Saturday, August 28, 2010

Watermelon, Lime, and Mint Granita ~ page 299

I have to admit....this wasn't my favorite recipe from Ellie. It wasn't bad, it was just different. I had several taste testers and half of them felt like me, and the other half really liked it. It was very refreshing, I'll give it credit for that. I mainly thought to make this because I had a watermelon that wasn't very sweet and I didn't want to waste it. So maybe that was my problem. I also think it was a bit too much mint for me. Maybe I just wanted it to take more like a snow cone...the lime cut the sweetness too much. I'd love to hear if anyone else has had a better experience with it. --Carissa

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Lemon Chicken Soup with Orzo P. 86

We made this for dinner tonight and it was very good! Isaiah even gobbled it up (our 11mo old son)! I did everything exactly as she said...probably put in more salt and pepper than she would but oh well! Next time I think I'll double the amount of carrots because it didn't seem like there was enough.

Oh and I only got 2 tbsp of lemon juice from my lemons so I used 1 tbsp of lemon concentrate. Daniel said he would add more lemon juice next time but I thought it was perfect the way it was.

We definitely recommend it. Fairly easy and good flavor.

Baked Shrimp with Tomatoes and Feta p. 234

I really liked this dish! It was very tasty and easy to make. I did use fresh shrimp instead of frozen because it was on sale. One change that I will make next time – not as many onions. I served it over rice which I thought worked out well because the juices of the ingredients added a very nice flavor to the rice. The next time I make this dish, I am going to try serving it over pasta for a change. If you like shrimp, then you will like this dish.
I did forget to take a picture, but happy to say it did look like the one in the cookbook. :)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tabbouleh ~ page 140

I had never made tabbouleh before, just eaten it a few times at my mom's house. It was super fast to throw together, and very light and healthy. The bulgur wheat was in the health food section of the grocery store and was even on sale pretty cheap. It is like couscous in that you just pour boiling water over it and let it sit. The only change I made was to add a touch more lemon juice, and about 3 cloves of fresh minced garlic. I will be making this again. The husband really liked it, but the kids not so much. So I will just make it for the adults next time. I served with homemade pimento cheese sandwiches which made for a very nice and light lunch. --Carissa

Monday, August 23, 2010

Sorry Ladies!

I just posted my personal family blogs on here :)  That's what happens when you are trying to work on the computer with a 2 year old hanging all over you!

Sorry again!

Friday, August 20, 2010


Was all set to make the Macaroni and four cheeses on p. 168, was at the grocery with the shopping list and was unable to find frozen pureed winter squash. Frankly, I've never heard of or seen it in the grocery but have never looked for it either! Could not find this at Kroger and I'm wondering if anyone knows where to find it! The recipe sounds good and would be a good way to sneak another vegetable into a meal. I ended up going back to Pioneer Woman for her macaroni and cheese but definitely want to try this. Guess I could make my own but what is winter squash? Can anyone help me?? Thanks!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Balsamic Chicken.... P. 205

I had made a similiar chicken to this not to long ago but it didn't have the spinach or the couscous. We liked the other one so I thought I'd give this one a go since all the side were in the meal! We also ate some Tx Toast with it...yummy.

I will say it did NOT take 15 min! Maybe if you had staff doing the prepping and cleaning up but there are to many steps using the same pan to get it done that fast.

We enjoyed it, even Isaiah like the couscous and tomatoes!! The only thing I did different is I put my chicken in a breadcrumb mixture with parm cheese...this is how the other recipe did it and I liked that about it. I didn't egg coat it just put the chicken right in the breadcrumbs. I think this added to the goodness!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Salmon Cakes with Ginger-Sesame Sauce

These were really good and the sauce was even better. I followed the recipe except for the water chestnuts, I couldn't find them in the store (evidently they are in the Asian section, not by the peanuts and cashews where the Kroger guy sent me, which made me laugh). I might try a fresh salmon fillet next time. I've never worked with canned salmon and was quite disgusted by the skin and bones in the fish. I realize you are probably just supposed to eat the small bones, but that thought disgusted me even more. So, what I thought would be a fairly quick meal to make, turned into at least an hour. But on the whole, this was a nice summer meal with a vegetable and salad.

Whole Wheat Pancakes ~ page 18

These pancakes were REALLY good!! I have been using boxed pancakes too much lately out of laziness.... These were so fluffy. I will definitely make these again and again. I didn't have buttermilk, so the only change I made in the recipe was to use half plain yogurt and half milk. I read somewhere that would work. When I tasted my yogurt/milk mixture it didn't taste sour enough, so I did add a splash of lemon juice which is what I usually do anyway. I guess it was a good substitute for buttermilk because the pancakes were delicious! I didn't have strawberries so I used peaches to make a sauce. Give these a try! --Carissa

Arugula, Caramelized Onion, and Goat Cheese Pizza

My family always does homemade pizza on Christmas Eve and this pizza has been on the menu the last two years. The first year we made it on the wheat tortillas and this past year we put it on pizza dough. It obviously tasted better on the dough. I personally think it's kind of bland but the goat cheese is a nice flavor. If you're looking for a change of pizza pace, I'd recommend this one.

