Monday, December 31, 2018

This week in the kitchen

Monday/31-Dec-18: Saucisses Lentilles au Chou Romanesco (VPG) was on the menu tonight, but yesterday I cooked too much broccoli, so I decided to substitute that for the romanesco. Then, forgetting about the lentils, I started cooking brown rice. So, no lentils. We grated some gruyère onto the dish at table, and also added some green tabasco. Pretty good it was. We finished the Chocolate-Chestnut bûche for after.

Started some lamb stock with the lamb bone from tweede kerstdag.

I made up some guacamole for our new year's eve treat.

Tuesday/1-Jan-18: Finished off the lamb stock and froze it. Made some Oven-Dried Tomatoes (HandyBook) and froze them.

Our meal for new year's day has its own post here.

Wednesday/2-Jan-18: Shopping today. The store wasn't the madhouse that it was last two weeks. We purposely didn't shop on Mondays before the Tuesday holidays. Apparently it was really bad those days. We shopped on the Fridays and it was still overfull. A relatively small shopping today. Trying not to set another record this year for our monthly average on grocery shopping.

Dinner was Fish Pie with Salmon, Smoked Salmon and Savoy Cabbage (web). We ate just over half of this. I froze the rest to serve over rice or pasta. Then a salad. Then some store-bought riz au laits. Then a pair of chocolate-covered madeleines each. Yes, we were piggies.

Thursday/3-Jan-18: Oscar got his stitches out today. Got home to find Sophie limping severely. Called the vet, hoping to go back directly, but they just said to give her painkiller for two or three days and let them know. She's been very inactive all afternoon. Worrying.

Dinner was a half dose of Fragrant Red Lentils with Basmati Rice and Broccoli Romanesco (VegSups, p156). This was pretty good in spite of the fact that I forgot to add the coconut milk to the lentils. No wonder they were a bit dry. Pretty presentation, though.


Mini ice cream bars for dessert.

Haven't really decided if I'm going to continue with my kitchen goals. Haven't chosen a book for this month, and have planned only books that have already been explored.

Also I haven't been keeping up with the cookbooks I'm currently reading section on the blog, so I guess I should remove that. Have just finished looking through Soups from Time-Life's The Good Cook series, recently bought at a charity shop. I wasn't very impressed with this one, compared with my other soup cookbooks. Not sure if I'll keep it or not. Other books in the series have been more interesting on a quick look.

Friday/4-Jan-18: Lunch out today before we went to a small art exhibit at an Orthodox monastery not too far away. Nothing further happened in the kitchen.

Saturday/5-Jan-18: Dinner was Yam and Chick-Pea Masala (BoldVeg, p145; cookbooker). This was supposed to be a side dish, but the variation with chickpeas make it a main. Served over brown rice, with a topping of Cachumber (MJ1, p172). Mini ice cream cups for dessert.

Sunday/6-Jan-18: Dinner was a half dose of Mushroom- & Cranberry-Stuffed Turkey Cutlets (EW/nov-dec14; web*). The turkey scallops I expected to find in the freezer weren't there, so I used chicken scallops instead. A bit time-consuming, but not especially hard to do. Having no poultry seasoning in the cabinet, I found a recipe online and made up a bit to use. Served with Dusoulier's Perfect Roasted Potatoes (HandyBook; web). I had a few potatoes to use up and a bit of duck fat from the Magret Wellington. There were really yummy. And some steamed snijbonen which weren't quite done. Chocolate bonbons for dessert.

* I notice the web verison includes branded ingredients. Is this a new feature? I don't recall seeing it before and it's not in the magazine. Maybe this is the future?

Progress on goals
This week: #1 BACKLOG: no; #2 VEG/FISH: 4; #3 COOKBOOK: ???
Cookbooks of the month: ???
This month: #4 PASTA: no for December, no for January; #5 BREAD: no for December, no for January; #6 GUESTS: yes for December, no for January

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Tweede kerstdag 2018

Verrines de Crevettes au Pamplemousse

Gigot à la Provençal et Gratin de Pommes de Terre
Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Mustard Vinaigrette

Terres d'Exceeption Bordeaux Millisime 2016

Chocolate Fondue with Kiwi, Pear, and Toasted Pound Cake

Cath came to dinner tonight, and we managed to eat at a more reasonable hour.

For a starter we had Verrines de Crevettes au Pamplemousse (VPG, download). This was supposed to be a salad, but I served in in verrines, layers of shrimp, finely chopped cucumber, and red grapefruit sections. Topped with a sauce of fromage blanc, lemon juice, chives, salt, and pepper. Easy and very tasty.

Our main was Gigot à la Provençal et Gratin de Pommes de Terre (Essential, p537). My lamb leg was a bit smaller than asked, but that wasn't a problem; I used fewer potatoes too. This was accompanied by Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Mustard Vinaigrette (web). (I didn't add the Parmesan shards to this, but it would have been a nice touch.) These all made a nice main.



The wine was one brought by a guest this summer. It's been waiting for a special meal, and was worth the wait.




For dessert, I thought I'd make use of the fondue pot that I got as a holiday gift from HP many many years ago. So, there chocolate fondue with spears of kiwi, pears, and pound cake. The fruit was good, but the fondue was nothing special, and hard to take a picture of, so I didn't. The fondue pot will go to a charity shop now.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Christmas dinner 2018

Ribbons of Smoked Salmon with Warm Potato Pancakes and Dill Cream

Magret de Canard Façon Wellington
Roasted Broccoli with Lemon-Garlic Vinaigrette

Château La Colombière Les Frontons Flingueurs 2016

Pannacotta au Lait d'Amande Vanillé et Sauce Chocolat

Another depressing holiday. Today was the first sunny day in ages. Guess I'm feeling less gloomy today than in preceding days, but still not happy. (I made this candle at a recent candle-making course.)


For a starter we had Ribbons of Smoked Salmon with Warm Potato Pancakes with Dill Cream (Dinners42, p49). I first saw this recipe as Galette de Pomme de Terre, Saumon Fumé et Fromage Frais (VPG; download), then discovered the Dinners42 recipe that is very similar, and a little "fancier." Potato pancakes with smoked salmon and a dilly cream sauce. Easy and surprisingly good, but not very photogenic. I think next time I'll just make a few smaller pancakes, rather than big ones cut in wedges.


We didn't make it to the big marché de noël again this year, which was okay since I had already planned Magret de Canard Façon Wellington (VPG; download). I made a half recipe of this, which was a bit too doughy. The pastry, store-bought, was lined with a buckwheat crêpe; neither were home-made. The dish was delicious, but extremely filling. Although half a magret is usually a good portion for one, with the pastry and filling of mushrooms and foie gras, I think a thick slice per person would suffice. As a side there was Roasted Broccoli with Lemon-Garlic Vinaigrette (EW/sep-oct17; web). This seemed like a good idea, but really didn't work. After more than 30 minutes the broccoli was still crunchy, even the floret part. The vinaigrette was good, but the dish was a disappointment.


The wine was one we bought when we visited the Toulouse area, Château La Colombière Les Frontons Flingueurs. When we tasted wines at the Maison des Vins in Fronton, we'd done four, and I asked for one more, something different. This was what was offered. A hundred percent Negrette grape, and really nice. This is the third, and last, bottle we bought. More expensive than the others we bought there but worth it.


