Monday, May 4, 2015

This week in the kitchen

Monday/4-May-15: Didn't feel like eating or making what I'd planned for tonight and had some asparagus (nearing the end of the season) to use up. Used these to make a half recipe of Asparagus with Aubergine Mayonnaise (webcookbooker), which was pretty good. This was a go-with for Pork medallions with Olive-Caper Sauce (MC; web, originally from CL). Instead of pork tenderloin, this time I used varkensfiletlapjes, whatever those might be in English (boneless pork chops?), pavés du porc in French. Pretty good. Mixed the extra sauce with the leftover mayo to salt it up a bit. This might appear on ham sandwiches in the next days. For afters we had store-bought tartelettes of chocolate and pistachio; not bad.

Tuesday/5-May-15: Kind of a made-up dinner. Used one of Jody's spice mixes, this one was mole dulce, to make a sort of stewy thing with four chicken thighs, some of the xmas limas from the freezer, a small can of corn, and the rest of the chicken stock I recently defrosted. Was okay, nothing special. Made a salad with avocado and tomato that was okay. Made some tortillas, but not enough to satisfy either of us.

Wednesday/6-May-15: We're having an ant invasion. For days there have been one or two or three most anywhere you look, upstairs, downstairs, anywhere. This morning there were a zillion on the counter and wall over the dishwasher. They seem to be just milling around and after an hour or so of my squashing and washing them down the drain, they disappeared. This evening they appeared on the Ivar shelves, a bit worrisome because there is Food there. They did find the lazy susan with honey and such, but that didn't really seem to be their focus. Again after a couple of hours, they're gone. A puzzle. What will tomorrow bring?

Shopping today.

Dinner was mostly unimpressive. The main was Onion-Crusted Sole with Anchovy Butter (MoreFast, p80), using lieu noir since there was no sole and that looked better than panga or some such. I was attracted to this recipe since it uses canned fried onions, which was something Fatima (my French French cooking teacher) liked to use. They were supposed to be crumbled in the food processor, but I used the staff mixer instead. They turned rather to butter rather than crumbs. Made just a bit of the anchovy butter; it was okay. My experience with battering fish and other such stuff is that it works better to dip in flour before the egg and then the crunchy topping, so I did this. Managed to burn the topping a bit, too bad. Definitely so-so. Used up some mushrooms making a kind of quinoa pilaf that was okay, but nothing special. Improved by a squirt of lemon. The best bit was Broccoli Salad with Yellow Peppers, Pine Nuts, and Cranberries (I got this from a Nava Atlas newsletter, but found it here). Definitely a keeper this one. The Sesame-Ginger Dressing is vaguely Oriental, but not assertively so. This would be a good pot-luck salad. Very pretty with the green broccoli. yellow bell pepper, and dried cranberries. Some squares of chocolate for after.

Thursday/7-May-15: Yogurt on overday.

Off to the Caucasus for dinner, half recipes of all. There was Skewered Pork with Pomegranate Syrup (TLRus, p63). This could have been barbecued, but Ed (who's coming done with a cold) didn't want the smoke. For sides there were Rice Pilaf with Dried Fruit and Nuts (TLRus, p68) and String Beans in Sour Cream and Tomato Sauce (TLRus, p40). The pilaf has no added salt, and (surprise!) it didn't need any extra at the table. It was recommended as a side for the pork, and was a good accompaniment. Might be nice with long-grain brown rice. The beans were good, although this is a more complicated veg side than I usually serve.

Many fewer ants today, although they turn up in odd places, one in a pile of ironing to be done, another just appeared on the kitchen table as we were eating lunch.

Friday/8-May-15: We both forgot to put up the yogurt last night. This morning it was separated again, the whole batch pretty worthless. Saved my last jar to try again tonight.

Tired of being sick and coughy. Really don't feel like cooking, or doing much else.

Dinner was a half recipe of Eggs Blindfolded over Garlic-Cheddar Grits (web). Really good and satisfying, comfort-food like. Interesting way to cook the eggs, start frying them, then throw in some ice cubes and cover to finish off by poaching, sort of. Then a big clean-out-the-fridge salad.

If we saw any ants today it was just one or two. I don't get it.

Saturday/9-May-15: The ants are back, the occasional one in odd places, but a lot on the sweet shelf. I discovered a sack of powdered sugar whose ziplock wasn't completely closed. Sealed that and tossed it with ants inside. They're also interested in a jar of molasses sitting in a plastic dish. That kind of thing is always gooey on the outside, so dish and jar are being washed this evening. Those seem, knock wood, to be the only interesting things on the shelf.

Dinner was Tofu, Asparagus, and Red Pepper Stir-fry with Quinoa (web; cookbooker), tasty enough if not quite right. Then some Butterscotch Pudding (MC 2BTried), which wasn't bad.

Sunday/10-May-15: More ants today.

For breakfast, I made Ned and Crescent's Favorite Multigrain Pancakes (Gospels, p205). Really good stuff. I made a whole batch, so have another breakfast of pancakes in the freezer. Next time, maybe I should make up a double batch of the dry ingredients (using dried buttermilk), so I just have to add egg and water before cooking.

Crockpot dinner tonight, ready and waiting when we returned from Ed's choir performance. I made a half recipe of Easy Crock Pot Moroccan Chicken, Chickpea, and Apricot Tagine (web). Made it with thighs instead of kip filets. There was lots of food; it would have served 3 easily, and maybe even four as it should have. Served over whole wheat couscous, along with Roasted Carrots with Preserved Lemon, Cumin, and Cinnamon (web). Had a carrot deficit for some reason, only a quarter of the carrots with half the spices. Good, and worth trying again.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 BACKLOG: yes; #2 UNUSED: yes; #3 GRAINS: yes; #4 VEG/FISH: 3
This month: #5 PASTA: no; #6 BREAD: no; #7 FotW: no for April; no for May

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