Parmesan Mashed Potatoes and Garlic "Fries"

I have been using these 2 recipes for a few years. We love the fries, I don't always have the time to cut them into thick matchsticks, but they are just as good a little thicker, they just take a little longer to cook.

The parmasan mashed potatoes are really good too. I always use the "optional" butter, and have been known to add a bit more cheese. My husband claims he doesn't like parmasan cheese so if I have cheddar, I use that, otherwise what he doesn't know won't hurt him.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Garlic "Fries" ~ page 265

These fries are a winner, even though I didn't cook them quite right! I misread the oven temp, and did 350 instead of 450 degrees (should have worn my glasses!). They took a bit longer too cook, and weren't quite as crispy as I think they would have been if cooked right--however, they were not lacking on flavor at all!
The prep was interesting--warm the oil and minced garlic, then strain out the garlic and toss the shoestring potatoes with the oil (I used olive oil, though Ellie does not) and spread them on a baking sheet to bake. I had red potatoes on hand, so that is what I used. Later, the strained garlic and chopped parsley are tossed with the cooked fries. I served this with the Grilled Thai Beef Salad on page 107. You will want to give this a try!

Grilled Thai Beef Salad ~ page107

This was my first Ellie recipe--and it will be a repeat! I actually did not have very high expectations of this recipe, not being  familiar with flank steak, but the flavors of this salad and the beef were a wonderful surprise!  This made a perfect main dish for a hot summer evening.
I cooked my flank steak for about 8 minuets per side--though Ellis recommends 5 minuets per side. The center of the steak does need to be quite pink--leaning toward red. I served this salad with the Garlic Fries on page 265--outstanding combination of recipes!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Peach French Toast Bake ~ page 35

This was quite yummy. I love that you make it the night great for when you have overnight guests. Again I didn't do the egg white thing, so I just used 7 whole eggs instead of 4 eggs plus 4 egg whites. The only change I would make for next time is to add a little sugar to the milk and egg mixture. I like my french toast a little sweeter. I found I was using a little more syrup than I would normally use because it wasn't very sweet. I sprinkled mine with powdered sugar to make it even prettier. My kiddos gobbled this up! Below is how I spread my bread out. I might add a extra couple slices next time cuz my favorite part was when some of the bread edges poked up and got crispy and toasted...but that was just on a few pieces since they were all laying so flat in the pan. I'll definitely add this to my rotation of brunch food when I have guests spend the night! --Carissa

Linguine with Shrimp and Vegetables

I know it looks like the tomatoes are not cut in half but they are :)

This was a delicious recipe and easy to make! I thought it had great flavor and my husband and I loved how light it was. It is so nice to find a pasta dish that is not heavy like they usual are. I think having vegetables as part of the ingredients was super smart.

When I make this again, which I will be doing, I will add more asparagus because that is a favorite at our house. I will also cut back a little on the amount of tomatoes too. My husband likes them but not me or my son.

Bottom line… linguine and shrimp with vegetables was yummy!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Nutty Granola p. 38

I've been enjoying this granola all week for breakfast. I like it with vanilla yogurt and some blueberries or strawberries tossed on the top. I made it with half maple syrup and half agave nectar as I ran out of syrup. Was plenty sweet but not too sweet. I did not add the raisins - just forgot - although sometimes they get too chewy and I prefer using fresh fruit. I did not chop my walnuts, almonds and pecans as I like them in bigger chunks.

I will make this again but will probably throw in some other ingredients like flax seed, oat bran and wheat germ just because I like all that in my granola! I would also add more cinnamon - it had a hint of it but was not what Ellie calls "humming" with it!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Basil Pesto p.144

I have received an A+ in basil growing this summer! This was my first major harvest and I suspect I will get several more. Anyone need basil??

I followed the recipe except for using 4 cups of basil instead of 3 - I had a LOT of fresh basil I needed to use up. I was able to make 4 batches and froze 3 of them for future use.

I didn't have new potatoes so didn't try her Pesto Potato Salad (but will another time). Just tossed the pesto with pasta and we thoroughly enjoyed!! Can't wait to have my frozen pesto this winter!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Sweet and Spicy Grilled Cheese Sandwiches ~ page 95

What a nice change from regular grilled cheese! The onions were fabulous! I think I will always put caramelized onions on my grilled sandwiches now! And the tomato was a great addition too, it gave the sandwich more substance! I forgot to buy pepper jack cheese, so I just used Monterey Jack with Cheddar. It was still great. I can imagine the pepper cheese would be REALLY good! Definitely give this one a try! --Carissa