.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Saturday, May 24, 2003

The cat is home, and not in a box

and I am making some chicken broth for her out of the chicken backs I've been saving. Well, I was going to do that anyway this weekend, but the invalid gets first shot. I bought some salmon for me, although I'm eating most of it, and some salad shrimp for her (it was on special) at Andronico's fish counter this morning while I was shopping. She hasn't had much of an appetite so I want to give her super tasty things.

Last night things were so much better on the cat front that I started moving away from my junk food diet of late and roasted the chicken I bought Wednesday. And ate the strawberries. Mmmm. More cooking this weekend, keeping an eye open for the recovering cat.

Summer is on its way ... had my first corn on the cob last night, thanks to Elaine. Passed along the tip of bringing water to the
boil and then taking it off heat and covering it. She also didn't know that corn on the cob microwaves well in cling wrap.

(I was Miss Cooking Tips this week. Subs for actual cooking I guess.)

Wednesday, May 21, 2003

Yesterday was a very bad day indeed

At least the first part. My cat got worse and I thought I was going to lose her. I got very good news around 4.15 though - the surgery was considered successful. Tonight I *really* need to go to the Berkeley Bowl since I have run out of milk as well as some other things. Finished the last of the enchiladas last night and will get the last of the steak tonight as tacos.

Had considered stocking up on butter cookies to soothe my weary body but I just didn't want to go anywhere after all the running around. I was wiped. I had used the last of the grapefruit and oranges to squeeze two glasses of juice and had one yesterday to keep the vitamin count up. Thank God my system work took FAR less time than anticipated and I got home before dark (so I could sleep like a log - at least after I adjusted for the fact the cat wasn't around).

Roast chicken sounds like a good thing ... even if she pulls through (as seems likely) I will need some soothing ... I'll ask the vets what she can eat since I usually give her the liver.

Monday, May 19, 2003

Checking in

I made some more enchiladas. It's fun to do variations! I've done jack-spinach-mushroom-asparagus with green sauce and
black bean-jack-cheddar-tomato-onion-peppers (again with green sauce since I didn't want to open the can for making only two). Still eating off the fridge.

Should go shopping tonight but I'm staying home since my dear sweet Maya-cat came up very sick today and she is at the vet's overnight. I should probably go into the kitchen and chop something to de-stress. Maybe some Middle eastern salad for my dinner at work tomorrow night?

Friday, May 09, 2003


Not because I'm eating potatoes. After the big flurry of activity this weekend, I have spent most of the week Not Doing Jack Shit in the kitchen (except for unpacking my kitchenetc.com order - I now have bubble wrap to last me for a while) and eating what's in the fridge. Haven't housecleaned, either.

Since I *had* been talking salmon with a couple of people (thanks to a yummy dinner one pal had and reported), I wanted to be sure that this story was in the blog. A friend and I have a running joke about "pink salmon" and the whole idea of color swatches cracks me up. Although thinking of it I'm mildly annoyed that I'm not going to be in Seattle during Copper River season. They fly it down here but $25/lb is pretty steep!

I did make some blueberry muffins last night. Might still get organized enough to make the Middle Eastern chopped salad this am. Definitely going to the Bowl this evening since the stuff in the fridge is starting to run out and the weekend is a better time for production cooking. I'm even getting mildly bored with asparagus enchiladas :-).

Sunday, May 04, 2003


Glad I didn't go big-food-shopping on Friday. I don' t think I'll go big-shopping tomorrow. I've got gobs of food made up in the fridge and not much room in it. I didn't even make up some more hummus and middle eastern chopped salad to use the tomatoes and cucumbers (maybe tomorrow). I can eat almost through to next Friday, especially if I get bold and make my own salsa. Although I can't eat pasta, I noticed the bag of parmesan growing blue spots and pitched it out :-/.

Before I went off to church this morning, I cooked up the (soaked) black beans with chipotles. Later, I made minestrone, which took longer than usual since I used dried (and soaked) cannellini beans. I baked the remainder of the cooky batter (and only ate about four - hee). And I made asparagus enchiladas, a la Christopher's Nothing Fancy Cafe.

I'd been trying to get nicely-chipotle-flavored beans in the manner of another local cafe (the Homemade Cafe, walking distance from the house) which has had increasingly less of my patronage as I have had the time and energy to figure out how to make the stuff I like there. (Although their home fries still rock the house.) This time I think I succeeded: three dried chipotles for about half a pound of beans, remove afterwards. I also think I remembered to salt them enough.

The minestrone (minus pasta, I eat enough starch as it is) has mushrooms, fresh basil, and green beans (frozen at this time of year). Those make it very tasty.

