Monday, April 30, 2012

This week in the kitchen

Monday/30-Apr-12: Lunch at La Bellone, dinner at Vanessa's. Nothing happening in the kitchen.

Tuesday/1-May-12: Dinner was a double dose of an old and easy favorite, Pork Vindaloo (Q&E, p33), served with basmati rice. Three of us ate it all! For a starter there was Gujarati Carrot Salad (MJ1, p170). No dessert.

Wednesday/2-May-12: Yogurt on overday. Have a couple of new asparagus recipes to try, but there were no green asparagus at the shop today. Replan required. Splurged on tuna, and had Tuna Steaks with Lime Tapenade (MC) for dinner. Accompanied by orzo, followed by a salad, topped off with some double chocolate Mini Magnums.

Thursday/3-May-12: Cleaning a kitchen cabinet today, I ran across a cake pan I bought to make Quatre-Quarts au Chocolate (VPQ), a chocolate pound cake, so I made it. Not too bad.

Neither of us were especially hungry, so there was only Herbed Lemon Pilaf with Almonds (MW@Home, p158) for dinner. Oh, and some strawberries and ice cream for dessert.

Friday/4-May-12: Used some odd bits of bread to make Double-Boiler Bread Pudding (MC) this afternoon. Added some rum and some raisins. Good. Funny that the French brown sugar I'm using (sucre du canne) does not seem to melt as well as the Dutch stuff, so the caramel sauce is a bit gritty. No problem with the taste, though.

Dinner was Capellini, Garlic, Lemon and Egg Pasta (web). Used spaghettini instead of capellini (angel hair), dried tarragon instead of fresh, about half a bell pepper from the freezer, rather than a whole fresh one. A weird collection of tastes. Ok, but not a keeper. Then a salad. Then a bit of bread pudding.

Saturday/5-May-12: Dinner was, sort of, a half dose of Tortellini Broccoli Salad (MC 2BTried), an interesting sort of pasta salad. Diced bacon, fried up; ricotta-spinach tortellini (instead of plain cheese); broccoli (boiled a bit with the torts); raisins (dried cranberries might be good); walnuts (instead of sunflower seeds); red onion. All with a simple dressing of mayo, cider vinegar, and S&P. Some camembert for after, then the last bit of chocolate pound cake.

Sunday/6-May-12: Oops, forgot that what I had on the plan needed some overnight attention that it didn't get. Replan. Dinner was Kaye's Shrimp-Stuffed Eggplant, a recipe adapted from a cookbook, but changed enough that it feels like mine. Good it was. Followed by some bread pudding.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 COOKBOOKS: no, #2 BREAD: no, #3 SOUP: no, #4 MIDDAY: yes, #5 VEG/FISH: 4
This month: #6 PASTA: April. yes; May, no

Monday, April 23, 2012

This week in the kitchen

Monday/23-Apr-12: Finished off our bread for breakfast and popped some Authentic French Bread into the bread machine on Rapid Bake for lunch. Finished off the chicken stock and froze it all up.

Dinner was Spring Leek Hash with Polenta and Goat Cheese (VT/mar12). No rolls of prepared polenta in the shops here; I made my own. Used some of the chicken stock simmering on the stove instead of vegetable broth.

Tuesday/24-Apr-12: Dinner was Kidney Beans with a Cardamom-Yogurt Gravy (web, but from 660 Curries, a book I don't have ... yet ... but might need on the basis of this recipe), served over. Recipe was supposed to serve 4, but 3 would have been stretching it. Very easy and tasty.

Yogurt on overnight.

Wednesday/25-Apr-12: Made some Cream of Broccoli Soup (CC1, p124) this afternoon so Bill would have something to eat after he arrived late this evening. We had Spaghetti with Shrimp and Scallops (30MinPasta, p109), which was pretty good, not to mention fast. And a salad. After Bill had his soup, we sat around and finished the chaource and the goat cheese.

Thursday/26-Apr-12: Made an Apple Pudding (web) for dessert, but ended up having it for coffee when neighbors came to call. It was tasty, but not very attractive. Couldn't quite decide if it was a cake or a stange clafoutis sort of thing.

Dinner started with a artichoke/tapenade/goat cheese bit for each of us. Dinner was Skillet Gnocchi with Shrimp & Asparagus (web), which was tasty, but the gnocchi were a bit of an odd texture with the shrimp and the asparagus. We thought regular pasta might be better. Followed by a salad. Then some comté, which was the only cheese in the fridge.

