Sunday, October 24, 2010

MPM--Something Fallish This Way Comes

Something about the colder temperatures is so inspirational for cooking, isn't it? I had really lost my mojo there for a while and a few fall days brought it right back. I set off to use use use what we had, and made some lovely things. You must know, I have a new resolution: whenever Catherine Newman posts a pork recipe, drop everything and make it immediately. The pork roast with cider-cream gravy tasted like something from a restaurant and is super-easy to boot. That's the "best of" in a sentence from last week. But there's lots more reviews after the new menu.

This week is crazy with something almost every night, so this will be a little dull:

Monday: JV football night! Hoping the hot dog stand is open. If not--chicken nuggets for kids, DAF meal from freezer for grownups, CSA veggies for all. Though I am having a big craving for a cheesesteak, so we might scrap the freezer stuff.

Tuesday: Even crazier gymnastics-then-football-then-meeting night. Can't be any more grateful that this is the last one of these. Back to Bittman for the turkey breast with cabbage two ways, beets, salad.

Wednesday: I hate to say no to the WRH but I can't pull off a night out right now. Leftover turkey, sweet potatoes (by request!), salad.

Thursday: Miraculously, the last football practice. I have really been glad that my son had the opportunity to play, and there's not really a better time. But wow, getting evenings back will be nice. Chinese carnitas, rice, cauliflower.

Friday: Town Halloween Parade--we'll be going to hear my kids wonder why, again, their store-bought costumes don't win. Trying to use veggies and making this curry, with potatoes. And the kids will get pizza, and we might too, but the curry is happening to finish the crisper.

Last week was a really fun one, food-wise. Maybe it's the weather, or that both kids are back in school, but I'm finally getting things back in gear.

I surprised myself by having a big bowl of the nutmeg version of this 101 Cookbooks cauliflower recipe, which, with the nutmeg, was just right for fall and so nice and warm on a just-turning-cold day. (And I like cauliflower but am not in general a fan...making a small portion helped, so I didn't feel swamped under a mountain of cauliflower.) I used our CSA leeks and freezer peas and leftover sauerkraut to make my wierd soup again. I was inspired to try other soups, not that my kids eat them, but others do, and we had some people to cook for this week, so I made Alton Brown's potato leek, and Crockpot 365's spinach bisque. Yep, I even bought Velveeta for this one. (Despite my skepticism that you can call a soup with Velveeta "bisque.") It must be fall. Well, that and we're desperate to get veggies in to our younger son and so were trying this recipe, so I bought one block and split it between. The soup was ok. I served it as a dip to my husband with corn chips during the baseball game and it went well. But the broccoli bake? Total fail. My older one won't eat cheese. My younger sobbed that he was afraid that the taste of the broccoli might never, ever leave his mouth again if he allowed it to cross his lips. And yet he'll eat sand at the beach. My husband and I enjoyed the taste of our childhoods with the Velveeta and butter-soaked Ritzes. But we really try not to eat like that much, so I don't think we'll try that tactic again anytime soon.

We jazzed up spaghetti night with Trader Joe's garlic bread, which, alas, was meh. I was hoping for a home run here but really--this is better done ourselves. Sigh. I know, it's so easy I have no reason to complain. But a girl can dream of saving even one MORE step.

As for the was fun! In an "I don't even know who I am anymore" moment, I made my own pumpkin puree (thank you Pioneer Woman) and made chocolate chip pumpkin muffins with them. Next time I'm going to put some demarara sugar on top, and I did add a whole cup of chocolate chips, but otherwise I followed it exactly.

I made the Ina Garten peach-raspberry yogurt. I drained it overnight and laughed when I saw that this meant instead of four cups of yogurt, I now had two. It was pretty funny but good--and in another I-don't-know-who-I-am-anymore moment, I used the whey to make no-knead bread. (Not for brunch--not enough time, but we all love that bread.) With the whey, the bread was excellent and devoured by all in 24 hours. Alas, the yogurt wasn't nearly as good and I don't know why. Not sweet enough, for one thing, but the honey was overwhelmed and I couldn't add any more peach juice without totally overwatering it. I can't believe Ina let me down but it appears to have happened!

That's it for this week. Tune in next week for still more pumpkin muffins, that's for sure! What are you making? Go share with I'm an Organizing Junkie!


Mom24 said...

Sounds like a good week. I know what you mean about getting your cooking mojo back. Feels good doesn't it?

Glad your schedule's getting back to normal, my kids have reached the stage where their activities are all school year=no break. :)

Jacob loves Panera's pumpkin muffins, I need to find a similar recipe.

tallpop said...

I'm new to blogger & cannot figure out how to message if, or if it's at all possible. I saw a comment that you left on "A Year of Slow Cooking" regarding a crock pot recipe that your Mom used to make with pork chops, pepperoni, & potatoes. I was wondering if you'd care to share?!? THANKS!!

MemeGRL said...

Hi, tallpop!
I am not familiar with any messaging on Blogger either. I have to be honest--I do not know the recipe my mom used. I will ask her sister to see if she knows. Shortly before she (very unexpectedly) died, I asked her how she made it, and she said she just tossed in 4-6 pork chops (bone-in), whatever spaghetti sauce she had on hand, peeled, cut-up potatoes, and some pepperoni. In the last half-hour, she drained a can of regular green beans and put them in. (If they went in earlier, they'd disintegrate.) But, in that last time, the taste was "off" and she was saying, hmmm, maybe the spaghetti sauce does matter. I think the pepperoni is what makes the difference, myself!
Good luck with it and thanks for asking--if you come across anything similar, please let me know!
So that's the basics.