Monday, February 12, 2018

This week in the kitchen

Monday/12-Feb-18: Suppose we're both feeling a bit better, but still low on energy and coughing a bit. Sigh.

Our meal was Spicy Roasted Broccoli Pasta (web). Having a bit of cauliflower to use up, I used half cauli and half broccoli. This was yummy, a nice small change for my usual sort of broccoli pasta. Then we finished all the torte that Cath left for us, so we are quite stuffed.

Tuesday/13-Feb-18: I had to be at BookChatters at 10am this morning, earlier than I've been up in the last few weeks.

Our main course was Easy Shredded Harrisa [sic] Chicken (web). This seemed like a good idea, but didn't work as well as expected. First, I thought I'd try the pressure cooker version, to save time. That didn't work at all. There's was one cup of harissa, but that apparently doesn't count as liquid, so the pot started burning. Luckily I opened it before things got too bad, and I finished the chicken by simmering it slowly. And the store-bought harissa I got was horribly salty. Yuck. Served with brown rice and Tzatziki (loosely based on web). And some zucchini. I cut up two zukes and tossed them with olive oil and a Moroccan spice mix. Spread them on tin foil on the broiler pan, and broiled for just over ten minutes. Quite nice they were. And a mini Häagen-Dazs for dessert.

Yogurt on overnight.

Wednesday/14-Feb-18: Valentine's lunch out today. Nothing happened in the kitchen. Shopped afterwards at Intermarché rather than Leclerc. They had nothing of the stuff on sale that I wanted, but I did find the "deseeded" tomatoes that Ed seems to be ok with. Bought six of them. And when Ed went to get eggs, he found 8-packs of large eggs. Usually we get 6 or 10 or sometimes 12; first time we've seen 8.

Thursday/15-Feb-18: We discovered this morning that of the last batch of yogurt I made, only three of the seven pots set up properly; the others are quite liquid. Not sure what happened. Testing the yogurt maker now, to see if the temperature is the same for all of the pots. If so, what else could be wrong?

Our meal was Bangladeshi Fish Curry (MJ@Home, p58), which was so-so. Served with Karhai Broccoli (MJ@Home, p148), an old favorite now, and Bangladeshi Red Lentils (MJ@Home, p195). This was good, but something a bit sweet wasn't appealing—maybe the onions cooked long and slow. Not my most successful meal.

Put the stew for tomorrow in the crockpot.

Friday/16-Feb-18: Our meal was a half dose of Peppery Beef Stew (SlowItal, p143), cooked overnight. As suggested, served with Tuscan-Style Beans (SlowItal, p193). Since I have only one crockpot, I cooked these on the stove. Both were good.

Guests this month? Does Cath still count as a guest? Or should it be someone new?

Yogurt on overnight. Don't understand what the problem was with the last batch. It almost seems as if it turned off while it was brewing, but it doesn't seem like there was an electric break since Mini, stove, and phones were all happy. We shall see.

Saturday/17-Feb-18: The overnight yogurt is fine. Still a puzzle what happened to the last batch.

Dinner was Curried Red Lentil Zucchini Soup (web). Yummy stuff. It was supposed to serve four, but the two of us ate it all.

Made up a half dose of Tomato and Red Wine Sauce (SlowItal, p52), doing it all on the stovetop.

Sunday/18-Feb-18: Why is meatloaf from the crockpot better than meatloaf from the oven? Tonight we had a halfish recipe of "Big Meatball" Meatloaf (SlowItal, p154). I used gruyère rather than romano because I had some to use up. The meatloaf was still good. Served with spaetzle and peas-and-carrots. All good.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 BACKLOG: no; #2 VEG/FISH: 3; #3 COOKBOOK: yes
Cookbooks of the month: SlowItal
This month: #4 PASTA: no; #5 BREAD: no; #6 GUESTS: yes

Monday, February 5, 2018

This week in the kitchen

Monday/5-Feb-18: Using up the second half of a butternut squash, our meal was Butternut Squash Soup (SlowItal, p19). Since I've got an old crockpot with lower temperatures and I'm sure this book is meant for the newer, hotter cooking ones, I cooked the soup about 4 hours on High (rather than Low). Then zapped with my immersion blender and served with croutons from the freezer. Pretty good stuff.

