Friday, May 7, 2010

recipe month - scalloped sweet potatoes w/thyme + tofu steaks + broccoli

Post A.K.A. "Cooking Dinner with a Toddler & a 7-Month Old" or "Chaos in the Kitchen...& Everywhere Else"

So Michael found this decadent sounding recipe in Real Simple the other week, "Scalloped Sweet Potatoes with Thyme". It sounded really easy; in fact, the recipe said "hands on time: 10 minutes" right up top. I couldn't wait to try it. I decided to round out the menu with tofu steaks, steamed broccoli & cookies. Pretty simple, right? It would be if there weren't two beautiful little munchkins crying vying for my attention. I started out when, miraculously, both girls were napping. Here's how the story went...actual cooking instructions in regular font, other notes in italics.

Step 1: Gather Ingredients...
Scalloped Potatoes:
2 medium sweet potatoes (1 lb), peeled
2 medium russet potatoes (1 lb), peeled
2 cloves garlic, crushed I use minced from the jar
2 t. fresh thyme leaves
Kosher salt & black pepper
2 1/2 cups heavy cream
butter, for the foil

Tofu Steaks:
1 package extra firm tofu, drained & pressed
2 T. sesame oil
Kosher salt & garlic pepper

Step 2: Preheat oven to 350 degrees, peel potatoes, put food processor in the living room so when you slice potatoes you don't wake the baby (use UGA mascot to guard food processor from cats), slice potatoes, arrange in 1 1/2 quart baking dish. Clear sharp objects from the area but leave processor there. It matches the decor & you can clean it up later anyhow.

Step 3: Notice toddler waking up by hearing very loud banging. Look at monitor & see her, still laying in bed, kicking the wall beside & saying, "Wow! Loud!" Hurry to stick cheater cookies in the oven to avoid temper tantrum of toddler actually seeing cookies. Get toddler out of bed, deal with poo, throw in a load of laundry while you're down there.

Step 4: Situate toddler in living room with a snack & a few iPhone toddler apps & take cookies out of the oven secretly. Eat one without sharing. Don't feel guilty one bit. Maybe even eat two. Increase oven to 400 degrees.

Step 5: Add garlic, thyme, salt & pepper to baking dish & toss. Add cream & press gently to cover potatoes. Cover the dish with buttered foil & bake for 20 minutes. Hear baby starting to stir. Send in toddler to distract while you open the tofu, drain & press it.
Step 6: Nurse baby, stick her in the high chair. Slice tofu into triangles & down the middle. Salt & pepper to taste. Feed pureed carrots to baby. Notice how adorable she is. Invite toddler in to "help". Remove foil & bake for 25-30 additional minutes or until the potatoes are tender & the top is golden brown. Rinse & cut broccoli. Place in steamer.
Step 7 Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Cook tofu for 8 minutes on each side. Turn on steamer for broccoli during last 8 minutes. Send toddler to feed cats while dealing with hot oil. Also distract toddler with turkey baster fingers. Bribe baby with Puffs (aka baby crack). Serve dinner.
Step 8: Take a breathe, say the blessing & eat up! Also, maybe have a glass of wine, you deserve it. Yummy!


Sarah said...

"Eat one without sharing. Don't feel guilty one bit." So true. And I would also be amused by turkey baster fingers--clever invention.

Brandi said...

Sounds like a delicious meal, I've been looking for some different vegetarian meals. I will definitely have to give this a try! Thanks for sharing and Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest!