Sunday, March 18, 2012

Last week sometime, I forget which day, I made chicken crepes. They were really good, but I couldn't find the premade crepes the recipe called for, so I had to make my own. I don't own a crepe pan, so I just made them on the griddle. I still had to make them one at a time because in order for them to be thin enough I still had to pick up the griddle and tilt it each direction. Awkward. The recipe said it would make 8-10 crepes, but only made 6. As Hillory says, the first one is always a mess, so that meant I had 5 crepes when I needed at least 8. I quickly mixed up more batter and made enough crepes to put filling in and fill my 9x13 pan. I had leftover crepes at this point, but those got eaten as leftovers too. The sauce to go over my filled crepes was a lemon asparagus sauce, but mostly ended up as an asparagus sauce. Not bad, but I wish the lemon could have shone through more. Asparagus is a tricky vegetable that way. It can really overpower a dish without even trying. I think next time I'll just make a lemon cream sauce.
I also made a chicken chorizo soup on Friday, but I'll have to blog about that another time. I need to go get some of it for my dinner! Like most soups, it is even better as a leftover.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

I found a recipe for cream cheese enchiladas, and since Friday is Mexican night I thought I would give it a try. Reading through it on Thursday I noticed there was no enchilada sauce on these enchiladas, which technically makes them rolled up filled tortillas with salsa. NOT enchiladas. The recipe also called for flour tortillas, another mistake. This recipe was obviously written by a Northerner.
I fixed it by using corn tortillas and enchilada sauce. I also changed the pepper-jack cheese to jalepino-jack cheese. It sounded better and it was cheaper. Who knew?
The big question is always what it tasted like. I was not too impressed. The cream cheese didn't create a creamier filling than I normally have and I couldn't taste the tanginess. Don't get me wrong, they were very good, but I was hoping for more of a difference.
On the other hand, Sarah and Matt could not get enough! Sarah had three, which she shoveled into her mouth with very poor manners (hehe), and Matt only stopped at two because he has gotten better at listening to his stomach when it is full rather than his taste buds when something is delicious. I only had one, but that was because I was full, not because I didn't like them. Both of them kept telling me, between mouthfuls, how great they were. Matt even said that this is what I should serve the next time the missionaries come over.
Sometimes I question whether I am overdoing it with cooking when I am not really recovered from starting dialysis yet. I try to plan leftovers or something super easy on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, but even on these other days I have to sit down in my chair I have in the kitchen and I ache for hours afterwards. I'm already taking prescription painkillers for migraines and sciatica, so extra aches and pains are never good. It does satisfy me to be creative in the kitchen. It makes my family happy to have yummy food. It is healthier and cheaper than going to restaurants. Fast food places are much less likely to show up in our busy days because there are leftovers. There are so many good things about it that I am sure I will continue, I just hope the pain part diminishes soon.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

We had a party last night at the request of our incredibly imaginative Sarah. She wanted to have a Lady and the Tramp themed party, so we did! She recently got the movie on blu-ray, and has been wanting to celebrate it's release since then. Our lives can get so busy it has taken us over a month to actually pull this off, but it was a lot of fun and as most of you know, Matt and I will do almost anything to help Sarah be happy.
Sarah collects books with even more devotion than I do, so she has several copies of Lady and the Tramp, each a little different. One is an activity book which has a recipe for spaghetti and "meats'a balls." she wanted this to eat with the movie. I had thought I might try to get away with something more store bought because meatballs are not my favorite to make or eat. No such luck. She was pretty adamant that I use THIS recipe. It was not difficult, but, as usual, my meatballs fell apart and those that didn't sure didn't look round! However, they tasted fantastic! I think next time I make this I will bake the meatballs. I've seen that plenty of times on TV, so it's worth a try.
The sauce was even easier, but since I had a migraine from dialysis I had forgotten that it said to simmer for an hour to reduce. HA! The recipe called for 16 oz of chopped tomatoes. There is, by the way, no such size can available in any grocery store I've been to. Maybe in Europe. I bought the 24 oz size, figuring I could use the rest in something next week. It's a good thing I did, because as I cooked the sauce, even before it started to reduce, there was no way it was going to cover an entire pound of spaghetti. Of course, with just the three of us, we wouldn't be eating an entire pound of spaghetti in one night either. I ended up adding the whole can of tomatoes, but I will need to make more sauce for the leftover pasta and meatballs. I will be happy to because this was possibly the best spaghetti I have ever eaten. I'm actually looking forward to the leftovers!
Just as a side note, we all smell like garlic!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Migraines have begun to cut in on my cooking time plans, but I still managed one supper that didn't come out of a can or wasn't leftovers. We have had cheese crisps, but I'm not sure that counts as cooking.
For dinner tonight I made a foil dinner with potatos, cooked and crumbled bacon, ranch dressing powder, salt, pepper, and butter. The recipe called for it to be cooked out on a grill, and since that was not happening with this weather, I just baked them at 350* for about 45 minutes.
I got to use my new mandoline to slice the potatos and it was slick! I really wish I had purchased one of these years ago, but they were always so expensive. I decided to just bite the bullet since I'm working in the kitchen more and looked for one at Walmart. Obviously it is not supreme quality, but for only $10 I was thrilled!
Anyway, the dinners turned out "okay." Sarah didn't like the bacon, but she loved the potatos. I thought they were a little bland, so I topped mine with sour cream. I also decided that I'll put some onion in next time. The reviews I read were very happy with the original recipe, but that is the great thing about the art of cooking. You can tweak things to your taste or to what is in your pantry.
Just an afterthought; Matt thought I should have baked them in the fire we have for our furnace. I'm not so crazy about that idea. Any thoughts?

Friday, March 2, 2012

Maybe one of these days I will take pictures to go along with these food ideas, but for now imagination will have to do.
I made Mac and Cheese again, and at Sarah's request, no ham. I don't know what went wrong but I ended up with too much cheese sauce. Sarah disagrees, since there is no such thing as too much cheese sauce. She must be right because when I went to get some for my lunch the next day it was GONE! The last batch we ate for three days.
I also made Butternut Rigatoni. My dad has always been good at crumbling cooking meat and I sure could have used him for the sausage. I don't like the big chunky pieces in this, but it still turned out pretty good. Matt said that he even liked it, and that was coming from a guy who was sick, tired, and doesn't like that kind of thing (casseroles).
I got the ingredients for Lasagna, but it is more labor intensive than any of these others, so we'll see if I can do it or if the ingredients end up in other dishes!