my slacker life

After slacking off dreadfully in the kitchen for a while, I actually have something new to write up. Neither dish uses a new ingredient or anything, but these are things I haven’t made before, so…

Flipping through one of my Cooks Illustrated books, I came across Arugula salad with sausage and white beans which sounded interesting. Cannellini beans were sauteed in mustard vinaigrette with onion and roasted red peppers (and olives, but I omitted those because — um, YUK). So this warm goop went on the greens and then was topped with thinly sliced cooked chicken sausage. It all tasted pretty good but I think I’m not all that into putting warm goop on greens. I think I’d prefer to have the sausage/beans with a side of green beans or something.

I think sauteed pork tenderloin medallions with vinegar, spices, and raisins was even better. There weren’t any unusual ingredients, the dish was pretty much what it said it was going to be. After sautéing the medallions, you saute some sliced onions with spices in the same pan, then add sherry and vinegar, reduce, add chicken stock and raisins, reduce, add back the pork and simmer a few minutes. Delicious and easy!!

Bonus Polish comfort food: This week I also made 19 dozen sauerkraut pierogies and 50 (ok, 49) golubki for the freezer *fistpump*

Pix of golubki after the cut :-)



Again, not many new things in the kitchen lately, but I am in the middle of making from-scratch cupcakes for the first time, using recipes from The Dessert Bible for yellow cake and chocolate frosting. So, yay me, I guess.

The first batch rose way more than I was expecting and I was worried that they came out poorly. I made the supreme sacrifice of sharing one with theCultFigure to see if they were edible, and happily, they are. Pix of not-yet-frosted cupcakes after the jump.


Once again, nothing new on the culinary front. Just a lot of slacking all around!

I feel so bad for theCultFigure. One of his favorite bands comes to town, on his freaking birthday, and he’s abroad at a conference. Then, to top it off, they play a show on the same day for KEXP subscribers at the Triple Door. I attended that one on his behalf and I regret to report it was pretty great. Sorry sweetie!

Perhaps because it was a 1pm show, they opted to play a lot of slower, quieter tracks and it suited the mood of the club very well. In general I don’t like going to shows at venues where you have to sit, but it often seems to work for the afternoon Triple Door concerts. They closed their hour-long set with the first two tracks of their latest album, which were faster-paced than most of the rest of the material they chose. In particular I think “Unless It’s Kicks” was very raw and sounded fantastic.

For the next 2 weeks, the broadcast should be in the station streaming archives – it aired at 4pm on 9/17/08. Setlist after the jump for those who care.


I attempted my first batch of mushroom pierogies last week. My mushroom-loving husband enjoyed them very much, as did I, I’m pleased to say.

They were more work than my stand-by sauerkraut ones, but not unreasonably so. The filling consists mainly of sauteed button mushrooms (processed teeny-tiny in the food processor), punched up with dried porcinis, caramelized onions, parsley, garlic and bound together with a bit of sour cream. Not terribly attractive to look at, so photo is after the jump.


Nothing new last week. I’m hoping to make my first batch of mushroom pierogies this week though.

The weekly kitchen update is a few days late due to bumberblogging, but I do have a few new things to report on.

After the first mint chocolate chip ice cream debacle (scrambled custard – ick) I gave it another go, and was much more obsessed when it came to monitoring critical transition points in the process. This time it worked out well. The ice cream was surprisingly not as minty as I would have expected. I think I could have maybe heated the milk/cream/mint even longer than I did, to extract more mint flavor. And — hard as it is to type these words — I think the recipe called for too much chocolate. The ratio of ice cream to shaved chocolate just was wrong. But, definitely would make it again despite the hassle of making the custard.

I also made two more dishes from the America’s Test Kitchen magazine I mentioned previously.

The first, lemony chicken with potatoes and artichokes called for a thawed box of frozen artichoke hearts. Overall the dish was pretty good, except for the artichoke hearts. They were blah and didn’t seem to pick up any of the lemon-garlic flavors the way the potatoes did (yum). I also think the chicken was calling out for a pan sauce but that wasn’t in the plan.

Finally, I made a spicy skillet pasta with chorizo. This is a dish from the one-pot school of thought and it was really good. First sauteed chorizo sausage and onion. Then in the same skillet added chicken stock, pasta, cream (Ii subbed half-n-half), fire-roasted diced tomatoes… After the pasta was tender, topped it with pepper jack cheese and tossed it under the broiler for a few mins. Delicious. Another quick and easy winner.

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