Thursday, January 31, 2013

January 31: Curried Potato, Cauliflower and Peas

Funny story. You know when I start that way, it's not going to be good. Today was grocery day but I didn't feel like going. Something to do with the packed up snow on the roads. That also meant that I didn't have the ingredients to today's supper. What I did have the ingredients for was the cornbread stuffing that I didn't make last week! So, go back to my cornbread stuffing recipe and read all about it. Hopefully tomorrow I can catch up on these recipes. Maybe I'll make the curry for lunch and the Chuck and Stout Soup for dinner. :)

I eventually did go out, but I had my friend over for a day of scrapbooking and then I went to the store. So I'm all stocked up now. Here are some pictures of our fun day:
This is my son with her daughter.

And this is my daughter with her son.


2/1/13 Today I made this recipe for lunch. I gathered the ingredients:

I cooked some onion, ginger, and garlic in oil:

I put 2 pounds of sliced red potatoes in the crockpot. Then I mixed up 1/2 tsp of cumin and 1/2 tsp of coriander with 1 tsp of salt. Then I sprinkled half of that mixture over the potatoes:

I topped the potatoes with the onion mixture, then the cauliflower florets. I sprinkled the remaining spice mixture over the cauliflower:

I topped that with a cup of vegetable broth and cooked it on high for 3 1/2 hours. Then I added peas. I was supposed to add tomatoes too, which I thought I had, but I didn't know they were moldy, so no tomatoes. I cooked that for 30 more minutes:

I tasted this, but didn't eat a lot. Maybe we will eat it over rice on another day. It was okay, but I didn't like the flavor very much. I was supposed to season it with garam masala, but I couldn't find it. I don't know if I would like that or not. The recipe says: "Garam masala is a blend of Asian spices available in the spice aisle of many supermarkets. If garam masala is unavailable substitute 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin and 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander seeds." So that's what I did.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

January 30: Country-Style Steak

Today's recipe was easy. It was from the Fall Favorites section of the cookbook. Here are the ingredients:

I dusted 4 cubed steaks with flour, and browned them on both sides in 1 tablespoon of oil:

I transferred the steaks to the crockpot and sprinkled on one packet of brown gravy mix and one packet of onion soup mix. Then I added enough water to cover the steaks and cooked it on low for about 8 hours:

I made some mashed potatoes and served them on the side of the steak with the gravy on top:

These steaks were pretty good. It was a little too tender, but still edible. The gravy was kind of salty... I think I should have thinned it with a little more water, because the onion soup mix flavor was really strong. But other than that it was really good comfort food, especially good for a snowy night like tonight. I'm sure I shoveled at least 14-16 inches of snow off our porch and front walkway. It's supposed to keep going too!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

January 29: Asian Chicken Fondue

Today we only had power in half of our house, so the Internet, TV, and x-box were down. So I got some journaling done in my scrapbook. It's amazing what you can do without the Internet to distract you. I did have power in the kitchen, so I was able to make today's dinner. It is from the patio party foods section of the cookbook. It's not really a real fondue per se, where you actually cook the food at the table, it's just a mixture of already-cooked pieces of food that you can scoop out and serve yourself. I started at about 11:30 this afternoon gathering the ingredients:

I put a cup of shiitakes, a can of chicken broth, a tbsp of teriyaki sauce, a chopped leek, a chopped baby bok choy, 2 tbsp oyster sauce and 1 tbsp mirin in the crockpot and set it on low to cook while I followed the remaining instructions:

I cooked 2 lbs of cubed chicken breasts for 4 minutes on both sides in 1 tbsp of canola oil. Then I added the chicken and a cup of cubed butternut squash to the crockpot. That cooked on low for about 5 hours:

I mixed up 2 tbsp cold water with 1 tbsp cornstarch:

I added that to the crockpot with a can of baby corn and a can of water chestnuts and it cooked for 20 more minutes:

The recipe says, "Serve with bamboo skewers, fondue forks or tongs so guests may serve themselves as desired. Broth may also be served in small soup bowls." I got out some forks and tongs and let my kids serve themselves. They thought that was fun, and I think it got them to eat more than they would have. They really liked it... especially the baby corn. :) The baby liked it too. DH didn't like it and only ate a few bites. I don't know if he really didn't like it, or if the fact that he was upset about the power being out caused him to not like anything. I'll have to see if he eats it for lunch tomorrow.

Monday, January 28, 2013

January 28: Cod Tapenade

Tonight I made fish. It was simple and quick. There are technically 2 recipes. The first is the cod. Here are the ingredients:
I sliced up the lemons, put one layer of lemon in the crockpot, followed by the fish, then another layer of lemons. That cooked for one hour on high:
The second recipe is the tapenade. Here are the ingredients:
In the food processor I put 1/2 lb. kalamata olives, 2 tbsp capers, 2 tbsp anchovy paste, a garlic clove, 2 tsp orange peel and 2 tbsp fresh thyme:
I pulsed that, then added 1/2 cup olive oil and blended until it turned into a chunky paste:
Then I served the cod with the tapenade and lemon slices on top. I made garlic bread to accompany the fish:
I really liked this recipe, but I did something wrong. The recipe calls for 2 to 3 pounds of cod, but I only bought 1 pound. The pieces were just too small, so we had way too much tapenade leftover. Other than that, the fish was well cooked, and the tapenade was delicious.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

