Good Bye to Pokeberry Hill...


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Pre-Dawn Kitchen, Cassoulet a Cookin'

I've got my smaller wok pan going on the stove top filled up with a yummy Cassoulet. I altered the recipe a tad, of course--what cook wouldn't make changes?

I used shallots for the onions, which I minced yesterday as I was preparing dinner. and I combined some of my garden tomatoes with a can of organic tomatoes I got free with coupons, I had those chopped up and ready in a ziplock--which I strained the liquid of as well. I also pre-marinated the tomatoes with olive oil and my homemade italian seasoning mix. I used canned kidney beans because I recently stocked up on those at 42 cents a can--which is actually less than it would cost me to use dry kidney beans--at the usual cost of dry beans in local stores. (I imagine there is a bulk source that may be cheaper) I used dry northern beans which I soaked yesterday. I pre-cooked chunks of chicken and sausage and had those ready.

So this morning I just took all my ingredients and tossed them into my wok pan added a bit of chicken stock and a brown sugar and brought it to a boil and now it is simmering covered as I type. I will turn it off and let it cool while I get ready for work. Then I will put it in a covered container in the fridge so Hubby can reheat it at dinner time. *The chicken Stock was my idea--just to add a layer of flavor. I may decide to drain off the extra liquid for this dish as it wasn't really supposed to be 'soupy' but I dunno.. I think we may like it that way. I also tucked in a small bit of butter that was sitting on a dish I was ready to wash. I also used extra fresh ground pepper as Hubby loves that.

I will take a little container of this with me to work as well. I don't have a real lunch today as I am working 7 hours, but I imagine I'll be hungry sometime and I can take a quick break and have a filling 'snack'.

I'm working an every other day schedule this week. So tomorrow I hope to prepare 2 meals again-- Wednsdays dinner and Thursdays. I'll try to do the same on Friday. One of the meals I make tomorrow will probably be a soup. All of these meals will have a bit of leftovers to be used for lunches or frozen in single servings for a lunch later on.

Tonight's cassoulet will be eaten with a bit of french bread. I could make a fresh loaf now in my breadmaker but I have some already so no breadmaking today.

I like cooking in the morning and getting things done before I go off to work. I think when we move out to our property this habit is going to be very handy. I'll be able to have good food to feed our hungry family/crew after working on our new house all day. :) Because I peak in the morning it is always easier for me to get things done early. I tend to work and get tired by evening, get to be fairly early and rise before dawn. I just like it that way. It is how I managed the house when the kids were all little and we homeschooled. I'd just be up early so I could have time alone and prepare for the day before everyone else was up. For some folks that is a hard thing to adjust to, but I found when I set my mind to adapting to an early morning habit that it was not very long before I couldn't sleep late if I tried.

Boy that cassoulet smells pretty darn good! I still have a couple hours before I need to get to work and dinner's ready! Cool!!!

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