Monday, March 2, 2009

What's New

On my last post I noted that some exciting things have happened in the Coleman house. First, I finally gave in: we bought a Wii. We decided that we did not want games in our house for the obvious reasons. We want kids who are active and don't spend all of their time in front of a tv. However, when we were visiting my brother in law they had recently purchased a Wii and I was pretty impressed with how you were involved in most of the games you played. The boys were constantly complaining that they were the only kids on the planet to not have video games. That isn't what made me change my mind. It was the fact that they always want to be at others kids houses who have games. The problem was now I couldn't control what type of games were being played and how long they were played. So, the combination of active gaming and being able to control content has now brought a Wii into our house. For a few days I was the "best Mom in the galaxy", that was, of course, until they lost Wii privileges for fighting. But, if it works as leverage I am all for it. Maybe this week I will get some pictures of the kids playing it. I also got the Wii fit for me and am enjoying some variation to my normal routines...although the tight rope balancing is kicking my butt!

Kyle and I are to blame. Our kids didn't really have a fighting chance. So when Taylor came home last week with a letter from his school nurse stating that we should get his eyes checked we weren't surprised. I was surprised, however, that he never mentioned he couldn't see very far. Now Taylor has glasses. He wasn't too happy because he doesn't look cool. He didn't believe that he "looks smarter", but now I think he is just grateful that he can see.

McKay loves to play "tea potty". After my workout on day she was insistent on sitting down and playing "wight now". So, I enjoyed (in my mind) some nice French Vanilla herbal tea and some yummy cereal!

Last night we had some friends over for dinner and McKay wore herself out. Since we go to church from 1-4 she doesn't get a nap in and when evening comes around she is tired. During scriptures last night she crawled up on the arm of the couch and was out. Instantly. Wouldn't it be great to fall asleep anywhere like kids can? And be comfortable at that?

Here is the dinner menu from last night. Enjoy.

Sauteed Chicken Breasts with Mushroom Madeira Cream Sauce and Potato Gnocchi
Roasted Asparagus
Herbed Focaccia
Flourless Chocolate Torte

Sauteed Chicken Breasts with Mushroom Madeira Cream Sauce and Potato Gnocchi

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pound so each breast is even thickness, lightly salt and pepper each side
2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 c. shallots
1 package baby bella mushrooms, sliced
1/2 bottle good Madeira
1 c. heavy cream
1 package Gnocchi (unless you want to make it yourself, let me know and I will email you a great recipe), cooked according to directions and set aside with 1/2 c. cooking liquid
fleur de sel and fresh ground pepper

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Heat butter and oo in large saute pan over medium high heat. Add chicken, and reduce heat a little bit. Cook for about 4-6 minutes until golden. If the butter starts to get too dark, reduce heat a little more. Turn and cook another 4-6 minutes until golden. Remove chicken and put on sheet pan, cover with foil and put in preheated oven. Return heat to med. high and add shallots, cooking for about 1 minute. Increase heat to almost high and add mushrooms, sauteing for about 3-5 minutes until they start to caramelize. Remove shallot/mushroom mix and set aside. Add Madeira, scraping up bits, and reduce by half, about 8-10 minutes. After you have reduced the Madeira, pour through a sieve into another bowl, making sure to scrape out the pan. Return Madeira back to the pan with shallots and mushrooms, cooking for another 5 minutes on med. high heat. Reduce heat to medium and add cream. Salt and pepper to taste. Mix well, cooking for about 1-2 minutes. Add cooked gnocchi w/remaining cooking liquid and bring to a simmer. Allow to simmer until mixtures starts to slightly thicken.

Put gnocchi in center of plate, top with 6 spears of asparagus, then chicken, and then another spoonful of Madeira sauce.

Roasted Asparagus

1 pound asparagus
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Malden Sea Salt and fresh ground pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Put asparagus on a sheet pan lined with a silpat. Drizzle oo, mixing asparagus to coat. Salt and pepper. Roast for about 10-15 minutes depending on how thick the stalks are.

Herbed Focaccia

2 1/2 tsp. yeast
1/2 c. warm water
5 c. bread flour
2 tsp. fleur de sel
2 c. milk
3 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. minced fresh herbs (I used thyme and sage for this one)

Put yeast in with water (105-115 degrees) and allow to sit for about five minutes. Warm milk and oo for 2 minutes. Put flour, salt and herbs into bowl of kitchen aid. With dough hook on, put mixer on speed 2. Slowly add milk/oil mix and then yeast mix. Mix until dough is kneaded, about five minutes. Put dough into an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rise until double, about 1 hour.

Prepare jelly roll pan (I really like the Pampered Chef Stoneware for this recipe) with about 1 tbsp. oo, coating bottom and sides. Punch down dough and put in prepared pan, pressing with hands to fill pan. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for about 45 min. to 1 hour. About 3o minutes before done rising, preheat oven with rack in middle to 450 degrees. When focaccia is done rising use fingers to indent sporadically. Drizzle about 2 tbsp. olive oil and sprinkle fleur de sel over the top. Put in oven and cook for about 25-30 minutes.

Flourless Chocolate Torte

1 pound good quality bittersweet chocolate (For this I prefer Callebaut 60%)
2 sticks unsalted butter
8 eggs
1/4 c. coffee or liquor (if you strongly oppose, this step can be omitted)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees, rack in the middle. Coat sides and parchment covered bottom of 8 inch springfoam pan with butter,. Cover outside of pan with foil. Heat chocolate, butter, and coffee in double boiler until melted. While chocolate is melting, beat eggs with whisk attachment until doubled in volume on high speed, about 5 minutes. Fold in about 1/3 of eggs into chocolate until there aren't any visible eggs streaks. Repeat with 1/2 of remaining eggs. Repeat with remaining eggs. Put into prepared pan. Put pan in large roaster. Put in oven and the pour boiling water halfway up the sides of pan. Cook for about 18-20 minutes until edges are starting to set and there is a glazed look surface. Center should register 140 degrees with digital thermometer. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Before serving, remove from fridge 30 minutes prior. Remove sides, invert onto serving platter and remove bottom. Remove bottom and serve with powdered sugar on top, a fresh dollop of whip cream, and a sliced strawberry.


Man, I really need to start taking pictures of the dinners I cook! I will try to remember next time.

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