Monday, September 30, 2013

A Very Kitchen Weekend

This is how I know that Autumn is in the picking.  And cooking a whole lot!

These are all things that we made this weekend.  I lost count of the dishwasher runs after three times.

 Breakfast burritos with bacon, eggs, peppers and onions. These tortillas were a combo of flour and corn, and quite delicious.  

 Milk-chocolate chip cookies.  I was running low on butter, so I substituted half of it with Crisco.  Makes a nice, crisp cookie!

Another fall favorite, chicken and apple tacos! Saturday night's dinner after apple picking.  I could eat these for a week and not get tired of them.  :)

Not pictured:  an awesome roast chicken with rice, fresh green beans and butternut squash!  Also, applesauce!  I was a good neighbor and brought some to the guy next door when I went to pick up my older son from playing with his son.  I love this stuff, especially a dollop over my morning oatmeal.

In the wings--apple crisp.  And perhaps some banana bread.  And Hubby and I are already talking about clam chowder next weekend!  The butternut squash soup at Panera has me thinking about soup.  So happy that Autumn is finally here!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Candy Corn Oreos: The Verdict

These Candy Corn Oreos jumped out at me at Target last night.  I adore candy corn and I adore Oreos, so I thought, Why not?  I loved the Birthday Oreos that came out to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the oreo cookie.  Why not a different "Limited Edition" flavor?

Two or three cookies in (because you have to make sure, right?) and I can tell you why not:  they're gross.  Not only are the colors garish, they are also over-sweet.  And if that doesn't convince you, the aftertaste of these suckers will.

Every once in a while, something comes along and messes with my purist "stick to the original" attitude.  We don't need fifteen flavors of Doritos, 9 flavors of Lays Potato chips (Chicken and Waffle?  Really?) or White Chocolate peppermint Pringles.  And today, we don't need Candy Corn oreos.  Eat Candy Corn.  Or Oreos.  Emerge happier that you did.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Fall Favorites in Pork

It's not quite "Apple-palooza" at our house yet but this is one of my all-time favorite fall suppers.  And the weather at night is getting chilly so it's the right time!

Pork Chops with Cider Pan Sauce!

There is no recipe, Brian makes it up as he goes along.  It's moist, perfect pork with just a little tang from the cider.  I love, love, love it!  Even Will got into it this year and ate a whole serving.  Sean, not so much.  But lately if it's not chicken or peanut butter and jelly, he won't touch it.  Everything else, in his words, is "No, no no.  This is 'au-skuskin."  (disgusting.)  Ah well.  More for us!  Sadly, there were no leftovers.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Lemon and Garlic Week!

This week's theme is lemon and garlic.  Apparently.  This was purely accidental, but it's definitely two well-loved ingredients in this house.  Brian wrote the menu and it's chock full of delicious recipes...but clearly he was craving lemon and garlic when he wrote it!

Monday night:  grilled chicken with lemon and garlic, rice and frozen peas.  Chicken recipe courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens.

This was a whole chicken that he cut up and grilled.  On a weeknight.  :)  The intensity of the marinade was incredibly flavorful.  I couldn't wait for the leftovers the next day!  And yes...frozen peas.  My mother will be happy to hear that she was right...frozen does taste way better than canned.  Not to my child self, but as an adult frozen are the way to go.

Tuesday:  rib eye steaks with grilled garlic.  Accompanied by baked potatoes and grilled Caesar Salad.  Steak recipe courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens.

First of all, there's no such thing as too much garlic.  That's the way it is in our house, anyway!  Roasted (or in this case grilled) garlic, smushed on a piece of bread is delightful.  The same garlic smushed on steak is to DIE FOR.  And the steak was cooked perfectly, medium to medium-well.  Just how I like it best.  :)

The first time I ever had a "grilled" Caesar salad I wasn't sure I'd like it.  But the smokiness of the grill, combined with the saltiness of the shaved parmesan and the tang of the caesar's something special, I tell ya!

 The last meal in the theme of the week:  Lemon Tilapia packets with corn and zucchini.  Recipe courtesy of Hubby's Mom, who emailed it to him.  Served over quinoa, which we almost forgot to make.

Couple of things:

-Fish store didn't have tilapia, so we substituted cod.  By the by, I loved having a small local fish store in our old neighborhood, and now we have one near here, too!
-Recipe called for corn on the cob cut into rings with the kernels intact.  There really wasn't any fresh corn in the stores, so Brian substituted the chinese-style canned mini corn ears that you see in stir-frys.  I don't think it translated well.  If we were to make this again, it would be when corn on the cob is available.
-Fish can overcook quickly.  It was still edible, but it could've been better.  This was a tough dinner because of the distractions.
-I have to say....quinoa isn't something I pictured myself eating.  But the more I have of it, the more I like it!

So there you have it:  Lemon and Garlic week is over.  Pretty soon it'll be time for fall suppers and crockpot stuff!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Shredded Beef Tacos

A new Pinterest recipe!   Chillier nights mean autumn is coming, and that always gets me thinking about the crockpot.  Some people like to use theirs in the summer but it's just not my thing. I've seen a lot of recipes for cooking meat in the crockpot for tacos but never tried one.   The set-and-forget was really great this weekend, too.  I'm pretty sure that this cooking at home was the only reason we didn't get dinner out on Saturday after going shopping at the mall.   This one did not disappoint!

Plus....lots of leftovers for a busy Monday at work!  Win, Win!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Bad stir fry

It finally happened.  A bad recipe in the Epicurious cookbook.

I put it on the menu last week because it looked like a relatively easy stir fry.  It wasn't.  I should've been more skeptical when Brian couldn't find lemongrass at the grocery store.  I found it at an Asian market downtown, for the astronomical price of $1.37. 

The fish sauce, or the amount of fish sauce in the recipe should've tipped me off too, but sadly it didn't.  Fish sauce smells bad, but is tolerable in small amounts.  A lot of asian -inspired cooking calls for a teaspoon added to other ingredients.  This recipe called for FIVE tablespoons!  As soon as Brian added it to the pan it stunk up the kitchen.  The whole house reeked of dirty feet and regret!! 

At this point, we considered calling it inedible and doing something else.  Neither of us can stand wasted food though, so we plugged on.  Once the lemongrass and garlic were added it became more bearable.  The end result though, was sad.  A nibble of chicken and some of the rice and we pronounced it bad.

Then the garbage disposal even rejected it...and caused a horrific clog.  Poor Brian got to clear our pipes of chicken, Thai chilies and that revolting fish smell.  He required a shower after, it was that bad.

In my notes, I wrote what I reserve for truly terrible food...."never, ever make this again."