Monday, February 3, 2014

Is It Spring Yet? (no)

So, how's your winter going? I am writing this on Saturday and do not care what the groundhog has to say. In fact, I will be stunned if they can find him with all the snow we've had.  And there's more coming.

Monday: Oh, really? Snow again? Really?

Yeah, really.

Crazy Jane's chicken, rice, something green. Probably broccoli, it's been a while.

Tuesday: tacos

Wednesday: spaghetti

Thursday: Joanne's pork tenderloin, mashed potatoes, probably more broccoli

Friday: Bingo night! Not cooking. Phew.

Girding ourselves for the next set of snowstorms, I got in lots of good soup time last week. I did the crock pot coconut chicken soup and it was fabulous--except so stinkin' (spicy) hot I couldn't eat it! I only put in 1 TBS of the curry, remembering how it's surprised me before. Next time I do this, I will make it vegan with veggie broth, and add carrots and mushrooms, and a half teaspoon of curry and call it a day after 4 hours on low (which is what worked for the chicken strips). But still--a real success. My husband loved it and proclaimed it better than what we get at the local Thai place.

I also made Cooking on Clover Lane's potato soup. I love potato soup. Love. And I had never cooked with evaporated milk so I was curious. I thought a dozen potatoes was a little much so I did a bag of 6 Russets from Trader Joe's and that was about right. I followed the recipe and it was a little odd looking, so I caved and got out my immersion blender and just made it creamy. It was good, but a little bland (it really did take a ton of salt), so I will be serving it with things to spice it up (cheese, bacon bits, chopped scallions). It was really easy and a great "blank canvas" kind of potato soup.

Finally, because it was the Superbowl, I tried the Catherine Newman chicken wings. I do not eat dark meat so I had never made wings before. These were roasted instead of fried, which I liked. I had about 2.5 lbs, so I used 2.5 TBS salt. Next time I would use 2. (Which might be a function of my el-cheapo kosher salt.) We also should have kicked it up to 400 earlier. My wing-loving son declared them "not as good as a restaurant." I declared them "way cheaper than a restaurant and not fried," so this will stay in the rotation, with less salt.

For the Big Game, as they call it, we also had tons of cut-up fruit as finger food, and I got a pound of roast beef and OMG squishy rolls that I haven't let in the house for forever and we had French dip sandwiches, pretzels, and wings. It was great. So easy, and felt festive.

It was a bit of a last hurrah--I am having all kinds of issues when I eat lots of wheat so I am back to gluten free this week. (Yep, gluten free pasta on Wednesday for me. Ick, but beats the tummy rumbles.) I didn't--don't--want to believe that gluten is an issue for me but I don't think there's a way around it at this point. The same thing happened with me and peppers. Growing up, I loved them. Pepper and egg sandwiches, pepper steak at Chinese I feel sick for a day if I eat them, or something they are in (problematic with many Italian foods, from spaghetti sauce to antipasti plates). Somewhere in my 20s--it flipped and became a huge GI issue if I ate them, so I reluctantly cut them out. Now I fear the same with gluten. I've been cutting it out little by little--Udi bread here, Mary's Gone Crackers there...but I find the pizza and the noodles hard to resist. But this past weekend I felt gross enough that it's time to get serious. Ugh.

Wishing you luck with your weather and whatever else you face this week!

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