Served with a salad made from two of the mini-romaines I bought last week, topped with the remaining Cauli Thai Salad from last week. That worked really well, we thought, a nice spicy salad.

Yogurt on overnight.

Tuesday/6-Feb-18: Leftover broccoli gratin for dinner. Made some Easy Berry Cobbler (HandyBook) with frozen blueberries for dessert. Topped with crème anglaise I bought for something last week and then didn't use.

Wednesday/7-Feb-18: We dragged ourselves off shopping today. Leclerc had half cabbages for sale today. I bought one to give them some encouragement.

For our meal, we had Baked Honey Sriracha Lime Salmon (web), which was easy and yummy. Served with basmati rice and Spicy Stir-Fried Cabbage (web). Mini ice cream bars for dessert. We ate well.

Thursday/8-Feb-18: We had our meal late today. It was a half recipe of Garlicky Shrimp Pasta (web). Good stuff it was—lots of garlic to help fend off whatever bug has us both down. Then a bit salad. Then the rest of the Blueberry Cobbler with crème anglaise.

Yogurt on overnight, with a new starter since the last batches have had an odd cottage cheese-y-ness on the top.

Friday/9-Feb-18: Today we had Smoky Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Sweet Potatoes (web). The meat was yummy (the two of us ate what was supposed to serve four), but the sauce for the sweet potatoes was too sweet even though I reduced the sugar substantially. Served with Roasted Zucchini (web), which was good, but the Italian spice didn't really go with the pork. Of course the spices can be changed. I'll try to keep this in mind when a zucchini side dish is needed. For dessert we had 2-1/2 chocolate truffles each.

Saturday/10-Feb-18: Our meal was Rice with Black Pepper Sauce (Savory, p253), very tasty, easy, and fast. Served with a salad. Then used some of the smashed bananas from the freezer to make Best Banana Bread (HandyBook).

Sunday/11-Feb-18: Cath came for a meal today. I'd already planned the meal, so she just joined in, bringing a yummy dessert.

We started with Roasted Eggplant with Peppers and Cucumber (ClassicItal, p55), a tried-and-true salad. For our main, there was Spiced Beef Stew (SlowItal, p146) served over polenta. This was good, not spicy-hot, but spicy with cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. It's really the kind of thing you'd do with venison, but it's good with beef also. And cheaper. Forgot to take a picture.

Cath's dessert was Italian Sultana and Ricotta Torte (web)

Progress on goals
This week: #1 BACKLOG: no; #2 VEG/FISH: 5; #3 COOKBOOK: yes
Cookbooks of the month: SlowItal
This month: #4 PASTA: no; #5 BREAD: no; #6 GUESTS: yes

Monday, January 29, 2018

This week in the kitchen

Monday/29-Jan-18: Our meal was leftover cheese enchilada stack and Spanish rice, with a new dose of guacamole.

Yogurt on overnight.

Tuesday/30-Jan-18: Both of us feeling pretty bad with cold, or flu perhaps?

Our meal was a half recipe of Roasted Butternut Squash Curry with Garlic and Tomatoes (MadeIndia, p61) with Golden Garlic Raita (MadeIndia, p178) served over brown rice. The curry was yummy. Used canned tomatoes, that supposedly had been deseeded, but seeds were visible when I opened the can; we'll see how that goes. The raita was a nice sauce that isn't necessarily Indian.

Cookbook: Having dashed through HomTravels, I'm not sure I want to use that for February. Didn't find it as interesting as some of his other books. Also he wants a lot of lemongrass and I'm almost out, and not likely to be near a store that sells it in the next bit of time. Considering another book to grab here.

Wednesday/31-Jan-18: Shopping today, hard work since neither of us a feeling tip-top.