For dessert, there was Pannacotta au Lait d'Amande Vanillé et Sauce Chocolat au Lait  (VPG; web; download) which was very tasty. (The web version is almost exactly the same, but not quite.) The almond milk I found was sweetened, so I reduced the amount of sugar I added. Neither of us likes milk chocolate, so I used dark chocolate. At the last minute I added at bit of cream to the melted chocolate, rather than water that I see now is asked in both recipes. As soon as I stirred in the cream, the melted chocolate thickened, so it wasn't exactly a nice thing on which to serve the delicate and delicious pannacottas.


After a late and lazy start to the day, dinner was late, but we enjoyed it!

Monday, December 24, 2018

This week in the kithen

Monday/24-Dec-18: Made Pannacotta au Lait d'Amande Vanillé et Sauce Chocolat au Lait (VPG, web; download). The web version is slightly different, but it's the same recipe. I will serve on dark chocolate, not milk chocolate. My almond milk is sweetened, so I added only half the sugar asked. We'll see how this is.

Also made a Terrine Choco-Châtaigne Façon Bûche (VPG; download). Simple to put together, although it's much smaller than the bûche mold that I bought. I lined the mold with saran wrap and discovered that an AH fond jar filled the remaining space perfectly!

N.B.: I've started scanning some recipes, particularly those without a web link.

For dinner, I made a 2/3-ish version of Corn and Sweet-Potato Chowder (VegPlanet, p163). This amount should have served 3 I think, and maybe that's right. I froze up a good serving, or two small ones. Then some chocolate-covered madeleines.

Tuesday/25-Dec-18: Our xmas meal has its own post here.

Wednesday/26-Dec-18: Our tweede kerstdag meal has its own post here.

Thursday/27-Dec-18: For our meal I used the leftover bits from yesterday's starter to make up Salade de Crevettes au Pamplemousse and served that over rucola. Good, it was. Then we had the rest of the almond milk pannacottas from Tuesday. They were better without the dark chocolate, which rather overwhelmed the delicate taste of the pannacotta. Little piggies that we are, we also had slices of the chocolate-chestnut bûche, which was surprisingly good. Without the chestnut decoration.

Friday/28-Dec-18: A very busy day today meant we had lunch out.

Saturday/29-Dec-18: Trapped a mouse last night, the first one in quite a while. Strangely, it died before we could take it away. Ed promises that he'll work on filling the holes in the fireplace flooring soon.

Dinner was Tilapia with Cashew Crust (MC), with lieu noir as the fish. Served with Spaetzle (MW@Home, p203; Handybook) and steamed broccoli. (Putting away groceries yesterday, I discovered an extra stem of broccoli, so we'll be eating lots of it in the next days.) Then a salad. Then some some of the chocolate-chestnut bûche, which is really yummy, nice taste and texture.

Sunday/30-Dec-18: Leftover night. We had lamb and lots of potatoes and roasted brussels sprouts. We were quite full. I steamed some broccoli too, but it wasn't needed.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 BACKLOG: no; #2 VEG/FISH: 3 #3 COOKBOOK: yes
Cookbooks of the month: Vegetarian Planet
This month: #4 PASTA: no; #5 BREAD: no; #6 GUESTS: yes

Monday, December 17, 2018

This week in the kitchen

Monday/17-Dec-18: Leftovers tonight. First guacamole and chips, then enchiladas and rice. Forgot to buzz up the instant refried beans for another side. Chocolate roses for dessert.

Chickpeas to soak overnight.

Tuesday/18-Dec-18: Cooked up the chickpeas. Froze three 2-cup ziplocs, and had one cup for tomorrow's meal.

Dinner was a halfish recipe of Stir-Fried Zucchini Noodles with Chicken and Peppers (Spiral, p125). Pretty good stuff—noodles without noodles. But so much wastage. I didn't spiralize the bell peppers, but cut them by hand. Chocolate roses for dessert.

Yogurt on overnight.

Wednesday/19-Dec-18: Got our two xmas meals planned and a gi-normous shopping list done today.

Our dinner was a halfish version of Couscous with Red Pepper, Chickpea, and Almond Sauce (VegPlanet, p254; cookbooker). Pretty good this was, if needing a goodly dose of tabasco. Finished the chocolate roses for dessert.

Made up the spice mix and the sauce for the pork that will go in the crockpot tomorrow morning.

Thursday/20-Dec-18: Oscar has his teeth cleaned today, and lost a good chunk of his remaining ear to be sent off for a biopsy. He looks a mess—he's been shaved all around his ear and painted with silver stuff. Not sure what the purpose of that is. He's a conehead, of course. Antibiotic and pain pills for the next week.

Started the crockpot before I went off the the vet this morning, with Carolina Pork Barbecue from the Crockpot (MC). Pretty good stuff. Made Mama's Garlic Coleslaw (MC, Handybook) as a go-with. Mini ice cream bars for after. Noticed tonight that the mini Magnum Classics have shrunk again. They're now the same size as the mini Häagen-Dasz bars.

Friday/21-Dec-18: Shopping today, and with luck we've gotten everything we need for the two holiday meals.

Dinner was Fish on a Bed of Potatoes, Onions and Tomatoes (MJFlavs, p111; cookbooker), a last-minute change when I discovered they had swordfish again. Made this with fewer potatoes that asked and served over too much rice. The sauce was nice, so somthing for soppy was needed; maybe store-bought naan would be ok. Also used up some snijbonen that had been hanging around in the fridge to make Tangy Green Beans with Ajwain and Ginger (SpiceKitch, p38), which made a nice accompaniament. For dessert, some Turkish Delight that Bill left us and then amaro with cantuccini things.

Yogurt on overnight.

Saturday/22-Dec-18: Made some Pickled Green Beans (MC).

Guess we're not going to get fresh pasta till the mouse problem is resolves, since the counter is full of stuff from the cabinets. Sigh.

Dinner was a half dose of Trenette with Pesto and Vegetables (PastaBible, p126). Remarkably good for something with such simple ingredients. Then a salad. Then some chocolate-covered madeleines, only 1-1/2 each since it seems Bill had one while we weren't looking.

Sunday/23-Dec-18: Useless day today.

Dinner was leftover non-barbecued pork. With polenta instead of bread. Added a bit to the coleslaw so there would be enough. Chocolate-covered madeleines for dessert.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 BACKLOG: no; #2 VEG/FISH: 4; #3 COOKBOOK: yes
Cookbooks of the month: Vegetarian Planet
This month: #4 PASTA: no; #5 BREAD: no; #6 GUESTS: no

Monday, December 10, 2018

This week in the kitchen

Monday/10-Dec-18: Made two loaves of Pumpkin Cranberry Bread (MC), one to take to BookChatters tomorrow, another for us. Needed four eggs; had only three. Looks ok, though, and smelt good.

Dinner was Peas and Potatoes in a Pocket (BoldVeg, p98). I made all the filling for the two of us. We had one (oval) pita each and ate the rest on our plate. Good idea, but the potato-pea mixture was way under-seasoned. Then we had some bread pudding.

Tuesday/11-Dec-18: Cheese enchiladas (made with Hollandse geitenkaas), made as a layered casserole in a square pan, plus Mama's Spanish rice, plus guacamole, plus (a first) some Instant Refried Beans, which weren't very successful. I ran across an old printout of this recipe recently and thought I'd give it a try. My blender didn't manage to grind the beans to flour. I've found the recipe online (that link is cached, since Genius Kitchen doesn't share with Europe) and it suggested using a coffee grinder. I'll regrind my extra bit for the leftovers and see how it goes. Then we finished the bread pudding. We're stuffed.

Yogurt on overnight.

Wednesday/12-Dec-18: Lunch out today. Then Ed sang carols  in Guéret, far, far away, with a group from Cantique. Nothing happened in the kitchen.

