Sunday, January 4, 2015

Friday Night Dinner Project: Dinner with the kids *UPDATED*

UPDATE:  I was finally able to make the bread from this recipe thanks to my new Le Creuset French Oven.  Read about it here.

This week's menu, Dinner with the kids, turned into a complete gong show, through no fault of the cookbook, only the cook and life circumstances.  But there are still good things to report.  Time is short at the moment, so let's dive in.

This menu is simple and plain - which are meant to be very good things.  If you have kids, you know why this is important.

Mini Gougères with Creamy Scrambled Eggs
I've never made these types of little puff pastries before.  Thank you Bonnie!!!  It is so easy and the instructions are crystal clear, right down to the part about the dough becoming goopy and then magically going back together every time you beat in an egg.  I have to say that I was not a huge fan of these (because it called for 1 tbsp of pepper, which I should have just left out because I loathe it, but I added it anyway).  It was the pepper.  Having said that I am totally pumped to make them again sans pepper because the puffs looked amazing and tasted otherwise great (my husband and son had no problem eating them, and the texture was spot on).  I made two different fillings, the scrambled eggs as well as caramelized onions and combozola cheese I had leftover from the Standing Up Dinner.  It would be great to serve these at a party with goat cheese or smoked salmon as Bonnie suggests in the recipe's intro notes.
Butter and water in pot

The dough begins

Apart, together, egg, apart, together, egg, apart, you get the idea

Dough balls

Mini Gougère with Creamy Scrambled Egg
Chicken Skewers Glazed with Pomegranate Molasses
This was the other appetizer option, in lieu of the gougères, but I made both.  This is a simple, straightforward chicken recipe.  I did not put it on skewers but used it as an entree instead.  Bonnie recommends serving it with rice, but we had some naan bread we needed to use up so I served it with grilled naan bread, za'atar and hummus.

SIDEBAR: Do you see my yummy looking drink?  Did you know that you can buy pineapple juice at Costco in jugs?  I certainly did not until a few days ago when I was doing a big shop and found it.  Try this: pour some pineapple juice and orange juice over 3-4 ice cubes.  Add soda water.  Just simple and refreshing.  The ratio is about 50% pineapple juice, 30% orange juice, 20% soda water.  Anyhoo...

Breaded Chicken Cutlets
This is where things really started to go hairy.  My husband got the flu, I am trying to get organized for work tomorrow.  The kitchen is a mess.  For various reasons I couldn't fry them on the stove, could not cook them in the oven (we'll get to that in a minute), so I had to grill them in my griddler.  Not quite the same.  Also could not make the side dishes (getting to that too).  But here they are in their unsliced glory, just waiting to be served up with my favourite dipping sauce: honey.
This is not the recipe that appears in the book, but it's very similar.

Roasted Asparagus, Roasted Root Vegetable "Fries"
Well these recipes are very straightforward and simple.  I could not make them.  Asparagus is hard to come by in the dead of winter.  As for the roasted vegetables, I started to make them.  The oven was on, the vegetables were being peeled, when a horrible smell and smoke started wafting through our kitchen.  At this point I realized something my husband cooked last night had spilled over in the oven and no further cooking can be done until the oven is thoroughly cleaned.  No time to do that before bedtime today Roasted Root Vegetable Fries for me.

No Knead Artisanal Bread
Well, even if our oven was good to go this bread could not have been made.  It requires a medium sized heavy cast iron pot with lid.  I do not have one.  Add it to my wish list.  I MADE IT, I made it!  Read about it here!

Cherry Berry Lattice Pie
Back to the good stuff!  This pie is great.  I used raspberries (about 5 cups) and blueberries (1 cup) because cherries are not available right now where we live.  Also, I did not put in the recommended 8 cups of fruit because I do not have a deep dish pie plate.  It was still good.  This pie is slightly tart as it only requires 1/2 cup of sugar.

I had my first piece for breakfast this morning at 5am.  I convinced myself it was a healthy breakfast because..fruit.

Aunt Reba's Oatmeal Cookies
These cookies are great.  I make them often and included the recipe in the Santa SixPack I made my sister in law for Christmas.
You must drink them with a cold glass of milk.

That's a wrap for this week.

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