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Making Time for the Kitchen

by Meghann on January 14, 2010

Has this week been dragging for anyone else? Thank God tomorrow is Friday! πŸ™‚

Work was just as tedious this afternoon as it was this morning, but luckily I was able to keep my head from making contact with the keyboard.

Another double shot of tea and nibbling on my container of dried fruit all afternoon did the trick.

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The idea for tonight’s dinner actually popped in my head Monday and I have been patiently waiting for a night to put the idea to the test.

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Monday night I was exhausted, Tuesday night I had my massage, and last night I drove to the other side of Orlando to pick Maddie up.

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Finally tonight it was nice to come home with no plans and have the time and energy to experiment in the kitchen. I love experimenting in the kitchen. Some people unwind in front of the tv, I unwind in front of the stove top.

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Unfortunately my recipe for Lentil and Rice Stuffed Cabbage wasn’t exactly what I was hoping for.

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I still believe the idea was a good one, but the execution wasn’t quite right.

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I’ll spare you the recipe, but I basically stuffed cabbage leave with a pre-cooked mix of lentils, tomato sauce, rice, onions, mushrooms, and spice then baked it at 350 for 15 minutes.

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It was missing something. More spice? More sauce? Softer cabbage? hmm… something to consider for next time.

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On the side I had some roasted rutabaga nuggets.

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Dessert was peppermint ice cream with a crumbled joe-joe on top.

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Nom Nom Nom Nom

Can you spot the latest addition to my wall of racing paraphernalia?

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I’ll give you a hint.

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That’s right I finally got around to framing my bib and medal from the Disney Marathon.

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I love how the frames make my marathon accomplishments stand out among my other achievements.

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(Yes, I know the disney frame is tad crooked, but after 20 minutes of frustration I decided a little crooked was just fine. πŸ˜‰ )

I’m a nerd and proud of it!

The faster I get to bed, the faster the weekend will be here! Yipee!!!

1 Melissa S. January 14, 2010 at 9:37 pm

i’m def betting you needed more sauce…i’ve tried stuffed cabbage before and sauce is the biggest thing you need!

love the frame! i should organize my race bibs/medals like that…yikes.

2 Jessica @ The Process of Healing January 14, 2010 at 9:44 pm

It has completely felt like Friday to me all day, this has been THE longest week ever!!!

And I also like to unwind in the kitchen. You are so creative!!!!

3 Carrie @ I See Monsters January 14, 2010 at 9:45 pm

You definitely need a sauce (tomato-based, maybe?) to pour over the rolls so the cabbage doesn’t get dried out. If you roll them and put them in the dish seam side down, you can avoid the toothpicks as well.

Otherwise, they sound yummy! I love kitchen experimenting as well. Me, a stove and my iPod spinning some tunes is my idea of a good time. πŸ˜‰

4 Evan Thomas January 14, 2010 at 9:46 pm

That sounds like it would be soooo good with taco seasoning!

5 Stacey January 14, 2010 at 9:52 pm

I’ve only had my grandma’s stuffed cabbage, but I know she cooks (steams? boils? not sure!) the cabbage leaves before she stuff them. And then when they go in the oven there’s sauce poured over the stuffed cabbages too so it all melds and get kind of mushy.

6 jenn January 14, 2010 at 10:08 pm

boil the cabbage leaves for a few minutes (not sure exact time). thats what my mom does and its always delicious.

7 Amanda (Two Boos Who Eat) January 14, 2010 at 10:09 pm

Love that you have a dedicated running/accomplishment wall!

8 Jayce January 14, 2010 at 10:25 pm

Cook the cabbage a little, make the rolls, then cover with sauce before baking – yum! Maybe a little sauce if you want the inside to be a lil different. Love the wall!

9 Heather @ The Single Dish January 14, 2010 at 10:25 pm

Such a good idea to frame your marathon stuff! I love it! I agree, this week is dragging. Do you have Monday off from work? I do, 3-day weekend-woo hoo!

10 Jordana January 14, 2010 at 10:31 pm

Just a tip for the next time you make stuffed cabbage. You should boil the leaves in water, before you stuff then, until they become just soft or are “al dente”. Also, when you bake them, it may help to pour a little tomato sauce on the top so they don’t dry out:)

11 weightwatchersforone January 14, 2010 at 10:38 pm

Tea on an empty stomach makes me SO sick! I love the creative ideas you come up with even if they don’t all work out perfectly.

