Monday, February 29, 2016

This week in the kitchen

Monday/29-Feb-16: Travel day.

Tuesday/1-Mar-16: Home at last. Ed made dinner, broccoli and a salad.

Wednesday/2-Mar-16: Shopping today.

Dinner was a half recipe of Halibut with Lentils and Mustard Sauce (web; cookbooker); almost a good recipe. The lentil with sweet potato was a bit bland. I cooked the fish under the broiler rather than sautéing it. The sauce was really iffy, way too sharp. I have an idea there there is Dijon mustard and there is Dijon mustard. What I have is too much to do in a 1:1 proportion with wine. On the other hand, it did liven up the lentils. (The rest will turn up as a salad dressing in the next days.) Followed by a salad. Since they haven't been having smaller sacks of lettuces, I got a bigger one, and we'll have the rest tomorrow.

Yogurt on overnight.

Thursday/3-Mar-16: Dinner for Ed's hemoglobin. I made a half dose of Spaghetti Corkese (web) with boudin noir in the sauce. Not the prettiest pasta dish ever, but wasn't bad to eat. Used 2 cups of (seedless) tomato sauce from the freezer rather than a can of tomatoes. Then a salad using the rest of last night's fish sauce with some oil added. Some defrosted raspberries with a bit of cream and crème de framboises for after.

Friday/4-Mar-16: Dinner was, sort of, a recipe from Nigella, Slow Roasted Garlic and Lemon Chicken (web). I spatchcocked my chickie, rather than cutting it in bits. But a nice way to cook it, covered and slow roasted for two hours, then open-cooked at a high temp for another 45min, giving a nice crispy skin. (I'm not a big skin person, but this was good.) Served with Clotilde Dusoulier's Perfect Roasted Potatoes (web) and some steamed broccoli with garlic and red pepper flakes.

Saturday/5-Mar-16: Dinner was Mushroom Polenta Pizza (web, also web). The recipe is supposed to serve four—maybe for lunch or as a starter. As the main, it served two, with a salad. Not really very pizza-ish, since the polenta base stayed pretty soft. I didn't have any "wild" mushroom, so soaked some dried cêpes to add to the rest, then used the soaking liquid as part of the veg broth for the polenta. The cheese was comte. Pretty tasty, though.

Yogurt on overnight.

Sunday/6-Mar-16: Dinner was Tagliatelle with Artichokes and Olive Oil for Two (web). Quite good this was. And a salad, using the rest of last night's lettuce sack. As long as salads are two nights in a row, this seems to be a way to make up for the fact that they no longer carry smaller sacks of lettuce.

For dessert, there was some Amazingly Easy Peach Cake (web), which has some amazingly bad instructions. How big is a large can of peaches? I used two of those no-longer-one-pound cans, one of peaches, the other of apricots. I added no sugar (instead of 2 cups), which was a bit extreme; maybe 1/2cup would have been ok. Buzzed all in the cuisinart, so it was extra easy. For the topping, I used sweetened coconut, which Ed bought in error, and added no extra sugar. Used walnuts, since I seemed to have no pecans. (Inventory error!) This was ok. The recipe said to use a 9x13 pan. I started pouring into that, but that would have made a pancake, so I changed to my square pan instead. (Sorry, to the washer-upper for the extra pan.) This was surprisingly good.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 BACKLOG: no; #2 VEG/FISH: 4
This month: #3 PASTA: no for Feb, no for Mar; #4 BREAD: no for Feb, no for Mar; #5 FotW: no for Feb/Mar

Monday, February 22, 2016

This week in the kitchen

Monday/22-Feb-16- Sun/28-Feb-16: Ed fed himself; I wasn't there.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 BACKLOG: no; #2 VEG/FISH: 0
This month: #3 PASTA: no for Feb; #4 BREAD: no for Feb; #5 FotW: no for Feb/Mar

Monday, February 15, 2016

This week in the kitchen

Monday/15-Feb-16: Leftover night. Made up some brown rice. Ed had the leftover smore from last week and I had some carrot soup from the freezer.

Tuesday/16-Feb-16: Used up the sack of apples I bought a couple of weeks ago to make another jar of apple butter and my aunt's Apple Cake during the day.

Another leftover night, yay! The rest of the squash tart, followed by a salad topped by the rest of the beets from last weeks beet salad. And a bit of apple cake.

Wednesday/17-Feb-16: Shopping today. A little weird since I'll be leaving for a bit. Bought several beefy things for Ed, to try and get his hemoglobin levels up. Forgot to buy fish for tonight's dinner. The counter was busy when I first went by, so I went to get veggies, then forgot to go back.

So, tonight's dinner was Greek Shrimp with White Beans, Tomato Sauce, and Feta (web), which was fast and ok, but nothing special. Accompanied by the suggested go-with Lemon-Dill Orzo Pilaf (web). This was pretty good, and quite similar to what I usually do with orzo, except that the pasta was toasted in oil first and dill was added. More apple cake for dinner.