January 27: French Toast Bread Pudding

Today's recipe was from the "brunch and breakfast" section of the cookbook. It only had to cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, so I got up early this morning and prepared it. At about 7am I gathered the ingredients:
I mixed up 2 tbsp of brown sugar with 2 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon, and I reserved one tbsp of the mixture:
I diagonally cut slices of a loaf of Texas toast in half, then started layering them in the crockpot, sprinkling one tbsp at a time of the cinnamon mixture over top:
I did that with all the bread:
In a saucepan, I combined 2 cups of cream with 2 cups of half and half and 2 tsp of vanilla and brought it to a boil:
While that was coming to a boil, I whisked 1 1/4 cups of sugar into 4 egg yolks:
I tempered the egg mixture with 1/4 cup of the boiling cream mixture, whisking constantly:
Then I stirred the warmed egg mixture into the cream and heated it for 5 minutes without boiling:
Then I stirred in a dash of nutmeg, and poured the mixture over the bread. I sprinkled the reserved brown sugar/cinnamon over top, and set it to cook on high for 1 1/2 hours.
The toothpick didn't come out clean in the middle, so we ate some from the sides, and set it to cook a little longer. (We had to eat right away, or we would be late for church.)
I scooped it out and served it with a little maple syrup and a dollop of cool whip:
This French toast was pure heaven! I took one bite of it, and I almost keeled over in pleasure! It was so good! It really didn't need the syrup because of how sweet it was, but the syrup did give it a nice maply flavor. The prep was a little long, but definitely worth the trouble. I ended up giving the rest to the college students we had over after church as dessert. It's definitely sweet enough to be dessert!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

January 26: Chicken Parisienne

Today's recipe was a super easy one, and it was really good. I like it when it when that happens! At about 2:00 this afternoon I started by gathering the ingredients:
I chopped up a couple chicken breasts, placed them in the crockpot, and seasoned them with salt, pepper, and paprika:
I added a can of cream of mushroom soup, 2 drained cans of mushrooms, and 1/2 cup of white wine. I stirred it up and cooked it on high for about 2 1/2 hours:
I boiled some noodles in a pot:
During the last 30 minutes I added 1 cup of sour cream:
I served the chicken over the noodles:
This is one of those comfort food dishes that you could make again and again. I used light sour cream, so maybe it's not too bad for you. I think I did put a little too much pepper in, but that's the only thing I would change for next time. Everybody liked it, even my husband's friend who came over to play (like they're 7th graders or something). :)

Friday, January 25, 2013

January 25: Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Tonight I made stuffed chicken breasts and this is how I did it. At around 10:30 this morning I gathered these ingredients:

I pounded out 5 chicken breasts with a meat mallet to 1/4 inch thick:

I mixed up some feta, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, basil, lemon peel, garlic powder, and pepper:

I filled the chicken breasts with the filling and rolled them up tightly:

I put the rolled chicken breasts in the crockpot and  covered them with undrained diced tomatoes and oil-packed olives:

That cooked on low for about 6 hours:

I cooked up some polenta on the stove and sliced up the chicken and served it over the polenta:

This meal is good, but a little labor intensive. Hubby liked it, but I think the chicken was a little too tender and I couldn't taste the filling very well. I think it cooked too long. I absolutely LOVED the polenta, and so did everyone else. The tomatoes and olives were great! Maybe next time we'll just have polenta with tomatoes and olives on top. J/K.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

January 24: Chicken Stew with Herb Dumplings

My ankle is feeling much better today, and I could bear weight on it, so I just went ahead and did my grocery shopping as usual. I had a lot of cleaning up to do in the kitchen, especially the crockpot, which was still soaking from the bread pudding. It took me about 15 minutes to get it clean. Anyway, I decided to make today's dinner instead of yesterday's. I started this meal which is from the "Hearty Stews and Chilies" section of the cookbook, at around 11:00am. I gathered up the ingredients:
I chopped up 3 carrots, an onion, a stalk of celery, and a bell pepper, then I put them in the crockpot with 3 cups of chicken broth. That cooked for 2 hours on low.
Then I mixed up 1/3 of a cup of flour with 1 cup of chicken broth and stirred it into the soup.
This is what it looked like:
I chopped up 2 chicken breasts and 2 red potatoes, then added them to the crockpot with some frozen peas and sliced mushrooms. I seasoned it with basil, rosemary, and tarragon:
All that cooked on low for 4 hours:
Then I mixed up a cup of biscuit mix with 1/3 cup of milk, added some more herbs, and dropped 4 spoonfuls of the dough onto the soup:
That cooked for 30 minutes uncovered and 30 more minutes covered:
It was supposed to make 4 servings, and it did make 4 dumplings, but there was a lot of soup leftover. It is good without the dumplings too, so it will be good for lunch tomorrow:
While the dumplings were cooking, hubby took the kids to the store for socks, and they bought me these flowers because of my sprained ankle. Aren't they pretty?
The soup was very good. Perfect for a cold winter's night. I will make it again. I think I might try thyme next time in place of the rosemary.