23 September 2017

Weekend Cooking: 3 Recipes, 3 Books: Food for Body & Soul

3 recipes, 3 books: food for body and soulHappy fall! I say that, though I think the temperatures were in the upper 80s when I was writing this. In fact, it was too hot for a evening outdoor fire.

Despite the warm weather, I've noticed the change at the farmers' markets. Apples and winter squash are kings, and I think I bought the last of the season's tomatoes. On the other hand, I'm ready for soups and stews, and I've already made pulled pork (in the slow cooker).

This week's post is a little of this and little of that, which seems to suit my present mood. (Okay, okay, I admit I was too lazy to write a formal post.)

What I Cooked Last Week

I don't know why but September has been filled with all kinds of appointments, from doctors and dentists to the car mechanic and hairdresser. As a consequence, we're off our usual schedule. Regardless I still put dinner on the table every night. (Oh, and can I say yay for leftovers?)

  • Nachos I made ground beef nachos, more or less following Cooking Light's Sheet Pan Beefy Nachos recipe. Here's what I changed: I did not make the cheese sauce; instead I simply topped the dish with store-bought pregrated Mexican cheese mix. I used undiluted full-fat sour cream instead of the yogurt and included chopped avocado as one of the toppings.
  • Lasagna I tried a vegetarian skillet lasagna recipe I had cut out of a magazine a few years ago. I've wanted to try this variation on a classic because the finished dish simmers for only about 20 minutes on the stove before you slip the skillet under the broiler to brown the top. The dish tasted fine (it's lasagna!), but I won't be making it again. We found it difficult to serve (we ended up just spooning it onto our plates), and we missed the crusty top and developed flavors of a traditional lasagna that has been baked in the oven.
  • 3 recipes, 3 books: food for body and soulTomato soup I bought a ton of Roma tomatoes at the market, and thus I was inspired to make this Garden Fresh Tomato Soup recipe from All Recipes. As always, I made a few changes: I added a chopped jalapeno and 2 garlic cloves. I left out the whole cloves (the spice) and the sugar and used an immersion blender to smooth out the soup. I skimmed off some of the tomato skins but didn't bother to strain the soup. I added a nice sprinkling of chopped basil as well. This was delicious, and I plan to try it again with tomatoes from my freezer or even canned.
  • Grilled cheese What's tomato soup without a grilled cheese sandwich? I went the extra mile and made this Croque-Monsieur recipe from Bon Appetit (see photo, which is from their site). I followed the recipe, substituting Black Forest ham for the Paris ham called for. OMG this is so good. Every time I make it, I wonder why I don't make it all the time. We heat up the leftover sandwiches (in the toaster oven) the next day for lunch. Yum!
3 Foodie Books on My List

3 recipes, 3 books: food for body and soul
  • Simple Fare: Fall/Winter (Abrams, Sept. 19) by Karen Modechai is one of the books I received as part of the Abrams Dinner Party. I haven't had much time to explore it yet, but now that fall has officially started, this cookbook will find its way into my kitchen. The recipes look like they take everyday ingredients to new levels: The charred purple cabbage with tahini would be the perfect go-with for a roasted chicken. I'll report back when I've had time to read through the book. (The scan is from the book: daal over rice. Isn't it gorgeous?)
  • 3 recipes, 3 books: food for body and soulIn Coming to My Senses (Clarkson Potter, Sept. 5), chef Alice Waters shares the sometimes rocky journey that took her from a fairly conventional childhood to innovative restaurant owner before she was 30. Waters talks about life in Berkeley in the turbulent 60s; her experiences in France when she was still a college student; her brief stint as a teacher; and her myriad relationships with friends, lovers, family, and the famous. I'm looking forward to learning more about the woman who helped changed the face of American cuisine.
  • In The Comfort Food Diaries (Atria, Sept. 26), freelance food writer Emily Nunn talks about how becoming a cook helped her overcome a patch of personal losses and setbacks and come to grips with her difficult childhood. Nunn talks frankly about her downward spiral after her bother's suicide and how friends, rehab, and time in the kitchen provide a path to healing and peace. Publisher's Weekly called the memoir "gorgeous and moving," and I'm looking forward to getting to know Nunn. Recipes are included.
NOTE: Mr. Linky sometimes is mean and will give you an error message. He's usually wrong and your link went through just fine the first time. Grrrr.
Weekend Cooking hosted by www.BethFishReads.comWeekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page.


rhapsodyinbooks 9/23/17, 7:27 AM  

Recently we went to a restaurant for very fancy grilled cheese sandwiches that included brie in addition to white cheddar (and I discovered that I retain my declasse preference for only American cheeses in a grilled cheese). But the best part of the "fancy" one was that it was made with parmesan rubbed asiago bread - very good idea!

Tina 9/23/17, 7:59 AM  

The Alice Waters book has been on my radar. Yes to your nachos and I recently made a skillet lasagna, yummy fare!

gluten Free A_Z Blog 9/23/17, 8:52 AM  

The comfort food diaries looks like a book I may enjoy right now since I've been turning to food for comfort lately.. Thanks for hosting too..

Deb in Hawaii 9/23/17, 12:14 PM  

Looks like you have been enjoying some good food. ;-) All three of the books look good. I have the Alice Waters book on my TBR list but it looks like I'll need to add the others now too. Thanks for sharing.

Claudia 9/23/17, 12:47 PM  

Those Sheet Pan Nachos look good Beth, and the Alice Waters memoir sounds interesting as well. It's gotten a bit cooler here in Hawaii, Fall has arrived.

Jackie McGuinness 9/23/17, 9:52 PM  

I am so late posting!

We'll be happy to get home and cook. John already asked for a lamb shepherd's pie!

nishitak 9/24/17, 11:34 AM  

That Alice Waters book sounds very interesting.

Cecelia 9/24/17, 1:28 PM  

I've never made tomato soup from scratch (this seems like a grievous oversight now...) but I'm a lifelong fan of grilled cheese. I need to up my game!

Katy McCoy 9/26/17, 12:53 AM  

I immediately zoomed to the library request app to get several of these books. Simple Fare came in and I picked it up on Sunday. I have to say that I'm so happy I got this from the library! The format is totally unwieldly - I have a nice size kitchen but there is no way that I could even put this book on my counters to read the recipes. What was the publisher thinking? And the large print - yes, it was nice to read without my reading glasses but what a lot of wasted space. And the recipes - I didn't find one recipe that I wanted to use and I'm a pretty skilled and adventurous cook. These recipes were like sketches - some suggested ideas on what you might combine- 15 pages of toast? Yikes! I suppose it's a nice coffee table book but I'd vote that you save your money!

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