Thursday/13-Dec-18: For dinner there were Tuscan-Style Beans from the freezer, followed by a big salad. Then a big salad. Then some mini ice creams from the freezer.

Friday/14-Dec-18: Shopping today, a bit later than normal. Then coping with Mac update that didn't work.

Dinner was a half recipe of Lemony Roasted Salmon with White Wine Couscous (CL/may16; web). This was good stuff, although I think they asked for the salmon to be cooked a bit too long. I shortened by a minute in the oven. Then a mâche salad with croutons. Then some store-bought chocolate custards with vanilla cream. Yum.

Yogurt on overnight.

Saturday/15-Dec-18: Dinner was pizza out after a nice concert in a very cold church.

Sunday/16-Dec-18: Worked, rather unsuccessfully, on our xmas menus today. Dinner was a half dose of Pasta with Baby Red Lentils and Ginger (VegPlanet, p289; cookbooker). Pretty good stuff. Then a mâche salad. Then some of the mountain cheeses we shared with Bill. Then some chocolate roses. We're full.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 BACKLOG: no; #2 VEG/FISH: 5; #3 COOKBOOK: yes
Cookbooks of the month: Vegetarian Planet
This month: #4 PASTA: no; #5 BREAD: no; #6 GUESTS: no

Monday, December 3, 2018

This week in the kitchen

Monday/3-Dec-18: I recently made something from Didi Emmon's Vegetarian Planet that we liked a lot, and I just noticed I've put several dishes from that book on the meal plan, so I think that will be my cookbook for December.

Early dinner today so we could go see the Nutcracker from The Royal Opera House. For a starter, there was Smoked Salmon Salad with Dill (BEFCC, p35), a favorite. For the main, we had Rôti de Porc au Jambon Cru, which I made on vacation, but haven't been able to find on-line. Good stuff, though. Strange problem that the meat wasn't done after the appropriate amount of time in the oven. We roasted it a bit more, but still there was a large chunk undone. Along with French Scalloped Potatoes—Pommes de Terre Dauphinoise (BEFCC, p51). Ice cream for dessert, mini cups for me and Bill, and a mini bar for Ed.

Tuesday/4-Dec-18: Ate out for lunch. Tonight we taste-tested cheese: Abondance, Beaufort, 9-month-old Comté, Emmenthal, Gruyère. Emmenthal lost.

Wednesday/5-Dec-18: Lunch out at a new restaurant today. Then shopping.

For munching later, we worked on our five cheeses along with a terrine and some sweet-spicy cornichons that Bill liked and we didn't. And a brownie after, as if we needed that.

Yogurt on overnight.

Thursday/6-Dec-18: Another lunch out. Oscar to the vet in the afternoon. Cheese and cold pork for our evening munchies. Back to regular eating tomorrow.

Friday/7-Dec-18: Bill went home today. Back to normal food programming.

Dinner was Orzo with Olives, Broccoli, and Basil (VegPlanet, p294; cookbooker). Delicious.

Saturday/8-Dec-18: I went off for a candle-making afternoon today and got home quite late. We had an easy meal, the rest of the roast pork, some trio rice, and some steamed broccoli. Two bites of the Auvergne cheese platter to be finished, and two of the chocolates that Pascal delivered this morning, from the old folks dinner that we missed in October.

Sunday/9-Dec-18: Busy morning in the kitchen using up leftover bread. Made some Double-Boiler Bread Pudding (MC, Handybook) and Croutons (Art, p173).

Dinner was a halfish recipe of Shrimp with Zucchini Noodles and Lemon-Garlic Butter (web), which wasn't bad. Followed by a big salad. Then some bread pudding. We're stuffed.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 BACKLOG: yes; #2 VEG/FISH: 2; #3 COOKBOOK: yes
Cookbooks of the month: Vegetarian Planet
This month: #4 PASTA: no; #5 BREAD: no; #6 GUESTS: yes

Monday, November 26, 2018

This week in the kitchen

Monday/26-Nov-18: Because I neglected to buy broccoli this week, I switched today and tomorrow's planned recipes. Tonight we had Pan Fried Pork Chops with Honey Lime Glaze (web). Not bad, this was, with bone-in pork chops. Used up the rest of my potatoes for smashed potatoes. Used some of my surplus of mushrooms with a zucchini, for a side dish of sautéd shrooms and zuke, with lots of garlic. A pair of chocolate covered madeleines each for dessert.

Tuesday/27-Nov-18: I'm feeling sickly today with headache and unhappy innards. Not much food for me. For dinner there was plain pasta with plain tomato sauce. Seems to have gone down okay.

Wednesday/28-Nov-18: Headache much better today, but innards still unhappy.

Shopping today. I didn't have energy to stop by the optician for new lenses or to talk with the cheese lady about what I wanted. Discovered packages of ground pork and veal when I was looking for pork and veal to grind at home. Surprise. Have never noticed these before.

For dinner Ed got a chicken scallop topped with basil strips, mozzarella, and a bit of tomato sauce. Was good, he said. I had some whole wheat pasta with pyramid cheese (kind of like goat cream cheese) with a lot of pepper. Pretty tasty. How am I going to eat out tomorrow night?

Thursday/29-Nov-18: My innards had a bad night and a bad day. Bill arrived; Ed had to get him by himself. We had reservations for dinner, but I couldn't do it. We decided on pizza, but one i closed on Monday and Thursday evenings, and the other one was supposed to be open, but wasn't. No sign on the door, just dark and locked. Instead Bill made us omelettes, which were tasty and seemed to go down ok.

Mouse in a trap this morning.

Yogurt on overnight.

Friday/30-Nov-18: The most-used oven seems not to be getting up to speed again, so our meal of Alice B. Toklas's Veal and Pork Loaf (Fancy, p120; cookbooker) was a bit late. This is a super meatloaf. Served with some frozen mixed veggies. For dessert, there were some toetjes from the boulanger.

Saturday/1-Dec-18: Lovely dinner out tonight.

Sunday/2-Dec-18: My innards seem to be getting better at last. Phew.

Ed was off early to choir practice, so I started a crockpot with Meat and Mushroom Ragu (SlowItal, p60; cookbooker). Made it all and we froze two meals for two. Then a salad. Then some cheese. Then some of Bill's Greek sweets.

The oven that was flaky yesterday is working today.

Yogurt on overnight.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 BACKLOG: no; #2 VEG/FISH: 2; #3 COOKBOOK: yes
Cookbooks of the month: Nothing Fancy for November, no clue for December
This month: #4 PASTA: no for November, no for December; #5 BREAD: yes for November, no for December; #6 GUESTS: yes for November, yes for December

Monday, November 19, 2018

This week in the kitchen

Monday/19-Nov-18: Dinner was Black and Blue Cajun Chicken Sandwich (Ainsley2, p12; cookbooker) with a toefje salad on the side. Chocolate covered madeleines for dessert.

Tuesday/20-Nov-18: Caught another teeny mouse overnight. Wondering if we've got a small opening to the outside world in the kitchen somewhere.

Had one thing planned, then decided to use us some stuff in the fridge. Made a pasta (casareccia) with goat cheese, broccoli, shooms, kalamatas, onions, garlic, red pepper flakes, etc. Comfort food. Then a salad. Then a pair of chocolated covered madeleines, finishing off that package.

Wednesday/21-Nov-18: Caught another teeny mouse today.

Made Pumpkin Flan (MC) to take to Rosemary's tomorrow.

Shopping today.

