In Week Twenty-Two the details of life fell back into place. Timm arrived home from Africa, the Valentine’s rush was behind us, and I caught my breath. I celebrated by knocking out thirty recipes and feeling pretty good about it.
I also posted a rant on Instagram about how much I hate red velvet cake (it’s saved in my highlights if you care to check it out), and proceeded to receive the highest level of follower engagement I’ve ever had. It turns out I’m not the only one with strong feelings about this cake flavor (or non-flavor, if you’re asking).
This was a good week.
WHAT I COOKED
Scallion Cream Cheese, Family Style
Garlic and Herb Cream Cheese, Family Style
Vegetable Cream Cheese, Family Style
Israeli Couscous and Tuna Salad, Foolproof
Hummus, How Easy Is That?
Tuna and Hummus Sandwiches, How Easy Is That?
Lobster Corn Fritters, Foolproof
Rosemary White Bean Soup, Barefoot Contessa Cookbook
Grilled Salmon Sandwiches, Parties!
Quinoa Tabbouleh with Feta, Make It Ahead
Carrot Cake with Mascarpone Frosting, Foolproof
Orange Yogurt, Barefoot Contessa Cookbook
Blueberry Bran Muffins, Make It Ahead
Scrambled Eggs with Herbs, Family Style
Overnight Belgium Waffles, Make It Ahead
Chicken Thighs with Creamy Mustard Sauce, Cook Like A Pro
Charlie Bird’s Farro Salad, Cook Like A Pro
Panna Cotta with Raspberry Sauce, Cook Like A Pro
Vegetable Platter, Barefoot Contessa Cookbook
Salmon with Fennel, Barefoot Contessa Cookbook
Provencal Potato Salad, Barefoot Contessa Cookbook
Red Velvet Cupcakes, How Easy Is That?
Lamb Shanks with Orzo, Foolproof
Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Foolproof
Chocolate Terrine with Orange Sauce, Make It Ahead
Raspberry Vodka, Parties
Rori’s Potato Chips, Parties!
Tarragon Shrimp Salad, Cooking for Jeffrey
Brown Rice, Tomato, and Basil, Family Style
Fruitcake Cookies, At Home
WHAT I LEARNED
ISRAELI COUSCOUS AND TUNA SALAD.
I love Israeli couscous! This salad surprised me, in the best way possible. I thought it was going to be full of strong tuna or olive flavor, and instead it was light, bright, fresh, and the kind of salad that I could eat all day. I had it for leftovers the next day, and it held up quite well. I would highly recommend making this again!
SCRAMBLED EGGS WITH FRESH HERBS.
Holy cow, these are the best scrambled eggs I have ever eaten. I served this for Staff Lunch, alongside the Blueberry Bran Muffins and the Orange Yogurt, and it was an experience we all were giddy about. I want everyone to learn how to cook scrambled eggs like this. The butter, the salt, the slow cooking, and the finish of the perfect combination of fresh herbs. So satisfying.
BANANA BRAN MUFFINS.
These are going in a top ten list for sure. I love bran muffins, and I particularly like muffins that do not resemble cake, but are in fact hearty and full of the kind of ingredients I want to begin my morning with. There are two and a half cups bran in this batter, which means each muffin has close to one-quarter of a cup of bran. That’s a hefty helping of fiber. I took the leftover muffins home, and my kids loved them. My pickiest eater even commented, “I was surprised how much I enjoyed this muffin!” Three days later, I nibbled on the last leftover muffin, and it was still moist. The muffins were thick, craggy, and baked up beautifully.
CHARLIE BIRD’S FARRO SALAD.
Charlie Bird is apparently a restaurant in Houston. This salad is interesting and features my new favorite grain…farro! I gobbled this up. I like that the greens aren’t dressed in vinaigrette, but instead they get “dressed” from the vinaigrette that you pour over the hot farro. The crunch of pistachio, the surprise of parsley and mint, and the sharp bite of parmesan with juicy cherry tomatoes is fantastic.
SALMON WITH FENNEL.
Were it not for this project, I would never have cooked this. It calls for a LOT of salmon, and it just doesn’t jump off of the page as something compelling to prepare. More wrong I could not be. This is perhaps the best salmon I’ve ever eaten. The fennel filling is sweet and caramelized, with a hint of orange that works in this setting. The salmon is perfectly cooked, buttery, flaky. The whole presentation was impressive and fun. I served it at room temp with a beautiful grilled Vegetable Platter and the Provencal Potato Salad. It was a hit.
TARRAGON SHRIMP SALAD.
Add this to your summer menu line up! Such a great dish. Timm took it to the next level and put it in bread, and claimed it to be “better than a lobster roll.” It was simple enough to prepare, and full of crunch and flavor. It is creamy, but not in a gloppy way. It’s the kind of thing I want to keep in the fridge and eat for a cold dinner in the middle of August.
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