Monday, December 5, 2011

This week in the kitchen

Monday/5-Dec-11: Used up the first of Barbara's butternut squashes making Butternut Soup with Pear, Cider, and Vanilla Bean (Molly, p226), an interesting take on butternut squash soup. The flavors blend surprisingly well. Do get tired of peeling though; next one will be roasted. More of the Courgette and Chick Pea Filo Pie, cold, as a go-with. Filo could have used a perk-up in the oven, but it was otherwise good, especially with some lime pickle mixed in.

Made some Authentic French Bread (Magic, p22, but out of head) for the soup and for breakfast.

Tuesday/6-Dec-11: Very late dinner tonight, after Kaye worked with Michelle on the Club Liseron blog for quite a while. Luckily a quick, light dinner, little Drôme raviolis with pesto, both from the freezer. And a salad, with a formerly frozen cooked beet.

Wednesday/7-Dec-11: Shopped today.

Dinner was Salmon with Sorrel and Asparagus en Papillote (SeriousEats). Served with some boiled potatoes tossed with a bitter butter. Pretty good stuff.

Have been pondering my 2012 kitchen goals. One thing I've been considering is doing a recipe a week, or maybe twice a month, from a cookbook I haven't used much, or at least haven't used recently. This morning, I saw that Sue from Couscous & Consciousness, who was part of Cooking Italy, is taking over as host of something called Cookbook Sundays ... where you cook something from a book you haven't used. Serendipity or what? So it looks like this is going to have to be one of next year's goals.

Eating two vegetarian or fish meals a week has been an easy goal, practically no challenge at all. Considering whether I should extend that to three days, or just let it go for mow.

Probably will repeat the fresh pasta once-a-month goal. I've been doing this, but without the target, I think it would be difficult. (Which makes me think I'd better start thinking about December's pasta soon, since there are several holiday meals coming up. If I have pasta from the freezer, make fresh last month, does that count?)

Have been pretty much a failure at arranging to have our main meal at midday once a week. A bit better with soup, but not much. Not sure what I'll do with these next year.

Thursday/8-Dec-11: Finished off the Courgette and Chick Pea Filo Pie for dinner. Warming in the oven did the trick, crisping up the filo. Thought about a salad, but we both decided it would be too much.

Friday/9-Dec-11: Had planned to lunch out today, so didn't really have anything planned, and not much appetite anyhow. Made a whole dose of Pastina and Pea Soup (125Pasta, p56) and have leftovers for lunch or a starter one of these days. Pretty good for minimal time and effort. Not sure I've ever seen the word pastina used to name "any small pasta" before. A bit of Camembert for afters. (This is my first entry for Cookbook Sundays. Yes, it's Friday, but that will do too.)

Saturday/10-Dec-11: Dinner was Curried Oven Omelets, a recipes from somewhere on the web. An annoying recipe, asking for a can of coconut milk (what size?); telling you to season the sautéed onions "according to taste" with turmeric, chili powder, and salt before the remaining ingredients have been added; etc. The recipe called for 5 eggs to serve 4-6. Oh? I used 4 eggs, but only 3 would have done, since they were "beefed up" with milk and ricotta. Well, I'd forgotten to defrost ricotta (a shame, since the rest of the package is destined for another meal), so used cream cheese instead. An omelet under the broiler is really a frittata, I think. It was very pretty, all puffed up and browned. Then cut up and into the sauce with coconut milk, onions, and spices to taste. It wasn't bad, but nothing I need to do again. The omelet/frittata part was worth remembering. Then we had a big salad of rucola. And to fill us up we had a bit of the Christmas cake given to Ed by one of his choir members. Tasty, but heavy and too too sweet for our tastes.

Sunday/11-Dec-11: No one went to the boulanger yesterday, so this morning I made more Authentic French Bread (Magic, p22) for breakfast and lunch. Simple recipe, good bread.

For the post-carol conert choir party, I made a double dose of Spinach Salad with Pears, Pecans, and Feta (MDSalads, p28). OK, it was arugula and walnuts, but it was still good. Thought it would be a good idea to have something fresh, rather than cooked, but the Choir Mom already had a bowl of lettuce for the table. Oops.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 VEG/FISH: yes, #2 SOUP: yes, #3 MIDDAY: no
This month: #4 PASTA: no

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