Monday, March 4, 2013

Back At It

My back was feeling better yesterday so I hit the books again! It wasn't the two books I was working on. I needed some comfort food and you don't find that in a Pan Asian or veggie book.

Que Betty Crocker! I have a recipe book that use to be my mom's. Some of the pages are faded, most are dirty, and some are stuck together. This attests to the usability of the book. I truly believe that. You can tell the best recipes in a book by how dirty the pages are!

I choose Chicken Pot Pie yesterday. I used turkey instead of chicken because it is what I had on hand. I also added extra veggies. Much as I love me some Betty Crocker....I needed more veggies than onions, frozen peas, and frozen carrots. :-) The recipe has a lovely celery seed crust and cooks in 35 minutes if you don't add all the extra veggies I did. I made the dough thin and was able to eek out enough for our lunch too. Here is a pic of our lunch one (before cooking).

I have this little old casserole dish. I love using it. It holds enough for 4 and is so darn cute. It even has a lid. So I'll put it in the oven at work for an hour before lunch. It will be DELISH!

Also I bake....I don't know if I mentioned that earlier or not. But when I'm stressed...I bake. You will see lots of that here. And have a bit already with the cookies and pineapple upside down cake.

Yesterday was no different. I used the Best Cooky Recipe Ever out of the Sunset Magazine 1989 cookbook. It wasn't the best....but the Hubby liked it and that is all that counts. Here it is.
I also baked a cinnamon chip recipe. It was off of the pack of cinnamon chips. I don't count that as it didn't come from a book and was just because I like cinnamon. ;-)

So I feel a little back on track. We will look at the books and see what I can make tonight. 

Little PS here....While looking for the pot pie recipe, I found that the top shelf of my recipe cupboard....was TWO STACKS DEEP!! I'll be at this forever!!!!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

OH my aching back!

FYI I haven't quit my blog.

I just decided I needed to pick up babies all day Saturday and now I HURT!!

It is so bad that I haven't cooked anything but a piece of toast this week. Even carrying a cup of coffee hurts.

Its okay though, I did re-make the Tom Yam soup this weekend & it was better the 1st time. I'll have to tweak it to be more like the 1st time.

I also need to look through the books for more to make in the following weeks and go shopping. FUN FUN FUN!!!


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Double Recipe Day!!

Today was delish, and okay, and YECHY!!!

Since life is short, lets do dessert first. I made a Pineapple Upside Down cake from my Southern Living 1988 Annual Recipe book. I know that isn't one of the two I'm working out of right now, but Mom was over and it is her favorite. And the recipe is PERFECT! I follow this recipe to the T's. But use fresh pineapple instead of canned. It tastes so much better.

Next lets move to the okay. I did Honga's chicken Salad. It was okay. I was surprised how well the oranges went with the chicken, and of course the avocado in it is amazing and that goes without saying. ;-) Avocado is good on just about anything.
 The YECHY was the dressing in the above recipe. It was so awful. I am glad I didn't put it on my salad. I decided to try it before putting it on. It was nasty. I think it was the sesame oil I didn't like.
I even took a picture. As you can see it looks like mud! Even my mom didn't like it. She said to be sure and note on the blog how awful it was! HA!
I do think I'll make the salad again. I will just use a new dressing. I quite liked the oranges in it. Mom suggested that I could use mandarins but I think the regular oranges were quite tasty. Not too sweet. Perfect!

I will be taking the next few days off. Tomorrow I go to the movies with a friend and Friday Mom and I are going out to dinner. So I'm on break until ...oh wait. I wont be cooking Saturday either. I have a baby shower. So Sunday I might cook. We shall see. I do need to plan out my meals for the next two weeks. We shall see...we shall see!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

OMG GOOD!!!! (edited)

This post has been edited to fill you in on the items missing due to alcohol consumption. The names have been changed to what they really are now that I can remember them,

Yes...I've FINALLY done it....I've cooked something that I will definitely do again!! It is called Tam Yam (Tom Yam) soup. SO DANG GOOD!!

I'm such a happy camper. Mom came over as the hubby is gone and we had dinner and Absolute Citron that is flavored with Mandarin Orange. We like it so much that we have added it to jello and we are right now waiting for it to chill. It will be awesome! Yes it was awesome and my fridge smells like a tavern due to the leftovers!

Anyway....the recipe has so may things in it. I've had a big shot of Citron so I cant remember any of them except this crazy root. (It is called Galangal. Hard to remember that one sober so I don't feel TOO bad.) It looks like ginger. It was SO hard to peel. I was able to get it sliced only because I had a very strong slicer with very sharp blades. And now I've forgotten the name of the root! HAHAHAH.
BUT here is a picture of it!
Anyway. It made the most amazing soup. Wish I could remember the name. lol

Here is the soup.

