FFWD: October Recipes

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)

Celery-Celery Soup

Celery-Celery Soup

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

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

Roasted Jerusalem Artichokes

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

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…).



Filed under Cooking

13 responses to “FFWD: October Recipes

  1. Great catch up post! I think the monkfish (though we used scallops and shrimp) and osso buco were our favorites. I need to try the former with monkfish like you did 🙂

  2. Glad to know things are slowing down for you. Hope your daughter is doing well.
    You did a great catch up, Karen! I loved the scallops and double carrots, and quite honestly I also loved the osso buco! Both winners in my house! Happy Friday!!

  3. I’m glad to hear your daughter has bounced back quickly! That’s great news. I’m jealous about your trip to Yosemite. It’s on my bucket list, but I haven’t been able to get there yet. Some day….. Your October recipe roundup looks delicious. Even though it wasn’t intentional, I’m thinking the orange-y osso buco with carrots is the right color for Halloween!

  4. I have a friend who’s daughter had a similar surgery. The PT is rough but I am happy to report that she is 15 now and plays soccer and volleyball. Wonderful collection of make ups and yes, I used just the zest of one orange no juice and the osso buco was delicious.

  5. Wow, loved this post! Glad you caught Yosemite–I grew up near there in the foothills sort of north, so I know the area well. Thanks for the caution against gorgonzola in the soup. It looked and sounded great, until you said it wasn’t. I’ll keep that in mind!

  6. Glad all went well for your daughter! Young bodies are so resilient! But you are right it is hard on the parents….and grandparents! You did quite the October wrap up! I only used half the orange zest and didn’t boil it first for my osso buco as we like orange flavor but not too much with meat. I agree with you about the carrots cooked in the carrot juice! They were delicious and the star of that dish for us too. I couldn’t find sunchokes so I used parsnips and potatoes for that one and they were delicious. Looking forward to your Yosemite photos. I lost my wedding ring there many years ago!

  7. This is quite the roundup, Karen! I really liked the technique for the sun chokes – you are right, those garlic chips are worth revisiting. I’m glad to hear your daughter is on the mend and that you enjoyed your trip.

  8. Great month of cooking and you’re right, you have to eat! I loved the orange in the Osso Buco, but I think many other Doristas agree with you. Next time, less orange.
    Your pics are delicious!

  9. Nana

    Happy that all is going well for your daughter. With all that going on I don’t know how you found the time to cook all those lovely meals. Everything
    looks scrumptious.

  10. Wow, you have been busy – I hope your daughter is well. Yosemite is on my bucket list. I just need a reason to get up there.
    Beautiful round up.

  11. Kudos to you for cooking all the recipes despite a busy month. Glad you hear that your daughter is doing well. It is always tougher on the parents. I think we had similar opinions on all the recipes. I hope November is easier for you.

  12. So impressed that you managed all the recipes with everything that was going on. And so glad that your daughter’s surgery went well. I did everything but the Jerusalem artichokes, because there were none to be found. I’ll be catching up on those next week.

  13. I am surprised you can put together such good meals when so many other things are happening in your life. Yep, when things are happening to your children, it’s tough. I am glad your daughter bounced back from the operation and I hope that issue is solved for you. Yosemite is one of my favorite places on earth. My kids live in Bishop so when I visit them, we often visit Yosemite. Your recipes are most impressive.

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