Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Weekly roundup

We have been doing a lot of cooking. One of the many pleasurable things about the arrival of fall is that it is a lot more comfortable -- cozy, even -- to stand in front of the stove. And because the start of school and fall activities and birthdays mean, inevitably, that we need to spend a significant amount of money, the economy of home cooking doesn't hurt.

Thursday dinner:
Matt and I collaborated on a quick pasta meal. I made basil-parsley-walnut pesto and boiled the pasta, while Matt sauteed a whole bunch of eggplant, summer squash, and bell peppers. Then we tossed it all together and called it dinner. If we were feeling less tired, we would have made a salad, too.

Friday dinner:
A standby of Seitan and Greens with coconut green curry sauce. We did not have enough of any one grain, so I made a quick pilaf of millet and rice with scallion. Each dish was good on its own, but they didn't go together that well.

Friday night snack:
Lavender shortbread, cut into heart shapes. I made these to save for teatime at the birthday party (see below), but Matt and I enjoyed a few with our Friday night tea. I make my shortbread vegan, and I know there are many who would say that it isn't real shortbread without real butter or consider my occasional use of non-hydrogenated vegetable oil spread disgraceful, but I like it and I don't feel nauseous after.

On Saturday, we had a sleepover party for D. Six 12 year old girls, 2 younger siblings, and us. It went off pretty well. I was very pleased with my craft project -- I made a giant fabric dahlia and attached it to a ponytail holder for K -- but only a few of the girls finished theirs. I had convinced D to rent "Better Off Dead" for one of her movie showings. I remember watching this movie repeatedly with Anouck when we were young, but these girls are too young get the Howard Cosell references, which may be my favorite part of this weird, funny 80's teen movie.

Afternoon snack:
Watermelon from the farm and pretzels from a huge container that D won in a contest.

Burrito bar consisting of warm tortillas, rice cooked with a bit of oil and cinnamon, Rancho Gordo Santa Maria Pinquito beans, sauteed veggies with a bit of jalepeno, monterey jack cheese, and mango salsa. It was quite good, and well-received by the party-goers.

Chocolate mousse cake with cashew crust (from Millenium Cookbook recipe for Chocolate Almond Midnight, but without the almonds and raspberry sauce and some other minor variations). Scattered with fresh raspberries and served with raspberry sorbet. Vegan.

After-movie teatime:
Peppermint tea, organic (and local, from PA) apples, lavender shortbread.

Sunday breakfast:
All store-bought: bagels, regular and tofu cream cheese, orange juice. More farm watermelon.

Sunday dinner:
Matt made stew with leftover Pinquito beans, potatoes, tomatoes, and the leftover vegetables we bought for the burrito saute. Seasoned with 2 habeneros and served over rice. I thought it was delicious, but he was not thrilled.

Mad Men snack:
I made a quick vanilla cake (vegan, Peter Berley) even though I knew I shouldn't. We ate way too much.

Monday lunch:
Whole wheat elbows with greens and lemon zest, lots of pepper, and shaved pecorino. Quick and easy. K loved this. It had been a while since I made this type of preparation for her. There is never any picking at the greens in this dish, no matter what kind or how much, and we have an absolutely clean plate at the end.

Monday dinner:
Courtesy of mom.

What's left:
  • A very small watermelon, meant to be made into watermelon-feta salad. Did I mention how I tried to make this salad and went to the cheese shop and bought Bulgarian feta because one of the recipes I looked at specifically called for this. I usually buy French. The Bulgarian feta is much stinkier and affected my enjoyment of this salad. And I still have 1/2 pound left. Argh.
  • Some arugula, meant to be made into pesto and eaten with mashed potatoes.
  • Potatoes.
  • A number of hot peppers, including those poblanos, which were meant to be made into chiles rellenos.
  • Varied and sundry fresh herbs.
  • Quite a few beets. Please, Matt, no more of that pasta sauce. It wasn't bad, but I don't want to eat it again for ... a pretty long time.
  • A tiny amount of salad mix. No salad was prepared this week, but small amounts of lettuce were consumed nonetheless.

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