Any other time that my parents have come to visit (it's a 4 hour drive so it doesn't happen more often than once a year), we'd eaten at home a few times, but mostly went out to eat. Well, that's certainly over and done with.
Since they arrived Thursday night, I have cooked a lot. What's weird is that I honestly don't recall making these types of meals for them EVER. I made the pear coffeecake, which turned out well, my favorite pork roast-bread and potato dumplings-sauerkraut meal (also mom and dad's favorite - we have to force ourselves to stop eating or we will stuff face until we're sick), shrimp and parmesan pasta with GF no-knead bread....
We've eaten well. I've probably gained 5 pounds because I haven't eaten this well in quite a while. And I have beautiful leftovers in the fridge. I am really looking forward to frying up the last of the dumplings in butter - oh so good.
As I had mentioned yesterday, I made the dessert I had presented at Christmas Eve, with one change - I made it in a round cake pan and sliced it into wedges instead of cutting out circles with a biscuit cutter. The Man and I were so full from dinner that only mom and dad ate any, but I will get my turn today.
So. Here's the recipe for that dessert.
Chocolate-Panna Cotta Cake with Cherries
Adapted from The New Best Recipe and Rebecca Reilly's Gluten-Free Baking
For the cake (Rebecca's recipe, a few technique tweaks by me):
2 tbsp potato starch
6 tbsp sifted unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tbsp cornstarch
3 eggs, room temperature
6 tbsp sugar
1/8 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and clarified
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Lightly butter an 8" round cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
Mix together (I sifted them together) the potato starch, cocoa powder and cornstarch.
Ribbon together the eggs, sugar and salt (she has an explanation of this in her book, but it's pretty long so I am not going to retype it - sorry). Add the vanilla and reribbon. Add the cocoa mixture in thirds, folding in after each addition. Fold in the clarified butter.
Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan.
For the Panna Cotta:
1/2 cup whole milk
1 2/3 tsp gelatin
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
6 tbsp sugar
A 2" section of vanilla bean
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup frozen cherries, chopped
Pour the milk into a medium saucepan. Evenly sprinkle the gelatin over the milk and allow to sit for 10 minutes.
While the gelatin is softening, split and scrape the vanilla bean and place the seeds and pod into the heavy cream.
Prepare an ice bath by placing 4 cups water and 2 cups of ice in a large bowl.
After the 10 minutes are up, heat the milk and gelatin over low heat until the mixture reaches 135 degrees, whisking briskly. Remove from the heat and whisk in the sugar and salt until dissolved. Add the heavy cream to the saucepan.
Pour the panna cotta through a strainer into a bowl small enough to fit into the ice bath bowl without getting any water into the bowl. Add the cherries. Whisk briskly until the mixture has cooled to 45 degrees.
Pour the panna cotta over the top of the prepared cake. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours. Slice into wedges and grate dark chocolate over the top for serving.
Sunday, December 30, 2007
Saturday, December 29, 2007
Posted by Sheri at 2:42 PM
Monday, December 17, 2007
I decided about 8 AM to make myself a kick-ass frittata for breakfast. Smoked salmon, spinach, fontina…can’t go wrong there! I whipped everything up, got it into the oven and sat down to read.
Things went downhill quickly from here.
At about 8:45, I pulled the stainless steel pan containing the frittata out of the oven and placed it on top of the stove while I got a knife, fork and plate.
I grabbed the handle of the pan. Without a hot pad or towel.
Yes, people, I did. Did any of you catch the last post before the original Just Not Dinner went “poof?” I talked about needing to be wrapped up in bubble wrap. Tri-ply bubble wrap.
Well, in this case, it would have melted to the handle and to my skin (and I am not sure which would have been worse).
I can’t close my hand right now – I have first degree (thank god that’s all) burns running across my fingers between the top and middle knuckles and again between the middle and bottom knuckles. I also have a nice red stripe across the bottom of my palm.
If this doesn’t prove that I am accident-prone, I don’t know what does.
But I had a damn good breakfast, anyway. I just whimpered in pain between bites.
Smoked Salmon Frittata with Spinach and Fontina
1 tbsp butter
½ cup onion, diced
½ cup milk
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp horseradish
1 cup fresh spinach, chopped
4 oz smoked salmon, chopped
½ cup grated fontina cheese
¼ tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In an ovenproof skillet, melt the butter over low heat. Add the onion and allow to sweat until the onion is soft but not browned. Remove from the heat and add the chopped spinach and salmon.
In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, mustard, horseradish, salt and pepper. Pour over the mixture in the skillet. Sprinkle the cheese over the top and then gently stir to combine all ingredients.
Gently place the skillet into the oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the top is browned and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and slice into wedges for serving.
Beware the hot handle, people. Beware.
Posted by Sheri at 4:21 PM
Surprise Package Cookies
Adapted from The Vault
½ cup butter
½ cup sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
½ tsp vanilla
1 tsp GF baking powder
1/3 tsp kosher salt
2/3 cup white rice flour
1/3 cup tapioca starch
¼ cup cornstarch
2 tbsp sweet rice flour
1 ¼ tsp xanthan gum
1 pkg Andes Candies
In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugars together. Add the egg and beat well. Add the vanilla.
