Monday, July 27, 2015

This week in the kitchen

Monday/27-Jul-15: Patrice and Wim came to dinner, so we had to stretch a bit to feed six people. Dinner was Spatchcocked Chicken Under a Brick (web), which turned out super. Actually not under a brick, but under two. Not sure why squashing the cooking chicken makes a difference, but it was delicious and quite attractive taking it off the grill. I used some of Jody's Moroccan spice for seasoning, although it wasn't very loud. Quickly defrosted twelve sausages and grilled those too. Made a bowlful of potato salad, loosely following Potato Salad II (p87, Joy), added hardboiled eggs, red onions, black olives, cornichons, cucumber, radishes. And some steamed broccoli. For dessert there was Crème Fraîche Ice Cream (MC), and we ate it all. Good dinner, not overflowing.

Tuesday/28-Jul-15: Lunch out today. Dinner was odds and ends that needed to be eaten. That's all. Authentic French Bread (out of head) in the bread maker overnight.

Wednesday/29-Jul-15: Ate at the marché des producteurs in Massignac. Not much happened in the kitchen.

Thursday/30-Jul-15: At out before a concert this evening. Not much happened in the kitchen.

Friday/31-Jul-15: Shopped this morning. Dinner was Grilled Masala Salmon (p46, MJ@Home; cookbooker). First "marinated" with dry spices, then topped with a mustard mixture. Very easy and yummy. Grilled only rather than grilled and baked. Served with suggested sides, South Indian-Style Green Beans (p145, MJ@Home; cookbooker) and Basmati Rice with Lentils (p212, MJ@Home; cookbooker). Yummy stuff all. Some chocolate-hazelnut pudding things from the shop for dessert.

Saturday/1-Aug-15: Lunch was Toast with Avocado, Fried Eggs, and Soy Sauce (web). Surprisingly tasty, this. And easy.

Terry and Shirley gave us a load of blackberries yesterday. I used them to make Classic Blackberry Crumble (web). Then I made some plain vanilla ice cream to accompany it. Peg and Jim made the rest of dinner. Some chicken bits in a creamy mushroom sauce and some potatoes and some cauliflower with a turmeric sauce. Wim and Patrice joined us for a gezellig dinner.

Sunday/2-Aug-15: Barbecue again tonight. Paprika Pork Chops (web) were tasty and easy. Any good rub would achieve the same effect, but this was a good one. Served with the recommended side dishes. Grilled zucchini tossed with grainy mustard and olive oil. Ed didn't want to grill the corn on the cob, so I boiled it, then charred it on a grill pan. Basted with lime-butter after. For dessert we had some treats Peg&Jim bought from the boulanger yesterday.

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

Monday, July 20, 2015

This week in the kitchen

Monday/20-Jul-15: We had our main meal early today before going to a concert in the evening. I made the "An Hour in Provence" menu from RushHour, including Pan Bagna (p85; cookbooker), Romaine Salad with Garlic Dressing (p86; cookbooker), and Peach Compote with Basil (p87; cookbooker) A very nice menu with a very helpful timetable for getting it all done. Good results.

Tuesday/21-Jul-15: We'd planned on going to a movie this morning, but got in so late last night we blew it off. Still, I cooked up the crockpot dish I'd planned so we'd have dinner when we returned. Crockpot Balsamic Pork (web, although I got it in an email). Almost no work and delicious. Used up some little potatoes as crushed potatoes similar to what I made a week or so ago. Because it's so hot, I just finished them under the broiler, which works if you pay attention. They go very black really fast. And some of the leftover taboulleh.

Wednesday/22-Jul-15: Using up broccoli and potatoes, there was Warm Broccoli and Potato Salad (p15, MDSalads) for dinner. An old favorite. Still good.

