Thursday, January 29, 2015

We Do Snowstorms Right

I'm a lucky girl.  When Brian hears that there's going to be a storm and we're going to be snowed in, he starts dreaming up something good to cook.  Because, if you're going to be stuck inside, you might as well eat well.

This particular storm:  chicken and waffles, and our first homemade ice cream.

First up, chicken and waffles.  I'd never had chicken and waffles before.  I knew that it was a Southern thing, and I've said it before:  I adore southern cooking.  We don't eat a lot of southern food often because done right, it's laden with calories.

Now, I couldn't see what the big deal was about chicken and waffles because I was picturing a fried chicken breast on a plate, side by side with a waffle with maple syrup and butter.  And although that sounded intriguing, it wasn't WOW!  This is incredible!

Suffice it to say, I get it now:

This. Was. Incredible!  Fried chicken, in a batter with tabasco flavoring, served atop a perfectly crisp waffle, and then topped with a pan gravy that has a little bit of maple syrup in it.  The most beautiful pairing of sweet and savory that I have ever tasted.  That being said, it's certainly not going on our menu again anytime soon.  And I don't feel the need, because a once-in-a-long-while treat like this is the greatest.   I don't want it to lose it's special-ness.

And now for the ice cream...Brian got an ice cream maker for Christmas, because when watching Cutthroat Kitchen or Chopped he always remarks "We should make our own ice cream!"  It's definitely not cheaper than buying ice cream, but certainly fresher.  And it doubles as a fun activity for kids.  Will helped make the base, and he smashed the cookies for our inaugural ice cream batch:  Chocolate Cookies and Cream.

It was deliciously rich, and I'm glad it doesn't make a bigger batch.  The only critique that Brian and I agree on:  scrape the chocolate cream out of the oreos next time.

Next time we may make strawberry ice cream.  I'm not a fan of artificial strawberry flavored anything, but I'll bet fresh strawberry ice cream would be incredible!  Or banana, with bits of Nilla Wafers.  Good Lord, the possibilities!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Applause for Applesauce

This isn't a great photo, but it's of one of the greatest cakes we have ever made.  Applesauce cake.

When one thinks of "applesauce cake" they usually envision a lighter version of spice cake, using applesauce to replace the fats like butter or shortening.  Not this cake.

This cake is from a Disney cookbook that we brought home from our trip this past summer.  (Hubby gets cookbooks as souvenirs, I usually hit the local yarn shop for mine)  We had one jar of my mother's homemade applesauce left and it was perfect for this cake.  It had a sugar cookie crust on the bottom and the best streusel ever.  Seriously, this cake is worth raving about.  In fact, I wasn't at all upset when Hubby couldn't bring leftovers to work!  It is certainly going to come with us to our next party.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Orange is the New Ingredient

In the "something different"dept, chicken with orange and feta.  Served with couscous.  It was a nice, light meal from an America's Test Kitchen book that I brought home from the library.  It's all about healthier fare, which is the opposite of what ATK usually focuses on.  I'd definitely make this again.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Coconut Curry In A Hurry

New to us on the home front:  shrimp coconut curry!  The sauce was easy enough to put together...only coconut milk, fish sauce,  red curry paste, a little brown sugar and cornstarch.   Shrimp with fresh veggies (bean sprout, red pepper and snow peas.)

  Brian and I agreed it could have even had a little crushed red to make it spicier.  It came together quickly for a Monday Night supper and is definitely a keeper.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

First Meals of 2015

The holidays have passed, and now we're happy to get back to a routine.  And also, cook some healthier, less rich food.  Not that we don't love the rich stuff, because we do.

Brian got a new 30-minute meal cookbook for Christmas put out by America's Test Kitchen.  So far we've had three recipes from it and have plans for more.  Like most things ATK puts out, everything has been good so far.

First dinner:  Salmon with lime and spice, with rice and broccoli.  Nothing too fancy...

Saturday night: white chicken chili.  This was definitely more than 30 minutes, more like 45.  It probably has more to do with the fact that dried hominy was used instead of the canned hominy that the recipe listed...but oh well. Hominy was a new ingredient to us, and took a little getting used to.   Leftovers yesterday weren't quite as chewy, and the flavor was really good.  It's weird eating chili with no tomatoes or beans, I definitely prefer the other way better.

I roasted a chicken on Sunday, and we had baked potatoes and roast carrots and parsnips.  The whole dinner in the oven, yeah!  Roast parsnips are so delicious and sweet.

last night:  meatless Monday!  Tortellini with asparagus and peas, in a tarragon cream sauce.  Yeah, I said healthier and less rich.  Total lie tonight, but no meat, so it's a trade?

Tonight's dinner is scallop risotto with tomatoes.  I'm dying to see if the "thirty minute recipe" is the real deal or full of lies.  We shall see.