Monday, August 31, 2015

This week in the kitchen

Monday/31-Aug-15: Dinner was Spaccatelle con Tonno e Melanzane—Tuna and Aubergine (p229, Geometry). The recipe asks canned or fresh tuna, but says swordfish is traditional. I stopped at Leclerc today, but didn't see any swordfish. Since we had fresh tuna just a few days ago, I used a can. Used cascareccia instead of spaccatelle (fat chance) since they look somewhat similar. Pretty good stuff. It asked only about 5oz of pasta as a main for two. Seemed like not much, but there was plenty. I made a nice big salad, but we didn't eat it. Lunch tomorrow perhaps. (Haven't defrosted chicken for tomorrow's dinner, so will have to think of something else. Something else quicker, since I don't feel much like cooking.)

Storm came through this evening, so hope we're at the end of this little hot spell

Tuesday/1-Sep-15: Oops, didn't make yogurt last night and got up too late today to start it. On overnight.

Made up two liters/quarts of tomato purée to freeze tomorrow. Ed started the work of seeding, and I found an awful lot of seeds popping to the surface. Removed as many as possible, but this will be a suspect batch. Get to do this over again several times in the next couple of days. Both Beefsteaks and Coeur de Boeufs in this batch.

Dinner was Kitchari with Cauliflower & Peas (web), which wasn't bad, but wasn't wondeful. Added a bunch of lime pickle for salt and zip. A good one-dish meal, if a bit bland. Used chana dal instead of moong dal, of which I had none. Yellow split peas might have been a better substitute.

Wednesday/2-Sep-15: Froze almost 8 cups of tomato purée this morning. Then worked on another batch. In the fridge now, to freeze up tomorrow.

Hoping to shop tomorrow, I worked on the meal plan and list today.

Starting in on our winter squash harvest, tonight's dinner was Ravioli with Winter Squash and Sage (p288, Sunsetcookbooker). Still looking for something approximating an acorn squash, I chose Hokkaido Vert to plant for a winter squash. I was expecting it to be orange inside, instead the flesh is more yellow, thus the dinner was fairly boring to look at. And fairly boring to taste, since the squash doesn't have much in the way of flavor. The recipe was fairly interesting, but there's something wrong with it (see Cookbooker review). Then a big salad, for which I deseeded one more tomato.

Thursday/3-Sep-15: Started some chicken stock. Cleaned out the fridge freezer of bits, but think there's more in the big freezer. Oh well. Froze yesterday's batch of tomato purée. No deseeding today. Might wait till the weekend.

A couple of days ago Ed told me the eggplant plant in the potager had been cut down by something. A shame since it's almost ready to produce something. Tonight he said, No it was part of the winter squash plant. Not really hard to tell these part. Now I don't know if the squash was just broken, or if we've got squash vine borers. Maybe I'll have time to go down there tomorrow. The zucchini seeds that I planted last weekend are coming up. Don't know if we'll actually get any squash so late in the season, but it doesn't hurt to try. The first plants that came up disappeared. I think we have happy voles down there.

Worked on putting away and arranging bread recipes today. Have that pretty much in order now. Maybe I'll actually start baking some real bread one day.

Dinner was Oven-Dried Tomato Tart with Goat Cheese and Black Olives (web; cookbooker) followed by a plain salad.

While the crust was sitting in the fridge, I made up a recipes of Kathie's Zucchini Muffins (web; cookbooker). Cut the sugar back significantly (see Cookbooker) and didn't add topping. Very good. We've already eaten eight of the twelve.

The packet for the pâte feuillettée has a recipe for a tart with winter squash. Just what I need.

Friday/4-Sep-15: Shopping today.

Yipes, when I closed the lid on the tomato sauce I froze up yesterday, I'd managed to put the tray right under the light. Which forced open one of the ziplocs. What a mess!

Dinner was Salmon with Roasted Vegetables & Quinoa (web; cookbooker). This was quite good and easy. Served with a salad. Some chocolate puddings from the store for dessert.

