seth is unemployed. in these hard economic times it is a little stressful, but we are managing. he has defiantly picked up the slack around the house, which includes making dinner. i have a very long commute to and from work and there is nothing better to coming home to a home-cooked meal, ready and waiting.
especially if that meal is vietnamese-style maine shrimp summer rolls and chicken satay with home-made peanut sauce. in an effort to keep himself from going stir crazy, seth set about cooking this extravagant meal this past tuesday night. he consulted 3 separate cook books for the peanut sauce recipe. it had a wonderful flavor but was a little thick for actual dipping. he julienned carrots and cucumbers, boiled up some rice vermicelli noodles, broiled the chicken satay, and blanched the shrimp. luckily he didn't roll the rolls himself because it turns out he is no good at that. so we each assembled our own rolls, one by delicious one.
the following night i cooked dinner for seth, otis, and marya. from my stack of recipes to try i selected a pork loin stuffed with figs and blue cheese and a quinoa and spinach gratin. the pork loin, from cooking light, turned out pretty good. it was my first time using my new probe thermometer and i didn't quite realize that i wouldn't be able to hear the alarm in the living room. so it was a little overcooked. and as much as i love that fig-y taste, i don't like the crunch of all the seeds. the gratin recipe i got from the garden of eating blog was amazing. i changed it just a bit, skipping the gruyere and just using some sharp chedder we had in the fridge and i didn't use any of the three fresh herbs the recipe called for. its winter in new england, i have no herb garden, and i'm not spending a small fortune for a few teaspoons of herbs. even without the herbs it was great. cheesy and comforting and filling without being heavy. i ate it with gusto as leftovers for days after.
for dessert marya brought a selection of cookies from two fat cats bakery. yum yum.