Monday, May 14, 2018

This week in the kitchen

Monday/14-May-18: For tonight's meal we had Sweet-and-Sour Cabbage with Peanut Sauce (BoldVeg, p135; cookbooker) with Red and Green Polenta (BoldVeg, p176; cookbooker) as suggested. The cabbage was an interesting dish, a little weird at first, but grew on you. Mini ice cream bars for dessert.

Tuesday/15-May-18: Worked on the meal plan (and list) today, trying to use up as many of the veggies in the fridge as possible.

For our meal, we had Pasta with Asparagus-Lemon Sauce (web). This was quite good. I made all the sauce with half the pasta. The pasta (malfada) was generously sauced, but not excessive. Following some of the comments, I used the zest of a whole lemon and added the juice to the sauce, and I roasted the tips with a minced shallot and garlic cloves. Very tasty. Served with a made-up salad of grated carrot, cuke that was quartered and finely sliced, radish, and a bit of onion, all with a lemon vinaigrette. Quite good it was. Some goat cheese for dessert.

Yogurt on overnight.

Wednesday/16-May-18: Shopping today.

When we got home, to use up some of the buttermilk, I made Buttermilk Coffeecake (TLSouth, p119).

Our dinner was Salmon with Lime Courgettes (200Budget, p178). The salmon was ok, but the zucchini was very good fun, cut in long thin strips, sautéed, and tossed with lime zest, juice, and chopped mint. Served with orzo. The coffeecake for dessert was a hit.

Thursday/17-May-18: Breakfast for dinner today. I made Ned and Crescent's Favorite Multigrain Pancakes (Gospels, p205)—a whole dose and then froze half for another meal. Served with some of the chamomile syrup from Saturday.

Friday/18-May-18: Busy afternoon cooking:
  • Made some Favas and Pearl Onions with Olives and Herbs (VegA2Z, p66). Favas from the store this week; pearl onions left from last week. This recipe has in interesting way to treat the onions. You pour boiling water over them, then cut off the bottom and peel. (I only cut off the top if it was "ugly.") Peeling is much easier this way—hooray! The favas were cooked (steam-sautéed) without peeling the individual beans. I added extra olives because I thought the dshes needed them; Ed thought it was too much. This was an okay dish. Think I prefer my favas peeled and bright green. 
  • Mama's Garlic Coleslaw (MC; HandyBook). 
  • Baked Potatoes on the Grill (MC), but cooked in the toaster oven. Two smallish potatoes for the two of us. I found it way too much. 
  • Craig Claiborne's Ultimate Hamburger (Tabasco, p88). Still a good way to do a hamburger.
For dessert, we finished off the Buttermilk Coffeecake. Yum.

Yogurt on overnight.

Saturday/19-May-18: We went to Gamm Vert today and bought some plants, geraniums, three hanging pots, etc. For our meal, I marinated two kip filets as in Chile-Soaked Grilled Chicken (BigFlav, p180), without the accompanying the Indonesian Catsup, that we didn't think was needed last time I made this. The chicken was good. Served with asparagus, simply grilled with salt and pepper, and penne of red lentils and carrots. Then a salad of romaine lettuce. Then some Buttermilk Ice Cream (MC), kind of tan colored because I used sucre de canne, rather than white sugar.

Sunday/20-May-18: We lunched at La Bellone today, before going to Chalais for a concert. Nothing happened in the kitchen.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 BACKLOG: no; #2 VEG/FISH: 4; #3 COOKBOOK: yes
Cookbooks of the month: BoldVeg and 200Budget
This month: #4 PASTA: no; #5 BREAD: no; #6 GUESTS: yes

Monday, May 7, 2018

This week in the kitchen

Monday/7-May-18: Our meal today was Prawn & Crab Cakes with Chilli Jam (200Budget, p182; cookbooker). For a veggie side I made some Stir-Fried Mixed Vegetables (ThaiCC, p80). And some plain rice. Pretty good meal. For dessert we had more of the Chocolate-Glazed Banana Cake. Yum.

Tuesday/8-May-18: Our meal was Rosemary-Flavored Chickpea and Spinach Soup (WorldVeg, p598; cookbooker). Finished off the Chocolate-Glazed Banana Cake.

Wednesday/9-May-18: Shopping today.

Our meal was Fish Kebabs & Spring Onion Mash (200Budget, p174). The kebabs were good, and the smashed potatoes with crème fraîche, chopped cilantro and red chili, and spring onions were a treat. Some roasted asparagus on the side. For dessert, some store-bought rice puddings.

