Food on Friday, September 18, 2020

By popular demand since I blew working Wednesday.

This week I made ravioli that was meh, and a pork chop recipe that was meh, and a chicken au jus (lemon and white wine) that was fabulous. There was also a very good ham sandwich but since that consisted of slapping a slab of ham on onion bun, I don’t think it counts as making something.

Also, thank you all for my birthday wishes which were incredibly cheering. I did have a lovely day, which included sitting in the yard and watching the sun through the trees in absolutely perfect weather while listening to the sound of oars on the lake, and talking to Mollie and my brother Jack and laughing a lot. An excellent day.

What did you cook (okay, or drink) this week?

71 thoughts on “Food on Friday, September 18, 2020

  1. My favorite new recipe that I tried for this week was probably
    Mango coconut tofu bowls from Budget Bytes. I feel like Budget Bytes has given me the confidence to try new things with tofu, including frying instead of baking.
    The tofu is in a honey lime sauce, the rice is made with coconut milk and you add some sliced mango and avocado at the end.
    Sadly, we didn’t have mango or avocado, so I just tossed in some roasted broccoli at the last minute. My husband and I agreed it was good enough to have again when we did have mango and/or avocado lying around, which is fairly frequently.

    Least you think we are always vegetarian 😉 we had BLTs for dinner last night (I like mine with sweet hot mustard instead of mayo) and the night before that delicious homemade fried chicken (deep fried!) with french fries and homemade vinegar coleslaw. My husband made those dinners, so I can’t take any credit.

    As for drinking, I had my last gin and tonic Labor Day weekend and we’re not doing a lot of fancy cocktails lately. Sometimes a rum old-fashioned on the weekends, which is very sweet but very good with real maraschino cherries (luxardo brand) and some fancy bitters which were a gift from a friend.

    Also, still definitely enjoying homemade cold brew coffee even though it’s starting to feel more like fall. My husband uses something called Toddy that we’ve had for years.

  2. I made 3 ingredient scones yesterday with balsamic strawberries and lemon rose coconut whipped cream. All dairy free, and utterly delicious.

  3. I could lie and say I made this that would be so wrong. My husband minced a variety of herbs, basil, rosemary, thyme and parsley with garlic and put it in a glass jar with olive oil and then in the refrigerator to infuse. The next day he ladled it in ice cube trays and then into the freezer. Oh, the fragrance throughout the house was bordering on orgasmic. My contribution was that I used some of it in a vegetable medley. A combination of chunked zucchini, yellow summer squash, sliced onion a chopped tomato and green beans simmered in a bit of water (could have used chicken stock). It was that good. Yesterday I put a splash of Campari in a white wine spritzer and mentally toasted Jenny on her birthday.

  4. Well, I brought home lobster from the supermarket but it hasn’t been a great cooking week. We did have Capri salad with homemade challah from our neighbor last night, and Sunday we had homemade pizza—gouda and grape and also mozzarella and tomato and squash blossom (we have developed a routine where she makes challah on Friday and we get a loaf and then we give them homemade grape and Gouda pizza another day. It’s a lovely if high carb tradition.)

  5. I made a really good veggie noodle meatball soup, pancakes and back bacon, mac and cheese with the rest of the back bacon, and an apparently really good loaf of sourdough bread. I don’t like sourdough but Paul loves it and he said this was a good loaf.

    And one night I went for take-out!

  6. On the good side, I made leek and white bean soup. Delicious and fairly healthy. On the bad side, a huge bowl of Ben and Jerry’s vanilla ice cream with fresh blackberries. Delicious and very unhealthy.

  7. I am currently waiting for a batch of chocolate brownies to cool.

    They are an experiment in a way, because I made them in order to use up the ‘cheesecake’ mix/batter that was supposed to go into a batch of pumpkin muffins I made earlier in the week which were a fail.

    Well, the muffins themselves were OK, but you were supposed to pipe the cheesecake mix into the muffin (before it cooked, which I felt was a bit random), and the mix was so runny there was no way it would be contained within a piping bag. So I just baked the muffins, and then tried to figure out what to do with the intended cheesecake filling. My rationale is that I’ve put half the brownie batter in a 9×13 pan, then spread over the runny cheesecake mix, and then topped it with the rest of the brownie batter. So we’ll see. I figure maybe it’ll be brownies with cheesecake filling, or maybe it’ll be chocolate pudding…. (either way it’ll most likely get eaten, lol)

    1. Update: the brownies crusted up very well, but my concerns about them not setting properly were apparently well-founded. Very well-founded. So we have a thin brownie crust with chocolate sauce underneath, lol.