Thursday/23-Jul-15: Wrapped up three days of cleaning today. But Peg&Jim won't arrive till tomorrow. Clean+1. Oh well. A nice dinner we had for them tonight. Marinating overnight there was Fiery Grilled Turkey Breast (web), which was yummy, but didn't not take the advertised 40 minutes to cook. Piggies that we are, we ate it all. Served with brown rice, which burnt because I was out of the room when the dinger went off. And a half dose of Cabbage Salad—Salad Galam (p50, Delightful; cookbooker). Yummy salad this, and not too much trouble. Some mini magnums for dessert.

Cooked some Slow Cooker Cardamom Rice Pudding with Fresh Peaches (web) during the day. It seems to have been designed for the newer, hotter cooking crockpots, since it wasn't done after the allotted time. Cooked in longer on High, rather than on Low, and it finally got ready. Put it in the fridge since P&J didn't arrive arrive today as expected.

Friday/24-Jul-15: Shopping this morning. Peg and Jim arrived in the afternoon. We missed boules, but went up to Chez Mamie's for a drink. Dinner was Espadon Grillé à la Sauge Frite (C&V, but not online afaics), grilled swordfish topped with fried sage leaves and fried lemon zest. Served with polenta and Baked Eggplant Slices (p114, TooMany), a really old favorite. For dessert we had the rice pudding from yesterday with slices of fresh nectarines.

Saturday/25-Jul-15: Picnic lunch today at Chris&Paula's charity "do" for Chernobyl kids. Dinner out with a band playing. Nothing much happened in the kitchen.

Sunday/26-Jul-15: Out again today. A quick dinner with a bit of soup from the freezer, then kind of sloppy Joes with the balsamic pork from Tuesday with some of Mama's Garlic Coleslaw (MC Handybook)

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

Monday, July 13, 2015

This week in the kitchen

Monday/13-Jul-15: Dinner was a half recipe of Shrimp Fried Rice (web). I used two eggs for the two of us and made a sort of flat omelet, rather than scrambling, and sliced into strips. Added some red pepper flakes with the ginger. Used skinny haricots verts rather than show peas. I used trio rice that I froze a while ago; this worked fine. Used frozen cooked shrimp and added them near the end with the egg bits. It was good. Then some juice popsicles.

Tuesday/14-Jul-15: Used up lots of odd bits from the freezer tonight for a halfish recipe of Poor-Cousin Paella (p249, Seaver), cooked chicken, the last bit of some defrosted chicken stock, cooked chicken, chorizo, one squid body. Added a (small) jar of artichoke bottoms and a tomato, for the first time ever. About a teaspoon of chipotle powder makes it all really yummy. A great recipe for using up odd bits.

Wednesday/15-Jul-15: For lunch I made Zucchini-Tuna Salad, a recipe I copied from a book I didn't keep. A pretty good variation on tuna salad. You start with equal piles (1 cup) of shredded zucchini and carrots. Stir in a can of tuna, drained and flaked. Then enough mayo to make make it a good consistency. Then add some chopped sweet pickle (I used cornichons), celery seed, and pickle juice. I added some lemon juice for the tartness and a bit of piment d'Esplette. Good stuff.

Dinner was Spaghetti Pangrattato with Cripsy Eggs (web), a very satisfying kind of meal. Then a salad. Then two squares of dark chocolate with almonds each. Then off to hear Gregorian chant.

Thursday/16-Jul-15: Shopping today. Relatively cheap, although there was lots of meat. (We are way ahead of past years in the amount we're spending on groceries. I'm not sure why, really. A bit worrying.)

Dinner was a half recipe of Fish in Red Chili Chutney (web). Pretty good, although not especially hot. Served with basmati rice and a half recipe of Pachadi—Indian Cucumber Salad (p147, GreeneGreens; cookbooker). Can't say this was especially Indian, but it was good. No radishes. Mini magnums for dessert.

Friday/17-Jul-15: Nothing happened in the kitchen today. Went for a balade gourmand this evening.  Almost seven kilometers up and down in the heat. Whew!

Saturday/18-Jul-15: Tosca and Mike for dinner this evening, so I was in the kitchen most of the day. Made up the broth for Buttermilk Ice Cream (MC) in the morning.

