Tuesday, January 1, 2008

|ringing in the new year|

Deciding what to eat on the first day of the year is pretty durn important...and as this first day of 2008 draws to a close, I'm pleased to report that it's been an excellent day, food-wise.

BREAKFAST - Took a piece of whole wheat toast and put sliced banana on top. Yum.

LUNCH - I was out and about, so I stopped at a coffeeshop and got a skim milk steamer with gingerbread syrup. Mmmm. Got home and ate some leftover creamed peas from yesterday. Don't know how to make creamed peas? Tragedy or tragedies. Don't worry, though, I'll put the recipe at the end of this post.

DINNER - This was the best part of the day so far. My husband got a Loge cast iron indoor grill with a panini press for Christmas (courtesy of me, of course). I got a new santoku knife, so I went to work chopping. Chopped up onions and caramelized them in just a teaspoon of roasted red pepper olive oil. Then I sauteed sliced mushrooms and leftover red and orange peppers from last night's crudite. Put it on bread with brie and grilled it up. Served with with a grilled artichoke (directions below) and tomato and basil soup (courtesy of Campbell's gold box deliciousness). The whole thing was AMAZING.

To make creamed peas....
1) Heat a can of peas. Meanwhile, in another skillet make gravy by taking about 2 tablespoons of flour and 1/2 cup of milk.
2) Stir your gravy pretty constantly. Once it starts to thicken, add a tad of butter plus some salt and pepper.
3) If your gravy is looking thick, add some more milk or some of the juice from the peas.
4) Drain the peas and fold them in. Yum.

To grill an artichoke:
1) Trim the prickly parts off the tops of the leaves. Cut off the top inch or two of the choke and trim the stem down if it's long. Cut the whole thing in half lengthwise.
2) Put in a microwave safe dish with a couple tablespoons of water. Microwave about five minutes.
3) Put the choke halves, open side down on the grill. You can brush them with olive oil or cooking spray first.
4) For an easy dipping sauce, just melt a little butter and add lemon juice and pepper.
5) Peel the leaves off one by one. Dip into the butter and then scrape the soft part off with your teeth. When you get to the furry looking part in the middle, don't quit! Use your spoon to get rid of the fur and then cut the heart into chunks. Dip in butter and rejoice mightily.