Saturday/5-Sep-15: Defrosted the big freezer today. It was already needing it, but the tomato mess made it a requirement. Why do I dislike defrosting so much? It's really not that bad a job.

Dinner was a half recipe of Chicken with Whole-Grain Mustard & Zucchini in Packets (web; cookbooker). Served with brown rice. For dessert, there were some Cinnamon Cream Cheese Roll Ups (web); can't say I followed the directions very closely, just sort of winged it. I  had half a loaf of bread with eight slices. Used much less sugar than asked. Two each for dessert.

Sunday/6-Sep-15: Froze up 2 quarts of chicken stock today. Start in on tomatoes again tomorrow.

For dinner we had the rest of the oven-dried tomato tart plus a salad. And the rest of the cinnamon roll-up things for dessert, warmed in the toaster oven.

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

Monday, August 24, 2015

This week in the kitchen

Monday/24-Aug-15: Lunch out today. Some fruit followed by popcorn and a movie for our evening meal.

Tuesday/25-Aug-15: Pasta night at last! We had Dilly Pasta (p75, PastaMach) with Shrimp Dill Sauce (p135, PastaMach). Kind of a so-so dish. Ed thought the whole thing was too dilly. I didn't find that. I did think the pasta might be good with a lemon-cream sauce. Then a big salad. That was nice. Afterwards we had Angel's Kisses, a nice little drink.

Wednesday/26-Aug-15: Tried to get the list done today. Have trouble concentrating and choosing. Too many good things to eat, too tired to think.

Dinner was the leftover yassa. With some whole-wheat couscous, and some broccoli-and-carrots.

Thursday/26-Aug-15: Out all day at a literary festival with Cath. In the evening we ate dinner out. Nothing happened in the kitchen.

Friday/28-Aug-15: Not feeling great today. Shopped.

Dinner was Thon Grillé Sauce Vierge—Grilled Tuna with Herbed Tomato, Garlic, Oil, and Lemon Sauce (p140, BistroWells). Coincidentally, last night we were wondering what sauce vierge was; I'd already planned it for tonight but didn't remember. Duh. Maybe a bit too much olive oil in this recipe, but it was tasty. I didn't slice the tuna on a platter, just on the plate. The sauce was good with everything. Served with little buckwheat pasta, whose name I can't remember right now, and Shredded Zucchini (p87, MW@Home), an old standby. Mini magnums for dessert.

Saturday/29-Aug-15: Hot and humid weather is here again. Ugh. Finished off Dutch and US taxes today. Now only need a trip to the post office.

Dinner was Pork Chops with Hot Garlic Sauce (MC) which was pretty good. Served with Terry's chipotle salsa, which was good, but didn't go at all. For a side I made a halfish recipe of Grilled Zucchini with Tomatoes and Balsamic Vinegar (p308, PeV). Think this was meant to be a main, but worked nice as a side. (Ha, I see I've made this before without the pasta.) Finished off the Nectarine Sorbet, huge servings, good stuff.

Sunday/30-Aug-15: Made apple butter today for the first time in ever so long. Dinner was soup from the freezer, followed by a small scoop of vanilla ice cream with the last of a a bag of frozen raspberries.

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

Monday, August 17, 2015

This week in the kitchen

Monday/17-Aug-15: Despite good intentions, nothing interesting happened in the kitchen today. We had our main meal in the afternoon, the rest of the salty beans and ham with potatoes added. Can't say the potatoes helped with the saltiness.

Ed failed Clothes Washing 101 today. I have a new dark blue denim top. I put it in a pile of jeans to be washed. Ed retrieved it from there and washed it with a bunch of ... whites! He now has a lovely blue v-necked tshirt.

Tuesday/18-Aug-15: Using up ripe bananas from the freezer and fresh. First I made a loaf of Mesquite Banana Bread (web). Then I made Banana Nut Bread 2 (MC), which is a recipe I've changed so much that I ought to retype it and call it mine.

