gravy-smothered summertime


Meatloaf and green beans would have been a favorite meal of mine as a child. Let’s be honest it still is.  This recipe does not quite measure up to my childhood comfort food, “Perfect Meatloaf” recipe from the Calumet County (WI) Cookbook, but it was a nice change of pace and I enjoyed this novel idea (to me) of gravy on meatloaf.

Now….I don’t usually eat gravy in August but it was paired with the bean recipe in the cookbook and I had fresh beans from the farmer’s market and pecans left over from making zucchini bread. I had seconds of the lovely beans and they are mostly gone but I’m hoping Rob will help me finish off the meatloaf patties and gravy cause right now I feel like there is a whole lot of leftovers of that.

I found what seems to be an actual rewrite of Ms. Ray’s meatloaf patties recipe. This recipe I found for maple pecan-glazed beans is definitely different but the flavors are exactly the same.

another 2 veggie dinner

Farmer’s market season leads to a fridge full of veggies. As I have mentioned before I love the two veggie meal. I love the two veggie meal.

Turnips and pork chops were good. Brining is a wonderful thing for pork chops but the sauces were a little sweet for my taste. Turnips are another vegetable that I feel is rather under appreciated, especially these little white ones.

The Asparagus – My first recipe from Thomas Keller. First I had to make the “parsley water” to cook the asparagus coins in….mine weren’t really coins. I just cut them up because I couldn’t do the “coins” with the mandolin they way he suggests. Parsley water sounds easy until you find yourself straining boiled parsley puree through a fine mesh strainer. Straining, one of of the few cooking activities that I dislike. And the asparagus was tasty… just not tasty enough for me to be making more parsley water.  I didn’t have any chives that day so I didn’t make the chive oil. I think I added a few dried chives to the pan.


easter bread 2013


This was not my favorite Easter bread to date. Of course it wasn’t only bread but also candied oranges….and then Rob accidentally stuck his finger in the risen loaf before I baked it.

To be fair the kitchen was a disaster because of course I was also trying to simultaneously compile a southern feast, complete with, from scratch, sweet potato pie.   Yes, marathon cooking on Easter Sunday. Rob did make some excellent pie dough and it was his first attempt ever: gold star.

…and we ate well, we ate very well.




In the beginning there was lamb and couscous….

I admit it. I have been a blogging slacker. I made this meal long ago in a galaxy far, far away.

What I remember is that this recipe includes a whole cup of dates…a whole cup! It was uber-super-sweet and if you like that type of thing then you will like this. Me…not so much. Makes my teeth hurt just thinking about it.  I piled on the green onions to counteract the sticky sweet dessert-ness of it. Because, as we have discussed on this blog before, I am not a big fan of super-sweet, not in food or in personalities…give me a little spicy, complicated, sharp, tangy, tart or salty with my sweet. All alone it is flat and boring. I’m just saying.

goulash vit saurkraut

goulashPreconception:  I should make “ghoul”-lash for Halloween. lol
Reality: Damn! Martha Stewart thought of it first.

Preconception: I didn’t realized that goulash had sauerkraut in it.
Reality: I looked it up and most don’t, just this szegediner kind, also called Gulyás à la Székely. This is from my Viennese cookbook but the Szekely are apparently a group of people from Hungary.  There seems to be some question as to where they came from originally and/or why they are a culturally different group…Interesting…Google it. I just like cooking and here I am learning all these interesting things about the cultural subgroups of Hungary and Transylvania (that’s Romania y’all).  Awesomeness!

Preconception: Goulash is made with pork. The pork shoulder I purchased was really fatty and I should have trimmed just a bit more of it off.  Also it took much longer than the time suggested to get the meat even close to tender. It said 1 hour and I cooked mine for almost 2.
Reality: Just about any red meat can be used for dishes called goulash (various spellings) It just means a meat stew originally made by Hungarian cattle herdsmen.

Preconception: It really should have Hungarian paprika in it. I ran out of Hungarian sweet paprika way short of what I needed (2 tablespoons) and substituted with cheap-o grocery store smoked paprika. I guess mine was Spanish-Austrian-Hungarian-Szekely goulash.
Reality: Paprika is not required in order to be called goulash although it seems to be very common.

Preconception:  You eat goulash with spaetzle. I was going to make the spaetzle from scratch too and then I got lazy and just bought some.
Reality: Often eaten with mashed potatoes, egg noodles, rice, etc.

Classic Indian cooking weekend


Okay, the Lamb Rogan Josh recipe was from 499 Simply Delicious Recipes not from Julie Sahni.

And I don’t really understand “lentil broth” but the Mysore Rasam (Mysore Spicy Lentil Broth) was reasonably tasty. I do have the actual lentil puree in my freezer to be used later so at least nothing was wasted.

I made cheese, Paneer, for first time. I don’t think I did a good job of pressing it because it was an odd shape and crumbled a bit when I cut it, but it wasn’t a disaster and it was relatively easy.

Which then went into the Shahi Sabz Korma (Royal Braised Vegetables in Cardamom Nut Sauce) with some carrots, turnips, potatoes and ground almonds. And yes that then went into Shahi Sabz Biriyani (Royal Vegetable and Rice Casserole).

That cured the cooking bug. The next few days were leftovers, fine dining, and takeout!

Moroccan Carrots

This meal was weeks ago, when I was obsessing about carrots, but I just found the picture and I love meals with two vegetables!

And… I am reading the Seven Pillars of Wisdom by T.E. Lawrence And… then on public radio they are interviewing Omar Sharif about the movie version “Lawrence of Arabia”! …Of course Morocco and the Arabian peninsula are quite far away from each other and have quite different culinary traditions but…Mr. Sharif is originally from Egypt which is geographically between the two.. Regardless it all felt serendipitous to me this morning. And even if, obviously, this “train of thought” paragraph is total crap, I remember that the food was delicious.

Notes on the recipe: I have to say that the carrots have a little too much garlic and I suggest cooking them less than the suggested 10 minutes as mine got a little too mushy.  I had homemade harrisa but I didn’t have any preserved lemons so I had to buy them this time.