Archive for ‘Weekend cookery’

November 27th, 2010

Thankful for food and the family that makes the food

pumpkin pie

Apple pie

Trying a new thing here – multiple photos in a post! If you click on any of the photos it’ll pop up to full size and then you can scroll through (the > arrow will show up when you mouseover) to see the other photos in this post.

We went to two Thanksgivings today. For lunch we went to a potluck with Jens’ friends hosted by a very awesome coworker of his. Lots of delicious food but unfortunately I was too busy stuffing my face and playing with a cute baby to remember to take photos.

Then we went to my parents’ house for dinner, where my younger sisters were cooking up a storm. The menu there was:


  • Roasted horseradish root vegetables (this is what Jens made to bring, and the recipe is after the jump. It went really well with the roast.)
  • Fennel avocado salad (we also brought this. Only my mom really ate more than a few bites. The others aren’t really into fennel. And apparently my dad is not a fan of coriander, which was in the dressing.)
  • Pumpkin pie (recipe courtesy of Cook’s Illustrated, baked by sister)
  • Apple pie (also baked by sister)

Not pictured:

  • 2-rib roast (humanely raised beef, choice, from Whole Foods. $12.99/lb. It’s been my job the past two years to bring the meat, then my family roasts it. I keep meaning to order from a farmer’s market stall but procrastinated too long and had to go to Whole Foods.)
  • Mushroom gravy
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Green beans and other assorted steamed/boiled vegetables
  • Stuffing (I have no idea what kind. It’s the kind they’ve made the last few years in a row.Edit: apparently I am very wrong on this point. The stuffing was new, and consisted of made-from-scratch cornbread plumped with turkey broth, dried cranberries, Arkansas Black apples, and spicy sausage. In my defense, I remember asking if the stuffing was different and someone at the table claimed it was the same as last year’s. Obviously that source was mistaken.
  • Steamed rice
  • Cheese biscuits (very flaky and cheesy, but not the Red-Lobster style ones that my sister usually makes, which I love unreservedly.)

Someone asked me the other day if my family does a “traditional Thanksgiving.” I gave them a blank look and said, “We have rice because we’re Asian and prime rib instead of turkey because nobody likes turkey. But that’s traditional for us, so I guess the answer is yes.”

So whatever your traditions are I hope you had a great Thanksgiving!

For the horseradish root vegetable roast, read more »

November 22nd, 2010

“Quick bread” is a relative term: plum and cardamom sweet bread

I am typing this up as the bread (finally) bakes, and only the delicious smell of orange zest-cardamom-plum wafting through the apartment is keeping me from being cranky. From start to finish the entire process will have taken a little over 3 hours, although admittedly 1 1/2 hours of that is the bread baking.

I also admit that my OCD tendencies extended the active prep time considerably: compulsively checking the recipe to make sure I didn’t confuse “Tbsp” with “tsp” (my first time baking, I made that mistake with almond extract and the cake was ruined), re-reading the instructions (and of course missing the instruction that the eggs should be room temperature), and using a ruler to make sure that the plums were cut to 1/2 inch (where the heck is my cooking ruler?! I had to use my study ruler – another admission, I use a ruler to underline things in textbooks.)

This recipe is from In the Sweet Kitchen by Regan Daley, and it’s the first thing I’ve baked out of this book. I made it at Jens’ request, because he went crazy in the spice aisle and came back with cardamom and a hankering for some cardamom bread. According to Daley:

Cardamom is a wonderful spice, woefully underused in North America…it appears throughout the cuisine of much of Scandinavia as well, especially in many sweet breads and pastries.

I’m not going to write up the recipe because it’s a little involved, but since pretty much only my friends and family read the blog, just let me know if you want the recipe anUpdated I’ll send it over.

Plum Cardamom Bread slice

Update: finally took a picture of the actual bread.

November 6th, 2010

Weekend cookery: double squash, triple browned soup

The working title for this post was “The Taste of Fall”, but Jens thought it sounded too twee. Actually, I used the word “twee”, I think he just made a face.

Jens: I like recipes that are simple enough that you can just say, “Throw the rest in the pot.”

We also had a delicious wild mushroom pasta dish, post to come soon. Update: post has arrived.
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