Thursday/18-Feb-16: Off for an early haircut today. Will keep to my current appointments, so my hair will be quite long for the next one.

Recombobbled the menu plan. When I return, I just need to make the list and we can shop the next day. At least I hope it works that way.

Working on Ed's hemoglobin, tonight's dinner was Boudin Noir aux Pommes—Blood Sausage with Apples (web). The title neglects to mention the calvados and cream, so of course it was good. Served with a bit of trio rice. Followed by a made-up veg/salad sort of thing. I steamed some broccoli. Then, in the same pan, sautéed some minced garlic, added two chopped, seeded tomatoes, S&P, a pinch of piment d'Esplette, and a pinch of basil. When it looked ready, I took it off the heat and stirred in some chopped mozzarella. Turned out pretty good.

Friday/19-Feb-16: Started to go to the pharmacy today to renew a prescription, only to discover I don't have a renewal and will have to go to the open surgery tomorrow morning. Sigh.

Dinner was Squash & Red Lentil Curry (web), not bad, but a bit bland. A bit less coconut milk might be nice, much more curry. Pretty good with the Mango Chutney I made a while ago.

Saturday/20-Feb-16: Almost packed. Dinner was a half recipe of White Bolognese (Everlasting, p164; cookbooker), served over polenta. Really yummy. Ed will have another meal while I'm gone. Served with a big salad. That was all that was needed.

Sunday/21-Feb-16: Travel day. Nothing happened in the kitchen.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 BACKLOG: yes; #2 VEG/FISH: 3
This month: #3 PASTA: no; #4 BREAD: no; #5 FotW: yes for Jan/Feb; no for Feb/Mar

Monday, February 8, 2016

This week in the kitchen

Monday/8-Feb-16: Dinner was a halfish version of Creamy & Spicy Spaghetti with Aubergine (web). Used tomato purée from the freezer. Linguine instead of spaghetti; a shaped pasta might be nice too. Anyhow, it was good. Followed by a big salad.

Tuesday/9-Feb-16: Yogurt on overday.

Changed the plan to start working on getting Ed's hemoglobin up. Stopped at the butcher on the way back from BookChatters and picked up a chunk of beef to make Sri Lankan Beef Smore (MJ@Home, p140). Very yummy stuff; should serve 4-6, will only serve 3. (We have one more meal of sauce with some meat that I'll serve over rice.) Served with Karhai Broccoli (MJ@Home, p148) and Sri Lankan Rice with Cilantro and Lemon Grass (MJ@Home, p210). All yummy.

Wednesday/10-Feb-16: Worked on backlog during the day. Out in the evening. Nothing happened in the kitchen.

Thursday/11-Feb-16: Defrosted a home-made pâte brisée, roasted one of our stash of winter squash, and made Winter Squash Tart (Greens, p246). Pretty good it was. (The first time I made this, I set the Pyrex pie plate on the (wooden) table on a trivet. As we sat there, there was a Pop from the pie plate, which fell into two parts. I wrote Pyrex and they replaced it at no charge. Very nice of them.) And a salad. That was all.

Mandolined more red onion to add to the pickling broth, getting another use of it.

Yogurt on overnight.

Friday/12-Feb-16: Shopping today.

Planned to go to dinner and a concert in Limoges, but ended up bringing pizzas home.

Saturday/13-Feb-16: Cooked up a batch of cannellini beans in the slow cooker. Made up my variation of Coffee Ricotta Mousse (MW@Home, p307) with the rest of the ricotta that I opened for Monday's pasta. I use less coffee and add cocoa. Also a slog of Kuhlua, although it occurs to be that crème de cacao would be good too.

Dinner was Seared Tuna in Black Pepper Crust (Essential, p409; cookbooker), a winner. Tuna is coated with crushed black pepper and seared, then served on a bed of spinach and cannellini beans. Sounds a bit odd, but was perfect. A bit of prep (and cooking the beans from scratch) but easy and goes together quickly and easily at the end. Served with a pilaf (vermicelli, rice, shallots, soaked dried shiitakes cooked in mushroom stock) and Avocado and Beet Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette (Essential, p193; cookbooker). A good salad, except my beets (chioggas, first time I've used them) didn't really get done. Ed poured a bit of cream over the ricotta mouse as he served it, so it was extra yummy.

Sunday/14-Feb-16: We had our Valentine's Day meal at one of our favorite restaurants. Nothing further happened in the kitchen.

Yogurt on overnight.

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

Monday, February 1, 2016

This week in the kitchen

Monday/1-Feb-16: Nice dinner. Last night I put Hot, Salty, and Sweet Pork Chops (MJ@Home, p134) on to marinate, using all the spices for half the pork chops. Cooked them tonight, again making all the sauce, which then took a bit longer to boil down to syrupy. Very good. Served with plain basmati rice and a half dose of Carrots with Cilantro (MJ@Home, p149). Also very good, although her cooking time for the carrots was way off. Altogether a yummy dinner. With mini mags for dessert.

