Weekend Cooking at Beth Fish Reads

19389-wkendcooking  This is a meme hosted by Beth Fish Reads found here.  This weekend I’ve actually done quite a bit of cooking and cooking activities so….here we go.

Saturday I finally used the beignet mix I brought back from Cafe Du Monde along with a can of their chicory seasoned coffee.  I LOVED both and had them everyday when I was in New Orleans.  The mix worked perfectly and in very little time we had a heaping platter of beignets coated in powdered sugar and lovely cups of cafe au lait..breakfast of champions or perhaps not.

Today I made (with some of my own additions) Delia Smith’s shepherd’s pie.  Recipe to be found here: http://www.deliaonline.com/recipes/main-ingredient/lamb/shepherds-pie-with-cheese-crusted-leeks.html    Where Delia used lamb, I used ground beef and pork.  Where Delia used lamb stock, I used a combination of beef stock, red wine and the liquid from soaking a few dried shiitake mushrooms that I added.  I also added a splash of Worcestershire sauce and some baby peas before I spread the potato topping.  Very delish and one of my daughter’s favorites.  I tend to use recipes as a jumping off point quite often.

My daughter had a potluck work function and volunteered to bring pie…then someone said they had to be gluten free.  We tried our hand at gluten free baking and it seemed pretty successful.  She bought gluten free pie crusts from Whole Foods for the Pecan Pie and the Brown Sugar Pumpkin Pie (Martha Stewart’s recipe) and then I helped her make her own for  Sky-high apple and cranberry pie found here: http://www.marthastewart.com/857649/sky-high-apple-cranberry-pie

The final food related part of my weekend was attending a cooking demonstration at Williams Sonoma.  They offer them Sunday’s at 11:00 and they are usually fun and full of interesting information & hints.  Today’s was “Hands Free Cooking”, basically using Slow Cookers and Pressure Cookers.  Came away with a really tasty recipe:  Beef with fennel and sun dried tomatoes. Thinking about trying it next weekend. When I scan in the recipe, I’ll post it here.

Anyway that was the extent of my food – related weekend activities (unless you count drinking countless pots of Williamson Traditional Afternoon tea with Walker’s shortbread)

What good things did you eat this weekend?

 

This is a meme hosted by Midnight Book Girl found here.

This morning I only had a little time to read and I spent it with

 

A really interesting, so far anyway, book I am reading for my book club.  I read a little in this after giving up on:

 

I had this series on my TBR page forever and picked up the first book and a couple more from my local used bookshop, but I just couldn’t get into it.  Not exactly sure why, just I couldn’t immerse myself in it and ended up shelving it in my very small “did not finish” pile.  I may try it again later.  It is a very popular series, so maybe I just wasn’t in the right frame of mind for it.

So, what are you reading this morning?

 

 

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

 

“Uncommonly pretty frock, that,” said Hugh entering….Hugh would never dream that I had done any more than put on a frock in the time he had spent bathing and shaving, and I mused, not for the first time, that if men believed a frock could do what had happened to me from the neck up in the last half hour, their world must seem a magical place indeed.

from After the Armistice Ball by Catriona McPherson

Weekend Cooking

19389-wkendcookingThis is a meme hosted by BethFishReads to be found here.   I don’t regularly participate but often look at the posts that do.

This weekend is my oldest daughter’s last weekend at home before going back to college and so we are having some of her favorites.

– Ham glazed in ginger jam with some Coleman’s mustard powder mixed in and then  cooked on the grill in ginger ale.

– Mashed potatoes with country gravy

– Saveur cookbooks Green Bean casserole – I know, I know – green bean casserole.  However Saveur’s is made with all fresh ingredients (no cream of mystery ingredient soup surprise) and it is actually very good.  Both of my kids love it.   The recipe can be found on Saveur’s site here.

– Buttermilk biscuits  for mopping up gravy

– Couple bottles Jersey White wine to wash it all down

So, what is everyone else having for dinner?

