Domingos En Familia

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(Domingos en familia loosely translates to Sundays with family) I really want to start doing a Sunday night dinner in order to rekindle something I haven't felt in a long time: family time around the dinner table. Okay so, I don't think I've ever had this when I was a kid though I do remember the bomb Saturday night parties thrown at my house.

But, now I really can't have it since we remodeled the house to make room for the frog princess and I and have come out of it dining room-less.  However, I don't need no stinkin' table to have dinner con mi familia!  This weekend, I wanted to keep it simple for myself so the menu was as follows:

Dirty Rice Tilapia encrusted with Kraft Fresh Take - Chili Lime and Panko Breadcrumb Mix Roaster Asparagus Fruit Parfait with home made whipped cream

Now, let me say that, my time was limited. Mainly because I spent an hour at Lowe's looking at stuff for the backyard and then another hour doing the actual food shopping for the week (special shout out to eMeals for making my life a little easier with their shopping lists. Don't know what I'm talking about? Click on the link in my side bar and find out!).

I rushed back home and found the frog princess still napping. Before I started cooking I cleared out the fridge and put away the groceries. You need to know this because it's what slowed my cooking down. But I got the dinner cooked all within the hour!

I don't have to tell you how to make dirty rice, do I? If you were expecting a made from scratch meal today then, I'm afraid you came to the wrong place. I like to purchase the Zataran's brand. They tell you how to make it on the box.

I recently found the Kraft Fresh Takes and was impressed with it.  They have different flavors but basically you can find it in your cheese isle. Instructions are also listed there.

Now, I had a hankering for roasted asparagus so I just went to the Food Network and pulled up this baked asparagus recipe.

Here's the order I cooked in today: I first browned the meat and when I got the rice cooking, I got working on the asparagus which went into the toaster oven. After that, I threw the tilapia in the bag with the breadcrumb mix, threw it on a cookie sheet and then stuck it in the oven.  This way, everything was pretty much done at the same time.

I didn't make the whip cream until after I finished eating because I was starving. You can always buy it pre-made but, a little heavy whipping cream in a cold metal bowl stuck in a bigger glass bowl full of ice to keep the cream cool ain't that hard to make. I like to throw in a little coconut extract and some confectioners sugar but you can pretty much eyeball it as needed.  Following that, all you need is a little hand mixer and you are in business.  Mix it up until it reaches the level of thickness that you'd like.

The fun part of this was that both the frog princess and the monkey king were running around like chickens with their heads cut off.  So while I cooked, I got a chance to talk to my cousin (the monkey king's dad) and my brother who has spent the better part of the weekend sleeping. It's not that he's lazy, he has been running around too.  His band, A Dying Regime, released their EP on Friday night so, between school, work and playing in the band, I barely get to sit and interact with him.  It's part of the reason why I wanted to start having a night when we all hang out and share some love in the form of food. (shameless little brother plug: you can find the EP on sale on iTunes and Amazon for like $6. Punk metal might not be your thing but, it's pretty cool and this is coming from someone whose radio is stuck on the local Christian music station. Be sure to check out their site and support a local band. And by local band I mean my brother, who will buy me a nice birthday gift at the end of the month if sales go well.)

It was nice to be able to hang out in the kitchen, yell at the kids and trade jokes and stories with those two.  The best part? My cousin, now nicknamed Dirty Rice by my brother, did the dishes.  I think I enjoy cooking more when I know I don't  have dishes to take care of.

Dinner ended up being pretty delish but I think that ultimately, the goal of cooking was accomplished today and it really did feel like we were spending el domingo en familia.  Next week it will be Dirty Rice's turn to cook. He works in a restaurant so I'm expecting something fabulous. I'll be sure to take notes and write down recipes so that I can share it with you Sunday night.  The stories and jokes shared might be a different story, though. But, we'll play it by ear.

Do you have a special day in the week where you catch up with your family around the dinner table?