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?

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!


Weekend Cooking

My daughter has been home from Europe about a week, but it has been so hectic with other things going on that we haven’t really had a big “Welcome Back” style family dinner, so I’m thinking tomorrow will be it.  Certain foods have always meant home and family as far as I am concerned.  Tomorrow will be some of her favorites:

  • Ginger Glazed Ham (Cooked out on the grill,  kinda, sorta adaptation of one of Nigella’s early recipes. )
  • Macaroni and Cheese
  • Roasted Vegetables in Olive Oil with Sea Salt and Fresh Cracked Pepper (bought some pink sea salt to try for this)
  • Cornbread (Chef Spike’s recipe, a family favorite)
  • Chopped Salad
  • Dessert , hmmmm maybe Sticky Treacle Pudding  or Creme Fraiche with Berries drizzled with some honey

Along with the food, we have several bottles of wine and some beer so it should be a good time.