Thursday, February 24, 2011

Broken noodle risotto.

I love this dish. It's creamy, cheesy and crammed full of carbs. Don't get me started on how many calories or what would Dr Atkins say....this is comfort food. This erases the fact you changed your shirt twice after your newborn puked on you and refused to change it a third time because you are the one doing laundry and the Red Wings are playing so the hubs doesn't even realize you are in the room.
 I don't really measure a whole lot it's more of how much I like something or what I think works.
     Saute an onion in EVOO and a little butter. (Zip it, people. Comfort food remember.)
        Grab your block of parm and grate until your arm hurts. Roughly a cup. If you buy the pre-grated consider trying a block and grating it yourself. You will be surprised at the difference.

 Here's the whole "broken noodle" part of the "broken noodle risotto".  Take your spaghetti or fettucini and well....break it!  I break mine in thirds. Toss is all in with the onions and stir to coat.

To go along with the pasta, I made porkchops coated with cornflakes and parm. Super simple but surprisingly delish!

Andy picked up these boneless, center cut pork loin chops for me. I prefer bone in chops but these did not disappoint. I seasoned with salt and pepper and dipped them in an egg wash. I seasoned the egg wash with dried oregano, salt and pepper and garlic. Take a swim porkie!

I threw the cornflakes and parm in a bag and smashed them with my rolling pin. In goes the chops and shake, shake, shake!
 Into a pan with some oil to sear them up. Oh, the smell. The nuttiness of the parm really comes through as the pan does it's thing.
After your have coated your noodles with the goodness of the butter and evoo with the onions add your chicken stock that you have been heating in another pan.
                                         .                                 Stir, stir and more stirring. Turn your heat to medium and stir. When the stock is no longer visible in the bottom of the pan add some more. Continue stirring....the whole glorious process takes about 20 minutes.  
Finish searing the chops and toss them in the oven at 425 for about 10 minutes.

Here's the good part, people. ADD THE CHEESE, a splash of milk and any fresh herbs here. I added a bunch of black pepper too.

Stir. Sample. Sample again just to be sure. Just one more sample.....oops the kids are coming. Wipe your chin.

This is what ended up on our plates. A little veg, a little grilled bread. Not bad. Not bad at all. 

Monday, February 21, 2011

Why "Albright Acres"? Here's why.....

 We have animals. The farm type. The egg-layin', loud, poo producing kind that people pay money to let their kids pet. Yep, right in our yard! It started with my DH wanting a goat. "OK, babe". These are the things we wives say when our husbands say they want things like Harleys and goats. These are not things we expect to open our eyes to and in my case have to feed.

 These are our ladies. Hens. Chickens. In our yard. I did mention that right?! They have a coop with a heat lamp, water, a massage therapist....wait maybe not the last one but I swear I hear Kenny G playing. They give us enormous eggs everyday and eat our scraps. We are making lifestyle changes to be more "green"/ farmer-ish. We gather our scraps and at the end of the day we either throw them out the boys window (classy and so not white trash, I know) or we actually boot up and sprinkle them on the lawn for the animals. It actually is super fun. The boys love it. I want my boys to love it. I love that my kids will know where eggs come from and how to clip the frog on a goat's hoof. (These are important life lessons people.) I am thankful that we get an up close and personal lesson on caring for these creatures.

This is one of our two ducks, Faith or Hope. Hate to tell you chica, but you can sit in the chicken box all day and ain't nothin' gonna happen. Except some dirty looks from Big Bertha. (The white chicken above...she is mammoth!). The ducks have a blue kiddy pool that they swim around in and DH dug a hole and put in a pond with a bubbler/filter and they splash and frolic. He wouldn't buy me a kiddy pool to sit in when I was pregnant with his twin boys but he reads an article saying they love pools and well looky here peeps a new kiddy pool!! Whatever!!

 I think this is 2 days worth of eggs. We give a lot of eggs away. Thankfully  the boys eat 4 or 5 eggs a day (when I am feeling motherly and don't throw a pop-tart at them). It is so funny when people open the cartons and see different color eggs. NO, we don't dye them. They plop out just like that.

My hubs works out in the "yard" daily. He built the most amazing goat shed that looks like it was original to the house. He sided it to match the house. It also has heat and electricity for the goats Macey and Marge. Goats are cool. Goats butt you in the legs and nibble your good jeans that you were too lazy to take off even after your  Hubs reminds you that goats nibble.


 This is Macey.

This is Marge.
I casually mentioned to my DH that wouldn't it be great to have a bunny? Really? Why, Kate? Have you learned nothing? This is what happens in my house when any animal is mentioned. We are now the proud parents of Blue and Bella. Funny story. I love the name Bella and would have loved to have named a daughter Bella. Andy said no. I love the name Blue and would have loved to have named a daughter's middle name Blue. Andy said no. I see how I rate!!

Bunny, eat the carrot. Please eat the carrot. All our lives can move forward if you just give it a little nibble.  Make a little boys day and ....oh never mind. The boys were determined to feed the bunnies the carrots and the bunnies were determined to get away from the boys feeding them the carrots. At least they didn't poop on my kitchen floor...bunnies either!!;)
Can't be a farmer if you don't have cats. We have 2 incredibly cool cats Burt and Frankie. Are you seeing a naming theme? We like people names for our animals and since they have no say we name them whatever people name happens to come to mind. I am a dog person, always have been. I've never considered getting a cat. I have enough going on without having to scoop poo on purpose in my house. Well, these cats poo outside so...bonus!

This is the inside of the goat shed with waterproof walls so it can be hosed out. I am proud of all that DH has done out there. PETA would be proud of what DH has done out there.

It's a nice little slice of pie here. MMmmm....pie. Anyways, it's fun and educational and can't wait to see what other creature makes it's way to the farm.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Kitchen experiment...

I made brown sugar, cheddar and bacon waffles for the boys this morning.

These were delish. I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised!

I think about food all the time. All. The. Time.
I read cookbooks front to back and make notes in them like an English teacher during final exams. I have a binder stuffed with recipes I've shamelessly ripped out of magazines and various other publishings with the far away promise of trying it.
I admit also without shame, that I sketch tables with proper platter arrangements and assignments and keep every party planning packet. Yes, this qualifies me as a dork. I am not ashamed. You may be ashamed to stand beside me and call me a friend know that you know this.  This year I am going to try new recipes, take cooking classes and have more than one kind of fish sauce for chinese dishes. I have decided to make the recipes I have been collecting and snap a photo and add notes.  I will then take these recipes and make a book. A go-to place where yumminess can be found and dorkiness is Queen.

Back to work.




This is my favorite picture of them so will be enlarged and put on our wall.
Well, I can't believe it's been 6 whole, wonderful weeks since my sweet daughter was born. Andy has not shaved since and today he had to go back to work. Last night he had to shave off his thick, reddish grey beard. We took pictures before he did with the kids.