Friday, November 30, 2007

I didn't wait for the Angora

I've somehow ended up with 2 extra stitches (yet I'm missing one on Santa).

I'll deal with it.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Mystery dinner & more knitting

I am so bad about labeling things that I put in the freezer. I thought I was thawing out chicken, but it turned out to be two halibut fillets. I was also thawing out some green chile sauce I made in August. That, I could identify, so I guess we're having halibut with green chile sauce.

R had chicken for lunch, so I suppose it was meant to be.

Knitting: the market bag has been thrown aside for a while. Something has urged me to start knitting the Christmas stockings my mom has requested--despite the fact that the recipients (my husband and my sister-in-law) will not be spending Christmas with my parents this year. I think I just want to be able to prove that I can do it. It's intarsia, and I just added my third color into the mix. A problem is about to arise, however. My mom bought the yarn (she had originally shipped it to my MIL to knit, but she is not able to do it now) and did not include the angora I need for Santa's beard and hair. I stopped by my local yarn shop on my way home and they did not carry it. I bought a white, soft & fluffy baby yarn that might work, but I'm afraid my mom will whine that these two are not identical to the ones her friend's mom knitted 30+ years ago.

I could have my MIL send me some, but she's a bit preoccupied with health issues at the moment. My other option would be to just order some online, but I really don't want to wait for it.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

A Personal Chef's Thanksgiving

Ahhh. I imagine you are thinking that I would have a lovely dinner with all sorts of beautiful and delicious food, surrounded by friends and family.


R's aunt's oven died for the umpteenth time so we decided to fry the turkey instead. All the food she made last weekend was frozen solid (hello...ever thought of thawing it overnight in the fridge?) She got drunk, fell on her ass (and then told me to kiss it when I eventually offered to help her up...lovely!)

She accused me of ruining thanksgiving dinner, said a million other cruel things to me in regards to my (good) relationship with R's parents, told me no one liked me and that r and I believed we were better than the rest of the family, left me crying in the front yard, then went back in her room and passed out.

The rest of us quietly ate our dinner (when it had finally heated up in the roasters she had in the garage) cleaned everything up before she emerged from her "nap" and I high-tailed it out of there just minutes later without even looking at her.

Monday, November 19, 2007

The last shallot in town

I think I got it, or at least the last one in a store that never runs out of shallots. I found it, all out of place, with the yellow boiler onions. You can't hide from me...I need you for my green beans.

Today begins the time of year when I hate grocery shopping. Even at 8:15 in the morning it is jam packed. My poor store had been wiped out yesterday, and while most stores (Whole Foods in particular) have this problem, my store is pretty well stock with pretty un-touched by everyone in town produce on Monday morning. Well, not today.

The green bean section was EMPTY. Thank goodness the haricots verts were pretty, so I used those instead (at about $3.50 more per pound!). I made it through telling my friends (employees) how I hoped to not see them again until next Monday, but then I realized I needed food for dinner Wednesday night. Back I went (to a few "but you said..." faces, but I have what I need. I can send R to Kroger for anything else I need.

I do have to shop tomorrow, but I'll be at Whole Foods for a client. I'm sure it will be just as bad, so I should probably avoid any ingredients that might appear on a Thanksgiving menu.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Lunch for the Ladies

I helped one of my clients with a birthday party today. There were ten ladies, all comparing and complimenting each other on their surely very expensive shoes as they entered the house.

My client made the first course (tortilla soup--yes, some of my clients are actually good cooks), and I took care of the main meal, which mainly consisted of a steak salad. I am so embarrassed to admit that this was the first time I had every grilled fillet mignon, and I had 2 1/2 lbs of meat in my care. I'm not a real steak eater, and I always put R in charge of the grill!

I was so afraid that they were going to be over cooked, so I grilled them for a few minutes on each side and then finished them in the oven. They turned out perfectly, and even I thought the rare slices of meat were yummy and like butter.

On the side of the salad I served a cupcake sized-savory cheesecake. I won't give the full name on here (I don't want it coming up in the search results of the birthday girl, who asked for the recipe for her birthday) but it was from epicurious. I have made it many times in a full-sized spring-form pan, but this was the first time I'd attempted smaller versions. The silicon baking cups I used were key. They came right out and the crust stayed intact. I was really concerned about that.

I could shoot myself for not having my camera, but I did take a blurry picture with my phone:

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Beaujolais Nouveau 2007

We just got home a little while ago from a Beaujolais Nouveau wine tasting. On the third Thursday of November this fresh from the vineyards stuff becomes available. We enjoyed a nouveau and a Villages, with an assortment of cheeses and soggy profiteroles with crab & mushrooms.

This is the third wine tasting we have attended with this club, and for once we were seated with people our age. They actually spotted us and said "You are our age! Sit at our table!" It was quite amusing. I spent much of the evening discussing my ideal kitchen.