      In my defence it is a fabulous-tasting chocolate sauce. And we have ice-cream in the freezer…

      I’m going with ‘there are no failures where chocolate is concerned’ 🙂

  8. I made my first attempt at fried chicken and it came out very well. I was impressed by myself.

    I was excited for a new deli opening and I was underwhelmed. Expensive and the sandwiches were very small.

  9. This has been another week of using up garden produce. We had zucchini boats with lamb and rice filling, caprese salad, and a plum hazelnut torte. Also we, ok, this was really my husband’s project, so he used the dehydrator to make prunes and we canned 17 pints of plums which was a joint project.

    Last night I had a Negroni. And a takeout hamburger.

  10. Just finished pulling pork. before that making the pulled pork spice mix, which totally counts because it involves a mortar and pestle and I made a x4 batch so as to have spice for “dirty rice”, my fav use up leftover veg meal.
    Problem is making the pulled pork my ears are ringing and my face tingling even with gloves so eating it tomorrow as part of burritos is not looking like a good idea. Burritos because guest was dieting and not talking about it last time I saw him and burritos in this house are make your own from array of chopped bits. Can be high fat low/carb or mostly veg or even just very small depending on choice.

    Yesterday I started the dough for serious eats trapizzino(calls for over night slow rise) but bogged down on must shape and let rise 2-3 hours before dinner. I’m lucky if I remember dinner prep half to an hour before we eat. Shame, sounded like it would have been really good with the roast beef sandwich fillings I ended up eating on Rice Crackers! They’re okay but it was suppposed to be fresh bread!
    The excellent tofu chocolate mousse after comforted me.

  11. I’ve been indulging in ready meals, since I’m on holiday, with salad mostly from the garden, and allotment raspberries with Greek yoghurt for pudding. I’m now on to English-style spaghetti carbonara (an old Good Housekeeping recipe). Have also been having a glass of red wine every night, and am planning to buy another wine pouch. Because holiday.

  12. I made crêpes for breakfast. My mum’s old recipe: basically per egg, you add 50g of plain flour and 100 ml of milk. You multiply by the number of people you are feeding. The trick is to combine the flour and the egg(s) and leave to rest for an hour before adding the egg and a little bit of oil or melted butter.
    For the two (big) kids I have at home at the moment, I used 3 eggs, bearing in mind that the first one which never turns out ok is always mine to eat 🙂

      1. If this doesn’t work I’m now sarahv_yoga on Instagram. First handle change on social media in 11 years! ☺️😳

  13. The leaves have already started turning colours and the nights are cool around here, so I’ve been in fall cooking mode.

    Lots of roasted veggies. And warming ginger muffins. Collecting apples for pie or crumble–haven’t decided which, yet. We took the plunge and ordered a freezer. Hoping to stock it up with batches soon.

    And adding my happy wishes for your b’day week. May good weather continue so you can stretch your celebrating/relaxing in the yard into the weekend:)

  14. Eldest son and I made a salmon dinner Monday night. So very tasty. I made lamb chops, a NYT recipe. Think it is called lamb chops and lettuce. Very very good.

    Have been making my own version of Greek salad; only cucumber, feta cheese, Kalamata olives, tomatoes. Husband was on overnight motorcycle trip, no onions and green peppers. I will be making two salads now; a his and hers.

    Just found out I had a silent heart attack either last summer or last week. I’m thinking last summer. So…pouring over vegan / vegetarian / fish recipes. Surprised the whack out of me. I do not plan on dying for quite a while.

    Found a cook book: Flexitarian. Lots of great recipes.

    1. Good Clean Food is a great book. There is a wonderful curry recipe in there, as well as lots of practical thoughts and information. Stay well!

      1. We wing it most of the time:
        Rinse patted dry the fillet salmon, placed in a baking tray, son sliced shallots on top, lemon zest, squeezed half a lemon on top and baked slowly 200F in oven for about 30 mins. I wasn’t watching when he took it out. Grilled root vegs on the BBQ.

        Very moist. Had the leftover the next day.

