I Gotta Stop CookingPosted by Jia
Another long weekend spent cooking for the week ahead.
I’m having a really hard time getting back into the swing of it. A couple of years ago I did it all in one (albeit, very long) day. These days? It takes the whole weekend because I have to keep stopping and resting. Between the pain in my back and joints (that has been tentatively (without any films) diagnosed as osteoarthritis) and the chronic fatigue (which might be the weight, or the nightly insomnia; possibly CFS or even fibromyalgia) which the Dr thinks there’s enough wrong with me to explain it so there’s no need to investigate further. Why is it that I find Doctors that lack so much in the way of sympathy.
I am starting to dread the weekend and what it does to me. Beyond that, I am missing having a true day off. A day that could be spent going out, having a friend over, or (dare I even say it) laying like broccoli with a movie marathon, a good book, or simply a notebook in hand, brainstorming, with Pandora radio playing on a pair of headphones.
What does this mean?
I am going to have to find more crockpot meals to add to my rotation. Meals that I can assemble in the evening and have Accolan “turn on” in the morning while I am at work.
I am going to have to find more quick, ready in 30 minutes, type of meals. Meals that I can come home from work and whip up with little effort.
I am going to have to find more ways to get Reya and Sephoni to help me. Whether that means cooking a meal on their own, taking charge of re-heat duties, or simply being better kitchen slaves.
In the meantime though, here’s whats on the menu this week. Bear in mind that this is enough food to see our family of 5 through a week’s worth of dinners. It also serves as lunches. Accolan is home full time on disability and usually one or two of the rest of us fill a food thermos and take it with us to school or work each day.
I made a large batch of Kosheri. This is a popular Egyptian dish and a family favorite as well. A mix of lentils, rice, and pasta (an optional addition of corn) topped with a tomato sauce and caramelized onions.
I made a Green Curry Eggplant and Potatoes. This was essentially the same dish as Green Curry Chicken. Except, that I took out the chicken and added 2 cups of boiled diced potatoes. It makes the dish all that much more affordable, and (while still a high fat dish) eliminates the cholesterol.
I made a batch of Aloo Matar. Cubed, parboiled potatoes, canned diced tomatoes and frozen peas cooked in a traditional mix of Indian spices. It was nice to add another dish to my ever growing repertoire of ethnic dishes.
I made a Thai Triple Mushroom saute. Fresh white button, crimini, and shitake mushrooms in a lovely gravy. Not only is this a lovely dish in of itself on a bed of rice, but it would make a nice topping for grilled steak, chicken, or pork. In fact, I plan to make it over the summer for just that purpose.
I made a “stuff in the freezer” dish. I roasted 7 chicken thighs on a bed of diced vegetables, onions, and some fresh mushrooms. The vegetables were leftover from when I make Hunter Stew a couple of weeks ago.
And then I made a batch of vegan cupcakes with a vegan buttercream frosting. Oh my sweet gods! These are fabulous. I just need to fine tune them before I can get my own version up here.
The cupcakes were was from the book Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World: 75 Dairy-Free Recipes for Cupcakes that Rule. They are simply put the best cupcakes I have ever eaten. Light, fluffy, delicate. Like eating a cloud.
The frosting was from the same book. The only negative is that the frosting was very loose when I started working with it. Next time I would let the frosting sit for 30 minutes or so before attempting to frost the cupcakes, and I would let them sit out overnight before eating them.
I also made a ganache that I found here. It was way too dark for our tastes (even me who adores dark dark chocolate) so I immediately ditched the idea of using it as a dip or even as a drizzle. But, as a lark I used it as a center on 4 of the dozen we made and that my friends was a success.
Is there isn’t a link for a recipe that is either because there isn’t one (like the roasted chicken and vegetables), there needs to be more testing (like the vegan cupcakes) or because I am working on getting it up either later this week. Stay tuned.