Friday, September 05, 2008

My Attempt to be More Home/Wife-y

I love to clean. Drek pointed out that I love to clean on a deep level, as in, sterilize. I could scrub, wash, steam and soak all day. Keeping things tidy is more of a chore.

I spent Wednesday cleaning a lady in my ward's house. She had a C-section 3 weeks ago and is having trouble. I then went to my Mom's house and cleaned that. Drek got slightly upset, and took revenge by cleaning our house. Our house is now tidy!!! It looks amazing!!! Best. Husband. Ever.

Alas, I needed to get revenge, so I rented a carpet cleaner and cleaned our carpets, Our house in now "clean". Oh, our carpets are so beautiful! They should be framed and put in a museum.

Usually, I love to cook. I take that back, I love to create. Cooking is no fun if I am not creating. In the past cooking dinner has been a struggle. The problem is that I work all day, come home, ask Drek what he wants for dinner ("I don't know. Whatever you want.") And then rummage around in our cupboards looking for inspiration. I look for something fast, but healthy. My blood sugar is low, so I am grumpy, and thus dinner is usually cereal or eggs.

I have solved this problem!! I searched the Internet for recipes I wanted to try, then laid out a two-week plan of who will cook dinners (I cook Monday, Tuesday Wednesday and Saturday, Drek cooks Thursday and Friday, the days I work late) and went shopping for all the ingredients. I only bought food needed for the two weeks, thus saving money, and was so excited to create!!

The result has been fantastic. I am much happier when I come home, I can't wait to cook dinner, we are eating healthy, and the food is AMAZING!!!!! I have a new favorite dish, and even Drek says he has a new favorite!! We also discovered that while we both love to say Gazpacho, it is no fun to eat as a soup. As salsa, it's great. As soup, it's disgusting.

I'm about to plan the next two weeks of dinners. Let the creative juices start flowing!!

My favorite recipe:Fresh Mozzarella Penne Pasta! Note: The does not serve four. It serves like fourteen. If making this, follow amounts on everything but the pasta. Only use half a bag (8 oz) of pasta.
fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into small cubes
3 medium tomatoes or 5 to 6 Roma tomatoes, peeled and diced
2 avocados, peeled, pitted and diced
3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 teaspoons crushed red pepper or to taste
1 (16-ounce) package uncooked penne pasta
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

In a large bowl, toss mozzarella cheese with tomatoes, avocados, garlic, olive oil, basil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and red pepper. Let stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and return to pan to keep warm. Add tomato mixture and toss to coat thoroughly. Transfer onto individual serving plates and garnish with Parmesan cheese.
Makes 4 servings.

Drek's favorite recipe: General Tao's Tofu! Note: This recipe is extremely delicious. I believe I can turn this into a tofu version of Panda Express's Orange Chicken. Details forthcoming. Also, grilled bell peppers are so tasty when added to the steamed broccoli
1 box of firm tofu
1 egg
3/4 cup cornstarch
vegetable oil for frying
3 chopped green onions
1 Tablespoon minced ginger
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
2/3 cup vegetable stock
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
4 Tablespoons sugar
red pepper to taste
1 Tablespoon sherry (optional)
1 Tablespoon white vinegar
steamed broccoli

Drain, dry and cut tofu into 1 inch chunks. You can freeze tofu the night before to get a more chicken-like consistency, but it isn't necessary. Mix the egg and add an additional 3 tablespoons water. Dip tofu in egg/water mixture and coat completely. Sprinkle 3/4 cup cornstarch over tofu and coat completely. Watch out that the cornstarch doesn't clump up at the bottom of the bowl.

Heat oil in pan and fry tofu pieces until golden. Drain oil.

Heat 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil in pan on medium heat. Add green onions, ginger and garlic, cook for about 2 minutes. Be careful not to burn garlic. Add vegetable stock, soy sauce, sugar, red pepper and vinegar. Mix 2 Tablespoons water with 1 Tablespoon cornstarch and pour into mixture stirring well. Add fried tofu and coat evenly.
Serve immediately with steamed broccoli over your choice of rice.
Serves: 4

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