Dinner was Thai Green Fish Curry (30MinCook, p117). Ed like this more than I did. The recipe calls for a block of creamed coconut, which I've never seen or even heard of. Instead I used 200ml of coconut cream and 200ml of coconut milk, which was too much liquid. I thought it was okay, but nothing special. As a side, there was a halfish recipe of Cauli Thai Salad (web), to use up some of the cauliflower hanging around. This was pretty good, although it was quite hot since I used a whole red chile rather than a half of one.

I bought a mango intending to make a little mango tart with a bit of pie crust still in the fridge. It didn't look very appetizing when I got it out, so it got recycled. I chopped up the mango, added some coconut, macadamia nuts (that had been in the freezer for ages), lime juice, and a dab of honey; then served this over the last of the ice cream I made last week. Pretty good stuff.

Cookbook: Think I've settled on SlowItal for next month's book. Decided on a recipe of Sunday's meal, and found similar recipe in PCGourmet and SlowItal, but decided that the slow cooker one would be more interesting to try out.

Thursday/1-Feb-18: Both of us still feeling sicky.

Our meal was Kaye's Veg and Feta Gratin (MC). I almost always use broccoli for this. Is there a better vegetable? And then a big salad.

Yogurt on overnight.

Friday/2-Feb-18: Still sicky.

Our meal was Chicken Thighs Marsala for Two (web). I didn't put it in the oven, but cooked it covered on the stovetop. Served with pasta and carrots/peas/corn. Good stuff.

Saturday/3-Feb-18: We're both still coughy. Yesterday Ed asked for soup. Today we had soup: chicken stock with broccoli and some cooked chicken bits. Pretty good, especially with a squirt of chipotle tabasco. Some butter cookies for dessert.

Sunday/4-Feb-18: My original plan for the day was to start a crockpot when Ed got up to leave for choir practice, leaving me time to work on a project; when he got back, dinner would be ready so we could eat and go to a movie. Forgot to replan when Ed decided not to go to practice. And neither of us felt like coughing through a movie.

Dinner was Sweet Potato Macaroni & Cheese (EW/jan-feb14; web). I didn't use the bread crumbs. This was so-so. The peas were a nice touch. A slog of cayenne, or maybe chipotle powder, would have helped. Then a salad, a bit bare with only walnuts. Then a dessert loosely based on a half recipe of Coffee Ricotta Mousse (MW@Home, p307). Using a 250g carton of ricotta that didn't get used for whatever it was intended, I stirred in 1/4cup powdered sugar, 1/2tsp vanilla extract, and 1tbl Kahlua. Needed to whiz it with the staff mixer, but that was in the dishwasher and I was too lazy to correct that.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 BACKLOG: no; #2 VEG/FISH: 5; #3 COOKBOOK: yes
Cookbook of the month: MadeIndia
This month: #4 PASTA: yes for January, no for February; #5 BREAD: no for January and February; #6 GUESTS: yes for January, no for February

Monday, January 22, 2018

This week in the kitchen

Monday/22-Jan-18: Our meal was Tikka-Tomato-Veggie-Lentil Soup from the freezer, a container that was lost, but recently re-found. Not very soup-like. Served over brown rice, with the Lime Pickle that I made a while ago and the Mango Chutney that I made a week ago. This wasn't bad.

Tuesday/23-Jan-18: Used up some a mix of apples to make some Apple Butter. Haven't done that in a while.

Our meal was Cheese Enchilada Stack, a recipe I got from EAT-L. It's very much like Mama's cheese enchiladas, but stacked in a casserole rather than rolled. This is actually easier to assemble and serve and eat; we both thought this is a better way to make this dish. And Mama's Spanish rice, with lots of veggies, onion, carrot, bell pepper, peas, corn. And guacamole.

Froze up the vanilla ice cream and we ate some of that for dessert.

Yogurt on overnight.

Wednesday/24-Jan-18: Our meal was Escalopes de Veau aux Coulis et Éclats de Chorizo (VPG); unfortunately VPG doesn't post their recipes online. This was easy and tasty, made in an unusual (to me) way. You brown a bunch of slices of chorizo, then purée most of them with some crème fraîche to make the sauce. Brown the veal scallops, then serve with the sauce over tagliatelle topped with the bits of chorizo that didn't get puréed. I made a bit of grated carrot salad from a veg. Should serve this as an entrée, but we always serve pasta as the first and salad or whatever as the second.

