Monday, August 14, 2017

This week in the kitchen

Monday/14-Aug-17: Last night I put chicken thighs on to marinate with olive oil and Penzey's Southwest Seasoning. Barbecued those this evening along with some smoked duck sausages for dinner with Patrice and Wim. The chicken was especially tasty. We also had corn on the cob and Warm Broccoli and Potato Salad (MDSalad, p15), which is an old favorite.

For dessert there was Raspberry Bakewell Cake (web) and home-made vanilla ice cream (recipe from old ice cream maker). All was good.

Yogurt on overnight.

Tuesday/15-Aug-17: Dinner at Mazerolles' Fête Patronale today. Nothing happened in the kitchen.

Wednesday/16-Aug-17: Dinner at the Marché des Producteurs in Massignac tonight. Nothing happened in the kitchen.

Thursday/17-Aug-17: Early meal today. We had Riz Cantonais Revisité au Chorizo (web). I mis-remembered what was needed so I bought merguez last night instead of chorizo. The recipe is pretty much without spice or flavor beyond the merguez, so I added some soy sauce and rice vinegar and a goodly slog of garlic-chili sauce. The merguez actually worked quite well.

Friday/18-Aug-17: Yogurt on overday.

Lunch at Sally and Mike's today. Nothing further happened in the kitchen.

Saturday/19-Aug-17: Ate out at a medieval banquet animé this evening. Nothing further happened in the kitchen,

Sunday/20-Aug-17: Before we went out today, I put shrimp on to marinate for Lemon & Spice Grilled Shrimp (web), using white wine Worcestershire sauce (whatever it's called these days) instead of the regular stuff. Ed grilled these, perhaps a trifle too long, for dinner, while I grilled the leftover polenta (looked fine, but perhaps a bit past its use-by date), boiled some corn on the cob, and made a salad using our first real tomatoes of the year with some dressing from the brocolli and potato salad from earlier in the week.

A strange week this week. This is only the third time I've cooked, so one third of the meals have been fish or veg, but that's only one meal. Next week will be more normal I think.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 BACKLOG: no; #2 VEG/FISH: 1
This month: #3 PASTA: no; #4 BREAD: no

Monday, August 7, 2017

This week in the kitchen

Monday/7-Aug-17: A bit day today. Went to the préfecture to exchange my Dutch driver's license for  a French one. Then went to visit Vanille, a bichon-cross doggie needing a new home. And brought her home with us. We've both felt how odd it is getting using to a new being in the house. Pogo must have caused the same feeling, but we don't remember. She hasn't worked things out with Sophie and Oscar yet. To avoid disputes in the night, we'll probably close the cats out of the bedroom tonight, which is a bit sad.

Dinner was, more or less, Gratin de Saucisse, Pomme de Terre et Petits Pois (web). I made a whole recipe (serving 4), so we can have it again later in the week. The proportions in the recipe are a bit strange: one chipolata per person, two potatoes for four, etc. It would be better to half-cook, boil, the potatoes, since some of them were a bit crunchy. Used crème fraîche and cheddar for the topping. Needed lots of pepper. But good. Then cantaloup sorbet.

Tuesday/8-Aug-17: Lunch out today. Nothing furthered happened in the kitchen today.

Wednesday/9-Aug-17: Shopping today.

Dinner was Baked Cheddar Polenta and Salmon with Crushed Pea and Garlic (web). Not bad at all, but way too much polenta. I made two packets, one for each or us. I put the extra polenta in another little dish to do something with soon. Blueberries and vanilla ice cream for dessert.

Yogurt on overnight.

Thursday/10-Aug-17: Leftover chipolata gratin for our early meal, with some leftover zucchini salad. Then a regular salad. That's all.

Made up some croutons with a bit of leftover bread, loosely following the recipe in Art.

Friday/11-Aug-17: It was Tuna Cutlets (web) for dinner tonight. Really tasty (Indian), but the mixture was ready to make patties. I added some of the egg and some besan, which helped a bit. So, not so pretty, but still yummy. Served with trio rice and Pan-Grilled Zucchini (MJ@Home, p173), which has become a favorite. Blueberries and vanilla ice cream again for dessert.

Saturday/12-Aug-17: Very nice dinner out with Patrice and Wim (for Wim's birthday). Nothing further happened in the kitchen.

Sunday/13-Aug-17: Earlyish meal today, Zucchini Noodles with Creamy Avocado Pesto (web). No spiralizer, so I used the fat julienne blade on my mandoline. Made about a half recipe, which should serve 8, but seemed like a skimpy 2. Tasty, though. Started with an insalata caprese, sort of, with the first tomato of the season, not as ripe as it should have been, and basil from the sandbox garden. Then a salad.

Yogurt on overnight, and chicken to marinate for tomorrow's dinner.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 BACKLOG: no; #2 VEG/FISH: 3
This month: #3 PASTA: no; #4 BREAD: no

Monday, July 31, 2017

This week in the kitchen

Monday/31-Jul-17: Dinner from odds and ends in the fridge tonight. Sautéed onions, mushrooms, garlic, and a quarter of a cabbage. Added some tomato sauce, a bit of chicken stock, and some tomato paste. Served over brown rice. It was good, and better after grinding on some red pepper. Some mini Haagen-Dasz cups for dessert.

Tuesday/1-Aug-17: More odds and ends today. The lovely Indian tomato-cream sauce over pasta. Some corn on the cob Ed bought at Intermaché last week. A salad. That was all.

Made some ground roast cumin, since I'd used the last that I had.

Wednesday/2-Aug-17: Shopping today.

Dinner was lieu noir, marinated with Marinade for Grilled Fish (MC). That was boring boring boring; can't think why I bothered to save it. And a side of graminge, the funny "short spaghetti" I bought for a dish in April; might need to get some more of this if they still have it.

Starting to attack the burgeoning zucchini surplus from the potager, we had Zucchini Chile-Cheddar Mash (web); an instant favorite. I made the whole recipe with a single zuke weighing in just over one pound. We loved it, but couldn't finish. It wants a can of chopped chiles (mine are hand-chopped), so hard to cut it back.

Yogurt on overnight.

Thursday/3-Aug-17: Earlyish meal today. There was Spiced Lamb Pilaf (web); I think this is really a biryani, but I won't tell if you don't. Tasty, but ... the amount of rice is way too much. Other recipes use 2 cups of basmati rice to serve four. We ate all this, but were stuffed. With less rice, the lamb and peas would shine more instead of being buried in rice. Also, she seems to toss the water that the lamb was cooked in; I strained it (to remove the spices, although I'm not sure that was needed) and topped it up with a bit of water for cooking the rice. Served wth North African Zucchini Salad with Garlic, Chili Paste & Caraway (MedHot, p32). We've liked this before but didn't eat much today. First, too much rice; second, I got a bit sloppy measuring the vinegar so it was sourer than it needed to be. OK for me but not for Ed.

Friday/4-Aug-17: Earlyish meal today. We had Scallops with Lemon-Basil Sauce (web). As suggested I served with Buttery Angel Hair Pasta with Parmesan Cheese (for two: 4oz angel hair, 1/4cup Parmesan, 1tbl butter). Now I see that the scallops should be served atop the pasta; I served them "with" the pasta, next to it on the plate. Still good, though.

As a side, there was, yes, zucchini, as Zucchini Chunks with Citrus and Mint (web). This was easy and good.

Saturday/5-Aug-17: Made up the broth for Cantaloupe Sorbet (Scoop, p111). Of course I added some pineau (vieux) to the mix.

Dinner was a third recipe of Huevos Façon Cocotte aux Olives et Xipirones (VPG; web). (Xiripones seems to be squid in Spanish.) Interesting, not bad, but don't need to do it again. Served with my embroidery on the Salade de Haricots Blancs aux Épices (VPG) that was recommended as a starter. This turned out pretty good. For two, a drained can of white beans, most of a smallish red onion, thinly sliced, and some chopped parsley with a dressing of sesame oil, lemon juice, ground cumin, paprika, and ginger. Easy and tasty. Some mini magnums (one classic, one white) for dessert.

