Sunday, July 22, 2007

Sunday Roast - featuring Nigella Lawson's recipes

Since I've stopped training for triathlon, there's a void in the routine-craving side of my brain. I've decided to fill that void with something food related and yummy rather than more exercise...because I already get quite enough of that!

Starting this week, I will do a Sunday Dinner featuring a renowned chef's menu. Since I was nursing a hangover this morning and flipped the t.v. back and forth between Food Network and TLC for approximately four hours, I decided to do Nigella Lawson's Weekend Wonders menu. I'me not normally a fan of Nigella, and I'm not sure why. There's just something about her that puts me off. But, this particular episode caught my attention because it was such a simple thing to put together.

I went to Whole Foods. I forgot how expensive things are there. I am a Trader Joe's shopper and will continue to be after today's grocery bill exceeded $100 to feed five people. I've never spent that much on cooking one night's dinner at Trader Joe's. TJ, I'll never stray again, I promise. Yes, I am a tightwad with money.

Things I learned for each course:

Onion and Sage Chicken and Sausage Roast
Marinade this for at least two hours and pour all of marinade into roasting pan
Thighs and drumsticks tasted better than the breasts
Leave skin on chicken

Petite Peas
Don't walk away from this while the stock is reducing! Find busy work by the stove, because it happens quickly and will burn. Then, like me, you'll have to start over;)

Heirloom Tomato and Cucumber Salad
The longer this marinates, the better. It was great the next day.

Honey Bee Cake
It may not look perfect, but it's soooooooooooo delicious!
If you can't find yellow marzipan, yellow food die works fine.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Fennel and Heirloom Tomato Salad

I introduced fennel into the house last summer and Les hated it. I tried to sneak it in again, by mixing into a salad, but he didn't fall for it. He picked out all the fennel, but ate everything else. This salad is coated with my standby red wine vinaigrette. I rather enjoyed it but know a third try with the hubby isn't going to happen.

Mendocino Flower Seeds All Grown Up:)

Les and I went camping on the Mendocino Coast last November. While we were there, we went to the Mendocino Botanical Gardens. It was a beautiful experience and I bought some seeds to plant at home. This is the outcome of some of the Nasturium seeds I planted. She's gorgeous!

Roast Lamb and Vegetables

Les, my English hubby, has a special place in his heart for a proper roast dinner. I'm not 100% in love with lamb because it makes me think about a cute, fluffy baby animal...not dinner. But alas, he likes it, so I make it every once in a while.

Homemade Pizza is the Best

You just can't get better than homemade. Food that is made by hand is full of love and shows the people eating it that you cared enough to spend time making something that would make them happy. I found a recipe for pizza dough in No Need to Knead by Suzanne Dunaway, the book that Sheri gave me last year.

This recipe is very simple and you can't screw it up. Les has always enjoyed my homemade pizza, but that was when I used Boboli pizza crust. Now that I know how to make my own, he loves it even more.

I heart buckwheat pancakes

Sunday morning always means breakfast in bed. For the past two weekends, I've made buckwheat pancakes with blueberries. Love them! Enough said:)

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy Fourth of July

Photo Courtesy of Jon Cates

Today is about patriotism and remembering how we separated from the stoggy and unkind British Monarchy and forged our own culture and identity as Americans. We are a group of hard-working, industrious, generous, and proud people. Of course, we have our share of lazy do-nothings, as well, but we don't want to concentrate on that!

It's unfortunate that the American Indians had to endure much hardship at that time of our history, but it was bound to happen. We can't honestly think that this country, with all of it's resources and opportunities would not have been exploited and left untouched at some point. That is just not realistic.

I digress.

Happy Fourth of July everybody. Relax, enjoy life, drink a beer, have some cake, and don't forget to show your country you appreciate her beyond bounds. Americans enjoy freedoms that most of the world only dreams about. Don't ever take these stars and stripes for granted.