I also made a Tarte au Mascarpone (web), using up mascarpone, a some of my surplus of powdered almond, and a home-made pastry from the freezer. We were full, though, so will wait till tomorrow to try this. One of the eggs I broke for this was double-yolked.

Cookbook: Still have several more recipes to do from MadeIndia; this will slide into February too. For February, I think we'll go a bit Oriental with HomTravels and maybe other Hom books if that works. That gives me time to get a bit organized for a month of tajine recipes from whatever books I can find recipes in.

Thursday/25-Jan-18: Shopping today.

In the afternoon we had small pieces of the mascarpone tarte with our afternoon tea&coffee. Pretty good it was. Slight taste of lemon; it might be nice with vanilla or almond extract.

Our meal was Asian Salmon Laksa (Ainsley2, p28; cookbooker), a nicely spicy soup over rice noodles. It was easy and very yummy. Afterwards we thought this one recipe was worth more than the €1 we paid for the book.

Friday/26-Jan-18: Still no news from the washing machine people. Or the vet. Ed went to the laundromat while I started our meal. There was:
  • Roasted Tamarind Chicken with Honey and Red Chili (MadeIndia, p94). There were three chicken thighs for two, weighing slightly somewhat more than the recipe asks for two. I didn't add all the honey, and would cut it back slightly more, to two tablespoons perhaps. Otherwise this is extremely easy and very tasty. The sugar-coated skin was very crispy. 
  • Roasted Cauliflower with Cumin, Turmeric and Lemon (MadeIndia, p191). This was pretty tasty. The lemon juice should be tossed with the roasted cauliflower, rather than just sprinkled on.
  • Mint and Yogurt Chutney (MadeIndia, p219; cookbooker). This could definitely be improved upon.
  • Rice with Peas—Tahiri (MJ1, p149). An old favorite. The rice didn't get soaked this time, but what the heck, its still good.

Yogurt on overnight.

Saturday/27-Jan-18: Added some skinless, boneless chicken thighs to the leftover juice from the Chicken Marbella and served that over brown rice. Not bad for a quick meal.

Sunday/28-Jan-18: Lovely lunch at Cath's today. Nothing happened in the kitchen.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 BACKLOG: no; #2 VEG/FISH: 3; #3 COOKBOOK: yes
Cookbook of the month: MadeIndia
This month: #4 PASTA: yes; #5 BREAD: no; #6 GUESTS: yes

Monday, January 15, 2018

This week in the kitchen

Monday/15-Jan-18: Our meal was Chilli Crab Linguine with Vodka (Ainsley2, p44), the first thing I've made from this book, and off to a good start. Easy, fast, and very tasty. Then a salad. Then more of the chaource. Then some of our yummy 85% chocolate truffles.

Tuesday/16-Jan-18: A halfish version of Coconut and Tamarind Chicken Curry (MadeIndia, p96), accompanied by plain rice and Karhai Broccoli (MJ@Home, p148). All was good.

Wednesday/17-Jan-18: Ed had a dentist appointment this morning and we shopped right after that.

Made up some Great-Grandma's Mango Chutney (MadeIndia, p215). We'll see how that is in a few days. First taste was a bit salty, and I under-measured the salt.

Dinner was Spicy South Asian Roasted Fish (web; cookbooker), half the fish but all the sauce. Very yummy this was. And easy. Used some chopped lemongrass I discovered in the freezer when I defrosted. Served with rice and Thai-Style Broccoli with Garlic (web). For dessert, we had some slices of a small 3 Kings' Cake.

Thursday/18-Jan-18: Froze up eight 2-cup tupperwares of chicken stock this morning.

Fresh pasta for our meal, topped with the sauce from Trenette al Pesto di Noci (ClassPasta, p96; cookbooker). The sauce was good, but nothing special. Then a salad. Then some store-bought chocolate and hazelnut mousse-y thingies; yummy they were.

