Rebecca's Cooking Journal

salt and pepper

Hawaiian Haystacks

I was trying to think outside the box when I’ve planned my meals this month. Each week I gave myself a new recipe to try, but I didn’t want to be overwhelmed, so I went with ones that sounded easy.

First I tried Hawaiian Haystacks, and Raisin (my three-year-old) loved them! His favorite aspects was the ability to build it himself, but he also loved the pineapple and chow mein noodles, which made it fun.

If you don’t know, it’s a chicken mixture on a bed of rice, with what ever toppings you want.

Toppings we had: tomatoes, spring onions, pineapple, coconut, chow mein noodles, almonds, cheese.

I used a recipe I found online and the cannned Cream of Chicken soup made it far too salty. I’ll try it again sometime without using canned products, but I must admit, it made it nice and easy!

Get the recipe from Cooks.com >>>

Chicken Salad Croissants

I found a new fun site, thanks to some blog followers at my reading blog: Buttery Books, which gives book club menu ideas that go along with the books discussed!

I was hosting our club’s meeting for The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfeld, so I followed their suggestion and made Chicken Salad Croissants. I also made some ghost-shaped sugar cookies (since it’s a ghost story of sorts), which needless to say, were also a hit.

The salad was good, although I didn’t measure the mayonnaise and I think I had too much. Two and a half cups seems like a lot, based on the other ingredients.

Get the recipe from Buttery Books >>>

Braised Chicken with Apples and Sage

I wanted a perfect braised chicken recipe for a chilly fall afternoon, so I turned to epicurious.com. The recipe I made seemed quite familiar, but I haven’t mentioned it on this site, so here it is.

I had to simmer it longer than 20 minutes — it was not cooked through yet at that point.Otherwise, I followed the recipe pretty closely. I normally use boneless/skinless, but I went with bone-in skin on thighs and it made it quite tender and moist. Altogether, an easy and taste meal but nothing spectacular.

Get the recipe from epicurious.com >>>

 

Apple Strudel Muffins

I’ve made this twice in the past two weeks, so I thought I”d better mention it for future reference! Since my son had a field trip at an Apple Orchard, we came away with a lot of apples! What a better use for them but some of these yummy “desert” muffins. I love cinnamon sugar and the apple chunks inside are just a wonderful surprise in every bite.

Get the recipe from All Recipes >>>

Buttercream Frosting

I made this buttercream recipe for my son’s pumpkin sugar cookie decorating party. The toddlers loved it. And oh my, it is so good. I’m never buying canned frosting again.

The person who emailed it to me said it was from Betty Crocker but I cannot find it online — the Betty Crocker recipe for buttercream I find online is completely different. (ETA: From Trish‘s 1970s Betty Crocker cookbook.) Since I refuse to purchase shortening, I plan on using this pure butter option in the future. Here it is for my future reference.

Lentil Sausage Soup

I liked Ina Garten’s Lentil Sausage Soup, and my husband loved it. I want to make sure I make it again, for his sake! The sausage was my favorite part of it.

I pretty much followed the recipe but I used brown lentils instead of the “French green” lentils, which I couldn’t find. I also used a bit less chicken stock, but I didn’t measure so I’m not sure how much I used.

Get the Recipe from the Barefoot Contessa >>>>>

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!

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>>>>

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…

Cheddar Shortcakes

What does one eat with Cream of Tomato soup? Cheddar shortcakes.

I love a simple quick bread recipe, and this particular recipes makes large, tasty biscuits that dips well in a simple, thin soup.