  15. It’s been on my mind recently wanting to know when they (the mysterious they) started substituting oil for butter in baked goods. I only think of it after I’ve taken a bite and realize I’m doomed. Today I had half of a half of a Boston Cream Muffin and just couldn’t finish it. Pretty damn sad.

    1. When there was a demand for Vegan recipes. Also, I read an article that claimed that bakery made with oil stayed moist longer so that may be another motivation. If you prefer a crisp cookie, use butter. For a softer cookie, use butter.

      A lot of people switched when the difference between “good ” fats and “bad” fats was first published, but that doesn’t help. Later research showed that if you get more than 1T of fat per day, your body manufactures its OWN cholesterol.
      But the biggest reason the baking industry (and, later, recipe writers) switched from butter to oil is that oil is much cheaper.

      1. Oops! For a softer cookie, use oil. I have a friend who lives out in the country and keeps Kosher. When he couldn’t get any Kosher cookies where he lives, he started a company that ships them all over the United Sates. He sends me a box every 3 months and while the flavors were quite good (particularly for a vegan cookie), all three flavors were soft.

    2. Wartime — pick your war. WWI, WWII both involved rationing and ingredient substitutions, and oil instead of butter was one of the first. Technically margerine falls in that category, too.

  16. I’ve mostly been eating boring stuff, and I’m not much of a drinker (okay, not at all a drinker), but I spent about a month this summer working on a fiction project that needed to be bourbon-infused (metaphorically, not literally), so I did a lot of research into bourbon, how it’s made, what the brands are, what’s considered elite, and how it’s used in cooking (bourbon bacon jam, anyone?).

    So now, of course, bourbon ads are following me around the internet, which I expected, but what I hadn’t anticipated was their finding me on Hulu. I’ve been bingeing Elementary, and almost all of my ads are for assorted varieties of bourbon.

  17. Steak stir fry. One of those seasoning packets from the grocery store that I impulse buy at least once a month. That sits in the pantry mocking me every time I open it, because I buy the packet, and disregard the directions on the back. But yesterday, I got my act together and figured out what I’d need to actually make the stir fry. And bought it. And made it. Made some rice in the rice cooker, and it was delicious. Two out of three kids agreed to eat it too, so I took it as a win.

  18. Jalapenos stuffed with cream cheese, wrapped in bacon and potato wedges stuffed with cheddar and bacon. Also, bacon. Served with Caf Free Diet Coke.

    Did I mention bacon?

  19. Happy belated birthday! I’ve been eating some raspberry oatmeal bars my sister made for me when I came over to see her new apartment.

    This week hasn’t been a big cooking week (see depressing Oregon smoke) but I baked nachos. Nothing special (black beans, corn, tomatoes, onions, garlic, tiny bit of chopped broccoli, sharp cheddar cheese, chips, hot sauce, and seasoning) but it’s one of my comfort foods and makes good leftovers.

  20. I made a recipe from the NYT, one of the late Julia Reed’s. It’s a summer squash casserole. It’s really pretty wicked, what with the butter, cheese, eggs, and cream. Of course, it was fantastic. I see how it could easily be made it with olive oil, milk, and way more squash, fewer eggs and still be a treat.
    My vegan niece and my no gluten/no dairy/no red meat sister are coming today, so we’ve been eating up leftovers so there’s room in the fridge for the different things they buy to eat. Always interesting to plan meals withe those restrictions, but it’s not really a big deal, unless we try to make several meals for one meal. That way lies madness!

  21. Last night I made a NYT recipe for lamb chops with summer vegetables. I did not make the summer vegetable part of it or the oven cooked polenta. But the lamb chops were excellent. I microplanes three cloves of garlic. I minced 1/3 cup each of fresh rosemary and fresh sage. Then I butter each lamb chop (there were two) with the garlic, generously salt and peppered them, then pressed the herb mixture onto the chops and let them sit a room temperature for over an hour. I fried them in 1/4 inch olive oil over medium heat for five minutes a side, turned the heat up then quickly seared the edges (just to sear the fat edge and the raw edge). They came out medium, just a hint on the rare side. We had them with a broccoli curry salad with toasted almonds. They were accompanied with the grilled peppers that were also part of that article. Those were also very tasty. Oh, and we had a Paso Robles cabernet with it.

