Cooking Binge

I occasionally go on cooking binges. I don’t mean eating binges. I mean cooking. This weekend has been a prime example. Friday night, I got the urge to cook all the things, so I made a grocery list. Those who know me know that I am not a “get up and get going” personality in the morning. But Saturday morning, I got up, got dressed and went to grocery store number one to get items on my list for all the things I wanted to make this weekend. I came back home, unloaded those, ate breakfast and then set out for another trip to my local spice shop, my favorite local cheese stop, and my local grocery, Harvest Time, for the rest of the ingredients.

On Saturday, I made homemade gnocchi with a mushroom mornay sauce. This started with first making ricotta cheese. It was a fun adventure. I’ve never tried making my own cheese but have always wanted to do so. It was pretty simple. Mine did not come out exactly like a store bought ricotta, but I think that was impatience on my part. It was just a little thinner, but it tasted awesome. I used the ricotta in the gnocchi batter along with cheddar and Parmesan. Apparently, with more patience and pressing, I can also make paneer, so that will surely happen soon. I also made some more hummus while waiting on the cheese to set.

On Sunday, I started a pot of chili around noon and let it simmer 8 hours. When I make chili, nothing comes from a can generally. This was fresh tomatoes, dried kidney beans, etc., so you need the time to simmer and get all the ingredients cooked down properly. I also made Morning Glory Muffins for Eleanor, but this time I substituted walnut pieces for pecans. We’ll see if she notices a difference. The walnuts are one-third the price of pecans currently. I finished the evening by making a Chicken Pot Pie because I’ve been experimenting with the recipe and wanted to try a new technique on the roux.

The good news is that the chili and the muffins freeze well, and Katie took a large portion of the gnocchi to her dad’s house, so while we do have a ton of leftovers, it should just provide lunches and dinners throughout the week for the husband and I. The bad news was that my poor husband has done a lot of dishes this weekend. (We do not have a dish washer.) He tells me it’s okay because he loves the food.

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