Sunday, February 11, 2007

Back in the kitchen again...

Well, not me exactly, but Kira. Who can say no when you get a phone call asking, “Want me to cook dinner tonight?” Um…yeah. And it’s a good thing somebody wanted to, because I just wasn’t there yet after my atrocious work week. However, when one person gets into the kitchen, it sort of opens the portal, and pretty soon, I followed to do some baking.

Kira decided to explore Giada’s Everyday Italian,, although I do think she needed to pull her top down more to really replicate Giada’s style. (For those of you who don’t want Giada, pretend I didn’t say that. For those who do watch Giada—yep, you’re laughing.) She made whole wheat spaghetti with Checca Sauce, an uncooked sauce made with cherry tomatoes, scallions, garlic, Parmesan, basil, olive oil, and mozzarella cheese. Just a few pulses in the blender and a quick toss with hot pasta put dinner on the table. This was good, and I’d make it again, although it wasn’t necessarily one of those “Wow! I’ve found the ultimate!” recipes.

In fact, I realized today how few of those there are. I seldom repeat meals, as I always feel there is going to be something a little bit better if I just keep looking. I think Kira was a bit discouraged because I didn’t do cartwheels—although everyone who knows me knows that it just isn’t my style—no matter what. I rarely get excited over my own cooking, either. I guess I need to put some thought into the things that I do make over and over again. Not very many, that’s for sure.

Kira also borrowed from Bobby Flay’s Grilling for Life, and extrapolated a Mustard-Dill Vinaigrette from a pasta and grilled shrimp dish. We just had it over a spinach salad. It was also very good, but we forgot to toss the feta cheese into the salad, and I think it would have nicely offset the acid notes in the dressing. It was a very pretty, vibrant green color, though.

For me, it was another try at the Stonewall Kitchen Lemon Cake with Lemon-Vanilla Glaze. The first time I made it, it was a little bitter. This time, I started the glaze without the lemon zest, waiting to add that until the last couple of minutes of simmering. Perfect. All the tart, tangy goodness without any bitterness. This is going to be a go-to dessert, I can tell. See, already—a repeater.

I also made another dessert, which I’m going to keep under wraps until tomorrow. It’s really good, though, but I didn’t have time to take pictures, and I’m still trying to decide whether to dress it up or leave it as is.

For now, it’s off to bed to prepare for another (hopefully not so) long day! (I'll catch up on recipes later in the week.)

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