0225 Impromptu Egg Mess

Tonight we prepped at SELMA, where I peeled potatoes for 90 minutes and Shane dealt with some totally gross squash with a level of grace and composure that made me very impressed and proud. I promised him we’d leave at 8 so that he could watch his basketball game, so instead of sharing the communal meal, we found ourselves hungry and with a dwindling stock of useful foodstuffs for a quick meal.

I’ve yet to master the omelet, but I long ago perfected the ‘egg mess’. I was introduced to the egg mess by a high school friend after three of us had spent an afternoon building a monster, scrubbing paint out of each other’s hair, and generally doing the sorts of silly things that seem like a good idea when you’re a 16 year old weirdo. All that silliness made us hungry, so Adam made an egg mess – kind of like an omelet, but less precise.

So in honor of Adam, Emmi, and that long-lost monster, tonight’s dinner was an egg mess, and a damned fine one at that. A handful or two of spinach, an onion, and a Roma tomato sauteed in butter. A couple of eggs beat together, then poured into the warm pan and moved around until just barely cooked through. A few slices of Margaret’s Sweet Wheat, dug out of the freezer and toasted. Fast and delicious.

0224 Crock Pot Azorean Spiced Beef Stew

I got smart this time and did the prep for this stew when we got home from the movies Tuesday night – as if the workday’s worth of anticipation wasn’t enough to drive us mad with hunger.  This stew was amazingly flavorful – savory, with a subtle sweetness from the cinnamon sticks that spent all day in a delicious bath of beef stock.  I like eating from this part of the world – the heartiness and subtlety of Iberian food appeal to me in ways that the richness of French cooking or the wide range of Italian cuisine don’t.  Maybe it’s the Camino.  Maybe it’s chorizo.  Maybe I’m just a pork-and-potatoes kind of girl.  Either way, we’ll be making this stew again.

Crock Pot Azorean Spiced Beef Stew from A Year of Slow Cooking

Beers + Beards

Handsome Beer(s) Man

Just thought I’d mention that Shane’s been hard at work on two projects, one of which is entering its third month, the other of which is newly hatched and already quite fun:

  • 100 Beers of 2010 – in which he is trying and reviewing new beers.  We figured that he had two solid months’ worth of unique beers in his stash.  If you like good beer and are interested in trying new things, I’d highly recommend his reviews.
  • BeardHype – which celebrates ‘the fetishization of vinyl, beer, posters, clothes, whatever.’ – basically your quintessential Shane interests.  Fun, frequently updated, and visually stimulating.

0223 On Leftovers

When we lived in Virginia, Shane frequently went out for lunch with his coworkers, so when a meal produced leftovers, I’d be stuck eating it for a few days.  Since we’ve moved to A2, we’ve been diligent about planning for leftovers and brown-bagging our lunches.  I don’t know what Shane’s lunch spending was like, but I’m confident that we’re saving both time and money, while also probably eating better lunches than previously (though GMU had a pretty spectacular cafeteria).

All of this is to say that tonight we had a dinner plan, but then I was tired and Shane was hungry, and it was just easier to warm up bowls of last night’s soup with a few slices of bread.  The soup was even better the second day, as is often the case with leftovers.

0222 Chicken Soup for a Snowy Day

This morning started with just about the best mood one can ask for on a Monday. I was happy, I had a delicious bagel for breakfast, and I was out the door on time. And then I took a hard fall on my ass on the icy driveway, and spent the rest of the morning lying prone on the couch with Hello Kitty ice packs in my underpants.

All of this is to say that it’s a good thing we hadn’t planned anything elaborate for dinner.  In fact, it was just about as simple as it could be.  During one of my trips out of bed in search of ibuprofen, I put last night’s chicken in the stock pot with a bunch of water and let it simmer away for the rest of the afternoon, warming up the house and making everything fragrant.  When we got hungry later in the evening, I sauteed some carrots, garlic, and onion along with leftover chicken and some corn from the freezer, then added broth and Israeli couscous.  The soup could’ve used  more flavor, but it was warm and comforting, and that’s just what we needed on a day when the snow would not end.

0221 Chicken in Milk

We were both pretty suspicious of this recipe, but when The Kitchn mentioned it in a round-up of roast chicken recipes, I figured it was worth a try, especially since we had all of the ingredients on hand.

This is a weird recipe.  I have to say it.  It’s just weird.  I mean, a good part of the joy of roasting a chicken is the crispy and flavorful skin, not to mention the gorgeous rendered fat for gravy or roasting veg.  None of those things made an appearance in this recipe.  Instead, the chicken is briefly browned on all sides, then roasted in a bath of milk, lemon zest, garlic, and sage leaves.  This process yields an impossibly moist and tender chicken – in a fragrant but weirdly lumpy sauce.  And let me tell you, ‘weirdly lumpy’ is not a characteristic I like in my meals.

Frankly, with all the good roast chickens out there, I see no reason to make this one again.  Weirdly lumpy indeed!

Oh yes, and I should mentioned that we braised more brussels sprouts, devoured them, and had to rochambeau for the leftovers.  I won!

Chicken in Milk from Happy Days with the Naked Chef