I finally have a good excuse for not posting! I am now almost 7 months pregnant and in October and November I wasn't feeling very well at all--sick and tired much of the time. I actually still made all of the recipes and some make-ups (except for the Top-secret Chocolate Mousse which I'm looking forward to making this summer!), but I spent way too much time lying on the couch and watching bad TV to actually get any blog posts up. So, here's a quick run-down of the recipes I made:
I was really underwhelmed by the Crispy Crackly Apple Almond Tart. It was pretty and not too much work, but I just wasn't very impressed by the flavor. It seemed to be missing something. The leftovers also didn't keep very well, which is a problem for our household of two.
Despite my attempts to ruin them, we really enjoyed the Honey-Spiced Madeleines. Maybe I should have sprung for a more expensive madeleine pan, but mine were burnt before the recommended baking time had even passed. The flavor was great, however. I'll definitely have to make these again, now that I've invested in the pan.
The Spur-of-the-Moment Vegetable Soup is the kind of thing that barely needs a recipe, but I was happy to have one nonetheless. (I'm the kind of person that still looks up recipes for making hard boiled eggs and brown rice. I know I don't really need the recipes, but I also don't like leaving things to chance!) I did try to be spontaneous (for me, at least, everything is relative!), and try to use up the vegetables we had at home instead of shopping for Dorie's precise list. We ended up with yellow and purple potatoes, carrots, and cabbage. This was a satisfying, easy soup that I will make again. Served with grilled cheese, it was excellent.
The Caramel-Topped Semolina Cake was another one that I burned. Paul kept insisting that it didn't taste burnt (he's very nice about those types of things), but I was so mad at myself. Caramel goes from perfect to over-cooked so quickly! We still enjoyed this cake, though. Cream of wheat with milk, butter, and brown sugar was one of my favorite breakfasts growing up, and it was fun to have it in cake form.
I made the chocolate ganache topping but kept the vanilla pastry cream filling for the Vanilla Eclairs, and was very pleased with the results. I've made profiteroles and eclairs several times now and am finally pretty comfortable with making the dough, and trusting that those ugly little lumps of dough will puff up into beautiful eclairs in the oven. Eclairs are one of my favorite treats, and definitely something I'll make again for special occasions.
I'm going to have to try the Chicken Tagine with Sweet Potatoes and Prunes again next fall. My tastes were very off early in my pregnancy, and I just couldn't stand the flavor of this one. I think it was the saffron that was just too strong for me. It sounds like something I would like and Paul really liked it, though, so I do think I'll give it another try.
I don't do mushrooms, so the Mushroom and Shallot Quiche turned into spinach and shallot, but it was still delicious. I love quiche (really, what's not to like about cream and eggs in a pie crust?) and one of my favorite things about it is how adaptable it is. I normally try to follow recipes exactly and am very nervous about substitutions, but even I felt completely comfortable adapting this one for the vegetables and cheeses that I had on hand.