Monday, February 28, 2011

Feb 27 and cupcakes qualify as dinner

This is the week where I take the Sunday no reEATS duty and that means that I have to cook something on Sunday night or I have nothing to write about again on Monday, my regular day.

Since Sunday = Academy Awards and that = dinner provided by the lovely Dianne, cut throat wagering and red carpeting, I was clearly not cooking yesterday. The kid as at a sleep over and Shack was out visiting his dad so I couldn't even make a big lunch. The only thing I am cooking today are these Butter Scotch Cupcakes  as my last minute entry into the Food Network's Cooking Club Challenge for February.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Feb 24-26 It's All About Me and That Means Rapini

Feb 24  chimichurri roast chicken
Feb 25  Pasta with rapini, olives and tomatoes

Both of my boys are going to be gone tonight so do you know what that means?
I get to make myself a beautiful dinner and I can make whatever I want!
I can use rapini and olives and  hot chilis and all of the things I never cook with because they don't like them. I could make my favourite comfort dish - leftover pasta fried up with big chunks of onion, olive oil, lots of garlic and hot chilis and then fresh basil, a scrambled egg and parmesan are stirred into it. I love that so much and they won't eat it because they are clearly insane. I don't want to do that yet though. I love that too much to use it up so soon.

I could have made myself something morrocan but since I was making something for one person, I made pasta with rapini, black olives, hot peppers - kind of between a puttanesca and the classic Pulgiese version of orecchiette with rapini. To be totally honest, if it wasn't for the fact that I had to take this Sunday, I might have just taken myself out for Indian at Amaya Bread Bar and used up one of my groupon things but I can save that for another day.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Portuguese Chicken

Tuesday night was a fabulous meal filled with copious amount of fabulous Italian food.  I was still full from the meal on Wednesday, but knew I had to cook dinner, since there were no guarantees that I'd be coking on Friday or Saturday with my father coming into town.  I bought the recent Bon Appetit last week and while there were many recipes I was interested in, the one that stood out the most was in an article about braising, my most favorite method of winter cooking.  We had the most obscene braised beef cheeks the night before, so rich and savoury from the slow braised beef and large amounts of red wine.  As much as I loved it I just knew that a rich beef dish like the oxtail bourginon in the article was not the way to go, at least not today.  Then I found a recipe for "Portuguese Chicken" that sounded easy, tasty and hearty but not nearly too heavy. I also loved that it called for breaking down a whole chicken, something I've done before but not with step by step directions.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Spaghetti with Roasted Tomatoes, Garlic and Pancetta

You know you've crossed over to the other side and become a total foodie when you spend an hour doing yoga (one of your most favourite things in life) right next to your friend and fellow yogi/foodie (or is that foodie/yogi) Carole, and while you're supposed to be focused on your breathing, postures and general "zoning out," instead you both spend the entire time thinking about your next meal and blog. Carole's last words to me before our practice started were about the amazing meal she'd eaten the night before and then the first words out of her mouth as we sleepily came out of savasana 60 minutes later were about the lemon bars she planned to make that afternoon. I was just lucky she didn't whisper to me in downward dog or we would have been booted from class. Silence is golden in yoga.

And I had to confess that I'd similarly been making a mental shopping list of ingredients for this pasta dish as we held warrior pose, reviewing the steps of the recipe as we laid in pigeon, and figuring out timing as we were tilted over in triangle. Clearly, food has become the focus for both of us. There are worse vices.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Fed 21-23 Greek Frittata

Feb 21    Herbed Balsamic Sirloin Roast from Supperworks, roasted beets, spinach and mashed potatoes
Feb 22    Potato Leek Soup with parmesan tuiles for Hank, out for an Italian Feast for the grownups
Feb 23    Greek Frittata salad of mache, blood oranges and beets

We have been on a good food roll. Everything has been universally enjoyed by all, there has been no family upheaval, no altercations and no domestic drama. I will be posting the Leek and Potato Soup on The Yum Yum Factor on friday and it was really delicious.

