Sunday, October 24, 2010

Book #5. Washington Square

How have I not discovered Henry James sooner?

"If the only office of a son-in-law were to dine at the paternal table, I should set a high value upon your brother. He dines capitally."

Monday, October 11, 2010

#34. 101 recipes

Status: underway

To stay on theme, here's another 101 within a 101.

This one's pretty ambitious - I'm a creature of habit - I like to cook the things I like... But I do have some nice cookbooks, and I think this might make me a better cook.

  1. Vietnamese pork - A win up front - a cup of sugar and big slosh of fish sauce had me dubious, but it's awesome and will be repeated.
  2. Mum's caramel slice - Burned the base first time round, but second batch was great. Scored big brownie points in the office.
  3. Orange soy beef casserole - Fail. Super super salty and the orange soy combo just didn't really fly.
  4. Beet salad - Win. Took me back to favourite NY cafes. And used garden-grown rocket.
  5. Creamy mushroom fettucine - Win. Replaced the cream with evaporated milk. Ate a little too much of it, but that's ok.
  6. Egg and Bacon mini frittatas - Win. Made on Sunday night, makes for a quick weekday breakfast. 
  7. Coriander dip - Win. Risk overdosing soon. Coriander, ginger, garlic, soy, lime juice, brown sugar, cream cheese.
  8. Roast chicken and veggies - Win. Ok, I think technically I made this once before. But it was a really long time ago and I don't think there were veggies involved.
  9. Jamie Oliver curry - Meh. I used half the suggested water and thought it tasted watery. But the recipe was in French, so points for effort, right?
  10. Beef with Pak Choy and Oyster sauce - Not entirely new, but had never really explored Asian greens before. Success. Less soy next time.
  11. Panna Cotta w vanilla beans - More new ingredients - vanilla beans and gelatin. Delicious. Wanted to try the first time with everything by the book. Next time reduced fat cream or evap milk... Vanilla beans were fascinating - tiny and moist - still have 2/3 left.
  12. Jamie Oliver tomato pasta - Excellent. Think is more prime Jamie territory. Home grown basil, tomato, garlic, a quarter the recommended olive oil and that much made my eyes bulge. But very good...
  13. Sweet potato, beet, fetta salad - An attempt to mimic a cafe salad. The dressing's not quite right and it could probably use some chicken. And maybe less beetroot. But not bad.
  14. Thai vermicelli salad - Pretty good. Maybe a few tweaks to the dressing, but good. Chicken mince, vermicelli noodles, mint, coriander, ginger, snow peas, soy/fish sauce/lemon/sugar/garlic dressing. Maybe cashews and/or sesame seeds on top...
  15. Gnocchi - big win. May be beginners' luck but seemed pretty straight-forward.
  16. Pea pesto - not sure. Too much garlic for my liking.