Rebecca's Cooking Journal

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Archive for the ‘yummy’ Category

Chicken with Cheese and Apples

My husband hates baked boneless/skinless chicken breast and thighs. It’s too boring, it’s too plain, it’s too “rubbery.” I like it and I find it easy, so the fact that he always complains about baked chicken makes me sad.

Emily Franklin’s recipe for “Autumnal Chicken” was one that I enjoyed. You wrap cheese and apple slices in a piece of chicken and bake it. I liked it. My husband did not. He thought it was too boring. It probably was: I should have made some kind of sauce with it. But the chicken was juicy and I just love apples cooked inside of things, so that was good in my book!

The other problem: the cheese. Ms. Franklin’s recipe calls for Istara. I cannot find “specialty” cheeses at my budget grocery store. So I used what I had in the refrigerator: cheddar. My husband did not like that either.

“Cheddar and chicken just don’t mix,” he says.

I’m getting tired of cookbooks that have recipes with fancy and expensive cheeses and other ingredients. Doesn’t anyone else live on a budget?

Chicken Nuggets (Breaded Chicken)

I made Emily Franklin’s recipe for chicken nuggets the other night. I was thinking it was a quick weekend meal, and that it would be delicious.

It certainly was delicious, but being an inexperienced cook, it took me quite a long time. I found I was breading each piece of chicken individually at first. Once I realized I could do many at once, it was much easier. (I know, I’m so dumb.) The breading Emily Franklin suggests is the normal flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs.

They were quite delicious. I whipped up some honey mustard (ingredients: honey, mustard, and a little mayonnaise). However. The time it took to fry and then bake the many little bite-sized nuggets was not made up in flavor. Next time I do it, I’m going to leave the chicken in strips, rather than small bite-sized bits.

I think Ms. Franklin’s entire point was that kids are familiar with bite-sized chicken nuggets: once they know Mom can make chicken nuggets better than McDonald’s they won’t hesitate to have Mom’s breaded chicken either. Since my son is still too young to have ever had McDonald’s, I figure I can just skip that step and go strait to the breaded chicken and other chicken dishes!

Ginger Chicken with Mango Chutney

I made this a few times in the past few weeks. Originally it was for some dinner guests, but it was so easy I started making it just for us! I love adding new “regulars” to the line up.

I’ve always said I don’t like “Asian” food. I think my husband is right: I just don’t know what good Asian food tastes like! I used a half of a jar of mango chutney that I found on the international isle. (more…)

Congee and Deep-Fried Sugar Taro

(I can’t believe the month is two-thirds over and I haven’t posted any recipes yet! Oops!)

I hosted a book club for a novel that took place in turn-of-the-century China, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See. To make the book club fun, I made two foods that were mentioned in the book.

The first was Congee, which the main character, Lily served to her children and in-laws during a local outbreak of typhoid. While the other people ate diseased chicken and subsequently died, Lily kept her family alive with this simple rice dish.

I don’t think Lily’s congee was anything more than water and rice, but I added vegetables to mine, based on a recipe I found at the website Appetite for China. It was very good, although I put in too many sliced scallions. It was also easy; most of the work was slicing the vegetables, and then it simmered for a long time. I intend to make it again!

Get the recipe from Appetite for China >>>

For desert, I made Deep-Fried Sugared Taro. In the book, Lily met her friend Snow-Flower at a village every year, and they always ended their trip with a serving of this delicious desert.

Taro root is not a vegetable I’ve ever tried before. It tasted a little bit like potato, and so the deep-frying method made it a bit like French Fries. I then placed it in melted sugar, and so it was a sweet treat. Unfortunately when I made it, the sugar had been warmed for a little too long and had started to solidify again; it subsequently did not coat the fries very well. While I probably won’t ever try it again, I am nevertheless glad I gave it a try. Note that leftovers did not keep well as they got all soggy.

I got the recipe from Lisa See’s site. It was a fun way of making the book real for the book club meeting.

Get the recipe from Lisa See >>>

Popovers

My son and I made the popovers recipe from Pretend Soup. I’ve never made popovers and I must say these were absolutely delicious! Especially considering how easy they were to make, this is something we’ll do again.