I just want to publicly declare that olives and capers are no longer on the blacklist because I sat beside Shack and watched him eat swordfish rolled around a filling RIPE with olives and capers. He didn't just choke one down either, he finished off the platter.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Fennel Crusted Tuna Steak with Spicy Lemon Aioli

If you read my weekend posts you'll know my sister and her BF were in town.  Needless to say the weekend was full of booze and delicious food very little of which I cooked, but as we shopped at the St Lawrence Market on Saturday we knew that a low-key Sunday night would be in order.  We narrowed the protein down to seafood, mainly because of how gorgeous and appealing the seafood counters are at the market. Even though I'd be cooking I left the decision on what kind of seafood to the rest of the group.  They decided on some gorgeous but massive tuna steaks. We picked up two along with a whole ton of cheese for pre-dinner snacking and then it was up to me to put together a meal.

Salmon with Herb-Mustard Glaze (and the Ever-Elusive "Best" Chocolate Chip Cookie)

What to make for a Family Day dinner when everyone in the family is coming and going at different times to/from skating, skiing or playing hockey? Not very sit-down-and-eat-like-a-nuclear-family night but just our reality so I needed something quick and easy that could be served fresh for each of them and still warm their tummies after a day spent out in the cold. This family favourite by Giada fit the bill. Takes less than 10 minutes to throw together and then mere moments under the broiler and right onto the table. I made some couscous earlier in the afternoon, and tossed in some sweet peppers, leftover radish, dill and toasted almonds, so the side dish was ready to go when the plates hit the table.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Feb 17 to 20 Arancini

Feb 17 Baked Potato soup and cuban pork burgers from Supperworks, coleslaw
Feb 18  Beer Can Chicken with The Neighbours
Feb 19  Risotto Verde  and breaded pork scallopini
Feb 20  Arancini with tomato basil sauce

Last week, after I spatchcocked my chicken , everyone on my message board made that dish and we were all fired up about spatchcocking anything that moves. I even threatened to spatchcock Reno, my dog, but the kid put up a fuss. All of us agreed that this was, indeed, the best word ever and a word that none of us had heard in years but suddenly , now that we are crazy for spatchcocking, and they are all seeing the word being used all over the place. I think they are pulling my leg and just taking the piss.

Anyway, I am downloading fun new apps on our fun new ipad and I am loving Martha Stewart's new Everyday Food app. It's designed specifically for the ipad so it's full of videos and interactive features and I decide it's totally worth the $2.99 per issue after checking out the free issue. With great anticipation, I pay up and download the March Issue.

The very first article in the paid version is for a roast chicken. It says to click for the video instructions, which I do because why wouldn't I? I, for one, do what Martha tells me to when she tells me to do it.
The first words of the woman's mouth are "First, we are going to spatchcock the chicken."

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Short Rib Cottage Pie

Normally when we post on a Sunday you are treated to what we ate for dinner on Saturday night or are planning for Sunday.  Since my sis and her BF are in town for the weekend and have never been to Toronto there's been quite a bit of eating out the last few nights.  So I am sharing  a recipe I made on Thursday night, using the leftovers from the meal the boy made on Tuesday night.  He made an amazing Short Ribs Provencal and Creme Fraiche Mashed Potatoes.  We had a ton left over and I just knew that the perfect and easiest way to use the leftovers was as these individual pies.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Beer Battered Fish Tacos

I developed this recipe for my good friend and former roomie Ms. LM.  We lived together when I was still in Massachusetts living in the suburbs. When we first started no reEATS Ms LM messaged me saying she was dying for a good fish taco recipe.  I LOVE tacos and had never made fish tacos so I felt completely up to the challenge.  She was specific in that she wanted a fried fish taco, so I went to the Baja peninsula and one of my hometown's of LA for inspiration.  I love that Baja-style tacos are so simple in preparation and rely on good ingredients rather than lots of condiments.  A bit of crunch, a bit of sauce, your protein and a tortilla is all you need.

