Monday, June 14, 2010

Recipe #18 / Strawberry Shortcakes / Pgs 214 - 213

I prepared this for a friend's birthday and surprised her by leaving it on her desk at work.
They were delicious!

Made with real whipped cream, hand whipped. It took forever!

Strawberry Shortcakes

Recipe #17 / Fudgie Brownie Cake with Raspberry Sauce / Pgs 208 - 209

I didn't have the raspberries to make the sauce, so I used plain chocolate syrup. Delicious!

Fudgie Brownie with Raspberry Sauce

Recipe #16 / Ranch Chicken / Pgs. 64 - 65

Now this one seems simple. Breaded chicken breast. Done that before with pre-packaged mixes.

It called for dry bread crumbs but I figured it would be faster and easier to cruch some soda crackers instead. I also started with frozen chicken breasts I had in the freezer. I put them in the microwave and thawed them properly. Or so I thought. They seemed unfrozen all the way through.

Now, I didn't crush the crackeers fine, but I figured it would give it a nice texture. But the chicken's center being colder then the outside, it required me cooking the chicken longer and checking iften for doneness. So, the outside nicely burned and fell off and the breasts were a cut up mess.

It tasted okay, but looked awful. *sigh* A fail, I believe.

Ranch Chicken (Mush)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Recipe #15 / Orange-Glazed Pork Chops/ Pgs 44 - 45

That was delicious. One of the best turnouts I had.

I didn't have any white wine called for in the recipe, but it gave chicken broth as an alternative, which I used. Very good indeed. The sauce is easy to make. I should use corn starch more often noew that I know how. I'd been using it wrong and it would always come out lumpy.

You have to dilute it separately in a little bit of water BEFORE adding it to hot liquids. No lumps!

Those were moist and tasty.

Orange-Glazed Pork Chops

Recipe #14 / Orange Smoothie / Pg 204

That was pretty dang good.
I always hesitate to mix dairy and orange, but that was a good match.

Orange Smoothie

Recipe #13 / Beef Stroganoff / Pgs 30 - 31

This was good.
I used some pre-cut beef that was sliced for stir-fry. It was a little bit too think and the pieced were a little bit too long. I should have cut them in more mouth-manageable pieces.
Also, I saw some long macaroni at the store and decided to substitute them for the noodles. I had never had them before. It's like super fat spaghetti!

My sauce came out runnier then the picture. It was good, but I think I didn't put enough beed for the proportions.

Still good! Even though I managed to make the picture lood disgusting.

Beef Stroganoff

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Recipe #12 / Pgs 172 - 173 / Baked Potato Wedges

This was a little bit ho-hum, but I think the potatos were a bit undercooked.
But still potable.

Baked Potato Wedges

Recipe #11 / Pgs 90-91 / Sole with Almonds

First off, I am not very fond of fish.
Whenever there's a choice, I will go for something other then it.

But through the years, I've made ma actually like salmon and I get cravings sometimes for gish sticks ... which are smothered in batter.

This recipe though has made me look at fish as something with a different potential now. It was delicious and tasty! I will definitely try others.

Sole with almonds

I accompanied it with curried rice. The tastes didn't really compliment each others so next time I'll try another side.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Recipe #10 / Pgs 114-115 / Fried Rice

This was a last minute idea and I used stuff I had in my kitchen. And no bean sroupts, because I don't like those. Blech!
I used a can of mushromm and it's confirmed : canned mushroom although they can save in a pinch taste horrible. Much rather have fresh ones. I also used some leftover from fried chicken I had at lunch.

This makes for a nice quick supper with anything you like thrown in. Great for leftovers!

Fried Rice

Recipe #9 / Pgs 216-217 / Creamy Lemon Desert

This looks a little pale because I couldn't find my food colouring. But it tasted mighty fine!
The picture makes it look like shortening. O_O

Creamy Lemon Desert

Recipe #8 / Pg 204 / Strawberry Smoothie

That was pretty delicious. I used frozen strawberries, so it made it all thick and chunky. YUM!

