Weekend Cooking

wkendcookingThe is a meme hosted by BethFishReads found here.

I spent most of this weekend fighting off some stupid cold, ugh.  In between, I did manage to fit in a visit to Soonja’s, a local Korean restaurant where I had amazing Gobdol bibimbap, which is a Korean rice, veggie, and in my case chicken dish served sizzling in a stone bowl.   The high heat means that when you douse it with some soy sauce it caramelizes with the rice and is just amazing. Excellent restaurant to visit if you are ever in the Princeton, New Jersey area.  They also make amazing sushi.

I did spend a few minutes and threw together a chocolate rum cake with a recipe from Trisha Ashley found here.  It was super easy to throw together, baked beautifully but was just okay as far as rum cakes go.  I like that moist, dense effect for a rum cake and this was just more like a regular bundt cake.  It did make a nice treat with coffee for breakfast though.

Tonight, I’m just making a tray of roasted root veg and a stuffed pork loin. I cannot get enough of root vegetables this time of year.  Super easy to make, just cut them into uniform sizes, toss with olive oil, sea salt, cracked pepper and some rosemary and roast in a hot oven until done.  I just butterflied the pork loin with a mixed dried fruit stuffing and then roasted for about an hour and a half. Pretty low key, quick dinner.

The benefit of all this roasting was the house warmed up nicely:)

In other foodie type news, I am going to a demonstration tomorrow night at Williams-Sonoma for deep frying Turkey.  I don’t think it is something I would do, but it will be interesting to see.  I am picturing a result that requires fire trucks, but I hope not!

 

Sunday in Bed with… Ellery Adams Pies and Prejudice

d0728-sundaysinbedwithsmall A meme hosted by Midnight Book Girl found here.

I have had Pies and Prejudice by Ellery Adams on my cozy TBR list for quite a while.  I found a copy at my local independent book shop, Booktrader of Hamilton.

I really liked this book!  I read a lot of cozies and I will say many fall into the very light, fun read category.  This is fun and it is certainly cozy, no blood or gore here, but the writing has much more depth to it than the average cozy.  The use of metaphors and just the nature of the descriptive language goes far beyond the average cozy.  Excellent writing.  The main character, Ella Mae, is strong and independent as are the rest of her a family, a group of strong southern women.  The setting is well defined and enchanting. The mystery plot develops at a nice pace, not rushed but also it doesn’t drag.  The magical element is not overwhelming, just a touch a magic :), which is how I prefer it.

After reading this, I will definitely continue with this series and I will also read the other series by Ellery Adams, Books by the Bay.

 

Weekend Cooking

wkendcooking

 

 

This is a meme hosted by BethFishReads found here.

So far this weekend, we been celebrating some of the autumn flavors, apple, root vegetables, and cider.

For Friday night, I made  BBC Goodfood’s Slow-braised pork shoulder with parsnips and cider and smashed red-skinned potatoes.  The recipe can be found here.  I use the BBC Goodfood‘s site for many recipes and usually find success. I also occasionally pick up the magazine.

This was a perfect autumn dish, the slow braise infused the meat and veg with the apple cider flavor.  I used Angry Orchard traditional dry cider in the recipe.  I gave up doing my own food photography, this image is from BBC Goodfood’s website.

Today, I picked up some root veg: swede (rutabaga), carrots, and parsnips.  I also had half of a head of red cabbage in the fridge that needed using up.   I love all the autumn flavors.   The meal I put together from all this was:

  • Chicken roasted in the oven
  • Tossed the root veg in olive oil and salt and pepper and roasted them in the oven
  • Chopped the red cabbage, thinly sliced a red onion, peeled and sliced a couple apples I found in the fridge and then added 2 tablespoons of whole berry cranberry sauce.  Sweated the onion and apple and then added everything else to the pan, popped the lid on, and let it cook slowly.

Lovely dinner with a bottle of red, probably should have been white, but I prefer red:)

 

 

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?