Dinner was a halfish recipe of Shrimp and Broccoli Stir-Fry (web). The broccoli bits need to be teeninsy to work properly. Mine were what I'd call small, but I let them steam in the sauce a bit before adding the shrimp back to the wok. Tasty sauce. Over brown basmati rice.

Wednesday/19-Aug-15: Finished up cleaning house for Sam and Pat today.

Dinner was Eendenborstfilet met Hoisinsaus (Tip mag, web), sort of. I had duck aiguillettes, rather than a breast with the skin attached. No bok choy in the shop, so I used spinach. It was OK, not wonderful. We shared the last classic magnum from the freezer for dessert. Then some squares of proper chocolate to leave a better taste in the mouth.

Thursday/20-Aug-15: In the morning, mixed up the broth for Fleur de Lait (p133, Scoop). Not enough milk, so used UHT milk instead; only 1/2cup (rather than 3/4cup) sugar.

Sam and Pat were delayed leaving Houston, so arrived here later than expected, so we did our shopping before they arrived. For dinner we just had a simple bbq and off to bed fairly early. Again made the Spatchcocked Chicken Under a Brick (web; cookbooker), this time using a bit of the tandoori masala that I made up a few days ago. Served with corn on the cob and a bit salad. Ended with the Fleur de Lait ice cream, which was quite passable.

Friday/21-Aug-15: We toured Villebois-Lavallette, town and chateau, with Sam and Pat, then lunched at one of our favorite restaurants. Cheese and munchies for the evening.

Saturday/22-Aug-15: Reviewing this book, I discovered this is where I found the yassa recipe I made a while ago. I've been wanting to have that again, so I made Yassa au Poulet—Marinated Chicken Braised in Lemon-and-Onion Sauce (p68, TLAfrica; cookbooker).


I served with plain rice, as suggested, and Green Beans with Sour Sauce (p84, TLAfrica). An interesting sauce here that went well with the chicken. The recipe wants a "small double boiler" for the sauce. Who has a small double-boiler? I used the smallest pyrex bowl set onto a pan of simmering water.


Lots of sauce from the chicken for serving on the rice.


Sunday/23-Aug-15: Indian night tonight. We started with Spicy Cucumber Wedges (p172, MJ1), an old favorite. Then Scallops in Spinach-Tomato Curry Sauce (p72, Q&E), which we've had before. Really yummy. And plain rice. For dessert, there was Nectarine Sorbet (p125, Scoop; cookbooker), which was really nice.

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

Monday, August 10, 2015

This week in the kitchen

Monday/10-Aug-15: We had our mail meal at midday today, in an attempt to recover from several days of big eating. I made a 30-minute menu from VPG (which now styles itself simply as Gourmand, dropping the Vie Pratique except in their URL). The main course was a half dose of Aubergines grillées aux dés d'agneau marinés et sautés à la fleur de thym (web), that's Grilled Eggplant with Pieces of Marinated Lamb Sautéed with Thyme Flowers. Ok, my thyme is past the flowering stage, so I just used some freshly picked leaves. Tasty and kind of cute in presentation with eggplant slices folded over the meat. The starter, which I served as a side dish, was Salad perles de blé, boulgour, carotte, courgette et crème coco (web). This was a really nice and easy salad/side dish: Soak some bulgur in hot water, grate two more less equal piles of zucchini and carrots. Make a dressing of coconut milk, lemon juice, and dijon mustard. It asked from some chopped up chervil, but I couldn't find that, so used flat parsley which I had. For dessert, we had a bit of ice cream with some defrosted raspberries. Just a bit of fruit for our evening meal.

Tuesday/11-Aug-15: Easy dinner tonight. Some tasty chickpea patties from the freezer, topped with the last of the apricot habernero salsa. Accompanied by Broccoli e Zucchini in Insalata (p53, VegCarlu), which we've had several times in past year. Some mini-magnums for dessert.

