I Swear, This Isn’t a Food Blog!

I know I’m posting about recipes again, but I swear this isn’t a food blog. Let me prove it to you by talking about some meals without describing the food at all, and by saying very little by way of review.

Really, what do you need to know besides “make it” or “avoid it”? Amiright?

Garlic Lemon Double Stuffed Chicken (MAKE IT)
http://allrecipes.com/recipe/garlic-lemon-double-stuffed-chicken/detail.aspx

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Win win win! I cannot emphasize this enough: TOTAL WIN! It’s even delicious reheated as leftovers the next day.

Tebow Family Pizza (AVOID IT)
http://www.whitelightsonwednesday.com/2012/10/tebow-family-pizza/

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I thought this recipe would have Jesus on its side, but it most certainly did NOT. It looked really good, but the taste left something to be desired. We all agreed it was a little gross.

Bruschetta & Baking

IMG_7692Bruschetta is one of those things I’ve only ever ordered from a restaurant. It’s the epitome of fancy food in my meat-and-potatoes world; I don’t even know how to pronounce it. Then my friends gave me a basket of tomatoes from their garden that I had no clue what to do with (vegetables are a bit of a mystery to me), so I thought I’d combine them with something I know a bit about (carbs) and try my hand at bruschetta. It was surprisingly really easy and really good. I used this recipe, but replaced the parmesan cheese with feta; I totally recommend it.

My review: Loved it. Have already made it again.
Hubby’s review: Loved it.
Kids’ review: Wouldn’t touch it.

Other Recipes I Tried Recently, But Was Too Lazy to Photograph:

  • Very Special Spaghetti Sauce – Good. I give it 7/10 stars; Chase gives it 10/10; the kids mostly ate it.
  • Rhubarb Strawberry Crunch – 10/10. We love this recipe, and I have since used it for other fruit crisps (just substituting other fruit for the rhubarb and strawberries).
  • Rhubarb Muffins, with the “crisp” from this recipe – These were okay (I left out the orange zest); another recipe Chase enjoyed much more than I did. On the plus side, it cleaned out the last of the gigantic stash of rhubarb that had taken over my fridge.

Recipe Round-Up – Sweet and Sour Chicken

In an effort to a) make more meals at home, and b) get my daughter to eat real food (more on that tomorrow), I intend to try a bunch of new recipes in the upcoming weeks and months. I’ll try not to bore you with food post after food post (I assume if you were interested in that stuff, you’d check out a proper food blog*), but you will probably find a few “recipe round-ups” here every now and then.

* May I suggest Eats By Design and I Heart Cooking?

I am a by-the-book cook in that I will follow a recipe to a T. If it calls for a teaspoon of salt, for example, I will add EXACTLY one teaspoon – no more, no less. I dread the words “to taste”. To taste?! You wrote the recipe – you tell me how it should taste!

Nothing irks me more than when people rate and review a recipe that they openly admit they changed. “This recipe gets 4 out of 5 stars. I added carrots instead of squash, doubled the broth, and added a dash of cardamon for taste”. Eff that! Please review the actual recipe – not the recipe you made up on the fly, asshole.

This is all to say, you can trust me to review the ACTUAL recipe. Except in this case.

Sweet and Sour Chicken

Original Recipe here: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/sweet-and-sour-chicken-iii/detail.aspx

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Okay, so I made this one twice. The first time, I followed the recipe exactly and it got 3 out of 5 stars from me, and a 5 star rating from Chase. The second time I made it, I added half of a yellow pepper, cut the soy sauce by about a quarter, doubled the sugar, and added the whole can of pineapple chunks. This sweeter version got an enthusiastic 5 star rating from Chase and I.

The real question is, did Butterbean like it? The answer: sadly, not really. She did like the rice, mixed with a little of the sauce, and she ate one red pepper without spitting it out. Sooo, even though she ignored the meat and vegetables, I still consider this a success. Huzzah!

Homemade Eczema Cream Update

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I said I’d do an update about the homemade eczema cream from DIY Confessions (recipe here), and after several weeks of putting it off (who would I be if I wasn’t a chronic procrastinator?), I’m ready to give my review.

