Monday, October 26, 2009

Sunday cooking marathon

So, I'm busy enough that I like to have food already made that's easy to grab for lunches or what have you. But, I also really hate most convenience foods (ie: things that come out of a box).

Sunday I went on a major grocery run (including Giant and a smaller international market nearby). First - let me note how much I HATE shopping at Giant. Their produce generally looks like crap, if there's any in stock (eg: there were no leeks on Sunday, so I settled for sad, tiny looking green onions). It's SO busy that I refuse to use a shopping cart, and just fill up my reusable bags as I go throw the store. And the staff generally are insanely rude.

Pluses about international markets? The one in question, who's name I can't think of off-hand, is tiny, and cramped as well. And the staff may be rude, but I have no idea, since they mostly speak Spanish in the store. Once I asked for help, and the gal who helped me was great. Pricing? so much better. $1.60 for a package of 8-10 huge jalapeno peppers. Limes are 10 for $1. And the meat? I bought 1.75 lbs of chicken thighs for around $3. I also occasionally make the trek out to H Mart in Falls Church - a Korean grocery. Their produce is the best: big, plump green onions are four for $1, bell peppers are insanely cheap, and their greens always seem to hold up longer in the fridge.

Anyway, back to the cooking:
I started with the green onion and ham quiche. Perfect for breakfasts. Managed not to burn the crust quite so badly this time. Getting better every time!

From there, moved to the Indian butter chicken I've been wanting to try for a while. I consulted a number of recipes online and also bought a packet of pre-mixed sauce as a back up. I ended up making the scratch sauce (was missing a few traditional ingredients) and blending in the pre-mixed sauce for an overall result. Threw the chicken and sauce over basmati rice and made enough for 5 meals.

Garlic mashed potatoes for Sunday night dinner, to be paired with sirloin steak from the international mart.

While the potatoes were boiling I moved on to baking another round of pumpkin gingerbread -- which again, burnt after the first 45 minutes. My mom's recipe says bake at 350F for an hour, and yet twice, mine has burnt after 45 minutes at slightly less than 350... I think in the future I'll try it at 325 for an hour.


Lastly, while I was cleaning up after dinner, I braised arugula, spinach and broccoli raab to go with polenta later this week.

1 comment:

  1. What kind of pan were you using for the bread? Glass or dark pan? The kind of pan can make a difference.

    When I bake bread in a dark pan, I tend not to bake as long because of the tendency to burn.

    And remember -- every oven is different.

    My advice: Bake in a clear pan and check bread frequently.