Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Got Milk? 6: Lemon BonBon Cookies

J and I have been away.  On vacation.  And not together.
Yes, after 8 years of marriage, my husband and I took separate vacations.  He went to visit friends in South Carolina and do some audio geek stuff, and I went away with my mom on a bus trip.  We both had a great time, and it was all good, but it also meant that I got to do something that I never get to do - spend time in the house by myself.
I miss time alone.  With a husband who doesn't drive and who is home during the day, he usually goes out in the evenings or on the weekends with me.  I spend little to no time by myself in the house with just the cats as company.  This was a chance to do just that, and it was blissful.  I had one night to myself, and as I announced on Facebook, I managed to meal plan for J and I, and for mom and I but not for just me.  Maybe it's just as well that I don't spend much time alone.  But one thing that I did make was a batch of cookies so Mom and I would have dessert.
I turned to my Taste of Home cookie magazine for something different that we might enjoy.  I happened upon these lemony cookies a while ago, and finally decided it was time.  They're totally worth it.  Trust me.  They freeze well, too.  And it's not a huge batch, either.  2 dozen cookies aren't a lot, because these melt on your tongue.  Mmmmm...perhaps I need to go and find myself one or two now.
I present to you now from Linda Nicholson from Palatka, Florida's Lemony Bonbon Cookies:

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

#BookClubCookbookCC: Chicken Tikka Kebabs

I posted on Facebook and Twitter recently that I was about to embark upon a new project with some old food blogger friends.  That time is finally here!  I'm so happy to say that for the next year, I will be participating in the Book Club Cookbook Cooking Crew for a time of fun, food and good prose.
Hosted by Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla, this project brings together 11 bloggers around The Book Club Cook Book (Revised Ed) by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp.  Each month between now and next July (other than December), 1 blogger will choose a book from the cookbook and invite us all to make food that is inspired by the title of the month.  You can draw on the recipe included in the cookbook, or choose something else that uses the themes and food included in the book.
I've so enjoyed just reading the cookbook!  There are old favourites of books that I have read in the past, as well as books I've never heard of that sound so interesting!  I was thrilled that the first selection was something I was unfamiliar with, seeing as it's the beginning of summer and I needed reading inspiration.  I'm sure that that will continue long after the project ends too.
This month's selection was chosen by our fearless leader, Camilla.  She invited us to "make curry and drink a lassi" with her while reading Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpra Lahiri.

This collection of 9 short stories all have characters who somehow relate to India:  either immigrants to Europe and the US, or US-born characters with Indian heritage.  I so enjoyed the stories, especially Mrs. Sen's and This Blessed House.  There was something about Twinkle and her display of relics that made me smile; just like Mrs.Sen and her stories to Eliot about life in Calcutta.  While most of these stories have a huge food element to them, I took my inspiration from When Mr. Pirzada Came to Dine.  In that story, the narrator tells the story of Mr. Pirzada, a man who has come to America to study plants, is invited to dinner by her parents regularly.  I had already started to toy with what to make, and when I saw the phrase "platters of kebabs", I knew what I was going to do.
My making of Indian food is usually based upon browning the chicken and adding a bottle of Patak's Butter Chicken Sauce.  While I enjoy the flavours, I don't often spend the time to make it.  I didn't really think Patak's would cut it for this, and the egg curry was called an "acquired taste", so I didn't think that it was a taste that I would quickly acquire.  I don't like hard-boiled eggs.
As my Facebook friends know, I've been cleaning out my office.  It's been crazy the amount of crap that I have been lugging from house to house.  Crazy, I tell you!  But one of the things I found was a Bon Appetit Tastes of the World that I have no clue how I acquired, nor had I used ever.  I started flipping, and soon found something that sounded good.
I present to you now from Bon Appetit Chicken Tikka Kebabs:

Monday, July 13, 2015

Take Out at Home: Sesame Chicken Salad

If it hasn't been established already, I love quick dinners.  I mean, I like recipes with different techniques that use all of my kitchen utensils, but on a regular basis I'm a quick and dirty kind of girl.  Mise en place just makes sense because while the prep may take a while, when you're finally cooking everything is at your fingertips and ready to go.
You would think as a result that I would embrace Rachael Ray of the early days with her 30 minute meals.  While I watched 30 Minute Meals from time to time when it was on, I found her voice grating, and as time went on her cutesy words annoying.
I somehow acquired a copy of her 30 Minute Meals 2 in my travels.  I'm pretty sure I didn't buy it, and it's not something I would have asked for as a gift, so I'm just not sure.  I've flipped through it from time to time, but really the only things I make from it are the Italian Wedding Soup, Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches and Twice Baked Potatoes - all of which are really good.
I decided last week that I should really use some of the cookbooks that are lurking in my cupboard more and so had a flip through 30 Minute Meals 2 again.  I'm glad I did.  I found this.
I present to you now Rachael Ray's Sesame Chicken Salad: