Monday, 23 March 2015

Jamie to the rescue

This past week, Jeff wanted steak.  I have no doubt that part of this need was aided by the fact that the BBQ was trapped behind a one meter tall wall of snow and he needed something, anything that was reminiscent of summer.  I, on the other hand, wanted to try out my new cookbook.  After getting caught in a 'meh' loop, I decided I needed some external inspiration and picked up Jamie's 15 Minute Meals the last time I was browsing around Winners.

15 Minutes is about my attention span these days, so the title was working for me.  It should be noted that the idea of 15 minutes is cooking time, not prep time.  For things to actually take 15 minutes, make sure you do the prep (chopping, washing, boiling etc) prior to beginning, or you'll get out of step pretty quickly.

Sunday - The first day of the snow.  We knew that we were going to get 40cm of snow.  I knew this was going to give me a serious case of the sads, so I was prepared to dump a bunch of stuff in the slow cooker around breakfast time, and have something wonderful and comforting for dinner.  In this case, it was my stand by Moroccan vegetable stew.  This one also works well with stewing lamb, especially if you have the time to pre-brown the lamb, but straight up veggies is nice too.  I served with a quinoa pilaf with toasted cumin seeds, pistachios an
d slivered almonds.

Monday - Leftovers.  This was Gus's last beginners puppy class.  He is now responding to his name, knows how to sit, and will waiting until you signal he can have the treat in your hand.  These classes are so much fun, but they're really early for us, so leftovers is the only way to go.

Tuesday - I made Jeff steak.  Perfectly on the rare side of medium rare, lovingly grilled on a hot pan with sesame oil and Chinese 5-spice.  This one was out of Jamie's book.  It was lovely.

Wednesday - Blackened Chicken and Quinoa Salad.  Also from Jamie's book.  I love a hearty salad, and this one was spectacular.  I made it without feta, but I'm sure it would be tasty with.

Thursday - Slow-cooker Asian Pork with Broccoli and Noodles.  This one looks so much better on paper than it turned out.  Jeff still enjoyed it, but the flavours were off for me.  If I were to make it again (and I probably will), I would do a reduction of the sauce on the stovetop, and not add the cornstarch to the slowcooker.  I think I would also use full salt soy sauce, not the reduced sodium stuff I had on hand.

Friday - I took the night off.  We had been invited out, and I had planned on making my customary cupcakes, but I was feeling like hell.  So Jeff and Finnegan headed out to be social, and Gus and I curled up on the couch and watched old Supernatural episodes and drank copious amounts of ginger ale.

Saturday - I did not rebound as quickly as I had hoped, but I had a lovely thawed duck breast in the refrigerator, so I was compelled to cook.  Crispy duck and hoisin tofu in lettuce cups.  Another of Jamie's.  So good.

Today is a travel day for me, headed off for work on the road for the next week.  I've been stockpiling frozen dinners, and I left a stew in the slow cooker, so my honey is well sorted in the food department.  I like to know that he has options, even if he mostly chooses to satisfy his hunger with gluten and dairy.  I am also aware that it is Burger Week in Halifax, so, you know...


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