Monday, January 16, 2012

This kind of crappy cauliflower soup I made

So. I made a soup. It was my turn to pick the Martha Mondays recipe for the group - I wanted to pick something healthy because I, for one, had been eating sweets and fattening foods all through the holidays and I needed a break. The January living had a vegan pureed soup - caluiflower with kale. Very simple - boil the veggies (including an onion), add some salt and pepper and olive oil, puree and serve.
Here is my pot - sauteeing the heck out of an onion:

Then I cut up the cauliflower with my AMAZING new MAC knife from Japan that Mom gave me for Christmas. I can't say enough good things about this Chef's knife. Sharp as can be, perfectly weighted, feels great in my hand - I LOVE IT.
 Also - these are the best-christmas-presents-ever (also from Mama). Shiny new copper pots that my darling boyfriend let me hang on the wall. Also, we spent a Friday night at home rearranging the kitchen (because I moved in this week!) and all of that nonsense on the shelves to the right is safely boxed away. Phew.
 Anyway, about the soup. Here's the stupid cauliflower (it is really hard to type cauliflower, i just learned) in the pot.
 boil, simmer, add kale and dill, stir.
 blend it to heck in little batches, pour into bowls, drizzle, add dill to garnish  - 
and prepare to enjoy a superbland babyfood-like soup.
 I don't know what to think - I love all of the ingredients (dill, cauliflower, kale, oilive oil) but all together they made a one-dimensional soup. I am glad I made it - I never made a pureed soup before - and it gives me a jumping-off point for next time I try a soup like this.

The gentleman friend was game - he tried it - but politely said "it's not my favorite thing you've ever made." I froze some (not too sure why) and turned some into compost. 

Oh, and it's ok if the soup is kinda bland when this is the main course:
(Hawaiian tuna marinated in homemade lime parsley dressing, ficelle croutons with dill, clementines, avocado, and a pretty little spinach salad.)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Sweet - foodie blogroll and petitchef add!

Martha Mondays - Week Four

So, I made the cookies for this week's Martha Monday. Chocolate Mint Crackles. I made them at gentleman friend's mom's house, and then left them in the fridge for them to eat  They were out at a dinner party and we came over to watch the Cowboys game on the NFL Network. Sooo American.  I was in the kitchen making pork tenderloin wrapped in bacon and mashing potatoes while he yelled at the TV.
I saved the cookies that I broke (because I didn't let them cool).
They look like this.

The cookies were pretty, and ok if you have just a bite of one - or maybe with coffee? But otherwise the cookies remind me of Rumpleminze and grasshoppers and sadness.
Like drinking in a hotel bar alone on Christmas.

I am worried now that the bf's mom and husband think I am a lousy cook and baker. I plan to step it up this weekend with Christmas cooking - homemade cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, and creamed corn. My fingers are crossed. Details to be posted soon.

Oh yeah, and I'm working on a new dress from a 1952 Vogue pattern. Here is the beginning:
Sorry that Dolly (the dressform) is half-nakies in this one. She's sorry.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Martha Mondays - Week Three

I am back on track with Martha Mondays after a week off.
This week we made chicken and dumplings, which I loved.  The highlight for me was cooking with parsnips - I have never used them before! I had two extra from the recipe -I roasted them with salt and olive oil and they were SO good.
The one thing I did wrong was letting the pot boil when I was reheating it after putting all of the ingredients back together. This caused most of the dumplings to disintegrate. Ah, well,  now I know for next time.
Gentleman friend and roommate of gentleman friend both LOVED it and we all had two bowls each.
 Here is the chickie in the pot with all of its yummy vegetable friends

 Reassembly time!
Here it is - Chicken and dumplings in my very full pot (yes I need a bigger stock pot)
Cooking chicken and dumplings for my man on a Saturday felt supremely Southern and wonderful. It was gray and cloudy in Texas, and this dish certainly hit the spot. The house smelled great all day, I didn't spend too much at the grocery, and there are plenty of leftovers. Perfect!

Week Two -Not Martha

This week was fun because my girlfriends and I hosted a dinner party for a bunch of friends. I was more of an adjunct chef, but was pleased to chip in with desserts.
I made a lemon chess pie (delicious) and a polka-dot crust apple pie - SO Cute, but undercooked.

My friend Katie made a beautiful pork roast. It looked like this:
It was fun. We wore hair bows, aprons, and antlers with jingle bells.

Week Two - not Martha

So - this week I didn't make the Martha recipe, because I had a lot of other cooking to do and pumpkin chocolate chip squares didn't seem to fit the bill.
Instead, I made this steak in my beautiful new cast iron skillet:
 I served it with potatoes au gratin and some green beans that I sauteed with pancetta.
Oh, and cornbread. Easy weeknight meal, but I burned myself on the skillet I heated in the 500 degree oven, and also scorched the countertop with it. Oh, and I filled the house with smoke.
Good thing the steak was so tasty.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Martha Mondays, week one

It was my first week to be a part of Martha Mondays (a group of internet folk attempting one Martha Stewart craft, project, or recipe together every week), and I was looking forward to making the Muffin Pan Potato Gratins that Perfecting Pru selected.
Especially after a long week of prep and cooking for Thanksgiving, it was great to have something simple and delicious to prepare. The recipe couldn't have been any easier, and I am thrilled to have a new no-fuss way to make potatoes on a weeknight that doesn't require any special trips to the store and only takes a few minutes to prep and clean up.

Here it is -slices of potatoes with s/p and a tablespoon of cream in each cup, baked for 35 minutes.
I would love to try it next time with rosemary in between the potato layers, or maybe shredded cheese?
Also, it would have been prettier if I had chosen potatoes that would fit neatly in my muffin cups.

The gentleman friend approved - he liked that they were crispy on the bottom and looked nice on the plate. Younger brother of gentleman friend said the potatoes were "totally awesome."

I served them with parmesan porkchops, applesauce, roasted asparagus, homemade cornbread, and sparkling cider.
Perfect Saturday meal. Thanks, Perfecting Pru!