Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Further adventures of the domestic goddess...

Update on the gnocchi: weird and sort of gross. I am not a huge fan. Making it was fun though! Now, most gnocchi is made using potatoes but I chose a ricotta gnocchi which is apparently a popular variation and I happen to love ricotta. So you make it using ricotta, eggs, and parmesean. This particular recipe was for a spinach infused variety and since I happen to have pureed spinach in my freezer I went for it. But just in case spinach-ricotta gnocchi was disgusting I divided the batch into three: the largest portion to be made with spinach puree, the middle portion plain, and the smallest portion to be made with beet puree (which is gross in pancakes but has a gorgeous color nonetheless). Then you add enough flour for the gooey crap to be workable as dough (but no more or the gnocchi will be dense and yucky) and shape the result into little football shapes that get boiled and sauced. Labor intensive but fun. And the result...well, Andrew liked the beet gnocchi best, surprisingly enough. And I am sort of on the fence. We both think they need some more textural interest. Like meat. Or SOMEthing. But I have a feeling the leftovers in our fridge will go bad before we can bring ourselves to pull them back out.

Now my more recent cooking adventures have been better. Last night, in spite of the heat, I made chicken braised with onion, carrots from our garden, a turnip, and (best of all) potatoes from our garden. Now, the potato patch is not yet ready to be fully harvested, but I snuck in like a thief, slid my fingers under the dirt, and pulled out some awesome potatoes. And I felt a lot more down there (*Squeal*). It was soooo good! Tonight I made chicken marinated in lime juice and then cooked with that same lime juice, lime zest, brown sugar, cayenne pepper, and mango chunks. Not as good honestly. It burned a little bit, was extremely limey (after several hours soaking in the juice of two limes, who wouldn't be?), and the mango got all smooshy but fibrous at the same time. Not appealing. Andrew liked it but I couldn't eat it all.

Speaking of the garden, we had our first tomato! Tada! It was a big Latah tomato and quite tasty. I had it on a sandwich after eating the first ceremonial slice (with salt). And more are on the way! Hopefully I will be ROLLING in tomatoes soon.

In other domestic news about the house, we have embarked upon a monstrous cleaning adventure. Over the weekend we cleaned our room AND the closet. I can proudly report that we have unearthed a lot of clothing we had forgotten about entirely, and now have a useable closet. We also have three boxes of clothing and a box of books for a garage sale some friends are having in a few weeks. Go us!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Domestic Goddess (?)

I am feeling all domestic right now. God knows why. The past three nights running I cooked dinner. Sunday night I made Northern-White Girl-Jambalaya for 7. Monday night I went adventurous and cooked Chicken Kiev - this was tricky. It involved creating an herb/lemon butter (using parsley and onions from our garden), then butterflying two breasts and pounding them flat, then putting a chunk of the herb butter on each breast and rolling them up like a burrito in the hopes that the melting butter wouldn't explode out of the chicken like a bursting dam once they got hot. Then they got dredged in flour, dipped in an egg/dijon mustard wash, and rolled in bread crumbs (during which I was praying that my pathetic chicken breast burrito-style lumps wouldn't fall apart and doom me to butterless chicken). Then they went into the oven (toaster oven since it was 400 degrees in our apartment). They definitely dripped butter for most of the time in the oven, but considering I was imagining a butter waterfall of epic proportions (you know that scene in The Shining where the elevator doors open and blood pours out? Like that.) dripping was ok. They turned out fabulous! Andrew contributed to the domesticity by making fried plantains sprinkled with lime juice and salt- which I declared he could make for me any time! Then last night I made red beans and rice with sauteed chicken breasts and corn muffins. Tonight I plan on making spinach and ricotta gnocchi with home-doctored tomato sauce.

Also, yesterday I cleaned the entire kitchen and did all the dishes.

What is with me?! I need an apron or something...

In other news, the garden was a mass of weeds when we came back from vacation and it is still in the process of being reclaimed. Our first tomato is probably 1-2 days from pickable perfection and I cannot wait! We have 6 viable tomato plants at the moment, and one replanted seedling that survived the weed onslaught. I have visions of tomatoes dancing all over my counters. Also the potato plants are falling down. Presumably this means they are now putting all the energy into making delicious starchy tubers just for me! Or they have the plague. Either way.

On the school front, I just emailed a clinic in Coos Bay Oregon about an externship there on one of my last remaining school breaks of EVER. Wish me luck!!