Monday, August 31, 2009

Progression is Lacking...

I'm seriously thinking of changing A Work in Progress to A Lack of Progress.

Tonight was the first time I've cooked anything since I can't even remember when. (Just checked the archives, eggplants and clams from over 10 days ago.)

Ironically, it was more eggplant - I made an eggplant/hummus hybrid, the idea taken from Cooking with Michele, the quantities all mine and not measured. Hubby (eggplant lover) didn't care for it - I think I didn't mash the garbanzo beans smooth enough. His mother (eggplant hater) loved it. Go figure. (Youngest didn't try it, no surprise there.)

To go with the Mediterranean fusion (aka not-so-pretty glop in a bowl), I made tzatziki and toasted some pita bread.

Not only is there a lack of progress on the cooking front, I'm having the same difficulties with my physical ailment, ie. 9 months of chronic pain in my leg that so far has been undiagnosed and untreatable. I think I've tried all the opiates out there, lidocaine, muscle relaxers, nerve blocks, acupuncture, Neurontin, Lyrica, Cymbalta, a TENS unit, nothing works. When I told my doctor that I was wearing a Fentanyl patch and had taken 2 Vicodin (still completely coherent, still totally in pain), his jaw just about hit the floor.

So it's off to the neurologist on Friday, for an EMG and nerve conduction study (ouch) in the morning and then a bone scan in the afternoon. I'm torn between hoping they find something (which will probably be un-fixable) and hoping they don't.

In the meantime, amputation is looking better and better. But then with my luck, I'd have phantom limb pain.

Oh, and I get to have a root canal tomorrow.

So, uh..., yeah...until further notice...A Lack of Progress.

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Friday, August 21, 2009

Eggplants and Clams

I bought 2 Japanese eggplants, because they looked so cute, skinny and lighter in color than your typical globe eggplant. I also bought some stuffed clams from Sprouts. Breadcrumbs, chopped clams, seasonings, some minced veggies, stuffed into clam shells. It reminded me of stuffing (heck, it was stuffing), and made me want turkey. No picture, because I forgot.

But here's a picture of the end result. I was pretty impressed with the shell pictures I took - so much so that it was difficult to decide which ones to use. And that never happens to me. It's too bad that the background in the pictures changed color, but oh well. (Anybody know why that happens?)




















With the first eggplant, I made Baked Eggplant Chips with Za'atar, from Anh at A Food Lover's Journey. They were delicious, and I think za'atar is my new favorite seasoning blend. Even Hubby liked it, and he hates thyme. I used the proportions from Laurie's recipe at Mediterranean Cooking in Alaska. My eggplant slices were a little uneven, resulting in the thinner parts burning and sticking to the tray before the thicker parts were done cooking. So, they weren't very pretty - hence, no picture.

With the 2nd eggplant, because I finally bought a can of tahini, I made Baba Ghanoush (or Moutabal, depending on what country you're in) from Mercedes at Desert Candy. I didn't use a food processor to chop up the roasted eggplant, just chopped chopped chopped until I got the consistency I wanted. I was completely amazed with how good this was! Hubby couldn't stop talking about it for the rest of the night. "This is so good", "can you make it again like this?", "I want this every day". It's a winner, I'd say. Again, no picture, because it was, well, a bowl of greenish-brown chunky mush. Not very appetizing to look at.

I was also going to cook up some asparagus (olive oil, s&p, bake til done, equal parts soy sauce and balsamic vinegar, a little butter), but my bunch had been lounging in the fridge too long, and got a little mushy. Ick.

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Monday, August 17, 2009

Cheesy Oniony Potato Pierogi

To accompany my wild mushroom soup, I also made some pierogi. I used this recipe from Bake List, which is an adaptation of Grant Achatz's recipe. Other than substituting parrano cheese for the Gruyere (since that's what I had, and my local supermarket doesn't carry Gruyere), I followed the recipe.

Well, I kind of followed the recipe. At the almost-done point in the assembly of the pierogi, I got fed up with the dough - very elastic and sticky. So I made one big-ass pierogi, about 10" across at the widest point. It fell apart into 3 pieces while boiling. But it didn't leak (too much), so I proceeded as normal with the pan-frying in butter. Ugly, but good.
















These are definitely not health food - butter, cheese, sour cream, fried in butter. Ironically, I found out that my cholesterol is "slightly high" right after I made these. I think I see a lot of salads in my future. Good thing I made the pierogi when I did.

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Sunday, August 16, 2009

Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup

For some reason I had a hankering for some soup. Yeah, in the middle of all this nasty humid heat. I had a package of TJ's dried wild mushrooms, and found this recipe from Culinary Disasters.

I followed the recipe exactly, except for leaving out the rosemary and thyme, since Hubby seems to be able to detect it in microscopic amounts. Hell, he thinks it's there even when it's not, sometimes.
















Verdict? Definitely not pretty, but very tasty. Earthy, creamy, perfectly suited for a cold winter's night, but not so bad on a hot summer evening, either.

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Sunday, August 9, 2009

Random Quotes from the WIP Household, Part III

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OK, but can I eat first? 'Cause if I eat without my glasses on, I'll hurt myself.

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I like saying 'harpoon'. I never get to say 'harpoon'.

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Are you the popcorn Messiah?

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Dude, I had no idea that Chuck Norris was a real person.

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Dad, pants are your friend.

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Your firt's on shatwards.

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Saturday, August 1, 2009

Mezze

I bought some hummus, made some tzatziki, chopped some olives, peperoncini and cheese, and grabbed a few crackers. Dinner is served.

















The tzatziki was Greek style yogurt, with chopped salted & drained cucumber, and salted & mashed garlic.

The cheese was double Gloucester with green onions.

















The hummus was nothing spectacular. I still can't find a good store-bought one.

And some closeups of the peperoncini and olives, because I finally have my camera back (even though it now makes a funny noise when the lens retracts).

































Simple, delicious, perfect no-cook dinner for a hot day.

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