This weekend is the time of ingredient substitution and whacky improvisation. Let's just call it: Whose Ingredient Is it Anyway? (I love Whose Line. Not for nothing was my CD of not-in-English songs entitled "Foreign Film Dub" and this is pretty funny.)
First, the base recipes:
Mini Carrot Polenta Muffins (with herbed cream cheese) from Teatime by Clare Gordon-Smith
Indian Cucumber and Yogurt Salad: Cucumber Raita
Nutty Caramel Cookie Tart
This weekend, I have a rehearsal for my Celtic-based harp group. As anyone with experience will tell you, leading a rehearsal for a group of harps is a bit like herding cats (specifically Scottish Folds and Manxes. What is it with Celtic felines and missing body parts?). I anticipate it will be at least a two hour rehearsal and I'm not going to feel like venturing into the uncharted waters of a new dinner recipe after that, so I'm going to buy some Patak's sauce and do one of my Indian throw-stuff-into-a-skillet-until-I-run-out-of-ideas-or-room meals. Potential candidates include chickpeas, dried cherries and corn. I'm familiar enough with the Indian flavor profile that I can kick up the spice level ... and will do so, for an excuse to use my raita. Is it still raita if you don't have the ... oh, getting ahead of myself.
I had mentioned last week possibly bringing the garam masala-chocolate gingerbread to sate the slavering, string-wielding masses. I decided not to because a) they're a very specific taste and b) there aren't really enough of them left. Instead, I'm making the carrot muffins. This will be the healthiest thing I've ever brought to a gathering even if I don't bleed on it. That means I'm shopping today so I can roll out of bed when-the-heck ever tomorrow and still have time to cook.
Obviously, the raita is for dinner. Since I'm allergic to cucumber, and since I'll already have extra carrots (I doubt I can buy exactly 5oz of carrots. I will be surprised if that's a precise number of carrots and not 3.14159 carrots), I'm going to be using half carrots, half celery instead. I'm thinking - and this is a wild guess because, gee, I haven't eaten cucumber - that the celery will be fairly close in texture.
Dessert is an old stand-by. It started life as an entry on a Pillsbury bake-off show, courtesy of FoodNetwork, and before it had been made the first time, it had been tweaked. Since then ... well, the original recipe is above for reference, and I'll post mine later. I need a name, but I'm lousy with titles. Yes, this is a terrible position for a writer to be in.