So, here came the first week of February, and not a moment too soon. To kiss the awful January goodbye, I heard my knee pop on the ice and ended up RICEing it (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation), and my older guy got a new and different cold, just to keep things fresh, while my younger got pink eye. The February weather wasn't really a change, but my husband paid me a nice compliment, telling the boys that I'm an excellent snowy weather cook, and he's right...something about foul weather just sends me to the kitchen to make all kinds of soothing, nourishing food. Reviews of last week below the upcoming menu...
Monday: Chicken in packets from the cookbook of the moment, Around My French Table.
Tuesday: Crock Pot Honey Barbecue Ribs, baked potatoes, carrots...somehow!
Wednesday: Beggar's Linguine, salad
Thursday: more snow, so I'm making the pork ragu from last week.
weekend: I'm sad The Minimalist column in the NYTimes has ended, so I'm celebrating a little with some Bittman recipes; for the grownups, I'm trying the black cod with miso, with rice (of course) and probably broccoli
Last week, I started my week by making this cauliflower soup...I was so excited to try it, because really, it couldn't be easier, we get tons of cauliflower in our CSA boxes in season, and so I had very high hopes. They were dashed. I'm not sure if the lemon I used was too sour, or that I didn't use the Pimente d'Esplette, but the croutons were the only thing that made it worth eating. And let's face it, croutons (mine were from Trader Joe's) make most things worth eating! I might try again with broth instead of water and watch the lemon more carefully, because I loved the texture. But this batch did not excite me.
We also started by using one of our gift certificates from the Christmas family swap, this one to Bertucci's. I used to love that place but lately, I'm not impressed. First, they changed my favorite pizza (Lestina) and kinda ruined it, then this time, it was off the menu entirely. My Alfredo sauce was so watery, it was a stretch to call it Alfredo. I know I tend to the picky side, but I'm just sad that a place that used to be a reliable spot has dumbed itself down. The only bonus: we all had leftovers, so I didn't need to make dinner on Monday. So the turkey shepherd's pie fell off the list.
As mentioned, I've been reading Around My French Table this week from the library, deciding whether to put it on my wishlist; I'm thinking yes, but we'll have to see. The Armagnac chicken was so amazing but I need to add a few more home runs to make it worth the actual purchase. I made her tuna rillettes for my book group, but it was not a hit, including with me...I think I needed to splurge on better tuna as "chunk" was a generous description of the product therein. But see below for a much better result...
Inspired by my eagerness to move bottles off my refrigerator shelf, I tried the French's mustard sloppy joes sliders recipe, taking a break from old reliable Rachael Ray's. I did a pesto quinoa for the side (figuring if the kids didn't eat the sloppy joes, they'd have something they liked). One child liked it. One child didn't. But unlike other items--Picky One actually ate two bites! (Which has ostensibly been the rule around here for a while.) It was a major breakthrough. My husband liked it fine. I thought it was gross and will return to the other, more tomato-y, less condiment-y one. And I will use the rest of the barbecue sauce in the crock pot recipe above.
I ended my week the way it began; with a cauliflower soup, this time from Around My French Table, as reviewed by The Tipsy Baker. This soup was exactly what I was looking for. My husband loved it and I cheerfully ate it all weekend. This was the cauliflower soup I was looking for. Smooth, rich, delicious.
Wishing you culinary success this week! For inspiration, try I'm an Organizing Junkie!