Sunday, September 21, 2008

Cooking Challenges

I'm not an Iron Chef by any means, but I love cooking, and I love cooking even more when I have an ingredient I must use, or a theme I must adhere to. Subscribing to the Groundwork Organics veggie box in the Summer motivates me to make recipes that I wouldn't normally discover. "What can I make with red chard and cherry tomatoes?" "What am I going to do with fennel, red onion and mini lettuce leaves?" Cooking under the pressure of vegetables spending their precious shelf life in my refrigerator is what gets me going. Right now it's artichokes, rainbow chard, yellow and orange bell peppers and spinach. A co-worker of mine and his wife have started hosting Monday Night Football each week. The best part (besides the company, their cool pets, and the fun my daughter has with his daughter) is that each week has a theme. For chicken wing week, I made a Hoisin-5 Spice variety. For last week's bratwurst theme I made German Potato Salad. For tomorrow's nacho theme, I'm planning some sort of refried pinto bean dish. Time to research recipes!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

September Update (what happened to August?)

I had to read someone else's blog on mentioning they hadn't picked up their own mail in days to realize I hadn't either. For some reason not having my own vehicle accessible affects the flow of my life to an inappropriate degree. It's not a hardship by any means, but I just don't do the things I would freely do otherwise. Like visit a grocery store to buy a chicken so I can make chicken stock before the carrots and celery in my fridge self-compost. Today was the first day the school bus stopped right at the intersection to our cul-de-sac. And V's 2nd time riding the bus. This new bus stop makes it much more convenient for the 14 or so kids in this neighborhood. V came home from school with a story to tell me during bathtime. Her class had a substitute teacher today that attended St. Francis Catholic School (before it was a McMenamins) and one day during recess he and a friend saw a cat on the playground, took it to music class, and hid the cat in the piano. When he confessed to it, the nun gave him 2 raps on each hand with a ruler. V must have been enthralled with the story to remember the details. I figured P would enjoy that story, having attended Catholic school for 12 years, so I had her call him to share it. Currently reading: Three Cups of Tea Cooking adventures in the last three weeks: Smoked salmon stuffed anaheim peppers; Bruschetta with peppers, onions and pesto; Leek and fennel chowder with smoked salmon; Tandoori chicken bites with cucumber dip; Babaghanouj; 2 batches of popcorn (stovetop); 2 batches of yogurt; Hoisin 5-Spice chicken wings; Lentil salad with tomatoes and dill; Braised cabbage with apple; Banana maple ice cream with candied walnuts; Char-grilled beef tenderloin with 3-herb chimmichurri; and Beet Risotto.