Omelet-wrapped quesadilla stuffed with roasted potatoes and corn

Here is my attempt at the omelet thingy.  The recipe is from Cafe Flora’s cookbook, and I include it at the bottom of this post.

First you fill a tortilla with a potato/poblano mixture.

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Then beat two eggs.

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Swirl them around the fry pan.

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Realize the tortilla will never fit on top of that puny patch of eggs, so just scramble them.  Pretend like you were making a side dish of scrambled eggs for your omelet dinner on purpose.
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On the second attempt, really get the eggs spread around; lay tortilla atop as pictured.

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Realize it will take two spatulas to flip the non-tortilla side of the omelet onto the tortilla.  Search frantically in drawer for second spatula while your omelet screams dramatically, “I’m melting!  I’m melting!”

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Make do.

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Notice with chagrin that there is a gaping hole in the omelet you just flipped.
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Remember you are a genius and made that side dish of scrambled eggs earlier.  Take a chunk of the scrambled eggs and plop it on the gaping hole.

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Say, “VOILA!”

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But say it like this.

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Make the second omelet-wrapped quesadilla stuffed with roasted potatoes and corn.  Make it faster.

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And better.

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Flip it onto a plate.  Fire the photographer for taking the following comparison picture.

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WHAT’S COOKIN’ 2NITE:
The above, plus: Apple, pear, and caramelized onion tart

 

Omelet-wrapped quesadilla stuffed with roasted potatoes and corn

1/2 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, cut in 1/4 inch dice
1 cup corn
2 tsp cumin seeds, toasted and ground
1 tsp chili powder (or significantly less if your spouse is a candy-ass)
1 tsp salt
3T vegetable oil
1 poblano chile, roasted and roughly chopped
6 (8”) flour tortillas
1-1/2 cups grated pepper jack cheese (or white cheddar if your spouse is a powder puff)
12 large eggs
Pico de gallo salsa
Lime creme fraiche

1.  Boil potatoes for 4 minutes; drain
2. Mix potatoes with corn, cumin, chili powder, and salt.  toss with 1T oil.  spread in single layer on a baking sheet; roast at 375 for 15 minutes
3.  Mix potatoes with poblano chili
4.  Assemble quesadillas with 1/2 cup potato mixture and 1/4 cup grated cheese; make melty in microwave while you scramble eggs
5.  Beat 2 eggs; swirl in NONSTICK SKILLET on medium heat (I used a little oil too).  After eggs seem mostly cooked (1 minute or so), flip half the eggs on top of the tortilla; you’re supposed to flip the whole thing and cook on both sides.  Good luck with that.

Serve with pico de gallo and lime creme fraiche

Creamy polenta with blue cheese

This recipe is borrowed from Giada deLaurentiis, though I did change gorgonzola to blue cheese, and legally you only need to change a recipe in 1 way to claim it as your own.  I also added the sentence “It’s AWESOME!!!!!!” to the end, so I technically changed it in 2 ways.)

BASIC POLENTA:
6 cups water
2 tsp salt
1-3/4 cups yellow cornmeal
3T unsalted butter, cut into pieces

In a large, heavy saucepan, bring water to a boil.  Add the salt then gradually whisk in the cornmeal.  Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring often, until mixture thickens and the cornmeal is tender, about 15 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in butter.

CREAMY POLENTA WITH BLUE CHEESE
3/4 cup heavy cream
3oz blue cheese, cut into pieces
1/4 tsp salt, plus more to taste
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Basic Polenta, freshly made and hot

Add the cream, gorgonzola, and 1/4 tsp each of salt and pepper to the freshly made polenta while it is still in the saucepan and stir until cheese melts.  Season polenta with more salt and pepper to taste.  It’s AWESOME!!!!!!

SALAD WITH GRILLED POTATOES AND FETA VINAIGRETTE

SALAD WITH GRILLED POTATOES AND FETA VINAIGRETTE (a Rachel original)

For the potatoes:
1 cup small red potatoes
Olive oil
Coarse Salt

Preheat outdoor barbecue on a medium-high setting.  Halve or quarter potatoes so that they are generally the same size.  Toss with olive oil and coarse salt.  Wrap in heavy-duty foil and grill over medium-high heat, turning packet occasionally,  until tender–about 20-25 minutes.  Remove from heat and vent packet.  You can cool the potatoes or use them warm for a wilted salad.

