Sunday, June 21, 2009

A brand new kitchen

It is actually part of my brand new home, but I am excited about my walk-in pantry, double convection/conventional ovens, granite countertops, and my five burner cooktop. I suppose I better start posting about new meals if I have such a wonderful kitchen to cook in!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

A new favorite coleslaw
Actually, I don't like a lot of coleslaw recipes, but this Chipotle Coleslaw from Sunset Magazine has just the right kick. I didn't have molassess so I used dark corn syrup, and I probabably use 2 tsp of the adobo sauce and would decrease the amount of kosher salt to 1/2 tsp, but I served it with some grilled shrimp and it was fabulous. If you are tired of the same sweet coleslaw, try this one instead.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

5-Star Casserole Number 3 Okay; while all of these casseroles have been easy, and generally good, they still don't equate to 5-Star in my mind. The most recent casserole was Shrimp and Grits. Now mind you, I have an awesome Shrimp and Grits with Tasso Ham Gravy recipe, but since Tasso Ham is not easy to come by here in Colorado, it is not a recipe that I can make easily. The Cooking Light recipe, was rich, easy, but I added a lot of seasoning (garlic, onion powder), and more cheese.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

5-Star Casserole, Part 2
Working these days seems to leave me without a brain to come up with ideas for dinner, so I have been working through Cooking Light's list of Five-Star Casseroles. I must admit that the Tamale Chicken Casserole, was better the second today. On tonight's menu was Baked Pasta with Sausage, Tomatoes, and Cheese Again, I am not sure I would rate it "5-Star", but it is quick, easy, and again, relatively inexpensive to make. Also, the recipe makes a quite a bit. I must admit, for those of us who love my mom's spaghetti recipe, this recipe is more savory, and lacks in some of the flavor, but that could be modified with some tweaking made to the tomato base next time. I would also add one more can of the diced tomatoes. Overall, I would give it a 5 for ease and economy, and a 3.5 for taste, but generally think it is worth a try. Finally, I wasn't sure I would have a casserole dish large enough so I ended it up cooking it in the crock for my crock pot which worked perfectly.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Something new, something different
One of my favorite stand-by recipes is Mexican Chicken Casserole from Cooking Light, but it is not one of my son's favorites. And while cooking meals that he will like is not my only goal, it is nicer when we can all sit down and eat the same family meal. I have been in such a cooking rut of late, but committed to trying new recipes this week. The first one I made is another mexican chicken dish called Chicken Tamale Casserole. The upsides of this dish, (1) it is very easy, (2) it makes a lot (3) it is relatively inexpensive, and (4) both Jack AND Scott liked it. I still prefer my old standby, but this might have to be added into the rotation. The only change I would definitely make in the future is to use a different brand of corn bread mix. I had a ton of Jiffy brand on hand so that is what I used and I think it made the base too sweet. Also, I just boiled two frozen, boneless, skinless chicken breasts in a pot of water with some better than bouillon and shredded them when they were almost completely cooked through. The shredded meat was enough to cover the 13x9" pan that I served it in. Other tips? I would bake the cornbread mixture slightly longer than than the 15 minutes recommended, but that could have just been my oven that was messed up. I also probably used more cheese than it called for which probably makes the recipe not as healthy, but more tasty! I served the casserole with a salad of fresh tomatoes and avocado and it made a wonderful side dish to this easy weeknight meal.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Starting the New Year on the Santa Fe Trail

Not a food entry today as Scott and I went to a wedding so there is no cooking here (although I loved that the bride and groom chose a chocolate frosting cake), but the Santa Fe Trail is where I have started working toward my goal of getting out and just doing something. There is a reason that Colorado Springs is always listed as one of the fittest cities in the country. There are over 105 miles of urban trails and 160 miles of park trails within close proximity to the city. The Santa Fe trail is 17 miles that runs north and south through Colorado Springs. It is a well maintained composite gravel trail that beckons Jed and I frequently. This trail has been my nemesis in training for a half and full marathon as I learned to hate its little hills and mile markers, and it has been a place of refuge when I just wanted to quickly get away. It is easy to walk and run, and despite its easy access is never crowded. If I spend enough time out here, I can enjoy my other new year's goal of getting out of a cooking rut with a little less guilt.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

New Year's Day Shrimp Potstickers

Photo courtesy of Martha Stewart

Ummm...Wow. I was introduced to these by a fellow blogger Alysha Russo who posts at The Savory Notebook. I usually don't try a lot of Martha Stewart recipes (other than her cookies), but these shrimp potstickers are fabulous, better than any I have tasted at any restaurant. I followed the recipe fairly closely with a few changes. I added about 2 cloves of garlic to the vegetable mixture, and omitted the cilantro and napa cabbage because I didn't have any. I also used wonton wrappers as opposed to gyoza as that is what I had on hand. Because I didn't want to cook them in batches, I cooked one batch in my nonstick skillet and one in my steel pan. You do get a slightly better sear in the steel pan, but if you really let the oil heat up in the nonstick you get a great brown crisp as well. These are a bit time-consuming, but not difficult.