What's Cooking

I've posted enough pleasures-in-cooking moments to say to m'self, 'Self, you need a side-note blog to your blog.'  ...I'm not in the league with my friend S, who cooks sans cookbook, kind of like a free climber taking El Capitan without ropes. I'm not in the baking league with neighbor M (we put our apple butter in the town fair this week!). But I do love love love my America's Test Kitchen Cookbook (and occasional others).

2/3 Tonight, it's ATK's white beans with garlic. gawwwd, it smells good. If only the flavor lives up to the nose. (Update: It Did!)

2/7 After a two-year swearing off, I made my second attempt at fried chicken (in a buttermilk brine). Respectable effort, but still a ways to go. Who knew that such a 'simple' dish would prove my nemesis?

Visit from the Mother Ship: She made a lovely something that the Sweet Babboo adored ~ I refuse to remember what. Together, we made for the freezer, one, a beef stew (a staple for me and the hubby) and, two, meatballs with two sauces, alfredo and marinara. Okay, so the marinara was doctored from a jar. I'm counting it.

2/16 Sent the SB to work with grilled steak and a potato salad freshened up with frozen peas.

2/17 Country style pork ribs, broiled and basted in bbq sauce for the lunch box. With chilled steamed sweet potatoes, tossed in olive oil, oregano, salt and pepper. Maybe some lemon juice? Haven't decided yet. (postscript: went with a dash of a Napa valley red wine vinegar. Nice bit of tart and flavor.)

mid-week: sour cream chicken enchiladas. sooo yum. boiled and chopped chicken breasts, onion, a can of diced chilis, chili powder, sour cream. Rolled the chicken mixture in flour tortillas. Topped with sour cream and cheddar.

2/23 sausage meatballs in pasta and alfredo. I'm not sure why it took me this long to think to do this, but I had a tube of breakfast sausage -- so uninspiring! -- and I didn't want to send the Sweet Babboo off with cold fried patties. Many free association mind wandering ideas later, and I finally connected ground sausage with ground beef and thought -- meatballs! With onion, cumin, bread crumbs and egg, you end of with a surprisingly tasty meatball that does Not remind you of breakfast!

2/24 all-american chili tonight. America's Test Kitchen again. Great book.

And STILL, my husband says my food is good, yet says, "Damn, your mom can cook!"  ... Just gives you some idea of how good a cook my mom is.

Chicken and dumplings last week. The chicken soup part was pretty standard (chicken, carrots, peas, onion, garlic, broth, flour, thyme, s&p), but the nostalgia was in the dumplings. We're a cream-puff recipe dumpling family ... flour, water and margarin, then 4 eggs, beaten silky smooth with a wooden spoon. drop big dollops into the soup and bubble for 10 minutes or so. sooooo good!

3/7 bbq pulled pork, 8-hours tender in the slow cooker with red onion, garlic and a cup of root beer. (Still working on this one. Later, I'll add chili sauce, shred the pork and let you know how it turned out. Wish me luck!)