Cookcooks: I've done two recipes from 200Budget, but there will be none from BoldVeg. We're outing three times in the next days, with company on the remaining days.

Yogurt on overnight.

Thursday/10-May-18: We ate at a local Sanglier à Broche repas today. We're stuffed. Nothing happened in the kitchen.

Friday/11-May-18: Chopped up lots of vegetables for Marinated Vegetables à la Greque (VegFeasst, p76; cookbooker) and put them on to marinate.

For dinner, we had hamburgers at the bar where No Direction was playing their last gig with Albie. Nothing further happened in the kitchen,

Saturday/12-May-18: Cath and Hannah for dinner. We started with the Marinated Greek Vegetables. These were good. Served with some sliced baguette to soppy up the marinade. For our main, there was Asparagus-Ricotta Phyllo Tart (VT/may08; web; cookbooker). Put a bit of lightly dressed mâche with some cherry tomatoes on the plate. Dessert was Pears in Chamomile Syrup (O&C, p553; cookbooker). Everything was yummy.

Took the extra baguette and the last bit of tart to Vanessa.

Yogurt on overnight.

Sunday/13-May-18: I had some of the marinated vegetables over a bit of mâche for lunch. Pizza after Ed's concert. Nothing further happened in the kitchen.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 BACKLOG: no; #2 VEG/FISH: 3; #3 COOKBOOK: yes
Cookbooks of the month: BoldVeg and 200Budget
This month: #4 PASTA: no; #5 BREAD: no; #6 GUESTS: yes

Monday, April 30, 2018

This week in the kitchen

Monday/30-Apr-18: Our meal today was Barbecued Poussins with Za'atar and Roast Pumpkin Houmous (BirdHand, p160). Well, sort of. I used one coquelet for a half recipe, rather than two poussins, and grilled under the broiler. There was no pumpkin or other winter squash in the shop last week, so I smerged a couple of on-line recipes for plain chickpea hummus, which turned out pretty good. And roast asparagus. We ate well.

Made the meal plan (and list!) for next week this afternoon. Planned on using BoldVeg for May's cookbook, but noticed I also had a number of recipes for 200Budget planned. Decided I'll try to use both throughout the month. We'll see.

Tuesday/1-May-18: Looks like BookChatters is moving to the first Tuesday. This month and next month moved just because, but it turns out to be easier for our meeting locale if we stay on the first Tuesday. Meeting today caught me a bit off-stride, since it was the first day of the month.

Our meal was Slow-Cooked Lamb and Spinach Curry (MadeIndia, p107), which was quite yummy. Easy to make, but does take quite some time, most of it unattended. Served with Caramelized Onions and Jeera Rice (MadeIndia, p155). Ice cream bars for after.

Wednesday/2-May-18: Out meal was Chickpea Dumplings in Sweet Potato Gravy (web), served over brown rice. Fairly so-so. Didn't use vegetable suet (sounds horrible) for the dumplings, but yogurt, water, and a small slog of oil.

Thursday/3-May-18: Shopping today.

Soup and sandwiches for dinner. The soup was Salmon Soup with Tomato, Dill, and Garlic (CL/may16; web). Ed liked this, I didn't especially. There was no reason to "brown" the salmon in a skillet before cooking in the soup. Interesting that the recipe used water and fish sauce for the broth rather than fish stock. It was edible, but no a do-me-agai. The sandwiches were, sort of, Creamy Avocado/Guacamole Egg Salad Sandwiches (web), These were okay. Some millefeuilles from the boulangerie for dessert.

Yogurt on overnight.

Friday/4-May-18: Our meal today was Rice Noodles with Lemon Chicken (200Budget, p144; cookbooker). This was easy and quite tasty. Some store-bought, packaged brownies for dessert.

Saturday/5-May-18: Today I made Italian Herb Baked Meatballs (web). I used 500g of ground beef (a big pound), made 20 meatballs, and froze half for a later meal. I used tomato paste instead of marinara and frozen chopped basil. For a sauce, there was Tomato and Red Wine Sauce from the freezer, topped up with the last of my accidental tomato paste (which probably wasn't needed). As a side there was Thyme-Garlic Roasted Asparagus (CL/jun07; web). Mini ice cream bars for after.

Sunday/6-May-18: Our meal was Thai Tortellini (BoldVeg, p189). Thai/Italian, an odd combination, but it worked. The recipe asked 1/2-3/4 Thai yellow curry paste. This is way to little; that amount was almost tasteless. When I added the coconut milk, I added another long tablespoon of curry paste to bring up the flavor. Kirchner suggests serving with steamed carrots, so I did, but I think a salad sort of thing would have been better. For dessert, there was Chocolate-Glazed Banana Cake (BoldVeg, p242; cookbooker), as suggested. Definitely edible, this.

