We had a great blogger night last week with a ton of the local writers, and they gave me some great feedback and inspiration. One note: some of them said they were readers here (hi!) and because (like me) they read on an aggregator, they didn't realize there was a list of favorite meals on the sidebar. So, if you are reading off a reader, and are looking for something to make, I'm trying to keep a "greatest hits" list on the side of the blog to make it easy to find Recipes That Worked. Feel free to come check it out.
This week: boy, I hope some things work. The days still have some things here and there but the night whirl really comes to a sudden halt. Which is a beautiful thing.
Monday: Memorial Day. I wish there were a picnic or something at the pool, but there's plenty of that to come. Still, keeping it easy: Trader Joe's potatoes with green beans, something else from the freezer. Too bad I'm the only omelet eater in the house.
Tuesday: Taco Tuesday! Love this anchor of my week as I try to figure out what to do for dinner five nights in a row.
Wednesday: Smitten Kitchen's lemon-asparagus-goat cheese pasta. This will not be popular with anyone but me, but I can serve the noodles to the kids (or a leftover taco to the noodle-averse) and hopefully my husband will eat some before he sneaks back to the plain buttered noodles for the picky one.
Thursday: chicken in the mustard-cream sauce, rice, CSA veggies
Friday: I really hope our grill is open for business by Friday, but my husband will probably want to play soccer instead. So, we'll see how that goes. If we grill, the boys will get hot dogs, and I will marinate some portobellos for me. I also got a closeout grilling basket for my husband last year so hopefully we'll have a bunch of veggies to toss in there and try it out.
This pizza was excellent. I roasted two Idahos with a little evoo, salt, and a minced garlic clove. For the pizza dough, I'm back to Pillsbury, which is a little sweet for my taste but remains the only dough I have any success working with. It was really great. The kids of course loathed the homemade pizza, longing for the round one that was spun in the air. So next time, I'll make the whole pizza for grownups and do something else for the kids. Score: 2/4, but I loved it anyway.
I made the rosemary bacon chicken again and at the excellent suggestion of some of the blog grls who came to talk to my moms' group, I have to rate this one a 4/4, meaning that all four of us ate it--woohoo! That may be a first. Full disclosure: I skipped the rosemary on the pieces for the pickiest eater. But still--that just made it easier. I also experimented with fava beans, after they were so excellent at Talulah's. They weren't hard to shell, and seemed almost prehistoric; the pods have this white cottony interior, which made it kind of fun. But then you boil them. And then you shell them again. And then they taste...like a nice mellow bean. And a huge bag of them makes...about 32 beans, which just about cover the bottom of a cereal bowl. Verdict: not worth it. But glad I did it once.
For his preschool graduation, my son decided he would like to give his teachers cookies and flowers. (Will he be the best boyfriend ever or what?!) He also wrote each of them a very careful thank you note with his best printing. I could expire from pride; he started the year just signing his name and I just loved watching him focus on the sample I wrote to make each note the best it could be. So we made them chocolate chip cookies (from the recipe on the bag), The Best Babysitter Ever's add-in cookies (with craisins and white chocolate), and the coconut-almond-toffee cookies I found on Two Fat Als but are actually from here. I used my new cookie sheets, and they were awesome. My husband introduced me to the saying, "Man! Always blaming his boots for the faults of his feet." and I really try to remember that as I'm about to blame circumstances for something that really came down to me. But--cooking might be an exception to this rule. There was a visible difference between the cookies on my old sheets and my new ones. And I need to remember that sometimes, it really is the equipment. Meanwhile, I ran out of flour (whoops), discovered two of my random flours were "best used by 2009" (whoops) and smelled like they were well past their prime...so I ended up topping off the toffee cookies with King Arthur whole wheat flour, to no ill effect in the cookie. Yum. I have to keep reminding myself in the cookie department: smaller is better. Smaller is better. Smaller is better. The toffee ones are supposed to be huge, but I find them harder to bake accurately. So, smaller next time. And bake a little longer.
We had a nice little menu: sandwich tray from the market, fancy salad from another market (poor planning but necessary), and, at my son's request, a cheese tray from the fancy little market. Add some snacky things--fruit, veggies, goldfish--and cookies, and it's a party. Low key but lovely.