Welcome readers! I hope you had a wonderful week, food-wise and otherwise. We had recipes old and new here and had the usual set of hits and misses. But the hits were real highlights. Don't miss them below this week's menu.
Monday: Baked Teriyaki Chicken, white rice (and I will take the advice of many posters and add snow peas and water chestnuts, and have some broccoli on the side with the rice)
Tuesday: Super Suppers Cranberry Pork Roast, would love to try this crispy roast potato recipe but might just default to mashed (winner either way!), brussels sprouts
Wednesday: leftovers, with a new veggie twist of some sort. I think I have spinach in the fridge to use.
Thursday: spaghetti night. Cannot resist yet another Smitten Kitchen recipe. (How bored she must be to see me on her trackbacks all the time.) I can't resist her writeup of the super-easy-seeming tomato sauce with butter and onions. I am also severely tempted by the Well Read Hostess Bolognese recipe but I do not have two pounds of ground meat in my freezer whereas I do have the butter in there. And using an extra can of tomatoes hanging around her? Bonus.
Friday: Oh, I don't know. I'm going out twice this weekend so I'll shuffle by with something here.
Now, on to last week. Full of experimentation, I was...not sure what came over me there. Except for the continued drive to use what I have. Which did not at all explain the $135 trip to Acme. (Though part of that was Tastycakes for my husband to make good on an internet giveaway. Don't ask.)
So first I tried Smitten Kitchen's creamed mushrooms on chive butter toast. I made it for myself for lunch and ooooh, mercy. As a devotee of cream of mushroom soup, this was like distilling all that flavor I like the most and putting it on buttered toast. It was just perfect for a rainy Sunday grownup lunch. It wins few points in the nutrition category but in the grownup indulgence category, I have a new favorite. Yum. Note: I was glad I went all the way with this one, toasting some good Italian rolls, actually buttering them with slivers of butter, using the chives and all. That's what made the dish. I tried just a spoonful of only the mushrooms and didn't love them, but after all that work, I figured I might as well try it as intended. I was SO glad I did.
I also made the Real Simple Slow Cooker Ribs. It was perfect for the night and my husband loved it. I had the ribs in the freezer (woohoo!) and just put them in frozen. It took extra time that way--at the three hour mark, the meat was still raw, which made me nervous--but it kicked in and was plenty well done by the 6 hour mark in my fast-cooking slow cooker. The verdict? A little too much wine for my tastes (to use a whole bottle was a little much); next time I might use some broth instead and mix with the wine. Plus, I would put the meat closer to the bottom; the veggies were so mushy I wished they'd held up a little better. Again, for a rainy Sunday: perfect. And not much work, so I could make the other things I had planned (turkey shepherd's pie, Smitten Kitchen's zucchini & almonds, etc.) and get a start on the week.
And the shepherd's pie? That makes me happy every time I make it. This time it used up freezer mashed potatoes, and I used less oil and more veggies per my usual, and drained more stuff. Almost overdrained but then the cream comes in to save the day at the end.
In something of a small miracle, I finally had all the ingredients together to try the Mark Bittman Autumn Millet Bake as highlighted on 101 Cookbooks. After a challenging search for fresh cranberries, I found some, only to discover my squash was no longer usable. I finally got it all together and was skeptical...isn't millet best known as birdseed? But it was terrific. And, alas, I should have used the Craisins instead. Live and learn, though I do hate to mess with a recipe the first time I make it.
And I am happy to report that my freezer is actually looking better. There are still many random things in there but I am just about close enough to getting them all in my cooler chest for long enough to defrost the thing. Oh, I used to have big goals. Now? I have sunk to it taking months to defrost a freezer AND considering it blog fodder. This reminds me of my favorite Dilbert cartoon ever. I gotta go try out for a play or something.
To go see someone who is actually doing cool stuff with *her* blog, go see I'm an Organizing Junkie! And maybe I'll really up the housewifey ante and join in her organizing challenge this month. Really. I'm in it for the prizes! The last one was awesome.