Tuesday, October 28, 2014

CCC October

October was an absolutely crazy month for me at work.  I made three separate trips to New York, and was generally swamped when I was home too.  Cooking definitely took a back seat to spending time with Charlotte (and sleeping).  Luckily, I made three of the recipes early in the month before work went nuts.  When we got home from New York on Sunday after having been in New York all week (Paul and Charlotte met me in New York mid-week, and we decided to extend our stay into a mini-vacation), we were all craving some light, fresh vegetable dishes (well, maybe not Charlotte!).  I took the opportunity to make a couple more of the recipes.  Again, we really enjoyed all of the recipes.  It was hard to rank the ones that I made, but I did, just for fun.  I'm looking forward to making the other recipes in time for our make-up month next spring.

#1: White beans with artichokes

I served this for dinner with the carrot salad, sliced cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, cheese and crackers.  I was worried that Paul would complain about the lack of a "main course," and think that dinner wasn't substantial enough.  After a couple of bites of this he stopped and said it was "a perfect dish, perfectly balanced."  I was amazed.  It really was good, but I hadn't expected such a ringing endorsement.  I used some dried beans that I had cooked and stashed in the freezer, delicious grilled artichokes that I found in the refrigerator section of my grocery store, and a really nice Purple Haze goat cheese.  The mixture was served over fresh mizuna from our CSA.  Good ingredients really do make all of the difference.

#2: Roasted cauliflower with lemon and paprika

I love this spice-roasted cauliflower recipe, but most of the time when I make cauliflower I take the easy, olive oil, salt, pepper, and stick it in the oven approach.  This was such a nice change of pace.  The recipe didn't sound like much, but the lemon juice and paprika really make this something special.  Especially with my pretty purple cauliflower from my CSA.  This is definitely one that I'll make again.

#3: Carrot, orange and cashews   

I loved the flavors of this one.  The roasted cashews and cumin seeds are a great combination  It only dropped on my list because it's a bit fussy.  I hate segmenting oranges, and cutting the carrots into matchsticks also took some time.  I think next time I would just shred the carrots in the food processor, and peel and slice the oranges into rounds.

#4: Broccoli salad with Asian-style dressing

I almost always just steam broccoli, so it was fun to try something different.  I thought the sauce was delicious.  I found myself wishing I had made more of it, so I could eat it over rice.

#5: Vegeree

I thought this was a little bit boring, but Charlotte loved it.  Unfortunately she picked out all of the vegetables except the onions, but I'm happy whenever she eats what we're eating.  I do wish this had more flavor.  My vegetables were also dry, and I added extra oil.  I think to make this really delicious it probably would need some more fat, but it was a nice dish as is.


  1. Surprisingly, my husband liked the bean salad too. I thought it just OK, myself. Now the citrus salad - that I really liked - and I don't mind segmenting oranges, but I would definitely shred the carrots next time. I usually steam my broccoli too! This was a nice change, though I think I would have preferred it warm. The vegeree could use a little tweeking. All your dishes look wonderful.

  2. You managed a lot despite your schedule this month! I really enjoyed the bean salad as well, and I agree, when something is that simple, good ingredients make the difference. Love your purple cauliflower!

  3. I think that Howard said something similar about the bean and artichoke salad. We both really enjoyed it. I liked the flavors of the cauliflower, but it didn't get crispy because of the pan I used. And you've tempted me with the broccoli salad. I think I have CSA broccoli in the fridge which needs to be cooked (thank goodness our share season just ended. It was way too much food this year) I'm impressed that you managed to fit in so many new recipes with all the traveling you did this month.

  4. Hi Jora, for being so busy you sure made a dent in this months recipes. Everything looks so wonderful! Will have to make the white bean and artichoke salad after the great review.

  5. I haven't been to NYC for sooooo long so I envy you the three trips. Of course, I do realize you were working as well as missing that cute little girl. I think for as busy as you were, you did wonderfully well this month. I made the white beans with artichokes last month (by mistake). Wasn't it good? I didn't make the roasted cauliflower nor the broccoli but those who did, like you, thot they were delicious. No one was completed satisfied with the Vegeree. I had never heard of that so I passed. Good for you for making 5 of the choices this month. Nice Post.

  6. I'm going to have to try the bean and artichoke salad - everyone seems to have loved it. I agree about the Vegeree, it definitely needs something. You managed to get a lot done, even with so many trips out of town.

  7. Jora, how nice that you managed to prepare so many wonderful recipes despite your very busy month - you chose some really great dishes and I am delighted to read that Charlotte enjoyed the Vegeree - a dish that I did not manage to make but still would love to try. The Oranges and Cashews did not make it onto our dinner table either but the other dishes did - glad that you enjoyed them as well. They all look fabulous and so lovingly prepared - purple cauliflower is a bit difficult to find around here - I love that you used that for the Roasted Cauliflower recipe.
    You asked about other Whittingstall books. If you get a chance to look at my CCC blogpost, you will notice that I made two recipes from the new "River Cottage Light and Easy" cookbook - looking to use different flowers and oils and exploring various grains, then this book might be a great addition to your Christmas wish list. Let me know if you would like a recipe or two from the book, I will send it to you.
    Thank you for participating again this month,