Cooking Notes – November 2010 (Confession Edition)

Continuing on from last month’s cooking notes, here are November’s, to be updated throughout the month as usual. You can see previous months cooking notes by clicking on the “Cooking Notes” tag on the right side of the screen.


  • Apple Cider Doughnuts
  • Chocolate Chip Cookies – from a mix because the little packets were on sale. Can you tell someone’s having comfort food cravings?
  • Orange-Yogurt Cake
  • Brownies – Ghirardelli chocolate.
  • Apple-Almond Tart – a traditional French pastry.

Main Meals

  • Roast Chicken with garlic and rosemary (basic Joy of Cooking recipe)
  • Greek Dip with breadfor a church potluck.
  • Potato, Cheddar, and Ham Soup
  • Beef with gravy and creamed spinachgood comfort food. Especially when finished off with a bowl of Chocolate Brownie Overload ice cream.
  • Sausage and Bagle sandwichesCan you tell someone was sick and didn’t feel like cooking? They’re pretty tasty when drizzled with honey though.
  • Pleasant View Schoolhouse Crispy Chicken – We go back to this one again and again, though I didn’t make it during our first three months here because no local stores carry Tamari soy sauce. My Mom picked some up for us and brought it along in September. Delicious served with rice or couscous for mopping up the sauce, plus green beans or tomatoes on the side.
  • Rachael Ray Spinach Lasagna – One of Carl’s favorites. This is the first time I’ve made it with fresh spinach instead of frozen – it makes a huge difference!
  • Julia Childs’ Saute of Beef for Two – You’ve seen this one before. It’s one of Carl’s favorites.
  • Black bean and tomato bruschetta – I made this one up when the Man called to say he’d be coming home for lunch. Combine 2 chopped tomatoes, 1 can rinsed and drained black beans, some salt, pepper, and garlic salt, olive oil, a splash of balsamic vinegar, shredded parmesan, and some dried (or fresh) basil and oregano. If you have time, place in the fridge to let the flavors marry. Toast good sliced bread in olive oil in the frying pan. Rub each peace of toasted bread with a sliced open clove of garlic. This method imparts a huge amount of garlic flavor, so only run it across the bread once or twice. Mound vegetable mix on the bread and enjoy.

Lest I look like a food snob, would you like a confession? With the Man away for training all week, it felt like a lot of work to cook for one person. On top of that, I spent every evening working on household projects which left little time for puttering in the kitchen. So, you know what I ate during the first week of November?

Night 1: Church potluck picnic, out on a church member’s farm. Eat, meet people, get to hold a cute 7 month old all evening. Bring a half-batch of pumpkin chocolate chip muffins I tossed in the freezer a couple of weeks ago, so no cooking.

Night 2: Tortilla filled with refried beans and a little cheese, with an apple on the side.

Night 3: Well, last night only took two minutes to prepare and tasted pretty good. Lets have that again. 

Night 4: I feel like breakfast for dinner, but not a usual standby. Enter Nutella-banana french toast. See, it’s healthy because it has a banana in it, right?

Night 5: Quesadilla and an apple.

Night 6: Craving real food all day after a week of junky eating. Spend an hour getting to and from the pharmacy on post to refill a prescription, all with a grinding headache. Feel too sick to cook the food I want, and have no desire to sit in a restaurant this way. Stop at the grocery store and buy an on-sale steak, a Stouffers frozen mac n’ cheese, and a Stouffers frozen spinach souffle. Oh, and a bag of chocolate cookie mix. Cheating and expensive in every way, but it sure tasted good. 

Night 7: Nutella-banana french toast again.

Don’t worry. I’m planning a one-person menu of real food so I don’t end up plagued with scurvy or obesity by the time the Man returns from deployment. And, since he’s coming home from training today the remaining days at home will revolve around his favorites. A little spoiling before a very long stretch of mess hall food can’t hurt. Apple-almond tarts, spinach lasagna, French beef sautees  here we come.


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