Making Monday: All you can eat

Cookbooks

Now that I have the main responsibility for cooking dinners, I’ve been finding that I want to keep better track of what we’re eating. Sometimes we get to the end of the week with the impression that we’ve eaten really well, or really badly, or that it’s been boring, or exciting and lots of other things that I’ve completely forgotten about a fortnight later.

We both forget what we ate, and how much we enjoyed it, so I decided that I’d try turning Mondays into a bit of a foody day, in the hopes that I’ll have inspiration in a month’s time when I can’t remember what that great thing I cooked was.

In case you think I’m exaggerating, here’s a typical conversation from this week, about the aubergine and lentil dahl I’d put on the meal planner:

Me: It’s the one we had before.
Him: Are you sure?
Me: Yes, because I gave it to [person]
Him: I don’t remember making it.
Me: That’s because I made it!
Him: I don’t remember eating it.
Me: It’s the aubergine dish we were trying to think of the other day when you asked me what we’d had lately with aubergines and neither of us could remember what it was apart from the fact it wasn’t the horrible one from that cookbook.
Him: …. Oh.

Ironically, I can’t actually remember what we had on Monday and Tuesday, but for the rest of the week I know we had slow-cooked Rogan Josh (yummy), Mushroom Penne (needed more Quark and more mushrooms, but pretty good), Lentils with pork (better than it sounds! both from Rick Stein’s Spain cookbook), the aforementioned dahl (very good, especially re-heated for lunch!) and Soupy Rice (the Spain book again) as shown in the picture (and yes, that’s how I normally cook – pan, recipe book, iPad :))

P1030787

I was instructed to call this “Chicken and rice casserole”, because apparently the name in the book was rather off-putting for some of us. It was very hearty and tasty, and is definitely going into the regular rotation, although next time, I’ll cut the chicken into smaller pieces. I left the legs whole and on the bone, but with only about 25 mins in not-that-much liquid, J’s didn’t cook all the way through and we had to stick it in the oven.

We try to have at least one new recipe a week to keep things interesting, but since 4 meals this week were new to us, I’m giving myself a break this week! Instead, along with old favourites, I’m revisiting a dish that wasn’t a complete success last time. It may have tasted good, but thanks to a few too many chillies, what we could mostly taste was “OH GOOD GRIEF SO HOT.”

I’ll report back next week, assuming I survive!

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8 Responses to Making Monday: All you can eat

  1. roobeedoo says:

    It is so easy to get into a recipe rut, isn’t it? I don’t know any of the cookbooks on your shelf! Such a good idea to write down what you make and whether or not you liked it. My new game is googling ingrediants and then making the best-looking recipe I can find… but then I have no record of what it was and can’t make it again! Silly!

    • Laura says:

      I heartily recommend Rick Stein’s Far Eastern Odyssey if you like spicy food, and his Spain book for hearty suppers. Like you, I tend to look at what I have, then adapt recipes around it, but I can never, ever keep track that way. Hopefully blogging about it will help me remember better, as well as giving an added incentive to try new things!

  2. Fiona says:

    Hi Laura – I can relate to all of this! Last year I started trying to get out of the rut of just cooking the same old things and to actually cook from my huge range of cookbooks. Now I subscribe to Eat Your Books and I can just type in an ingredient and get a list of recipes that I have using that ingredient – that’s helped a lot in getting some variety into my cooking and getting the cookbooks dusted off and used!

    I also have Rick Stein’s Spain which hasn’t wowed me so far – but his Far Eastern Odyssey is one of my favourite cookbooks. I also visit a couple of food websites to help with daily inspiration – currently I really like Food52.com.

    I think blogging about food is definitely a good way to keep track of what you’re cooking and what you liked … not that I’ve really got back into blogging this year!

    • Laura says:

      Hello there :) Nice to see you!

      Ooh, Eat Your Books looks incredibly useful, thank you. Just the sort of thing I could use!

      The Spain book is more one to read than use, I’ve found. We dip in and out of it, unlike the Far Eastern Odyssey one, where I pretty much want to eat everything all at once!

      I’m kind of regarding the blog as a food diary, in the hopes that at the end of the year, I’ll at least have some idea of the new things we tried, as well as what did and didn’t work. Here’s hoping!

  3. This is something I’ve been meaning to do for a while but having one set day to plan etc sounds great. You might just have motivated me to get organised! Thank you :)

  4. Meal inspiration, exactly what I need! I’m in such a rut. I’m going to check out that Spain recipe book you recommended, thanks!

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