For the salad:
1/4 cup sherry wine vinegar
1 shallot, chopped
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup feta or blue cheese
1 bag mixed salad greens

Combine vinegar, shallot, and mustard in medium bowl. Gradually whisk in oil. Mix in cheese. Season vinaigrette to taste with salt and pepper.  Toss salad with potatoes and vinaigrette and enjoy!  Other good mix-ins are roasted red peppers, garbanzo beans, and grated mozzarella cheese.

The makings of a prom king

QUICKIE:  Vincenzo to Grandpa: “I have a turtle named Nickschlopps.”
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Thank you for all the love notes yesterday, and sorry if they felt solicited.  It felt really good to get that off my chest (now in a size B!).

So most days I have to eat dinner by 4:00 because I feel so vomity/hearburny after four that I have to leave the room when Kevin so much as gets Vincenzo a milk.  But yesterday I felt well enough to go to the Keg for a baked potato at 5.  A little too early for the happy hour crew, we parked between an Oldsmobile and a Buick Century and joined everyone’s grandparents for a nice supper.

Now here’s a fun “fine dining” activity for any of you who have kids.  Pretend it’s your child’s prom and imagine you are his date.  Once you get over the fact that your prom date took you to the Keg for your special day and that he ordered chicken strips off the children’s menu, ask for a booster seat for him.  He may refuse to sit in it, but at least you get points for being the female equivalent of chivalrous.  When your prom date sticks his finger in the honey mustard sauce, makes a face, and yells, “I DON’T LIKE THIS!” look around to see if any of your friends heard.  Feel relieved that you’re at the Keg and absolutely none of your friends are here.  Try not to notice that your date is sitting on his knees, keeps lying down in the booth, and has eaten salt straight from the shaker.  And when, at the end of the meal your date crawls underneath the table and says he is a turtle and can he please have your shoes, quietly slip out of the booth and ask the waiter if he’s free for the evening.

Now go make a reservation at The Olive Garden, grab your nearest child, head out for dinner, then come back here and tell me how your faux-prom date turned out.

Braciola

BRACIOLA: Flank steak rolled with Romano/Provolone cheeses, pan-seared with wine and marinara, then roasted for 2 hours.  It is said that in biblical times braciola appeared on the ground once the dew disappeared each morning, thus sustaining the fleeing Israelites.  Their word for it was “manna.”  And if this doesn’t sound right, go ahead and tweak Wikipedia for me.  Tweak it for all of us.

From Giada’s “Everyday Cooking”

Serves 4-6

2/3 cup grated Romano cheese
1/3 cup grated Provolone cheese
½ cup dried Italian-style bread crumbs
2T chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 garlic clove, minced
4T olive oil
1 flank steak (1-1/2 pounds)
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 cup dry white wine
3-1/4 cups Marinara Sauce (I posted Giada’s recipe because it ROCKS with the braciola)

IN A MEDIUM BOWL, stir the cheeses, bread crumbs, parsley, and garlic to blend. Stir in 2T of the oil and set aside. Lay the flank steak flat on the work surface and sprinkle with ½ tsp each of salt and pepper. Sprinkle the bread-crumb mixture evenly over the steak to cover the top evenly. Starting at one short end, roll up the steak as for a jelly roll and enclose the filling completely. Using kitchen twine, tie the steak roll to secure. Sprinkle the braciola with the remaining salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 350. In a large heavy ovenproof frying pan, heat the remaining 2T of oil over a medium flame. Add braciola and cook until brown on all sides, about 8 minutes. Add wine and bring to boil. Stir in marinara sauce. Cover partially with foil and bake, turning the braciola and basting with sauce every 30 minutes, until meat is almost tender, about 1-1/2 hours. Uncover and continue baking until meat is tender, about 30 minutes longer.

Remove braciola from sauce. Remove kitchen twine and cut braciola crosswise and diagonally into ½ inch thick slices. Spoon sauce over and serve.

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*Picture taken from day-old braciola pulled straight from the fridge.  It’s slightly noticeable.

Marinara Sauce

This is a hearty sauce with a bright taste–I don’t like it on pizza but it’s excellent with pasta or meat, especially braciola!