Friday/27-Apr-12: Yogurt on overday. Off to a quiz tonight. Not much else happened in the kitchen.

Saturday/28-Apr-12: We spent the day in Limoges today and had dinner at Chez Cisseen this evening. Nobody was home to do anything in the kitchen.

Sunday/29-Apr-12: An easy dinner tonight. Bavettes, marinated and griddled as usual. Mushroom pasta. Steamed broccoli topped with olive oil, garlic, and pepper flakes. Then a big salad. Ending with waffles, ice cream, and mixed berries.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 COOKBOOKS: no, #2 BREAD: yes, #3 SOUP: yes, #4 MIDDAY: no, #5 VEG/FISH: 4
This month: #6 PASTA: yes

Monday, April 16, 2012

This week in the kitchen

Monday/16-Apr-12: Papa's Posole from the freezer for dinner. And some home-made tortillas. And some guacamole. Followed by a bit of chaource.

I won a prize a cookbooker for reviewing recipes from Wolfert's The Food of Morocco! The prize being another of her cookbooks. Ironic, since I didn't really review that many recipes this time. Still want to cook more from this book.

Tuesday/17-Apr-12: A half-ish dose of Asparagus and Olive Tortellini (MC, VegTimes) for dinner. Good but needs a bit of sauce in the making; maybe some pyramid cheese and a bit of lemon zest? Then a salad.

Yogurt on overnight.

Wednesday/18-Apr-12: Pilates this morning, followed by shopping. Didn't get too much off piste.

Pizza for dinner, topped with grilled veggies, using up lots in the fridge.

Thursday/19-Apr-12: Made some Apple Butter (MC) today. Dinner was Lemony Orzo with Leek Sauce (MC), which used up the rest of the asparagus.

Friday/20-Apr-12: For dinner I made some of Barbara Douma's tasty Polpettini (web), served with spaetzle. Followed by a salad of rocket/argula. Then a bit of chaource. There was a nice rainbow while we were cleaning up.

Saturday/21-Apr-12: Dinner was Canard à la Moutarde, Tabasco, et Miel (VPQ; web), that's duck breasts with mustard, tabasco, and honey. The breasts are served over ribbons of zucchini. I added a small side of polenta (and made some extra for another meal). Duck breasts are huge, much more meat that we need; we could have easily split a single one. Instead we have two big chunks in the fridge for ... something.

Haven't done much on my using-old-cookbooks goal in the last weeks. It may be a while before that gets back into gear. And not much progress on the bread goal. I have almost finished reading through The Essential New York Times Cookbook, though, which should leave me time to read seriously on The Bread Baker's Apprentice.  Essential has a huge section on desserts, with the fewest stickies of any of the sections so far. Too much sweet stuff. Making good progress on the Beard book, enjoyable writing, good recipes.

Sunday/22-Apr-12: Yogurt on overday. Started some chicken stock to finish off tomorrow.

Left-over pizza for lunch. Off to a concert in the late afternoon. Little pastry munchies from the freezer (left from new year's eve) with fruit for dinner.

Not one meal from any sort of cookbook this week!

Progress on goals
This week: #1 COOKBOOKS: no, #2 BREAD: no, #3 SOUP: yes, #4 MIDDAY: yes, #5 VEG/FISH: 4
This month: #6 PASTA: yes

Monday, April 9, 2012

This week in the kitchen

Monday/9-Apr-12: Heavy tourist day today. Had dinner out. Nothing happening in the kitchen.

Tuesday/10-Apr-12: Yogurt on overday.

Dinner was Lemon Chicken (Fancy, p111), a very good roast chicken recipe. Plus roasted asparagus. Plus Dusolier's Perfect Roasted Potatoes. No dessert, since we each had a cornuelle at lunchtime.

Wednesday/11-Apr-12: Shopping today.

For dinner there was Garlic Shrimp in Yogurt Sauce (MC) with Tangy Green Beans with Ajwain and Ginger (SpiceKitch, p38), along with basmati rice and naan. For dessert, we had tourteau fromagée.

Thursday/12-Apr-12: We had a nice lunch in Angoulême today. Dinner was Mushroom-Barley Soup (MC).

