Sunday, August 30, 2015

Doctor Jones, I Presume + Grilled Lemon Yogurt Chicken, Honey Garlic Chicken & Veggies and Marinated Flank Steak Recipes

The beginning of the school year is in full swing and still very intense. I have been going to work an hour early and staying a few hours (or more) late every night. I am thankful that the kids have been able and great about stepping in and helping by making dinner a few times, though it was weird not to have an First Day of School photos to take this year.

Ethan and Ellie have made some wonderful dinners that were plentiful enough that I was able to take some to work the next day for lunch.

We've also been busy trying to get our home more organized. We've finally begun to fix some of the things that needed repair or replacement for a while. This includes our new faucet. It is pretty fun. Larr and I put the kids in charge of picking one and installing it.

We did the same thing with the new light in the room near the kitchen. Ellie reorganized the space and picked out a new desk. It makes the space feel significantly less crowded and I love the new location for the printer.
They also picked out a new lighting fixture that Ethan installed. It is very different from our traditional 1970's style ceiling fan that was there before. It was a good bit of work for Ethan to install. The previous owners of the house had done some creative wiring. Ethan got Uncle Doug on the phone and the two of them figured it all out. I like them a lot. They transform the space. I kind of feel like I am in the office of Indiana Jones (from the Indiana Jones movies). I feel like I should have a leather hat and whip at the ready. The kids thought that was strange. Whatever, I love how it reminds me of the Indiana Jones ride at Disney Land. As you wind through the line to get onto the ride, you walk through several scenarios, one of which is his office. I even hear the theme music in my head, just a little bit. The kids are pretty sure that is weird. But then again, they don't appreciate how Larr and I can come up with a few lines from a song for most the topics that bring up. That drives them a little crazy. Oh the fun we have around here.
We are going to get more retro style bulbs, and then it will be even more like I. Jones' office.

I've also spent some serious time reorganizing my art supplies cabinet. Here are the before and after photos. It looks worse in the photo than it felt to me when I stood there and picked out art supplies.

Ellie says that she is proud of me for getting rid of some stuff and making the items so much more accessible. It amazes me that I got rid of two whole, large trash bags of stuff from the cabinet, and it is still full. I am hopeful that this system will work well. Time will tell.
Larr was busy in the workshop integrating and organizing his tools. He incorporated the tools he received from his father into our tool collection. He also organized the tool cabinet that is not shown here.

Whew, that was a lot. Next, I need to clean out the built in closet in my art room. I decided to take a break and make some art before I make another mess. The mess that I made to organize that cabinet was a bit frustrating and stressful. The piles seemed to multiply like gremlins.
Here are some of the things we will have for dinner this week:
I made a lasagna. I also made some flavored rice. This will speed things up during the week.

Grilled Lemon Yogurt Chicken

1/2 cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 (5 pound) whole chicken, cut into 8

1/2 cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon Harissa
1 pinch salt

1. Whisk together the 1/2 cup yogurt, the juice from 1/2 lemon, lemon zest, olive oil, garlic, paprika, herbes de Provence, 1 teaspoon salt, and black pepper in a bowl. Pour into a resealable plastic bag. Add chicken, coat with the marinade, squeeze out excess air, and seal the bag. Marinate in refrigerator for at least 3 hours.

2. Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat, and lightly oil the grate.

3. Combine 1/2 cup yogurt, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and harissa in a small bowl. Set aside.

4. Remove chicken from bag and transfer to a plate or baking sheet lined with paper towels. Pat chicken pieces dry with more paper towels. Season with pinch of salt.

5. Grill chicken, skin-side down, on the preheated grill for 2 minutes. Turn each piece and move to indirect heat.

6. Grill, turning often, with lid down until well-browned and meat is no longer pink in the center, 30 to 35 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, near the bone should read 165 degrees F (74 degrees C).

7. Serve chicken with the yogurt Harissa mixture on the side.

*** Harissa is a North African chili paste. If you don't have it, you could make a paste with
1 t. sriracha or chili garlic sauce
1 clove of crushed garlic
1/2 t ground cumin
1/2 t. ground coriander
1/2 t. salt.

This makes a very moist and flavorful chicken. I marinated for about 6 hours and it was perfect.

Honey Garlic Chicken and Veggies
(Crock Pot Recipe)
via: Damn Delicious

8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
16 ounces baby red potatoes, halved
16 ounces baby carrots
16 ounces green beans, trimmed
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
1/2 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup ketchup
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

In a large bowl, combine soy sauce, honey, ketchup, garlic, basil, oregano, red pepper flakes and pepper.
Place chicken thighs, potatoes, carrots, green beans and soy sauce mixture into a 6-qt slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat for 7-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours, basting every hour.
OPTIONAL: Preheat oven to broil. Place chicken thighs onto a baking sheet, skin side up, and broil until crisp, about 3-4 minutes.
Serve chicken immediately with potatoes, carrots and green beans, garnished with parsley, if desired.

Marinated Flank Steak
via: Pioneer Woman

1/2 cup Soy Sauce
1/2 cup Cooking Sherry
3 Tablespoons Honey
2 Tablespoons Sesame Oil
2 Tablespoons (heaping) Minced Ginger
3 cloves (to 5 Cloves) Minced Garlic
1/2 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
1 whole Flank Steak

Combine all ingredients in a glass or ceramic dish.

Remove flank steak from package and give it a quick rinse. Coat both sides of the meat with marinade. Refrigerate for at least 3 to 6 hours.

Remove the steak from the marinade and place on a plate while you heat up the grill pan. Make sure to turn on your overhead exhaust fan as the cooking process can be quite smoky.

When the pan is extremely hot, place the steak on a slight angle as this makes for more appealing grill marks. Cook without touching for about 1 ½ to 2 minutes. Rotate the meat about 45 degrees, keeping it on the same side, and cook for another 1 ½ minutes.

Now flip it to the other side. Cook using the same method on the other side, cooking for 1 1/2 minutes, then rotating it and finishing the cooking process. I cook the flank streak to medium rare, which usually takes about 5 to 7 minutes total cooking time. Remove the meat to a cutting board and let it rest for a few minutes before slicing.

When you’re ready, thinly slice the meat against the grain. That means find the directional striations/lines in the meat grain and slice perpendicular to it.

Controversial Optional Sauce: Before grilling the flank steak, strain the marinade into a small saucepan. Discard what stays in the sieve. Add ½ cup of water to the marinade. Boil the marinade while heating the grill for the meat AND add an additional 10 minutes. The point of boiling, obviously, is to take away any risk of bacteria from the marinade. Also, by boiling for ten to fifteen minutes, the sauce will reduce and slightly thicken. Then just spoon a little into a dish and use it as a dipping sauce for the meat.

(I think we will serve this for our family dinner.)

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