Happy Halloween! Gosh, where did October go? I’ve talked a lot this year about being busy, but the rest of the year was just warm up for October. Whew!
So what was I up to in October? The month started with a fun trip to Yosemite National Park. I hadn’t been since I was a toddler (many years ago!). Our weather was perfect and the scenery gorgeous! I haven’t had a chance to go through my photos yet, but once I do I will try to share a few.
Last week my daughter had orthopedic surgery to address a leg length discrepancy. The surgery went well and she has bounced back quickly, but the preparation and after-care have taken a lot of time and energy. A child’s surgery is hard on the parents! The surgery was a couple hours away in Sacramento, so we’ve had a few trips back and forth, not to mention a hotel stay the night before.
Lots of life happened between the vacation and the surgery: Appointments. A couple date nights. Plumbing problems. Etc.
I did manage to cook all of the October recipes for French Fridays with Dorie, on time even. We do have to eat, after all! What I couldn’t manage was writing about them. I just didn’t have the mental capacity or energy. So, here I am with a big catch-up of the October recipes! (minus the “Birthday Celebration”; I was happy for a “pass” that week)
First we tried Celery-Celery Soup. The two celeries are: 1) celery root; and 2) celery stalks. The soup also includes onions, apples, thyme, and chicken broth.
This soup was OK. It definitely tasted like celery! We liked it, but I wouldn’t make it again. In the photo above, I sprinkled some crumbled Gorgonzola cheese on my soup. It wasn’t as good as it sounds. I liked it better the night before with a little heavy cream stirred into it.
Monkfish and Double Carrots
The next October recipe was Monkfish and Double Carrots. I cooked this on strange equipment in a strange kitchen while on vacation at Yosemite.
The carrots were the best part: Sliced carrots simmered in carrot juice with butter, olive oil, and rosemary. The monkfish was simply seared in a skillet until cooked through, served with the carrots, and scattered with crumbled bacon.
I don’t feel like we got to fully enjoy the flavors of the monkfish. I am afraid I overcooked it a bit due to using a new-to-me stove and skillet. The carrots were delicious, and I can see myself making them on their own as a side dish.
Roasted Jerusalem Artichokes with Garlic
Next up: Roasted Jerusalem Artichokes with Garlic. I had only tried Jerusalem artichokes (also known as sunchokes) one time before this, and I don’t remember if I liked them or not. In this recipe, the artichokes are peeled and quartered lengthwise, then roasted with plenty of thinly sliced garlic.
So, I liked this dish. It was fun to try, and the artichokes went well with the beef ribs I served them with. But, they were similar enough to potatoes that I wished they were potatoes. I think I will stick to potatoes from now on (although I may try roasting them with those tasty slices of garlic!).
Osso Buco à l’Arman
Last, but not least, we have Osso Buco à l’Arman. This is a French take on the classic Italian dish of braised veal shanks. What makes this version different is the addition of lots of orange zest and sliced carrots.
I wanted to like this dish more than I did. The problem for me was the strong taste of orange zest. I loved the tender meat and the yummy veggies, but I wanted less orange flavor. If I make this again I would greatly reduce the amount of orange zest used.
I served my osso buco with a delicious orange rice pilaf that I made in my rice cooker. The rice had a lovely, subtle, orange flavor and I will certainly make it again.
Whew! I’m worn out after all that! I hope to catch up on my blog reading now that life is settling down. I haven’t even opened my blog reader in a month! I miss you all, and hope to keep up a bit better (of course, now the holiday season is right around the corner…).