Wednesday/12-Aug-15: Yogurt on overday. Made up a bunch of Guiliano Hazan's Home Sausage (p162, 30MinPasta) and froze it.

Lunch out today as part of our steam train trip. Only fruit for dinner.

Thursday/13-Aug on-15: Black beans and ham from the freezer for tonight's dinner, along with Cayenne Cornbread (p182, BigGerman). Salty they were.

Friday/14-Aug-15: Shopping today.

Dinner was Baked Masala Fish (web) made with cod. It was so-so. To make this, I make up a whole recipe of Tandoori Masala (web) which I'll try to use up before too long. Served with  Madhur Jaffrey's Stir-Fried Cabbage with Fennel Seeds (web; cookbooker) which I thought was super-yummy. Looked through most of my Jaffrey books but didn't find it; will have to tuck the recipe into one of them. And some basmati rice. Some store-bought lunettes for dessert. Not sure why the name—they're puff pastry wrapped around some chocolate chips. Not very Indian, but very tasty.

Saturday/15-Aug-15: Yogurt on overday. Made up a batch of Guilano Hazan's Homemade Sausage (p161, 30MinPasta; HandyBook). Froze in two 8-ounce lumps, plus the leftoverbit.
Had dinner at our fête patronale this evening, so nothing further happened in the kitchen

Sunday/16-Aug-15: Made half a Peach Dutch Baby (web) for breakfast. Halved the sugar; no extra sugar at the end. Good stuff.

We had our main meal at lunch, that was Omelette er Jhol—Omelette in a Curry (web). Pretty good stuff. She says the gravy is fairly thin, so I added only one cup of water instead of two, but I think more would have been nice, maybe 1-1/2 cups. Served over rice, there wasn't as much soppy as I'd have liked. Some cut up fruit for dessert.

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

Monday, August 3, 2015

This week in the kitchen

Monday/3-Aug-15: Lunch out with Peg&Jim and Patrice&Wim today. Munched on lots of odd bits in the evening. Not much real kitchen activity.

Tuesday/4-Aug-15: Hugged Peg&Jim good-bye this morning. Now trying to catch up on assorted business and blogs and laundry.

Did the meal plan for the rest of the week, using up odds and ends from the fridge. We'll be shopping a day early this week, since I have a haircut appointment on Friday.

Dinner was a half recipe of Rosemary and Sage Pasta Sauce (p154, MarCuc; cookbooker), with cascareccia as the pasta (maybe not the best choice). Then a big salad. That was all.

Wednesday/5-Aug-15: Another hot day. Cleared out the fridge for dinner. More corn on the cob, accompanied by Sautéed Broccoli and Mushrooms (web) over brown rice. This was kind of so-so, improved by a good dose of sriracha. Two small portion of the melon ice cream for dessert, finishing that off.

Thursday/6-Aug-15: Shopping today. I shopped at Intermarché while Ed was at choir practice.

Dinner was Salmon with Curried Cabbage (web), cooked in a skillet. Easy and pretty tasty. Served with trio rice. Mini magnums for dessert.

Friday/7-Aug-15: Busy day today. Off for a haircut in the morning, back for a quick lunch, then off to an afternoon movie.

Dinner was a half dose of Farfalle with Pumpkin-Sausage Sauce (web; cookbooker). Very good stuff. Then a plain salad. No dessert needed.

Saturday/8-Aug-15: Patrice and Wim have invited us for dinner tomorrow night, so we cancelled today's plans (celebration lunch and concert) and stayed home.

Peg and Jim left us a pile of potatoes. I used some of them to make Sauced Potato Casserole (p214, Tassajara), an old favorite which is no longer vegetarian because I slice up a smoked sausage to tuck in amongst the potatoes.

Still have a stack of potatoes and sweet potatoes to be used up.

Sunday/10-Aug-15: Out for dinner with Patrice and Wim tonight. Nothing happened in the kitchen today.

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