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January 13, 2005

The Unplanned Dinner

Well, the resolution has hit the middle-of-the-week, meal planning hiatus. Last night we had a freezer meal - leftover frozen kaiser rolls and frozen butternut squash I meant to have in early December. Luckily, neither were freezer burned, or not much anyway. We augmented this with a 1/2 pound of baby spinach, a bunch of fresh parsley, garlic, and a few bits of unidentifiable cheese. The two largest pieces of cheese were both white; one was a hard cheese, and one was a semi-hard cheese, or at least that's what they had evolved into. That is all that was in the frig, and Eamon said he would eat the bread and cheese, and maybe the spinach. Mylos kept his own council. Tom did not vote.

Actually, it wasn't so bad. I minced the parsley with the garlic, and added half to the semi-hard cheese (I think it was mozzarella,) and tossed half with the butternut squash. While the squash was baking, I cleaned the spinach, tossed it with largish shavings of what I now believe to be Parmesan and a homemade balsamic vinegar and olive oil dressing. After removing the squash from the oven, I sprinkled the parsley-cheese mixture over the split kaiser rolls and broiled those. The children wisely left the kitchen while I was dashing around, wielding a knife, and muttering about our inability to shop for the entire week.

In about half an hour, we had dinner.  Tom and Eamon wolfed down the salad, and ate the cheesy toast. Mylos and I ate the squash and a bit of cheesy toast, and I had what remained of the salad. The kids and I had pineapple for dessert, again. Tom had Guinness. After that, BBB (bath, books, and bed).

Now I have to plan tonight's dinner.

January 13, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Favorite Wines

I can never remember the names of the wines I have enjoyed. (I admit it, I can't remember anything. On the bright side, this trait does keep me from developing boring habits. The downside, well, I don't really want to develop this theme to far....)  Here are a few I have enjoyed over the holidays.

2001 Chariot Sangiovese - My friend Mark brought this to our Thanksgiving feast. Unfortunately, it ruined the other wines for me that evening, which meant I had to hide the bottle from everyone else.

2002 Shiraz Woodcutter's - Australian - I love this wine - rich, spicy flavors, mouth-coating texture. It was introduced to me by Gordan, Kala's husband.

1996 Laurent-Perrier Brut Milleseme - French - I enjoyed this, not as good as Perrier Jouet in my opinion, but half the price.

January 13, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0)

January 12, 2005

Beans and Rice

So far this week has gone pretty well in regards to my resolution to get the kids more involved with cooking and meal planning. Eamon chose to have olives and pita for lunch this week, no feta (they did not have the kind he liked at the store when we went shopping) and no hummus. He is also taking an orange. He wanted to take a cookie and a sugar drink as well, but we compromised on just having one or the other. He wants to chose which one in the morning when his dad packs his lunch. Eamon also chose dinner, beans and rice. This is an easy meal, if lacking in vegetables, and the kids both like it. We had pineapple as the dessert course, so I guess it is not so bad.

I had to remove the chairs from the kitchen in order to keep Mylos from the mixer and the stove. He is not really buying the idea that I am the one who decides when he can participate in the cooking. So instead, he moved a chair to the door to work on an escape plan.

January 12, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0)

January 10, 2005

Cheeses I Have Loved

A couple of times a week I make a lunch of olives, bread, and cheese. The bread and olives stay the same ( a rustic loaf and a mix of olives from the olive bar), but I get a different cheese each time. Hopefully this list will help me keep track of my favorites.  I have never met a cheese I did not like, so I won't bother with another post for worst cheese picks.

English Sharpham Rustic - creamy, semi-hard with a thin rind, made with vegetarian rennet and Jersey milk. *****

Delice de Bourgogne - creamy, soft, and really, really rich. *****

Borough Market Lancashire - vegetarian rennet, mild, creamy. *****

Somerset Cheddar - some flavor I can't quite place, a tanginess. ***

Tete De Moine - pungent, rich, full flavored, hard cheese I had this shaved onto my salad. ****

January 10, 2005 in Food and Drink | Permalink | Comments (0)

New Books

We acquired several new books last week, including the new On Food and Cooking, by Harold McGee, and Meat, Game and Poultry, by Lucy Knox and Keith Richmond. I have not really had a chance to look at the revised Food, but I am already immersed in the meat book. It has photos of basic cuts of domestic and game animals. The offal chapter is particularly edifying. Kidneys are really interesting, so multilobed. And who knew hares were so much darker than rabbits? I have to admit that I do love dissecting.

January 10, 2005 in Food and Drink | Permalink | Comments (1)

The New Year

I am making my first ever New Year Resolution. First some background: While I love to cook, and I love my family, the only way the two mix is the point where the food I have made meets their lips. My resolution is to involve the family in the process - planning, shopping, and cooking. I actually began this process a few weeks ago. Eamon, who is nine, has many ideas for meals and snacks. These are usually dishes that that he loves, and I have made only once or twice because of the time involved. However, he really loves Olive Puffs. These are not difficult, so we bought a load of puff pastry and olives. He made several batches, froze them, and then I helped him bake them for parties throughout December. He was happy with the results, and even took them to a school party. I think the teachers ate them.

This weekend, Mylos (18 months) and I made pizza dough. He loves the kitchenaid mixer. His contributions consisted of adding scoops of unmeasured water and flour to the bowl. He loved this. Luckily he only partially filled the 1/8 cup measure each time, allowing him to add many scoops while not changing the proportions much. Later he mixed shredded cheese, flour, and salt (he loves the salt shaker) in a cast iron pan while I prepped the pizzas. The kitchen was a mess.

January 10, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0)