Monday, May 15, 2017

This week in the kitchen

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

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

Wednesday/17-May-17: Shopping today.

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

Yogurt on overnight.

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

Put some black beans on to soak.

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

Yogurt on overnight.

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

This week in the kitchen

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

Tuesday/9-May-17: Shopping today.

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

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

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

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

Trying to get our US taxes done today.

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

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

Made the top and bottom for tomorrow's dacquoise.

Yogurt on overnight.

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


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

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

Monday, May 1, 2017

This week in the kitchen

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yogurt on overnight.

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

Sunday/7-May-17: Yogurt on overday.

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

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

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

Monday, April 24, 2017

This week in the kitchen

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

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

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

Yogurt on overnight.

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

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

Yogurt on overnight.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, April 17, 2017

This week in the kitchen

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

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

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

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

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

Yogurt on overnight.

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, April 10, 2017

This week in the kitchen

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

Yogurt on overnight.

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

Wednesday/12-Apr-17: Shopping today.

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

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

Yogurt on overnight.

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, April 3, 2017

This week in the kitchen

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

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

Yogurt on overnight.

Wednesday/5-Apr-17: Shopping today.

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


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

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

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

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