Yogurt on overnight.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 BACKLOG: yes; #2 VEG/FISH: 3; #3 COOKBOOK: yes for April, yes for May
Cookbooks of the month: BirdHand for April, BoldVeg and 200Budget for May
This month: #4 PASTA: no for April, no for May; #5 BREAD: no for April, no for May; #6 GUESTS: yes for April, no for May

Monday, April 23, 2018

This week in the kitchen

Monday/23-Apr-18: Well, it was supposed to be a pasta-making day, but I just didn't feel like it. So we had tagliatelle from the freezer, to make a 3/4-ish version of Pici ai Fegatini di Pollo e Radicchio—Pici with Chicken Livers and Radicchio (Lorenza, p130; cookbooker). Served with a big salad.

Yogurt on overnight.

Tuesday/24-Apr-18: Our meal was about a third recipe of Lapin à la Moutarde (SaveurFR, p197), accompanied by steamed broccoli and buckwheat crozets. Nice tastes.

Wednesday/25-Apr-18: Oops, forgot my camera today. For our meal, we had a halfish recipe of Chicken Messina (BirdHand, p113), kind of a poor-man's (or lazy cook's) version of vitello tonnato. Very good it was, nicely poached chicken with a tasty sauce. Served with North African Zucchini or Squash Salad (MedHot2, p87), wherein I forgot to add the chopped mint, and Moroccan couscous. Tasty eating all around.

Thursday/26-Apr-18: Shopping today. I noticed some "vegetable" pasta shapes and bought a couple—some fusilli of chickpeas and corn and some fusilli of red lentils and carrots. We'll see how those are.

Our meal was Cod Steaks in Yogurt (MJInvite, p122), which was good enough, but not a favorite. Served with Rice and Peas with Garam Masala (SpiceKitch, p65) and Salaad (MJ@Home, p235). These both tasty. Some Häagen Dasz ice cream cups for dessert.

Yogurt on overnight.

Friday/27-Apr-18: Lunch at Cath's today. Nothing happened in the kitchen.

Saturday/28-Apr-18: Our meal was Chile-Crusted Scallops with Cucumber Salad (web), which was pretty good. The cuke salad was good on its own (more lemon juice, less olive oil than asked) and extra good with the scallops mixed in. Unfortunately the chiles started Ed off on a coughing jag. Served with some of the chickpea fusilli dressed with olive oil, butter, and black pepper. This was quite good.

Yesterday I found the recipe for Soupe Épicée au Chocolat (VPG; web) stuck in a book; made a half recipe for tonight's meal. I used 100g of 85% chocolate and 50g or 70% chocolate. Melted these in my double boiler. The cream is infused with cardamom pods, a star anise, cinnamon stick, a clove, and some freshly ground pepper. That's strained into the melted chocolate. Pretty tasty.

Sunday/29-Apr-18: Again, it was supposed to be fresh pasta today, but I didn't feel like it, or like I had the time. Used boxed pasta to make Linguine with Lemon, Garlic, and Thyme Mushrooms (at Food52: web; at Nigella's site: web). Good and easy. I've made this before, in June-2014, but collected it again. Worthy of a repeat. Served with roasted asparagus and a big salad. Some of the chocolate "soup," now solidified, with strawberries and cream, which didn't go at all.

Coquelet on to marinate for tomorrow's meal.

Yogurt on overnight.

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

Monday, April 16, 2018

This week in the kitchen

Monday/16-Apr-18: In the morning, I used some leftover (flat) prosecco, topped up with a bit of white wine from the box, and a store-bought pie curst to make a Wine Tart (Secrets, p89). Only mildly successful. The pastry, which was one of the top-rated brands, is like leather. There is a reason to make it yourself.

Our meal was Chorizo Chowder (web). This was tasty, but I thought it was too fat, even thought I used less butter than asked for the veggies. We added some pyramid goat cheese at table. Some kind of creamy stuff makes it nicer.

Tuesday/17-Apr-18: Our meal was a halfish dose of Tajine of Chicken, Caramelized Onions and Pears (BirdHand, p58). This was only so-so compared with the other dishes I've made from this book.


Served with Moroccan couscous, a mix from a health food store. As sides there were some steamed asparagus with lemon juice and Courgette and Fresh Coriander Salad (Meze, p85). I liked this salad, but Ed who doesn't like raw zucchini on principle didn't much care for it.