MARINARA SAUCE
from Giada’s “Everyday Cooking”

Makes 1 quart

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 small onions, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
2 carrots—guess what—PEELED, and finely chopped
½ tsp sea salt, plus more to taste
½ tsp pepper, plus more to taste
2 (32-oz) cans crushed tomatoes
2 dried bay leaves

IN A LARGE POT, heat oil over medium-high flame. Add onions and garlic and sauté until onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add celery, carrots, and ½ tsp each of salt and pepper. Saute until all vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. Add tomatoes and bay leaves and simmer uncovered over low heat until the sauce thickens, about 1 hour. Remove and discard bay leaves. Season sauce with more salt and pepper to taste. (Sauce can be frozen.)

Weekend Nonevents

QUICKIE: Vincenzo, finding his stocking in the Christmas decorations: “But…do I have to fill it up?”
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Sorry for those logging on eager to read all about what we did for K week.  Even the rigid School of Mom acknowledges Thanksgiving break.  If you are upset, get a life and check back next Monday.

Before I was married I used to worry that  Kevin and I would eventually run out of things to talk about.  Five years later I realize I never have to worry.  Why, just this weekend we spent a good ten minutes discussing where Kevin would move my boobs if they were detachable.  I suggested moving them to my eyes.  He said he’d rather stick them on my back so he could hold them when we dance (he’s such a romantic).  I thought he should stack them up to make one large boob.   He said he’d move them to the bottoms of my feet so I couldn’t run away from him.  And so on.

In other news, we’re halfway through the Costco box of garden burgers that K bought for the neighborhood BBQ that absolutely nobody ate.  At first, we tried eating them straight up but there was too much “garden” for our taste buds to handle.  The next time we tried them with aged applewood smoked cheddar, but the “garden” was too powerful for even a three-year-old cheese.  Tonight, though, we finally discovered the magic to eating garden burgers: bacon.  Lots and lots of bacon, with the grease on the side to dip our buns in.  Hamburger buns, that is.

Tonight’s winning ingredient was bacon; tomorrow’s may be foie gras.  Who knows where we’ll go next?  Maybe we’ll fry up an entire vegetarian!

WHAT’S COOKIN’ 2NITE:
Chicken Noodle Soup
Bacon Garden Burgers
Shortbread

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

QUICKIE: [outside the room where Kevin was sleeping] Me: “Vincenzo let’s whisper so Daddy doesn’t wake up.”  V: “Okay.”  Me: “Wanna go downstairs?”  V: “Yeah.  MOMMY WASN’T THAT FUNNY THAT WE WERE WHISPERING??!!”
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I know not everyone is a green bean casserole fan but I am, and I am the proud member of a family that makes it for Thanksgiving every year.  The problem is that it’s only every once in a great while that we actually have Thanksgiving at the house of the green bean casserole.  But this was the year and I was sooooooooo excited to see the cans of cream-of-mushroom soup on the counter at my aunt’s house when we showed up.

We sat down to eat and as a side note, how did I get stuck at the kids’ table again?  Somewhere in my 20s I got promoted to the adult table but now that I have a toddler I have found myself once again relegated to the wobbly kids’ table that everyone bumps into when they walk by and no one ever passes the gravy to.  I was not going to complain though, as I took a teeny helping of potatoes and a teeny helping of turkey and a teeny bit of salad to save room for a great big gooey glob of green bean casserole. 

When finally the casserole was set in front of me, steaming its goodness into my unopened pores, I took the spoon and aimed it straight for the crispy onions on top.  And just as I did so, my aunt sitting next to me said, “I hope you save room for the beans I made tonight.  They’re a little overdone but unlike this casserole they have only 25 calories per serving.”  I looked at her and I looked at the casserole spoon and I looked at her again and she said, “I just hope someone eats them since I went to all that trouble…”  It took every ounce of self control I had to scoop out a teeny bit of green bean casserole and lay it next to my teeny bits of other food in order to leave room for a heaping mound of the 25 calorie, cream-of-nothing beans that had nary a wayward crispy onion.

Good grief, Charlie Brown!  Now I know how it feels every time Lucy snatched that football up just as you were about to punt.

Ah, well.  There’s always next year.

WHAT’S COOKIN’ 2NITE:
In-laws’ choice (and I’m hoping they choose green bean casserole!!)

