Tuesday, June 13, 2006

foodies are us

So I had a very foodie weekend. I was on some sort of a cooking frenzy, such was my zeal. Friday evening started off with a meal of pork strip stir fry with swiss chard and bow-tie noodles. We had some yummy tomatoes on the vine and a really nice hunk of fresh mozzerella that we added to the meal in a caprese salad. Yum, yum, YUM!

[No photos. Boo. I thought I took some. Alas, I did not.]

Saturday morning, I made french toast with some leftover cinnamon swirl bread. It’s been a long time since I’ve made french toast. We used to have it nearly every weekend when my nephew lived with us and now I’m rarely seen making breakfast anymore.

[No photos again. Boo.]

Lunch on Saturday consisted of an asian chicken salad using left-overs. Not as exciting, but still tasty. M particularly enjoys this lunch: cheap, easy and tasty.

[No photos again. Boo.]

Dinner on Saturday was chicken breast with a lemon caper sauce and lemon zest rice pilaf with grilled broccoli rabe.

And my happy husband digs in:

…leaving behind no crumbs

Breakfast Sunday morning consisted of blueberry pancakes (for moi) and chocolate chip pancakes (for my husband) with italian sausage. A light and airy recipe from food network. The chocolate chip pancakes were so rich and decadent, m didn’t even touch his sausage.

[I had photos, but my camera sucks and so they came out really blurry. The general quality of my photos are seriously lacking. Read the specs carefully when selecting a digital camera. I would not recommend one with a digital zoom.]

No lunch on Sunday due to the filling and decadent breakfast.

Dinner on Sunday was Osso Bucco with asparagus and mushroom risotto, sauteed kale and a green salad with the last of the fresh mozzerella and tomatoes.

The gremolata for the osso bucco and other prepwork:

I got so busy with the cooking, a lot of it simultaneous, so I only took a few photos. Here’s the osso bucco simmering in it’s own yummy goodness:

and a blurry comparison shot of what the cookbook says it
should look like at the end:

We had a special dinner guest over. Cousin Todd was in town! We had originally planned to take him to a Thai restaurant near the university dorms where he’s staying for a Jesuit conference, but at the last minute, we decided to invite him over for dinner instead. We had all the fixings for Osso Bucco and it’s just the kind of a meal you want to cook for a guest.

It was my first Osso Bucco. We’ve ordered it plenty of times at restaurants, but this was my first try at making it at home. I used a recipe from a big cookbook I bought years ago at Costco. One of those beautiful glossy photo filled numbers with a lot of text and not as many recipes. I was young and foolish. It’s been a pretty decent guide for some culinary basics and the photos are darned pretty. And to its credit, it has supplied me with a few of decent recipes (halibut with a mushroom and shallot sauce, saffron potatoes, quick and easy coffee cake and the osso bucco). I think it turned out pretty good, the osso bucco. I made a few notes on adjustments I’d make for the next time around (less saffron, cook the carrots a little longer, try it with the celery which I forgot to buy for this meal, brown the veal shanks just a touch longer and braise it on a lower heat for another half hour). The Osso Bucco was tender and tasty with the meat just falling off of the bone. The sauce was rich and just the right amount of tart and sweet.

The risotto. Ah, the risotto. There is an ongoing battle over risotto in my life. I love risotto. I could eat it every day but for the onset of heart disease from all that butter and oil and cream and cheese. YUM. I made risotto for my parents once years ago. I figured they would also enjoy it. I cooked it at their house and added baby squid, scallops, shrimp and lumps of white fish. Seafood risotto. Are you salivating yet?

Now risotto is supposed to be creamy and it’s supposed to have a bite. Like pasta cooked al dente. My parents however, thought I had made some delectable RICE dish instead of a delectable Italian classic. They oohed and aahed while they watched me stir. They savored the aroma from the bowls I served up. They dug in with their forks and with gusto. The verdict: they loved the seafood risotto. However, my father asked that I not undercook the rice next time. It would taste so much better if the rice was fully cooked.

Fastforward to present day. I cook risotto for my husband. Once I make it right, once I overcook it. He puts in a request that I overcook the risotto from now on. Sigh.

Anyways, I overcooked the risotto Sunday night. There are only so many things a girl can battle over. The Tofu Salad for one thing.

The foodies forge on. Last night I made calzones. Steak and cheese in one and spinach and sausage in the other. This one was supposed to be the healthy one. You know, it has spinach in it. Yumalicious.

Tonight it’s just fish. Okay maybe some of that left over lemon caper sauce drizzled over it, but that’s it. I’ve got logos to design, socks to re-knit, some sewing to start and t-shirts to make.

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