Wednesday/18-Apr-18: For our meal we had leftover chorizo chowder. I tossed in leftover brown rice to stretch it and give it more substance. Worked well. Accompanied by egg salad sandwiches made with arugula pesto (from the freezer), minced red onion, plus dab of mayo and yogurt. Not bad. Wine tart for dessert.

Yogurt on overnight.

Thursday/19-Apr-18: Shopping today. We're later than usual for the next couple of weeks while Ed has practices for an extra choir concert at the beginning of May.

Our meal was a half version of Garlic Butter Salmon (web). I packed these up in aluminum foil rather than parchment paper and Ed cooked them on the grill instead of in the oven. Yummy stuff. Served with orzo and steamed broccoli. Some delicious store-bought chocolate mousses for dessert.

Friday/20-Apr-18: A bit of replanning today, since Cath will come for dinner tomorrow before a concert.

Today we had Chicken Karhai with Mint (MJ@Home, p78), with Mushroom and Pea Curry (MJ@Home, p191) as suggested, and plain basmati rice. All was good.

Saturday/21-Apr-18: Cath came for a meal before we went to a concert. I made a 3/4 recipe of Creamy Garlic Pasta with Shrimp & Vegetables (web; cookbooker). Especially tasty, it was. I used casareccia as the pasta, since spaghetti wasn't right for this dish. My veggies were not done in 2 minutes, but the shrimp were. Fished them out (all but one, poor baby) to finish cooking the vegetables. For a 3/4 recipe, I used all 6oz of pasta. Probably the recipe makes way too much sauce. I was making a 3/4 recipe, but used less than half the yogurt (I admit it, I didn't measure) and adjusted the rest of the ingredients to match. Except for the freshly ground pepper, which I used a lot of. Made up a salad of sliced cucumber and tomato as suggested, with added mint. For dessert, I made up some vanilla ice cream and we ate it all topped slogs crème de cacao.

Sunday/22-Apr-18: We had Judy's Dal Soup (EAT-L) for lunch. No online source, since it was a recipe copied from a friend. Easy and tasty. Served with store-bought naan, Kheer ka raita—Yoghurt with cucumber and mint (MJ1, p162), and an assortment of chutneys and pickle.

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

Monday, April 9, 2018

This week in the kitchen

Monday/9-Apr-18: This was a day for using up leftovers. I defrosted some chipolatas, and we had them with leftover cauliflower salad, hominy, roast potatoes, and sweet potatoes. A nice mix. Finished the St Felicien for afters.

Yogurt on overnight.

Tuesday/10-Apr-18: Another day of using up leftovers. Stir-fried rice. Had MW@Home on the counter, but didn't really use it. Sloshed together stuff for a sauce. Cooked some eggs. Onion, garlic, green bell pepper strips, peas. Leftover rice from last Friday. Good it was.

Wednesday/11-Apr-18: Shopping today.

Our meal was a half recipe of Stir-Fried Beef with Five Peppercorns (HomTravels, p126), using the last faux filet I defrosted for Sunday. This was good stuff, easy to make and tasty. I didn't much like the suggested noodles as accompaniment; rice would have been better. As a side, there was Broccoli in Fragrant Wine Sauce (HotWok, p156). This was nice, as usual. For dessert, I finished my chocolate Easter bunny. Ed finished his in one big session many days ago.

Thursday/12-Apr-18: Cath came to eat today before we went off to see a little art exhibit. We started with a mâche and beet salad, as in BEFCC, but with the dressing from Pomiane's beet salad. For a main with had Whitefish en Papillote (BestPC, p60), with lieu noir; brown rice on the side. When we got back we had coffee, tea, and Cath's apple&blackberry crumble.

Yogurt on overnight.

Friday/13-Apr-18: Our meal was Spanish Supper: Chicken Morcilla and Sherry (BirdHand, p10). I used only three thighs, since that was in a packet, and but boudin noir made it extra. I tossed in two artichoke hearts left from yesterday. Served this with polenta to soak up the juices. For a starter we had beets and mâche with the rest of Pomiane's dressing. Tastily stuffed we were.


Saturday/14-Apr-18: Our meal was Spinazie Omelet met Zalm en Cottage Cheese (web). More or less. The picture here looks more like a pancake than an omelet, while mine looked more like scrambled eggs. Nevermind, it all tastes very good together. Next time, think I would make two single omelets, fold the thinly sliced spinach (or arugula) into the omelet, then top with cheese (I used pyramid goat cheese), pine nuts, salmon, and chives. Followed by Tomato and Cucumber Salad (BEFCC, p24), which was a nice dish.