12 Erin January 14, 2010 at 10:39 pm

That looks delicious — sorry it didn’t turn out as good as you hoped. I love lettuce wraps at Asian restaurants but have never tried to make it at home. A good idea!

13 Jenna January 14, 2010 at 11:26 pm

Stuffed cabbage looks great-sorry to hear it was okay!
Love the marathon wall:)
Jenna

14 Britt January 15, 2010 at 12:10 am

great way to display the medal & bib! I should really do something nicer with my stuff. although I learned the other day about a couple called mile 22 that makes bags out of marathon bibs, course maps, etc. I think I might need to do that.

15 Becca January 15, 2010 at 12:10 am

I agree that the week has been dragging! I’m so glad it’s Friday tomorrow and I’m so thankful this is my WEEKEND OFF!! I think the frame is a great touch to showcase your medals! Looks nice!

16 Kara (@ Kara's Marathon) January 15, 2010 at 12:11 am

Awesome race wall! πŸ˜€ I need to do something with my half-marathon medals…

17 Annamarina January 15, 2010 at 12:20 am

I love the way you framed your medal and bib! I’m going to have to look for a similar frame so I can do the same thing!

18 busylittlelexi January 15, 2010 at 12:20 am

That does look yummy. I think if you steamed the leaves it would help a lot. They are still strong enough to hold the filling with a little steaming.
Hope that helps. Have a good evening. I love the race wall. I have a long way to go!

19 jenngirl January 15, 2010 at 12:37 am

I’ve never tried stuffed cabbage, but maybe steaming it a bit would give a bit more flavor? Might smell though…

Your race wall looks awesome! What great motivation! πŸ™‚

20 cookinfanatic January 15, 2010 at 12:47 am

Stuffed cabbage has to be cooked in liquid, no doubt about it (I’m Polish, this stuff is in my blood haha)… try that next time! πŸ™‚

21 Lauren @ Reading and Running January 15, 2010 at 12:51 am

What an amazing race shrine. Hopefully someday I’ll have my own!

I’m not a huge cabbage fan but maybe just fresh crunchy cabbage would’ve helped. I always enjoy lettuce wraps with the crunch of the lettuce. Yum!

22 Stepfanie January 15, 2010 at 12:58 am

Meghann,
Next time, try blanching the cabbage leaves, then rolling them and braising them in tomato sauce. The acid in the tomato sauce helps soften the cabbage.

23 Heather @ The Joyful Kitchen January 15, 2010 at 1:20 am

dinner sounds good, hopefully you find out the missing part and post the recipe! it still looks gorgeous though!

24 Sonja @ ActiveFoodie January 15, 2010 at 2:20 am

I love stuffed cabbage, something I ate all the time growing up. Maybe next time instead of baking it try cooking it in a deep skillet with some broth? Either chicken broth, vegetable broth, or tomato juice? Just a thought! By the way, I LOVE your wall of bibs! Makes me wish I would have kept mine, darn!!

25 Jessica January 15, 2010 at 3:27 am

These remind me of something my Polish Grandma made when I was younger. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Go??bki)

You definitely need more sauce, but I think everyone has said that. πŸ™‚ Place some sauce in the bottom of the pan, so the cabbage doesn’t stick. Also, if you use less filling per leaf, you can roll them a little more tightly (and place seam down) so that when they cook, they’ll stick together a little better.

I love how creative you are with your dishes!!

Congratulations on completing your second full marathon!!!

26 burpexcuzme January 15, 2010 at 3:37 am

HEy Meghann!
I think you chose the wrong cabbage for this..go for the NAPA cabbage. Trust me. Wrap it in the napa cabbage, and then STEAM it. My mom does this with pork filling, and it’s freaking delicious. πŸ™‚

27 Ally January 15, 2010 at 3:57 am

I make a very similar dish to the one above – I think the secret is it has to be cold! I make cabbage (or lettuce) wraps with cold fillings, like chopped carrot, cucumber, and tuna or minced beef. They’re very fresh and tasty.