In another bowl, sift together the flours, baking powder, salt, and xanthan gum. Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture until completely incorporated. Refrigerate the dough for at least 3 hours.
When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. With rice-floured hands, shape a tablespoonful of dough around 22 candies, forming rectangular cookies. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until the cookies just begin to turn golden brown. Cool on wire racks.
When the cookies have cooled, melt the remaining Andes Candies and drizzle over the cookies.
Posted by Sheri at 4:19 PM
Sunday, December 16, 2007
So, after I published the last post, I ended the evening of December 13th with the most priceless kluty move of them all – I accidentally deleted my blog!
I stared at my laptop monitor in horrified fascination, mouth agape, thirty milliseconds after I pressed the “Delete My Blog” button.
I thought I was deleting the test page I had created last March when I was playing around with templates. I had no clue I had selected the wrong blog for deletion.
My heart in my throat, I finally found the “contact Blogger email thing” and started to pray really hard. I had no idea how much I loved Just Not Dinner until it was no more.
I have read around the Net that Blogger is amazingly slow in responding to requests such as mine. I had hoped that my plea was pathetic enough to warrant a quick response as my immediate family kind of uses Just Not Dinner as a way to keep up with me. I covered another base by posting to Blogger’s Help Group thingy.
It’s been a few days now and I haven’t even gotten an email from a Bot yet. So I have decided that for now, I must carry on with the show, even though I don’t have my archives, comments, etc.
When I get my original blog back (please, please, please be soon), I will transfer the upcoming posts to that and everything will be as it should be.
Posted by Sheri at 4:18 PM
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Someone needs to encase my ass in bubble wrap before allowing me to even get out of bed.
But before I get to that, the damn Christmas tree is done. I made applesauce-cinnamon ornaments, screwed hooks into walnuts, and strung popcorn and cranberries.
Never again with the popcorn thing. Never again.Besides, The Gidge has been pretty good about leaving the tree alone after I sprayed everywhere she could reach with Bitter Lime.
And now, without further ado...
How many people do you know that allow their cat to get its mouth on the fishing line you are using to make a popcorn and cranberry garland? And allow said cat to TAKE OFF WHEN THE DOG COMES TROTTING UP, while your fingers are wrapped up in said fishing line?
That left a mark. It's still healing after nearly a week.
Yesterday, while making the bed and simultaneously playing with the dog, I ran full-tilt-boogie into this. The post hits me (yes, this has happened more than once - you'd think I would learn already) right at the spot where the thigh meets the hip.
That left a mark, too. A nice purple, green and black one.
I went to the post office at lunch today to pick up some mail and get a shipping box. While pulling the mail out of my post office box, which is well above my head, the box bit my finger, which would not stop bleeding.
Get the idea?
Bubble wrap, people. I need some.
My innards have not been up to par, either. I have been existing on yogurt, bananas and cream of rice, trying to get back to normal after god-knows-what threw my digestive system off. It's possible that while cooking for the boss on Saturday that I didn't wash my hands well enough after touching her bread and glutened my klutzy butt. Or I have a touch of some stomach bug. Leaning toward the bread and klutzy butt, though.
Tonight I decided that I needed REAL FOOD. To hell with what my stomach might feel like afterward. I rooted through the freezer and came out with some salmon, then poked through the potato bin and the crisper drawers. And ended up with dinner.
Clementined Salmon with Roasted Root Vegetables & Broccoli
For the salmon:
2 large salmon filets
1/4 cup clementine juice (about 2 clementines)
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp GF soy sauce
Salt and pepper
For the roasted veggies:
1 large potato, cut into 3/4" pieces
1 large parsnip, cut into 3/4" pieces
1 head broccoli, cut into small florets
2 tbsp olive oil
Sea salt and pepper
Asiago cheese (optional)
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
In a medium bowl, toss the potato and parsnip pieces with the olive oil. Pour them into a baking dish. Place into the oven and roast for about 20 minutes, or until the potatoes have lost their "raw sheen" and are just barely becoming fork tender.
Place the salmon filets into a baking dish and sprinkle with salt and pepper. In a small bowl, combine the clementine juice, honey and soy sauce. Pour the mixture over the salmon and set aside. Place into the oven after the vegetables have been in the oven about 15 minutes. Spoon some of the clementine mixture over the top of the salmon every 5 to 8 minutes.
Steam the broccoli until just barely fork-tender. You can do what I did - use the microwave. Those new steam bags can be a handsaver when you don't have a dishwasher, like me.
When the potatoes and parsnips have begun to brown, add the broccoli to the mix. Continue to bake until the broccoli just barely browns and the salmon is cooked through, about 10 minutes (more if your salmon filets are pretty thick).
When serving, sprinkle the vegetables with asiago cheese, sea salt and pepper to taste.
Oh. Did I mention that I also broke a nail the other day? Better get a triple roll of that bubble wrap.
Posted by Sheri at 7:16 PM
Thursday, December 06, 2007
Posted by Sheri at 6:37 PM
Saturday, December 01, 2007
Posted by Sheri at 8:03 PM