Sunday/15-Apr-18: Our meal today was a halfish recipe of Nigel Slater's Aubergine Ragu with Cream and Parmesan Lentils (web). I used a whole eggplant, which was fine for the two us; everthing else was close to half. More shrooms wouldn't hurt. Thought Slater's lentil-cooking time was a bit short, but maybe mine were old? Good and filling, your basic brown meal.

Yogurt on overnight.

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

Monday, April 2, 2018

This week in the kitchen

Monday/2-Apr-18: Back from Bach à Pâques today, following an enormous Easter lunch and a concert. No interest in food this evening.

Yogurt on overnight.

Tuesday/3-Apr-18: First dish from BirdHand tonight. We had a half-dose of Hot Italian Chicken with Peppers and Chilli (BirdHand, p28), and good it was. The skin was crispy. The technique is similar to one I saw in a Cooks' Illustrated article about ensuring crispy skin. As I remember it involved first browning the chicken, then baking skin-side-up in a shallow dish, which allows moisture to escape. Worked well here. The bell peppers went really well with the red wine vinegar/balsamic vinegar sauce. I made all the sauce because I was afraid too much would evaporate in the oven leaving the pan dry. Probably 3/4-ing it would be okay for a half recipe. (I puzzled why she listed 1 fluid ounce of red wine vinegar and 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, which are the same to my American eyes. Then I realized my book is British, and an imperial fluid ounce is only 1.9 tablespoons. Not that I'm going to worry about a tenth tablespoon in a recipe like like this.


Served with another variation on Nigel Slater's Spiced Roast Potatoes (RealCook, p246). This is a really good technique that makes some nice roast potatoes fairly quickly. Finished off with some of Mom's Cabbage Slaw which followed the chicken surprising well.

Wednesday/4-Apr-18: Shopping today.

Dinner was Salmon Skewers with Tamarind Sauce (web), a recipe I collected ages ago. Good it was. Served with brown rice and the rest of Mom's Cabbage Slaw. Then some St Felicien for afters. Then I had the ears of my easter bunny; Ed had his ears earlier in the day.

Thursday/5-Apr-18: Our meal was a halfish recipe of Asiago Chicken Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Spinach (web). Parmesan instead of Asiago. Oops, forgot to get spinach; used arugula/roquette instead. Malfada instead of penne. Good. Might be nice to add a sprinkle of red pepper flakes instead of penne. Whole wheat would be nice for the color. Used lots more roquette than required for a half recipe. More again would have been better. Tasty.

Put lamb on to marinate for tomorrow.

Yogurt on overnight.

Friday/6-Apr-18: Mmm, wij hebben lekker gegeten vanavond, maar geen photos. Nancy&Neil filled in for our planned guests, who were unable to come. For our apéros we had Spicy Cucumber Wedges—Kheere Ke Tukray (MJ1, p172), which is easy to make and always a nice munchie.

For our starter, there as Asparagus with Ginger (web), which would have been really nice if I'd managed to turn the fire off when it was done. Instead I just put the lid on and forgot to turn it off. The asparagus were overdone when I noticed. Too bad, because they would have been quite good. I toasted some almond slivers for garnish, rather than adding them to the cooking asparagus.

The main was Maharani's Favorite Slow-Roasted Lamb Shoulder (MadeIndia, p113; cookbooker). Despite some weak instructions, this was extra yummy. Served with Roasted Cauliflower with Cumin, Turmeric, and Lemon (MadeIndia, p191) as suggested, which we've enjoyed before. There was also Simple Buttery Rice with Onion (MJ1, p149) and Cachumber—Tomato, Onion and Green Coriander Relish (MJ1, p172). I bought some naan to serve, but we didn't really need it.

For dessert, I cheated. I bought some plain rice puddings (no vanilla flavoring), stirred in a bit (~1/16tsp) of ground cardamom into each, then topped with some chopped pistachios. It was good—Lazy Lady's Kheer.

Saturday/7-Apr-18: Dinner at Cath's tonight. Nothing happened in the kitchen.

Sunday/8-Apr-18: Ralph Gillard come to dinner tonight (Laura is in the UK); Cath came too. No real starter, only olives with prosecco.

For a main there was Ancho- and Chipotle-Rubbed Pork Loin (MC), a really yummy pork dish. There wasn't enough for three (Cath can't eat spicy stuff), so the two of us has some faux filets, marinated for a bit in my usual beef marinade. Then there was mashed sweet potatoes with chipotle and some plain ones for Cath. And some of Nigel Slater's Spiced Roast Potatoes (RealCook, p246); this needs to go in the HandyBook. And some hominy. Followed by a salad. Then Apple Frangipane Tart (MC), topped with crème fraîche. A nice evening.

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