Dinner was Fish Stew—Mr A.R. Sunil's Fish Moilly (MJFlavs, p25), made with lieu noir, on special today. Quite good it was. Easy and relatively fast to make. Served with plain basmati rice and Tangy Green Beans with Ajwain and Ginger (SpiceKitch, p38) made with snijbonen, haricots coco plats, whatever those might be in English. And some Cachumber (MJ1, p172). We were full, but still has some semoule au lait from the shop after.

Yogurt on overnight.

Thursday/22-Nov-18: Up early. Made Double-Corn Muffins (MC) to take to Rosemary's.

Off to Rosemary and Philippe's for Thanksgiving, picking up Cath on the way. Nothing further happened in the kitchen.

Friday/23-Nov-18: Made Pear Bundt Cake (MC) to use up pears in the fridge.

Dinner was Pesto Turkey Kebabs (200Budget, p183). Pretty tasty, if not quite as pretty as the picture. For sides there was trio rice and a mix of veggies—broccoli, mushrooms, corn, left-over turkey filling. Bundt cake for dessert was very more-ish.

Saturday/24-Nov-18: Tonight I made real use of the spiralizer. There was a half-dose of Malaysian-Style Zucchini Noodles with Greens and Shrimp (Spiral, p122). Ed didn't realize there was no pasta, only spiralized zukes. Pretty good as a whole. Then some Mothais Charentais, an especially nice goat cheese that comes on a chestnut leaf. Then more of the Pear Bundt Cake.

Sunday/25-Nov-18: Caught another small mouse this morning. Think I've neglected to record a few. This was the third or fourth for the week.

Dinner was Lemon Chicken (Fancy, p111). I've made this before, in 2012; it's still good. Served with Dusoulier's Perfect Roast Potatoes and a little salad of grated broccoli stems and carrot with a lemon vinaigrette. Then we finished the Mothais Charentais. Then I had my last slice of Pear Bundt Cake, while Ed saved his for breakfast.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 BACKLOG: no; #2 VEG/FISH: 3; #3 COOKBOOK: yes
Cookbooks of the month: Nothing Fancy
This month: #4 PASTA: no; #5 BREAD: yes; #6 GUESTS: yes

Monday, November 12, 2018

This week in the kitchen

Monday/12-Nov-18: No mice caught today. Have we gotten them all? Please.

Finished off the scones for breakfast. Good.

Dilly-dallied getting started with dinner, so made a last-minute change. Instead I made Bangkok Shrimp (web). Served the shrimp mixture over plain rice rather than stirring the rice into the sauce. It was good. Followed by Häagen-Däsz mini ice cream cups.

Tuesday/13-Nov-18: No mice today. Fingers crossed.

Dinner was Moroccan Lamb, Butternut Squash in the Slow Cooker (web) which was quite tasty. Recipe was meant for two, but we had lots of potatoes, squash, and sauce left, which Ed will get for his lunch at choir practice on Sunday. Used one of the acorn squash from the garden. Made a little shredded carrot salad as a go-with. For afters we finished the bit of Petit Basque we had, and then indulged in chocolate-covered madeleines.

Wednesday/14-Nov-18: Still not mice.

Shopping today.

Dinner was an instant favorite, a half recipe of Bittman's Salmon Burgers (web; cookbooker). I served these as patties, rather than burgers. They were super, an instant favorite. Served with trio rice and Cucumber Tzatziki (Spiral, p22; cookbooker). More chocolate-covered madeleines for dessert.

Yogurt on overnight.

Thursday/15-Nov-18: We ate out for Ed's birthday today. Nothing happened in the kitchen.

Friday/16-Nov-18: Went to make a "fast" loaf of sourdough bread today, to have with our dinner soup, but discovered my starter was covered with mold. Yuck. Quick scramble to turn what I'd done so far into bread. Then cooked like last week's bread from Dusoulier by putting covered pan into a cold oven. Don't think the oven got hot enough. Not sure if it's because we're low on gas (it's been 3-1/2 months) or because that oven isn't heating properly. Have to check tomorrow.

For dinner I made a half dose of My Mushroom Soup (Fancy, p42; cookbooker), which was quite good. Served with my made up bread, followed by a big salad. The bread is good, but I suspect my yeast, near the bottom of the jar, is past its usefulness. Will test it tomorrow and possibly toss what remains.

Saturday/17-Nov-18: Yup, no oomph in the yeast. Out with the rest of that jar.

Not quite the weather, but it was zuurkool stamppot tonight, with saucisses de Morteau. Cozy and filling.

Sunday/18-Nov-18: Cath came for dinner, which turned out rather later than expected. We had canned dolmades, stuffed grape leaves, for a nibble. For a starter, I used one of the cans of foie gras from Jody's returned package; served with toasted bread and the rest of the Banana-Ginger Chutney. This worked really well. (That recipe is really a keeper.) Our main was Stuffed Veal Roll-Ups with Fennel and Bread Crumbs (O&C, p380; cookbooker); I served this with fettucelle, which is similar to tagliatelle, but shorter. The veal was really tasty with an interesting tomato-y sauce. (I used some of the canned "seedless" tomato parts and froze the rest of that.) Cath brought some Basque cheese and membrillo that had been made by a recent visitor. We had that for a cheese course—what a nice combination. No sweet needed.

Yogurt on overnight.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 BACKLOG: no; #2 VEG/FISH: 3; #3 COOKBOOK: yes
Cookbooks of the month: Nothing Fancy
This month: #4 PASTA: no; #5 BREAD: yes; #6 GUESTS: yes

Monday, November 5, 2018

This week in the kitchen

Monday/5-Nov-18: No more mice caught today.

It occurred to me today that I've taken to choosing my monthly book wrong. Instead of choosing one that I've not used much and might be a candidate for recycling, I've frequently chosen ones that either I've used or I've been wanting to use. Will try to do better with this.  It is interesting making a of use of a single book in a month.

Thought I had the meal plan for the next week fairly complete when I sat down today. After a few finishing touches, I discovered that I had three cow-centered meals planned over four days. Odd since we don't eat that much cow. Have that all jiggled now, so should be quick list-making tomorrow.

Tonight we had the other two Jamaican Burgers, along with the Banana-Ginger Chutney (good stuff, that). Served with Jamaican Jerk Grilled Eggplant (web), without the optional sauce. Used the rest of the brown rice to make a sort of stir-fried rice with peas and tossed in the rest of the jerk sauce. Turned out pretty good. Some mini ice cream bars for dessert.

Yogurt on overnight.

Tuesday/6-Nov-18: No mice caught today.

Our meal was Tandoori Chicken Thighs (web; CL/may12), a half recipe. Easy and good, cooked under the broiler. Then there was Yellow Rice with Potato and Cumin (SpiceKitch, p64), good stuff. I used one third of the rice with all of the spices. I used up the rest of the snijbonen to make South Indian-Style Green Beans (MJ@Home, p147), also good. Have enjoyed both of these before. At a boulanger in the afternoon, I bought one piece of flan; we split that for dessert.

Wednesday/7-Nov-18: No mice caught today. We know you're there!

Shopping late. Dinner was Tilapia Poached in a Chipotle Mushroom Broth (MC; web), but with lieu noir, rather than tilapia (which isn't much sold here). Lots of yummy broth left. Served with bucatini, which was the wrong pasta, and some clean-out-the-fridge steamed veggies, a bit of broccoli, a carrot, and one snijbonen. Some store-bought riz au lait avec vanile for dessert.

My sourdough starter is alive! Two days ago it grew to the top of the jar, then apparently "burped" and went down in volume. This has happened a couple of times now, though not so dramatic at the first time. Hope to start a bread within the next days.

