Though I’ve tried many sweets this past week, I want today’s focus to be a catch-up of the new things that I was able to try in February.
One of the things the hubby and I have done this month is watch a few movies. Funnily enough, the ones we really enjoyed both happened to be animated sequels of popular movie series’, namely Madagascar 3 and Ice Age 4 (Continental Drift). So far, Madagascar 3 is the best movie in its series. I’ve liked their little short films, but the actual first and second movies weren’t that great. This one however was really funny and enjoyable. Those of you who know me well, might already know my favorite line from that movie. If not, here’s a clue. The Ice Age movies are a different story. We’ve really enjoyed all of them and this fourth installment did not disappoint. Often silly, these movies are a fun way to spend an evening, and they will definitely make you laugh out loud.
It seems like February was a hard month. When I look at my notes, I don’t see that we got to try very many new foods. I was trying to figure out why and realized that either me or the hubby had been sick for at least half of the month. It’s been a nasty month for stomach bugs and colds, and I’m just glad that we haven’t caught more of them than we did. Still, being sick makes you (or at least us) want to order in, eat out, or just eat something that doesn’t require much cooking (quesadillas, grilled cheese, canned soup, etc.). On some of our good days, I was able to try a couple new items. The first was eggplant. I’ve seen and heard tons about it, but as far as I know, I’d never gotten to try it. I found one for a good price early last month and jumped at the opportunity to try it. I know that it can be used in lots of complex dishes, and I’ll probably get to those another time. Since this was my first real taste of it, I wanted to cook it very simply to see what the flavor was like. Since it looks similar to zucchini, I decided to treat it like one, so I just sliced it and sauteed it in a pan. I thought that it tasted similar to zucchini, but it’s a little meatier (probably why they make eggplant parm and not zucchini parm). I did think that the skin was a little tough and I might consider peeling it next time. Overall, I thought it was tasty, versatile, and easy to prepare. I will definitely keep an eye out for it to go on sale so that I can experiment a little more with it.
The other new food item I got to try was barley. Unlike some of the other grains I’ve tried, barley takes quite a while to cook (40 minutes!). The water to grain ratio was the same as rice (2:1), and as usual, I prepared it as a breakfast grain so that I could get an idea of its texture and flavor. I like its chewy texture, but I learned that it doesn’t absorb many liquids once it’s been removed from the heat. (I’d accidentally added too much milk, and it never really soaked in.) By an odd coincidence, one of the cereals I got my hubby this month included some puffed barley as one of its components. This led me to the discovery that I really enjoy lightly sweetened, puffed barley. I seem to remember that I’ve eaten a cereal where this was the main component, but I can’t think of what it was. Any ideas? (Update: I was remembering puffed wheat cereal which tastes very similar.)
So that’s our news for the month. What’s been happening in your neck of the woods? Did you manage to avoid the bugs going around? I’d love to hear from you, and I’ll be back soon with more yummy recipes.