Yogurt on overnight.

Tuesday/2-Feb-16: Went to the ENT today, and stopped at Grand Frais for a spot of shopping. Chinese New Year is coming right up so all the grocery stores, including Grand Frais, are having Chinese-ish specials. I bought some shrimp-filled dumplings on impulse. We had half of those as a starter, with a made-up dipping sauce that turned out pretty good (some soy sauce, a bit more of rice vinegar, a splash of sesame oil, some finely chopped garlic, and some dried ginger—me being too lazy and too rushed to grate up some fresh ginger).

For a main we had P.F. Chang's Garlic Noodles (web). I made this a while ago and still had some of the stir-fry sauce in the freezer, so made it again, this time with fresh tagliatelle. Turned out pretty good. I'm full.

Wednesday/3-Feb-16: The internet guy came this morning. No problem in the house (surprise); he said he would trace the line out looking for problems. So far so good. But it's not really raining, so don't expect problems. Fingers crossed.

Shopping today.

Dinner started with the rest of the dumplings I bought yesterday, with their two sauces and the one I made, which remains the favorite. The main was Winter Squash-Bulgur Pilaf; this is a magazine clipping that looks like it came from Cooking Light, but I can't find it on their site, so it might be quite old. Anyhow, it was a side for four that we ate as a main for two, topped with the remains of the dumpling sauces (me) and with sriracha (Ed). Pretty good by itself, but after the really tasty stuff, a bit bland.

Thursday/4-Feb-16: Spent most of the day in the kitchen today. Made apple butter. Boiled up some potatoes for tonight's dinner. Went to package up some tortillas I just ordered for freezing and found one of the packages was moldy. Took a picture and mailed the company. They  apologized and will replace, but with a small package (15 vs 20), since that's all they have now. Made a half dose of Mango Chutney (TLCarib, p91); instructions were a bit goofy—you made up some tamarind juice and do nothing with it. And what kind of chile do they want? I used a smallish Mme Jeannette (haberno) from the freezer. Fish for dinner is sitting with its spices. Made the go-with sauce, but see I missed a step in prepping it. Oh well.

Ed got back late from the doctor, after going early to the walk-in hours. His latest blood tests showed low hemoglobin, and it was slightly low several years ago. So, more tests. And eat more ... boudin noir, beef, liver, etc. We rarely eat beef, but should eat in three times a week. Yuk.

Nice dinner. (No beef.) The main was Grilled Halibut with Indian Spices (web); this is apparently from a David Tanis book I don't have, but is on my Someday list, A Platter of Figs and Other Recipes. This dish made me think I might have to indulge fairly soon. Fish was good, the yogurt sauce was good. Served with Potatoes with Black Pepper (MJ1, p113) and Tomato, Onion, and Green Coriander Relish (MJ1, p172); have made both of these before and enjoyed them.

Yogurt on overnight.

Friday/5-Feb-16: Lovely morning. I sat outside in the sun to shell the favas. They were very generous.

Spent some time looking for recipes using boudin noir and beef, since Ed's supposed to eat iron-rich foods three times a week. Might be hard to reconcile this with the goal of eating vegetarian or fish three times a week.

Dinner was based on Marinated Rack of Lamb with Coriander and Honey (Otto, p104). I used lamb steaks rather than a rack, since that's what was in the freezer. It was good, but the marinade/sauce was way too sweet, and I didn't use all the honey because it was the end of the jar and I didn't want to open the next one. Lots left over, but didn't save it. Served with Clotilde Dusoulier's Perfect Roasted Potatoes (web), an old favorite, and a dish of sautéed radishes and favas, flavored with Pernod, loosely adapted from something I found on the web. Good dinner.

Saturday/6-Feb-16: Tonight's dinner was Poulet Sauté Boivin—Sautéed Chicken with Artichoke Hearts, Onions and Potatoes (TLClassic, p52). (I'd meant to do a soup, too, but found it too much.) I made a half recipe using four good-sized thighs instead of a whole, cut-up chicken. And I had to buy a bouquet of four artichauts violets, and used all of them; no idea how them compare to "young artichokes" in size. Used fond brun de veau made from a powder and skipped the glace de viande. And, no, I didn't shape my potatoes into balls. In spite of all those things, it was good and we were full.


I think I prefer the six-week periods we're doing with the Time-Life books now, without the overlap. Even though it's slower, we'll finish this year, if I manage to keep it up. Have gotten the next book out now, and there's still a week to go with this one.

Sunday/7-Feb-16: Finished off first big pass through desserts today. Next time I'll make a pass through tossing ones I think I'll never make. Good progress.

There was a Dutch stamppot for dinner tonight, smashed potatoes, sauerkraut, and smoked sausages (Montbilliers). Good, but we both thought the sauerkraut was a bit tasteless.

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