Sunday, June 22, 2008

A Good Day in the Kitchen

Yesterday was an excellent day in the kitchen. I made:

1) applesauce, from old soft apples that no one was going to eat (peel, core, chop and cook with a little water and a cinnamon stick until soft, mush with a potato masher).

2) spicy chicken soup. The day before I cooked a whole chicken on the grill (cut in half, marinated in olive oil, lemon juice, rosemary and black pepper) and from the carcass I made a nice, dark broth (the grilled skin had a lot to do with the color of the stock). To the stock I added the remaining chicken meat, a diced onion, some broccoli leftover from dinner the night before, a little pasta I found in the fridge, sprigs of thyme and rosemary from the garden, salt, pepper, and lots of red pepper. This soup has a kick to it. It's now sitting in the freezer.

3) blueberry cream. The recipe is from Kaffehouse by Rick Rodgers, a Christmas gift from DH. It's supposed to go inside a roulade, but I was in no mood to try to make a rolled cake, having never done it before. So I decided to make the cream (using fresh local blueberries), and serve it in

4) crepes, which turned out pretty good, but the filling is pretty rich and should probably be tempered by a larger piece of cake, rather than a thin crepe. Still good, though, and I have resolved to one day make a roulade. Should start by making sure I have the right pan on hand. Oh, and crepes are a wonderful invention. In the past I've kept some in the freezer and they definitely come in handy. They are great to have around when I've made a batch of paprika gravy (from the Frugal Gourmet's Our Immigrant Ancestors). There's always a lot, and chicken paprika crepes is a good way to use some up.

And then for dinner we had burgers on the grill, with roasted new potatoes tossed in fresh parsley.

The farmer's market has been hopping. Went twice this week. Took my mother on Thursday so she could get bread and lunch meat from the Polish deli for her road trip (they left on Friday morning). I bought strawberries (getting near the end of the season), sweet cherries (the best I've had in years. I'll never by from the grocery store again), broccoli, onions, cabbage, beets and asparagus. But that wasn't enough, no, returned on Saturday with DD for the Blueberry Festival (free blueberry cake and blueberries on sale). I bought a flat of blueberries (used a pint for the blueberry cream and froze the rest), more strawberries and cherries, carrots (for some reason, not seen too often at the market), and new potatoes. I'll have to get another flat of blueberries next week so that I can make sure the freezer is properly stocked (I eat them in oatmeal in the winter).

Tonight we're having fish, asparagus, and some kind of bread, maybe soda bread or cheese muffins. I'll have to poke around and see what kind of recipies I've got.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Thank Goodness for the Freezer

My mother and her gentleman friend have been visiting for the past few days. We took them on a two day excursion to the Finger Lakes region of New York, about a five hour drive from where we live. So we returned home today around 5:00. And instead of ordering out, which is so tempting to do when coming home from a long drive, I pulled a container of spaghetti sauce and meatballs out of the freezer and made spaghetti and meatballs. With a salad (from the garden) and a loaf of Italian bread picked up at the store, we had dinner with minimal effort, and it was great to eat real cooked food after a few days of restaurant food (which gets old fast). A stocked freezer is a good friend.