I'd been thinking about focusing on one specific cookbook since our party at the beginning of February. One of our attendees pointed at it and said, that's my favorite book. I though, hmm, perhaps I should look at that book more closely I haven't made much out of it.
So last week I picked up my copy of Blue Eggs and Yellow Tomatoes by Jeanne Kelley to see what looked good as I made my weekly menu and thought ahead to a weekend of guests.
After six days and nine recipes, I can say "Love it"! Everything I've made so far has been a winner and I look forward to moving more in-depth into this cookbook.
Below you can find a description of my week. I do apologize, for two things. I am slacking on taking pictures and I'm not sharing any recipes as for the most part I followed them pretty closely and don't have permission. Check your local library for this book or click the link above to find it on Amazon!
We've been busy making an unfinished space in our home into two finished rooms. One a clean, finished gear room. Isn't it organized? The second a great exercise room. We frantically worked trying to finish and load things into these rooms, to allow us to clean other spaces before our guests arrived. And, I needed some healthy, easy, and satisfying weeknight meals for these days.
First I made the Asian Slaw with Spicy Peanut Dressing. I roasted some chicken to go with the salad and it made for a very satisfying weeknight meal. Asian salads are one of my favorites anyway as they contain peanuts - well you all know how fond I am of peanuts!
Early last week I made the Curried Yellow Split Pea Soup. Yum! We were way too busy so I didn't follow up with the Mint Yogurt suggested topping, maybe next time. But this was the perfect soup with a side of homemade seed crackers and a few slices of local raw cheddar cheese.
Wednesday I prepped the following recipes from the book for snacks, appetizers, and breakfasts throughout the weekend.
Hummus with Jalapeno-Cilantro Pesto - This pesto worked well with the Hummus. It also made the perfect accompaniment to some Halibut we made on Saturday! We all enjoyed the Hummus and Pesto with my homemade Gluten Free seed crackers found here.
Marinated Feta and Olives - This marinade was full of wonderful seeds, like fennel and cumin and with the orange zest, it was tasty. It made a great marinade for the local feta I found.
Chunky-Chewy Fruit and Nut Granola - This was wonderful. For those with the book, I did not add any brown sugar. I only used the honey and molasses. Yummy, it was perfect with some yogurt and fresh fruit for our breakfasts. Special enough for a visit with good friends, healthy and easy enough for every day.
On Thursday I made Beef Barley Soup, which was full of good tasting mushrooms. I set this aside for a weekend lunch. Turns out it was the perfect lunch after a Saturday morning hike.
For our first dinner with newly arrived friends, I made
Moroccan Chicken; Quinoa with Cherries, Raisins and Mint; and a Fennel, Orange and Red Onion salad with a Champagne Vinaigrette dressing. The salad was my own creation. Here I did veer off a bit from the recipes. The Moroccan chicken was supposed to be skewers, but I wanted to something that could bake in the oven while we went to the airport. I marinated chicken pieces for 24 hours in the Moroccan Marinade. I heated the oven to 400 degrees and lowered it to 300 after I put the chicken into the oven covered. When we returned about 1 1/2 hours later I took off the cover and upped the heat to 400 while I made the Quinoa. The chicken was very moist with a crisp skin.
The Quinoa was supposed to be couscous, but I prefer Quinoa's healthy qualities. I made it with a combination of white and red quinoa. This was both pretty and flavorful.
I know you are thinking, surely there was dessert? Oh yeah. Still from the book I made Jeanne's Apple Cinnamon Crumb Pie and my own Cinnamon Ice Cream.
A quick ice cream hint. One of our friends is lactose intolerant and I used Coconut creamer to make the Cinnamon Ice Cream. The flavor was very good. I simply subbed the Coconut Milk Creamer for the milk and cream in the ice cream recipe.
Don't forget about those cookbooks on your shelves. Picking one and cooking from it is a great way to reinvigorate your own cooking and creativity.