    My cooking mistake for the week was a pie crust made with melted butter that you press into the pie pan and don’t have to roll out. I used this to make a spinach shrimp quiche. The filling was good the pie crust was not as tasty as the one my husband makes for me using chilled butter and does the whole thing by hand. The idea was I would come up with a quick, usable crust without having to bug him. Well so much for that idea. His pie crust is way better.

    1. If you want a flaky short piecrust, it needs to be COLD butter (shortening or other fat) cut into the flour — I’ve always done it with two knives as preferable to a pastry tool — and then with COLD water and possibly vodka. The hot oven creates steam from the water and the fat melts creating flakes . . . . that’s what produces the flaky texture. Butter has better flavor and lard (kidney fat) makes a flakier texture, FWIW.

  22. I have been eating a crappy diet for the past several months and I knew that, but I hadn’t realized how crappy. I knew I’d been losing weight (I’ve been running 40-50 lbs overweight for years), but I didn’t know how much. This week, I put on a pair of pants that actually zip and button — I’ve been wearing stretch pants all the time — and the pants (which used to be a bit too tight) are so big on me that I could hold the front of the pants 3 or 4 inches away from my stomach. Oops. Losing weight is good, but losing weight because I’m not eating enough and I’m not eating well is bad. I have recently added an Ensure shake every day, between first and second meal. I only eat two meals because I wake up so late and I don’t like to eat dinner past 8pm: my preferred/natural schedule runs into my actual sleep schedule and is all kinds of messed up. I need to actually prepare a meal in the evening, rather than grazing (cottage cheese is an excellent source of protein, but I don’t eat enough of it to serve as a full meal) or having frozen mini-pizza. Actually, having frozen mini-pizzas and small frozen pot pies would be a huge step up. So would going to bed at a better hour and getting up while it’s still AM would be, too.

    My doctor told me to get a scale to keep track and gave me some other suggestions. She is aware. As is my therapist. I don’t have an eating disorder, I just don’t have a lifestyle conducive to good health right now.

    My drink of choice in the summer is Mike’s Hard Lemonade. I hate beer and I often forget I have wine, but the Mike’s is wonderful!

    1. I lost a bunch of weight while eating terribly this year (and I also do two meals daily for simialr reasons, but lots of snacks), except in my case it was because my thyroid, which had been under-producing, suddenly started to produce more, so I became hypERthyroid after taking my thyroid replacement pills. We’re reducing my dosage, so I’ll probably start gaining it all back now. Sigh.

    2. Love and hugs Skye. If you want to try it, my instagram has pretty easy and flavorful food ideas that helps keep me away from living on tea, crackers, and biscuits – the British kind.

      Some friends of mine are fasting so I’m joining along. Abstaining from meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and any products that contain the aforementioned. It’s amazing how happy I feel when I do it.

      But nothing gets in the way of my instant oats for breakfast. That sets me up for the day and eating anything additional for breakfast

      1. Thank you! I don’t know your instagram ID, unless I’ve already followed you and don’t remember. (I haven’t been on in ages.)


      If any Argher tries this. Tell me what you subbed in and out. And whether you liked it.

      Remember to toast spices if you’re buying them whole and then grinding. I didn’t toast my coriander seeds and it was bitter in the sauce.

      This meant when I added the sauce to veggies or chicken, I had to add extra water to allow for a longer bubble boil and then, simmer time. It cooked the bitterness out.

      Yes, I can identify some spices in isolation in some cooked foods. The nose knows.

    4. Do you prepare home meals at all? If you do, you might consider joining the Instant Pot community — that gadget produces good food and lots of leftovers. Also comes in several sizes.

  23. I made English Muffin Toasting Bread last night and enjoyed some of it this morning. Put under the broiler, it’s lovely and crunchy on the outside and still soft and moist on the inside. Dead simple to make and it’s quick. Recipe is from the King Arthur Baking website. The temperatures have cooled enough here that you want to bake again.

  24. Didn’t do any cooking this week, just the roasted-carrots-as-hot-dogs with sauerkraut. I’m going to do a salmon-potato-horseradish recipe from the NYT today. Should be good.

  25. I made one of my fall favorites, since it is suddenly drastically cooler here. Stuffed spaghetti squash. Easy, and can be made with lots of different variations. I baked the squash whole, then let it cool for a bit and cut it in half lengthwise, scooped out the seeds and icky stuff, and “fluffed” the squash part.