Of course if given the time I can't keep anything that simple.  I made my tortillas, crema and pickled onions from scratch, not only because I like to but because on Wednesday it just wasn't in the card to get over to Kensington to buy crema and tortillas.  Regardless I would have pickled my own red onions because it's beyond easy.  All things considered so are the tortillas and crema.  I don't do anything fancy for my tortillas, I literally follow the recipe on the brand of Masa Harina I buy to a "T".  I works and makes tasty fresh tortillas, of course store bought soft corn tortillas will do for these or flour tortillas if that's your preference.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Sweet Potato and Rosemary Soup

My Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day arrived in the mail this week and, after shrieking out loud and tearing open the package, I promptly sat down and read it almost cover to cover without moving. After that, it's a miracle that any food other than bread has made it out of the kitchen and onto the table since visions of rye, flatbread, pita, challah, caramel rolls and beignets have been dancing through my head. Soon, everyone in the household was getting used to walking through the front door and smelling freshly baked bread and I was getting used to receiving their accolades. Nobody, not even a teen (well, maybe some teens, but not my teens... much), can be in a bad mood for long when they're greeted by those warm smells.
But we knew that man (and this woman) cannot live by bread alone so we needed to find something delish to eat alongside it...
When Maddie was home for a sick day on Tuesday and we spent a leisurely afternoon together alternating between watching reruns of Glee and Food Network, we saw the beautiful Giada whip up a winter soup of sweet potatoes and decided this would fit the bill. Really straightforward and quick... we all liked it but probably could have amped up the flavour a bit, but not sure how. The rosemary didn't add much oomph so any and all suggestions welcomed.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Feb 14-16 Chorizo Soup

Feb 14   romantic V-day dinner of buttermilk breaded chicken breasts, pierogi and cabbage
Feb 15   pizza with chicken, bocconcini, red onion, parmesan and mozzarella and chorizo soup
Feb 16   wings and snacks out due to late night at work

Still recovering from the GPI, I decided to play it totally safe for the rest of the week and make stuff that I knew every one would like. 

I made pizza again, but used different toppings than last week. I used the leftover buttermilk chicken from Monday, bocconcini because Hank loves it, a bit of red onion again because Hank has suddenly decided he likes them so I want to use them as much as possible to cement their place in our diet before he can change his mind. Everyone was happy.

I had every intention of making risotto of some sort last night but we all worked too late so we went out with The Neighbours for our wing night.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Pork & Black Bean Chili

Are you sick of this pork yet?  I think the Boy is.  But that's too bad, we are trying to not throw out leftover and 3lb pork shoulder makes quite a few meals for 2 people.  And to avoid eating the same thing over and over again I like to try reinventing it.  We had our pulled pork burritos last week which were a winner and not exactly a reinvention tasty and a winner nonetheless.  I ate some of the pork for lunch during the week, but we still had a good bit leftover as we approached the week mark on the original dish.  Normally I'd trash them, but after a sniff and a taste it still tasted good and I knew I had to do something with it.

Sunday was a busy day with the Boy in a Union meeting all day and I was out running errands and judging Iron Cupcake Toronto at For the Love of Cake AND when the boy got home he needed to get to prepping Valentine's Day dinner since he offered to cook.  The long and short of it is I need something quick and easy that wouldn't keep me in the kitchen for too long, so he coule get to work.  I decided that this tangy shredded pork would be perfect in a chili, if I could just figure how to get that slow cooked taste throughout the dish.  I took the approach that I use in my tomato soup, the slow saute and caramelizing of the vegetables and just a quick heat through of the other ingredients really lends a slow cooked taste to the entire dish.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Rainbow Trout Cooked in Parchment Paper

