Jul 022010

This is weird: I feel like I am back in elementary school again. I have homework! And a due date. I am not going to be sent to the principal’s office if I fail in my pursuits. My parents are not going to be aware that anything is amiss (well, my Mother reads my blog, and as an ex-teacher she is not shy with doling out criticism). I will graduate to the next post even if I don’t finish this one on time. But I have a responsibility to myself, which is not an easy burden to bear. I am always the hardest to satisfy, the most critical, nit-picky person around. The digital clock is not ticking, but it stares at me relentlessly. Time to wrap up a week and move on.

Our weekly menu suffered only small changes.


  • Mussells with garlic, white wine, butter and lemon
  • Green Salad
  • Homemade bread

Husband went to Costco and bought a big bag of mussels (for some reason, they stock it only on weekends). We can plough through a pile of these mollusks in no time (my children do not crave hot dogs and Kraft’s Mac-N-Cheese on daily bases). While I was at work, my taller half went on an internet quest for a homemade loaf of bread destined to soak up the garlicky mussels’ juices. It was whole wheat, very tasty, but not something my Mediterranean loving soul would have chosen. For a geeky geek, that was an effort worth praising. Dinner was a wordless affair, with a lot of slurping and sighing. I would call it a success. No pictures, though – the sun was already on its way towards Japan, and the mussels do not like to wait and pose.


  • Tandoori Chicken and Rice
  • Homemade Roti

I have a huge Word document where I store all my recipes. It is a behemoth, and I add to it every day. I have a separate folder for the dishes I have to try (as if thousands in the “cookbook” were just an exercise  in typing). There I record the recipes from the blogs I read. Sunday’s dinner was inspired by Simply Recipes for chicken and rice. The roti recipe is from Quick Indian Cooking. I made a cucumber raita in addition. No surprises, because the sources were impeccable. The chicken was succulent, spicy in just the right way, looking appetizing even without the red food dye. The rice was aromatic and a pretty yellow – the Beasties had a great time with it. Roti was easy to make and I felt proud of myself for accomplishing another baking project. No photos. Chicken could have waited, but we were starving and half-way done with dinner when I remembered. Too late.


  • Spanish-Inspired Stuffed Peppers

This did not happen because the schedules got mixed up. But I am not deserting it, just moving it to next week. We had pizza, because Husband’s Offspring #1, the Vegetarian, worked the morning shift and announced her presence at the dinner table. OK, not a big deal. I made the dough, Husband cut up the ingredients, and two pies were ready to face the hungry household in short order. One had some ham, the other was vegetarian, but I planted a variety of olives in both of them, knowing they would be coming my way (the young ones do not appreciate the salty deliciousness of the mother-olive). No photos, even though pizzas were extremely photogenic, albeit weirdly shaped.


  • Cream of Broccoli Soup
  • Noodles With Lemon-Ginger Dressing

This happened, but the next day. I had a hankering for Serbian baked beans, fish was on sale, and I knew the noodles to be a patient bunch. Fresh swai fillets were seasoned with salt, pepper and paprika, lightly brushed with olive oil, rolled in bread crumbs and baked for 15 minutes at 350F. The beans got a post all to themselves, and I am not playing to their vanity by repeating anything.


  • Serbian Cabbage with Pork

Noodles With Lemon-Ginger Dressing from Steamy Kitchen (adapted from Heidi of 101 Cookbooks) planned for the previous day were a delight. Husband did not even notice the absence of the meat protein. The Beasties loved the spice. The only change I made was adding lime zest and lime juice, because I did not have any lemons. And no tofu. I still have to allow this soy bean curd to seduce me.


  • a shrimp dish (still have not decided)

I visited my friend Dragana in her new place, and her mother was making Serbian Cabbage with Pork. I knew I had to make it immediately. Shrimp was moved to another day. We can always have shrimp. But when cravings for cabbage are awakened, delaying won’t do. I have written a post about this cruciferous monarch of Eastern and Central Europe, paid my dues, and now I move on.


  • Sloppy Joes, coleslaw

When I announced Sloppy Joes for dinner, the Beasties staged a rebellion, demanding stuffed peppers. What? I tried to do a child friendly meal. Hmmm. How well do I know my children? But I promised them the peppers to come very soon (the Spanish spiced ones are eagerly awaiting their cue), and continued on with my plan. The meal was pretty good, considering its pedestrian nature (did I just use a snotty adjective?). No, it was really good. The sauce was thick, slightly sour, slightly sweet, just a bit “piquant”, and melded wonderfully with the soft bun. The creaminess of the coleslaw brought another dimension to the senses, and crunchiness of Lays potato chips was just an added bonus.