What I Liked About this Recipe

  • The ingredient list was only 3 (maybe 4) items long, and I found them at my local grocery store.
  • It was easy to make.
  • It smelled good.
  • It was inexpensive.
  • Once it absorbed into my skin, it was surprisingly non-greasy considering two of the ingredients in the cream were oil.
  • All of the ingredients are edible so I didn’t feel bad touching my kids or preparing their food after I put the cream on my hands.
  • It didn’t make my eczema worse.
  • I gave a container of it to one of Chase’s friends who reported that it worked well for her.

Cons

  • It didn’t work any better than the Aveeno I usually use (and I would argue that Aveeno is probably better at keeping my skin moisturized).
  • It could be a little messy (even when the cream was completely solid, it melted the minute it touched my skin – actually, that part was kind of cool).
  • The oatmeal separated from the oil a bit.
  • Once the cream absorbed into my skin, my hands looked more moisturized, but they felt oddly dry.

Verdict

This recipe might work for people who have mild eczema breakouts, or who are interested in a nice, natural hand cream, but my eczema showed zero improvement so I probably won’t be making it again. Back to the drawing board!

What’s for Dessert? – Easy Lemon Cookies

I am on a roll with this “Make 30 new edible items” thing. Lemon cookies! Which I ate while watching Liz Lemon because I love 30 Rock. I do not, however, love these cookies. They are okay, but a word to the wise: DO NOT UNDER BAKE. Have you ever eaten raw cake dough? Yeah, it tastes kind of like that. Blech! Even fully cooked, I am not a huge fan (that being said, I ate more than a dozen of them in a 2 hour period). They were really lemony and really really easy – which I liked – but they stuck to the bottom of my cookie sheets and there’s something a little chemical-y about the flavour.

Here’s the recipe link: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Easy-Lemon-Cookies/Detail.aspx

* New baked good #3, item #6 from 30 Things to Do in my 30′s.

What’s for Dinner? – Sloppy Joes

Photo by ChaseI had my doubts about this Sloppy Joe recipe (and Sloppy Joes in general, actually), but this turned out really, really well. It was the 3/4’s of a cup of ketchup that threw me off initially. I was paranoid that my dinner was going to taste like ground beef with too much tomato goo on it, but in sticking with my theme of “Gross things I assume moms fed to their kids in the 1950s*”, I decided to go for it. It didn’t taste ketchupy at all. This is a really good meal for when you’re feeling something sweet and cozy for dinner.

*I draw the line at meatloaf. Not because I don’t like it, but because I made it a few years ago at Chase’s request and served it by candle light. It wasn’t until I stumbled back into the harsh light of the kitchen that I realized that the loaf hadn’t cooked through all the way, and I had been eating raw hamburger. The thought makes me vomit to this day.

Here’s the Recipe Link for Sloppy Joes: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Sloppy-Joes-II/Detail.aspx (obviously, I added cheese to my sandwiches. Also, I used red bell peppers because the grocery store was out of green).

The verdict: I’d make this again.

Reader question: Do you have any recipe suggestions? Bonus points if it sounds gross but tastes really good.

Bonus video (because I have been humming this song to myself all night):

** New Meal #2, item #6 from 30 Things to Do in my 30′s.

*** Photo by Chase

What’s for Dinner? – Tuna Noodle Casserole*

Photo by ChaseI am so glad that this meal turned out really well because I had to go to the grocery store TWICE with a toddler in the rain to get the ingredients – once to pick up some pasta and some garlic (the only 2 ingredients I DIDN’T have in my cupboard), and another time to pick up a can of cream of celery soup when I realized that mine expired in August of 2009 (!).

I felt like a 1950’s housewife making tuna casserole – it seems like such an old timey staple meal. I wanted to make jello, too, to complete the theme but the second trip to the grocery store took up all of my time.

ANYWAY, I liked this recipe well enough. I don’t know if tuna casserole is something I want to eat regularly by virtue of it being tuna casserole, but  it was yummy and Chase raved about it. Totally recommended.

Here’s the recipe link: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Tuna-Noodle-Casserole-II-2/Detail.aspx.

* New Meal #1, item #6 from 30 Things to Do in my 30’s.

** Photo by Chase, as usual