Last week's magazine recipe inspiration was from Runner's World; this week it was from Martha Stewart Living... her spring gardening issue that seemed to be filled with lots of fresh ideas, fresh ingredients and fresh flavours. Couldn't resist the beautiful colours of the radishes, red onions and asparagus in her article about the health advantages of both cooking with parchment paper and eating salmon (even though we ended up with rainbow trout instead). She talked about the parchment packages trapping the moist heat and sealing in all the flavours with very little added fat. Extra appealing was how quick the process is... slice up all the veggies while the oven is heating and then the cooking part took less than 15 minutes. Perfect and healthy for a busy weeknight meal. And since this was our Valentine's meal, we made heart-shaped parchment packages.

The issue also had a great recipe for a cookie variation of zucchini bread, sandwiched together with a sweet cream cheese filling. Maddie helped me make them and they flew out of our house that day with her friends and Austin's so I've included the details below.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Feb 10- 13 You say Pierogi, Shack says Pid A Ha

Okay, I was looking for my recipe for Pierogies and couldn't find it anywhere when I realized that I had posted it

Feb 10  Garlic Roasted Cauliflower Pasta
Feb 11  Sopa de Lima
Feb 12  ordered in Greek
Feb 13  Home made potato/cheese pierogies and alaskan king crab - yes I know they don't really go
             together but that is what we had lol

I could also call this post "How a Pierogi Saved My Marriage"

This blog is all about honesty so let's get real , yo.
I don't want anyone to think that this challenge is just a big cake walk where everyone loves every dish and where people aren't going to get grumpy about not being able to have their comfort foods over and over prepared exactly the way they like them.

I loved the garlic roasted cauliflower pasta and would make it again in a heartbeat. What's not to love? We all love pasta, we all love roasted garlic and roasted cauliflower, we all love lemon and we all love pine nuts and olive oil. Put that all together in a big bowl and it's going to make us all jump for joy right?


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Vegetable and Cheese Strata with Homemade Artisan Bread

Carole has been raving to me for months about Artisan Bread in Five Minutes, and how it's changed her outlook on making bread, pizza dough, etc., so after reading her post last week, I thought I'd give it a try too. The first time you make it, it needs to be refrigerated overnight so I prepped the dough on Wednesday afternoon (literally takes less than 10 minutes) and then threw it in the fridge to be used for paninis on Thursday night. Then I sat down at my computer and promptly ordered the book from Indigo since I was now a non-machine, homemade-bread convert.

For detailed online directions, go to Carole's post for February 6--"Kitchen Sink Pizza." Another blogger dubbed it "Artisan Bread for 40 cents a Loaf... No Kneading, No Fussing, No Kidding." Could there be a better endorsement than that for anyone who's ever been intimidated by baking bread?

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Penne a la Vodka

The last few days have been pretty crazy around our house.  Finishing up house projects before we have company next weekend, testing out some new marmalade recipes and baking and decorating Valentine's Day Sugar Cookies to help raise money for Second Harvest's Lunch Money Day.  That would explain the take-out pizza on Thursday, the boy was out watching the hockey game with friends and I just have the worst time rationalizing making dinner for myself when I'm exhausted and flying solo.  Plus I had been baking all day and couldn't fathom making a mess in the kitchen after I had just cleaned it up.  Friday was dinner with a good friend to celebrate her engagement and because of all of the baking I didn't even put something together for the boy, I won't even tell you what he ended up eating it's far too embarrassing.

