Date supper

Kent and I had a date this afternoon to see Toy Story 3 (sob, cheer, smile) and followed it up with a cupcake at Barnes & Noble. Jack met us at the bookstore with Dean, who was very happy to see me and catch up on some eating. Apparently he took about an ounce and a half of pumped milk from a bottle, which I wasn't sure he'd do, but Jack said he was pretty desperate. I'm glad I don't have to be away from him very often, and it was nice to know that he would, in fact, drink from a bottle if he really needed to.

We came home and I started cooking a date supper, something I'd been excited about all weekend. Of course, we were all eating dinner together, but having a fancy dinner makes me feel like Jack and I are having a date, even if we're separated by our curiously chatty three-year-old and shouty baby.

This week's meal planning is brought to us by my folder of saved recipes on FoodNetwork.com, in most cases dishes that I've seen on TV but haven't gotten a chance to make yet. The star of tonight's dinner was chicken scallopine in a saffron cream sauce, except that when I saw Giada make it, I instantly pictured it made with tofu instead. (Amateur chefs who are married to vegetarians have to do things like that.)

Incidentally, are you getting tired of seeing all my cooking photos on that same plate? I'm not. But I eat off it almost every night, because my little boy made it for me.

The hardest part of this recipe was convincing myself to spend $8 on .007 ounces of saffron, which is just about the 1/4 tsp called for in this recipe. Now that I've made it, I appreciate the warm flavor of the saffron and that gorgeous yellow color, but I can't say for certain that the saffron totally makes the dish. I might even try it without the saffron sometime; even though I'm sure real chefs would argue that I'm an idiot, I don't think I'd miss it too much. Maybe saffron can be found cheaper on the internet. It's certainly true for vanilla beans. For the record, the tofu held up its end of the bargain, though I'll admit that while I was eating, I was kind of excited about making it again with chicken someday. I think it would be awesome.

I roasted diced red potatoes with a little olive oil, salt, and herbes de Provence, and sautéed green beans with some garlic thrown in at the end. I've decided the potatoes are an essential accompaniment to the tofu scallopine. They soak up the extra sauce perfectly. And Jack and I really needed something to soak up that sauce, because we couldn't stop eating it. We also had a couple of those little loaves of dark wheat or pumperknickel or whatever it is, the little loaves that they have at steakhouses with a big steak knife sticking out of them — do you know the ones I'm talking about? They have to have honey butter on them. So I made some honey butter, too. All in all, this was a really perfect dinner.

I wished that Kent liked more of it, but that doesn't seem to be in the cards right now. Perhaps Dean will like my cooking more than his brother does. We'll find out soon; that little babe is almost 6 months old now, and ready to start on his sweet potatoes.

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I love that plate too. Ours are first out and first used...dinner looks yummy, gives me an idea of what could be done for supper...thanks Erica, and I love the food shots!
I love the plate too, and as Ann said, we use ours lots too. Next time you are in Atlanta, ask at the Farmers Market about Saffron. They will go open the vault and bring you a package. I remember it being much cheaper than regular stores as they are on all spices. It does seem like a dope deal however...

Our friends from Turkey bring it back from that side of the world.
Next time I'm at the co-op (in NH), I'll check the price of saffron. (Too bad I didn't know last week...)
Erica, they definitely sell it at the Farmer's Market. They keep it locked up, but you can buy a small quanitity (which goes a long way) for a very reasonable price. The plate is absolutely beautiful and your dinner looks amazing. Love, Lisa
I should check at the halal mart where I get spices for ridiculously cheap. I would like to request this meal next time we are at your house. I will provide the saffron. :)
Hey Anilia, do check at the Halal, I bet it is less expensive there!glia
Looooove saffron. Those green beans and potatoes look delicious, too!
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