July 13, 2010

Lasagna-style Baked Ziti

Lasagna-style Baked Ziti

Lately, I’ve been feeling like I’m in a food rut, making the same things over and over again, so I’m making an effort to try new things; not just new recipes, but new ingredients that I’ve never eaten or cooked with before. The easiest way I’ve found to do this is to pick one cookbook and only make recipes from that cookbook for the next couple of weeks. That way I can’t just go through and pick and choose the “safe” recipes, I actually have to try things that I would normally flip right past. This led me to choose a recipe with goat cheese in it, something I’ve liked in restaurant dishes, but not something I’ve ever bought and cooked with before. Well, that did it. I guess maybe it never occurred to me that you could buy goat cheese at a normal grocery store? I don’t know, but now that I know you can, it’s all I can do to keep from buying a package of goat cheese every time I go to the store and eating it whole.


October 27, 2008

Glazed Lemon Cakes

Lemon Cakes

I have a raging sweet tooth and it usually reveals itself late at night. Usually I can be good and satisfy it with one of those 100 calorie packs of cookies, but sometimes only a real dessert will satisfy me. Because of that I always look for quick and simple dessert recipes to have in my arsenal that I can whip up in about an hour or two. Friday night was one such night, but I was not in the mood for any of usual chocolate recipes. I wanted something completely different. So I looked through my newest cookbook and found this recipe for glazed lemon cupcakes. They did not disappoint. Very sweet and moist and definitely a nice change of pace if your not in the mood for chocolate. Even the glaze part, which I’m usually very wary of (I’ve had some BAD experiences making icing before) was super easy to whip up. I just poured it right over the cakes, I didn’t even bother to spread it around on all of them, it pretty much did all the work itself.

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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August 6, 2009

Asiago-Crusted Pork Chops with Sweet Pea and Pepper Toss

Asiago-Crusted Pork Chops with Sweet Pea and Pepper Toss

I started making a meal plan every week and now that I’ve been doing it for a little while, I have to wonder why I haven’t been doing this all along. It’s saving me so much trouble. Here’s an example of a typical nightly exchange between me and my boyfriend pre-meal plan:

Me: What do you want for dinner?
Him: I don’t know, what do you want for dinner?
Me: Whatever you want.
Him: I want whatever you want.
Me: I forgot to take any meat out of the freezer.
Him: So…pizza or chinese?

It was just unbelievably frustrating and there was no excuse for it other than laziness on our part. Now I’ve been making a meal plan for the upcoming week on Sunday and then I go to the grocery store and buy only the ingredients I need (so I’m saving some money as well since I’m not buying produce or anything that goes bad before we get a chance to eat it). I have it written out on a big white board in my kitchen, so the night before I’m reminded of what I’m making the …

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December 23, 2008

No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

In January I promise to post some low fat recipes to get in the New Year’s resolution diet mood, but until then it’s still December and I’m baking like there’s no tomorrow! The cookies come to me courtesy of my boyfriend’s grandma from Tennessee who I like to think of as the quintessential southern woman. Almost every time I’ve been over to her house she has a feast prepared, even if she’s only expecting a few people to come over! Brandon compares my cooking to hers all the time (That’s not how my grandmother makes it…), but that’s ok because she’s a great cook, so if I could be as good as her one day that would be a great compliment.

I’d never had these cookies until the first time I went over to her house and I think I must have eaten about 50 of them that day because now every time I go back she’ll tell me that she made my favorite cookies. She’s even sent us a big batch of them for Christmas in years past. But since Brandon had forgotten to send …

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October 22, 2008

Chicken Pot Pie Soup – two ways

Chicken Pot Pie Soup

You could also call this Creamy Chicken Vegetable Soup. We’ve already established how much I love Jason’s Deli. Well, this is another item they have that I love almost as much as their muffins. When I was searching around for a similar recipe, I wound up finding two. One was made from scratch and kinda high in fat, while the other was uber simple (10 minutes to make it – TOTAL) and low fat. I decided to make both and see how they compared. In end all taste-testers (which would be me and Brandon) agreed that the made from scratch version was better, but the other version was definitely still good and the fact that it was so simple and also low in fat made up for the taste discrepancies.

April 10, 2009

Chicken a la King

Chicken a la King

I guess this is one of those basic everyone-has-made-this kind of dishes, but OH. MY. GOD. you just wouldn’t even believe how many years have gone into finding this recipe and then actually being able to make it. This recipe, like the inscrutably named Pineapple Stuff, was one of my absolute favorite dishes my mom made when I was a kid. So much so, that I still remember it fondly despite not eating it in almost 15 years. So last year when I started cooking again, I made it my mission to find this recipe. Except I couldn’t remember what it was called or what the ingredients were other than broccoli and some adorable little puff pastry shells my mom always used. So I looked through every single recipe in my mom’s old recipe collection (which is just a book with hundreds of handwritten recipe cards and magazine cut-outs taped into it in a semi-organized, but still haphazard fashion) several times and finally figured out which one it was.

It was called Tuna a la King and I didn’t remember it having tuna, but everything else …

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May 20, 2010

Lemon Glazed Blackberry Cake

Lemon Glazed Blackberry Cake

Do you ever go to the grocery store and randomly pick up something that looks so inviting or is such a good deal that you can’t pass it up, even though you don’t know what you will actually do with it? Well, that’s how I ended up with 2 cartons of giant blackberries this week. They were beautiful and they were buy one, get one free. How could you not buy those?

But then, if course, I had to find something to make with them so they wouldn’t all go to waste (although they were pretty perfect in a bowl with a little sugar sprinkled on top, too). I already posted a blackberry cobbler a while ago, so that was out. After searching around for a while, this recipe jumped out me, and for good reason! It’s extremely simple and produces a very moist and delicious cake. And since I really like the combination of lemon and blackberry, I added a lemon glaze on top (the same one from these lemon cakes). I think the glaze perfectly balances out the tartness …

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