 There is shrimp, lemon grass, green onion (scallion for the fancy people), celery, tomatoes, that root, and a bunch of spices! It also has fish sauce, lemon juice, sugar, chicken stock, lime leaves are are STUPID expensive. Next time I'll go to Freddy's and buy limes with the leaves still attached! Anyway, you get the gist of it.

Maybe tomorrow I won't have a drink with Mom and will be able to list what else is in it!!!!
But I've had a rough few weeks and I make NO promises.

 Final editors note: I wasn't going to cook tonight (editorial made the next day obviously) but I cant help myself. I have a recipe called Honga's Chicken Salad. And it looks tasty so I've put a chicken in the crockpot in anticipation of tonight's dinner. Mom said she could handle that one...maybe. I still have the makings in the fridge for BLTs for her so one way or the other she wont starve. Well I'm off to work.

Just did a spellcheck. Scallion, Sauce, and Crockpot came up. REALLY? How do you add words to this dictionary? I can understand Hongs's and Galangal but sauce????  Hahaha I just said but sauce.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Tuscan Mushroom & Potato Torte

This was the tastiest recipe I've done yet. It is from the Veggie cookbook. And boy oh boy is it delicious.  The only thing is I would add more salt. It is a bit weak in that area!
I did cheat just a little. I didn't want to make the pie crust so I used the pre-made frozen kind. It is okay...but has a .....well a pre-made taste! So should I decide to make this one again, I will make my own. And I will add more pepper...and more salt. The mushrooms are a delight in it as are the onions. the potatoes came out good. Mashed, but not mashed. TASTY!!!

Next week the cooking will be harder. Hubby will be in FL for the next week and my mom will be over every night to have a "Rosemary & Thyme" marathon. She isn't so inventive with cooking. I grew up in a meat and potato family and that was what we ate. It was good, and hearty and no one in our house ever went hungry. Sadly, this has made her a bit wary of new food tastes, textures, recipes. We will see if I decide to do anything next week or not. Maybe I'll look through the books and find things that are closer to comfort food. Then I can keep going and I wont have to make her BLTs every night.


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Risotto Alla Milanese

Last night was a pretty good recipe. It was a lovely cheesy risotto that I served with a nice salad and Parmesan cheese bread. YUM!!!

Here is the pic....
A couple of things to note....Marsala and Masala are NOT the same is wine...the other is spice. Thank YOU cookbook writer for not saying WINE and guy at the grocery store who pointed me to the spice and not the wine. Luckily...I noticed the error before adding 1/4 of a CUP of spice to my rice! Sadly, it had no wine in it, but still was tasty. And luckily Masala isn't expensive, I might need to buy an Indian cookbook just to use it! It looks like Beau Monde. Don't know why I put that in, but it does. And its my blog and I can write what I want.

Should you want to try this recipe with no wine, I would double the cheese (as I did) so it has some flavor.  I think even a sharp white cheddar would be excellent in this.

It was set as a main dish in this cookbook. I think it would be fine as a side. It is lovely and creamy and sticky. As I write this, my stomach growls for more. I have so many other recipes to go.

My adorable granddaughter (Lyla) loved it so much that I had to brush it out of her hair! That and a few Oreo cookie crumbs. Hey, its Nana's house. Cookies go with every meal.

I have noticed that a few of the recipes I've chosen are comfort food types. So all.....white. I think for the next round I'll try and do more veggie heavy recipes. We need to eat healthier.

I think I'd like to add a new rule too. No more beef. I haven't eaten beef in years. But wanted so badly to have the broccoli beef recipe from a few days ago. So I did....and boy oh boy...yea. Not pretty. So I think I'll stick to chicken for future recipes. Beef is just too hard on my system.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Broccoli Beef with Rice

I followed the recipe....except I doubled it. Family over for dinner and all.

I should have followed my gut though. It called for a TABLESPOON of pepper...guess what flavor it was? Yea...PEPPER!!! My mother and daughter wouldn't eat it. I made them a BLT. Yea I'm prepared!

I have decided I will make notes in the cookbooks as I go. Like....1/2 the pepper, cook shorter time, cut the beef against the grain, and 1/2 the broth. Then it would have been perfect. And maybe add a little starch. I may have been spoiled with the Americanized version where the sauce kind of...sticks to the food.

Instead it was peppery, meat was tough, it was watery, and the broccoli was smushy. I know it is a technical term....look it up on Google. ;-)

Here is the pic....
Looks pretty doesn't it? Well looks can be deceiving. Okay it was that bad. But I would have to play with it a bit before doing it again.

My next one I think will be a potato recipe out of the veggie cookbook. It takes about 1-1/2 hrs just for cooking, setting time. So that may be on the weekend.

