Saturday, January 15, 2011

Week in Review

I was felled by a cold this week, so I had no energy for posting until today.  Despite all the germs and exhaustion, I managed to stay homemade all week long.   I thought it would be more difficult than it turned out to be.  Thank goodness for my freezer, though!

Here are some highlights of what we ate this week:

On Sunday I finally roasted a chicken.  I simply stuffed the inside with fresh thyme and 1/2 a lemon, shoved some butter under the skin, then put it in the oven on a bed of onion, carrots and potatoes.  It was a lot juicier than I had anticipated!  I expected the vegetables to end up the way they are when roasted on their own but they ended up cooking in all the juices.  Next time I'll likely do the chicken separate from the vegetables because I really love the crispy, sweet goodness of roasted vegetables.

Ready to go into the oven....
... and ready to come out!

The next day, I picked apart the chicken carcass and made stock.  My soup pot wasn't large enough for all of it, so I used my crock pot as well.  It resulted in 1 very full and 2 reasonably full bags of stock in the freezer.

Today's loaf- yes, we've already eaten 1/3 of it!
On Monday, I made bread again.  I found a great, easy sandwich bread recipe: .  I got smart this time and put my oven on "warm", then set the dough on the oven for both risings.  That worked perfectly.  The recipe went together very quickly and the final loaf was fluffy on the inside but hearty enough to slice easily and hold up to buttering.  The first batch I made with all white flour because that's all I had on hand.  We ate big, buttered slices of the bread with some of the Italian Wedding Soup, defrosted from the freezer. 

And then I ate the bread for breakfast and snack and pretty much all day long!

On Wednesday, to go with the leftover chicken, I made roasted potatoes from a recipe I found on my CSA's food blog:  I did have homemade pesto from my sister in the fridge, but forgot to add it.  Oops.  I have to say these were the best roasted potatoes I have ever made.  The quick boil made the insides of the potatoes soft and then roasting them coated in butter made the outsides beautifully golden and crispy.  Unfortunately, the only way Isa will eat potatoes is as French fries.  Since this technique made the potatoes very similar in texture to fries (minus the fried/oily taste), I think I will try this recipe next with the potatoes cut in strips and see if it will meet with her approval.  If not, then more for me to eat, right?

Isa was with my parents on Friday, so I could work some extra hours.  I only made it 6 hours before I had come home feeling crummy.  Not surprisingly, I wanted something quick and easy for dinner.  I have found that the best thing to make on nights like that is scrambled eggs.  Very quick, nutritious, plenty of protein to keep you satisfied.  Of course, when you scramble them in bacon fat and add some shredded cheese, they're even more delightful!

Today I made another loaf of the sandwich bread, this time with 1/2 white flour and 1/2 wheat flour.  I will definitely make it with both flours from now on.  It was just as fluffy but I prefer the flavor of wheat bread.  To go with the bread, I made a batch of "whatever-was-in-the-fridge" chicken soup. 

The "recipe"?  Well, I sauteed 1/2 an onion (diced) with a large clove of garlic (minced), in a little olive oil.  I added some fresh thyme and sauteed until the onion was mostly translucent.  I put one thawed freezer bag of stock in my soup pot, added the onion mixture, then shredded chicken (leftover from the roasted chicken), and diced veggies from the fridge.  I had carrots, a small turnip, and chard stems.  Cook on low.  Umm.. that's it.  Nothing fancy but oh-so-delicious.

Tonight I also made coffee creamer for the first time.  I mashed up a whole bunch of recipes I'd found online (just google "homemade coffee creamer").  I didn't want to use sweetened condensed milk, which quite a lot of the recipes called for.  Instead, I used 1/2 whole milk and 1/2 heavy cream.  I added 2 tsp of vanilla extract, about 2 Tbsp of sugar and a good sprinkling of cinnamon.  I warmed it all in a saucepan on the stove for about 1/2 an hour to get the flavors to meld.   It's pretty tasty, although certainly not as sweet as I am used to given how overly sweet the store bought kind is.  I think once my taste buds adjust the sweetness will be just fine but I highly recommend straining it.  Gritty cinnamon at the bottom of the cup wasn't so great!

 For breakfasts this week, I made a batch of experimental oatmeal raisin muffins.  I took my favorite muffin recipe and played with it, attempting to make it taste like oatmeal raisin cookies in muffin form.  The first batch was okay but a bit dry.  I'm going to work on perfecting the recipe and once I have a final version, I'll post it here.

So that's what we ate this week.  What did you all eat???


  1. Mmmmmm.... lemon butt chicken!!!!! I just love this recipe and can't wait to get a roaster for us in order to use all our lemons (well, one of all of our lemons). Not sure if Scott will be pleased that I usurp his "smoked brisket weekend," but, meh.
    I do really like King Arthur's recipes, so I'll have to try this one; HRH is venturing into peanut butter sandwiches, and I need to have a supply of bread that doesn't have ingredients that I can't pronounce. I feel the same as you - when there is homemade bread in the house, why eat anything else?
    Could you strain the creamer after simmering to still retain the flavor but not the grit of the cinnamon? I know that it's small, but I'm thinking cheesecloth inside a sieve could do the trick. I hate grit (unless the word is applied to someone's personality)!
    And why is it that anything in a glass jar looks so scrumptious, even though it is so simple?

  2. Allison- straining before I put it in the jar is exactly my plan next time. I think I'll also try using a whole cinnamon stick to see if I can get the same infused flavor without all the grit.
    And I agree about glass jars! I'm trying to move towards all glass for my food storage, primarily because I hate to put plastic in the dishwasher and I'm tired of handwashing it all. The bonus is that everything looks so appetizing!

  3. I'm enjoying your new blog!

    I am also trying to "eat real" this year (not necessarily homemade, but real, food).

    I think that we were channeling the same food gods last week: