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Sunday, 20 April
Dumplings, before I forget

Made dumplings a few nights ago. They were wonderfully heavy and chewy, and on the second night became Dumplings of Mass Destruction. Perfect. Lemmee see if I can remember...

2c flour
2 green onions, finely sliced, green parts only
Handful of chopped parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
Most of a container of plain yogurt
1 egg
1 tsp baking soda

Er, I think I added a little milk for more moisture. Dropped the sticky buggers on my soup for 20 minutes. Yummmmmy.

Saturday, 19 April
You were right, Mary

I've had brief flirtations with cooking from time to time, but finally, I understand. It has, at last, gotten into my blood but good.

About, oh, 15 years ago, I worked in a small personnel office for the local rag. Therein worked Mary, the Assistant Director, who dreamed of running a bookshop on the coast (I think she finally made this dream come true). Mary was sweet, wise, and a bit high strung. When I once expressed my love of food processors and culinary shortcuts, she stared aghast and said that she couldn't stay sane without the promise of chopping and slicing at the end of the day.

While this savage beast is only marginally soothed by the cutting and the sharpie-sharp, I do enjoy practicing my knife skills--which are getting slowly better every day. There is a certain joy to be taken in the delicate matter of a finely sliced clove of garlic, and a deep satisfaction in cooking something nutritious and yummy.

Besides, Bill does the cleaning.

Thursday, 10 April
Veggie Turnover

Hubby asked me to immortalize this one. It was awfully good. If only I could remember how I made it...

Ingredients

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, sliced
1 small potato, quartered and sliced
2 green onions, finely sliced
2 tbsp olive oil
Dash cinnamon
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1-1/2 tsp dill
Splash soy sauce
1/3 cup vegetable broth
1 red pepper, sliced into small pieces
4 mushrooms, halved and sliced
1 small tomato, quartered, sliced, and drained
1 sheet puff pastry
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 tsp softened butter

Preheat oven to 400°. Heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, celery, potato, green onions, red pepper flakes, cinnamon, and dill. Saute until potatoes begin to become translucent.

Add soy sauce and vegetable broth. Add red pepper, cook until potatoes are almost, but not quite, easy to break with the spatula. Add mushrooms and tomato. Add more broth if mixture becomes dry, but be careful not to make it runny. Saute until potatoes are done.

Roll puff pastry on a lightly floured surface until it's about twice the original size of the sheet. Cut across the diagonal, forming two triangles. Sprinkle half the cheese in the middle of one side of each triangle. Spoon about 2/3 cup of the vegetable mixture over the cheese, reserving a little for garnish. Moisten the edges of the pastry and fold each triangle over, pressing edges firmly to seal. Brush lightly with butter. Bake for 15 minutes.

Serve with filling and topping (below).

Topping
Mix 1 part whole-grain dijon mustard, 2 parts Miracle Whip, and 4 parts each cream cheese and sour cream. Mix well, and serve with turnover.

Other bits: The salad was just salad, but the dressing was 4 parts olive oil, 1 part balsamic vinegar, a pinch of superfine sugar, and a large blackberry broken up. All whipped to a nice emulsion.

Tuesday, 01 April
Asparagus Rolls with Jalapeño Chutney

We keep meaning to take pictures of these dishes, and keep forgetting in our rush to devour them. Here was tonight's vegetarian dinner.

Ingredients

Chutney:

2 fresh jalapeño peppers, seeded and finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 c onion, finely chopped
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
Juice and zest of one lemon
2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp broth (chicken or veggie)
1 tsp olive oil
Dash salt

Asparagus Rolls:

2 small flour tortillas
8 trimmed asparagus stalks
1-1/2 c Tillamook pepper jack cheese*

Heat olive oil in a small saute pan over low heat. Add the jalapeños, garlic, onion, and red pepper. Saute until garlic just begins to brown. Dissolve sugar in lemon juice. Add the juice and broth, and mix thoroughly. Add salt. Reduce heat until mixture is just bubbling. Let this simmer for at least 15 minutes, or until mixture darkens and thickens, stirring occasionally.

In the meantime, microwave asparagus for 2 minutes (if thick, half that time for thin stalks), then plunge immediately into cold water. Asparagus should not be completely cooked at this point. Set aside a handful of cheese. Divide the remainder between the two tortillas, spreading evenly over the surface. Microwave one tortilla at a time for 30 seconds. As soon as a tortilla comes out, stack two asparagus spears on one end, and two more on top of them. Roll the tortilla firmly, so the spears are sticking out a little at top and bottom. Just before serving, put the remaining cheese on top of the rolls and return them to the micro for 30 seconds each. Serve with dollop of sour cream and a small amount of chutney. Put lemon zest on top of chutney for color.

I served this with my easy spanish rice (1c rice, 1 c broth, 1 jar salsa, micro for 15).

But wait, there's more!

For dessert, I thawed a square of puff pastry and rolled it out on some sugar. I cut it in a large circle (yay for saucepan lids), scored and area in the center, and placed a drained can of peaches over the scoring, leaving plenty of room all around. I baked it at 400° for 10 minutes, then took it out and brushed it with lite corn syrup thinned with peach juice. Back in the oven for 5 more minutes, and mmmm with ice cream.

*I'm not a shill, this stuff is just great.