An actual Saturday posting! Wow, this hasn’t happened in, like, forever!

This is mostly about keeping up with my blogging and sitting down to actually write something. I also like to share what I’m making throughout the week. I don’t come up with my own recipes. I am the type of person who needs a guide, who wants step-by-step instructions for everything the first time I do it. Once I’ve got the method down, then I might play around with it. But if I go into the kitchen without a plan, nothing good is going to come of it.

Also, I have about two dozen Pinterest boards filled with promising recipes to try. And cookbooks. I’m pretty sure I have a cookbook addiction.

Just so you know, Sundays and Wednesdays are almost always the designated leftover nights. We have two a week. Not only does it give me a chance to take a break from cooking and do other things (like bake – Wednesday is usually my cupcake-baking day), it also gives us a chance to clean out the leftovers in the fridge. And every so often, we make things easier on ourselves by eating out. This week, for example, I’d planned to make a soup on Friday, but by the end of the day, I didn’t feel like cooking anything. So we ate at Chik-Fil-A instead. That’s the nice thing about having a meal plan, though. Anything that doesn’t get made this week gets moved to the next week. Because Monday’s a holiday, I’m not going shopping, but no problem, as it looks like Monday is going to be a soup night.

 

 

Saturday (02/02)
Pesto Portobello Pizza from Brown Eyed Baker

portobellopestopizza

Oh, my. I’ve had this pinned a while, and when I went a-roaming for pizza recipes, I kept coming back to it and gazing longingly at all that cheese. I couldn’t resist. This recipe also calls for mushrooms and pesto, which are just as irresistible. There was no way I could fight the craving. I had to have it.

This was as delicious as it promised to be. I used Havarti cheese instead of provolone because it turned out to be more economical; neither of us minded that switch. The pesto was a little on the oily side, so it made a bit of a mess, and I used a little too much of it, I think (still less than the recipe called for, but my pizza may have been smaller). As leftovers, this was terrific. We ate it for breakfast and lunch on Sunday. Definitely something I will consider making again.

 

 

Monday (02/04)
Beef and Chickpeas Cooked with Orange (from Cooking Season by Season) and Fluffy Couscous from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

beefchickpeascouscous

I really wasn’t sure how this would turn out, but it sounded good and seemed promising, and I have so much beef in the freezer, and this seemed as good as any way to use some. The orange, paired with some cinnamon, gave everything a pretty strong flavor boost without being overpowering. It went quite well with the whole wheat couscous, and it made for some pretty decent leftovers. I’d do it again, but I’d add some diced carrots to the mix, just to give it some color and an extra veggie boost.

 

 

Tuesday (02/05)
Whole Wheat German Pancake with Pears from Whole Foods

wholewheatgermanpancake

Pancake Day! I had no idea that Shrove Tuesday was also (sometimes) called Pancake Day until I went to Japan and was confounded by a lesson about holidays that mentioned this one. Honestly, I had no idea Mardi Gras was coming up, not until this recipe was posted on Facebook by Whole Foods. I couldn’t resist! This was really tasty with a drizzle of (real) maple syrup and the crunchy bacon. I love having breakfasts as dinner (because I hate cooking first thing in the morning – I pretty much hate doing anything but sleeping first thing in the morning), and this certainly fulfilled any pancake cravings I’ve had recently. It’s also convinced me that I need to cook/bake with whole wheat flour more often.

 

 

Thursday (02/07)
Valentine’s Day dinner: honey-glazed duck breasts and pommes dauphinois from Around My French Table

duckpotatoes

Yeah, I know. That’s not a duck breast. I’m not sure what happened there. I meant to buy duck breasts. I asked for duck breasts. The butcher dude at Whole Foods pointed out the duck breasts to me. They looked like duck breasts in the package. And then when I opened it up, this is what I had. I don’t know what to tell you.

Also, this is a terrible photo. I should have used a smaller plate, but we had exactly two clean dishes in the cabinet, and they were both the large size. We were ravenous and tortured by the delicious smells coming from the oven and stovetop. We needed to eat. Food styling took a backseat to hunger. So it goes.

On the plus side, everything tasted quite nice. The duck had a glaze made of balsamic vinegar, honey, and clementine juice, and that was so, so wonderful. There is no way it could not be (well, unless I burned it, which I almost did). I intend to try this with real duck breasts some time in the future.  It also paired really well with the pommes dauphinois, which is just a more awesome version of a potato gratin. I jacked mine up with a sweet potato, sauteed mushrooms, and steamed spinach, and topped it off with Gruyere cheese. This was fantastic. With a layer of some sort of meat in there, I could easily serve this as a meal. Maybe I will someday.

This meal was topped off with this week’s dessert, the glorious cœur à la crème from yesterday’s post. A very fine dinner indeed, if not a well-presented one. Oh, well.

And that’s all for this week! Happy cooking to you all!