Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Veal Stew with Vegetables

This was my first stew ever, and I think it turned out pretty good! Although, next time I'll cook the beans for slightly longer, and maybe add a bit less Italian seasoning. Otherwise: all good! I used to think eating veal was wrong, because it's a baby cow, but this week is was on sale and I remembered it was tasty. So voila: the grocery-store circular has determined my eating habits. Bring on the baby cow! This recipe makes 4 servings.

Broiled Grapefruit with Brown Butter and Sugar

I made this for breakfast on Saturday (I know, I know, I'm a little late with the posting) because I'd just seen the idea for it the day before. It's a nice way to have grapefruit, especially when it's cold out: nice, warm, and sweet. If I ever host a brunch I'll probably do this. I got the idea from the blog Playing House. You should check out that site for the original recipe and better photos.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Refried Beans With Rice And Cheese

This may look like unappetizing mush, but in reality it's pretty tasty! While it's not traditional to add rice to refried beans, I had some leftover and wanted to use it up.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Spicy Beef and Bean Chili

If you're looking for a chili so spicy that it curls your hair, this isn't what you're looking for: this has a little heat, but not enough to really fix up your sinuses. It's delicious, simple and hearty. It was also my first time ever using a chili pepper, so I wanted to start small. I tend to make my chili a bit on the liquidy-er side, so if you want yours thicker, try draining the second can of tomatoes before adding it. You can keep the tomato liquid for making soup. Also, sorry for the poor-quality pictures: the chili was steaming up my camera lens, so it was hard to photograph. This recipe makes 6 servings; remember that chili freezes well.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Spicy Stir-Fry With Rice, Vegetables, and Leftover Pork

This stir-fry was simple but had a real kick to it. I love making things like this because it uses up a bunch of leftovers that might otherwise wilt and become inedible. This carries well, so don't be afraid to make it for a lunch you have to take with you.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Honey-Roast Pork (Char Siu)

I am discovering that I like roasting meat: you can just leave it there to do its thing while you go about your business. Plus, it smells amazing while it cooks itself. This recipe makes enough pork for about 3 to four servings, but that really depends on how much you want to eat at a given time. If you have a big appetite, count on less leftovers.

I got this recipe from the blog Adora's Box. Check it out: you won't regret it!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Rice with Beans, Tomatoes and Spinach

I admit it, this wasn't the most delicious thing I've ever made. It needs work. Especially in the flavor department. But it is a good way to use up extra beans, so get on it! This recipe makes 2 servings.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Buffalo Chicken Strips with Blue Cheese Salad

Please excuse the terrible quality of the pictures. I don't know what happened. Well, technically, I do know: I was in a hurry because my show was going to be on t.v. But then the show was cancelled because of some music awards thing. Oh boy was I angry!!

Anyway, everyone absolutely loved this. Except me. I'm not a fan of blue cheese, even though I decided to try it, so the salad wasn't really mt thing. Also, I need to get a hot sauce that isn't Tabasco. But the chicken was crispy and perfect, so I'll try this again.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Spicy Tomato Soup with Sausage and Beans

This soup was really easy to make and really good, not to mention spicy. It'll make you breathe right, that's for sure! The sausage had a nice smoky flavor, and the soup was filling without being too heavy. This recipe makes two generous servings.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Fried Rice with Cauliflower

I really liked this: it was simple, easy to make, and tasty. The cauliflower retained some of it's crunch, and that was nice. As a rule I don't like firm cauliflower, but I'm now willing to make exceptions.
I'm not sure it needed as much oil as I used.

Beef and Bean Chili

This was my first-ever chili and it turned out really well: hearty, simple yet complex and, most importantly, delicious. I dare you to make this at home! This recipe makes about 3 servings.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Chicken and Vegetable Saute with Parmesan Rice

This recipe turned out really well, and I was also really excited about getting to use my new plate. Technically it's a small serving platter, but who wants to quibble about semantics? The point is the chicken and vegetables were simple but delicious, and the rice was creamy with just the right amount of cheese.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Cheeseburger Casserole

The other day I was really, really craving a McDonald's cheeseburger. Alas, I don't live within walking distance of one, and also I'm usually too cheap to buy fast food. So, instead, I made this casserole! If I did it again, I think I'd leave out the tomato liquid, put a bit less cheese, and maybe half the pickle. But as it was it turned out delicious! This makes one really large serving, or 2 smaller ones.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Autumn Harvest Granola

This granola is nutty and a bit deeper-flavored than the one I usually make. It's a nice change and a good way to celebrate some of the flavours of Fall!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Chicken Caruso

Ah , comfort food! What makes a food comforting, you ask? Well, I think it varies from one person to another, but there are probably some common elements.

