Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Puffless

Today is Pancake Day!  Rather than celebrate with traditional flapjacks, I decided this Ham and Cheese Puff Pancake would be a good experiment.  Puff pancakes are easy to throw together on a busy evening, and the baking time means a fast meal without too much hands-on time.

This was my first time making a savory variety.  It was very good, however, sadly, it was not puffed. The ham and cheese combination was absolutely delicious (albeit herbless because I totally forgot them).  I'm seriously considering making this to have on hand for breakfasts.  It is hearty without being thuddy--a good combination in my book.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Celebrating

I love birthday food.  It's an excuse to throw out calorie counts and just enjoy.  This past weekend we celebrated my dad.  My sister made a delicious prime rib and roasted red potatoes.


I contributed this Bacon Apple Raspberry Vinaigrette Salad.  It is loaded with yummy flavors.  So good, in fact, that I ate the leftovers for breakfast the next day.  Yep, salad for breakfast people.  It's a thing.  Don't change anything in the recipe.  Just make it as it.  Perfect.


And then there was cake.  Bunny's Coconut Cake to be exact.  I was awesome.  Am I allowed to say that about my own baking?  I hope so.  We all really enjoyed this, and could have totally have eaten it for breakfast too.

Two winners for celebrating.  Highly recommend.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Double Time

A Monday for me is usually a steady stream of chores, class prep, errand running, and what have you.  Today it seemed like all of the same, times two, with double the driving around in between.


No matter.  My trusty crockpot was there with Pork Chop Stroganoff when we were ready to sit down for dinner.  

This recipe was not too different from the pork chops in cream of mushroom soup my mom always made in my childhood years.  Surprisingly, I really liked the flavor of the mushrooms (thick sliced white button variety).  The pork chops were tender, but borderline dryish.  Not sure why, maybe because they don't actually cook in the sauce?  One disappointment, was that the sauce didn't really thicken at all.  


And then, dessert.  As I told my family, I'll coat everything in butter and marshmallow.  Today's installment was Bugles.  I love Bugles, and not just because they make delightfully crunch, tasty fingernails.  The saltiness was the perfect foil to the butter and marshmallows.  I chose to use the same proportions I use in my regular Rice Krispie squares--one stick of butter, 16 oz of marshmallows and 9-10 cups of cereal/snacks.  I'm not sure how I ever ended up with those numbers, but it's the sweet spot at this house.  

The Bugles are a fun changes, and certainly better than the potato chip treats that turned to mush.  Still, I'd probably choose the original if push came to shove.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Pot Pie Pizza



It sounds crazy, but of course I had to try it.  Chicken pot pie is a terrific winter comfort food, pizza is always a favorite, why not try them together.

Underwhelmed is the best way  to describe it.  It is exactly as you think chicken pot pie should taste, subtract pie crust, add pizza crust, and add cheese (barely discernible by the way).  I swapped out green beans for peas, because we don't do peas, and used shredded carrots left from another recipe.  Otherwise I followed the rules!

I'm so bummed!  I thought it would be a fantastic way to enjoy chicken pot pie, but instead, it was just ordinary.  Not terrible, just not wonderful.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

I Promise We Eat Things Besides Cheeseburgers




So today's installment is Bacon Cheeseburger Chili.  I promise we eat more than bacon cheeseburger stuff around here, but we do love those flavors, so it's not entirely surprising that it showed up on the menu again. (Full disclosure: we also went out for supper Saturday night, and I had a bacon cheeseburger salad.  We really do love them.)

This recipe took a little bit of brain power.  I was unable to find the Slow Cooker beans called for in the recipe, so I had to substitute these traditional Great Northern beans.  A bit of digging around on their website indicated the beans should probably be soaked overnight in order to cook in a decent amount of time.  A quick call to my sister confirmed that was probably a good bet.  (Life lesson: when in doubt, call your sister.)

So here's what I did.  I soaked the beans overnight, and just let them keep soaking until I was ready to use them around noon time today.  I drained the water and added them to the slow cooker (minus a few since this was a 20 oz bag).  Then I added my ground beef, onion, garlic, broth, and water, turned it to high, and let it cook for a few hours.  With about an hour left in the cooking time, I added my trusty Kirkland bacon bits.  Then, with half an hour left before dinner, I turned the slow cooker to warm and added the cream and cheese.

This smelled fabulous while it was cooking and the flavors were excellent.  It needs salt, so throw a little in.  We topped our bowls with a few bacon bits, some extra cheddar, and Wild White Nacho Doritos.  Yum!

My little complained about the fact that there were a lot of beans in this soup, but I think she liked it otherwise.  She certainly liked it more than traditional chili.  I'm just happy I managed to figure out the bean prep mystery and everything turned out well!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

20 Minutes is Not Enough

A twenty minute promise at the end of  a long workday is a welcome one.  If only.



But 20 Minute Cilantro Lime Shrimp and Rice didn't quite deliver.  For some reason the rice took much longer than 20 minutes to cook.  I don't know if I turned the burner too low or what, but I felt like it just kept cooking and cooking.

Which was all the more disappointing when the flavor was just so so.  The dish was rescued by a light sprinkle of cheddar and eating it on some Wild White Nacho Doritos.  Not sure if it was the crunch or the flavor but it worked.

So my high hopes were spoiled by a dish that took longer and the fact that the flavor was kind of meh.  Here's hoping tomorrow's a better day!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Stuffing-ed

Why do I love Stove Top stuffing?  It's somewhat of a mystery to me, given the fact that I didn't even try it until I was cooking on my own post college.  Maybe it's the one of a kind smell it generates, or the fact that it's such a cozy dish, but I love recipes that use it.



This is a super easy recipe, with little prep work.  My favorite kind.  No granted, slow cooker chicken dishes are never the prettiest pictures, but sometimes they are the tastiest.  This is one of those.  My little one is rarely as enthusiastic about stuffing as I am, but she enjoyed this!

I tried to play by the rules this time, only cutting back to three chicken breasts.  I didn't need leftovers clear into next week!  Make sure you give the "goop" ingredients a good stir into the dressing a little bit before you plan to eat.  Some of my dressing mix was still pretty dry, but with a good stir turned out fine.


And because our day here turned out to be windy and drizzley, I wanted a nice cozy dessert too.  I went this quick Stovetop Rice Pudding.  It was tasty, but if you are nutmeg averse, cut back a bit.  I loved that it was warm and sweet without being terrible for me.

Enjoy!