So you say to yourself, "Self, why does Kevin write about and post recipe links for food that his wife made? It seems most people who post recipes on their blogs are posting the recipes of things THEY'VE personally cooked." Well, I'm glad you asked. I actually do it for two reasons. First, I do it as a shout-out to show my appreciation for my LW and the time and effort she puts into finding and planning nutritious yet good tasting stuff for us to eat. Second, I do it as sort of a catalog of things I can ask LW to make again in the future.
We have found that planning ahead is the key to being able to stay in for dinner instead of going out to eat every night. If LW hasn't planned what we're going to have in advance, then by the time 4:30 or 5 p.m. roll around and we start the "what do you want for dinner" discussion, then it's really too late to take chicken out of the freezer to thaw, or go to the store to pick up the ingredients, etc. So LW makes a concerted effort to sit down and plan out several meals for the week before she goes to the grocery store, and she frequently hits me with the, "What do you want for dinner this week?" question. Now, given the indecisiveness I feel and the lack of response she gets from me when she asks me what I want for dinner TONIGHT, you can probably imagine how much worse of a blank-stare response she gets from me when she asks what I want to eat for dinner this WEEK.
I do much better when I can choose from selections put in front of me. So if I keep track of what LW has made that I've liked, then next time she asks me what I want to eat this WEEK, then I can look at my list of favorites and pick out some suggestions for her instead of giving her the blank-stare response (or worse - the "Not now dear, I'm playing Lego Star Wars" response).
Now, when I say LW "plans" the meals for the week, I don't mean that she plans we're going to have THIS on Monday and THAT on Tuesday and THOSE on Wednesday. I actually think it's worked out really well the way she has been doing it. She has several meals "planned" for the week that she has purchased all the ingredients for at the commissary. Then, getting back to how it's easier for me to choose from selections put in front of me, on any given day of the week LW will say to me, "Would you rather have X, Y, or Z for dinner tonight?" where X, Y, and Z are meals that she has planned for the week and the ingredients readily available in the kitchen. The results have been that we eat out a lot less and save a good amount of money in the process.
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Restaurant Review: Zia's in Kaneohe
Sunday after church, we were starving, so we wanted to go someplace close. Up until now, we have not been very impressed by the selection of places to eat on the Windward side of the island, with the exception of Haleiwa Joe's in Kaneohe. Haleiwa Joe's Sunday Brunch is AWESOME, but it's also expen$ive, so we tend to go there when we have visitors or for special occasions. We didn't want to spend that much this morning, so we started driving down the street just looking for whatever popped up in front of us.
We found a place called Zia's on Kam Hwy in Kaneohe. If you take H-3 to Exit 11 and turn left onto Kam Highway, it's probably about two miles down on the left hand side, before you get to the traffic light intersection with Burger King and the Toyota dealership. You can't miss it because it's ORANGE and really stands-out. It's a fairly small place with about a dozen tables. It turns out this is their second restaurant, and there's another Zia's in Kailua.
The atmosphere was really cozy and nice. The service was very prompt, professional, and courteous (significantly above average service for Hawaii). They had really good salads and sandwiches, but it's really sort of an Italian place. I had a hard time deciding what to have, because so much of what was on the menu sounded delicious.
They had something I had never heard of before called a plantation iced tea. I found there is a recipe available online here, but the waiter at Zia's told me a couple of extra little sumthin-sumthin's they put in their recipe. I could tell you the ingredients if you want, but it might be more fun for you to try one and guess the ingredients and then ask your waiter. I thought it was pretty good.
LW commented to ES that Zia's might be her new favorite restaurant. I definitely look forward to going back.
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Another Run with Chicken in Aluminum Foil on the Barbecue Grill
I've been surprised by how many people have come to my blog after doing a Google search for some combination of "barbecue," "chicken," and "aluminum foil." Since I've had multiple hits from that flavor of Google search, I thought I'd share that we did another barbecue chicken in a foil packet. LW prepared these teriyaki chicken packets with a chicken breast, some pineapple, onions, and peppers along with some teriyaki sauce. All I had to do was throw them on the barbecue grill for 20 minutes. LW tells me she got the recipe here. It turned out really nice - the chicken was very tender, moist, and not charred black (the usual result of my cooking chicken on the barbecue grill without aluminum foil).