Sunday/6-Aug-17: It was supposed to be fresh pasta today, but I didn't feel like it. So we had Marcella Hazan's famous tomato sauce (from the freezer) with store-bought spaghettoni (also from the freezer). And a salad full of goodies. And a Haagen-Dasz mini cup for dessert.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 BACKLOG: no; #2 VEG/FISH: 5
This month: #3 PASTA: yes for July, no for August; #4 BREAD: no for July, no for August

Monday, July 24, 2017

This week in the kitchen

Monday/24-Jul-17: Early meal today. I made a recipe that Jacky posted on Facebook recently, Orecchiette with Peas, Shrimp, and Buttermilk-Herb Dressing (web). Well, I sort of made it. I didn't have enough orecchiette, so I used malfada. Rather than all shrimp, I used the end of two packages of shrimp and scallops. No buttermilk, so I used yogurt. And a bit more lemon juice to cut the taste of the mayo. It was good. I made a whole recipe and we ate it all. Yum.

Made a salad, but we didn't eat that. Back in the fridge for tomorrow.

I defrosted a packet of pâte feuilleté squares yesterday and turned them into a little dessert today. An apple chopped in smallish bits, some walnuts, and some mixed dried red berries, mixed with cream cheese, a dab of honey, some cinnamon, some quatre épices, and a slog of kirsch. Made little packets of them and baked for 25min or so. Pretty good for minimal effort.

Tuesday/25-Jul-17: Froze up 16cups of chicken stock today.

Early meal of Cilantro Lime Chicken (web). Easy and very yummy. Served with some plain couscous, livened up with some Moroccan spice mix. (Probably wrong continent since the chicken came from a Malaysian site.) Then yesterday's salad. Then the last two apple packets.

Wednesday/26-Jul-17: Both of us slept late today, so we didn't get to shopping till really late in the day. A full store, but all the check-out counters were going so that part went fast. Tuna was on sale, but they were out, so I bought so tuna and replanned when we got home.

I'd defrosted some tomato sauce for the planned tuna dish, so instead we had Salmon in a Tomato-Cream Sauce (MJ@Home, p56), which we liked a lot last time I made it. No cilantro for the sauce today, but it was still good. Served with plain rice and plain peas, but it all went together well.

Thursday/27-Jul-17: Lovely bbq with Cath&Doug and their daughter Alison and her daughter Sophie this evening. I took Isla Bonita Pork Tenderloin (MC), with three huge varkenshazen. And Pineapple-Apple Coleslaw (TooMany, p59; MC), an old favorite that I haven't made in quite a while. Every was good.

Friday/28-Jul-17: Leftover cheese enchiladas for our main meal, with some pretty spicy guacamole, and a bit of coleslaw. Some chocolate cake from last night for dessert.

Did no cooking for tomorrow, which is a shame.

Saturday/29-Jul-17: Yogurt on overday.

Made two salads for a wedding dinner this evening, both old. There was Greek-Style Lentil Salad (WorldVeg, p630) and Zucchini and Feta Cheese Salad (WorldVeg, p640). Unforuntately, not as many people attended the dinner as were expected so we have gaboons of leftovers.

Sunday/30-Jul-17: Zucchini salad for breakfast. Lentil salad for our main meal, along with the leftover pork from Thursday. Nothing further happened in the kitchen.

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

Monday, July 17, 2017

This week in the kitchen

Monday/17-Jul-17: Replanned a bit today. For an early meal, we had rabbit ragu from the freezer over spaghettoni (also from the freezer). The ragu was still delicious; have added it to the Do-Me-Again page. Served with Cucumber Salad with Dill Vinaigrette (MC) over the last bit of mixed lettuces. We were full.

Roasted the rhubarb to make rhubarb ice cream in the next days. It came out of the oven just as we sat to eat, so I set the dish on the plate warmer to keep the sugar from cooling itself solid.

Tuesday/18-Jul-17: Very nice lunch out today. Nothing happened in the kitchen.

Wednesday/19-Jul-17: Shopping today.

Dinner was Cajun-Style Blackened Catfish (MC; I got it from the old recipezaar newsletter, here it is on the web). Good. Maybe a trifle salty. Served with Sweet Potato Fries (web), which were about as good as these things get (sweet pots being too soggy to get really crispy) and some steamed gesneden snijbonen. All good. While we ate, our ice cream freezer made up some Refreshing Rhubarb Ice Cream (web), which was tasty, but had a texture that made you think there was gelatin there.

Yogurt on overnight.

Thursday/20-Jul-17: Early meal today. We had grilled boudin noir with mashed potatoes and rhubarb compôte (I had been calling this chutney, but it's not really) from the freezer. With Radish Salad (web), a yummy salad. Next time it might be try fennel seeds instead of the caraway, as suggested by a reviewer.

Put off marinating the chicken for tomorrow till too late; had to replan for something that could be done.

Friday/21-Jul-17: New haircut today finally. Still undecided.

Dinner was Chicken with Mustard (web), which was good enough, but doesn't need to be done again. Served with rice pilaf. Then a salad caprese. And the rest of the rhubarb ice cream for dessert.

Saturday/22-Jul-17: Cheese enchiladas today. Good, in spite of problems. The package of tortillas in the fridge wasn't well closed, so they were dry and crumbly. I thought I had a unopened tube of crème fraîche, but it was half-full and moldy. I used what we call pyramid cheese instead; this is a soft goat cheese, similar-ish to crème fraîche, and worked well. Served with Mama's Spanish rice, with no tomatoes. All my avocados were bad, so I made a little side salad of tomato and cilantro with the bowl scrapings of the enchilada topping. All was pretty good.

Sunday/23-Jul-17: The new haircut is another failure.

Yogurt on overday.

We were out playing with archery all day. Dinner from the freezer, Broccoli-White Bean Soup, thinned with some chicken stock and broccoli bits added for something to bite on.

Started a huge pot of chicken stocks; there were three pretty full gallon-sized ziplocs full of bones in the freezer. And a sack of veggie bits in the fridge's freezer.

Funny I've used no cookbooks this week.

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

Monday, July 10, 2017

This week in the kitchen

Monday/10-Jul-17: Early meal today. We had Grilled Buffalo Chicken Tacos (CL; web). I sort of made a whole recipe, that should serve four, for the two of us. I used two kip filets as asked, and had much more romaine; even so, I made only half the dressing, using yogurt instead of buttermilk and feta instead blue cheese (because I forgot to buy this, duh). It was good, but I'll do it again when I'll remember to buy the cheese.

Yogurt on overnight.

Tuesday/11-Jul-17: Dinner was Rice Salad with Tuna & Avocado (PatSalad, p57). Made about a half recipe; wasn't obsessive about measuring. Maybe a bit plain, but very pleasant. I used short-grain brown rice rather than white.

Wednesday/12-Jul-17: Shopping today.

I recently read somewhere about Nicolas Freeling's The Kitchen Book, and got myself a copy. Actually the copy includes two books, The Kitchen Book and The Cook Book. He's known for the van der Valk mysteries. I didn't know that he worked as a chef for 15 year. Started reading this today. Really enjoying it.

Dinner was a sort of half recipe of Grilled Salmon with White Bean and Arugula Salad (web). I had half the salmon, but probably had close to all of the salad part. Very tasty. The salad part could be good with a kip filet on top.
  • Roasted some red bell peppers for tomorrow's dinner. 
  • Set some yogurt to draining for tomorrow's dinner.
  • Put some lamb cubes on to marinate for tomorrow's dinner.
Yogurt on overnight.

Thursday/13-Jul-17: Made Chile Puree (TexMex, p50). Put it up in three AH jars (two in the freezer), although four probably would have been all right; we'll just have lots of sauce for the next batches of enchiladas.

Our main course this evening was a two-thirds-ish recipe of Spicy Cumin Lamb Skewers (web). Ed grilled this outside (after the rain finally stopped). I used shaoxing wine instead of sherry. Yummy meat. This was billed as a "marriage of Middle Eastern and Chinese influence," so I chose the side dishes from  book I haven't used before, but clearly need to pay some attention to.

There was Shredded Beets with Thick Yogurt (EastMed, p30) with a 250g beet. This is supposed to be a sauce or dip. I think it would be a fine small salad. I thought it was very tasty; Ed liked it a bit less.

And a half recipe of Grilled Red Pepper Strips with Pomegranate and Cumin (EastMed, p154), another small salad. We liked this a lot. It might be pretty to do it with a mixture of red, yellow, and orange bell peppers.

And a two-thirds-ish recipe of Eggplant with Pomegranate Sauce (EastMed, p155). Instead of baking the eggplant slices, I put them under the broiler. They could have been done a bit longer. Nevertheless, quite tasty.

Finally a third recipe of Rice Pilaf with Noodles (EastMed, p233), which was a nice change from plain rice. I didn't soak the rice.

