So here is what was on the menu:
- Vietnamese chicken salad – reinterpreted with turkey (because I did not have ground chicken in hand). It is probably the most cooked recipe from my preferred book (gifted by my preferred god-daughter): the Instant Cook from Donna Hay.
- Cannelés – for those who don’t know what cannelés are, just imagine some French pancake batter baked in some tiny tall moulds that pre-heated so when the batter is poured into them and then put in the oven, it creates a crispy outside and a somehow chewy inside. Oh and did I mentioned that the batter is flavoured with alcohol! I used this recipe (in French) from Marmiton.org.
- Marmalade – Philippe is not a peaky eater, but he is very particular when it comes to his marmalade, he does NOT like store-bought marmalade, he only likes the one I prepare (if he loves my marmalade it must mean he loves me too ). I have a tested and trusted method, but last time it did not work well with frozen orange, so I went for a pressure-cooker method. All went well until I decided to go to the gym and forget the marmalade on the cooker. I came back to some charcoal marmalade and a damage-beyond-salvation pressure cooker, but as a friend said I still had a win because I went to the gym!
- Carrot and ginger soup – an staple in our home, so so easy: just onions lightly browned with some olive oil, a bit a ginger (if I don’t have fresh, I use past), carrots (a lot), half of a sweet potato for extra smoothness, cook slowly then give it a wack with a blender (I am all for hand-held blenders, they are so easy to clean, store and use).
- Spinach Japanese-style salad with home-made gyoza (again, I used turkey because… it makes the gioza a bit dry).
- Breast chicken stuffed with cream cheese wrapped in dried-ham, with sautéed asparagus and peas. Who needs a recipe for thing like that, it is so simple and easy. I flattened the chicken breasts, spreaded some light cream cheese, peppered, put the chicken on a dried ham slice, rolled and then in the pan nicely and slowly until cooked through out, at the end I added some young asparagus and peas (slightly steamed in the microwave).
- Pears and blue cheese – this one is always at the top of our list, it is another Donna Hay’s favourite of us (same book as mentioned above). Very simple: the quartered pears are glazed in hot butter with balsamic vinegar, add some pea nuts (I can never have too much pecan nuts). Once the pears are caramelised on both side, just through on top of some young mixed leaves, some blue cheese crumbs, use the cooking juice as dressing.
- Meyer lemon curd cake – home made curd with lemons from my friends garden, soooo gooood! I’ve adapted this recipe from Joy de Baker. This will be revisited for sure.
- Bean with bacon soup – cold weather calls for soup. Very satisfying with a large crouton grilled with a dab of olive oil and a bit of parmesan. It’s a Pioneer woman recipe: here.
I cooked some more, but with a house full of hungry kids, I had seldom time to document my efforts. I love a busy kitchen it makes me happy.
Lucky me I’ve received a couple of books and a magazine… more inspiration!
Tell, what are you cooking? What inspires you to cook? And who’s cleaning the kitchen after you?