Sunday, 20 January 2013

Snow & A Week of Feasts

It's been a cold week here and as you can see, we got some of the white stuff as well.  We had a little on Monday morning and then a further few inches on Friday.  I thought they did a good job in Derby about getting the salt and grit down such that we didn't have any issues getting home from work.  The smaller roads in the subdivisions were a little slick and I think it was more severe to the south of us (and Wales in particular) though I honestly haven't kept up with the news.

It looks like it will stay around freezing for the next week and I think more snow is predicted.  I think the city can handle a couple of inches but not much more (no plows).  Our cars are rear wheel drive and have summer tires, so we really aren't well equipped.  We are each carrying two bags of sand in the "boot" to provide a little more traction.  Hopefully, it won't get much worse.

Alex is having a blast.  We've hardly seen him as he's been running around with the neighborhood boys building snowmen, forts, having snowball fights and going "sledging" (sledding).  Every so often the thundering herd warms up in our house for awhile and then goes back out and to the next house.

Given the fact that he's having so much fun and the potential for more light snow over the weekend, we decided to stay put.  So, no trip report this week.

Note:  we got snow about this time last year too (link).

We've been playing "Ticket to Ride" on family nights and watching a movie rental or two.  It's nice to take it easy.

I decided to go all-in with "fancy" meals this past week.  Not sure if anyone cares, but I've enjoyed the Jamie Oliver book so much I decided to do more than 1 or 2 recipes from it this week.  They've ranged from good to fantastic so I'll keep plugging away.  It's fun to try new things.  (And if I can do it, I'm sure most anyone can).

Alex:  Dad, I like these fancy meals and all, but when do you think we can have some plain ones?

[Okay, I guess I need to work in a few "plain" meals this week.]

3-course feast last Sunday -- started with some crab cakes with the leftover crabmeat we had

Stilton, Apple & Walnut Crouets (w/ mushrooms)
and mushroom soup (w/ cream and truffle oil)

Prawn Linguini w shaved fennel salad.  Good, but not great.  Last effort on the fennel.  Even without the seeds, it's still too much for us.

Seared Asian Beef w/ Best Noodle Salad and Ginger Dressing.  Excellent.  A good example of my growing adventurousness and confidence.  I didn't considered this one an option when I first got the book.  I'm spending a few more minutes on presentation as well.

Green Tea Salmon, Coconut Rice and Miso Greens.  Also very good.  Yes, the salmon is seasoned with an opened green tea bag.  The greens don't look so appetizing due to the brownish sauce (miso & soy sauce & more), but they were also good.

"Simple" Spaghetti.  A repeat.  Simple to make but complex in flavor (red chili, garlic, anchovy, rosemary, lemon).  A big hit, though the kids would like the spice toned down a bit (but I like it and I'm the cook!).

Easy one -- just grilled up some lamb chops.  Served with sweet potato mash and Mediterranean vegetables.  We don't have lamb too often as it is quite strong but it is generally very good here.  I bet we miss it when we return.

Fancy Fish Baps (rolls) with mushy peas.  Okay.  Family isn't a fan of mushy peas, but I thought I'd have a go with a homemade version (still not fans).  Kids didn't' like the green sauce either so I'll probably shelf this one.

Though I rarely get these in "15 minutes" they don't take too long.  JO does a really good job of combining flavors and I'm enjoying trying new things.  We certainly ate well this week.

That's all.  Have a good week everyone.  Hopefully I'll have something more exciting for you next week.


  1. Look at you!!! Quite the chef-in-the-making!
    Looks delicious and nice presentation. Next thing you know, you'll be starting a food blog!

    I'm surprised you didn't like the mushy peas. *Extreme sarcasm* I never figured out why they mash 'em when they can enjoy them whole. Oh well!

  2. It's a good thing you didn't try to travel because on Friday we got stuck on the motorway (A50) trying to go to Liverpool. After moving about 30 miles in 3 hours, we decided to come home. Also, Doug gave me the same Jamie Oliver cookbook for Christmas! Which recipe has been your favorite?

  3. @The Mrs. Thanks! I still don't consider myself a chef because I rarely come up with things on my own.

    @Tara -- Join the club! As you can tell, I'm a big fan. Most all that I've tried have been worthwhile. My favs are probably the Asian Beef, Green Tea Salmon and Simple Spaghetti (all on this blog)and the Rosemary Chicken from a previous entry. Have fun experimenting!