My son loved every part: watching the butter melt in the microwave, spreading the butter into the muffin tin with a pastry brush, cracking the eggs, stirring the milk and flour into the eggs, putting the batter in the muffin tin, watching the batter get big in the oven, and, of course, eating three popovers with butter, maple syrup, and grape jelly.

And he’s only 23 months old. Cooking with my son is turning out to be so much fun, because he is obviously enjoying it so much.

I can’t, of course, post the recipe from the book for copyright reasons, even if it does have only four ingredients. But go check out Molly‘s slightly-more-complicated-but-certainly-delicious popover recipe. It also looks good.

Get the recipe at Orangette>>>>

Churros

I’d eaten these and loved them, but I’d never made them before. The dough worked out fine, and our only problem turned out to be the pastry piping bags: ours were so cheap they fell apart as we tried to squeeze the dough into the hot oil. Putting the dough in without the pastry bags created somewhat uglier churros, but they tasted just as good!

 

Arroz con Crema

This is a delicious rice casserole option. What else is there to say? I liked it. It was easy and tasty. I’ll definitely make it again.

Chimichurri-Rub Kabobs

Oh yum! These were so good. I put the kabobs together and my husband did the grilling. He mentioned he intended to make a dressing with the same spices and herbs that were in the chimichurri rub, but we didn’t get to them. Nevermind: these kabobs were delicious just as they were.

I admit that I didn’t eat any of the poblanos. Even my husband admitted they were hotter than he thought they’d be. I also am not a huge fan of mushrooms. But I think a variety of other vegetables would work on these kabobs: zucchini, bell peppers, etc. I used Roma tomatoes and cut them in to quarters. I don’t put amounts by the vegetable ingredients below because it really depends on how much you want to use. I think I used about 10 ounces of onions, but I wish I had more. I also used four pobalno chiles and that was too many. I had at least a pound of tomatoes, but I wanted more because I loved the grilled tomatoes. I didn’t have enough mushrooms; I think I had just one carton.

I used about 1/2 regular paprika and 1/2 smoked paprika; I wish I’d had smoked paprika for all of it, but we were out. I also used a sirloin tip steak, rather than the ribeye, simply for cost purposes.

We prepared these kabobs for dinner guests, so of course, we were hurrying around at the last minute getting dinner on the table. When do other food bloggers take a picture of their food? I’ve considered it every time I’ve made something new, but I just don’t know when to find time to do it. These kabobs seriously came off the grill and onto the table for consuming.

I wish there were leftovers.

Cream of Cucumber Soup

Molly Wizenberg mentioned in her memoir, A Homemade Life, that she likes to make a pot of soup every week so she has something light for lunch. I decided I’m going to try some new soup every week or two as well. I love a light meal, and soups are just the thing.

So then I had to determine  what kind of soup is appropriate for summer. A friend mentioned that Cucumber soup is what she thinks of. I’d never had it, so I thought I’d have to give it a try.

Oh my. This soup was so good. I don’t normally like uncooked cucumbers, but this was so delicious, especially the second day when it was chilled. It didn’t make very much — or maybe we just ate it too fast! — so I’ll double it next time. Also, I only sliced one-half of a cucumber for garnish and it was sufficient. (The recipe suggests an entire cucumber.)

It is a very thin soup, but I liked that. It was just right for a hot summer evening. We also ate a white pizza and together the meal hit the spot!

I adapted a recipe that I found online. That site claimed it was Julia Child’s but I can’t vouch for that. I simplified it a bit for my own sake.  (more…)

Toppings: Caramelized Bananas and Chocolate Sauce

I’ve mentioned that we like to have casual meals on Sunday evenings. Well, this holiday weekend, we took that to the extreme.

We’d had ice cream sundaes the night before, after our holiday barbecue, so we took the ice cream and the toppings and put them on our pipping hot waffles: caramelized bananas and chocolate sauce.

It was seriously delicious.

One of the kids, a ten-year-old, said to her mother Friday evening, “This is so good! You should ge the recipe.”

So here it is. Easier than you can believe. I suppose you may not count these are recipes, since I don’t really include “how much.” The point is, it doesn’t matter.

Waffles with ice cream, caramelized bananas, and chocolate sauce: does that count as dinner? Hmm. Let me think about that with this next bite…