August 1, 2008

Classic Pot Roast

Pot Roast

I just rediscovered pot roast and I really like it. See what happened was, at some point in my childhood I decided I didn’t like beef. I don’t know why. There’s no rhyme or reason when you’re a kid, you just decide things like that. I wasn’t a vegetarian and it’s not like I never ate beef (I’d never turn down a hamburger), but I just refused to eat most dishes made with beef.

Slowly, I’ve been adding more beef back into my life. I like steak and I use ground beef for a lot of dishes. When I saw this recipe, it made me remember that my mom used to make Pot Roast all the time and I liked it. So why did I stop eating it? I guess maybe I thought it would be too complicated to make, but it’s really not. It’s quite easy to put together and then you just let it cook for a few hours. My mom made hers in a crockpot; I don’t have one, but it seems just as easy on the stove. I guess Pot Roast …

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July 29, 2008

Maple Roasted Chicken with Sweet Potatoes

Maple Roasted Chicken with Sweet Potatoes

I was reading someone’s blog the other day and they mentioned sweet potatoes, insinuating that the majority of people don’t like them. Is this true? Because if it is, then I am making it my mission to spread the word about sweet potatoes. I love them so much I could eat them every single night. I guess when people think of sweet potatoes they mostly think of sweet potato casserole at Thanksgiving, and while I love me some yams, there is sooo much more you do with sweet potatoes.

This recipe is a new staple in my house as it combines my two favorite things into one dish and it is oh so yummy. I also love that this is a very simple, one-pot dish. I guess you could serve with it some rice or a vegetable, but chicken and sweet potatoes are always enough food to fill me up.

Now, I do understand if the idea of maple syrup on chicken makes your stomach crawl, but I assure that once the dish is cooked, you just get this wonderfully subtle maple-y flavoring to the …

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July 24, 2008

Cheesecake Supreme with Oreo Cookie Crust

Cheesecake Supreme

It was my boyfriend’s birthday last weekend and I wanted to make him something special despite the fact that he didn’t really want to celebrate his birthday. The problem is that he doesn’t like many traditional desserts, most especially cake. I can’t even conceive of disliking cake, but somehow he does. Thankfully, though, he does love cheesecake (which he vehemently insists is not really a cake, so much does the taint of the word “cake” bother him). But even having found a dessert he actually likes, he’s almost impossible to entirely please because every single cheesecake I’ve made for him in the past, though always praised as “good” comes with the disclaimer of “but not as good as the New York cheesecake I had that one time”. AAARRRRRRGGGGGGG! So I have made it my mission of find and make a real New York style cheesecake and this time I think I found it. I actually got a “I really like this” out of him, no disclaimers!

July 21, 2008

Garlic Roasted Chicken with Gravy

Garlic Roasted Chicken

The idea of making a whole chicken for dinner used to scare me. But then I realized that I make a giant turkey every year on Thanksgiving and that’s never been a problem so why am I scared of a little chicken? In fact whole chicken is one of the simplest dinners to make. The thing I especially love about this recipe that it uses chicken broth instead of butter or oil, so you still get a perfectly tender and juicy chicken without all the fat.

And I’ve never been a big fan of gravy, but I think it compliments the chicken perfectly. It’s also great on top of rice or vegetables or stuffing or whatever else you are serving with your chicken. I found myself pouring gravy over my entire plate because I liked it so much.

July 17, 2008

On Failed Recipes

Is it is just me or is it really depressing when you spend a bunch of time to make a new recipe and then it tastes awful?  I think this is one the main reasons I’ve never been a very adventurous eater.  I find things I like and I eat them over and over.  Maybe it gets a little boring to eat the same stuff, but at least I don’t have the disappointed (and hungry) feeling when I try something new and it turns out badly.

But the thing is I am trying to be a more adventurous eater, and I’ve actually been really lucky with all the new recipes I’ve tried since I started cooking.  Until now.  This week I’ve made two things that I just couldn’t finish eating.  And it’s not that I cooked them wrong, it’s that I didn’t like the taste.  Luckily, I think I can make some ingredient changes in both that would make them better.  I guess that’s part of the fun of cooking, though?  Trying new things, seeing what works and what doesn’t.  And hopefully that disappointed feeling doesn’t stay long because instead of dwelling, I’m thinking of ways to make it better next …

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July 14, 2008

Easy Enchiladas

Simmer

Mexican and Italian are my favorite kinds of food. While I have a pretty good handle on cooking Italian food, I’ve always thought Mexican food to be beyond my reach. Until I found this recipe. Now, if you are looking for totally authentic Mexican food, then you need to be going to your nearest Mexican restaurant, because this recipe won’t be anywhere near as good as the food you get from there. But this recipe is easy and relatively low fat and despite those things it still very much fulfills my Mexican food cravings. It’s gotten to be a staple in my house and whereas we used to go out for Mexican regularly, we’re now more likely to stay in and have this instead, which is definitely better for our bank account and our diets.

July 9, 2008

Chicken Cutlets with Herb Sauce

Chicken Cutlets with Herb Sauce

So this is one of those titular “30 Minutes Meals”, which is definitely what attracted me to this recipe. Well, that and the potatoes. I love red potatoes! The problem is that it took wayyyy longer than 30 minutes, but I fully attribute that to the fact that I’ve never made it before and that I’m just a slow cook. I have no doubt an experienced cook would totally knock this out of the park in 30 minutes, but it you’re like me, it’s probably going to take you longer.

I made quite a few mistakes with this one (though it still turned out well), so after the recipe I will include notes that go a bit more into my process and what I learned, so that you won’t make the same mistakes as well. As usual I made some substitutions which I’ll note also, but I’m listing the original ingredients.

July 7, 2008

This weekend in food

Well, I didn’t get much of a holiday this weekend seeing as I had to work both my jobs all three days, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t celebrate. I made lots of food, to the point of overcompensation probably.

Braised BBQ Beef Sandwich and Sweet Potato Fries

I celebrated the fourth by making Braised BBQ Beef from Simply Recipes, which was sooooo good and quite easy to make. I’ve never been much of a beef eater, but I’m trying to expand my horizons and this was definitely a good start.

I also made Oven “Fried” Sweet Potatoes to go with it. Really good, though perhaps a bit soft, even after following the instructions for making them crispier. That recipe is from Mollie Katzen’s The Vegetable Dishes I Can’t Live Without via Serious Eats.

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