Thursday, December 16, 2010

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Getting artsy

I don't do a lot of creative cooking these days... with a two-year-old, a part-time job, baby due Feb 3 and various other projects to keep me busy, it seems I've lost a lot of my foodiness lately :-(. Joe now works at the local high school and keeps slightly odd hours. But occasionally I fight my laziness and make something interesting--or at least interesting to look at.

This one was trying to take a page from the Tre Kronor book (where I ate the most delicious fish ever back in September.) I mashed sweet potato with butter, orange juice and apples. I stacked some baked whiting on top of that, then spinach and a tomato relish. The whole thing is bordered with some flour-dusted, pan-fried zuchinni. Yum.

Thanksgiving - November 2010

This Thanksgiving, we spent our holiday meal with some friends from church, Kristie and Cory Houston. They were gracious enough to open their home to (and feed) a rag-tag group of folks without local family. It was a treat eating their smoked turkey, wild boar, OYSTER STUFFING, and more traditional fixins at their home out in Christian County. Cory is in the Army and is being relocated to Washington in a very short while. We're blessed to have gotten to know them before they move.

I made mango cobbler, stuffed pumpkins and a garlicky salad.

Jack and Cris' wedding (food)

My brother-in-law and his new wife, Cristiana, got married the weekend before Thanksgiving at the Sweetbriar golf club in Avon Lake, OH. The food at the reception was exceptional. I wish I had a photo of Joe's Apple Pork Tenderloin entree. I've never sampled such tender meat before. Stephen also liked his kid's meal: apple sauce, french fries and a real breaded chicken breast. Usually, I can't get him to eat meat, but he ate quite a bit.
I was one of only two guests to order the "vegetarian" option at the reception. It was excellent! A big, flaky phyllo-wrapped packet with roasted tomato, portabella and pencil asparagus. Served over rice pilaf and sauteed veggies.

Squash tradition goes on

Continuing the weird squash tradition Joe and I began a couple years back with the purchase of the Cushaw, We got a great big, blue hubbard squash this year. It has orange flesh and grayish blue skin and quite a bit of flesh inside. I made pancakes and a bunch of other things out of it. Stephen really liked the pancakes. Above is a picture of Evan Couchman inspecting the alien-looking vegetable.

Basmati is now Bombay

On the way home from Chicago (where we celebrated my dad's 60th birthday at the most awesome Swedish restaurant ever-- see previous post), we stopped in Champaign to eat lunch buffet at our favorite Indian restaurant, Basmati... only to find that it had been sold to Bombay, our second favorite Champaign Indian restaurant :-) The food was still yummy and the service was a cut above. One of the waiters took a liking to Stephen and gave him his own Mango Lassi (yogurt drink). Stephen loved the naan. I liked it all.

This restaurant is at the corner of I want to say First and White streets in Champaign on the outskirts of campus.

Chicago food - September 2010

The best fish I've ever eaten... Trout at Tre Kronor, a Swedish restaurant in Chicago. It was butterflied and served with sauteed spinach and a chunky tomato sauce, most likely drenched in butter and lemon :-) The creamy white mound is potato gratin.

Our first garden

 Joe built me a raised bed in the backyard of our new home last spring. This post is about 6 months late... but here's a summary of what we grew and ate from our own backyard through one of the driest growing seasons Hopkinsville ever had... My herbs: dill, Thai basil, globe basil and red basil, cilantro.

Eggplant-- I grew purple, white, and green varieties.

Cucumbers transplanted from the McQueens' garden.

"Pineapple Tomatoes" -- an heirloom variety that I got from an Amish seller at the Hopkinsville Farmers Market. Delicious flavor, but small with tough skin.

My personal triumph, even if they look weird: Sweet Potatoes! I dug these up in late October, not sure what I might find. We ate some of them roasted and added the rest to a big pot of chili. Pretty good, but a lot of work. Early in the season I ate some of the leaves in soup. In Taiwan, sweet potato leaves are a common "qing tsai".