Friday/13-Apr-12: Lunch in La Rochefoucauld today, at a place that's gotten a bit fancier and now longer has sandwiches or other light meals. So dinner was a salad, Bulgur Salad with Grilled Zucchini and Onion, Middle Eastern Style (Bishop, p132). Quite nice it was, although the 9yo wasn't especially happy with the bulgur. I used one of the two overripe bananas for Chocolate Banana Snacking Cake (MC), which we had with a dab of vanilla ice cream.

Saturday/14-Apr-12: Dinner was a quarter Lamb Stew with Chickpeas and Pomegranate Molasses (CLmag/jan06). Didn't have enough couscous for a go-with, so I had my part over some bread scraps. Not sure this recipe really serve 8; 6 seems more like it. Then a big salad. And we finished off the last of the Chocolate Banana Snacking Cake with some ice cream.

Sunday/15-Apr-12: Yogurt on overday. Shopping on Wednesday turned up the season's first Roma tomatoes; those got oven-roasted today.

Dinner was, more or less, a half dose of Seafood & Egg Curry (Jamie), over basmati rice. Oops, inventory control failed and there were no scallops in the freezer, so I used a couple of extra shrimp. Good enough, but not a do-again.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 COOKBOOKS: yes, but not posted, #2 BREAD: no, #3 SOUP: yes, #4 MIDDAY: yes, #5 VEG/FISH: 4
This month: #6 PASTA: yes

Monday, April 2, 2012

This week in the kitchen

Monday/2-Apr-12: Munched on the Zucchini Hummus before dinner; pretty good stuff, although it needed a bit more lime. Last night it tasted really limey.

Dinner was Aubergine and Lemon Risotto (all over the web, from Yotam Ottolenghi's Plenty, a book I don't have). A bit more work than your average risotto, but pretty good. One eggplant was blackened by roasting, the other diced and browned. Marscapone and butter to finish the risotto, no wonder it was creamy. Followed by a salad of mâche and rocket. Then some chocolate eggs.

Yogurt on overnight. Applesauce Bread (BigGerman, p48) on overnight, making a dent in the huge jar of applesauce we had to buy for Healthy Cookies. Will freeze the rest, I think.

Tuesday/3-Apr-12: The Applesauce Bread was good. That was a first. (The first time for the recipe, not the first time I've made good bread.)

Out for some disappointing pizzas tonight.

Wednesday/4-Apr-12: Shopping today. Kind of a made-up dinner. Roasted some cod fillets. Made a bit of Pickled Pink Onions (HowTo, p173) as a relish for the fish. Made up a nice salad using odd bits of veg: some cauliflower in small bits, boiled not quite long enough; the rest of a can of black beans; some chopped red bell pepper; some chopped red onion; some chopped, pitted green olive; some chopped parsley; a vinaigrette with lots of lemon juice. Not bad at all.

Thursday/5-Apr-12: The rest of the Pickled Pink onions were quite tasty on our lunch ham sandwiches.

Made fresh pasta tonight. If I find another chance to make pasta this month, this might be last month's batch, but that's doubtful given all the company coming in April. Topped it with Green Olive Tapenade, a recipe from JamieMag, yes, served over pasta. Followed by a salad. Then some chocolate easter eggs.

Yogurt on overnight.

Friday/6-Apr-12: Dinner was Braised Chicken Thighs with Plums (CLmag/jul10), and quite good it was, although my plums were mushier than those pictured. Served with trio rice and some roasted asparagus.

English Muffin Bread (BigGerman, p15) on overnight.

Saturday/7-Apr-12: It was Chorizo-Shrimp Kebabs for dinner tonight, a recipe from the web (I found several versions) that sounded worth a try. The shrimp were good; the (Spanish) chorizo I bought wasn't a good one, so that didn't contribute very positively to the dish. It was OK, nothing worth doing again. I do like marinated shrimp under the broiler, though. Served with basmati rice, follow by a big salad.

Sunday/8-Apr-12: Yogurt on overday.

We picked up Zena and daughter Natasha at the Limoges airport today. Since we were already that far, we drove on into the center of Limoges, walked in the botanic garden behind the cathedral, visited the cathedral, and walked through a flea market on the street.

There was Asian Lentil Soup (MC) waiting for us when we got home, and good it was. For dessert with had ice cream and mixed berries along with our chocolate bunnies.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 COOKBOOKS: no, #2 BREAD: yes, #3 SOUP: yes, #4 MIDDAY: no, #5 VEG/FISH: 4
This month: #6 PASTA: yes