Cooking ideas while housebound

As we adjust to our “new normal” of spending lots and lots of time in our homes, cooking can be a great distraction.  I did so much cooking last weekend that our freezer is quite well-stocked and Keith told me that I needed to stop.  So the new idea is to use this as an opportunity to pull out some gadgets or cooking tools that you don’t use often.

To that end, we had fondue for dinner tonight.  Our fondue pot spends most of its life in the basement.  It has emerged a few times and we have made cheese fondue as well as beef.  Samantha was disappointed – she thought when we said fondue, we meant the cheese.  That is just too many calories for 3 people and of course, we can’t very well invite anyone to help us eat it.  So we got 2 small filet mignons and 8 medium shrimp.  We heated the oil over the stove (in the fondue pot) and then moved it so it was over the fondue heat source.  Everyone can cook their protein to their liking and we had a variety of sauces from the refrigerator (jarred Bearnaise, pub sauce, horseradish, etc.)  I roasted asparagus so we had something healthy.  It was fun and delicious.

This got me thinking about other projects.  I’m thinking I may pull the pasta roller out of the basement and make some raviolis next weekend.  (they won’t take up that much space in the freezer.)  Samantha is going to make madeleines tomorrow (yes, we have a madeleine pan).  She already made macarons so we have checked that box.

Think about a kitchen project you have always wanted to tackle or a specialty appliance that is rarely used (homemade waffles anyone?)   This is the perfect opportunity to wipe off the dust!  Add a comment with what you made.

Fondue report and weeknight roast chicken

The fondue was a definite hit!  Not a low calorie proposition but great fun for an occasional treat.  We found two other different cheese fondue combos at Graul’s and Samantha found a chocolate fondue mix also.  We’ll have to work off the cheese first.  Here is Samantha with the fondue:

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Tonight we had the weeknight roast chicken.  I love this dish so much and I keep tweaking it.  I added peeled whole shallots to the mixture and it was wonderful.  I love that your whole dinner is done together!

Roasted chicken with veggies

  • 2 tsp poultry seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 chicken broiler/fryer between 3 and 4 pounds
  • 1 bunch leeks, trimmed, well rinsed, cut lengthwise and then sliced about 1/2 inch thick
  • 1 package baby kale
  • 2 – 3 Honeycrisp apples, cored and cut into inch chunks
  • 2 stalks celery, cut in 1/2 inch thick slices.
  • 5 whole shallots, peeled.
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 1 TB butter

Mix poultry seasoning and salt.  Using kitchen scissors, cut out the backbone of the chicken (put chicken breast side down).  I will admit that I thought this was going to be very difficult and require butchering skills – it was perfectly straightforward and took about 1 minute.  Then split chicken through breastbone.  Rinse and dry thoroughly.  Rub it with about 1/2 of poultry seasoning mix and butter.  (Save backbone in a freezer bag for making chicken stock!)

Put vegetables in a roasting pan and toss with remaining poultry seasoning mix and olive oil.  Put a rack over vegetables with chicken.  Roast at 450 for about 1 hour.  (After 30 minutes, stir vegetables.)

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