On a good note, the cookies were a hit. Sadly, today is GS cookie day...and their lovely orangy beauty was overshadowed by the yumminess that is THIN MINTS!!!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Orange Zest & Almond Cookies

Well I started today......

The shopping list took HOURS and was insane!! OMG. We spent more than $300.00!!!!

BUT I got everything on my list and then some. The next two weeks should be interesting. 

Tomorrow my mom, daughter, and grand-daughters will be coming for dinner. So I started early and made the OZA cookies for dessert.

They are way tasty! We had one to make sure they are good. I don't want to serve them yechy cookies! I will be making the broccoli beef tomorrow. I'm kind of excited about that one as I've had it before, just never made it!!!

I'll post pics tomorrow!!!!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Getting it Together!!

I'm getting pretty excited!!!

I have 8 days worth of recipes picked out. And the shopping list....OH MY!

I think the first few trips will be the most expensive. There are so many new things I've never used before that I need to get. Most of them are out of the Pan Asian cookbook. Loads of new oils and spices. There are even recipes to make your own broths and spice mixes in the book. I'm kind of excited to try those!!!

The things I've chosen to cook are the following:
Tuscan Mushroom Potato Torte
Fried Rice & Daikon Salad
4 in One Tomato Soup
Hongas Chicken Salad
Lentil Burgers & Coleslaw
Tam Yam Soup
Risotto Alla Milanese
Beef Broccoli with Rice

There are so many things to get. I had to look some of the ingredients up because I have NO idea what they are.I mean Fenu Greek....Kochichili, Galangal...anyone anyone?? Yea...I'm learning too. The Galangal is a root spice like Ginger. Kochichili is a chili. Fenugreek is a spice. Sooo excited. We will see on Saturday how the shopping trip goes.


Saturday, February 2, 2013

Cookbook Count

So I have a lot of A LOT! I have a cupboard and a counter full of them. But I almost never use them.

I think I'm doing a disservice to both the trees that gave their life and the writers of the book when I only use one recipe. Soooooo I have decided that I am going to cook my way through them all!

I'm making myself some rules to follow so I don't go nuts or wind up eating 6 different kinds of lasagna out of a church group cookbook! I imagine I'll change, add, delete some of these as I go.

1. I will do one of any variation of a recipe. So if there are 5 variations of one recipe, I will choose which one I like best and make it. Who needs 5 kinds of lasagna? NOT ME!

2. I will substitute parsley for cilantro EVERY time!

3. I will research other substitutions if I really can't handle or get an ingredient.. cooter. Yes I have a book that calls for cooter. And since I can't get turtle/cooter here, I may use chicken.

4. I will try and use every ingredient asked for in any recipe.

5. I will not let my husband help with the rules! He suggested the next one be something about cooking nekked!

6. I will cook....and (gulp) eat bread pudding. I saw that one in the Southern Living cookbook. YECH.

7. To save time I will not cook things I've already cooked in the past unless I HAVE to have them. It will save time and the whole point of this is to try new things right? Using ALL of my cookbooks...not just things like Mile High Biscuits and Homemade Bread from Dining During the Depression. (One of my FAVS!!!)

8. I will not cook tofu. I don't care how it is prepared....there is no "right" way to make it! Oh and the hubby says it will give him that is a double NO!

Alright.....Done with that for now!!!
I think I will try and only do two books at once. And I'll make the different so we aren't eating all Southern for weeks. One can handle only so much cornbread unless you are my husband. Then you add cheddar and bacon and one can handle a LOT of cornbread.

I have decided that the 1st two will be Honga's Lotus Petal Pan-Asian Cuisine by Honga IM Hopgood and 100 Best Vegetarian Recipes by Carol Gelles.

I have lots of prep to do before I can begin!!! There are shopping lists to make. I'm going to make up my list of items to purchase and get them every two weeks. So I kind of need to plan menus. I only want to cook for 4 days a week. I'll leave the others open. That way I can go out or  just make eggs when I'm feeling lazy!!!

OOOO and I need a of those super cool black ones that I can season. Yep...can't do the southern books without it! Everything is cooked in one of those!

Of course until I'm ready to get "official" I will still make things with the ingredients I have on hand. Like today....I made Humus from The Veggie cookbook and bread from the Depression one....Yea I know I'm not using the Depression one as one of my 1st two...but I LOVE THE BREAD!!!

I'll try to post pics sometimes too.....Today I took pictures only because its kind of the 1st day and all. Don't look at my ugly countertops....its not the kitchen...its the cook!

I know this doesn't count. But....I can't cook without Tim Horton's Coffee. Sadly I am a West Coaster and have to buy it from the internet or beg the few Canadians I know to get it for me.

Now I need to look through the books and see what I have the ingredients for. And figure out what I'll get after payday for the next two weeks...... we gooooo!