Saturday, March 10, 2012

March Madness

So March is here. I'd say finally but in actual fact January and February did kind of fly by, with the exception of two stubborn weeks in February that felt longer than they needed to be.

Things have been busy but that doesn't mean I haven't been in the kitchen. I just haven't had much time to write about the different dishes I have been feeding the family lately. Last week I threw the boys a major curve ball when I served salmon for dinner. (On a weeknight no less!) Whenever I introduce a new food I try and pair it with something I know the boys already like, as if that might distract them from the fact that I'm asking them to eat something they haven't tried before. (It doesn't usually work and it didn't this time.)

The salmon was part of a pasta dish I found online: Creamy Farfalle with Salmon and Peas. Patrick did quite well with it and managed a few small bites of salmon. Daniel accused me of trying to poison him and he was likely only half-kidding. He did eat one bite of salmon but it was under duress, and only because I wouldn't give him seconds on his pasta if he didn't at least try one. little. bite. (One little bite took fifteen minutes to actually consume. I mean, the bite itself was consumed in seconds. The rest of the time was dedicated to building up the courage to try the stinky, disgusting fish I was forcing him to eat, mean mummy that I am.) This dish truly does deliver a creamy sauce. That would be thanks to the cream cheese contained in the sauce. This was one of those meals that came about because I happened to have all the ingredients on hand and I was desperate for something different for dinner. You can see from the picture I substituted penne pasta for the farfalle. And I didn't bother flaking my salmon and mixing it through the pasta. I just plunked it on top. I don't think the final product suffered from my inattention to detail.

Also blog-worthy of late, an amazing Brown Sugar Carrot Bread with Almonds. No picture - I ate it too quickly to pause and take a photo. This bread was so, so good. The perfect go-with for coffee/tea. The kids didn't like it but my work-mates gobbled it up, since I kept peddling it from my purse at break time, one small ziploc baggie portion at a time. The texture of this bread is quite dense but it is super moist, and there is a nice crunch thanks to the slivered almonds. Don't you dare skip the orange zest. I often do skip zest, and I've decided I shouldn't. You could definitely taste a lovely hint of orange in this bread thanks to my zesting efforts. I will definitely be making this one again. 

Finally, a sweet treat that made it into the cookie jar at our house this month. Brown Butter Toasted Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies appealed to me on so many levels. (Those levels being butter, coconut and chocolate.) I got this recipe from the blog Joy the Baker which I've been reading for quite a while now. It's a sunny little (big?) blog that combines great sounding treats with beautiful pictures. I'm a sucker for a great picture of a chocolate chip cookie. I have long wanted to make something from JTB and last Sunday these popped on my radar and I couldn't stop thinking about them. So I gave in. And I'm glad I did.

These cookies had a lot of subtle flavours going on, between the browned butter and the coconut. They were on the chewy/soft side, which works for me. Is there anything better than homemade cookies filling up your cookie jar all week? Okay. They didn't last all week. Two days. We ate them all in two days. With lots of cold milk. 

So that's what we've been up to. In between the highlights there have been some low lights. I made a beef pasta dish recently that seriously looked like vomit on a plate. It didn't taste that bad but as you can imagine, the visual ruined any hope of that dish being a keeper. This weekend I'm planning to make lamb chops (David's request) and chocolate pudding (Patrick's request). I asked Daniel what he would like and he said to just stop trying to poison him with fish. His wish will also be granted. No seafood on the menu this week!

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