Sunday, November 16, 2008

Early Thanksgiving Dinner

Barrett won't be around for my favoritist (shut up, it is so a word!) holiday of the year, Thanksgiving. He'll be on a much-deserved vacation to Miami Beach and the Bahamas next week. So I decided to make a Thanksgiving dinner this weekend just for us. I've never made a Thanksgiving dinner in my life--it turned out pretty well, I must say!

My first pumpkin pie ever. With a pre-made crust, it was a snap.

From left to right: that green bean casserole with the onion crunchies on top (not one of my faves but Barrett loves it, so it made the cut); garlic mashed potatoes (Barrett made these); wine; turkey; cornbread dressing; and pie. Cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, and gravy were not featured in our dinner since they are our least favorite traditional dishes. Don't get me wrong--if gravy's on the table, I'll indulge! But I wasn't interested in making it. Also, please note remote controls on the couch all poised and ready to play the next episode of "Battlestar Galactica."

Here's the dinner with Colin, a.k.a. "McLovin'," doing his kneady-pillow thing in the background. I included this photo because when he is McLovin', he is beyond hilarious.

Here's Trixie and Colin, hanging out in the kitchen, waiting for their own dinner which did not include any turkey, stuffing, or pie whatsoever.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Apologies for the lagtime

Hello! I feel the need to apologize for the lack of posts in the past month. For one thing, our camera sort of sucks lately and then it went AWOL for a bit--it turned out to be in the garage. But also, I just not been in a write-y sort of mood. Election jitters? Rainy day blues? Who knows.

I have been cooking, though! I can at least list (and link, if I can) some of the recipes I've made:

1. Mushroom-Shallot Quiche: holy hell, bookmark this one immediately! I made this for the Election Night party I attended and it was out of this world. Melting Gruyere cheese with butter-sauted crimini mushrooms and fresh thyme. . . mmmmm! It was a big hit. I'm heading downstairs to make it again for lunch today.

2. Curried Honey Dijon Roasted Chicken: I made this last night. So good, so easy! I served it with a side of Sauteed Swiss Chard. Love that Swiss chard!

3. Roasted Butternut Squash with Carmelized Onion Pizza: the hits just keep coming from Kevin at Closet Cooking! This was more ambitious, to be sure, but worth it. I did NOT make my own crust, but had dough from Trader Joe's. I also didn't use butternut squash since I already had a whole roasted acorn squash in the fridge from the night before that I needed to use. And I've never fried sage leaves before, so that was fun.

4. Mainly, though, I've been cooking straight from the Cooking With All Things Trader Joe's cookbook. I've been having fun with my continuing exploration of these recipes; getting to shop at Trader Joe's is an added bonus! I can't possibly type out all of the recipes that I've used, but I will list them here. I promise to make them all again and dedicate a post for each. So far, I've made:
- Stuffed Red Peppers
- Italian Wedding Soup
- Black Bean and Ricotta-Stuffed Portabellas
- Tortellini and Chicken Sausage Soup
- California Fish Tacos
- Penne Pepperonata with Shrimp and Asparagus
- Corny-Copia Bean and Veggie Casserole (huge household fave)
- Spicy Szechuan Tofu
- Saag Paneer Lasagna
- Red Curry Halibut
- Okey-Gnocchi with Peas and Pancetta
- Chickety Chinese Chicken Salad
- Curried Chicken Pitas (this is gonna become a lunch staple, methinks)

On board for this coming week:
- Soyaki Broiled Salmon
- Vegetable Tikka Masala
- Italian Wedding Soup, again
- California Fish Tacos, again, because yum!

Oh, and I have a story to relate about the Corny-Copia Bean Veg Casserole. This is a dish that contains cumin-sauteed onions & garlic with kidney beans, plain yogurt, a jar of oil-based mixed vegetable bruschetta, and cornbread on top. Guess who decided that this casserole would be a perfect dessert to his bowl of kibble? Yep, Colin. That stupid cat ate the onion/kidney bean/bruschetta mixture underneath the cornbread (he left a hollowed-out portion), sat around feeling nauseous for an hour or so, then promptly, well, upchucked it ALL OVER THE BASEMENT CARPET. What on earth in this recipe is attractive to cats? The cumin-y onions? The beans? The bruschetta mixture? What a wierd cat.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


What more can I say that hasn't already been said a million times over by millions of ecstatic, joyful, hopeful people around the world in the past 24 hours? I am so proud to be an American today, and for that, I thank you, Barack Obama. Now let's get to work!!

(props to Barrett for poster creation!)