weekend cooking roundup

hit up whole foods friday night for some basic necessities to go with what i already had in the fridge to make a weekend wonderland of meals. started off friday night with a butterflied stuffed pork loin. usually i like to do it with curried apples and cherries, but i forgot to get the apples (i mean, i realized as i was leaving, but didn’t have the heart to go back through the line), so i made it with cranberries sauteed in curry powder and a dash of fresh-squeezed orange. i fear i overcooked it a bit, but my modified couscous salad recipe was an excellent side dish.

i wanted to use up the navel oranges that have been sitting in the crisper bin of my fridge, so in addition to using them to sprinkle over the cranberries and couscous, i made the orange marmalade cake out of my new kitchen diaries book. the marmalade was excellent, but i detest the candied peels that are hidden in the jell, and i think the cake is a touch too sweet. but it was a lovely dessert with some chocolate madelines (enhanced by zest from one of the oranges)

the madelines were perfect. much better than the last batch i made, where i used the splenda and accidentally used twice as much as necessary. they were hard and sweet and foul. but not these. these were lovely. and i ate at the table like a civilized person. the cake and the madelines finished baking just as i finished my pork. rounded out the night with the end of pride and prejudice. perfect.

saturday i took it easy all day, even though i had some baking i had originally planned to do. i did whip up some pizza dough, and had wanted to make a chocolate cherry bread (so that i could do a bread pudding for dessert tonight, sunday), but that was before i realized that i’d need to cool the candied cherries for 8 hours. so i worked most of the afternoon and then started off with some of the dessert--juicing blood oranges for a second go at the sorbet, and starting to simmer the ragu for the risotto. it smelled (and tasted) so devine--and the risotto was much easier to cook this way, although i had serious doubts at first (even in spite of the devine-ness of the smell of the simmering ragu). very gradually, the risotto began to absorb the stock and ragu until it was cooked to perfection. i regret to say that i didn’t quite get to enjoy dinner the way i had planned--i got painfully, violently ill just as i finished the risotto. my only thought is that maybe the cheese? it was a bit old, and i imagine that it may have smelled off. or perhaps the chicken i used for the ragu...i had a lot leftover, and i think this type of risotto might actually reheat well, but i am afraid.

i used the last egg, and a few drops of milk leftover from lunch (macaroni and cheese, but it was too liquid-y and had too much cayenne, which even then didn’t stop me from eating every bite over the course of the afternoon), and some of the cream to make a single chocolate pot de creme. it was basically a heated chocolate pudding. i added some extra chocolate, which was a mistake because the chocolate was too strong. and i think i should have added a dash of vanilla. but after the sick, it was basically all i had for dinner!

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