Friday/14-Jul-17: Bastille Day today. For dinner we had Warm Pasta Salad with Shrimp and Avocados (web). This was pretty good. I called the recipe dinner for two and used 7oz of tagliatelle (the end of a package, and no fresh stuff in the freezer). A bit of an odd combination, but it worked fine. Shrimp, avocado, artichoke hearts, chives (I used a whole can, about twice what was asked), and green olives, with a vinaigrette of white balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard, and olive oil.

Saturday/15-Jul-17: Pasta day today. Made Hazan's regular pasta with 1 cup flour and 2 eggs (actually I add quite a bit more as I knead, since it's fairly damp when I start). Cut as fettuccine on 5; tasty. By accident, after I roughly mixed the pasta dough, but before I started kneading, the dough rested for a bit. It was nicer to knead with this pause.

For a sauce, there was Arugula Purée with Walnuts and Goat Cheese (PeV, p39). Pretty good. I made a whole recipe and have two more lumps in the freezer now.

Sunday/16-Jul-17: Off to a vide grenier today; didn't buy anything.

Dinner was Chicken & Corn Salad (PatSalad, p99). Easy and tasty. Two of us ate what should have been for four.

Yogurt on overnight.

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

Monday, July 3, 2017

This week in the kitchen

Monday/3-Jul-17: An unanticipated consequence of our frequently eating early meals is that we don't work a big crossword daily. Our stack is growing.

No early meal today. We had Skillet Chicken with Rhubarb (web). I made a halfish recipe with four thighs. It was quite good. Served with trio rice, a cheap one with more white rice than anything, and carrot coins. Good stuff.

Yogurt on overnight.

Tuesday/4-Jul-17: The stove man came early today to have a look/listen to the strange noise. Of course it wouldn't make it as aggressively as it did last week, but it did give a buzz. He had a look, said it definitely wasn't in the gas line. Might be a screw. I was unclear if he actually tightened something or not.

Used the newly fixed, silent oven to make Flourless Chocolate Cake (web), partly to use up some of my inventory of ground almonds.

For our main meal, we had Craig Claiborne's Ultimate Hamburger (Tabasco, p88). I found the same recipe, minus the Tabasco sauce on the web. Really easy. Essential you just sear, then cook some plain hamburger patties, then top with a pat of butter (I think it's a good idea to do this in the pan, so the butter can be soaked up when you toast the buns), and a little sauce made of (for each patty) 1/4tsp Worcestershire sauce, 1/8tsp Tabasco sauce, 1/2tbl lemon juice. Sprinkle on 1tbl chopped parsley. You might add a slice of onion. Extra yummy.

For sides there were Mama's Garlic Cole Slaw (MC&HandyBook) and some corn on the cob. For dessert there was, of course some extra yummy Flourless Chocolate Cake.

Wednesday/5-Jul-17: Shopping day today. Some nice looking swordfish was on special, so I bought some and had to chance the meal plan.

I made Tandoori Style Striped Bass Fillet (MJ@Home, p43) with the swordfish. It was yummy, if a bit salty. I defrosted some spinach to make Spinach with Garlic and Cumin (MJ@Home, p169), easy and yummy. And then some Curried Brown Rice (MJ@Home, p220). All were good. Then some Flourless Chocolate Cake, with a bit of cream.

Oops, I forgot to buy bread at the store. So we'll have breakfast from the freezer tomorrow.

Thursday/6-Jul-17: An easy meal today. We had the leftover Zucchini and Fresh Goat Cheese Tart, along with a salad, followed by more Flourless Chocolate Cake, with a bit of cream. Not too bad.

Yogurt on overnight.

Friday/7-Jul-17: Earlyish meal today. We had Gemelli ai Fagiolini (Geometry. p115). Shh, I used casareccia instead of gemelli. Good stuff. A whole recipe was a nice main for two—haricots verts puréed with cream, cinnamon, and a bit of garlic. Simple and surprisingly good. Served with a big salad. Then the end of the Flourless Chocolate Cake with some cream and raspberries. We ate well.

Saturday/8-Jul-17: Early meal today. I made a half recipe of New Potato and Chorizo Tortilla (web). Good stuff. The potatoes need a bit longer to cook than the recipe says; maybe it would be a good idea to boil them half done first. Anyhow it was good. Followed by a little salad of grated carrots. And the last half of the watermelon. (We ate the first half earlier this week, but I neglected to record it.)

Sunday/9-Jul-17: Ed's choir sang today. We had pizza afterwards. Nothing happened in the kitchen.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 BACKLOG: no; #2 VEG/FISH: 3
This month: #3 PASTA: no; #4 BREAD: no

Monday, June 26, 2017

This week in the kitchen

Monday/26-Jun-17: Pasta day today. I made Greek Shrimp (PastaMach, p136), served over Lemon Chive Pasta (PastaMach, p67). I added the grated rind of a lemon to the pasta and used 3tsp of frozen chives. It had a strange translucency, almost like rice noodles. Not sure why. But chewed nice. Then a salad.

Tuesday/27-Jun-17: Lunch out today. Nothing happened in the kitchen.

Yogurt on overnight.

Wednesday/28-Jun-17: The stove got fixed this morning, at no small cost. But now I have two working ovens and the wok burner lights itself.

Shopping day.

Dinner was Chicken Posole Salad (web; cookbooker). This was very tasty. For two people I used two small kip filets (250g total) with all the spice mix; saved a bit of the mix for cooking the hominy. Need at least 1cup of hominy. Used a whole avocado between us; no sharing one between four. Halved the vinaigrette. A very tasty, easy salad. I had a mini magnum for afters.

Put fish on to marinate for tomorrow.

Thursday/29-Jun-17: Indian meal night. We had Monkfish Kebabs (30MinInd, p70), which were pretty good. As go-withs there were Jeera Potatoes (30MinInd, p85) and Peas with Whole Cumin and Mustard Seeds (SpiceKitch, p48); both of these we've enjoyed before. Everything was good.

Yogurt on overnight.

Friday/30-Jun-17: I missed an eating-out on Wednesday evening, so we had lunch out today.

To use up some of the store-bought rhubarb, I made a Rhubarb Upside Down Cake, from my 2BTried cookbook in Mastercook. Good it is. Went to use the newly fixed oven and found it makes a strange noise when it's turned on. Now I have to manage telling them that on the phone.

Saturday/1-Jul-17: Starting to use the tortillas I ordered. Tonight we had Soft Tacos or Tostadas with Chicken and Tomatillo Salsa (MexLight, p206). Used cooked chicken from the freezer. Didn't make salsa verde, but finished off a nice bottle of the stuff, topped off with a can of "salsa verde" that was only puréed tomatillos. Topped with crème fraîche instead of yogurt. Pretty good stuff for as easy as it was. Rhubarb Upside Down Cake for dessert.

Sunday/2-Jul-17: Early meal today. I made Zucchini and Fresh Goat Cheese Tart (VT,jul/aug16; web). This was pretty good. The curious thing is that the recipe I collected from the magazine is titled "goat cheese", while the one online is titled "taleggio". Same picture and other details are the same. Curious that. Some strangenessese in the recipe. They say one pound of zucchini, sliced, makes three cups; nope, it was four cups. And 10oz mushrooms, sliced, makes 2-1/2 cups; nope, that was more than 4cups. The volume measures are better. No madeira in house, so I used dry sherry. Tasty mushroom like shiitake would be even better.

Then a salad. Then the rest of the Rhubarb Upside Down Cake.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 BACKLOG: no; #2 VEG/FISH: 3
This month: #3 PASTA: yes for June, no for July; #4 BREAD: no for June, no for July

Monday, June 19, 2017

This week in the kitchen

Monday/19-Jun-17: Still no news of Pogo. :-( And another excruciatingly hot day.

An earlyish meal. I completed my round of pressure cooker recipes in Madhur Jaffrey's Quick and Easy Indian Cooking with Pork or Lamb Vindaloo (Q&E, p33), using pork today since we had lamb a few days ago. I've made this recipe a number of times, with and without the pressure cooker. The pressure cooker gives wonderful meat, but I do miss the enticing cooking smell. Served with plain basmati rice and Pan-Griled Zucchini (MJ@Home, p173), another old favorite. For nibbles, I made Seasoned Radishes (MJ@Home, p6), but I seem to be the only one who likes them. A shame. Ed bought some chocolate custards for dessert when he went to get milk and bread. Not bad.