Martha’s Dick

QUICKIE: When my cousin was little someone asked him if he slept like a log last night.  He thought for a minute then answered, “No; I slept more like a rainbow.”
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This weekend I hosted a Figgy Pudding Party, for which I made four different bread puddings (yet none of which were figgy).  I got three of the recipes from an old Martha Stewart: Sussex Pond, the Queen of Puddings and my favorite, Spotted Dick.  What is a Spotted Dick, you may ask?  The “spotted” comes from the currants and the “dick” is–well it’s not as much an ingredient as a mixing tool.  Let’s just say I needed Kevin’s help on this one.  Kevin’s help, and a very, very shallow bowl.

Kidding!  Wikipedia really clarifies it for us though: [Spotted Dick]…possibly conjugated originally from sticky pudding to dicky pudding to dicky to dick and finally spotted dick

Enough!  That’s enough, Wikipedia!  Sheesh.  Anyway, Martha is obviously embarrassed about her spotted dick, as I tried to find it on her website but came up with zilch.  It’s not that Martha hasn’t had any dicks on her show–Andy Dick, a Dick Blick Utility Knife, and Dick Gamble’s Nantucket Bucket to name a few–but spotted dick has been ctrl+z’d like the dirty little secret it is. 

Well Martha I know about your dick and I will not forget.  And neither will my 13 blog readers.

Here it is, le Spotted Dick!

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The Sussex Pond pudding was fun to make but pretty gross to eat, as it was full of kumquats and lemons (skin and all).

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The Queen was the crowd favorite–a layer of meringue atop a layer of currant jam atop a layer of bread pudding.  Plus now I own a set of individual lasagna boats!!

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Here’s the whole set-up.  There was also a black and white pudding but it was ugly so I didn’t take pictures of it.

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Kevin told me I really need to use the flash on my camera because all my pictures turn out blurry.   I took the following picture to prove him wrong, but it just made say that he’s right even louder and more obnoxiously.

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Can someone please settle this age-old marital dispute for us?  One of these pictures deserves the Ugly Chant…which one is it?

WHAT’S COOKIN’ 2NITE:
Pear, gorgonzola, and caramelized onion pizza
Tomato and roasted pepper soup
Salad with smoked cheddar and apple
Spotted dick

F is for E Week

QUICKIE: At the moment, Vincenzo’s mermaid tricycle keeps asking, “Hi!  Can I help you?” and he keeps answering, “Yes, I’m having problems with my steering,” to which she politely asks, “Hi!  Can I help you?” to which he answers, “Yes, I’m having problems with my steering…”
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Last week we talked about how F is for fall and we did leaf projects, which I’m sure will be fondly remembered as “F is for leaves week.”  But anyway, here’s what we did:

Leaf rubbings–can’t beat an old classic, although I almost cried when I took the wrappers off some brand new crayons and broke them in half for the project.  (In my house, we lose crayons before they have a chance to get old.)

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Then we traced Vincenzo’s hand, shoe and various items from around the house and looked for leaves that were shaped like them.  I helped give Vincenzo language to talk about leaves–this one has teeth on its edges, this one has fingers, this one is THE RIGHT ONE TO USE IN THIS EXACT SPOT, etc.  Then we glued the leaves down and set a phone books on top so they would dry flat.  In an incredible display of self-restraint, I didn’t once make Vincenzo repeat “f is for fffffone book.”

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You know me, though–we didn’t stop there.  After the fall art, we FLEW to Kevin’s FATHER’S FOR a FILIPINO wedding with FOUR FLOWERGIRLS FOLLOWED by FANCY FINGERFOOD and FIRST dances.  F is everywhere you look, and while I’m constantly aware of it I just don’t FEEL like pointing it all out to Vincenzo and planning activities around it.  So while I have further solidified my own understanding of the letter F, Vincenzo has spent all week pretending to be an unhatched egg under a blanket.  He played with his new elephant stuffed animal.  We watchd eggs hatch on YouTube.  (As a side note, when the mother robin carried off part of the shell, Vincenzo guessed that she was taking it somewhere to do a project.) 

In summary, F is for leaves and F is for eggs and F is possibly for fone books and I guess that means F is for FAIL.  Anyway, do what I did for your child.  Book a flight, eat some fancy fingerfood, turn on a football game, and have an effing week.

WHAT’S COOKIN’ 2NITE:b
Still at the hands of MIL