Friday/19-Jan-18: The part for the washing machine came as I left for Pilates. On my return, Ed said it didn't fix the problem—it's time to order a new one. (The Samsung machine is less than three years old. :-( ). Started looking for ratings. Then off to French. Then cooked our meal of Brochettes de Canard au Sésame (MC; originally from a flyer). (Haven't been able to find this on the web; chunks of marinated magret on skewers with slices of apples.) I did forget to sprinkle with the sesame seeds when it were done, but it was still yummy. Served with trio rice and carrot slices.

Spent the rest of the day until quite late looking for washing machines. Ed did a load of towels at the laundromat.

Saturday/20-Jan-18: Another depressing gray and drippy day. Ordered a washing machine. Still not sure when it arrives. In spite of Ed's visits to the laundromat, we will be buried in laundry soon.

Our meal was a half recipe of Risotto-Stye Pasta with Caramelized Onions (web), with a salad. Before the cheese (bleu d'Auvergne) was added, I thought the onions were too sweet. Ed didn't like cheese; I did. Oh well.

Sunday/21-Jan-18: Company tonight. Spent most of the day in the kitchen.

Made batch of ice cream "juice" using the basic recipe from the manual for our old machine, just in case the tarte tatin didn't work. Made the pastry for the tarte tatin.

Cath (returning from her UK trip) and Nancy (with Neil in the UK) arrived for:

  • A starter of Smoked Salmon Salad with Dill (BEFCC, p35). A very nice little starter, we just had on tweede kerstdag, tasty and easy.
  • For a main, there was Chicken Marbella (SilverPal, p142; MC; cookbooker), served with polenta. I made this dish a long time ago. Recently found the recipe in Mastercook; since then I've gotten the cookbook. Used twelve chicken thighs, making a more or less complete recipe. Didn't notice that I was supposed to marinate the chicken overnight. It was fine with only a couple of hours in the sauce. Very yummy.
  • For dessert there was Tarte Tatin au Camembert (VPG), a recipe I collected recently because it sounded so odd. Tried (and failed) to find the recipe online, but discovered there are lots of similar recipes out there. Quite good this was.
A nice menu for company since the only last-minute thing was polenta, and assembling the starter.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 BACKLOG: no; #2 VEG/FISH: 4; #3 COOKBOOK: yes
Cookbook of the month: MadeIndia
This month: #4 PASTA: yes; #5 BREAD: no; #6 GUESTS: yes

Monday, January 8, 2018

This week in the kitchen

Monday/8-Jan-18: Our first bit of sun today in weeks, it seems. For dinner there was Spicy Thai Shrimp Pasta (web). I had half the shrimp and made half the pasta, but more or less all of the sauce; had only a medium, rather than a large, red bell pepper, so scaled the sauce back just a bit. It was dEElicious. As a side there was Thai-Style Broccoli with Garlic (web); pretty good, this was. And, guess what, some 3 Kings' Cake for dessert.

Yogurt on overnight.

Tuesday/9-Jan-18: We had lunch out today. Nothing happened in the kitchen.

Wednesday/10-Jan-18: Doctor's appointment for me today, with short trips to the health food store and Grand Frais. Home to put stuff up. A quickish meal of poultry sausages, polenta, and a bit of Crispy Broccoli with Lemon and Garlic (web), followed by a salad. Then some Chaource (bought for NYE), then the last bit of chocolate from our Paris trip that Ed found in our napkin basket. I'm full

Thursday/11-Jan-18: Doctor's appointment for Ed today, with more shopping in the Angoulême area, followed by our weekly grocery shopping plus a car wash.

Dinner was all old favorites, Lentil with Garlic and Onions (MJ1, p124) over Simple Buttery Rice with Onion (MJ1, p149) with Tomato, Onion and Green Coriander Relish—Cachumber (MJ1, p172). Yum. Then more Chaource, and followed by some chocolate truffles.

Yogurt on overnight.

Friday/12-Jan-18: Off to Pilates in the morning. Then thought I'd cook our meal before defrosting the refrigerator. But with one thing and another, it was too late to start defrosting after we ate.