Tuesday/20-Jun-17: Lunched out today. Nothing happened in the kitchen. Hot hot hot.

Wednesday/21-Jun-17: Bill left today. Lunched out before catching his train. Shopped after that. Nothing much happened in the kitchen. Hot hot hot.

Yogurt on overnight.

Thursday/22-Jun-17: Early meal today. We had a half dose of Roerbak van Pangasius met Rode en Gele Paprika (web). Didn't use panga, but lieu noir instead. Very good for how easy it was. Served over brown rice. That was all.

Friday/23-Jun-17: The horrible heat is over—hooray!

Early meal today. Made a half dose of Brown Rice Salad with Apples & Walnuts (PatSalads, p54). Easy and quite tasty, although I thought needed a bit more lemon. Mini magnums for dessert

Cooked up a pound of hominy, some for a coming meal, the rest for the freezer.

Saturday/24-Jun-17: Nothing much happened in the kitchen today. Dinner out at a cancer charity event.

Yogurt on overnight.

Sunday/25-Jun-17: This turned into use-up-leftover-bits-of-bread day. Not planned, but it happened.

I bought a batch of rhubarb shopping this week, thinking our rhubarb was about done for the year. Discovered yesterday there's plenty more still to be harvested. Started on the store-bought bit, by making some Rhubarb Bread Pudding, a recipe I got from EAT-L.

Last summer I collected recipes for Aubergines à la Bonifacienne within a few weeks of each other, from two different magazines (C&V, VPG)—two recipes, the same but different. For our meal today, I smerged these: Steamed the eggplant halves, rather than boiling (ugh). Used about 90g of dryish breads, soaked in milk. Used 200g of tomme de brebis (rather than 75g or 250g, since the package was 200g). Added two sprinkles of cayenne. Baked rather than fried. The recipes both called for 2 eggplant halves per person. This was actually quite a bit. Might be better to get bigger eggplants (mine were bio and smallish, the two were 500g; usually they're about 350g each), and serve a half per person.


Easy to make: Remove the flesh from the steamed eggplants, coarsely chop, then mix with the soaked bread (liquid squeezed out). Then stir in an egg, the grated cheese, a minced garlic clove, some chopped basil, S&P. Stuff this into the eggplant shells and bake for 30min. Pop under the broiler for 5min to brown the top. Yum.

Not sure who or where Boniface is and what the connection with stuffed eggplant is.

Then a big salad. We're stuffed.

A while later we had some Rhubarb Bread Pudding with a bit of ice cream. Good stuff.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 BACKLOG: no; #2 VEG/FISH: 3
This month: #3 PASTA: no; #4 BREAD: no

Monday, June 12, 2017

This week in the kitchen

Monday/12-Jun-17: We had our main meal early, leftover chiles rellenos casserole. Still good it was. With a bit of mâche and some guacamole.

All day house cleaning, ironing, getting ready for Bill's arrival tomorrow.

Yogurt on overnight.

Tuesday/13-Jun-17: BookChatters, then finish up cleaning. I made dinner (midst a big thunderstorm and open skylight) while Ed picked up Bill. We had Ginger, Soy and Garlic Chicken (web) from the bbq. A bit salty (too much soy sauce?) and nothing special. Chicken did have a nice texture. Served with a made-up salad of soba noodles with roasted bell peppers. This was pretty tasty, but needed a bit of salt.

Wednesday/14-Jun-17: Off to the thumb doctor this a.m., then home. Finished off the shopping list while Ed took a nap. Then lunch at Chez Steph. Followed by shopping.

Put lamb on to marinate for tomorrow's meal. Made Apricot Chutney (web), to replace the apricot chutney from the book that we didn't like.

Thursday/15-Jun-17: Early meal today. Ed barbecued Sweet Milk-Marinated Grilled Lamb with Sweet and Hot Apricot Condiment (Thrill, p151). We didn't like the Sweet and Hot Apricot Condiment last time, so I served the Apricot Chutney I made yesterday. Yummy stuff. Served with the recommended Sweet Potato Salad (Thrill, p302; cookbooker). This needed a bit of tweaking but was quite good, a nice change from potato salad.

Yogurt on overnight. Put what's probably the last of our raspberries on to macerate and prepared "broth" for ice cream.

Friday/16-Jun-17: What a day! Bathroom flooded, with plumbing apparently blocked between there and the fosse. At the time we were discovering this, the delivery man cam with the new dishwasher. The door was inadvertently left open and Pogo went walkabout. We've scoured the neighborhood, but he hasn't returned. We're hoping that since he was out without his collar (just been brushed) that he was picked up as a stray and we'll find him at the pound tomorrow. Fingers crossed.

Back to Time-Life for dinner this afternoon. We had Geschmorter Schweinsbraten mit Kapern—Braised Pork Roast with Paprika, Capers and Caraway (TLVienna, p38). I cooked the meat a bit long, spending time looking for Pogo, so it was a bit too done, but the sauce was yummy. Served with potatoes boiled in their jackets and peas&shallots.


For dessert with has some raspberry ice cream, again made with the mascarpone cream. Yum.

Saturday/17-Jun-17: Pogo still hasn't returned. We visited the fourrière, hoping to find him there, but no luck. Have papered the area with flyers now.

Nice dinner. Made Harissa Chicken with Leeks, Potatoes, and Yogurt (web). Had slightly over a kilo of thighs, so upped everything that much. Really yummy and easy. Some lemon tarts from the boulangerie in La Rochefoucauld for dessert.

Sunday/18-Jun-17: Still no Pogo.

We're not overly happy with the new dishwasher. The usability part is ok, but the baskets feel unsturdy and they don't stay on their tracks very well. And the top drawer for silverware, which I loved in our old machine, is difficult to fill. I'm sure the machine holds fewer dishes that our old one. Kind of wishing we had spent the money to replace that one exactly.

We ate out for lunch today, so nothing much happened in the kitchen.

Yogurt on overnight.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 BACKLOG: no; #2 VEG/FISH: 1
This month: #3 PASTA: no; #4 BREAD: no

Monday, June 5, 2017

This week in the kitchen

Monday/5-Jun-17: Change of plan today, since I forgot to defrost the lamb yesterday and will have that tomorrow. Ate from the freezer today instead, some yummy carrot soup. That was about it in the kitchen.

Tuesday/6-Jun-17: Dinner was Spicy Cumin Lamb Skewers (Yang Rou Chuan) (web). I didn't take the meat off the chops, but used the spice mix as a rub and cooked them under the broiler. Extra delicious. We probably ate three people's worth of meat between us. This rub would probably be good on other meats. I didn't use the oil and Shaoxing wine. Accompanied by plain rice and a half-dose of Hot and Spicy Wrinkled Beans (Chinatown, p106), which we've enjoyed before. No dessert necessary. Ed thought it would be nice to finish the bottle of wine we started. I'm a bit tipsy.

Yogurt on overnight.

Wednesday/7-Jun-17: Shopping today.

Dinner was Warm & Spicy Fish Salad (PatSalads, p95), which I've made before and is still good. I used rocket/arugula/roquette instead of spinach for the salad, and probably more than they intended. For dessert I made some raspberry ice cream. Raspberries from the yard. Vanilla ice cream made with with part mascarpone cream and one part cream cream. Yummy stuff.

Thursday/8-Jun-17: With my French teacher's help, I finally managed to get our new dishwasher ordered. It will be more than a week till it arrives, but at least that's in progress.

Dinner was Rhubarb Khoresh (Roden, p360), a kind of beef stew, with rhubarb from the garden (maybe the last for this year). The stew was one of those glad-I-made-it-don't-have-to-do-it-again things. It's strange that the garden rhubarb is almost gone, but I still haven't seen it in the store. Served with plain rice, Beet Salad (Roden, p68), and Michoteta—Cream Creese and Cucumber Salad (Roden, p65). I've made both of the salads before. Both are good, but the one with feta and cuke really scratches my itch. Then some of the raspberry ice cream.

Friday/9-Jun-17: Found traces of another kitchen mouse, another one that especially likes cantuccini. Sigh.

Dinner was Chiles Rellenos Casserole (CL90, p147). It's the first time I've made this in quite a while. Used a big can of poblanos. Quite yummy. Then a salad. Then we finished off the raspberry ice cream. Yum.

Yogurt on overnight.

Saturday/10-Jun-17: Early meal today, a half recipe of Bang Bang Shrimp (web). Pretty good stuff, and fast and easy. I substituted smoked paprika for regular, which was a mistake. Served with a big salad.

