third of a block. Next, I spooned some of the mixture onto a flour tortilla, rolled it up and sliced it like a jellyroll.

They were very tasty (except Brian requested more spice next time) but they were difficult to keep together. I'll have to do some experimenting next time to figure out how I can bind them together better. Suggestions?
And finally, what's a Superbowl post without a shot in front of the TV?  Here's my little pajama dancers breaking it down during the halftime show.

I want to know, what was on your Superbowl menu?

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