Strawberry Smoothie

Recipe #7 / Pgs 184-185 / Roasted Vegetables

Roasted Vegetables

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Pork and Vegetable Stir-Fry with Peanut Satai Sauce on Egg Noodles

Not part of the challenge (although there is a stir-fry coming up later on) but I was tempted at the store by a jar of peanut satai cooking sauce. It's got a zingy kick to it. I quite like it.

Here's tonight's feast!

I put roasted cashews and sesame seeds on top. Yum!

 Pork and Vegetable Stir-Fry with Peanut Satai Sauce on Egg Noodles

Recipe #6 / Pgs 28-29 / Beef with Pea Pods

Now that I have a regular job, I felt less intimadated at buying a choicier grade of meat. I will usually go for the cheapest or on sale. But I was determined to follow the recipe and get the piece it called for.

What a difference GOOD meat makes! So tasty!

Also, I substituted half the water for the rice with beef broth. Nice and tasty too.
A definite success!

  Beef with Pea Pods

Recipe #5 / Pgs 154-155 / Old-Fashioned Potato Salad

Not much to say about this, except that I put too much onion in it.
In fact, I think I should have alltogether omitted them.

I find that I'm not liking raw onions in things.

Old-Fashioned Potato Salad

Recipe #4 / Pgs 16-17 / Meat Loaf

Okay, I've been doing that meat loaf for a good while now, since I got the book a couple of yers ago.
But, fur accuracy's sake, I decided I would still do ALL the recipes in the book, even the ones I've done before. In fact, what better opportunity to improve myself!

So here is my meat loaf. I like it knid of sweet, so I made a few changes. I  covered the bottom of the pan with brown sugar, which gets caramelized when the leaf bakes. Yum! And I covered it with honey-garlic BBQ sauce instead of ketchup. And left out the onions.

The picture came out blurry though. Sorry!

 Meat Loaf

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Recipe #3 / Pgs 22-23 / Quick Lasagna

This recipe called for quick cooking lasagna. Now I thought that was WAY too lazy. I can cook some regular lasagna noodles, sheesh! Betty Crocker's a lazy old broad.

Quick Lasagna

Recipe #2 / Pgs 20-21 / Chili


Recipe #1 / Pgs 18-19 / Mexican Beef And Bean Casserole

My ancient computer is acting up and keeps crashing without a moment's notice. So, I'm just going to post this week's three recipes just as images and hopefully will edit coments on them later this week.

Mexican Beef And Bean Casserole

Getting rid of the back-log

Okay, before I post about the recipes I did (because I did them!) I have to catch up with a few of the things I've done beforehand. 

Pita pizza: it's like pizza ... but on a pita!!!!

Pita Pizza

I had some hamburger meat that I needed to use because it was getting past due-date. So I searched the we for something easy that could be tasty, with the ingredients I had. And here it is! Hamburger soup. I modified it quite a bit, adding lots of veggies and some chili powder for taste. Pretty delicious!

Hamburger Soup

And last but not least, I was craving some stuffed crepes and decided to make shrimp ones. I tried to do some crab ones a few days later, but they weren't as good.
Here's the shrimp ones, straight out of the oven. I also realized that I needed a square cooking dish.
It was truly delicious and decadent though!!! It's hard to see them, because they are smothered with sauce and cheese!!! :D

Shrimp Stuffed Crepes

Monday, May 3, 2010

A new outlook

Okay, so this blog has been stagnating and I've been in a cooking "blah" for a while.
So, I decided to kick my behind in gear and set myself some goals, since it seems that's the only thing that works.

Inspired by, but way less ambitious/impressive then the Julie/Julia project, I will be going through the heftiest cookbook I have, from cover to cover.
I will not be holding to as rigorous a regiment as doing the entire thing in a set time, but have decided that for now, I would be doing a minimum of three recipes a week, until done.

