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 >>>

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.

Penne Ponza

Most delicious pasta ever. It’s perfect because it’s not a heavy creamy sauce, but the tomatoes and breadcrumbs mixture is absolutely delicious. My husband added red pepper flakes to his serving; he said it didn’t have quite enough flavor. But I loved it so much just as it was.

Get the Recipe from Giada >>>

Potato and Leek Soup

It was so easy.

I cut up three leeks. I peeled and chopped three potatos. I simmered them in water for 20 minutes. I blended it with an immersion blender. I added some salt and pepper. And then we ate dinner.

Yum. My toddler son ate his all up and asked for seconds. We also had homemade bread (from the bread maker), which was yeasty and delicious.

I’ve always been afraid of Julia Child. I am not interested in mastering “French Cooking,” or at least I didn’t think I was. “Potage Parmentier” sounds very scary.

But Leek and Potato Soup I could make. Um. So maybe I’m going to trust Julia Child? I’ll try some more. Julia’s Kitchen Wisdom is right on my level and not overwhelming at all.

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!

 

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…

Grandma’s Cream of Tomato Soup

My husband wanted his grandma’s cream of tomato soup, and no other recipes I could find met his needs. So he made the soup himself.

I like it because it is so simple: the soup is very thin, but this suits it. It’s also very easy to whip together.

Brown Sugar Bacon

Paula Deen’s food on her Food Network show are usually not too appealing to me, with all the fat. When her friend made Brown Sugar Bacon, though, I thought I’d give it a try. I don’t like bacon, normally, but I hoped the sugar would make it tasty.

It was good, although I let it get a bit too dark in the oven.

Get the Brown Sugar Bacon recipe from Food Network >>>