    Then I layered in the last of the leftover pesto from last year (making more this weekend), ricotta cheese, sun-dried tomato bruschetta, mozzarella balls torn up into pieces, shredded Parmesan and some walnuts. (Sometimes I have a layer of sauteed onion and fresh tomatoes, but I didn’t have the energy.) Baked for another 20 minutes or so, and presto.

    There was wine. There will be wine tonight. I also predict wine for tomorrow night.

  26. The husband brought home Thai food last Saturday which we also ate on Sunday. There was a frozen pizza on a day I have already forgotten. His client’s housekeeper sent home a whole cooler full of stuff, which he’s been eating while I scavenge. Last night I made myself a caprese salad with fresh mozzarella and plum tomatoes, no fresh basil but oh well.

    There was Talenti Mediterranean Mint gelato.

    We drank a bottle of organic cabernet from Mendoza here and there. Yesterday I ended the workday with a much-needed glass of ice-cold Empress 1908 gin.

  27. Happy Belated Birthday. Mine’s in 2 days and my son Chris ordered me Sponge candy from the Parkside Candy Shop in Buffalo. I am looking forward to eating some.
    I’ve been eating mostly leftovers this week. And salads. No nothing special to report

  28. Happy belated birthday! The sound of oars nearby must be lovely, I have birdsong all day and the most splendid frog chorus at night- yay, spring.

    The greens are up, some I planted and a bunch of volunteer plants, so we’re living on quinoa and sautéed greens. I think I hit my best ever home grown dinner veg count this week,
    Lettuce, sorrel, cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, silver beet, rocket, celery, onion, kale, wombok, pak choi and carrot.
    I’m feeling very accomplished (and smug/virtuous).

    I love that word. Smug. (Tell me you don’t get an instant image that you want to slap the look right off!)

  29. I cooked nothing I’d cop to – except a chocolate chip sandwich that my bff is giving me a hard time about. I’m trying to be healthier and that obvi wasn’t.

    And I missed Thursday and your birthday, Jenny, so Happy, Happy Birthday, Jenny! (musical notes to indicate I’m singing.)

    Now, as it was your birthday I think I’ll make a cake. Or perhaps chocolate chip cookies. Apparently they are better for me than a white bread sandwich with butter and choco chips. But I’m not really sure that’s true…

  30. I have a couple pounds of tuna steaks (two kinds) and a pound of crab cakes. My desire for seafood comes and goes – I think it’s coming. I blame Foodie Friday (and my Catholic heritage. I was a “fish on friday” boy.)

    1. I have a recipe for salmon cakes that are easy to make and I find as satisfying as crab cakes. And you can make them with leftover salmon or canned salmon – or white fish of some kind – and serve them with aioli (mayonnaise with grated garlic and lemon juice in my case). Let me know if you would like it.

  31. I’m trying to remember what I ate this week. One night was rice and veges with melted cheese, two nights were potatoes, carrots and chickpeas in a cheese sauce, one night was mushroom soup with extra veges, and the other nights must’ve been takeaways. Supermarket lasagne and salads featured but I seriously can’t remember the rest. Not an exciting week; no wonder I can’t remember.

    And happy just-after-your-birthday, Jenny! Long may happiness continue.

  32. Happy late birthday! I made very little this week, I was trying not to cook to keep from adding to the indoor air pollution during the Great Smoke Choke Event of 2020 here in 2020 but I did make some pretty terrific salmon and some very fluffy pancakes. If I’d been a better planner I’d have used the crockpot more.

  33. I made my first chaffles today (egg and cheese, put in a mini waffle maker). I had a teaspoon of flour in them, to make them fluffier. They were quite tasty – especially with real maple syrup.

    My DH knows I love him when I give him chaffles and bacon!

  34. I had leftover pizza from the best local place — our tenant’s niece visited to see the kittens. (They’re doing splendidly and their eyes are now looking beautifully blue and healthy)

  35. I made chili today, and found that luckily I still have some of my favorite herb growing in the garden, which is super in chili, And even better in homemade chicken gravy. It’s called Lovage, and looks a bit like leggy parsley, or short angelica. It’s related to celery, but has a much tangier, fragrant undertone that just enhances nearly anything I put it in.

    Chili turned out yummy, so all in all a good culinary day.

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