Cheese is something that comforts people, I think, especially milder cheeses. They aren't shocking. They're smooth-tasting. Cheese has protein so it makes you feel sated and a little indulgent. When cheese is warm it feels creamy. I think this feeling of smoothness is something common to many forms of comfort.

For many people, carbohydrates are comforting. They're metabolized more easily into sugars than plant foods, and they make you feel satisfied. Pasta is a common comfort food.

Bacon, of course, is deliciously high in fat. It's exactly what our primitive bodies crave, and a ready source of energy.

Many people's comfort foods are things that they ate as children. Maybe it was a special treat; maybe it was a Friday-night staple. But whatever it was, it's all tangled up with memories of being happy, and safe, and satisfied. The food taps into, or fills, a certain emotional need.

I wonder if there's ever been a study done on what qualities foods possess that make people feel comforted?

Anyway, we used to have this all the time at my house, and it falls into my category of comfort foods. It's also pretty easy to make. Go ahead and try it: you won't have regrets! (well, you might, but they won't be about the food)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Dr Pepper Chicken and Green Bean Stir-Fry with Fried Rice

This was pretty good, though I have to admit the sauce is a tiny bit surprising. You have to get used to it...even though it's good, there's something the tiniest bit odd about it. I made this stir-fry because I had leftover Dr Pepper glaze and didn't know what to do with it. A good cooking rule-of-thumb is 'when in doubt, stir fry!'

Broiled Salmon with Dr Pepper Glaze

The glaze on this salmon was pretty subtle, actually, which I'm going to go ahead and say is a good thing. I got the idea for the glaze from the blog An Edible Mosaic, which is a pretty darn cool blog. I did end up making some changes, mostly due to a lack of proper ingredients. You should check out the blog and see the original!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Brussels Sprouts With Pancetta And Shallots

The sprouts were a little crisper than I like them, and the preparation was a bit annoying. I think next time I'll steam them, and maybe cut them in half. But the pancetta and shallots were amazing! Do that part, if nothing else!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Baked Cheesy Pasta With Vegetables

This pasta dish was so good! It was delicious and simple, and filling without making me feel stuffed. It's nice to have your whole meal in one dish. Plus, I really appreciated the cheese. This recipe makes 2 servings, so I'll be having leftovers.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

I'm not going to lie to you, this soup took a lot longer to make than I had anticipated. If you're looking for a quick meal, buy a similar soup in a box. However, if you don't mind putting in the time, this soup is great! Simple and subtle, it warms you up and fills you with comfort. It's also yummy! It makes a few servings, so either invite people over to share it with you or keep it for several meals.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Spinach Chicken Roll

I was disappointed with this chicken. It seems like there was too much spinach filling, so I had trouble rolling it up. The cheese mostly leaked out and burned in the pan. That was sad. Anyway, this recipe clearly needs work.

Caramelized Onion Scrambled Eggs

I have to say, when I first saw the idea for these eggs on the blog For the Love of Cooking, I was a little sceptical. I mean, eggs and onions? Scrambled? Yeah, right. The point is that they were excellent: creamy, simple, delicious. Onions really do make a nice breakfast companion. This is my version of the recipe I found on her blog. By the way, that blog is amazing: you should check it out!

Leftover Cornish Hen With Gravy

Mmmm: leftovers! Who doesn't love them? Seriously, who? Because that person is just not normal. Anyway, These leftovers are fast and delicious and extra-thrifty, because you make the gravy from pan-drippings you saved. From-scratch loveliness, and a fast and easy meal! I had Cornish hen, but this will work for any poultry leftovers.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Spice-Roasted Carrots and Parsnips

For those of you who've never eaten a parsnip, they kind of look like weird albino carrots or something. Maybe carrots that have live too long underground after a nuclear disaster. Anyway, these carrots and parsnips were delicious! If you can ever find bizarre-colored carrots -- like purple or something -- you should make this with them: it will look really pretty and taste nice while still being simple.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Oatmeal Muffins

These muffins, according to the people who've had them, are really good. I'll let you know as soon as I've tried one. One of the muffins (poor thing) got stuck to the tin and ripped. You definitely have to wiggle them to get them out. You get 12 muffins from this recipe.  [update: these are indeed moist, delicious muffins].

