Easter Dinner

Easter Dinner

Well, I said I don’t really “do” Easter.  The easter egg placemats–that’s totally just all my roommate.

I was actually feeling irritable that evening and wanted to do something as far from Easter as I could, so I picked up a pork loin.  I soaked some apricots in white wine and the pork loin in orange juice, salt, and pepper, then stuffed the pork loin and roasted it.  With that, I had roasted brussels sprouts (which I’ve discovered I love.  I HATE boiled brussels sprouts, though.).  Carrots: fairly traditional, but they were not the original intent.  I think I was planning a salad with this, but the lettuce had gone… squooshy.  Ew.  So these were still in the fridge and needed to be used.  Finally, homemade biscuits (Clabber Girl baking powder can version).

Overall–very yummy!

Beauty Resolutions, Continued…

I’ve continued to do my hair and makeup. I’ve made progress in both arenas–
And, pursuant to my goals, I acquired makeup brushes. And more hairstyling products that may actually help.
Meanwhile, it’s a cold, wet, dreary day out. Usually, I love those days, and today isn’t much of an exception. I’m quite jealous that my parents are getting SNOW and I’m not.

I also picked up groceries for the week. I’ve been making a concerted effort to change my diet and exercise, and it’s paying off! Today I was wondering what on earth I would do for dinner. I opted to roast a chicken and some brussels sprouts (these are my LEAST favourite vegetables in the whole wide world, but I had some that I loved that were roasted, so I figured I would try it), and baking some potatoes. If it goes well I will post pics (AFTER THE JUMP)
Meanwhile, you may vicariously enjoy my shopping trip…


Roasted Chicken

Yummy Dinner

 

Pumpkins!

 

Halloween is coming up!  It’s nearly time to carve pumpkins.  One of my coworkers was lamenting her inability to find good, lovely pumpkins… so I went to my traditional place (Mick Shaw’s), which was fantastic. I had a blast.  I decided that video would be easier than pictures–and posted my first YouTube video EVER (gasp!).

This is NOT a cooking blog.

On the infamous chigger weekend, I also bought a yoghurt maker.  This last weekend, I attempted to make another batch of fresh yoghurt.  It failed.  Let me define “failed.”  I heated the milk to 180°F for 2 minutes as specified in the directions.  I then cooled the milk to 114°F and mixed in the “starter.”  Now, this batch of starter was a previous batch of yoghurt (this is supposed to work) as opposed to the freeze-dried starter which came with the machine (and that I am now out of).  I then poured this mix of fresh milk and 10-day-old starter yoghurt into the jars, put them in the machine, and left it for 9 hours (which is longer than should be required for whole milk yoghurt).  After that, I capped the little jars and transferred them to the fridge for 3 hours.

What I got was slightly soured milk, not yoghurt.

Apparently my starter was no good.

Now, I’ve been on steroids (prednisone) for a week, and this tends to cause weird food cravings.  The other day at work, someone fixed a pot pie for lunch and I seriously thought I was going to have to steal their lunch.  It smelled SOOOO amazingly good.  Thus, I decided to thaw some PERFECT PIE CRUST (and it so totally is, even with white-whole-wheat flour) and some frozen turkey (leftovers) and thus 1-make turkey pot pie and 2-clean out the freezer.  See?  Win-Win.

FAIL.

Wait, what, again?  Yeah… well… the turkey was freezer-burned too badly to be useful.  But now the pie crusts are thawed.  So what do I do? 

Figure out what I can use them for.  Besides, I am now on a mission to conserve some semblance of cooking prowess.

Pumpkin PieCan of pumpkin=can make pumpkin pie early.  Sounds like a plan.  I largely followed the directions on the can of Libby’s pumpkin.  Maybe.  Ok, maybe not.  It was the giant-sized can.  The sugar quantity was appalling: 1 1/2 extra cups?  Are you serious? On top of two cans of Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk?  Not wanting to go into sugar-shock, I used ONE can of EagleBrand and NO sugar.  You know what?  THAT PIE ROCKS. It turned out amazingly light and fluffy and very richly delicious.

I don’t know why it would need extra sugar, much less that much extra sugar.  Oh, so the rest of what I used?

1 giant can pumpkin

4 eggs

1 can EagleBrand sweetened condensed milk

2 tsp cinnamon (generally rounded, plus whatever extra fell in the bowl…)

1 tsp grated orange peel (dried)

1 Tbsp fresh-grated ginger (trust me, this makes a HUGE difference in flavor, but might be overkill)

1/2 tsp fresh-ground cloves (again, approximate).

Dump the stuff in a bowl and mix.  Pour into crust.  Bake at 375°F with a pan of water in the oven until it’s done… uh… 45 min?  I didn’t time it.  It’s a pie.

The filling that didn’t fit got baked in custard cups and was considered sacrificial sample (meaning it was eaten immediately, with vanilla frozen yoghurt that was NOT homemade).


One crust remaining.  Have eggs, milk, hmm… sounds like quiche makings!  The second crust became a “Southwestern” quiche…Southwestern Quiche

1 c heavy cream

3 eggs

1 c shredded cheddar

1/3 c grated parmesan

1 bag Archer Farms black bean and corn frozen vegetable mix

about 1/2 c applewood smoked bacon (cooked, chopped)

cayenne and black pepper to taste (note: cayenne complements cheddar extremely well; recommend at least 1/4 tsp). 

Baked next to pumpkin pie. 

HOLY COW DROOL!

How to Make Spaghetti

A step-by-step guide for the VERY DETERMINED.

  1. Decide that spaghetti is what’s-for-dinner.IMAG0160
  2. Discover that you have no pre-made, bottled spaghetti sauce.
  3. Decide that spaghetti is still what’s-for-dinner because you can make (healthier) spaghetti sauce from other stuff you DO have on hand.
  4. Start prep for spaghetti sauce.
  5. Discover you have an insufficient quantity of noodles to feed 3 hungry people.
  6. Decide to dig out the pasta maker and MAKE the damned noodles.  I’m HAVING SPAGHETTI thank you very much!
    1. (I have a Lello pasta machine. For one pound of King Arthur’s White Whole Wheat flour, I use two whole eggs and enough water to get the dough consistency right).
  7. Remember that you’re out of white flour.  Opt for whole-wheat noodles.
  8. Start actually COOKING the sauce you’ve prepped.
  9. Notice that you have cherry tomatoes going bad in fridge.  Decide to roast them with garlic and stir them into sauce at the end of cooking for extra flavour.
  10. Extrude spaghetti noodles from pasta maker.
  11. Wait for water to boil.
  12. Coax spaghetti sauce to not burn.
  13. Wait for water to boil.
  14. Decide that fresh basil and oregano sound like AWESOME garnishes on your pasta and harvest plants in living room (or garden).
  15. Cook pasta.
  16. Voraciously consume pasta with freshly-grated parmesan.
  17. Look at kitchen and despair.
  18. Decide to write blog post about wonderful pasta instead of cleaning.
  19. Realise kitchen is still waiting.