Now I'm home, all by myself. R is off to watch a basketball game with friends at some bar not to far from here. I'm trying to figure out how many pounds of beef fillet I need for steak salad for 10.

Steak salads just do not appeal to me, but then I am not a steak fan--even fillet. It does not help that I feel the three+ glasses of wine I had this evening. I may actually be better off going to bed and getting up early.

note: a google search for "my cat eats her toes" does not come up with anything. Why is this?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Curry Night

Wednesday night is Curry Night at the pub where R and I met. We had planned to meet friends there this evening, but they backed out today so I decided I'd make Chicken Tikka Masala at home.

I tried to make it a little healthier--the recipe called for a half cup of butter and a cup of whole cream. There was no way I was feeding my high-cholesterol hubby that, and I only had half & half on hand (gotta have that for one particular brand of coffee), so I only used a few tablespoons of butter. I started marinating the chicken thighs around 5:00 and we ate at 7:20, but there wasn't a ton of work involved; just lots of measuring spices!

We ate it with brown rice and ginger-roasted brussels sprouts. It was very good. I took a picture, but it really doesn't photography well so I didn't bother uploading it. The recipe came from Easy Indian Cooking by Suneeta Vaswani.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

A day of recipe testing

I'm supposed to test 10 recipes by Thanksgiving if I want to be credited in this cookbook. I really need to get to work. So far I have done two, and am doing one more this evening. I will have to test at least one recipe per day, and more on the weekend from here on out.

This morning's recipe was an oatmeal recipe. Tonight was a quick pasta dinner. It's vegetarian, but R accepted my offer to add chicken to it. I baked some and tossed it in after it was finished. It was good, but I have some suggested changes.

We did go iPod shopping on Friday. All was well and good until my computer freaked out and I ended up restoring the system back to 2003. Ugh. Luckily I did not lose too much of any consequence. I really thought it was going to reformat, but ended up being very lucky. I also had to email a guy I broke up with to get my OfficeXP CD back. He did find it, and is putting it in the mail tomorrow.

Thursday, November 8, 2007


My client wanted a chicken paella today. I make a paella (see the picture at the top of the page), but it's seafood. I had to go in search of one that was just chicken. Now I'm wishing I'd just converted that one. This one ended up so mushy, and I think it was all the tomatoes. Give me jambalaya over paella any day, but leave out the tomatoes. I've never liked tomatoes in my jambalaya, and now I realize that it must be the mushiness that the extra tomato liquid gives it.

I didn't think I was going to have to cook dinner for us tonight. R was supposed to meet a friend out for drinks, and as I wasn't up for wing food I told him I'd stay home. Well, it turns out the friend had to cancel, so at 3:30 he told me he'd be home for dinner. I took the leftover boneless skinless chicken thighs I'd bought today and decided to make chicken & sausage jambalaya.

The recipe called for regular rice, but I decided to use brown rice instead. It did end up a little wetter than I'd hoped, but next time I'll just cut back on the amount of water I add. I was trying to make up for the difference in rice, but it turns out I could have cut back by at least a cup. It still turned out yummy, and tasted much better than that boring paella. But, I cook what my clients want, and that's what they wanted...

No pictures tonight. My camera battery was dead when I tried to take one.

We're both off tomorrow. I think we're going iPod shopping!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

A weekend away

We drove to my parents' house for the weekend, mainly to attend a party Saturday night. R called in sick on Friday, but was able to travel, and had completely recovered by Saturday morning. He was still a little iffy Friday night, but we are now pretty certain it was food poisoning. Thankfully I never go sick.

Some of the things I ate this weekend:

Apple Tart with Almond Frangipane and vanilla ice cream. Dad decided to make upon seeing it on Emeril Friday night.

Locally-grown Citrus

Blue Cheese & Caramelized Onion Dip (From this month's Bon Appetit--I think; we went through a lot of magazines.)

Brunch today: Nouvelle Eggs Nouvelle Orleans (Poached eggs with lump crabmeat and a bechamel sauce; we added green onions to the crab meat and Gruyere to the bechamel)

Dinner tonight? Pizza, back at home.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Spaghetti for one

I had leftover meatballs and spaghetti for dinner tonight. I made a huge vat for my client (he requests it every month, along with the same menu each time. It makes for very easy planning) and I took home 3 meatballs and a little sauce for myself. R is at some scientific talk this evening. I'm home with the kids watching last night's Colbert Report.

Tomorrow we head to my parents' for the weekend and to attend a party Saturday night. For the past two years the weather for this party has always ended up unseasonably warm and humid enough to make my hair quadruple in size.

News update: R just walked in the door, a little earlier than I'd expected. He thinks he has food poisoning from lunch. Poor guy vomited at the talk (in the bathroom...not during the lecture!) I hope this is not a bug, because I have to be in the car with him for 5 hours tomorrow. Although I suppose if he really is feeling crappy we may not go.

I guess I should go play nurse and see if he needs anything.