We had some nice meals this weekend, even though we only had one guest. Our friend came over on Friday and I wanted to make sure she had nice things to eat, so we had:
Turnip Soup (I made it with soy milk instead of milk and cream but otherwise as written--it was delish)
French bread (instead of challah--from The Bread Baker's Apprentice)
Polenta-filled acorn squash
Steamed spinach with toasted sesame seeds
and this awesome tapioca dessert with some pineapple added to it
Also, our guest brought some dried mango and some salad greens. We adore dried mango in our house.
The polenta in squash with seitan was from The Millenium Cookbook pp. 140-141, but I made some changes. I didn't think anyone would be able to eat a whole acorn squash full of polenta and stew, so I just sliced the squashes in half and baked the leftover polenta in a pan to serve later. (What a great leftover that was!) Also, I didn't plan to make this recipe ahead of time, so I didn't have all the vegetables that the book calls for the stew. So I made mine with shallots, leeks, celery, carrots and potatoes, store-bought seitan and fewer spices. If I had realized I was going to start blogging about it, I would have written down exact quantities! I generally find this cookbook, like most restaurant cookbooks, a bit too ongepochket for home cooking, but I didn't have any trouble with this recipe, even though I made changes. I think I'm going to make more stuff from this book.
I have been making challah since I'm not working full time. One can buy a nice bakery challah where we live, but it's expensive. This week I made French bread because I have this incredible new baking book on loan for a few weeks, and I want to make as many breads from it as I can. The crusty bread (Pain de Campagne, if you have the book) was so delicious with the creamy soup.
For Saturday lunch we had kasha varnishkas and Sesame Carrots on a Bed of Soft Cabbage from Mollie Katzen's Vegetable Heaven. My son likes me to page through Vegetable Heaven with him, there are great pastel drawings of vegetables and he yells out their names. We actually do this with a lot of my cookbooks and it's a great way to find recipes! The sesame carrots were really good. I think he ate more of the cabbage while we were chopping it up than in the finished dish though.
I need to post about cooking with a toddler. I would love to see what other people do to involve their children of different ages in cooking. Also, I want to know how people who work outside the home and have kids get to cook at all! Maybe you don't! I know some families have a tradition of pizza for Friday night dinner. Hey, if you're relaxing with your family, it's all good! Our guest this past Friday is practically family to us, and we had a lot of enjoyment getting to be with her after too long of not getting to see her.