The enchiladas. They are asparagus and jack, contained in corn tortillas, covered in salsa verde. Sounds weird but works amazingly well. The most recent issue of Cook's Illustrated had a feature on chicken enchiladas. I borrowed the technique for making the tortillas Just Right. Traditional practice is to fry the tortillas then coat them in some sort of chile sauce. Messy. CI says to spray the tortillas with oil and put them in a 350 oven on a baking sheet for 4 minutes. It worked perfectly (even with me rubbing the things with oil - must locate sprayer and load). Most of the effort on the CI recipe was making the red sauce. I bought green taco sauce from the store.

So the plan was:

chop the asparagus small and saute briefly with onion (I think the onion part can be eliminated)
grate a lot of Jack
fix the tortillas in the oven a la CI
turn up oven to 400
pour green sauce in the bottom of my lasagna pan to coat
put some veggie and cheese in each tortilla and roll carefully
put them in dish (seam side down)
drizzle more green sauce over and use back of spoon to distribute
cover with jack
cover dish with foil and bake about 25 minutes

Muy sabrosa!

Serve with black beans and Spanish rice. I didn't make the rice, my fridge was full enough.

Christopher's makes these with spinach when asparagus gets expensive. "Cook and drain the spinach first" would be my big advice with these.

I had a beer with my enchilada dinner. Felt good. I think I'll crash and burn now.

Those lemon cookies

... were incredible, even without the tea. I made them up (almost forgot to fold the zest in! and I was annoyed that I had to zest about five lemons for the amount! good thing I went into cleanup mode almost instantly and saw the measure with the zest in it right after I put the dough in to chill) and baked 10 (all my sheet will hold - they spread) before I got tired and decided it was really time for me to saute up some peppers and onions so I could have tacos for dinner. I ate every last one of them last night - a couple when they came out for Quality Control, and the rest after dinner while I was spudding out with a book. They weren't tiny cookies, either. This is a lot for me to be eating. Although stacked together they were probably about the size of a large piece of cake.

I soaked some cannellini beans for minestrone (it will use up some veggie bin stuff that needs to be used) and hope to make it up today, as well as finally doing the asparagus enchiladas (the asparagus needs to be used up too). As well as baking the rest of the cookies. Which I hope to not inhale this time. Damn they were good.

Found a second box of cornstarch when I was organizing some of the pantry shelves yesterday - might attempt pudding-from-scratch with it. Hmm, "Luscious Lemon Desserts" has a lemon pudding recipe ... and it would use those lemons I denuded of their zest yesterday ... hee. Shoulda got the dozen eggs instead of the half dozen :-).

Off to the kitchen - going to try to make the minestrone and cookies, then do some Retail Madness if the weather cooperates. If it doesn't, I'll probably start on the enchiladas. Good day to keep the oven on (and find the contact for the people who supposedly fixed my heater with the home warranty, but that's not for a food blog).

Friday, May 02, 2003

Back out of entertaining mode

My little lunch party on Wednesday went well, despite some spaciness on my part. The guests chatted while I finished up the preps. I had seriously simplified due to work commitments and monster cramps on Monday so the only "pre prep" job I ended up doing on Wednesday was dipping the lemon truffles (which turned out well and looked SO COOL with the little bit of candied lemon peel on the top).

Lunch was baked salmon (marinated in rice wine) served with Chinese black bean-ginger sauce, rice (cooked with Trader Joe's fish broth), and roast asparagus. Dessert, except for the truffles I dipped that morning, came from the freezer - ginger cookies, the serious mocha cookies, and kahlua truffles. My recipe page has some of these and hopefully will have more before too long - it's due for an overhaul and since I'm NOT WORKING and NOT ON CALL this weekend I might do it.

My guests wanted tea afterwards and both wanted the same kind so I made it in the pot. I pulled down the Good Teacups on a whim Just Because and was pleased that I used them. I still have a dirty sink because I haven't had the energy to hand wash them but that's okay.

I have also been enjoying the leftover black bean sauce on stuff. Today's lunch was the last of the roast chicken, snap peas, and the sauce. Tasty. I made a big decision to not go to the Berkeley Bowl tonight, which means I won't go till Monday or Tuesday since weekends are impossible, and instead cook up stuff that's in the fridge. I still want to make asparagus enchiladas (and they will be tasty in this wet weather) and the fridge supplies will take me through at least Monday.

I also really want to make some lemon cookies from my new Luscious Lemon Desserts cookbook. Which I will have with some tea. Drinking from one of my floral mugs or one of my grandmother's teacups. Probably as I spud out with a nice trashy novel.