 

Top Ten Tuesday

This meme is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish to be found here.  The theme for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday is:

top ten words/topics that make me not pick up a book

 

 

  1. World War II – Spending a childhood attending Department of Defense Schools in Heidelberg Germany complete with field trips to former concentration camps did this in for me.
  2. Christian – I don’t read to be preached at by someone I don’t know.
  3. YA – Just has no appeal to me (often tends to be bad romance in disguise)
  4. Infertility – depressing
  5. Suicidal – depressing
  6. Cancer – depressing (see a theme yet)
  7. Cassandra Clare – see Books of Amber for explanation
  8. Historical – usually just does not appeal although I will read non-fiction and memoirs.
  9.  forgiveness of infidelity – the books where the ex wife ends up best friends forever with her ex and his new wife that he cheated on her with and everything is soooo much better this way and rainbows and flowers and sunshine just shine down on all of us because we forgive each other….

ok…I’ve recovered from puking quietly in the corner

10. Urban fantasy – while I love epic fantasy like Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones, urban fantasy does nothing for me.  (often just tends to be romance in disguise)

Thursday 13

This is a new-to-me meme, I have read about it in other blogs but this is my first time participating.  It is currently hosted here.  Basically just pick a theme and 13 things to go with it.

Mine is books to read next:

IMG_20130718_193752.726

In no particular order, I have:
Steamed to Death – Peg Cochran
Killer in Crinolines – Duffy Brown
Laced with Poison – Meg London
Arsenic and Old Cake – Jacklyn Brady
Death of a Greedy Woman – MC Beaton
South of the Border, West of the Sun – Murakami
Practically Perfect – Katie Fforde
In the Woods – Tana French
Death of a Perfect Wife – MC Beaton
Silence of the Grave – Arnaldur Indridason
Birdman – Mo Hayder
The Chessmen – Peter May
Awakening – SJ Bolton

Some of these I own and some are from the library.  I’ll probably hit library books first.  I’ve read most of MC Beaton but I read them out of order and I think I missed these couple.  What is your Thursday 13?

Weekend Cooking II: We Love Madeleines

This is an addendum post for the Weekend Cooking meme hosted by BethFishReads who can be found here.  Today I actually tried three of the recipes from the lovely little cookbook, We Love Madeleines.  I made the:

  • Fontina and Smoked Paprika
  • Basic
  • Cherry-Cornmeal

The Fontina & Smoked Paprika was my first savory madeleine ever and I really liked it.  The “cookie” had an intensely rich cheese flavor.  We had a bean soup tonight for dinner and they went with that really well, but I could also see serving them with chili.  The texture was soft and light…like little cheesy pillows 🙂  The recipe made 24, so you would need 2 regular sized madeleine pans – or you could just wash and re-butter between batches.

The Basic recipe produced a small batch (12) of a very good standard madeleine.  I appreciate the small batch because I have little self control when it comes to cookies.

The Cherry-Cornmeal was my daughter’s favorite.  I thought the cornmeal would overwhelm such a delicate cookie but it was a just-right balance between flour and cornmeal.  The chopped dried cherries combined with a glaze of citrus made a very tasty cookie (I don’t care for orange so I made mine lemon & lime instead).  This recipe also made 24 regular sized madeleines.

Overall, a well written cookbook with successful recipes in it (so far).  I liked the organization of the book overall and of the recipes on the pages.  The pictures were bright and I always prefer cookbooks to have pictures as they inspire me.  In the front of the book is a section which is  basically the dos and don’ts of madeleines.   Helpful information in general, whether you have made them before or not.

If you like madeleines or have madeleine pans pining away in a cupboard somewhere, this is definitely a book to consider.

Weekend Cooking: We Love Madeleines

Weekend Cooking is a meme hosted by BethFishReads found here.

My entry relates to madeleines.  I have a set of madeleine trays that I have not used in at least a year, even though I do like them, I just don’t ever think about making them.  I was in the library this week and on the new acquisition shelf sat this book:

I picked it up and it has an amazing variety of madeleines, both savory and sweet.  The plan this weekend is to do some test batches of a few of the recipes, seems like a fun thing for a rainy weekend.

The varieties include:

  • the traditional basic
  • gluten-free basic
  • chocolate olive oil
  • chocolate and ginger
  • bacon and chocolate
  • pistachio and cardomom
  • lemon poppy seed
  • chorizo
  • smoked paprika and fontina
  • and lots more

I’ll post again when we have a few done to let you know how it went!

 

Teaser Tuesday

 

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teaser:

“I started to run.  A dark figure stepped into the path in front of me.”

from:  Awakening by S.J. Bolton

What about yours?

Teaser Tuesday

 

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

I read across genres and today I happen to be reading non-fiction:

 

My teaser sentences:

The MIT researchers in chapter 1 discovered a simple neurological loop at the core of every habit, a loop that consists of three parts:  a cue, a routine, and a reward.  To understand your own habits, you need to identify the components of your loops.

What is your teaser?