Sunday/11-Jun-17: Mouse was in the trap this morning. Ed dropped him off (possibly too close to the house) on his way to singing this afternoon, so we had a fast dinner from the freezer. Mongolian Beef, served over rice with a side of broccoli. Okay and filling.

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

Monday, May 29, 2017

This week in the kitchen

Monday/29-May-17: Early meal today. We had a halfish recipe of Spicy Jerk Pork Chicken with Pepper Fried Rice (BHG/apr13; web) Well, it would have been pork if I'd defrosted that. Instead I defrosted a baggieful of boneless, skinless chicken thighs. Used a red bell pepper and one of the French vaguely spicy pepper/chiles for the banana pepper, and shaoxing wine for the white wine or dry sherry. Very good and easy.

Discovered I have lots of ground almonds in the fridge freezer. Need to use those up.

Tuesday/30-May-17: We were supposed to eat out today, but Ed forgot, so I made a clean-out-the-fridge meal. Searched for broccoli tomato sauce blue cheese and came up with this, which I did very loosely, using roasted broccoli instead of spinach. Had some leftover tomato sauce and filled that out with two tomatoes. Wasn't bad.

Wednesday/31-May-17: Shopping today. Our dishwasher is on the fritz. Ed's been working on it but without much success. First it was saying it was clogged up, as it does occasionally, then it's saying it's leaking. On-going issue.

Dinner was a halfish recipe of Grilled Salmon with White Bean and Arugula Salad (CL/jun16; web). Very nice dinner salad. I'm going to stick the recipe in Pat's salad book, since it fits right in with that.

We went to sit outside to eat and it immediately started drizzling. Because of the forecast high winds (which haven't happened so far), the pergola is furled. So we had a slightly damp dinner. But tasty.

Yogurt on overnight.

Thursday/1-Jun-17: Dinner tonight was a halfish recipe of Pollo all'Arribiata—'Enraged' Chicken (TuscTable, p123). Good it was. Was surprised to find a bottle of chianti (Piccini) at Leclercc to use for the sauce. We finished the rest of it, so feel a bit happy tonight. Lots of sauce left, which we'll have over pasta for lunch one of these days. Served with tagliatelle (end of a multi-grain one plus some regular) with olive oil and chopped parsley as suggested.

Ed fixed the dishwasher today -- yay!

Friday/2-Jun-17:Lunch out today, so not much happened in the kitchen. Replanned our menus a bit, since we had steaks for lunch and there was more beef due up in a few days.

Oops, dishwasher not fixed. In moving it back in place, a connection came loose. Ed found this and plugged it back in. In the wrong place. Electric fizz. No more dishwasher. Back to hand washing for a bit.

Made a half recipe of Two-Tomato Jam (BoldVeg, p232), which is a go-with for tomorrow's meal.

Yogurt on overnight in anticipation of something needing yogurt in a few days.

Saturday/3-Jun-17: Interesting meal today. Our main was a half recipe of Grilled Eggplant and Toasted Pecan Salad (BoldVeg, p78). I see belatedly that this is supposed to be a salad or side dish; that explains why it seemed so skimpy. Served it over brown rice. It was good, but nothing extra special, but ... The recommended Two-Tomato Jam go-with (really a chutney) that I made last night was a star, definitely a keeper. To fill up the plate, I made Spiced Beets (30MinInd, p88), which I made several times already. Pretty and tasty. For dessert there was Carrot-Apple Halwa (BoldVeg, p240). This was pretty good and easy enough to do while other things a happening.

Sunday/4-Jun-17: Early meal today, a half recipe of Pasta Pentimento (EatingTog, p170; cookbooker). A really yummy pasta dish. Then a salad. Then the last of the halwa.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 BACKLOG: no; #2 VEG/FISH: 4
This month: #3 PASTA: yes for May, no for Jun; #4 BREAD: no for May, no for Jun

Monday, May 22, 2017

This week in the kitchen

Monday/22-May-17: Early meal today, and yummy it was. I made a half recipe of Shrimp Scampi Fra Diavolo (I got it from EAT-L, here it is on the web). I used frozen, cooked shrimp; might add them a bit later than the recipe suggests. I didn't have any bucatini and no "fat" spaghetti-type thing except linguine (although I realize as I type that I have some spaghettoni in the freezer and that would have been perfect), so I used cascarrecia instead. I didn't think it was right, but Ed did. Then a big salad.

Tuesday/23-May-17: Early dinner today. We had Grilled Maple Sriracha Chicken Kebobs (web), grilled outside. A bit too sweet for either of our tastes; sriracha is already sweet and didn't need the extra sugar. Served with Roasted Garlic Lemon Broccoli (web), which was pretty good, and some roasted potatoes. We were full.

Wednesday/24-May-17: Shopping today.

Dinner was a half recipe of Cod with Beans, Corn, and Pesto (web), easy and fast and not bad at all. (Cod was on special today, hooray.) Served with some boiled new potatoes. Strawberries and cream for dessert.

Yogurt on overnight.

Thursday/25-May-17: We attended a repas dansant with sanglier à la broche today. Delicious food and lots of it. Nothing happened in the kitchen today.

Friday/26-May-17: Early meal today. We had Lemony Seared Sea Scallops over Angel Hair (web). Tasty, but ... the recipe serves four (it says), divided among six bowls. Oh? And 8oz of pasta to serve four or six? I sort of halved it and used 6-ish oz of pasta (whole wheat spaghetti) for the two of us. It was good, though. Then a salad. For dessert there was Apple Berry Clafouti (MC), a recipe I've had for quite a while. A third recipe with one apple and a handful of frozen cranberries was a nice dessert for two.

Saturday/27-May-17: Off to the vet with Sophie this morning. Looks like she was in a fight yesterday and got some bad scratches on her backend. Conehead for her, with anitbiotics and painkillers, for a few days.

Dinner was a half recipes of Sauté de Dinde aux Olives, Riz, Blé, Sarrasin et Quinoa (VPG, web). This is part of a meal (for Wednesday). I made the go-with starter, Faisselle Baltique (VPG, web), which was interesting. Google Translate thinks faisselle is "cottage cheese," but it's not. It's kind of a very fresh cheese, a bit sour, but still nice tasting. (Good cottage cheese is not to be found here. We were very spoiled in NL for that.) This kind came in individual servings, which were turned out on some slices of cooked potato, surrounded by some smoked salmon, and topped with a sauce of olive oil, a bit of the whey drained from the faisselle, and coarse mustard. Should have been topped with chopped onion, but I used the tops of some green onions in pots. I served the sautté, squares of turkey scallops cooked with green olives in tomato sauce, with trio rice rather than Uncle Ben's rice, wheat, buckwheat, and quinoa mixture.

Yogurt on overnight

Sunday/28-May-17: Dinner was a half recipe of Tonnarelli al Granchio e Rucola—Tonnarelli with Crab and Rocket (ClassPasta, p107). This was very yummy, easy, and very pretty with the colors of the Italian flag, red, green, and white. Served with fresh pasta. To match the chili flakes in the sauce, I added some to the pasta. Rolled to 5 and cut as spaghetti, which turns out sort of squarish and fairly close to tonnarelli. But ... chili flakes don't cut well in spaghetti. Tasted good though.

Followed by Clafoutis aux Cerises (VPG; couldn't find on web). This was supposed to be the dessert for last night's dinner. An interesting recipe because it used cherries (griottes) from a jar, two for me since I couldn't find the 500g one asked, and slightly more than asked. Also odd that it was cooked in a skillet on the stovetop, supposedly turned over using a plate to brown on the other side. I put the skillet under the broiler to finish up. Pretty good it was.

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

Monday, May 15, 2017

This week in the kitchen

Monday/15-May-17: Ed still not feeling well, so he had a soup of chicken stock with some whole wheat noodles. I made myself some Shredded Chicken Tacos (Tinga de Pollo) (web), using the last of the Thanksgiving turkey. Not bad it was, if a bit sweet, even though I cut way back on the sugar.

Tuesday/16-May-17: An easy-on-Ed's-innards meal this afternoon. I made a half recipe of Spaghetti with Zucchini and Lemon (MW@Home, p195). This is an old favorite recipe that I haven't made in a while. For me, there was a little salad of sliced tomato with basil. Then a mini magnum.

Wednesday/17-May-17: Shopping today.

