Test Kitchen

Some days I cook, and some days I just don’t. And when I have a spurt of cooking as I did on Sunday, watch out – because it probably means I won’t be doing much of it for the rest of the week. I got a couple of new Bon Appetits belatedly via the pony express. And, unlike the January issue, there were actually some recipes that begged to be tested. 

Jason saw the cover of one which featured a lamb and eggplant shepherd’s pie. Not sure if he knew there was eggplant in it, but the photo made it look pretty good. Come to find out the boy had never ever had Shepherd’s Pie before. So I was happy to oblige and try my hand at making it. With a few substitutions of course. Ground beef instead of lamb. And regular parmesan cheese instead of the kasseri cheese (or whatever it is) called for. The verdict: all three Johnson boys ate it. Some had to be bribed a little more than others. Helpful tip: if you call eggplant ‘cucumber’ it is consumed without a fuss. 

Since I was already making a mess of the kitchen I decided to make a couple of soups as well. Two excellent and very easy recipes: Squash Soup and Asparagus Soup 

While the younger Johnsons feigned lack of interest in the green soup, they both ate it. And the squash soup….while a crabby older brother pretended it was too ‘spicy’, he did eat everything in his bowl. Younger brother ate two bowls – and he’s the pickier one of the two at the moment. 

On Saturday I was suddenly desperate for some Creme Brulee, but as the nearest dessert place was probably a good twenty minute drive away, I went without. But on Sunday I stopped at the grocery store for cream and eggs and thirty minutes later…I had six ramekins filled with custard. Slight problem…our oven is pretty awful, so caramelizing the sugar on top was no easy task. In the end it all tasted good..even if the sugar crust wasn’t perfectly hard and the custard was a little warmer than it should have been.  

Apparently my making creme brulee one night started a trend in my oldest’s mind. ‘What’s for dessert’ he asked last night when I was making dinner. ‘Uh, Lemon Cake?’ I answered, as I hadn’t planned on making anything. But it was a great excuse to test this recipe that ‘sounded’ absolutely delicious. And it was. The cake was a huge hit with all the Johnsons – and less than twenty four hours later only one tiny slice remains.  

Which Mr. G had earmarked for himself. But, following a few behavioral infractions on his part, I suddenly see my name on it. 

That is the true joy of parenting: she who giveth, taketh away.

5 thoughts on “Test Kitchen

  1. lemon cake sounds awesome right now, but since I have eaten the better part of a bag of twix today…maybe it should wait. either my self-control is decreasing or the hormones have grown in power. 🙂

  2. did you make the blueberry sauce as well or just the cake? that cake is on the list for this weekend. 🙂

  3. Yep, I made the sauce (about 1/2 the recipe and we still have a little bit left over.) Personally I liked the cake just fine without the sauce. Katie, knowing you had brats and popcorn for dinner makes me feel a little bit better about my cereal dinners.


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