So for tonight I knew I had to make dinner and was happy too because I've been meaning to make penne a la vodka since I made the One-Bite Fried Mozzarella.  The spicy tomato sauce I made to dip the mozzarella in made me crave the sauce from A&S Deli in Fairfield Connecticut.  We used to always get it in college and I loved the bit of spice and the creamy richness of it.  This version is a bit spicier but that's how I like it.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Creamy Cauliflower Mac and Cheese for Marathon Man

I admit it: I normally don't get my recipe inspiration from a Runner's World magazine. Actually, I never do. Ever. But when the March issue arrived last week, it piqued my interest for two reasons: Q is running the marathon in New Orleans on Sunday so all things running-related are definitely part of our household dialogue right now and the mac-and-cheese recipe featured was written by one of my favourite cookbook authors (and also a runner himself), Mark Bittman. I took both of these as signs that I should be making it to get Q ready for his big day and to sample another of Bittman's typically excellent recipes.

Coincidentally, our latest fave mac-and-cheese was another one by Bittman that we discovered last fall as part of this challenge, from his book How to Cook Everything.... albeit it a richer, more decadent, totally-over-the-top, non-runners' version featuring mascarpone cheese and creamy richness. It seemed only fair to give him equal time to check out his healthier version, with fewer calories and reduced fat. Instead of using butter and cream, this version relies on pureed cauliflower, chicken stock and less cheese for the sauce.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Feb 8-9 Greek Roast Chicken

Feb 8   Greek Roast Chicken
Feb 9   Chicken Sopes

I love roasting chicken but I didn't to blow my roast chicken wad so early in the game and was looking around for a way to roast a chicken differently from my usual methods. I had some tatziki that had to be eaten within the next couple of days, a nice chunk of feta singing her siren song to me from the fridge and so  Kototpoulo Fournou was a clear choice. I have spent a lot of time living and working in Greece in the past and although I didn't love a lot of the food at the time, I never got tired of good, lemony, garlicky, olive oily chicken with crusty roast potatoes.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Grilled Pulled Pork Burritos

The last couple of weeks have been nuts, with a crazy work schedule and making sure to make enough dinners to post here AND do my Superbowl Eats Series over on Piccante Dolce, by the end of last week I was fried!  Hence a couple nights with no cooking for me.  Take out Pho and putting our Superbowl menu in the hands of friends was a nice break.  But that break was poor planning on my part since I had plans to be out for dinner on both Monday and Tuesday.  Normally that would mean cooking on the one day I knew I'd be home, which was Saturday, but I find when you have that craving for Rare Beef Noodle soup and it's cold and snowy and your feeling a bit under the weather, you need to succumb to it.  So I did.

Luckily the more I thought about it the more it made sense to put together some dinners for the Boy while I was out or else it would be takeout pizza for him and I definitely had food in the house to that I wanted to use before it went bad.  The nice thing about making him dinner is that I get yummy and delicious lunches that are easy to grab.  These burritos while not completely inspired are great way to use leftover meat.  We have a ton of pulled pork leftover so we'll likely use it in at least one more dish this week.  I had initially wanted to go with an Asian twist like a noodle soup or fried rice, but Dianne and Carole have recently posted rice dishes and we have had quite a bit of soup recently.   I make Mexican alot with leftover, I love enchiladas and find they are a great vehicle for leftover meat.  The boy prefers burritos but I was hesitant to take this pork with a more Asian flare and turn it into a burrito.  That was until my upcoming Book Club scheduled our next meeting at a place called Chino Loco, a burrito joint that puts Asian flavors into burritos.  Well I could easily do that!  And a burrito is easy to leave ingredients prepped for the Boy and I knew he'd actually eat it.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

February 6-7 Minestrone Soup

Feb 6   Leftover chicken chili and quesadillas again for hank but this time I made guacamole and        
             thickened up the soup so it was more like a scoopable chili
Feb 7   Minestrone Soup from Epicurious

 I spent Friday night (after I made pizza for the boys) and all day/night Saturday sick in bed. I thought I was better Sunday and so we went out for dim sum I and kind of over did it. Because of that, by Sunday night instead of cooking dinner like I had planned, I was laying down in bed again after heating up leftovers for the kid.