Dinner was 15-Minute Thai Coconut Curry Salmon (web). Oops, had only one instead of two tablespoons of green curry sauce. Maybe it would have been better with two, but it was quite good with only one. Used fresh salmon rather than frozen. Can't say it took 15 minutes, but it was done in well under under 30 minutes, and it was good. Served over rice and that was dinner.

Yogurt on overnight.

Thursday/18-May-17: Leftover casserole of aiguilettes for our main meal today. It was pretty good reheated. I had a mini magnum for dessert. Have had the munchies all day too. Ate half an avocado from the fridge, a hard-boiled egg, and a packet of two cookies.

Put some black beans on to soak.

Friday/19-May-17: Cooked up the beans. Saved some for tomorrow's dinner; froze the rest.

Nice dinner, a halfish recipe of Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Chili Sauce (web; web). My varkenshaas was about 575g; a whole recipe asked about 1350g for four. We had more than enough for two. But it was delicious; not very hot at all. I didn't add the sugar and didn't miss it. Served with polenta and some steamed (hand-)gesneden snijbonen. Ed thought the plate was so pretty it deserved a photo, so here you are:


Saturday/20-May-17: Busy day today. We put out tomato plants and seeds for zucchini (there was only one seed in the packet!), eggplants, haricots verts, fêves, and kousebanden.

Got a second folder thing (a trieur, en français) for recipes. All the veggie recipes remain in the old one; fruits and nuts go in the second one. I collect all my, for example, mushroom recipes, clip them together and put them in the M-Q section. Seems to be a good way to work. Pulled out some of my fruit recipes for the semi-sorted stack of dessert recipes and ran again into the question: Should they be sorted by ingredient (chocolate, pear, banana, etc.) or by form (custard, pie, muffin, quick bread, cake, etc.) They're by form right now, but I'm leaning back to ingredient. Decisions, decisions.

Make some super banana bread following this recipe. I have no idea where this came from. I just found the unannotated copy in my stacks. If you recognize it, please let me know. It made an excellent loaf of banana bread.


Dinner was Harissa Sweet Potato Hash (web), served over brown rice. It was colorful and tasty.

Sunday/21-May-17: Ed didn't feel well enough to sing today, and I didn't feel well enough to go. Sigh.

Early meal of Walter McIlhenny's Chili (Tabasco, p89). This was quite tasty, but the meat was a bit on the tough side. Might use the pressure cooker another time. Served with Corn Bread (Joy, p 578) and guacamole. All good stuff.

Yogurt on overnight.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 BACKLOG: yes; #2 VEG/FISH: 2
This month: #3 PASTA: no; #4 BREAD: no
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Monday, May 8, 2017

This week in the kitchen

Monday/8-May-17: Dinner was Marinated Chicken Spiedies with Garlic Sauce (web), chicken marinated in olive oil, lemon juice, cilantro, and parsley, grilled on skewers, then plopped in toasted bread. (My first batch of bread caught on fire under the grill, a bit dramatic.) Pretty tasty. Made a whole recipe and the rest will appear later in the week. Served Orange Carrot Salad (web), that I made last week, this time with the carrots cut on the mandoline. The mandoline is marginally easier, but more to clean up, and it wastes so much of the carrot. I've got lots of carrot bits in my freezer sack for the next batch of chicken stock now.

Tuesday/9-May-17: Shopping today.

Dinner was Tamarind Seabass with Cucumber (Jamie; unable to find on the web, an annoying feature of Jamie magazine), made with cod. This was okay, nothing special. Ed thought the tamarind flavor was too strong; I thought it was fine. Served with plain basmati rice and Stir-Fried Green Beans with Garlic (QuickWok, p130), which Ed liked especially and I thought were just okay. We evened it all out with some mini magnums (one classic, one white with almonds).

Wednesday/10-May-17: A day out today. Left early. Home late. Didn't think we'd be hungry, but we ended up eating our leftover pizza. Then fell into bed.

Thursday/11-May-17: Remembered we had the remains of a jar of some pretty good salsa verde when I saw the recipe for Salsa Verde Burgers (web). Used some slices of Maasdam cheese, minced some jalapeno slices, and called it pepper Jack cheese. Not bad at all. For a side, there was Summer Rice Salad (Rodale, p129), an old favorite I haven't made in a while. Some strawberries and cream for dessert.

Friday/12-May-17: Early meal today. We had Aiguillettes de Canard Gratinées (VPG, not to be found on the web). I made a half recipe, which should serve two and we will have two meals of it. Interesting assembly, easy to make. Cook some carrot coins and some broccoli bits. Make a sauce with milk and cream thickened with potato starch. (I used about half of the half asked and had a really thick sauce.) Purée that with about half of the cooked carrots and broccoli, adding and egg, S&P and a bit of grated nutmeg. Lay some aiguillettes (these are the narrow bits on the back of breast halves) on the bottom of a casserole, top with the remaining veggies, pour the puréed mixture over this, and top with some grated gruyère. Pop in a 210C/400F oven for 20 minutes.

Trying to get our US taxes done today.

Saturday/13-May-17: Oops, forgot to put yogurt on last night, so we're a bit short now. Didn't notice till too late to start it this morning.

Early meal today was a half recipe of Artichoke Puree with Sun-Dried Tomatoes (PeV, p32). Pretty good, but I didn't trim the artichokes well enough so there were some unpleasant fibers. And a salad. Ed not feeling well.

Made the top and bottom for tomorrow's dacquoise.

Yogurt on overnight.

Sunday/14-May-17: Finished off the Raspberry Dacquoise (web) for Cath's birthday do. Mine isn't nearly as pretty as Clotilde's, but it was pretty darn tasty.


I'd planned to make a salad with Monday's leftover chicken spiedies for dinner, but Ed's not eating, so I dumped them into what's left of Wednesday's rice salad and that's what I had. Easy and not too bad.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 BACKLOG: no; #2 VEG/FISH: 3
This month: #3 PASTA: no; #4 BREAD: no

Monday, May 1, 2017

This week in the kitchen

Monday/1-May-17: Earlyish meal today. I made a halfish recipe of Spaghetti con i Turini—Spaghetti with Field Mushrooms (Field, p79). Instead of chicken broth to add liquid to the cooking shiitakes, I added a slog of white wine. Used whole wheat spaghetti. It was good. Then a salad. We were full.

Tuesday/2-May-17: Earlyish meal again. I picked last week's chicken, froze some of the meat, and made Moroccan Chicken Salad Pitas (CL/may14; web) with the rest. No pitas in the freezer (oops), so used some naans from the freezer. Pretty good stuff. Also made the accompanying Orange-Carrot Salad (web), which quite good. It would be fast and easy if I hadn't made all those matchsticks myself. Might try the mandolin next time.

Wednesday/3-May-17: Shopping today. Followed by an xray of my thumb. "C'est cassé," he said, as if I hadn't already figured that out.

Dinner was tuna steaks, on sale, probably a bit old. Accompanied by Pan-Charred Asparagus (web), which was ok, but I think I prefer the roasted ones, and some boiled new potatoes. Some store-bought custards with caramel for dessert.

Thursday/4-May-17: Dinner was Spinach Leek and Feta Cheese Frittata (web), which was pretty good. I made in in my 9" cast iron skillet, and used five whole eggs rather then 3 whole and 3 whites. It was good. And all we needed.

Friday/5-May-17: Another early main meal. We had Magret de Canard au Poivre (VPG, can't find it on the web). Pretty good. Served with carrots and frozen peas (no longer frozen, of course) and some of the gramigne pasta that I got for another recipe a couple of weeks ago.

Put lamb steaks on to marinate for tomorrow's meal.

Yogurt on overnight.

Saturday/6-May-17: We had a half recipe of (Harissa-Marinated) Lamb Salad (web). Lamb steaks were marinated overnight with harissa and lemon juice, then grilled and sliced. Served on a bed of roasted veggies (eggplant, zucchini, sweet potato) atop couscous with ras el hanout, with dollops of yogurt with chopped fresh mint. No S&P anywhere in the recipe; a bit of salt needed at the table. Simple and good.

Sunday/7-May-17: Yogurt on overday.

Pizza night tonight. I started with Piled High Zucchini and Cheese Topped Pizza (web). Didn't really make this, but used the shredded zucchini mixed with cheese as one of the main ingredients. For the dough, I used Easy No-Knead Pizza Dough (web), which is definitely a keeper. Pizza started with some of my tomato-free pizza sauce based on roasted red bell peppers from a jar, then the shredded zucchini mixed with goat cheese (for the cheese), then some slices of grilled eggplants, some grilled broccoli, some chopped black olives*, some capers, shredded mozzarella, grated Parmesan, and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes. Yum.