We had Salmon and Spinach Curry (MadeIndia, p141), accompanied by Caramelized Onions and Jeera Rice (MadeIndia, p155) and an old favorite, Yogurt with Cucumber and Mint (MJ1, p162). Yes, there was fresh mint in the garden in mid-January! The rice was good, but nothing special; similar recipes in many books. The salmon was good, although I'm a bit doubtful about the recipe. First of all, the recipe serves four with 14 ounces of salmon. I had about that for two (a bit more than I usually get, but the smallest piece available). I more-or-less halved the rest of the recipe, although I went long on the spices. Because I had to deseed my tomatoes, I added a bit of tomato paste with the chopped tomatoes. I had only 200g of spinach, instead of 225 asked (for half). I didn't add all of this. I know spinach cooks down a lot, but it still seemed like a lot. I suppose I could have persisted, but I thought there was plenty of spinach.

Saturday/13-Jan-18: Picked last week's chicken and froze the meat. Started a batch of chicken stock. Made Kaye's Pickled Green Beans (MC) with some old green beans that still looked good. Ed doesn't really like these, and we have a suspicion that Ed may be allergic to green beans and snijbonen/runner beans. :-(

Our meal was latish, after the annual voeux de maire. We had a half recipe of Spicy Thai Red Curry Beef (CL; web) using some cooked beef from the freezer. This was easy and extra yummy. Served over long-grain brown rice. Some mini ice cream bars for after.

Sunday/14-Jan-18: Defrosted the fridge/freezer today. It's had a hard time lately and was in desperate need of defrosting. One of the freezer drawers has broken; Ed's trying to glue it together. I was pooped after. We went out for pizza.

One of the "latches" on my old Cuisinart lid has broken (and been reglued by Ed). I looked a bit for a replacement, but even Cuisinart doesn't admit to this model. It must be forty years old. It occurred to me that 3D printers might be a real boon for all these plastic gadgets. Need a part? It can just be printed when you need it. Wish Cuisinart would have the idea.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 BACKLOG: no; #2 VEG/FISH: 3; #3 COOKBOOK: yes
Cookbook of the month: MadeIndia
This month: #4 PASTA: no; #5 BREAD: no; #6 GUESTS: no

Monday, January 1, 2018

This week in the kitchen

Thanks so much to Blogger for losing what I had written for Monday and Tuesday. Sigh.

Monday/1-Mon-18: Cath stayed for breakfast (oatmeal/porridge), but went home before the winds got too bad. So we had our meal just for two.

We finished off the polenta crostini with salmon left from last night for our starter.

Our main was Abbacchio alla Cacciatora—Braised Lamb with Anchovy Sauce (TLItal, p77). The "alla Cacciatora" part really means "hunter-style" and I'm not sure what hunters have to do with anchovies. Anyhow, the minced fishies are added to the sauce at the last minute to deepen the flavor; the smell is gone in the first minutes of cooking and they don't make it fishy tasting. Quite yummy it was. Not sure about the serving 4-6 part though. I let the butcher sell me a boneless roast made from the shoulder. This was a bit lighter than I asked and it involved a lot of waste bits, so I ended up with much less than I intended. Still the two ate it all, and I can't imagine the whole amount serving six. Three, or maybe four skimpy servings would do. It was very good whatever.

Served the stew over the last of the pici (very fat, supposedly hand-rolled, spaghetti-ish stuff) we brought back from Tuscany. On the side there was Broccoli alla Romana—Broccoli Braised with White Wine (TLItal, p35) that I've made several times now.

Served this with a bottle of Chianti from Leclerc's not-so-vast selection of Italian wines, which included two Chiantis and two Lambruscos. We weren't too impressed.

More three kings' cake for dessert. Just enough for breakfast left.

Tuesday/2-Mon-18: Made up some artichoke hearts with green tapenade and goat cheese for a starter. (More we missed on New Year's Eve.)

Our main was a halfish version of Quick "Corned" Beef & Cabbage (web). This was okay, but didn't scratch the corned beef itch. It did, however, use up the huge supply of cabbage we had on hand. My tummy wasn't feeling well so I didn't eat much. We have lots of beef in the fridge for another meal.

