Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Ten on (Wednesday): 10 favorite Sunday dinners

Ahhh... Tuesday was nutso-busy and I didn't get a chance to blog.

I'm torn here: I have great memories of the Sunday dinners my mother and both grandmothers used to cook, but now that I'm married to a vegetarian we have a completely different set of traditions-in-the-making. So maybe I'll list both...?

1) Roasted chicken with a cut-up lemon stuffed inside it. Served with salad, fresh bread and butter, and maybe some corn on the cob.
2) Beef stew: my Scottish grandmother was a pretty lousy cook, but this was one of the few things she did well. I think it was all the beer she dumped into the stew that really made it sing!
3) Sweet and sour fish: from my Chinese grandmother. I hated staring at the fish head and used to drape a lettuce leaf over it. Served with Jasmine rice, stir-fried green beans, and a noodle dish (sort of like lo mein but much, much better.)
4) Coq au vin: my mother had a French cookbook (maybe by Julia Child?) and this was a classic from it. Served over rice with peas-in-lettuce on the side.
5) Totally westernized "chicken curry": my mother made a non-spicy version of Indian chicken curry, which was served with rice and a bunch of yummy trimmings to put over it, like raisins and toasted coconut flakes.
6 and 7) Sweet and sour pork chops: my grandmother had a very traditional Chinese version (soy sauce, vinegar, scallions) and my mother had a totally westernized version (ketchup, vinegar, and brown sugar). Both were delicious!
8) Kielbasa with pan-fried potatoes and onions: there was a Polish sausage factory a couple of towns away from us so we ate a lot of great Polish food! I can't remember all the varieties of sausages, this is just an example.
9) Peking Duck: this one's made by my aunt, and it's better than any I've had in a restaurant. (I'm not sure it compensated for seeing the plucked duck hanging up in the bathroom for two days, drying.)
10) Meatloaf: my mother doesn't remember her recipe anymore, which is a loss to society because that loaf was FABULOUS! I used to beg the leftovers for my sandwich on Monday.

1) Shakshuka: so easy to make the sauce ahead of time and then just reheat and add the eggs.
2) Stuffed shells: I add a lot of silken tofu to the stuffing, to give it some protein.
3) Nordstrom's tomato soup with panini grilled cheese sandwiches
4) Vegetarian sausages with pan-fried potatoes and onions
5) Mock-chicken pot pie: exactly like chicken pot pie but with two packages of "mock chicken strips" in place of the real bird. I like a cornmeal crust.
6) Vegetarian longonisa (I'll have to write up the recipe sometime)
7) Okonomiyaki
8) Chocolate Black Bean Chili, recipe from The Moosewood Celebrates!

and... I'm out of ideas and time.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Ten on Tuesday: 10 things you love about September

I love September! Like our leader Carole, I adore autumn and nearly everything about it!

1) The sun doesn't rise quite so early anymore. (I have trouble sleeping in a bright room.)
2) The days aren't quite as hot.
3) Apple season is ramping up!
4) School starts. (Yes, I actually do love my job.)
5) The farmer's market is at its peak: tomatoes, corn, cucumbers, squash, gourds, peaches, apples...
6) The leaves begin to turn.
7) Some evenings it's actually cool enough for a fire in the fireplace.
8) It's once again appropriate to serve hot soup at dinner.
9) I don't feel weird about not wearing sandals.
10) My birthday is in September!

New recipe (so basic I'm embarrassed to count it)

In a desperate search for a quick recipe, I got suckered by that Hellman's ad where the busy mom smears Hellman's mayo and breadcrumbs over the chicken breast and serves her happy family 20 minutes later.

It actually wasn't bad, but I kept thinking about all the extra calories in the mayo and shuddering to myself.

New recipe count: 27