* A couple of weeks ago, we had pizzas out after a movie. We both ordered pizzas with black olives as one of the feature ingredients. Three black olives each, we got, more like a garnish than an ingredient.

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

Monday, April 24, 2017

This week in the kitchen

Monday/24-Apr-17: Spent the afternoon filing some chicken recipes and hoping to toss some of my stack. Didn't manage to toss many at all. There are just too many recipes needing to be made. I've got +/-180 recipes in the "bird" category, chicken, turkey, duck, pintade, etc. At two a week that's ninety weeks, a year and a half. Without collecting any more. Sigh.

Lunch didn't happen till about 4pm, so dinner was late. I wasn't very hungry and definitely didn't feel like making fresh pasta, which was on the plan. I got some frozen tagliatelle from the freezer to make Fettuccine al Salmone (PastaBible, p136). This was yummy, if a bit on the rich side with lots of cream and butter. Followed by a big salad. Nothing further needed.

(A nice thing about making pasta is that it forces me to clear off the peninsula counter. That's where all the Stuff accumulates until I have a reason to put it all away.)

Yogurt on overnight.

Tuesday/25-Apr-17: Oscar to the vet in the early afternoon. Then I made a not-so-early dinner, but since we didn't have breakfast till noon, it worked out all right.

I made Lamb with Onions (Q&E, p32), the last pressure cooker recipe in that book that I haven't tried. (One more to do that I've made before.) Very good and really easy, just dump everything in the pressure cooker, give it a stir, seal it up, and go. Served with plain basmati rice and Green Beans with Mushrooms (Q&E, p86) without the added tomato (ran out). All tasty. After a while we had some mini magnums for dessert.

Yogurt on overnight.

Wednesday/26-Apr-17: Shopping today. Dinner was Snapper with Fresh Tomatoes and Capers; the recipe came from The New American Heart Association Cookbook, 7th Edition; I copied it from GoogleBooks. Used lieu noir (saithe) rather than snapper. It was good. Served with orzo and some roasted asparagus, a few left from last week and a new, smaller package of organic ones. Some store-bought riz au lait for dessert, topped with a couple of strawberries, which didn't really go well with the texture of the pudding. But tasted fine.

Thursday/27-Apr-17: Early dinner was Yogurt-Curry Marinated Chicken Thighs (web), easy to assemble and quite tasty. Broiled the thighs. Accompanied by a quarter recipe of Rice with Peas (MJ1, p149) and some canned corn. For dessert, there was Crème Fraîche Ice Cream (MC), made with sucre de canne, so it was fairly beige, but still tasty.

Friday/28-Apr-17: Pogo is really sick today, a bit worrying. Throwing up, not eating, breathing funny, trembling, weaker than usual. Made a vet appointment for tomorrow morning.

Yes, finally got the peninsula counter cleared off and we had fresh pasta tonight. It was Fettuccine alle Verdure (ClassPasta, p92). I cut tagliatelle rather than fettuccine, and I cut them at 5 rather than 6. I may prefer fettuccine at 5, but we thought the tagliatelle were a bit too thick. Still quite edible though. The sauce was okay, nothing special. As we were eating, I thought it could have used some fresh parsley stirred in, or maybe some shredded basil. Then a big salad.

Ed was being very helpful clearing up, scraping all the excess flour into the recycle food bin. Then he bobbled the bin and turn in out onto the dutch oven, wok, and floor below. Big mess to clean up. Oh well.

Saturday/29-Apr-17: Pogo was better this morning, no longer trembling, breathing easier, but we went off to the vet anyhow. We're treating symptoms now, hoping it just goest away. If they recur, he'll get some serious testing. He did manage to walk up the stairs by himself tonight.

Early meal today. Broccoli Soup with Lemon-Chive Cream (web), with was pretty good, with tuna salad sandwiches. For dessert, some nice almond paste pastries from the boulangerie.

Sunday/30-Apr-17: Dinner was way late tonight. My fault for not calculating properly how long it would take. When we finally got there, we had Jamie Oliver's Chicken in Milk (all over the web, web, web), a very popular recipe. And justifiably. We ate half. I'll use the rest for a mreal in a couple of days (or else it goes in the freezer). Lots of sauce left; thinking it will turn into a soup in the next days. Served with Clothilde Dusoulier's Perfect Roast Potatoes (web), which I had to cook under the broiler since there wasn't an oven at the proper temperature. These turned out great. And Haricots Verts in Walnut Oil (HandyBook; Bard, p216). We're stuffed.

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

Monday, April 17, 2017

This week in the kitchen

Monday/17-Apr-17: Early meal today before we went off to a concert. We had Shish Taouk—Lebanese Chicken Skewers (web). Put the chicken to marinate last night. Pretty good, although I think thighs might have been even better. Served with orzo, roasted asparagus (two spears from the garden, the rest left from last shopping), and a grated carrot salad. That was all.

Tuesday/18-Apr-17: Lunch out today. Nothing happened in the kitchen.

Wednesday/19-Apr-17: Shopping today. The salmon I'd planned uses up something else, but tuna was on sale. This meant a bit of last-minute replanning so we could have both.

Tonight we had grilled tuna, somewhat overdone, my fault; with steamed asparagus and tagliatelle with sautéed mushrooms. For dessert we did serious damage to our chocolate Easter bunnies, previously neglected.

Thursday/20-Apr-17: Early meal today. We had Baked Cheddar Polenta and Salmon with Crushed Pea and Garlic (web). Pretty good, but a bit long on the polenta. I love the stuff, but I'm stuffed. Some strawberries and cream for dessert.

Yogurt on overnight.

Friday/21-Apr-17: Dinner was a half recipe Gratin de Brocoli, Pomme de Terre et Merguez (VPG). (I haven't been able to find a copy of this online, unfortunately.) Quite good for a throw-together kind of dinner. Cooked potatoes, broccoli, and merguez are tossed together with a bechamel sauce (homemade here, rather than store-bought as the recipe asked), then topped with gruyère (some aged comtè instead), baked for a bit, then put under the broiler to brown. Yum. Made a salad but the half recipe was more than enough for two, so the salad goes on till tomorrow.

Saturday/22-Apr-17: Up and out early this morning to go to the Saturday morning walk-in hours for our doctor (nothing serious). After we got home and ate breakfast, I made Seviyan ki Kheer—Vermicelli Pudding (MJ1, p192), a recipe I've made repeatedly, trying to get it just right. This time I followed Jaffrey's timing for cooking, rather than volume. And it worked! I used raw brown sugar rather than white, so the color was a bit tan. I used ground cardamom rather than crushing or grinding seeds, which didn't give as nice a flavor. Still, it was altogether very successful.

Had an itch for Shrimp Biryani but couldn't remember from which book I made it not too long ago. Found a recipe online (web), which turned out to come from a book I have (MJ@Home, p214), the very recipe I've made. Did it again. Yum. Served with Cachumber—Tomato, Onion and Green Coriander Relish (MJ1, p172). And kheer for dessert. Lekker!

Sunday/23-Apr-17: Early meal today (the better to work on ironing). We had a half dose of Grilled Chicken Breast with Satay Sauce (CL dec16; web). The chicken was good, but neither of us were impressed by the satay sauce. Something missing there. The published go-with was Cucumber, Carrot, and Orange Salad (web), which was good, but the sauce lacked a bit of something; more vinegar needed perhaps. And a bit of buckwheat crozets on the side. Followed by the uneaten salad from Friday, and then by the rest of yesterday's kheer.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 BACKLOG: no; #2 VEG/FISH: 3
This month: #3 PASTA: no; #4 BREAD: no

Monday, April 10, 2017

This week in the kitchen

Monday/10-Apr-17: Back from Bordeaux this afternoon, collecting Pogo and the cats along the way. Dinner from the freezer, a beef stew we didn't much like the first time and it didn't improve in the freezer. Made a salad, but we didn't eat it. Tomorrow's lunch perhaps.

Yogurt on overnight.

Tuesday/11-Apr-17: Oops, the salad has to wait another day. Our lunch was Vaguely Vietnamese Slow Cooker Pork Tacos (web) from the freezer. Again, made the Vaguely Vietnamese Carrot-Cabbage Slaw as a go-with. Next time should do all the shredding with the cuisinart. All good stuff, though, and we're full.

Wednesday/12-Apr-17: Shopping today.

