Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Winning Dishes

For those of you who know me, you know that I really enjoy cooking. It's a somewhat new (say, within the last 5 years) interest, but I spend a lot of time researching, planning, and cooking. It's just fun for me. It can definitely turn into a lot of work, but overall I find the experience very rewarding, even cathartic, particularly the chopping. In any case, we have a pretty diverse palette around here. Lots of International foods and an affinity for spice, so it's not always easy to find a dish that suits the whole family, which now includes Monk -- that very good eater we know and love, but yet still a toddler. Of late, I've found a couple winning dishes, though, and am so proud. I seriously doubt that they will stick because it seems the kid is as fickle as he is ornery, but it's still quite a feat.

Last week I tried a recipe for Chicken Florentine out of The Big Book of Chicken -- just spinach and rice and parmesan and chicken in a casserole. I was shocked that he ate it. I'd have normally amped up the garlic and onions the next time, but since he and we liked it, I should probably add it -- as is -- to a normal rotation.

I like to make a casserole dish on Sunday or Monday of a week in case I'm feeling lazy on a subsequent night of the week and we can just have leftovers. Thus, I made a lasagna this week. And the kid ate it tonight for dinner. I was pretty impressed. I think he really ate mostly the cheese and noodles, but may have also managed down a few pieces of Italian sausage as well. Good times.

As I type this, I have some Palak Tofu brewing in the crockpot. I can't imagine Oliver will go for Indian food, but it's worth a shot. If nothing else, he'll grub on the rice, I guess.

Nothing too exciting in all this recipe trial and error, I suppose, but it is an interest (if not an obsession), so I thought my cooking should make an appearance in The Oliver Chronicles.

I love love love a cooking blog and find many of my recipes on blogs. The Palak Tofu recipe is from a blog called A Year of Slowcooking, where the author made a meal in her crockpot every day for 365 days. Wow. Impressive. I'm a fan of the crock, but haven't nearly mastered it. And my adventures in cooking are hardly worthy of a blog of their own, but you may see them make an appearance here now and again. Let me know what you think or if you have any must-try recipes or favorite cooking blogs. I'm always up for something new. In the meantime, I'm sure glad to move away from the soy nuggets and american cheese and frozen peas that has been the menu of choice up til now.


mrsjtg said...

Let me know about the Indian crockpot dish. My kids actually really like Indian. Not sure they would go for the tofu though...me neither. :(

BurchCo said...

Joan, the spinach dish turned out pretty good. Mildly spiced. Oliver wasn't interested. Tofu got a bit chewy even for my tastes, so you could definitely leave it out -- or get the real-deal paneer at your local international food market. Try it. Really couldn't be easier or cheaper, so low risk there. Let me know if you make it and/or if they like it.