Saturday, January 7, 2012

balmy January

With all of our holiday visitors returned to their homes, it was time this week to get back into a rhythm of cooking again. Back to some sort of normalcy, although this time with a new person in the household.

It's been an unusually warm winter this year- after the freak snowstorm over Halloween weekend- so the usual comfort foods aren't quite as delicious as usual. I was looking for some changes from the usual, so I used different sources for the recipes this week. The recipes were chosen with an eye toward swift preparation, since William Atticus has been fussy at night, Alex has returned to work, and I am sleep-deprived.

-Hamburgers, using the spicy olive oil mix from Mexico that Lily gave us, with baked sweet potato fries from the Barefoot Contessa's Back to Basics cookbook and a salad. The hamburgers were on challah buns, which are my favorites for absorbing the juices.

-Corn and chipotle soup, with a recipe from the Blue Corn Cafe in Santa Fe.
Hands down, one of my favorite fall/winter soups, although the spice level was a bit hot this time- I cut the recipe in half but still added 2 full chipotle peppers, which was a little bit too much.

-Grilled salmon (Alex marinaded in butter and fresh lime juice- delicious!) with a grilled fennel salad from the new CIA grilling cookbook that Graham gave us for Xmas. Since we don't have an actual grill, we had to revise the recipe a bit. We baked the fennel after marinading it, then put it on the grill, and then combined it with orange slices, red onions and oil-cured olives. I loved the combination of new flavors and the crunch of the fennel. A surprise hit and definitely one to cook again.

We are nostalgic for our big, empty weekends before WA arrived, ready to fill with whatever plans we wanted to make. But the "little devil" or "little monster" or "little angel" or "little piggy" (we are trying to not pigeonhole him :) is pretty cute most of the time. Wonder what he thinks of our varied menu?

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