Monday, July 21, 2014

This week in the kitchen

Monday/21-Jul-14: Yogurt on overday. We made an all-day outing to Family Village (yes, that's the French name), a sort of outlet mall, that included lunch at Alinéa, which is the French version of Ikea. There's also a Grand Frais, a grocery store carrying lots of unusual and exotic fruits and veggies. Just discovered there's on in Soyaux, too; that's a suburb of Angoulême, so it's a bit closer.

Because we had lunch out, we had only fruit for dinner.

Ed drove with two other choir members to yesterday's concert in Limoges; they had to be there quite a bit ahead of time. I travelled with the partners of the other two. We were both surprised that these people had barely visited Limoges before. One couple has been here four and a half years, the other longer than we have. But they'd barely been to Limgoes either for sightseeing or for shopping. Seemed very strange to us.

Tuesday/22-Jul-14: Used the gooseberries I bought yesterday to make a half recipe of Gooseberry-Apple Crisp (Uncommon, p218). A nice easy recipe that could be done with other fruits. Should put this in the HandyBook also. While that was cooking, I roasted lots of veggies, mostly leftovers bits from the fridge—eggplant, zucchini, red bell pepper, carrot, and some asparagus from the Grand Frais. Served those with polenta. Then the crisp with a bit of vanilla ice cream.

Wednesday/23-Jul-14: Shopping today.

Dinner was (more or less) Spiced Fried Fish (RealCook, p120), with two filet of lieu noir (saithe?) cut into thirds. As a go-with there was Fragrant Rice (RealCook, p213; cookbooker). There's a problem with this recipe, which is supposed to serve two as a side; I made less than half and we had enough to serve four as a side. Then there was more of the Grand Frais bounty, two ears of corn. Very good, better than the ones we get at Intermarché. I forgot to note whence they came. Then a scoop of vanilla ice cream with some bramen (blackberries) from Grand Frais.

We drank a whole bottle of wine with the dinner, then sat outside, till the mosquitos got too bad, watching bats and listening to Ed's bat detector.

Thursday/24-Jul-14: Yogurt on overday.

Dinner was a half recipe of Green Peppercorn and DIjon Chicken Cutlets (web). Good stuff and easy. Accompanied by butternut squash gnocchi from the freezer with a bit of sage butter, which really wasn't needed because there was  plenty of sauce from the chicken. And some Roast Asparagus with Long Pepper Gremolata (web). Long pepper is what was used by the Greeks and Romans for a peppery flavor before black pepper was available. Can't say I was struck by the flavor, but the whole effect of the long pepper, coriander seeds, lemon zest, and garlic was very pleasing. For dessert, I had the very end of a classic magnum while Ed ate the rest.

Friday/25-Jul-14: Oscar went to the vet a 8am for a biopsy.

Baked a cake this morning for a visitor this afternoon and for tomorrow night's picnic dinner, Chocolate Bundt Cake (web; cookbooker), a super cake. The visitor was Max, just turned 21, the son of long-time Dutch friends. We're not remembering when we saw him last, but now he's all grown up and it was a treat to see him.

The main course as dinner was Moroccan Spiced Lamb Shanks with Aubergine (RealCook, p127) for IHCC, but I don't feel like posting for it. Lamb shanks (souris) usually come in packages of three for some reason. I happened to find a package of four, so now have the extra two in the freezer. As an accompaniment there was whole-wheat couscous, made with the rest of a jar of chicken stock, plus Carrot and Cilantro Salad (WorldVeg, p618), a very nice little salad. I had a tiny slice of chocolate cake after. (Ed had two slices earlier.)

Saturday/26-Jul-14: This evening we went to a benefit picnic with music for the Children of Chenobyl, a charity that brings these kids to France (and elsewhere I think) to stay with local people so they can have a proper vacation in a healthy location. I made Greek-Style Lentil Salad (WorldVeg, p630) for our meal. This is a nice salad I've made before. Made some guacamole to go with corn chips. Managed to go off without the chocolate cake, that I'd hoped to share around.

Sunday/27-Jul-14: Fresh pasta tonight with Spinach and Tomato Pasta Sauce, Romagna-Style (MarCuc, p142). The sauce was good, but not spectacular. I used frozen spinach and a real tomato and some water instead of canned imported Italian plum ones with juice. And a salad. And some chocolate cake with a dab of cream.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 COOKBOOKS: yes for IHCC, but not posted; #2 VEG/FISH: 3
This month: #3 PASTA: yes; #4 FotW: no; #5 BREAD: no

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