Tuesday, April 11, 2006


Sunday I was puttering around the house, trying to pull dinner together, and thinking - I know dangerous business, that - the reason that everyone likes to read Julie Powell and Nigel is because they are confiding bits of their own experience. Rachael thinks that's what would make my 'blog the most interesting - if it was true tales of a half-empty-nest, semi-single mom, cooking real food for real people with recipes.

So a little accounting of my activities since Sunday, or how about Saturday:

Saturday I made pasta pesto with chicken, pesto from the summer thawed out and mixed with reduced half & half, topped with pounded skinless boneless chicken breasts, dredged in flour and fried in butter & olive oil. Timing was a little off, because I made everything to be ready by 5:00, so that John could eat early and take off to watch the hockey Badgers win the NCAA championship on his friend's even bigger HD TV, then I kept everything warm so that the rest of us could eat in front of the game on our own smaller HD TV at 6:00, but everything tasted OK.

I made a chocolate cake for Matt's birthday - it was the cake from the Hellman's mayonnaise jar, and I have been frosting it with this chocolate sour cream recipe.

Sunday I made a pumpkin orange cake from Regan Daly's In the Sweet Kitchen - it had an orange syrup and you were to eat it with vanilla yogurt for breakfast, and vanilla ice cream for dessert. I can't vouch for the ice cream, but it was delish warmish with the yogurt. It came out a lot better than her black sticky gingerbread that I tried a few weeks back - it was a little lumpy and just not the gingerbread of my dreams.

I tried a recipe for spicey Asian noodles from Real Simple magazine for dinner, with coconut milk and Thai chile paste, and bean sprouts and scallions on top - again, good but not great, and I did not like still tasting raw scallions in my mouth the next morning. I got a year's subscription to Real Simple, for a cheap come-on price, and I am kind of love/hating it - I don't see how a monthly mag that is close to 300 pages actually simplifies my life, but every month there have been at least 2-6 of those pages that have something at least slightly of interest - stir-fry sauces, and this mnth there is an article about 100-year-old ladies, and how they lived so long.

I roasted a chicken, and shredded the meat for bbq - stirred in bottled bbq sauces and baked it in the oven on timer on Monday to be ready by 5:30 - and simmered the bones for broth for Passover matzo ball soup for dinner tomorrow (Weds.), the first night of Passover.

Monday I took the last of the pumpkin orange cake to a meeting, meanwhile Al & Mark ate bbq sandwiches, and I had baked beans on tortillas when I got home - so I ate dessert first - that's what you're supposed to do, right? (The beans were thawed, since the Super Bowl party b-beans were a little on the crunchy side, I made a 2nd batch in Feb, with shreds of pork from the dinner party roast). I am on a crusade to empty the freezer of last year's produce to make room for this - I made a batch of Bolognese sauce last night, to use some of the tomatoes, and the rest are thawing now for some vegetarian tomato sauce.

Tomorrow I am going to start in with Passover food, matzo ball soup, and then Matzo sponge cake with lemon filling, and chocolate chip meringues and matzo butter crunch.

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