Tangy Scrambled Eggs With Salami and Cheese

What do you do when you have a bunch of leftovers too small to do much with? Make eggs, of course! These scrambled eggs were easy and satisfying, and made me feel virtuous for using up food that might otherwise be forgotten and sad.

Whole Wheat Loaf

If you've ever been afraid to make bread try making a quick loaf: it's essentially a muffin on steroids. There's no yeast and, therefore, no tricky rising-and-kneading process. Everyone who had this bread loved it, including me, but next time I'm going to try making it with 1/4 cup sugar. As you can see, it was also a little burnt, even though I set the timer 5 minutes early and took it out 5 minutes before that. So the bread was yummy, but my oven hates me.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Rosemary Lemon Cornish Hen With Root Vegetables

This was my first time cooking a bird in its entirety, and it wasn't nearly as hard as I thought it would be! Maybe that's because I started with something small instead of something like a turkey. Anyway, my Cornish hen turned out really well: it was moist and delicious and simple. Best yet, it didn't take forever to cook it. I'm definitely going to do this again! This recipe makes one meal with vegetables and a bunch of hen leftovers.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Creamed Leeks With Parmesan Crumbs

This is Fall comfort food at its simplest. The leeks come out of the oven very hot and the topping is delicious and comforting. If you've never had leeks before, this would be a nice first-way to experience them. If you've only ever had cream of leek soup, take this as an opportunity to branch out!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Chili-Orange Slow Cooker Chicken

This chicken was so good! And it goes without saying that cooking it in the slow cooker made the house smell amazing. I completely recommend trying this, especially as the weather starts to get colder. It was my first time using a slow cooker (I got this one on sale at Wallmart) and I count it a good experience.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Flat Frittata With St. Albray Cheese and Cherry Tomatoes

This frittata is a little different from the ones I usually make: it's got the cheese inside instead of melted on top. It turned out pretty awesome, with the cherry tomatoes and the cheese forming nice little pockets of flavor. I recommend trying this -- a great, relatively quick meal for one!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Spicy Coleslaw with Chicken and Cherry Tomatoes

I am a firm believer that coleslaw can be a meal unto itself, and not only a side-dish from St. Hubert Barbecue (though if you ever have occasion to pick up for me, I prefer traditional to creamy). Anyway, this one turned out nice, though it could have been spicier. Either way, it was lovely. If you can't find the reduced calorie coleslaw dressing, you can use regular. However, the difference is about 40 calories per tablespoon, so you might want to look for the light one.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Magic Potion

This drink was...well...different. The carrot juice made it taste like carrot juice, which I suppose is fine if you like carrot juice. As for me, I found it just odd. It was a beautiful color though, especially for Fall / Thanksgiving. It reminded me of what butterbeer must look like.

Watermelon Rosemary Lemonade

This lemonade was nice and refreshing, especially since Thanksgiving weeked ended up being rather hotter than normal. Even though rosemary isn't really my favorite herb, it worked really well in this drink. Since I wasn't able to get a lot of watermelon, I made half a recipe. You can find it on the blog Piccante Dolce, which I really like and which, frankly, has an awesome name.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookie Oatmeal

I got the idea for cookie-ing up a morning bowl of oatmeal from the blog The Chic Life, which all around reminds me that everyone else is doing more with their lives than I am. But I digress. While I liked her idea, I didn't really love the part about putting butter in oatmeal. Or the sugar, either: I've learned that I don't like my oatmeal sweet. This recipe is my version, and I really loved the little pockets of chocolate, as well as the creamy texture. Yum!

Salad with Strawberry Jam Vinaigrette

This salad dressing was subtle and yet tummy: I suggest everyone try it! Next time, I'll be making it with less vinegar -- I found it a tad on the too-mush-vinegar side -- and I'll replace some of that with lemon juice. I meant to do that this time, but didn't have any. You can get the recipe from the blog Coconut and Lime.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Flank Steak and Cheesy Orzo with Pistachios

This meal was really born out of leftovers. Mmmm: leftovers! I had leftover cheese and leftover flank steak and leftover pistachio. Hence: this. The pistachios aren't really necessary for it, I admit that, but I liked them. They were a nice change. I have to say, you should really cook your steak longer than I did, since mine was practically still alive in the middle. So yeah: feel free to do that.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Raw Apple Cobbler

Originally I wasn't sure that this recipe was going to be delicious: to be honest, it sounded a little weird, if not slightly icky. But I was intrigued by the idea of a dish that incorporate raw apples, so I decided to give it a shot. It was nice: the apples were crisp, the topping was sweet and simple. It was kind of a hit, actually. I found the recipe on the blog Spabettie.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Whole Wheat Pasta and Chicken with Garlic and Olive Oil

