Saturday night – 03/31/2008

Here’s the menu from the March 31st Saturday night dinner.

Baked Beans
Pan seared hot dogs (meated & meatless)
Roasted beet salad

Handcrafted marshmallows with a trio of dipping sauces
– by ted_badger and miss_jenith

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Easter 2008 dinner

First family dinner minus dad. It was a tad odd not having him around. OK more than a tad though no one was really letting on about it.

The dinner menu looks remarkably like the Saturday night menu from 3/16.

Salad with strawberries
Baked ham w/pineapple mustard sauce
Mashed potatoes
Green peas

Hot cross buns (ala ted_badger)

Transformer birthday cake (for Benny’s 4th birthday courtesy of his mom)

Roasted Winter Vegetable Pot Pie

This was an accompaniment for a lamb stew type item I made last night.

I’m very luck to have a husband who enjoys making pie crust.  He made a savory crust with black pepper and fresh rosemary for this dish.

Roasted Winter Vegetable Pot Pie

Ingredients:

  • 1 Butternut squash (around 2 pounds)
  • 8 purple top turnips
  • 1 pound parsnips
  • 3 sweet potatoes (around 2 pounds)
  • 1 8 oz. bag of frozen pearl onions
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • kosher salt & cracked black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • fresh rosemary
  • dried tarragon

Directions:

  1. Cut the vegetables up in to similar sized cubes; something between 1/2″ and 1″ is probably about right.  Toss in a bowl with the frozen onions, olive oil, salt & pepper.  Back on a sheet pan and roast @ 400°F for about 20 minutes until they begin to soften.
  2. While the veg cooks make the sauce.  Melt the butter in a medium saucepan.  Add the flour and combine into a paste.  Slowly add the water & milk, whisking to combine and remove any dumps.   Add the Dijon mustard and whisk to combine.  Add rosemary, tarragon and the bay leaf.  Allow to simmer for 10 minutes or so until it thickens.  Add salt & pepper to taste.
  3. When the veg are done roasting combine the veg & sauce in a large Pyrex pan.  Place the crust on top and poke with a fork for air vents.  Bake at 350°F for ~25 minutes.  The crust should brown along the edges though it may remain pale over the surface.  Perhaps an egg wash next time.

Bob’s Chocolate Cake

My dad passed away on March 13th, two days after his 68th birthday. We gave out “prayer cards” at his wake with his picture on one side and the recipe for his favorite chocolate cake on the other. The recipe was handled down from his grandmother and has become a tradition for family birthdays.

Melt 2 squares of cooking chocolate and 3 tablespoons of margarine in a pot. Add ½ cup boiling water, 1 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Remove from heat and mix well. In a separate bowl mix ½ teaspoon of baking soda with ½ cup of sour cream. Add this to the pot, mix well, add 1 egg, beat, add 1 cup flour, beat and pour into a greased and a floured 8″ pan. Bake at 350° for 35 minutes.

Saturday night – 03/08/2008

I wanted a menu that didn’t have a last minute cooking associated with it this week. I saw the chicken recipe on an episode of Nigella Express featuring the the fabulous Nigella Lawson. For once the chicken was ready well in advance of dinner.

Buttermilk Roast Chicken
Couscous with dried cranberries and toasted pine nuts
Sauteed carrots
Fire roasted corn

Blondies (Cooks’ Illustrated – login required)
assorted Wholly Cannoli – thank you miss_jenith and ballardstpoetry