Thursday/8-Nov-18: Dinner was Beef with Spinach—Saag Gosht (Q&E, p36). I made a whole recipe and the two of us ate it all; we were stuffed but we ate it all. (New pressure cooker is pretty fiddly. Had trouble getting it sealed right so that it would work properly.) Over plain basmati rice. Served with a half recipe of Tomato, Onion and Green Coriander Relish—Cachumber (MJ1, p172). For dessert, there was Caramelized Cardamom Apples with Pistachio Cream‐Sev Ka Murabba (Q&E, p122), which was good. Have made all of these before.

Yogurt on overnight.

Started on a loaf of sourdough bread by making the sponge this evening. Using my starter from Fancy, but the bread from Chocolate&Zucchini. I love that she says to "place the bowl [with the sponge] next to the chef starter so they can tell knock-knock jokes to one another all night." We'll see how this goes. Tomorrow the bread.

Friday/9-Nov-18: Caught another mouse today. Hoping this is the last one. Please.

Finished my bread today, but it's still cooling so it might be tomorrow before we can try it. Had to add more flour, and I see that the current version on the web has some gluten added, so I added that too. Looks beautiful. We'll see.

Dinner was boudin noir, with the Banana-Ginger Chutney, which was a good combination. Served with tagliatelle, followed by a big salad.

Saturday/10-Nov-18: No trapped mouse today.

It was supposed to fresh pasta today, but I was too tired. Also couldn't face clearing off the counter, where mouse-threatened packages are sitting till we're sure we've removed all the mice.

Dinner was a half recipe of Simple Veal Pasta Sauce—Piccolo Ragù de Vitello (MarCuc, p172), served over malfalda. No ground veal, so I chopped up a scallop and it worked fine. Then a big salad. Then a  bit of Petit Basque cheese. We've eaten well.

Sunday/11-Nov-18: No trapped mouse today.

Made some Everyday Scones (Fancy, p173; cookbooker) this morning. These were easy and pretty good. The recipe advertises that it makes nine scones; I ended up with eleven. My cutter was slightly bigger than 2"; we thought they were a bit small. But good, especially with a dab of jam.

Fed my Fancy sourdough starter, with sugar as instructed. Not sure I've seen this before. If it doesn't bubble up and burp over this time.

Yogurt on overnight.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 BACKLOG: no; #2 VEG/FISH: 2; #3 COOKBOOK: yes
Cookbooks of the month: Nothing Fancy
This month: #4 PASTA: no; #5 BREAD: yes; #6 GUESTS: no

Monday, October 29, 2018

This week in the kitchen

Monday/29-Oct-18: Caught a kitchen mouse last night. Let her out into a field on the way to pick up the cats.

Suppose I should cook from Floyd in the next days, but I can't face him again. That's a book that's going to get recycled. For November, I've chosen Nothing Fancy, by Diana Kennedy. This was a really good read and there are lots of tagged pages, but I've not used it much. That took a bit of rearrangement of the meal plan, but it's done.

Dinner was Broccoli Cornmeal Cakes from the freezer, warmed not quite enough in the toaster oven, topped with pyramid goat cheese and lardons. Then a big salad.

Put pork on to marinate for tomorrow.


Tuesday/30-Oct-18: This morning there was a second and third mouse in traps. Ed let them go out the high road.

Ed's cold hit me today. Yuck.

Dinner was Ancho- and Chipotle-Rubbed Pork Loin (MC). I forgot that it was done in the Romertopf and took over an hour to cook, so dinner was quite late. Served with polenta and steamed broccoli. Mini ice cream bars for dessert.

Wednesday/31-Oct-18: Shopping today. Exhausting.

Yummy dinner. We had Tamarind Fish (MJFlavs, p154; cookbooker) with salmon, which was really delicious. Served with Whole Potatoes with Tomatoes (MJFlavs, p162; cookbooker), first time I've made this. Quite good they were, and not too hard. The other side was Gujerati-Style Green Beans (MJ1, p102), made with snijbonen, aka haricots coco plat, whatever those may be in English. That's an old favorite.

Thursday/1-Nov-18: Trapped two more mice today, and found another one dead, half-eaten, under the ironing board. That's six live and one dead.

We had an anniversary meal at the new Cambodian take-away restaurant in La Rochefoucauld. Very good.

Cooked some long-grain brown rice for coming meals.

Friday/2-Nov-18: Yet another mouse today. That's seven. They seem to be getting smaller. If mom's still around, she's really wily.

Dinner was a half recipe of Spicy Jerk Pork with Pepper Fried Rice (web). Used leftover varkenshaas from Tuesday's meal. Think I've made this before with shrimpers. Pretty good tonight. Some ice cream for dessert.

Saturday/3-Nov-18: We didn't catch a mouse last night, but I did see one peeping around as I was sitting at the kitchen table.

Had the idea to make Kennedy's whole wheat pasta today for my cookbook project, but 1) the counter is full of stuff that should be in the mouse-eaten shelves and 2) I really didn't feel like it. Instead I made a have dish of Tonnarelli ai Gameri e Funghi (ClassPasta, p104), served over mushroom pasta, kind of a fusilli shape. Not the right one, but tasty. Then a big salad. Then some chocolate-covered corn flakes.

Sunday/4-Nov-18: Again no mouse caught.

Busy day in the kitchen. I made my Apple-Plum Butter (MC; HandyBook), actually using plums this time. And a half-dose of Banana-Ginger Chutney (VegPlanet, p44), a recommended go-with for the patties. Half, but still a huge amount. And Sourdough Starter (Fancy, p129; cookbooker). Will be a week before I can make use of it.

Dinner was Jamaican Burgers (VegPlanet, p372). I've made these before and they're still good. Serve with Banana-Ginger Chutney, which was very good. And leftover hominy heated with the leftover sauce from Monday's pork. All were good.

Discovered this evening that the guy who still hosts, but no longer maintains, Cookbooker wants to give it up. :-( Don't know what's going to happen there. There is an alternative, but it's paying now, and was never as nice as Cookbooker was.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 BACKLOG: no; #2 VEG/FISH: 4 #3 COOKBOOK: no for October, yes for November
Cookbooks of the month: Floyd's India for October, Nothing Fancy for November
This month: #4 PASTA: no for October, no for November; #5 BREAD: no for October, no for November; #6 GUESTS: no for October, no for November

Monday, October 22, 2018

This week in the kitchen

Monday/22-Oct-18 - Saturday/27-Oct-18: In The Netherlands, or on the way back. Nothing happened in the kitchen, although the kitchen mouse was very busy. Ed didn't want to leave the traps set, to avoid finding a dead mouse upon our return.

Sunday/28-Oct-18: Home again. Dinner from the freezer: chorizettes, chorizo-flavored chicken sausages bought at a marché des producteurs this summer; and hominy from the freezer with canned chopped chiles; and Shredded Zucchini (MW@Home, p87), with zucchini from the freezer.

Tomorrow morning we pick up the kitties and do a small shopping at Intermarché.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 BACKLOG: no; #2 VEG/FISH: 0; #3 COOKBOOK: no
Cookbooks of the month: Floyd's India
This month: #4 PASTA: no; #5 BREAD: no; #6 GUESTS: no

Monday, October 15, 2018

This week in the kitchen

Monday/15-Oct-18: Lunch out for our anniversary today. Nothing happened in the kitchen.

Yesterday we took a load of books up to the Hope charity shop. I came home with not one, but two new cookbooks. One is Soups from the Good Food series; I have several of these now, picked up here and there, and they look quite good. The other is called Flavours of the Sun, which looks promising.

