I once had a friend who was a really good dancer who used to tell me when she would lay awake at night and choreograph dance moves in her head. I do that with menu planning. I love to daydream about Sunday dinner each week. Once I finally work out the menu, I plan out the logistics in my head (timing, presentation, blah blah) and then I imagine how delicious it will taste.
It's a little embarrassing to admit how much I love to think about food, but then I guess it shouldn't really come as any big surprise to anyone.
I really wanted to make something new for this week's Sunday dinner, but I just couldn't come up with anything. Jayne was talking about making Lemon Fusilli Pasta and even though I wanted to find a new recipe, I couldn't find anything that sounded better to me than this, so I finally caved and started with this delicious pasta dish. Out of the same cookbook, Barefoot at Home, I found a recipe for Orange-Honey Glazed Carrots. In addition to the orange and honey, Ina uses ginger to balance the sweetness with a little spice. It was very good. I will definitely be making this again. I am obsessed with homemade rolls right now. I want them every Sunday. Here's a shout out to Ashley for teaching me how to roll them up crescent-style.
I should really be calling this Lemon Rotini Pasta, as I can't find Fusilli in the place where I live. I also had to substitute spinach for arugula for the same reason. I dream of living in a place where I can access a good butcher, specialty pastas, and ingredients like arugula and lime kaffir leaves. Sorry for the digression- back to the pasta: I also add grilled lemon chicken to this recipe. It's a real find:
For the Grilled Lemon Chicken, I marinate 4 chicken breasts in equal parts lemon juice and olive oil (1/2 cup to 3/4 cup of each), 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, 1 tsp dried thyme. Marinade at least 2 days- 3 days is better. This chicken is amazing! We just grill it on the George Foreman.
Orange-Honey Glazed Carrots
2 lbs carrots, peeled
2 Tbs butter
2 Tbs honey
1 tsp minced fresh ginger
1 tsp grated orange zest
1/2 c freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Cut the carrots diagonally in 1-inch-thick slices. You should have about 5 cups of carrots. Place 1/2 cup water, the butter, honey, 2 tsp salt, and the ginger in a large saute pan and bring to a boil. Add the carrots, cover, and simmer over medium-low heat for 5 minutes. Remove the lid and continue to cook for 10-15 minutes, until all the water has evaporated.
Add the orange zest and orange juice to the pan, tossing with the carrots. Simmer uncovered for about 5 minutes, until the carrots are al dente (tender but still resistant when you bite) and the sauce glazes the carrots. Add the pepper and another tsp of salt, to taste. (I left this last step out actually.)
Unfortunately Jessica's gingersnaps could not be photographed on account of their being scarfed down too quickly by Bobby and I due to their sheer awesomeness.