Monday, April 20, 2009

wherein we work our butts off but have a lot to show for it

i must be seriously nesting because i've been quite productive lately. for starters, we got knobs for the dresser, YAY FINALLY OMG IT'S ABOUT TIME. brian drove me up a wall with these stupid knobs as he hated every single option i presented him with. in the end we decided to get plain wooden ones and paint them ourselves:

i love them so much. i love them even more on the dresser, which we hauled upstairs into her room. thank heavens it was very light with the drawers removed because we are quite a pair right now, me pregnant and brian with his bad back (he re-injured it last week).

it's the hemnes dresser from ikea, only custom-made shorter for us. the ikea one would be fine for brian but is too tall for me to use as a changing table. these are the things you have to think about when your husband is twelve inches taller than you are.

i also made a delicious easy dinner and dessert sunday evening. i try to make something a little special at least once on the weekend because i have the extra time. i am always trying to come up with something interesting to do with chicken breasts as they are usually pretty inexpensive, easy to freeze for later, and easy to bake on a weeknight. this weekend i found an easy baked chicken recipe, and it was quite delicious with roasted potato wedges:

there really is a chicken breast under all those onions, i promise.

baked chicken with onions, garlic, and rosemary

chicken breasts or parts
salt and pepper to taste
1½ onions per breast half (or equivalent weight in parts), sliced into rings
6 cloves garlic per breast half, thinly sliced
olive oil
2 tsp. fresh minced rosemary or 2 T. crumbled dried rosemary per breast half

preheat oven to 400°. rinse chicken and pat dry; season liberally with salt and pepper. toss together onions, garlic, and rosemary with a few drizzles of olive oil. spread half the onions across the bottom of a shallow baking pan large enough to fit all the chicken pieces in one layer. arrange chicken pieces on top of the onions and then cover chicken with the remaining onions. bake 45-55 minutes or until chicken tests done.

roasted potato wedges

red potatoes
olive oil
kosher salt
chopped fresh garlic
ground cumin

preheat oven to 400°. scrub potatoes and slice into wedges. toss together with olive oil and spices to taste. arrange on a baking sheet and bake 20 minutes or until golden brown.

and then we had strawberry-rhubarb pie for dessert. !!! i love springtime and i love rhubarb and i love pie, so when i saw rhubarb at the store on friday i HAD to get some.

according to joy of cooking, the juices are supposed to bubble through the lattice like that. i had never made a lattice top before and now i know why: because i am just as lazy of a cook as i am a seamstress. it looks pretty but that was more work than i care to do. i like pie so much because it is easy and delicious, and lattice on top just is not so easy. or maybe i am missing something? i made extra crust dough to freeze, because it is always nice to have homemade pie dough on hand for quiche or when i get the hankering for pie, and pie crust is so easy. and brian actually liked this pie! he is not very big on fruit desserts (if it doesn't have chocolate, what's the point?) so this was huge to me.

basic pie crust (makes 2 crusts)

2½ c. flour
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
½ c. (½ stick) frozen shortening
½ c. (1 stick) cold butter
ice water

mix together dry ingredients. cut in shortening and butter with a pastry cutter, two knives, or short pulses in a food processor. continue cutting/pulsing while drizzling in a small amount of ice water, until dough just begins to stick together. gather into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill at least ½ hour before rolling out.

strawberry-rhubarb filling

2½ c. chopped rhubarb (pink or red stalks only)
2½ c. sliced strawberries
1 c. sugar
¼ c. cornstarch
¼ tsp. salt
2 T. butter

preheat oven to 450°. combine rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a large bowl until fruit is well coated; let stand 15 minutes. pour into prepared pie crust and dot with butter; cover and vent. bake 30 minutes, then turn oven down to 350°, place a cookie tray under pie dish, and bake another 25-30 minutes or until top is golden brown and thick juices bubble up through vents.

oh, and i did this all on what was quite possibly the hottest day of the year thus far. what was i thinking? that pie was worth it, but.


Jessika said...

I LOVE the dresser. And, your knobs are perfect and adorable!

Yes, easy as pie means that stuff is difficult, I'm convinced. Why? Because pie is NOT easy! Lattice tops get easier the more you do, but you still have to freakin roll out dough, which gets flour all over the place. Yours looks great!

Anonymous said...

The knobs are too cute! Great job. Also the food looks really good, love all the onions.

Sarah @ said...

In order of importance:

a) I read your other blog and you look great! 37 weeks suits you =) I'm very excited to hear about the birth of your little girl!

b) Strawberry rhubarb pie is my FAVORITE, and so now that I know your taste in pies, I have a newfound respect for you.

c) The dresser knobs are so darling! I love them! Well picked!

Kelly said...

all the food looks scrumptious. I LOVE the drawer pulls. adorable. I especially love that there's one with a little "H" on it!!