Saturday, 23 March 2013

Cookbook Challenge #8 & 9 (and Zambo update)

Its a gorgeous weekend in Squamish & I am itching to get out for a walk.  My walks have become shorter & shorter, but its always nice to get out for some fresh air.  I'll be doing some cooking later this weekend, but I thought I'd give a quick review of a few recipes I made in the past 2 weeks; I am still doing pretty well at finding new & interesting options in my books.

Before I show you those, a quick update on Zambo.   The great news is that it sounds like she will be discharged tomorrow.  I'll be so happy to bring her home & I know she will be glad to be here.  After her treatment she had a complication called "Thyroid Storm" or "Thyrotoxicosis"  (both awesome names, IMO).  I was a bit worried, because when humans get thyroid storm it can be very serious, even life-threatening, and they frequently end up in the ICU for days.  Hurricane Zambo began on Wednesday, a day after her treatment, but it seemed to be brought under control with medications.  However, the next day she was storming again & the vet was at a loss to explain why she was still having such dramatic symptoms.  It sounded to me like they were worried about Zambo.  I barely slept that night.  The next day we got good news: her symptoms were starting to settle down, and today she is looking even better.  They want to observe her today, but tomorrow looks promising.   I made a recording of my voice for the vet to play while Zambo was at her nuclear retreat.  It's a CD of me reading from Pride & Prejudice, and the vet says it makes her happy.  By now she'll be wanting to hear what happens next - we were just at that moment when Lizzy & Mr Darcy meet in Lampton & we can see Lizzy starting to fall in love.... so exciting!

Hello Mr Darcy!  What's not to love?

CBC #8: Grilled Pineapple with Chai Spices from Bonnie Stern's Friday Night Dinners

This is a great book that I don't use often.  Meals are bunched together into themed 3-4 course dinners.   I feel to really do this book justice I should have ambitiously made a whole dinner for my CookBook Challenge.  But I am a busy woman, so I didn't!  

I LOVE fresh pineapple.  However, it is probably the only one food that seriously disagrees with my system.  Every so often I'd be off on a gorgeous tropical vacation when I would get quite severe stomach pains.  It took me a while to notice that it was correlated with pineapple intake.  Because I love it so much I've tried different techniques to prepare the pineapple in a way that doesn't upset my stomach.  I've found that if I bake or grill it, the acidity is far less & it works!  And it still tastes sweet & delicious.  So this recipe with grilled pineapple coated with cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg & anise was a yummy treat for me.  

Healthy desert: grilled pineapple with coconut yoghurt.  Yum

CBC #9 a) and b) from Simply Ming by Ming Tsai

I love the way this book is organized.  Each section starts with a "Master Recipe", which is a sauce, a salsa, a broth, or a rub which can be prepared ahead of time & kept in the fridge for up to two weeks.  After the Master Recipe come 3-4 recipes that use that ingredient for quick & delicious meals.  Its super for busy cooks.

My "master recipe" was Black Bean & Garlic Sauce.  It had what I thought of as a very quintessential Chinese food taste.  I had most ingredients on hand, and it hardly took any time to make.

CBC #9 a) was Pork and Tofu Stir-Fry.  Sorry, I have no picture of it, but it was quick, easy & delicious.  

A week later, I grabbed the Black Bean & Garlic Sauce out of the fridge & within 15 mins I had CBC #9 b) Wok-Stirred Beef with Eggplant and Black Beans on the table.   

Derek kindly sharing ALL of his eggplant with me.
I have a few cooking plans for tomorrow, but for today I think it's time to close the laptop & go enjoy the sunshine.  

1 comment:

  1. I think I might give the Ming Tsai recipe a go. It looks really delicious! Glad to hear Zambo is A-OK.