Monday, December 22, 2014

This week in the kitchen

Monday/22-Dec-14: Dinner was a halfish verison of Tuscan Broccoli Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese (web), a recipe from Green Giant, using one of their products that I don't think I would buy after looking at the ingredients. Anyhow, I just kind of winged it vaguely using what I had. It wasn't bad.

Made up the soup for the mango ice cream for Thursday's meal.

Tuesday/23-Dec-14: We thought we'd do our shopping a day early to avoid the rush. Ha. We've never seen the parking lot so full. The shop was full but all the aisles were open, so there was little waiting time.

In the afternoon I made apple butter and the macadamia nut cookies for the ice cream sandwiches for our xmas meal. Not the prettiest things ever, but they'll do.

Dinner was Gegrilde Sliptong met Avocado-Citroencrème (web), that's grilled Dover sole with avocado-lime cream. Don't know if it was Dover sole, but it was some kind of sole. Lots of little pieces. Had do grill two batches of them. The sauce was interesting and we used it over broccoli and rice too. Then we split a classic magnum.

After dinner, I churned the mango ice cream, made up the sandwiches (three of them, rather than only two), wrapped them individually, and popped them in the freezer. We had one cookie each leftover. (We had split one earlier.) Actually the cookies were pretty good and easy to make. If I do them again, I'll make them smaller.

Wednesday/24-Dec-14: Off to the butcher to pick up our lamb rack this morning. Isn't it pretty?

Emptied the freezer to make chicken stock, which is in the natural refrigerator outside overnight.

Made Christmas Eve Beet Soup (Barszcz Wigilijny) (TLQuint, p15; cookbooker) for dinner tonight. Didn't make the "dumplings" go-with but used cêpes-filled ravioli instead. Pretty good, easy to make but takes lots of clock time (could be done a day before). Then a salad. Then some store-bought vanilla rice pudding (really good stuff).

Made pasta for tomorrow's dinner.

The tree is up and decorated. It's missing balls I've hung every year since 1969 I think. And it's got the puny European lights instead of the cheerful American ones. Next year we probably won't bother at all. Made me sad.

Thursday/25-Dec-14: Yogurt on overday. I got it mixed but forgot for an hour and a half to start it, so it will be a late night tonight waiting till it's done to put it away.

Boiled up the chicken stock and froze it.

Worked on our xmas dinner most of the day. No big hurry, just getting everything done. By about 7.30p, which isn't too bad for us.

Had lots of ideas this year, but settled on a three-course menu from Dinners42 (cookbooker), a gift book I've never used before. We had a pre-starter with a foie gras-stuffed fig each that we got at the market on Sunday. Oh my, these are good. One is plenty. (I've got four more in the freezer now for another "event"—they come in a six-pack.)

This is the kitchen with most of the prep work almost done. (Pasta exposed for the photo; yogurt jars finishing drying after the dishwasher.) The bone booties are ancient; I've been toting that half-used box around for ages.

Ready to eat ...

All cleaned up and ready to put away, which will happen tomorrow morning.

Friday/26-Dec-14: A lightish dinner tonight, P.F. Chang's China Bistro Garlic Noodles (web; cookbooker). This is all over the web, all with the same poor instructions. Pretty good to eat though. For dessert we had some store-bought panna cottas with mango-passion fruit sauce that was a bit too sweet.

Saturday/27-Dec-14: We had our main meal in the afternoon so we could go to a movie in the early evening.

We had a half recipe of Tuna-Swiss Baked Patties (CL88, p125), which turned out pretty good. I've never been very good at patty things, but these held together pretty well. I put one egg yolk (hard to halve a yolk) in the patties and used the white to hold on the breadcrumbs (panko). Served with steamed asparagus and trio rice. For dessert, I used up some leftover evaporated milk to make Memaw's Pet Milk Pudding (web). Easy and not bad. Seemed a bit thick to me and not as creamy as my mother's recipe (which doesn't invove evaporated milk).

Sunday/28-Dec-14: Dinner was a half recipe of Saucy Chicken Gyros (web), tasty and quite easy to make. It would be fast if you put the chicken on to marinate in the morning or evening before. Didn't make the tapenade, but opened a jar. For dessert, we had more pudding, with mixed berries.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 COOKBOOKS: yes; #2 VEG/FISH: 5
This month: #3 PASTA: yes; #4 FotW: no; #5 BREAD: no

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