What’s the Occasion?

October 13, 2009 at 8:19 pm Leave a comment

Well, my (not so) triumphant return, of course!

Just kidding…

I do apologize for the absence – I had one of those weeks where the thought of doing anything outside of what was absolutely necessary was too much to handle. And then this weekend, I was home :)

But now, I’m back. With a truly decadent dinner to share. I’ve been eating really poorly recently, so yesterday I sat down and found recipes for the week. I went to Trader Joe’s today and got the ingredients (all the meals have overlapping ingredients, so I actually didn’t spend that much) so that I can be ready to make dinner. I’m so tired of having all these wonderful recipes and not having the ingredients or the will to make them – I’m hoping that planning at the beginning of the week will not only get me eating better, but make me actually cook more as well. (And I realized while typing this that basically I’m participating in the Real Meal Challenge – hooray!).

For dinner, I made something I’ve been eying for awhile – Jenna’s Polenta with Wild Mushroom Gravy. I don’t actually think I’ve ever had polenta before, so I was excited to try that. I’ve also been on an odd mushroom kick lately, which is odd, because until now, I haven’t even liked mushrooms that much! Oh well – I’m glad when my tastes change towards liking a new food :)

I stuck to the recipe almost exactly, except I used a bit less of all the liquids (a bad idea – I thought I had less mushrooms than I did), I used regular milk instead of half-and-half, and I used rosemary instead of the thyme and red pepper flakes.

Oh my gosh, it was amazing. So warm and comforting (necessary, because it’s definitely feeling like Fall out there – we hit freezing temperatures last night!) and delicious. The gravy would be really good on pasta or chicken as well, I think.

I also had a honeycrisp apple on the side, which is also something new – I don’t think I had ever (knowingly) had one before I tried it this season.

And now? I’ve been craving them. So crisp and just slightly tart.

Dessert was ridiculously decadent. I bought some Mixed Berries at Trader Joe’s the other day, and I still have some TJs FroYo, so I wanted to do something with both of those. So I made a Berry Sauce to top my froyo with. I combined (all measurements are subjective – I definitely didn’t measure when I was making it):

  • 1 cup mixed berries (I had raspberries, blueberries, strawberries), slightly thawed if frozen
  • 1/2 TB honey
  • dash pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup water
  • juice of 1/2 lemon

over medium heat until it boiled. To that, I added a couple of teaspoons of flour (! I know – I don’t have any cornstarch!) and let it cook until it thickened, whisking it ‘til smooth.

I topped my froyo with the sauce, and then added some shaved dark chocolate on top (man I know how to indulge).

What was almost even better than the food itself was the accomplishment in making it all. I really do love to cook, and I have to remember that when I try to be lazy and just heat stuff up for dinner…

Tomorrow, I have fun dinner plans – hopefully everything turns out well :)

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Spoils of Work Freep!

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