Tuesday, January 10, 2012

In praise of cottage cheese, or, why this blog will continue to be unpopular

Lots and lots to catch up on, including pictures (yay!)
So the other night, in a fit of sketchy, hungover laziness, I was browsing chowhound and ended up reading a thread with about 450 replies (yes, i read them all) about what to eat with cottage cheese. Now, I've always loved the stuff, and often bring cottage cheese with herbs and diced up vegetables (tomatoes, cucumbers, onions) mixed in for lunch at work (much to the chagrin of my colleagues - who usually snoop through and steal bites of my lunches when I'm busy). Needless to say, this chowhound perusing created quite a craving in me, not having had the gloppy white stuff (lol) since before the holidays.

Part two of this story begins last Friday, when I worked a split with a three hour break. Enough time to come home and make lunch, which in my case equaled homemade tomato soup and grilled cheese. I've never made tomato soup, but decided to use my trusty source Deb @ smittenkitchen (surprise!)

Now, I wasn't such a fan of the soup on Friday, unfortunately. Coming home and spending about an hour cooking in between shifts for a somewhat disappointing lunch is, well...somewhat disappointing. However, I didn't add in the booze (which obviously would detract from the original recipe), and I realized after that I forgot to sprinkle the tomatoes with brown sugar before roasting. Of course a tomato dish sans requisite pinch of sugar might end up being somewhat bitter!

Well, tonight I was thinking of making something with the plethora of ingredients withering in the fridge - perhaps some creamy, pureed white beans with sauteed herby zucchini and...roasted leeks? Sounds good, but I needed something to tide me over, and to add a bit more vegetable goodness and colour to my menu. Something, more importantly, that I could eat with cottage cheese. As I was sitting here, reading food blogs and more chowhound, working up the energy and appetite for dinner, I remembered something about tomato soup, with cottage cheese mixed in?! Sounds...interesting...but I'll tell you, along with the pinch of sugar I stirred into the soup while reheating, it made the leftovers quite delicious!

Now to tackle the rest of dinner! (Don't worry I don't have to cook the beans from scratch, just thought that jar was "more" photogenic than a container of liquidy beans)

Here I am, back again

Well, well, well, its January, and I'm back! Apparently its resolution time, or my re-determination to cook as much as possible (and more importantly, keep track of it all). Perhaps its being housebound instead of out frolicking enjoying summer and fall, or busy with holiday preparation and traveling. Perhaps its a lighter, less busy schedule in my industry (yes, still THAT industry) around this time. In any case, I'm re-(re?) dedicating myself to writing here (instead of spending the majority of my internet time reading other food blogs). Maybe (hopefully?) no one else will ever read it, and this will be a way for me to keep track of what I cook, recipes I use, adjustments I make, and what I would change next time. I already have a hand-written kitchen journal, but (surprise!) I don't always mark things down there either.

Anyway, I finally have a "camera" (iphone4s), and have done a substantial amount of cooking lately. There is a blood orange marmalade (with gorgeous pictures) that I will post about asap. I also wanted to write about what I made last night (mostly for my own reference, sorry).

Deborah Madison's Basic French Lentils
I omitted the Cognac, used half/half water/chicken stock, and no additional shallots at the end.

served on creamy garlic mashed potatoes, with green beans, and

Garlic butter roasted mushrooms
I tried to half this, but perhaps should have used a bit more butter/oil, as there wasn't really any delicious garlickyness to mop up. The garlic itself was quite darkly "browned" - but still soooooo good in my opinion.

Well, here's crossing my fingers that I actually follow through on this somewhat regularly. Those blood orange marmalade pics are screaming to be adored.