Wednesday/3-Mon-18: As I left for French this morning, the car wouldn't start, and when it did, all the warning lights were on, including some I'd never seen before. Didn't even get out of the hameau before coming directly home. Then the washing machine got a call-customer-service error. Not a good start for the day.

Monday I accidentally defrosted a jar of soup when I meant to defrost a jar of stock. Oops. So tonight we had soup for dinner, puréed spinach, zucchini, and broccoli with some noodles added. But first we had the last of the artichoke hearts with green tapenade and goat cheese. Cookies for dessert.

Ed thinks the car problem is a loose, damp battery connection. The car started after the connections were cleaned, dried, and tightened. And the washing machine problem seems to have been a problem of overloading, when Ed decided to add two towels to an already full load.

Made my meal plan and list today. Haven't really made a list of cookbooks for my cookbook bonus goal, so have nothing planned for this week. TLItal isn't unused and neither is ClassPasta coming later in the week. Maybe I can make a quick change, or maybe I just won't count this week. TBD.

Thursday/4-Mon-18: Yes, made a quick change to one of my xmas gifts. Shopping today. Oops, car not fixed. Luckily the carpark at the Leclerc is on a hill, so we pushed the car down the hill to start it. Drove over to Brico Leclerc to buy a car battery. Turns out the current one is over seven years old. About time, you might say.

The fish selection was strangely diminished at the market today. I ended up buying swordfish rather than lieu noir or another white fish. Dinner was a halfish recipe of 20-Minute Fish Curry (MadeIndia, p131) with swordfish. Let me say that it isn't 20 minutes when you have to deseed 7 ounces of cherry tomatoes. It was good though. Had lots of broccoli stems to use up. Found the recipe for Cauliflower Cachumber (MJ@Home p240) and made that with grated broccoli stems. Very yummy although the texture would have been nicer if I'd used the box grater rather than the big microplane. And plain basmati rice. No camera downstairs, so no picture.

Friday/5-Mon-18: Earlyish meal today. There was Sautéed Chicken in Lemon Cream Sauce (MC), with a yummy sauce. I've made the before but didn't note when. Served with smashed potatoes, trying to use up the stash (recipe suggested egg noodles), and steamed snijbonen (runner beans?) in chunks.

Looked for some marrons glacés in the sale of xmas goodies yesterday, but there were none. Instead I got two half-price packets of dark chocolates. We had 3-1/2 each (one layer) from one of the boxes for dessert.

Saturday/6-Mon-18: Our mail meal was a half recipe of Farfalle al Salmone Affumicato (ClassPasta, p121; cookbooker) using the smoked trout option since I had that needing to be used. Used mafalda corta pasta. I liked this, Ed not so much. Served with a big salad. For dessert, we finished another layer of dark chocolates.

Sunday/7-Mon-18: Roasted a chicken today, using the "bricking" technique. The recipe was Za'atar Rubber Butterflied Chicken; the recipe is no longer at the site where I found it and I've not turned up another copy. Oh well. Do like the bricking technique, though. Chickie is spatchcocked, then cooked skin-side down in a oven-proof skillet, weighted with another skillet. I used a cast iron skillet topped by a saucepan full of water. It takes 20-25 minutes for the skin to get nice and brown. Then you turn the chick over and finish cooking without the "brick" in a 450F oven for 10-20 minutes. In tonight's recipe, the za'atar rub was added after turning the chick over, but a tasty rub under the skin would work fine also.

Made some trio rice, then realized I had potatoes to be used up, so made Tunisian Potato Salad with Cumin (MedLight, p117), which Ed liked a lot. Also served with Spicy Carrot Salad (MedLight, p114), an old favorite, although the garlic seemed especially strong tonight. Have put the rice and bit of leftover carrots together for the next days.

Ed bought another galette des rois today—another one with a Harry Potter fêve. We haven't found it yet.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 BACKLOG: no; #2 VEG/FISH: 3; #3 COOKBOOK: yes
Cookbook of the month: MadeIndia
This month: #4 PASTA: no; #5 BREAD: no; #6 GUESTS: no