Saturday, January 28, 2012

October Baby - and Greek

I feel like this should be 2 separate posts, BUT, at the same time, I feel silly posting one thing immediately following another, within seconds of each other.

First thing, and most importantly, I heard about this movie today which is coming out to some theaters on March 23 - called October Baby. The issue of abortion and the right to life of innocent babies, is something so dear to my heart. I think for a lot of moms it is, because we know how precious and perfect each little life that God blesses us with is. We see their differences, their faith, their personalities, we hope for their future and their lives and their faith. We are their caretakers, and we know how precious each one is. We feel them and know them before they are born. We know and feel it deep in our souls that from the very moment this child was conceived, that it was a child. A life. A child of God.

And so, I would ask you, that if this movie is in a theater near you, that you make a way to see it. Lets support this film and its message!

And now, onto my second "post" - I have been starving. I don't feel sick anymore, but most foods sound GROSS. I just don't want to eat them. Except for one thing - Greek food. Oh my. I love Greek food normally, but this baby must be my little soul baby, because goodness my NEED for Greek food has quadrupled. And since buying Greek food is expensive - I have been forced to attempt to make some. My past attempts have been utter failures - BUT I have since found some promises Youtube videos that I think will be quite beneficial, haha. So we have some Dolmades cooking and a lemon-dill sauce to pour over them right now, and I am hoping hoping hoping (!!!!) for a delicious dinner this evening. It smells good, so surely it won't taste too terrible eh?!

*UPDATE* - The food came out absolutely delicious, and I was very happy with it! So I thought I would post the recipes/instructions (they are very detailed, forgive me) in case anyone else would like to give them a whirl, especially since I had already typed the recipe out to send to a friend who loves healthy homemade and unusual foods. So it was not trouble really to come paste it here as well! They really are tasty. =o)

Ingredients -
  • grape leaves (you can get them in jars, usually near the olives or in the "world foods" sections of some grocery stores) - the California variety are usually the best to use that we can get here)
  • about 2 lbs of ground meat - it is best to use a mixture of a lean beef and lamb (but you can just use beef), or you can also use turkey for a healthier version. (There are even vegetarian recipes out there...but I don't care for that, haha)
  • 1/2-3/4 cup of uncooked rice (if you use white, Jasmine is best, but I typically just use a regular brown rice)
  • 2 tsp dried dill
  • 2 tsp dried parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 large lemon or 2 small lemons
  • 1/4-1/2 yellow onion minced (depending on how much you like onion)
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • chicken broth (enough to cover)
Step 1: Rinse the grape leaves using steaming hot water. Then them soak and swish them around with a spoon, being careful not to rip the leaves. I usually soak them for 5-10 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Pat dry and stack on a plate ready to use for wrapping.
Step 2: Mix the meat, rice, dill, parsley, salt, pepper, 1/2 large fresh squeezed lemon, onion, and garlic together in a large bowl. Mix very thoroughly by hand
Step 3: Take one grape leaf and lay it out, again carefully because you don't want any rips or tears in the leaves that you use to wrap. Remove the stem before stuffing - I usually just snip the stem off with a pair of kitchen scissors that I only use for food. Take a little ball of the mixture, about the size of a small meatball, and place it in the center of the leaf. I have included a link below which is the best way I have found for wrapping. If you think you need a larger ball of the meat mixture - trust me you don't! If you stuff them too full they will rip when cooking (the rice will swell as it cooks). As you finish wrapping, set them aside in a dish with the folded side down to keep them from unwrapping.

How to wrap:
Step 4: When you have them all ready (It should make around 2 dozen depending on the size of your grape leaves), use any ripped or leftover grape leaves to line the bottom of a large stove pot. If you don't have enough, you can use lettuce, cabbage leaves, etc. Place the uncooked dolmades into the pot, very close together. If you need to it is ok to layer them. Pour hot chicken broth over the dolmades, just enough to cover the tops. Squeeze the other half of the lemon into the pot. Use a small plate to lay on top of the dolmades to help hold them down as they cook. Cook on a medium heat uncovered until it reaches a slow boil. Then turn down to simmer and cover and cook for 1.5 hours.

Lemon-Dill Sauce:
Ingredients -
  • Chicken broth (about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 large lemon (or 1 small lemon)
  • 1 tsp dill
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • sprinkle of salt (optional)
  • flour
Step 1: Heat chicken broth
Step 2: Use flour to thicken
Step 3: Add dill, parsley, and lemon, and salt if you think it is needed
Step 4: Continue to heat until it is the thickness you like. Serve over Dolmades.

I serve the dolmades on a plate, and then pour a spoonful or 2 of the sauce over them. I also like to make lemon potatoes (easy to google) to serve with them sometimes.

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