28 foodfitnessandfreya January 15, 2010 at 5:30 am

What on earth is rutabaga?
I agree with some other people, maybe steaming would work? It definetly looks like it’s going to be a good idea πŸ™‚

29 Gwen January 15, 2010 at 6:45 am

Hi, Your dinner looked good, You have to boil the cabbage leaves first then stuff them and bake, then it would have come out the way you wanted it to, try it the next time. Boil the leaves for about 5 to 6 minutes rinse in cold water and then stuff and bake. Good luck !!!

30 madisonruns January 15, 2010 at 8:06 am

Love your kitchen “experiments”. I’m too much of a wimp to try anything out of the blue!

Racing wall looks great, by the way!

31 Heather January 15, 2010 at 8:06 am

I love love love your race wall!! Look how accomplished you are! πŸ™‚ I can’t wait to get a race wall going myself πŸ™‚

32 Jamie January 15, 2010 at 8:25 am

Your wall looks so cool! What a great way to remind yourself of all your accomplishments πŸ™‚

33 Christy January 15, 2010 at 8:28 am

Nice race wall! How cool is it to be able to look at all those accomplishments all the time!?!

34 Shannon January 15, 2010 at 8:38 am

I’ve taken notes on what everyone said because I really like the idea of stuffed cabbage leaves.

That is quite a wall of accomplishments!

35 Ada January 15, 2010 at 8:40 am

That sounds like such a great recipe idea. Perhaps you have to boil the cabbage leaves to make them softer?

36 Amy January 15, 2010 at 9:01 am

I agree with you that this week has really been a slow one…. hope your Friday is a nice and quick work day for you!

PS: LOVE the “race shrine” — it must really warm your heart and inspire you to look at it and remember all you’ve all ready accomplished πŸ™‚

37 RED January 15, 2010 at 9:33 am

I learned from a Williams Sonoma cookbook to put the entire head of cabbage in the freezer overnight, then let thaw to room temperature, cut out the core of the cabbage and peel the leaves off. The leaves are flexible and won’t tear! The easiest way to do it!

38 megan January 15, 2010 at 9:46 am

we make stuffed cabbage all the time, but we boil the cabbage first, then stuff it, then put it back on the stove with a mixture of water and sauerkraut to finish heating/cooking. It’s so good (if you like sauerkraut) Actually I don’t even really like sauerkraut, and I throw mine away, but it gives an amazing flavor to the filling.

39 fitandfortysomething January 15, 2010 at 9:52 am

I love all of your food concoctions Meghann! Infact I try to copy them quite a bit,

40 Anna January 15, 2010 at 9:53 am

That’s a great wall of fame!! Very inspiring!

41 Cait (Cait's Plate) January 15, 2010 at 9:59 am

YES! This week has been ROUGH. I’ve never had such a hard time getting out of bed in my life!!

Your framed metals and numbers and running exploits are SO inspirational! You must feel so proud of yourself!

42 Casey January 15, 2010 at 10:01 am

Yep….my week has totally dragged. Your dinner idea sounded like a good one!

Have a great weekend Meghann :).

43 Laura Georgina January 15, 2010 at 10:14 am

Looks like a yummy dinner (I was eyeing the rutabaga with particular love)…. For the rolls, maybe steam or boil the cabbage leaves to make them a bit softer? They still look great and I’m going to have to try something like that soon.

44 allisonisactive January 15, 2010 at 10:21 am

Love the race wall! I frame the medals and race numbers from Disney always, along with pictures and course maps. I need to get a bulletin board like your for memorabilia from “other” races! I should get a picture of my race wall up on my blog.

45 jeri January 15, 2010 at 11:04 am

“Finally” got around to it. Girl you just ran it 5 days ago!! :p

46 Sara January 15, 2010 at 12:19 pm

I love stuffed cabbage, boiling the leaves makes them roll easier. It still looks delicious! I’ve never had rutabaga before… what does it taste like!?

The wall looks like it would be great motivation to keep going.

47 Ali January 15, 2010 at 1:54 pm

That dinner looks amazing! Love your new edition! that looks awesome int he frame!

48 Danielle January 17, 2010 at 7:02 pm

I made a similar concoction for veggie stuffed cabbage and it wasn’t all that great. I wonder if it just needs the meat in it?

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