This week it was my turn to post on Sunday so that meant I would have to post Sunday, which I did, and then again Monday. Thich means I kind of am on the spot to make sure I cook something worth sharing on Sunday. That didn't happen this weekend so Dianne sweetly offered to switch with me and she took over my blog duties yesterday. Confused?

Monday, February 7, 2011

Thai Cashew Chicken and Broccoli on Quinoa

Apologies in advance to any of Carole's groupies who are tuning in specifically for one of her delicious posts today. Since she was sick over the weekend, we agreed to switch days so she could rest and not face unnecessary cooking. You can look forward to her return with something yummy and entertaining tomorrow.

Our Sunday Super Bowl meal didn't exactly scream traditional football fare but since I'm not a football fan, it wasn't any great loss to me. I had been scanning all sorts of festive culinary suggestions last week but none really appealed so I turned back to my Quinoa 365 and decided to give the Thai Cashew Chicken a try. Huge success... in fact, we all brainstormed at the dinner table of ways to redo it without truly redoing it and cheating in the process. Thai Cashew Beef. Thai Cashew Chicken with Asparagus or Cauliflower. Thai Cashew Pork... luckily the possibilities are endless.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Feb 3 to Feb 5 Kitchen Sink Pizza

Feb. 3   Chicken Chili Soup and Cheese Quesadillas
Feb. 4   Home made pizza with italian sausage, meatball, feta, red onion, tomato
Feb 5    Spent the day sick in bed so I don't care what they ate. I eventually ate a bowl of whole
             wheat linguine with a bit of olive oil, chili flakes, lots of salt and pepper and a bit of cheese

Thursday I was craving chili but had to make a soup so I compromised by trying a chili flavoured soup and ended up with something thinner than chili but a bit thicker than a typical soup. It was really good and with a quesadilla, it was a really filling dinner.

Friday, I wasn't feeling well (this is becoming a trend because I have not really been feeling well for well over a week now) and after working a few hours in the morning, I wasn't feeling like going out for any groceries. I had a scrap of this and a chunk of that but couldn't think of anything to cook for supper and was dangerously close to take out thai.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Meyer Lemon Ginger Pulled Pork

Today's recipe, also known as Friday night's dinner, is completely owed to my partners in crime in this blog, Carole and Dianne.  We all got together for a glass or three of wine on Friday night, to touch base and so that Dianne and I could finally meet in person.  We talked about family, life and of course FOOD.  As we were wrapping things up I remembered I had wanted to ask if either of them had any recipes or idea that I could use Meyer Lemon Marmalade, since when I was making it I didn't sterilize enough jars because I didn't have enough and I now have a good cup and half of it leftover.  I know it will keep for a bit in the fridge, but I was hoping to get some fun ideas for how to use it.  They both suggested using it with some pork and I think Carole even suggested pulled pork.  That's when I light went off in my head, I had a pork loin roast in the freezer and all of the ingredients necessary to pull off an Asian twist on pulled pork.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Lentil-Stuffed Peppers with Couscous

Last week my friend Gudrun, who happens to be the absolute best, most amazing and talented yoga teacher in all of Toronto (at least that's what she tells us lol) but also one of the most disinterested-in-food-and-cooking people I know, inspired this meal as she was pulling together stuffed peppers for her kids' Friday night dinner. I was amazed for two reasons: first, the fact that she was cooking at all and second, doesn't everyone in the world order pizza in on a Friday night? She called to ask if she had to boil the rice first before putting it in the peppers or if she could put it in directly from the bag... too funny... but we forgive her for her lack of culinary knowledge since she can do handstands in the kitchen and mix great cocktails and she doesn't laugh at us (much) when we get all pretzelly in her classes and fall over.

