This month’s Cottage Cooking Club selections included quite a few yummy-sounding dishes. I have to say, I’m a bit proud of myself, since I committed to two, but made three. And I’m so happy I did!
Just as I am getting settled in to my house in Sedona, it’s the time of year when work starts ramping up as projects must get started – so that we can “deliver Christmas”! Of course, just when I thought things were cruising along at the beginning of the month, and I was enjoying the gorgeous snow storms that are so beautiful against the red rocks, I totally forgot about snow=cold=freezing temperatures=frozen sprinkler pipes. Oops!
The doorbell rang at 7am one morning, and my neighbor informed me that I had a huge water leak! Yikes. I also found out that my storage building had flooded – and it was completely stuffed, with stuff! Luckily, I have a good support system, and by 7:51, I had a crew arranged to come and completely pull everything out of the building, sort it out, clean it up and put it the remaining items back. They actually had it all done over the course of 2.5 days, with one day for the room to dry out a bit. Whew!
These guys were so awesome, that I ended up having them do a full clean-up of the yard, new sprinkler system, and a general overhaul! They are about to finish today, and I couldn’t be more pleased. Moral of the story – sometimes bad things happen and it turns out for the best. A couple of overly daunting projects behind me, and a new wonderful crew of guys that I know. Best disaster ever! (I am knocking on wood!)
A few other things went right this month too! The first recipe I made was the Mushroom ragout with soft polenta. This is the kind of warming, nice recipe that makes for a terrific vegetarian meal. I’ve made other versions. This was a bit simpler – the ragout is really some well-seasoned sautéed mushrooms in a wine reduction. And the soft polenta is a bit different version than I’ve made but delicious. I didn’t have quick polenta on hand, so it took a bit longer, but that really wasn’t a problem.
I used Parmesan and smoked gouda in the polenta, then topped the ragout with some additional shredded Parmesan. This was yummy, something that I liked pretty well, though other recipes I like a bit more. But for a quick dish, very tasty.
I also made the Apple and blue cheese toast. It was on my list of “want to makes”, though not on my actual list. But I found myself with some nice home-baked bread, some Stilton and apples, and since I needed a quick lunch this seemed to be the ticket.
This doesn’t look like much – I thought I had better photos. Not, but it was delicious, and I will make this again. Perfect for a quick meal. This happened to be the same day that I was first treated to a big family of deer making their way on the path outside my office window.
My final recipe for the month of February was Sweet potato gratin. I happen to love sweet potatoes, and was looking forward to this recipe. I love Thai flavors too, so I was intrigued by the peanut and lime layer. But, then I went to the grocery store. And they had gorgeous poblano peppers… so to go with my grilled-corn & shrimp chile rellenos, I made the gratin sans peanut better, and used some chipotle chiles in place of the fresh red chiles. I’ve made a similar recipe before, and I was certain that it would be great.
This was a great meal, and we loved the sweet potatoes along with the rellenos.
All of my dishes this month were terrific. I will certainly make some again when I get the chance. So February turned out a lot better than it started, all the way around!
I’ll be excited to see what the other members of the Cottage Cooking Club thought about their selections.