Tuesday/16-Oct-18: Another winner dinner from Ainsley Herriott. I made Crusted Roast Rump Steak with Crispy Speckled Onions Rings (Ainsley2, p80; cookbooker). One what I thought was a biggish onion served the two of us for onion rings. The first time I've made onion rings actually. Didn't expect the rings would be soaked in milk. Messy cooking, but delicious. I made all the topping for my two steaks, that was fine. As go-withs I boiled, then sautéed some potatoes (need to use them up) and a little salad of broccoli stems. Some St Félicien for after. We ate well.

Yogurt on overnight.

Wednesday/17-Oct-18: Shopping today.

Dinner was Spicy Fried Fillets of Fish (Floyd, p118). Tuna was the best looking fish of the day, so that's what we had. This was pretty good, although the recipe was screwy, calling for a huge amount of green chiles. I used two and a bit for my half recipe; it was nicely hot. I used leftover potatoes from yesterday to make Yellow Rice with Potato and Cumin (SpiceKitch, p64), one third of the rice with half the spices. The other side was Green Peas in a Creamy Sauce (Q&E, p87). These are both tried-and-true recipes. There was faux-kheer for dessert, riz au lait with a sprinkle of cardamom.

Have to say this was probably my favorite thing I've made from Floyd. There recipe is iffy, but it made up quite nicely. I'm pretty well committed to recycling this book (the first one I've found to recycle on my cookbook-a-month quest), but think I'll save this recipe, with modifications.

Thursday/18-Oct-18: Packing related activities all day today.

Made some cilantro pesto to use up supply in fridge. Froze it.

Washed and dried most of lemons (instructions) and froze them. We'll see how that works.

Dinner was Artichoke Spaghetti (Art, p59), made with canned tuna, a really old favorite. Then a big salad. Then a pair of chocolate-covered madeleines each.

Friday/19-Oct-18 - Sunday/21-Oct-18: Off to The Netherlands for a visit. We did nothing in the kitchen.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 BACKLOG: no; #2 VEG/FISH: 2; #3 COOKBOOK: yes
Cookbooks of the month: Floyd's India
This month: #4 PASTA: no; #5 BREAD: no; #6 GUESTS: no

Monday, October 8, 2018

This week in the kitchen

Monday/8-Oct-18: Tonight was supposed to be a beef with coconut from Floyd, but we left the coconut out of the fridge and it turned yucky pink. Instead there was a halfish recipe of Goan Beef Vindaloo (Floyd, p135). We thought it was pretty so-so. There's a bit left, which Ed insists I put in the freezer, rather than tossing. And plain basmati rice. And a halfish recipe of Spicy Sweetcorn—Makai tamatar nu shak (Floyd, p169). This is pretty good, but not wonderful. We finished a bottle of Larou with the meal, which went quite well, although it may have been we couldn't really taste it. Mini ice cream bars for after.

Tuesday/9-Oct-18: Dinner was Thai Black Pepper Chicken (MC), with Broccoli in Oyster Sauce (Delightful, p58) and Cucumber Salad (Delightful, p51), all tried-and-true recipes. I forgot to take the mango ice cream out as we sat to eat, so we had chocolate-covered madeleines instead.

Wednesday/10-Oct-18: Shopping today. No fish for dinner, but leftover Cabbage and Leek Gratin, which gratedGruyère on top. Still good. Such a simple thing. Mango Ice Cream with fresh mango chunks for dessert.

Thursday/11-Oct-18: My day for the ENT today, which means shopping at Grand Frais and Biocoop (health food). Decided I couldn't face another Floyd recipe this week, so we bought some veal scallops (on sale) and some corn on the cob (not on sale, but looked good). Ed saw someone with a jar of jalapeños and thought he'd like some nachos, so I ran to get some English cheddar. Later I discovered tomorrow was Floyd night, but I moved tonight's meal to tomorrow. After the nachos, neither of us were very hungry so we just had the corns on the cob. Then some chocolate-covered madeleines for dessert. (These were a summer sale thing, made locally, and really delicious and chemical free. We've only got one more sack left. :-( )

Yogurt on overnight.

The kitchen mouse seems to have ceased its activities. Can't really explain. Thinking of refilling the cabinets. Did see a mouse running along the house as we returned from doctor/shopping trip.

Friday/12-Oct-18: Early meal today, a half dose of Garlicky Chicken with Lemon-Anchovy Sauce (web). Cut my chicken into bits and didn't bother with the oven bit. Very yummy. With "short spaghetti" that looks like graminge and steamed broccoli topped with lemon juice. (Went to put this on my DoMeAgain list and discovered that it was already there. We had this in March. Liked it then too.) We've eaten well.

Yogurt on overnight.

Saturday/13-Oct-18: Dinner was a half dose of Pasta with Sausage & Sun-Dried Tomatoes (web). My tomatoes were oven-dried and frozen, so I warmed a bit of olive oil with some finely sliced garlic and red pepper flakes. Used casareccia for the pasta. Then a big salad. We were full.

Sunday/14-Oct-18: Made a Tarte Poire Chocolat (VPG). This was okay, but nothing special. Used a store-brought graham cracker crust rather than a pâte sablée.

For dinner there was Very Spicy, Delicious Chickpeas (WoE, p86; cookbooker). Very delicious, yes. Served over round-grain brown rice.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 BACKLOG: no; #2 VEG/FISH: 2; #3 COOKBOOK: yes
Cookbooks of the month: Floyd's India
This month: #4 PASTA: no; #5 BREAD: no; #6 GUESTS: no

Monday, October 1, 2018

This week in the kitchen

Monday/1-Oct-18: I'm enjoying my project of cooking from unused cookbooks. So far, I haven't really found any books I'd like to get rid of, only ones that need to be used more. I think this will be an Indian month. Floyd's India, by Keith Floyd, comes highly recommended, but I've never really gotten into it. Will try this month.

Dinner was Hunter-Style Pasta Sauce from the freezer, over pasta. Followed by a big salad. Followed by two mini ice cream bars.

Put chicken thighs to marinate for Thai Barbecued Chicken (MC) tomorrow.

Yogurt on overnight.

Tuesday/2-Oct-18: Ed barbecued the chicken, an old recipe but still delicious, while I made, sort of, Hot & Sour Stir-Fried Vegetables (Delightful, p55). We both like veggies done like this, and I like that the recipe can be varied with whatever you have at hand. And there was plain basmati rice. For dessert, I made Tarte Amandine aux Figues, from a recent VPG. I didn't have enough figs, according to the recipe, so I used (frozen) cherries for one half. Something was very wrong with this recipe. I added an extra egg, but the batter was still stiff. I probably could have used only the figues, a bit more sparsely distributed. Not as intended, no doubt, but the result is quite tasty.

Wednesday/3-Oct-18: Shopping today.

First outing with Keith Floyd was not especially successful. The main was a half dose of Fish Curry Bengal-Style—Doi Macchi (Floyd, p124) and it was not very good at all. I suspect something is wrong with the recipe. The whole recipe (I made half) asks for 25g of turmeric; that's 8-1/3 teaspoons! My half recipe would be more than 4 teaspoons. Turmeric gives a nice edge is small doses, but the 1 teaspoon I added made it way to bitter, overwhelming any other tastes that were present. Not a nice main course. For a side there was Spiced Beetroot—Subzi Poriyal (Floyd, p153) which was pretty good. But, the recipe says it serves 4-6; I made a short half and it would have served 3-4 without a problem.

Thursday/4-Oct-18: Dinner was Cabbage and Leek Gratin (VegSups, p18). This seems like a simple dish, but it was delicious. Then we had some peaches getting close to their end with the end of the fromage blanc from last week.