However, her peppers did sound delicious and healthy so I knew they were destined for our tabletop sometime this week. Since I also wanted a meat-free option, I found a lentil-stuffed version online and then adapted it for what I had in the fridge. As I was making it, I was worried that perhaps it wouldn't be a hit with the kiddies since it seemed to be so heavily slanted on the healthiness scale, but it came through in terms of flavour and texture, and all three gave it a thumbs-up.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Jan 28 - Feb 2 The Snowpocolypse That Almost Was

Jan 28  Pasta with meatballs and tomato sauce
Feb. 1   Beef Pot Pie
Feb. 2   late dinner out at the pub

This week, Shack needed some comfort food so I made him meatballs and simple tomato sauce on Monday. I used the meatballs from my stracciatella and just made our favourite, simple tomato sauce to go with it. I had only used half of the meatball recipe for the soup and I used the other half to make a dozen regular sized meatballs. Our favourite meatball in the world comes from Gio's and we both suspect that they don't brown their meatballs but just simmer them gently in the sauce so that is what I did with them. I took them straight from the freezer and into a gently simmering pan of tomato sauce and they turned out pretty great. Honestly, do we really need the extra fat that comes from frying them in a pan of olive oil first? Probably not, right?

Tuesday night I made individual beef pot pies using leftover beef burgundy stew from Sunday night. Because we were expecting a Snowpocolypse tonight , I had been baking all day for Little Shack's fund raising bake sale AND my car was sitting dead as a doornail in the garage, I couldn't get out to get some puff pastry and didn't want to make pastry for a couple of little pies. Then I remembered that I had some small frozen pie shells in the freezer in the basement. I think they might be a hundred years old but you have have to work with what you have sometimes.
So, I take the shells out to defrost and realize they are those little, tiny tart shells. After ten minutes, i try to flatten one out and it breaks up into pieces. OF COURSE IT BROKE APART BECAUSE  IT WAS A TEENY TINY DEEP DISH TART SHELL!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup

Do you have any idea how depressing it is to be at work and have the alarm on your phone go off?  Let me be clear this is the alarm that woke you up 24 hours prior and you have yet to go to sleep since it last went off.  It's pretty insane.  I know all you parents out there know what it's like to be sleep deprived, I have yet to experience it from kids, but let me tell you those 24 hour work days, though they are extremely few and far between, give you a really good taste of what sleep deprivation really is.

So here I am on Monday night, Meatless Monday no less,  knowing that I have to make dinner so I have something to share with you for this post.  I already know we're having dinner with a friend who is in town for only a few days on Tuesday and I already shared my Sunday night meal, so making dinner on Monday it is.  Which then raises the question, what does one make for dinner after working a 24 hour day and sleeping for 7 hours?  I can tell you that all I want to eat at this point is junk and alot of it.  Though I picked through out the work day, I woke up more famished than I can remember being.  I started off by reheating some of the Stracciatella I made a few days earlier, which couldn't have been more homey and hearty and perfect to take the edge off my hunger.  But I still needed to make something for dinner and comfort food was in the forefront of both mine and the Boy's minds.  I was hoping to hold off on making this favorite for a while longer, but you can't really deny yourself an easy comforting meal when you are as tired as we were.  So I did, one of my favorite meals, Grilled Cheese and Tomato soup.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Beef Bourguignon

If you're like me, most of your cookbooks naturally fall open to certain well-used, dog-eared, sticky pages that reveal your family's tried-and-true fave recipes. Today's post contains two of mine: Beef Bourguignon from Silver Palate's New Basics Cookbook by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins, and Apple Crisp from The Fannie Farmer Cookbook.

I've been making this beef dish for more than 15 years and the book's spine is permanently broken at page 536, which is also covered in red wine drips and stains, accumulated over the years as I drank and cooked and maybe even threw some vino into the pot. Usually I double the recipe, eating half that evening and then freezing the remainder. But with my sister and her family for dinner, however, not much was left over this time. Instead of making mashed potatoes to sop up the broth, we made Yorkshire puddings (aka popovers) and these were the hit of the night. My niece Callan ate four and had room for dessert (and she's still as thin as anything). Gotta love teens.

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