Made Sweet and Hot Peach Relish (p179, BigFlav), which was good, but hotter than I intended. This went with Spice-Rubbed Grilled Chicken Breasts with Sweet and Hot Peach Relish (p178, BigFlav). The spicy rub goes on the chicken after it's mostly cooked. I put it on the tray with chicken and Ed tripped leaving the kitchen, spilling most of it. So only once side got brushed with the sauce. Made the recommended to-withs, Parsley Salad with Bulgur, Mint, and Tomatoes (p216, BigFlav) and Roast Beet and Carrot Salad with Lemon-Mint Dressing (p204, BigFlav). The parsley salad is like a taboulleh with more veg in it. The beet and carrot salad is yummy; need to make that more often. For dessert there was ice cream and fresh raspberries. A nice evening all in all.

Sunday/19-Jul-15: Lovely lunch out with Tosca and Mike. No action in the kitchen.

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

Monday, July 6, 2015

This week in the kitchen

Monday/6-Jul-15: Not much happened in the kitchen. Went out for a movie in the evening. Add some cheese on the way there. Then a box of popcorn. That was dinner.

Tuesday/7-Jul-15: Off to the ear doctor today. He gave me a prescription for new hearing aids. All but the bank account say Hooray! In NL these were almost 100% paid for. The French system pays only for the old-fashioned analog ones. Boo.

After a Groupon/Flunch lunch, we went to the tile store and ordered the tile for the kitchen walls. To be delivered in September. I was hoping for end-July or early-August, but we'll take what we can get.

This is turning into a year of big expenses, one after the other. Refrigerator, strimmer, pressure cleaner, washing machine, kitchen tiles, hearing aids, new glasses for both. What else is in the offing?

Easy dinner of leftover soup, then leftover swordfish with some trio rice, then we split the slice of chocolate-walnut tart I bought yesterday. (We both thought it tasted more like chocolate and pecan, but the sign said walnut/noix.)

The temperature has come down today, and tomorrow should be cooler still, i.e., tolerable. We might be able to sleep without the a/c tonight.

Wednesday/8-Jul-15: The Gitem man came this morning to fix the non-working burner on the stove.

Lunch out before the glove factory tour in St. Junien.

A big salad for dinner.

Thursday/9-Jul-15: Yay! the new washing machine arrived this afternoon. All bells and whistles. First load of clothes washed, next one queued for in the night.

Dinner was Barley Salad with Tuna & Mozzarella (p62, PatSalads). Needed lots of salt, but otherwise quite good. Barley has a nice chewiness. Real mozzarella chopped up would be better than the mini balls, which are fairly tasteless. Then a mini magnum each.

Friday/10-Jul-15: Managed to finish the list and get shopping done today. Dinner was Green Tea Salmon, a recipe from the inside lid of a box of Celestial Seasonings Tea. Poor instructions, but it turned out okay. Served with some Hot and Spicy Wrinkled Beans (p106, Chinatown) and brown rice that was a bit crispy because I forgot to turn off the fire. Then a salad with Asian Dressing (p61, MDSalads); made a half recipe and have another salad's worth left. Then a fruit juice popsicle.

Saturday/11-Jul-15: Main meal early today so Ed could go off to choir. Mostly from the freezer. Tarted up the "juice" from some chicken paprikash by adding some peas and cooked chicken. Served over spaetzle. Made a salad but didn't have time to eat it.

Sunday/12-Jul-15: Another meal from the freezer. An Indian red lentil thing. Served over basmati rice,  with Karhai Broccoli (p148, MJ@Home). Then some mini magnums for dessert. Ed had chocolate chocolate, I had white chocolate.

The new washer has a big don't-like feature. Because it's an all-electronic thing, the timer can't be used to turn it on. The automatic delay feature works by setting the number of hours after which you want it to be finished. And the minimum you can set is 3 hours. If it's 11:30 and you want to start it at noon, you just have to wait to noon to push Go. European washing machines heat their own water and we have low electricity rates from noon to two, so starting at noon is a Good Thing.

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