Thursday, October 13, 2022

What's for Dinner?

 Good Morning!

Thank you all for your kind words and suggestion of one allergy pill or another.  I always forget that!  (I don't like taking pills if I can avoid it...growing up our pediatrician was anti-drugs unless really, really necessary.)  Anyway, I remembered to take a Zyrtec around 8 p.m. last night and I slept from 10 p.m. - 7 a.m. with NO issues!  I only woke once at 3:30 when Mabel mewed to go out and I promptly fell back asleep with no problems.  Whew!  Nine hours felt wonderful and I will admit to being a bit groggy still.

My office visit was long yesterday, but extremely productive (and bonus I came home to a clean house!).  There were more folks in the office than I had seen in a long time and I caught up with some I had not seen in months.  That was nice.  What was even nicer was that I got confirmation that it is not just me!  Work is crazier than ever and going non-stop.  No one understands why.  We never got a reprieve this summer as we usually do (busy budget season in May then a slow summer and then the pace picks up again).  Instead the pace continued to increase and now we are STILL going gangbusters.  Anyway, I was glad I went to the office as I accomplished much, much more than I would have had I stayed home.  Plus we are supposed to have rain all day today so I'd rather stay in now.

Let's talk food.  One of the things I missed while on vacation was cooking.  I know...some of you are shaking your heads.  When I was talking with my friend Carol the other night I mentioned this.  Carole is someone who does not like cooking at all and will avoid it whenever she can (hello take outs and microwave meals).  She said to me "I have no comprehension of that feeling whatsoever!"  But for me, cooking can be a meditative and creative process at the same time.  I've been cooking a lot since we got home.  I've made bread and cooked dinners and thought I would share my dinner from Tuesday night with you.

We had a bag of Brussels Sprouts in the frig and a bunch of carrots, some onions and boneless chicken thighs.  First I chopped up (halved) the sprouts, cut up the carrots and onions and mixed them all together.  I added roughly 3 garlic cloves minced and then sprinked EVOO and Balsamic vinegar over them and spread them in a (foil lined) baking pan.  Sprinkled some S&P on them as well as some freshly grated nutmeg.

Next I mixed up some EVOO, Apple Cider vinegar, red pepper flakes, S&P, paprika and a bit of sage.  I whisked all that together and then dragged the chicken thighs through it.  And placed the thighs on top of the veggies in the pan.

The pan went into a 450 degree oven for about 35 minutes.  YUM - everything tasted so good and it really did not take very long.  And, because I did remember to line the pan with foil, clean up was a breeze.

I had also been hankering for an apple pie.  Instead I decided to make a rustic tart of sorts.  Using my Mom's pastry recipe, I made some dough (enough for one pie, but I should have made a full recipe for a double crust pie or two pies).  I let that rest in the frig while I cut things up.  Two Granny Smith apples and one pear.  I rolled out the dough and put it on a (parchment paper lined) baking sheet.  Half of the apples and pears went into the center and then I sprinkled fresh cranberries on top.  I had made a mixture of half a cup of sugar some ground cloves and a couple teaspoons of corn starch and sprinkled half of that over the fruit.  Then I repeated with the balance of apples and pears, some more cranberries and the last of the sugar/cloves/corn starch mixture.  Next I folded over the edges of the pastry (trying) to bring the dough up and over the fruit.  This was when I needed more pastry!  Lastly I brushed it all with a beaten egg.

Anyway, I popped that into a 400 degree oven and after 10 minutes turned it down to 375.  After 25 minutes the tart was done!

You can see how it oozed out.  The pastry was so thin (as mentioned, I needed more).  I made some whipped cream to go with this and we each had some after the chicken dinner.

It's good to be home and cooking again!


  1. Mmm, that rustic pie looks SO GOOD. I am a big fan of apples, pears, and cranberries together, and that combination just screams fall to me.

  2. I'm glad you got some uninterrupted sleep and had a productive day at the office. Isn't it hard to imagine how you used to gin in five days a week before covid?! That dinner and dessert sounds delicious and it's nice to read about cooking as a creative pursuit!

    1. That was supposed to say "go in" (but maybe gin works, too).

  3. A good nights sleep does wonders for a body! I am so glad for you!

    But that tart... oh my. YUM! (and great idea!)

  4. I'm not shaking my head as hard as I used to. LOL I'm coming over to the idea that home cooked almost always TASTES better. Your dinner sounds absolutely WONDERFUL!

  5. sounds like a good meal--I don't love to cook but sometimes get a very satisfied feeling when I eat it! lol The good night's sleep had to be so good for you!!!!

  6. Oh my goodness the apple thing looks amazing!

  7. That tart looks so GOOD!

  8. That stretch of uninterrupted sleep sounds heavenly! And your meal sounds delicious and that apple pie/tart looks amazing!!!

  9. Zyrtec works . . . but it makes me too sleepy, so I only take it in "allergy emergency" situations. I'm so glad it worked well for you, and that you were able to get a full night's sleep. That's gotta feel better! :-) I do like to cook, too, and often find it relaxing and meditative. But not always. I hate the tedium of figuring out what-to-make-for-dinner every night, so I find that I'm a happier cook when I make plans to have leftovers a few nights a week.

  10. I don't do pie crust--crisps are more my style, and that would have made a heavenly one. Sometimes, impromptu recipes are the ones that come out the best. I love those. Yours sounds terrific.

  11. I never miss cooking but I do miss my healthy foods that I do cook! The pandemic made me even a better cook!!

  12. After making three meals a day for mom, I bailed. I don't mind cooking once I start but getting started is like choosing a linen color for a new sampler. Husband has taken over since he retired. I like the tart, can't handle fresh cranberries so may add dried. And walnuts. Thanks!

  13. Sounds delicious. Some days cooking appeals more to me than other days.