Yogurt on overnight.

Friday/5-Oct-18: Dinner at Cath's tonight. Nothing happened in the kitchen.

Saturday/6-Oct-18: Another disappointing meal with Keith Floyd. Our main was a halfish dose of Spicy Prawns with Mango—Jhinga Thokku (Floyd, p118; cookbooker). For a side there was Runner or Green Beans Foogath (Floyd, p158; cookbooker). Maybe this was meant to be a main dish. It calls for 1kg of beans (I used runner beans) for 4. At 200g, I thought the pile was more than enough for two. (I usually get 150-200g of green beans as a side for two, but this was a side including potatoes.) The measurement of cumin seeds was way off; I used 1/2 teaspoon for my 200g of beans. Per the instructions, the potatoes will cook al dente with just a few drops of water. Not at my house. Three dried chiles (half of what was asked) made the pretty attention-getting. In the end, it was pretty good, but we couldn't eat all I made. And some plain basmati rice. Mini ice creams for dessert.

Sunday/7-Oct-18: Big lunch out today. Nothing happened in the kitchen.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 BACKLOG: no; #2 VEG/FISH: 3; #3 COOKBOOK: yes
Cookbooks of the month: Floyd's India
This month: #4 PASTA: no; #5 BREAD: no; #6 GUESTS: no

Monday, September 24, 2018

This week in the kitchen

Monday/24-Sep-18: For dinner there was Pasta Sauce with Peas, Ham, and Cream (p164 , MarCuc). The sauce is simple, but good. Hazan says the original pasta for this sauce is garganelli, a hand-made pasta. I found the instructions for this in (p110, Geometry). A weaver's comb, which is probably where we get Afro picks, is traditionally used to make the grooves on the rolled squares of pasta. Can't say I have any skill at this, but I do have an Afro pick now.


The sauce was good, but the pasta was a bit heavy, maybe because I only rolled to 5 rather than 6.


Then we had the rest of yesterday's salad mixed with the rest of yesterday's beans, all of which make a nice salad. No dessert since we were full.

Tuesday/25-Sep-18: We're still having problems with a mouse in the pantry. Chocolate chips and pasta are its current favorites. Three live traps are set with no results so far.

Recombobbled the meal plan today after we learned yesterday that Cath's friend is coming a week later than expected. Made the list too.

Used some very ripe bananas and some from the freezer to make up a loaf of Best Banana Bread (HandyBook).

Didn't have the oomph to make what was on the plan; really too tired to deal with peeling a winter squash. Instead made Vegan Eggplant and Tomato Gratin (VegSups, p24), which I made non-vegan by dolloping on the rest of some fresh goat cheese that needed to be used up. Pretty good. Followed by a salad. And some quite-tasty banana bread.

Wednesday/26-Sep-18: Shopping today.

Dinner was Grilled Salmon with Chile-Honey Glaze and Ginger-Red Onion Relish (BigFlav, p87). Ed bbq'd the fish. The glaze is good, but the relish is super-yummy. As suggested, served with New Potato Hash Browns with Caramelized Onions (BigFlav, p236). These were good, but I thought the onions were too sweet. We also had Fried Eggplant with Feta and Basil (O&C, p276), which Ed didn't like as well as the last time I made this. We were full, but managed a pair of chocolate-topped madeleines for after.

Yogurt on overnight.

Thursday/27-Sep-18: Lunch out with Sue and Andy.

Made up broth for Mango Ice Cream (ThaiCC, p91) using canned mango, since the fresh ones were hard at the store this week and there were no frozen ones.

Friday/28-Sep-18: For dinner, Ed bbq'd a half dose of Grilled Sirloin and Apricot Skewers with Pomegranate Vinaigrette (License, p126). Since apricots are way out of season, I used peaches instead as suggested. Good this was. As suggested, served with Grilled Potatoes with Yogurt-Parsley Sauce (License, p283), which Ed liked a lot. Also a half recipe of Zucchini and Feta Cheese Salad (WorldVeg, p640). And then there was Mango Ice Cream, which was pretty good.

Yogurt on overnight.

Saturday/29-Sep-18: We ate half of an Onion and Rosemary Tart with Fromage Blanc (VegSups, p9; cookbooker). Then a big salad. Then some mini ice cream bars.

Sunday/30-Sep-18: Ed was wanting pork chops. So tonight he barbecued a pair, rubbed with a Cajun spice run. Served with Moroccan Green Pepper Salad—Felfla Mechouia (WorldVeg, p634; cookbooker), a delicious salad, roasted green bell peppers with a bit of preserved lemon. And Oven Fried Potatoes with Oregano and Lemon (O&C, p280). We finished off a nice bottle of Fronton Flingueurs negrette, along with some slightly aged Morbiers. Then a spoonful of Mango Ice Cream each. And later a pair of chocolate-covered madeleines each.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 BACKLOG: no; #2 VEG/FISH: 3; #3 COOKBOOK: yes
Cookbooks of the month: Vegetarian Suppers
This month: #4 PASTA: yes; #5 BREAD: no; #6 GUESTS: no

Monday, September 17, 2018

This week in the kitchen

Monday/17-Sep-18: Still away. Nothing happened in the kitchen.

Tuesday/18-Sep-18: Home from Île de Ré today. Oscar not well.

Made the shopping list for tomorrow.

More evidence of a mouse in the pantry shelves, but three emtpy traps.

We had barbecued chipolatas for dinner, accompanied by assorted veggies: smash sweet pots, steamed broccoli, and Baked Eggplant Slices (TooMany, p114), which is an old favorite.

Wednesday/19-Sep-18: Shopping today.

Our starter was Figues Fraîches Facies au Chèvre et au Jambon Serrano (VPG); unfortunately VPG doesn't put its recipes online and I haven't been able to find a similar one. This very easy and very nice. The recipes has three figs per person, but I think one or two would be fine. To make: quarter each fig, not quite all the way. Add a bit of serrano ham (one slice divided into three parts), tucked into the splits to make a sort of basket. Fill that with a tablespoonful of soft goat cheese. Then add a little drizzle of honey and a sprinkle of piment d'Espelette, and put under the grill for five minutes or so. There should have been a sprinkle of basil leaves, but I forgot. Nevertheless, it was good.

Our main was Quick-Braised Cod with Herbed Yogurt (web), made with lieu noir, which is cheaper than cod, and, Ed thinks, tastier. With a side of tagliatlle. This was nice and easy, and fairly quick. Then a salad. I bought some chocolate puddings for dessert, but we were too full.

Thursday/20-Sep-18: Our meal today was a half-recipe of Cold Noodles with Sesame Sauce, Chicken and Cucumbers (web). Easy and pretty good. Then some store-bought dark chocolate pudding.

Friday/21-Sep-18: Dinner was a half recipe of Whole Wheat Penne with Masses of Broccoli, Green Olives, and Pine Nuts (VegSups, p56). Good. Chocolate-dipped madeleines for dessert.

Saturday/22-Sep-18: Busy day in the kitchen. Started off making a half dose of Big Beans with Fresh Herbs and Fruit Olive Oil (O&C, p208), the suggested go-with for tonight's planned stew.

Then used most of the sauté de porc that I bought on sale to make Homemade Sausage (30MinPasta, p161) for the freezer. Froze up two small ziplocs of porc for stew or whatnot.

