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Not As Good As Pork Cracklins

misadventures in cooking

Friday, November 26, 2004

Thanksgiving Dinner

I made the soup, muffins, cranberries, haricots verts and sweet potatoes. The haricots verts were especially good this time. I used tarragon and it was excellent. I put the sweet potatoes in a casserole dish this time, instead of back into their jackets. They had just the right amount of chipotle, not too hot, but definitely there.

I assigned the turkey to Mike (Gary's brother-in-law). I assigned the dressing to Coyla and Gail (Gary's aunt and cousin), but I did the prep and watched them assemble it because I wanted to see their recipe in action. Mom Doris brought pumpkin pies. I meant to make cherry turnovers and completely forgot.
  • Winter Squash Soup with Gruyere Croutons (Bon App├ętit December 1996)
  • Roasted Turkey
  • Bread Dressing
  • Corn Muffins
  • Haricots Verts with Herb Shallot Butter
  • Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes with Chipotle Chile (Fine Cooking #67, p. 49)
  • Whole Cranberry Sauce

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Double Chocolate Layer Cake

For Gary's 50th birthday.

I don't have 10" cake pans, so I went to buy some. It started to rain bucket-loads, then hail, and another shopper saw a funnel cloud. The store didn't have 10" pans. I thought it was a sign to head home.

9" pans work fine. I used the extra batter to make 6 cupcakes. The cake does NOT taste like coffee. It tastes like very very rich chocolate. It's amazingly moist. Kim isn't even a cake eater and I couldn't keep his hands off of it.

The ganache is delicious. It spreads lovely.

Birthday Dinner

Gary's 50th birthday was yesterday, but we are celebrating all week. His parents, sister and family, cousins and aunt are all here.

A few weeks ago, I made and froze 3 pans of lasagne. My experience with lasagne is that it always takes longer to heat than I think it will. So I put this in the oven long before I wanted it hot. And waited. And waited. And waited. Gary says it was because I was cooking all 3 pans at once. Whatever. It stressed me out.

The garlic bread was a HUGE hit. I love it when people like my food.
  • Lasagne: Make 3, Freeze 2 (Fine Cooking #44, pp. 34-37)
  • Sourdough bread with Sauteed Garlic Butter (Fine Cooking #43, p. 49)
  • Mixed Greens with Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette

Monday, November 22, 2004

Chicken Marsala

For pete's sake. I am really on a binge with cream.

Sheri pointed out this recipe the other day, so of course it's been on my mind. I didn't have a vegetable in the house, so we went without. Then again, with a nice roll to soak up the delicious sauce, who wants to waste their limited stomach capacity on a dumb, stupid vegetable?
  • Chicken Marsala with Pancetta & Cream (Fine Cooking #42, p. 90)
  • CM dinner rolls
  • 2001 E. Guigal Cotes du Rhone

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Chicken with Rosemary Sauce

I want to be just like Sheri. Therefore, I want to cook everything that Sheri cooks. I took her advice: brown the chicken, remove to a plate and tent with foil, add back to the sauce when the sauce is nearly ready.

This was the first dinner I've cooked for Mom Doris and Dad Dean's winter 2004-2005 sojourn. The sad part is that Dad Dean was too tired and ill to enjoy his usual vigorous appetite. It's sad to see. Gary and Mom Doris definitely liked it. And I adore anything with cream!!!
  • Chicken with Rosemary Sauce (The Best of Cooking Light, Quick and Easy Around the Clock, p. 78)
  • Wild Rice
  • Romanita Tomatoes

Corn Cherry Scones

My mother-in-law sent down some dried Michigan cherries. I've eaten a few of them as snack, and they're good. Then Sheri wrote about these scones on Pork Cracklins, so I thought I should give them a try.

The cornmeal I had on hand is probably too fine for this recipe. Something a little coarser might have been nicer. Not that these aren't nice, because they are! I'd use a full cup of cherries next time.

The recipe gives directions for stand mixer or by hand. In my opinion, the choices should be by hand or with dough blade in the food processor. Pulsing with the dough blade works so well for anything that cuts fat into flour, like biscuits, scones, or pie dough. Alas, I digress.

Also, the recipe says you should "Gently shape the dough into balls about 2 1/4 inches in diameter..." and that it makes 10-12. Well, I have my measuring tape out and these are 2 1/4 inches in diameter, maybe even slightly larger. But I got 18. Go figure.
  • Corn Cherry Scones (The Cheese Board: Collective Works, p. 46)

Friday, November 12, 2004

Pan Fried Corvino with Remoulade

Another fish demo by Dottie. Or is it Dotty? I need to pay attention next time. I was at Central Market on Wednesday and she was serving "corvino". It was excellent, as all of her fish demo's are. It was dredged in 1/2 panko and 1/2 Sonata Seasonings "Sassy Pepper Seasoning", pan fried and served with Central Market's prepared Remoulade. Not exactly low fat, but lovely. Too bad I wasn't cooking dinner Wednesday.

I went back to Central Market today, and she wasn't there, which is always disappointing to me. Alas, the corvino was $8.99/lb. on Wednesday and $10.99 today. The increase didn't stop me. (Dottie must do wonders for the profitability of CM's fish department.)

I didn't even know what "corvino" was. I did a search on Google and found out that it's the national fish of Peru, it comes up on several sites for Costa Rica, it's often used in ceviche, and it's a type of sea bass. Don't go comparing it to Chilean Sea Bass though, because my best description would be a cross between snapper and grouper.
  • Pan Fried Corvino with Remoulade
  • Steamed broccoli
  • Grape tomatoes

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Zucchini Frittata

I am the most boring person in the world. I was reading someone else's food blog and she said she never makes the same recipe twice.

Hello? If it's a recipe I like, I make it over and over and over again. I like Deborah Madison's Zucchini Frittata. This time I made one of the variations, adding pesto in place of the herbs and cheese. I also used a tip from my favorite food blog, Pork Cracklins: I substituted Egg Beaters (1 cup) for some of the eggs. I couldn't tell from the finished product. What a great idea. It would never have occurred to me. Duh.

I found the most adorable skinny baby carrots with tops attached at Central Market. I had to buy them.
  • Zucchini Frittata (Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, Deborah Madison, pp. 574-575)
  • Carrots glazed with rosemary, butter, and apricot jam
  • CM whole wheat rolls

Monday, November 01, 2004

Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Yesterday at Central Market, a woman was doing a demo, giving out samples between the bakery and deli areas. It was yummy grilled cheese sandwiches. So I bought everything and they're tonight's dinner. mmmm
  • Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, made with CM Rosemary Cheddar Buckwheat Onion Bread & Wisconsin Mammoth Cheddar
  • grape tomatoes

Banana-Nut Muffins

More baked goods to freeze for Gary's Birthday/Thanksgiving week! These are really good. I clipped the recipe from the newspaper a few weeks ago. It's a keeper.
  • Banana-Nut Muffins (The New Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book, 12th edition)