Saturday, October 20, 2007

Cooking Catchup

It's October already. The summer went by too fast. Things were supposed to slow down over the summer, so we could relax and rejuvenate. It certainly didn't feel that way. It was such a blur that Kevin and I missed our 2 year anniversary and didn't end up officially celebrating. (Though we did just happen to spend the entire day of our anniversary together having fun, so how could one possibly improve on that, really.)

But a constant through our daily hectic lives is that we've still been cooking together. We just haven't been posting. We're going to have to make more time to cook and grocery shop, now that our CSA season has ended this week. We'll miss the weekly dose of fresh basil. But we still have about 6 heads of garlic that we can savor through the winter and recall our wonderful vegetable experience this year. We got a pumpkin from the share, maybe I'll take a stab at pumpkin pie from scratch this year.

Recent unphotographed cooking experiments ...

  • Kadu (Afghan Kadu) based on this online recipe. We used half the sugar called for, since the dish is pretty sweet as is. STELLAR RECIPE. We made a vegetarian sauce by following the basic ingredient list of the meat sauce listed, but using a can of tomato sauce instead of fresh tomato, and omitting the meat (of course). For a quick yogurt sauce, we simply watered down some Greek yogurt, and added garlic.
  • Sweet Potato Bread based on this online recipe. We used more sweet potato called for, since we had extra mashed sweet potato, and also added some allspice along with the other spices. We also doubled the recipe, so we could share with friends. Everyone enjoyed it.
  • Vegetarian 'Crabcakes' based on this online recipe. Shredded zucchini replaces the crab very well in this recipe, the texture is spot on. Very quick and easy, we've made it several times over the summer. We've improvised 'bread crumbs' from smashed crackers, or didn't have lemon, and every time, the recipe still worked out well. We also have tried this recipe using summer squash instead of zucchini with good results. I'd say the color difference between the yellow squash vs green zucchini made the dish look more like real crabcakes, it almost fooled Kevin's roommate.
Recent books ...
  • The Soul of a Chef: The Journey Toward Perfection by Michael Ruhlman. I'm still in the middle of this book but so far it is stellar. If you like Top Chef (which we do!) You'll love this book. Very well written, and such detail captured that it literally feels like you are watching over these chef's shoulders. Highly recommended!
  • Horsemen of the Esophagus: Competitive Eating and the Big Fat American Dream by Jason Fagone. Kevin bought me this book for my birthday this summer. I must confess I was a bit of a fan of competitive eating ever since learning about Sonya Thomas a couple years ago, so the gift was a good choice. Unexpectedly, this book took me more behind the scenes than I thought it would, and it certainly changed the way I view competitive eating, and the competitors. I must add that reading it does not make one hungry for food or cooking. Barring side effects, it is a very good book.

Other news...
  • Kevin is going freelance! He has put in his 2 weeks notice at his current job, and he will be focusing on devoting time to photography and working on video projects that appeal to him. I'm so proud of him and I know he'll love his new career path!
  • Which takes me to my next point. We'll be going on a 2 and a half week vacation in November! We will fly to Kevin's hometown Tucson, and do a 4 corners road trip, ending back in Tucson in time to spend Thanksgiving with his family. I'm particularly excited since I've never seen the Grand Canyon before, nor stepped foot in New Mexico or Utah. We're crossing our fingers for favorable weather, but regardless, I'm sure we'll enjoy the natural beauty of it all.