Took a break, then started a half dose of Pork Stew with Olives, Anchovies, Cilantro, and White Beans (O&C, 398). Didn't absorb the fact that this wants to cook for 2 hours before it's ready. Quick change of plans for tonight. Instead we had Zucchini Skillet Cakes with Capers and Pine Nuts (VegSups, p82). Topped with some cherry tomatoes and yogurt-garlic sauce. Not the best-ever zucchini pancakes, but not bad. Some mini ice creams for dessert.

Sunday/23-Sep-18: Finished off yesterday's stew for dinner. Delicious stew (cookbooker) and yummy beans (cookbooker).

Yogurt on overnight.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 BACKLOG: no; #2 VEG/FISH: 3; #3 COOKBOOK: yes
Cookbooks of the month: Vegetarian Suppers
This month: #4 PASTA: no; #5 BREAD: no; #6 GUESTS: no

Monday, September 10, 2018

This week in the kitchen

Monday/10-Sep-18: Disappointing dinner. We had Easy Green Curry with Pork (Rains, p138). Used some of our little white eggplants from the potager, which have a really bitter taste. Don't need to make it again. Over basmati rice. Peaches and cream for dessert.

Tuesday/11-Sep-18: This morning we were sitting at breakfast when I saw a motion out of my eye. Thought is was a cat, come a-begging for a yogurt jar, but it turned out to be a tiny mouse dragging a dust bunny from its tail. It was barely moving. I threw a hand towel over it and we put it in a bucket outside. Unfortunately we left the bucket on the ground. After a bit we found the bucket empty and we suspect one of the cats had itself a little treat. The mouse was fully furred but its eyes were barely open. Don't know if it was sickly or a big baby. Feel a bit sad, except for the damage one (or two?) is doing in the pantry shelves.

Dinner was an oldie, half of Spicy Chicken Strips (CL90, 170). Pretty good stuff, even though it takes way more corn chips than asked to get a nice crispy coating. Served with guacamole, some "Spanish" rice, and some mixed veggies (broccoli, canned corn, canned roast pepper strips). A made-up dessert: I defrosted two squares of pâte feuilletée I found in the freezer. Mixed up the last of the mascarpone (about half of a 500g bakje) with an egg, some ground almonds, some lemon juice, a slog of amaretto. Lined a small casserole with the pastry and covered the bottom with frozen, pitted cherries, then topped with the mascarpone mixture. After baking it a while, I realized that I'd forgotten to add sugar, so I sprinkled some brown sugar on the top. It baked about 20min at 400F and another bit at about 350F. Still a bit runny, but tasty. I'm full.

Yogurt on overnight.

Wednesday/12-Sep-18: Shopping today.

Dinner was a halfish recipe of Roasted Salmon & Butternut Squash Salad (EW/sep-oct15, web), with tuna instead of salmon. And that was barbecued, rather than cooked in the oven with the squash. The salad was excellent and a good foil for the fish. Chocolate-covered madeleines for dessert.

Thursday/13-Sep-18: Dinner was (sort of) Fideos with Pasilla Chiles, Avocado, and Crema (VegSups, p61). My pasillas were moldy, and so were my guajillos, so I used anchos (and now need to get more of them all). The two of us ate the whole recipe, meant of four. Tasty stuff. Forgot to prep the avocado, which I'd saved, and forgot to serve the Pickled Onions (VegSups, p169) that I'd made up as garnish. Oh well. We ate well anyhow.

Friday/14-Sep-18: Just before I came down to cook dinner, an ex-colleague from Uniface days showed up on the doorstep. He and his wife are camping in the area and used our old blog to find the place. They're thinking of moving to the area.

Dinner started with insalata caprese, with one store-bought tomatoes and several small ones from the potager. This year's tomatoes are all small instead of the 500g monsters we've had in the past. Maybe from the dry spell we had while we were away in June. Then we had Lemon Orzo with Avocado and Herbs (web). I think this recipe is meant as a side dish A double recipe was a nice dinner for two. And a pretty bare salad for after.

Yogurt on overnight.

Saturday/15-Sep-18: Off to Île de Ré today. Nothing happened in the kitchen.

Sunday/16-Sep-18: Nothing happened in the kitchen.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 BACKLOG: no; #2 VEG/FISH: 3; #3 COOKBOOK: yes
Cookbooks of the month: Vegetarian Suppers
This month: #4 PASTA: no; #5 BREAD: no; #6 GUESTS: no

Monday, September 3, 2018

This week in the kitchen

Monday/3-Sep-18: A been-there-done-that dinner, but still good. There was Spice-Rubbed Grilled Chicken Breasts with Sweet and Hot Peach Relish (BigFlav, p178). Even though I made half the rub, I still have put some in the freezer for another bbq. And Roast Beet and Carrot Salad with Lemon-Mint Dressing (BigFlav, p204), which I made for the third time, about 12 years apart each time. And Parsley Salad with Bulgur, Mint, and Tomatoes (BigFlav, p216), which I've made several times lately, and years before previously. All good.

Tuesday/4-Sep-18: Dinner was a halfish recipe of Grilled Shrimp Skewers over White Bean Salad (web). Nice, summery meal. Small ice creams for dessert.

Still haven't figured out what cookbook to use for this month.

Wednesday/5-Sep-18: Shopping today.

Decided that my newest Deborah Madison cookbook, Vegetarian Suppers, will be this month's cookbook. An easy choice, but I already had one of those recipes on the plan for this week. Have marked lots of things to make, so it should work out.

I baked the rest of the Beet and Feta Samosas, straight from the freezer, for our starter. Since I again had a half of a red bell pepper to be used up, I made another batch of Fresh Red Chutney with Almonds (Q&E, p114). Our main was Yoghurt Fish (MJFlavs, p152) which was disappointing. Rather blah in spite of all the spices that went in. Served with plain basmati rice and Gujerati-Style Green Beans (MJ1, p102), made with snijbonen. We each had a nectavigne for dessert. What's that? A kind of nectarine with dark flesh and skin. Unusual taste, but good.

Thursday/6-Sep-18: For a starter, there were some figs with goat cheese and a drizzle of honey and some chopped walnuts, all in the oven for a bit at 400F. For a main there was a half recipe of Summer Potatoes Stews with Eggplant, Peppers, and Olives (VegSups, p172). I spiffied this up with some piment d'Espelette and smoked paprika. Served over brown rice, which was really too much. I suspect this might serve six since we didn't manage to finish the half recipe. Good stuff, though. I had a peach for dessert.

Friday/7-Sep-18: Munchies for dinner at The Tempest. I did make up some things like the cherry tartlets that I made a week or so ago, but folded them up like samosas. Oops, the cheese melted out, so we scooped into little tupperwares and called it cherry-mascarpone crunch. The taste was fine. Otherwise nothing happened in the kitchen.

Saturday/8-Sep-18: Dinner out tonight. Nothing happened in the kitchen except ...

Yogurt on overnight.

Sunday/9-Sep-18: Oops, I defrosted the wrong kind of kip thighs for dinner, bone-in instead of bone-out. Replan.

Deseeded a mess of tomatoes from the garden to make up into tomato purée. Much work, only 1-1/2 cups in the end.

Dinner was Jamaican Jerk Chicken (Ainsley2, p74). This was easy and delicious. Served with polenta, corn on the cob (who plans a meal with two corn dishes?), and a made-up cucumber and red onion salad. All good. Served with one of our vacation wines, Les Frontons Flingeurs, which went well with the spicy chicken. Ice cream (bar and cup) for dessert. I'm stuffed.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 BACKLOG: no; #2 VEG/FISH: 3; #3 COOKBOOK: yes
Cookbooks of the month: Vegetarian Suppers
This month: #4 PASTA: no; #5 BREAD: no; #6 GUESTS: no