This is a simple, warm dish for a chilly Fall afternoon. The chicken was a tiny bit oily (because I heated it in the oil): I kind of like it that way, but if you don't, just add it to the pasta after you've mixed the pasta and sauce. If you do it that way, reduce the amount of oil by half a tablespoon and heat up the chicken somehow before putting it in.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Spiced Couscous

This couscous is more fragrant than it is spicy tasting, though I happen to like the taste of plain couscous, so I like it. The only thing that scares me about couscous is how much it grows when you add water. It more than doubles!! Anyway, I got the spice balance -- and basic idea -- for this recipe from the blog Living Lou, though I substituted my own way of preparing couscous.

Spicy Asparagus

I found the original recipe for this dish on the blog Week of Menus, which is awesome. Just so you know, every blog I've ever linked to is better than mine. Seriously: check them out. Anyway, these asparagus were yummy: if there was a spicy candy on the market, I'd say these tasted like candy. Enough said -- make them. Try them. They're delicious. I adapted the recipe just enough so that it serves one.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Salmon with Indian Spices

This salmon was really, really, good: the 'crust' that formed on top was delicate, and the spicy topping made a nice balance with the rest of the salmon. I totally suggest trying this!

Strawberries and Cream Cupcakes

To be honest, I found the cupcakes a little dry, even though no one else had a problem with them. I'm going to be experimenting with the recipe to see if I can't make it better. The name is also a bit deceptive: these are really just vanilla cupcakes with a sweetened whip-cream frosting and strawberry garnish. The same basic vanilla cupcake recipe occurs throughout the cookbook I used, so I think it's worth tinkering with it.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Knock-Off Mongolian Beef

This was pretty damn good! A little bit sweet, a little bit salty, crispy, yummy. Mmmm. It's a fattier cut of meat than I usually choose to cook, but once in a while I think it's okay. The only odd thing is that the beef seemed to absorb the cornstarch: next time I'll try patting it dry first, even though it didn't seem to affect the final product. I'll also try using a smidgen less soy sauce. I got the basics of this recipe from the blog Kitchen Trial and Error, but lightened it up a bit.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Cracked Black Pepper Fettuccine with Scallops

This fettuccine was soooo good! I knew it would be, of course: that's why I bought it. I just left it in my cupboard for a while because I didn't know what to make with it. Finally, I decided the scallops would be perfect: light, mild-tasting -- the perfect way to showcase this amazing pasta. This recipe serves four people.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Soba Noodles With Spicy Peanut Sauce

I was a little bit disappointed with this sauce: it could have been less liquidy and maybe a bit saltier. Ah well: next time I'll try adding less water -- maybe that will do the trick. The idea was solid, though, and I liked the bits of heat that I encountered in the sauce.

Banana and Peanut Butter Smoothie

This smoothie will make a good addition to my breakfast arsenal. As a general rule, I don't like smoothies as part of a meal because I often don't find them filling enough. But this one was nice, had a smooth texture, and just enough of a peanut-y taste to satisfy me. It also wasn't too sweet, which is a good thing. I will definitely try different twists on this, like using frozen bananas to make it colder and a bit thicker.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Honey-Glazed Sweet Potatoes (Daigaku Imo)

You know, frying things in oil terrifies me, which I suppose is why I've never done it before. I mean, I only know one person who actually set themselves on fire while doing it, but still. Terrifying. Anyway, I fried sweet potato for this recipe and nothing caught fire! Phew. At first I was afraid that they were burnt (overcooking is kind of my forte), but they were great: crisp on the outside, soft on the inside. They reminded me a bit of candy. This recipe is adapted from one I found on the blog No Recipes, except that I don't actually have Japanese sweet potatoes (satsumaimo). It turned out really well: I'd make this again for sure!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Green Bean Salad

This green bean salad had a very mild dressing, so that mostly you taste the beans. I really like it! On the other hand, it was meant to have shallots, which I didn't have, so they got left out...in the future, I will try it again with all the ingredients! It was also supposed to have a teensy bit of Dijon mustard (about 1 teaspoon) which I left out...ah, well. This makes two servings, so you'll have leftovers.

Chicken and Vegetable Skewers

This was pretty good, but I was the tiniest bit disappointed in the basting mixture: the mushrooms picked up the flavor really well, but the peppers and chicken hardly tasted of it at all. Luckily, I had a super-powerful dipping sauce to go with it!