Saturday, April 23, 2011

Recipe #92 & #93: royal dinner

(2 recipes to go.)
Fancy that! For an evening of royal wedding highlights on the horizon (Prince William marrying Kate on TV), we selected the cookbook's Duck L'Orange to dine on. Using ducks Travis got while hunting with Marcus a few months ago. The entertainment was a delight, but the meal? Not so much. Good thing we accompanied this with shrimp languini, as we had a feeling we wouldn't care for the duck. One thing we've learned from the Chico Cookbook; we don't like most citrusy things. On the hunt for more duck recipes, but for now we just like it fried in grease to get rid of that gamey taste.
~Rating of Duck L'Orange: 1 star (out of 10)
~Rating of Duck Stock: 3 stars (out of 10)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Recipe #91: a-m-b-i-t-i-o-n

(3 recipes to go.)
"Tumble outa bed and stumble to the kitchen, pour myself a cup of ambition"- you know how that Dolly Parton song goes! Except instead of coffee, I started out with some orange/carrot juice (Brainfood for our growing baby!). And it indeed jump-started my morning. I got so much done during this bachelorette week (Travis is gone fishing in Devils Lake with Marcus).
We're in full spring-cleaning mode at our house, as we're getting ready for an upcoming garage sale. I sorted through boxes & closets, organized the cupboards, and spent a lot of time visiting at the hospital. Also managed to find creative time by cranking up some music to help me finish off a wedding scrapbook page, plus another dye project like in Recipes #47 & #31. I don't really know where all this energy came from... But it sure felt good to get so much accomplished! My Sunday evening wound down with Chico's french onion soup, sharing a milkshake with my dad, and watching Amazing Race.
~Rating of french onion soup: 5 stars (out of 10)
~Quote of the day: "A baby is sunshine and moonbeams and more brightening your world as never before." -Author unknown
~Music while cooking: none

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Recipe #90: Bun in the oven!!!

(4 recipes to go.)
Yup. We're ecstatic, exhilarated, & excited to announce we're EXPECTING A BABY!! (Insert happy happy joy joy dance here!)
With the "bun in the oven" on my mind, I was feeling rather 1950's housewifey while baking bread in the breadmaker this slightly rainy, overcast, spring-like morning. Chico's veal stock on the stove made our house smell quite appetizing! (I was also babysitting lil Trysten, and couldn't help but wonder if the scent influenced his dreams while napping?) The recipe's directions kinda made me chuckle as adding carrots, onions, bones, etc. completely reminded me of ingredients used in the ol' folk tale Stone Soup!
I wasn't able to find the recipe's veal bone ingredient, but The Meat Palace's butcher gave me ribeye bones as a substitute and I added veal for extra flavoring. However, between Travis teaching me cribbage, a lot of unexpectedness throughout the weekend, & the brilliant Elton John concert, the stock was kept in the fridge with the intention of using it a couple days later. Using the Lamb Soup recipe I listed in Lovin' The Lamb as a guide, we INTENDED to make a Veal Soup. However, we didn't have dinner at home until about a week later, so the stock unfortunately never got used.....
The magnificent Elton concert, though, was INCREDIBLE! A few of my favorite songs (Bennie & The Jets, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, & Tiny Dancer) sounded crisp & clear in the newly constructed Metra. (Just 10 months after the tornado they unveiled their new sound system, plus more bathrooms & bigger concessions!) How fun to take my own little "tiny dancer" with me. Although I can't feel any movement in my belly quite yet, I'm sure he/she was dancing up a storm!
~Rating of veal stock: 6 stars (out of 10). Travis found it to be very bland.
~Quote of the day: "Let the rain kiss you. Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops. Let the rain sing you a lullaby." -Langston Hughes
~Music while cooking: none

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Recipe #89: seafood dinner kicks off the work-week

(5 recipes to go.)
This was one of those busy days where Travis & I don't actually see each other with our overlapping schedules. We ate this dish separately, but both enjoyed it! Sole en croute, or Halibut en croute rather, was delicious and pretty easy to make (the recipe said any white fish could be substituted, and since I had halibut in the freezer, that's what I opted to use). The most time-consuming part was the artistic flair of decorating the puff pastry to look like an actual fish. Accompanied with crab cakes & steamed asparagus, this meal was one of the highlights of my Monday. -Along with the beautiful scrapbook page I made in class, of course...
~Rating of Halibut En Croute: 6 stars (out of 10)
~Quote of the day: "Tend to your relationships like a gardener, you must occasionally pull out the weeds before they take over." -Anonymous
~Music while cooking: none

Monday, April 4, 2011

Recipe #88: bountiful

(6 recipes to go.)

My girlfriends & I began participating in the Bountiful Baskets Food Co-Op . And here's what we got in this week's baskets (see photo): 7 oranges, 3 mangoes, 3 apples, 3 green peppers, 3 zuccini, 8 bananas, 1 watermelon, romaine lettuce, green beans, package of strawberries, 2 bundles of asparagus, and 4 tomatoes. I compared this loot with how much it would have cost at Walmart, and am very pleased to say a whopping $21.27 was saved! Pretty good deal.

Extremely excited to create something with all this good-lookin' produce, I made a scrumptious beef/veggie stir-fry with the green peppers, zuccini, green beans, & asparagus. And made Chico's salad with the romaine lettuce & oranges.

Stir-fry = yummy. Salad = ick. Although we did like the crumbled blue cheese mixed in with the lettuce, we didn't care for the tangy dressing. Bountiful Baskets gets two thumbs up, but the Chico salad is definately two thumbs down.

~Rating of salad: 2 stars (out of 10)

~Quote of the day: "Indulge... time spent in the garden is awakening to the senses." -Jeanine Duran, Chico Hot Spring's gardener

~Music while cooking: Elton John's Greatest Hits Volume II