Fat, Fat Love Week

As much as I think it's important to persevere, stick with it, get back up on horses, etc. etc., I also think there comes a time when one must face up to one's limitations.

"Creating holiday-themed donuts that are both edible and attractive" is just not in my wheelhouse, you guys.

They're beautiful pink strawberry donuts for Valentine's Day, obviously.

No worries, though. For one thing, Anna talked excitedly about her "pink" donuts the entire time she was eating them, which I'm choosing to attribute to the power of suggestion and not a worrisome deficit in her knowledge of colors. Also, there's plenty of other holiday fun to go around this week.

Pancake Tuesday was of course also Fat Tuesday, which made Cookbook #19: Louisiana's Cooking Secrets (Kathleen DeVanna Fish, 1997) especially appropriate because guess what you guys the secrets are all "butter." Provenance: Mom. Previous recipes on this blog: none. I figured I would go all out, since the holiday is designed specifically to use fattening ingredients, but New Orleans chefs and I have different ideas of what constitutes "all out" and I am ashamed to say I had to back down in the face some truly inspired amounts of fat. I know you are tsk-tsking my cowardice now, and rightly so, but just so you have some idea of what we're dealing with here, the Pecan Stuffed Salmon from Broussard's serves six people and contains four cups of butter. I'm going to give you a second to scrunch up your eyebrows and calculate the fact that four cups is EIGHT STICKS IT'S EIGHT STICKS OF BUTTER FOR SIX PEOPLE.

So I didn't make that. I'm sorry. I promise there was still quite a significant amount of butter in Galatoire's Trout Cod Meunière Amandine. And the Green Bean Bundles from Twenty-four Thirty-nine in Shreveport are wrapped in bacon and cooked in brown sugar, so it's not like I wasn't trying.

It's still really, really fattening. Please don't be sad.
Verdict: no pictures of food, but come on, this book is amazing. Eight sticks of butter.

Cookbook #20 is a dear old friend: The Bon Appétit Cookbook (Barbara Fairchild, 2006). Provenance: I bought, and it came with a subscription to the magazine, and we all know how that turned out. Previous recipes on this blog: Tomato-chipotle soup with peach salsa, open faced crab burgers, curried couscous with roasted vegetables, Provençal-style short ribs and lemon curd ice cream with blackberry swirl, chicken mole, peanut noodles with gingered tofu and vegetables. Probably more, but I don't feel like carefully sifting through recipes to figure out which came from the book and which came from the magazine.

I decided Valentine's Day deserved a fancy three-courser, seeing as how timidly I approached Mardi Gras and all. Recipes: Curried Parsnip Soup, Garlic and Rosemary Steak with Potato-Green Onion Cakes, Bittersweet Chocolate Mousse.

Spicy soup! To...start the meal! I have made better decisions! Also worse ones.
Yes the potato cakes are shaped like hearts and you are JEALOUS.

I didn't do a great job with the texture of these, but that bottle of cava washed it right down all the same.

Verdict: it was all pretty good, but there wasn't nearly as much butter as I have become accustomed to eating. I guess I'll keep it around.

Anyway. Did you all have a nice Valentine's Day? Did you get enough butter this week? Anna is concerned.

Good rule of thumb: 1 1/3 sticks per person.