The book is actually two, an contains a variety of admittedly easy level recipies for the most part. But they give the basic of cooking techniques, and are delicious foods. :)

So the book is Betty Crocker Basics: How to Cook and Entertain With Confidence.

I won't hold to the recipes as law, being that I consider recipes guidelines more then rigorous instructions. I'll try to be as faithful as possible, but still substituting ingredients when appropriate or when unavailable.

Right now, I'm waiting for the first result to come out of the oven!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Peach crumble

A thing of beauty!
A twist on the classic apple crumble, but with peaches!!

Chicken breasts in sauce.

Chicken breasts were on special, so I got a whole bunch and looked for something to do with them.

Simply cooked in white sauce in the oven, topped with broiled bread crumbs. Delicious!

Pepperoni pizza

I got a new pizza pan because my old one was just not cutting it anymore. Really old and ... yuck! ... rusty.

So I test-drove my spanking new one with a pizza made form scratch!

The only thing from a package was the crust mix.


My friend Darryl and I got together for a night of pigging out on lobsters.

Spaghetti and meatballs.

I had some extra ground meat, so I though I'd try and make some meatballs!!

I used some bottled spaghetti sauce, added some vegetables and made the meatballs.
And it was delicious!

Meatballs cooking

Into the sauce

Final result, with a bit of parmesan cheese sprinkled on. Yum!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Epic Bread Fail

When I moved from Halifax to Charlottetown, my good friend Hilary made me some challah bread as a parting gift.

It's a traditional jewish braided bread. Very yeasty and tastes sweet. I love all breads and was glad to accept it.

The dough gets frozen and you take it out for five hours. It rises and you just stick it in the oven to get some fresh bread! Simple, yes?

Well, a dumbass would put the unfrozen bread on a plate, as opposed to the sheet on which it would expand.

So when I came home, the bread had wonderfully bloated to a nice and plump unbaked bread. And also stuck firmly to the plate. So, I had to pull and fight to get it off the plate. Then, I had to fight to get it off my hands and unto the darn sheet. It got all stretched out and lumpy.

Well, I wasn't gonna throw it away, so I still stuck it into the oven to bake.

Here's the result in ALL IT'S GLORY!!!!

It still tastes awesome, even though it looks like something that died. :)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Scalloped potatos with mushrooms

I'm not very fond of potatoes by themselves, but sometimes get the craving for them. So I figured I'd try something easy. And I had leftover mushrooms that I could use.

My cat thinks she's food. I'm a potato!!

Unfortunately, I seem to have forgotten to take a picture of the final result.
Well, you've seen scalloped potatoes before ... so there you go. ;)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Potatoe and carrot soup

Pretty easy, even if you've never made a soup!! And came out delicious!

What you need:

  • 3 medium potatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 3 medium carrots
  • 1 clove Garlic (fresh is better, but I used garlic powder)
  • 5 cups Chicken Broth
  • Chili powder
  • Oil
  • Salt & pepper
  • Optional: 1 cup of milk or cream

Cut up all your veggies right from the start.
- Slice you carrots.
- Cube the potatoes (the smaller they are, the faster they'll cook).
- Chop the onion.

In your soup pot, heat the oil on medium heat. When the oil is hot, throw in the onion, garlic and chili powder.
Mix and coat.
Sautee the onion for about 5 minutes.

Add the 5 cups of chicken broth and the potatoes. Bring to a boil and keep the mixture boiling until the potatoes are done. They will be tender, but still hold their shape.

Stir often do that the potatoes don't stick to the pot.

When the potatoes are done, use a potato masher or a hand-held mixer. Puree the mixture until you get the desired constistency.

Add the carrots.
Add the milk or cream if you want.

Lower the temperature at the lowest and let the soup simmer until the carrots are tender.

If you added dairy, make sure it doesn't boil and stir often.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Special Guest - Slap Chop with Fran├žois

My friend in Montreal got a Slap Chop for Christmas and I HAD to film it in action.
He tried chopping apples and ... well it kind of worked.

It was hilarious! :)