Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Sweet and Sour Brisket

This one cooked very well, smelled yummy...none of us cared for it!  I made it to take to my sister-in-laws as a new baby meal, and it didn't get eaten. 

I think we are spoiled with BBQ in the South and we all enjoy a traditional brisket instead.

I won't be making this one again :(

Steak Tacos with Cucumber- Avocado Salsa

These were YUMMY!  I have a recipe for Tilapia Chile-Lime Tacos that are a similar twist on traditional tacos like this one that we love. 

I used flank steak instead of NY strip and it worked just fine.  We both really enjoyed the cinnamon in the marinade.

The cucumber-avocado salsa was great on the tacos and by itself with chips.  A great, healthier alternative to guacamole.

Asparagus with Lemon and Tarragon

We love asparagus around here...well, we used to!  Danny just informed me he is tired of it!  What can I say, he'll eat salad, green beans or asparagus!

Thought I'd try something new- I always grill ours in a bit of olive oil on the stove.  I did that and then put the sauce on it.  I thought it was yummy...Danny said it had too much lemon- guess I should have followed the recipe measurements instead of just guestimating )

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Tuscan Roasted Chicken & Parmesan Mashed Potatoes. Pg. 262 & 210

For dinner tonight I made the Tuscan Roasted Chicken (and veggies) with Parmesan mashed potatoes for the side. 

We were not impressed with the main all.  It all has a light lemon flavor from the chicken and the rosemary helped give it a little more but otherwise it was just not our cup of tea.  The potatoes were good, but they weren't anything special. 

If anyone else makes this -- I hope you enjoy it more than my family! :)

Friday, October 22, 2010

Garlic Fries

I agree with the other reviews....these were yummy! My kids and husband gobbled them right up. I would definitely make these again! --Carissa

Monday, October 18, 2010

White Bean and Roasted Garlic Dip ~ page 73

I served this with veggies for dipping. It had great flavor, a nice change from regular old humus.
I rushed the garlic while it was roasting so it was pretty strong in garlic flavor. I think the garlic flavor would have mellowed out a bit if I had roasted it long enough. My kids gobbled it up. --Carissa

Garlic Fries Pg. 265

My husband is addicted I repeat, addicted to potatoes.  He has a problem. 

As I was tired of mashed/bundles/roasted/baked and otherwise I decided to give this a try! 

I got a little happy with the baking and over cooked these slightly but when I went back to the kitchen to get some more...I found my husband standing over the stove chowing down.  Needless to say, there were none left.  We'll be making these again!

I served this with oven roasted pork chops.  Yum!

Herbed Goat Cheese Dip Pg. 66

This week I decided to go semi healthy for the football gang that arrives in my home on Sundays and one of the things I made was the herbed goat cheese dip.  I did however make one modifications and would recommend another. 
I couldn't bring myself to add mint into this.  I didn't see a bunch of guys enjoying it (nor would I). 
For my taste, it had a bit too much thyme.  I would probably do half the amount it calls for.  Otherwise this was a hit.  It was gone within the 1st half of the game!

I served this with crackers and lots of raw veggies.  

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sage-Rubbed Pork chops with Warm Apple Slaw ~ page 195

This seemed like a nice Autumn dish to make for supper. I didn't have any sage, to my disappointment, so I used poultry seasoning, which has sage in it...but I think the pure sage would have been better. I liked the apple slaw a lot, but thought double the apple would have been nice in it.
I covered the browned chops with the slaw to simmer. I think the apple cider vinegar is nice in this dish...This is quite a pan full. I rated this dish as an 8.

Now, all that is my husband's review: he rated it a 2, and fussed through the whole meal. First off, he says he does not like simmered, slimy pork chops--he likes them deeply browned and dryish...and would have rather the chops have been grilled. Then, he thought the flavor was blah, so he rummaged in the fridge, and came up with a bottle of Schlotzsky's sauce and tried that...that wasn't right, so he looked again and came up with a jar of Tabasco hot pepper jelly, and that was better. (Actually, though I looked on disapprovingly, I did try the hot jelly on the chops, and thought that was pretty good.) We discussed some possible improvements on the recipe...but when it comes down to it, I guess I would not have the nerve to make this again, as my confidence can not hold up to this level of disdain. :) However, I did make a pumpkin pie for dessert and that redeemed the meal somewhat.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Peanut Butter Split Smoothie ~ page 42

This was my first recipe from Ellie's book. I have to admit this was a little different. Not bad, just different. I had never drank peanut butter before. My girls loved it and begged for more, so I made it again and added a few ice cubes to add some texture so I couldn't feel the peanut butter particles, and then I added a teaspoon of honey to sweeten it up a bit. The only sweetness it had was the banana. With the addition of the ice and honey it was really good, I would make it again that way.

