Sunday, March 13, 2011

weekend update

Friday night - Moroccan spiced shrimp, brown rice, garlic naan

Saturday night - sauteed beef, fried rice, more garlic naan

Saturday morning - buttermilk biscuit experiment

Saturday morning - buttermilk biscuit fail 

Sunday morning - pre-opera brunch picnic

For someone who gave up eating out (and hates to cook), I'm eating pretty well.  Not healthy, but well.  There's a big difference.  And I did not give up eating junk (although I probably should have), so I'm totally ok with it.  

Friday night, I made shrimp, rice, and naan for Allie and I. In the spirit of full disclosure, Trader Joe's made the naan, and it was delicious.  The spice rub on the shrimp was also pretty amazing, but in this case, I also can't take credit for anything other than my blog-trolling skills, which led me to this cool site called Dinner: A Love Story (where I found the recipe).  Saturday I used the remainder of the naan as a vehicle for rice and sauteed beef.  It was just so/so, but that's what I get for using pre-packaged rice mixes (Sarah, if you're reading this, I clearly need some cooking lessons-your fried rice rocks).    

Saturday morning, I decided to experiment with two different biscuit recipes to prepare for today's pre-opera picnic brunch.  The first one was for plain biscuits from Paula Deen and the second one was for buttermilk biscuits from Epicurious.  I didn't want to be too wasteful, so I cut each recipe down by half or more, which turned out to be an excellent decision, because both were total flops.  I tried really hard to follow the directions verbatim and to not overwork the dough (a no-no for biscuits, shortbread, etc).  And yet I pulled two separate pans of flat, blah biscuits out of my oven.  I refuse to throw in the towel, though, because I think every self-respecting quasi Southern woman should be able to make biscuits from scratch in a pinch.  If anyone out there knows the secrets to the fluffy, flaky Bojangles style biscuits, we can negotiate recurring payments for access to this (dangerous) intel. 

Because I had strawberries and fresh whipped cream (as in, I poured heavy cream into a bowl and created deliciousness), I had to develop a vehicle for that sugary goodness.  Enter shortbread.  I found a shortbread recipe by accident when I was searching for biscuit recipes, and decided I also wanted to give that a go.  (Are we noticing a butter-related trend yet?).   So after spending yesterday with Allie (more on that in a minute), I came home and made shortbread.  I was disheartened by how crumbly the dough was (I could barely roll it out), and by the fact that the cookies weren't pretty (did I remember to warn you all that I'm a very typical first-born perfectionist/type A? and that part of my disdain for cooking is this trial and error process? ok, well now you've been warned).  In case you're also trying to consume your weight in butter, here's the shortbread recipe.  I got a little wild and added some grated lemon peel to balance the sweetness of the cream and strawberries.  

But the cookies were delicious, and were, in fact, the perfect vehicle for spoonfulls of fresh whipped cream and sliced strawberries.  We also had eggs, bacon, muffins/danish, pasta salad, and cheese and crackers along with our champagne.  Then we piled into a cab in our fancy dresses and saw Madama Butterfly at the Kennedy Center.  Oh, and it was about 65 degrees and sunny today.  PERFECT SUNDAY.  

And finally, yesterday was basically a perfect Saturday.  I bookended the day with baking experiments, and spent the middle of the day shopping and crafting with Allie.  We originally set out to just go to the craft store, but detoured to Bed, Bath, and Beyond, World Market, Marshalls, Old Navy, and Home Goods first.  I picked up all sorts of random accessories for the LKTC (microplane, biscuit cutters, carafe, mini bottles of champagne, etc).  Then we went to Michael's and JoAnn's, where we tried to find the perfect fabric and trim to make a headboard out of scratch for Allie's room.  See pictures of the entire process right here.  

Ok, that was the most disjointed account of my weekend that I could have possibly dreamed up.  I'd lie to you and say it was intentional...trying to keep you on your toes and all that...but mostly I'm just exhausted and not thinking (or writing) all that logically.  Sorry to confuse/bore you...I'll be back on top of things after I kick daylight savings time's little butt.    


  1. I'm impressed you were able to make the shortbread cookies so pretty! I've never been able to make them pretty before.

  2. And that is why I stubbornly held out for the fluted cookie cutter!