Dinner was Mahi Mahi with Curry-Yogurt Mayonnaise (Desperation, p283; cookbooker), with tuna instead of mahi mahi. Served with roasted asparagus, trio rice, and the salad we didn't eat on Monday. For dessert, some store-bought suisse pastries.

Thursday/13-Apr-17: Defrosted a varkenshaas (aka filet mignon du porc or pork tenderloin), marinated it in some defrosted charmoula sauce. Also used that to flavor some slices of eggplant. Grilled on on the bbq. Served with a half dose of Mambo Rice (web), which was pretty darn good, and a made-up salad of avocado, tomato, cilantro, and lime juice. All was good. We're full. (And I drank too much wine. I won't tell if you don't.)

Yogurt on overnight.

Friday/14-Apr-17: We went to Angoulême to do some errands today. Both had omelets for lunch. Then we didn't feel like dinner, so I'm off plan for the week now. Harvested the first rhubarb of the season and made Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake (MC), pretty good stuff.

Saturday/15-Apr-17: Plans changed today. I ended up not cooking and we had a pizza after a movie. Serious replanning needed for the next days.

Sunday/16-Apr-17: Early dinner was Gramigne con Verza e Salsiccia—Cabbage and Sausage (Geometry, p135; cookbooker). Never heard of gramigne before, but found the exact thing labeled "short spaghetti" at the grocery. The whole dish was yummy. Followed by a salad. and the last of the Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake.

Yogurt on overnight. Chicken on to marinate for tomorrow's early meal.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 BACKLOG: no; #2 VEG/FISH: 2
This month: #3 PASTA: no; #4 BREAD: no

Monday, April 3, 2017

This week in the kitchen

Monday/3-Apr-17: Earlyish meal today. We had Orecchiette with Ricotta, Broad Beans and Mint (Diaries, p194; cookbooker). Didn't use orecchiette, but my mini-lasagnas, malfada, I think they're called. This was good. First favas of the year. Then a salad. That was all.

Tuesday/4-Apr-17: A bit of a replan tonight since I had defrosted kip filets that I didn't really need. Dinner was Cashew Chicken Coconut Curry (web); I collected this recipe in 2014. My printed copy says to use broccoli or red bell pepper; having a red bell pepper needing to be used, that's what I did. Either broccoli or a combination of broccoli and red bell pepper would be fine. Turns out I didn't have enough cashews, but it could only have been better. Served the curry over leftover Cilantro-Lime Black Bean Rice from the weekend. Also had some asparagus and mushrooms that needed using. A quick search turned up Asian Asparagus and Mushrooms (web). This was easy and quite good. A nice meal altogether; we were full.

Yogurt on overnight.

Wednesday/5-Apr-17: Shopping today.

Dinner was Visburgertjes (web), about a 1/2 recipe with 300g lieu noir. Good, they were. Served with Broccoli in Oyster Sauce (Delightful, p58) and Cucumber Salad (Delightful, p51). Ed thought the salad made a nice abstract picture:


For dessert we had some store-bought torsades, a twisted pastry with some tiny chocolate chips.

Thursday/6-Apr-17: Early meal today. We had Goan Pork Vindaloo with Potatoes (web). This is a Madhur Jaffrey recipe; I haven't yet found it in any my books, but haven't done an exhaustive search yet. Anyhow, it was very good. Did it in the pressure cooker; it wanted a bit more water than she says. I added some extra, but it should have been a bit more still, at least one cup altogether. Ground peppercorns with the first batch of spices rather than grinding them separately. Used the full 1tsp of cayenne; it was hot but a long way from too hot. Altogether good. For a side there was Tangy Green Beans with Ajwain and Ginger (SpiceKitch, p38), an old favorite, still good.

Friday/7-Apr-17-Sunday/9-Apr-17: Spent these days in Bordeaux, a long weekend to see Yo-yo Ma perform with Kathryn Stott, with three good meals tossed in.

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

Monday, March 27, 2017

This week in the kitchen

Monday/27-Mar-17: A bit of bad planning since we had shrimp two nights ago. But tonight, there was a half dose of Crevettes au Curry et Concombre au Gingembre (C&V, but irritatingly and unfortunately not findable on their site). A shame, since it was good and easy. Came with a nice little salad of shaved cucumber with a neutral oil, sesame oil, lemon juice, and sesame seeds (and I added a pinch of cayenne). For dessert there was, sort of, Peach Parfait with Amaretto Cream (MW@Home, p318); I used canned peaches and we ended up eating all of it. Yum.

Tuesday/28-Mar-17: Discovered we have a new mouse in the kitchen. This one likes a new mushroom-flavored pasta that I've recently bought and haven't tried yet. Likes it some much that he/she opened the sack, then wandered around inside it, pooping as he/she went. Had to throw the whole sack away, sadly.

Dinner from the freezer, West Indies Salmon Patties (MC; web), which were quite good. Served with West Indies Green Beans (web), also good, and Caribbean Yellow Rice and Pigeon Peas (MW@Home, p154). I made a half recipe with yellow split peas, which I cooked at lunch time, for the pigeon peas. I think this is meant as a main course because we have more left than we ate. Was tasty though. Mini magnums for dessert.

Wednesday/29-Mar-17: No sign of our latest mouse friend this morning.

Shopping today. After putting up the groceries, I made a Prune Cake (MC), an easy cake, using up some of my surplus of walnuts.

Dinner was Papillote de Cabillaud à la Courgette, Citron Confit et Sauce au Yaourt (VPG; haven't found on web). It was pretty good. Forgetting about the zucchini under the cod, I roasted some of the asparagus I bought today. Reheated some of the Caribbean Yellow Rice as a side.

Yogurt on overnight.

Thursday/30-Mar-17: Early meal today, since we're out this evening.

Heard the first cuckoo of the year today.

We had Easy Smoked Sausage Skillet (web). This is from a Hillshire Farm ad in CL, I'd guess. Of course, there's no Hillshire Farm here; I used a morteau sausage. No frozen broccoli; used fresh and cooked that bit a bit longer which didn't hurt at all. Brown rice instead of instant rice. Turned out good. Serves 4-6? No. Three would be a good number. Four if you served it with a salad or some such. But it's pretty much a one-dish meal, so that seemed like too much trouble. Tasty it was.

Friday/31-Mar-17: Early dinner tonight. Sesame Eggplant and Spaghetti (BoldVeg, p180; cookbooker); a full recipe is dinner for two and that's what I did. Followed by a salad. We're both stuffed.

After an intense rainfall, we had water dripping in the living room and small puddle in the office. Looks like it's coming down inside the wall. Sigh. No damage, but annoying.

Saturday/1-Apr-17: Dinner was One-Pan Chicken Thighs with Cilantro-Lime Black Bean Rice (web). This was quite good, and easy to put together. I meant to cook up a batch of black beans, to use and to freeze, but didn't do it, so used canned. I think the recipe is meant for four, with only one thigh per person. That seems a bit skimpy; I usually serve two per person. I made it all; we ate four thighs; and there's a bunch of rice left. Followed by a salad. No dessert for me; Ed's having a mini magnum.

Yogurt on overnight.

Sunday/2-Apr-17: Ed was at choir practice today, and I defrosted the chest freezer; one of my favorite chores—not. But it's much easier when it's routine, rather than all iced up. Will try to keep to a 6-month schedule now.

Worked on merging and clearing out the "bird" part of my active stacks of recipe clippings today. Too many to try; every one looks good. Have to put on a throw-it-out hat to finish up this part. Almost 200 clippings in birds.

Dinner was Tournedos de Gigot au Citron Confit (VPG; web); strangely, while I got this recipe for VPG, the only on-line version I've found is from C&V, and it's the same recipe. Very odd. The idea is that you tie some slices of gigot up to make them look like tournedos. Well, ok. Topped with a sauce of chopped preserved lemon, lemon juice, rosemary pine nuts (too many), olive oil, honey, and S&P. Turned out pretty good, actually, if a bit of trouble to make. Served with steam-sautéed potatoes and shrooms with shallots and garlic; good stuff. Made too much, but Ed did an excellent job of finishing them off. Also had some Haricots Verts with Warm Mustard Vinaigrette (CL/jan-feb16; web), simple and tasty.

Haven't found further trace of our latest mouse. It's found its own way out or been eaten by a cat.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 BACKLOG: yes; #2 VEG/FISH: 4
This month: #3 PASTA: yes for March, no for April; #4 BREAD: no for March, no for April