The above picture is to show you the easiest way to clean your blender!! Just fill half way with warm water and a few squirts of dish soap, then blend for several seconds. Then just rinse and dry! I think a dishwasher can be kinda harsh on blenders, this will preserve all the parts longer. --Carissa

Green Beans with Mushrooms and Shallots p. 246

Ellie is right - the combination of these three ingredients is "much more than the sum of its parts." I just thought my favorite green beans were Ina's that she does with shallots. The addition of mushrooms makes this even more yummy. I used plain ol' sliced mushrooms - nothing fancy although I'm sure it would be really good with an assortment of different varieties (will try that the next time). What I really like about the shallots in this dish is that after they are really browned they taste like bacon - really, they do! What could be better - bacon taste without the fat and calories!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Balsamic Chicken with Baby Spinach & Couscous (p205)

I don’t think we’re doing too bad; we had spinach 3 nights last week & didn’t even complain about it. Shocking! For the couscous I used a tri-color mix which had hints of spinach (yes, more spinach) & paprika. I added the entire can of tomatoes & about 10 oz of spinach. We really liked the Mediterranean flare of this dish.

Pumpkin Pie Muffins (p21)

I took Lou Ann’s advice and made these muffins. I would agree with her, that they really don’t taste like they are low-fat at all; they were really yummy, especially with my morning coffee!

Monday, October 11, 2010

L.O.V.E. Wrap Sandwich (p96) and Tomato & Red Onion Salad (p130)

I loved this fresh & filling meal. For the L.O.V.E. sandwich I used left-over whole-wheat pitas from the Toasted Pita & Herb Salad, omitted the red pepper, & substituted spinach for the romaine lettuce. I think I probably cut my red onion slices a little too thick, so next time I will most likely chop them.
The Tomato & Red Onion Salad was great, but would have been even better if it was a complete caprese salad with some mozzarella (but I guess that would have added a lot more calories). I think using fresh basil really made this salad awesome.

Friday, October 8, 2010

"Garlic" Fries

Yummy...that's all Brayden and Danny kept saying! 

These were finished baking before the rest of my meal was done, and they were almost completly eaten before I could get plates on the table.  I didn't cut mine thin enough so they were a little soft in the middle- but so yummy!  We'll be having these again before we do bagged frozen fries, for sure!

Roasted Salmon with Shallot- Grapefruit Sauce

No pictures got eaten too my 2 year old!  Brayden is a GREAT eater!  I do not complain at all about his eating habits...very healthy and he will try just about anything.  I knew he liked fish, but hadn't tried salmon yet.  I left the sauce off of his and he ate half of my piece and half of Danny's as well. 

Make sure you don't burn the shallots- it added a strange taste to the sauce, but besides for that- it was yummy!

I LOVED cooking the salmon this way.  I usually try grilling or sauteing it and it never seems to be just right- this was perfect!  I used pre-packaged individual salmon filets and they did great! 

Whole Wheat Pasta Salad with Walnuts and Feta Cheese

 I had already put this on my planner to make this week, and when Darby said it was good, I couldn't wait to try it.  We love salads around here, and I am guilty of usually just opening a bag of lettuce and putting bottled light dressing on it.  This was super easy to make and VERY yummy!  We will be having this again.  All 3 of us enjoyed it.  The dressing was delicous!  It would be good on a regular spinach salad as well.

Of course, I made a few additions.  I added cucumber for a little more crunch.  And also added grilled chicken breasts.

I would not put as much red onion next time- it was a little much for us.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Christy Jordan

Hey Cookbook Bloggers!
For those of you that fell in love with the PW, I just wanted to share this with you. I read the article about Christy Jordan in Southern Living last week & have been all over her website, Jordan’s style is a lot like PW in her southern cooking and blogging. Her book goes on sale today and she will be in Houston for a book tour on 10/25. You can preview the book or check out the recipes from her website.

Here is a link that has a quick video introduction to Jordan at the bottom, as well as a way to purchase the book. If you loved the PW, I have a feeling you’re going to want this cookbook too!

I have ordered mine and I can’t wait to try out this cookbook!

Whole-Wheat Pasta Salad with Walnuts & Feta Cheese (p137) and Toasted Pita & Herb Salad (p142)

This pasta salad was soooo delicious! My husband & I both loved it! All of the ingredients mingled together so well. I used penne pasta, & EVOO for the dressing. The serving size is 2 cups which is a lot, & since this pasta is so filling you can probably cut the calorie report in half. Because this pasta salad isn’t creamy, it would probably be perfect for a picnic, BBQ, or any other hot outside event. Next time we have a potluck, I volunteer to bring this pasta salad!

For the herb salad I used spinach instead of romaine, doubled the scallions, & omitted the mint. You can probably use regular tomatoes instead of grape tomatoes; I did. The recipe says to chop the herbs, but I would suggest that you chop them finely. Also, depending on how much crunch you like, you probably don’t need as many pita “croutons.”

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Confused about Cookware....

I have decided that I must have an Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven like everyone on the Food Network has! I have saved up my birthday money and I am ready to take the plunge. I can't decide what brand to get though. So I thought I'd ask you ladies what your opinion is. Should I go for the top of the line Le Crueset, or something cheaper like Giada's at Target, or what about Lodge at Walmart? That is only 3, there are many other brands out there. IKEA even has one now too! Do you ladies have any advice for me? Do any of you have a colored enamel pot?