Friday, March 29, 2013

Meatball Week: Meatball Hero Sandwiches

With a container of meatballs in the freezer, we had to try some of the other recipes that were in the March 2005 issue of Everyday Food.  The beauty of things like this is that after you make the batch of meatballs, things cook up pretty quick.  I probably should have made a double batch of meatballs so that I don't run out anytime soon.
I actually thought that these would be even better than the pizzas.  I think it may be a toss-up.  While both involve meatballs, onions and carbs, the similarities end there.  Both are delicious.  There is no cheese in the sandwich.  We didn't want it and we didn't miss it.
I present to you now from the March 2005 issue of Everyday Food, Mini Meatball Heros:

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Meatball Week: Mini Meatball Pizza

made mini meatballs and then had to do something with them.  Luckily, Martha came through and gave options!  Here is option number 1:  Pizza.
I've eaten an awful lot of pizza over the years.  One of my original purchases from Pampered Chef was a pizza stone.  With my bread machine, crispy, thick-crusted pizza is only an hour and a bit away.  I've played with ingredients over the years including cheeses, sauces and toppings.  Unfortunately, I'd never mastered thin crust pizza.
There's a restaurant here in town with wood-fired ovens that is wickedly reminiscent of Europe.  The food is delicious.  The tablecloths are plastic.  The flowers are silk and crazy.  But the pizza....ohhhhhhhh.  This reminds me a little of that.
Great.  Now I want wine and fresh pasta.  Perhaps later.
Now, I present to you from Everyday Food March 2005 Meatball Pizzas:

Monday, March 25, 2013

Magazine Challenge: Mini Meatballs

I'm always on the lookout for new recipes that are tasty and easy.  Things I can pull out of the freezer are even better.  When I saw the addition of bacon to what is an already a food J and I enjoy, how could you go wrong?
Beyond that, Everyday Food offered suggestions for how to use these meatballs beyond the usual pasta and tomato sauce.  Sunday afternoon, I whipped up a batch of these meatballs and froze them, raw, in baking tins in my freezer.  I then dropped the meatballs into a Ziploc container and left them in the kitchen freezer.  There's less than half a container left.
Today, we feature the making of the meatballs.  Over the next few days, I'll show you how I used the meatballs for things that aren't spaghetti and meatballs.
I present to you now Everyday Food's March 2005 Mini Meatballs:

Friday, March 22, 2013

Magazine Challenge: Ham and Potato Bake

I don't know why I'm trying again with something that is described in the notes as a "crustless quiche".  I think I proved in December/January that I'm not really a good judge of all things baked with egg as a filling.  Yet when I decided to have people in for dinner and served ham, I saw this in the March 2005 EDF and knew it would be a good way to use up the leftovers. 
J and I eat a lot of broccoli.  It's one of the few vegetables we agree on.  We've taken to buying large bags of it frozen at Costco.  The fact that this contains simple ingredients that I had on hand made it even easier to make.  Easy and pantry staples.  It was worth a shot, even if I can't judge how long it takes to get eggs to set in the oven. 
I present to you now The Ham and Potato Bake from Everyday Food March, 2005:

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Quick Lunch: Black Bean Quesadillas

When I look at my Pinterest board of recipes to try, I seem to have inordinate amounts of Mexican and Tex-Mex dishes.  Well, that and dessert.  I commented to my mother today that I probably need to rearrange my boards into dessert and savoury or some such.  Right now when I go looking for things, I often have a hard time trying to find what I want.  And I know that it's *right there* somewhere.  A project for another day, perhaps.
Right.  But when I pinned this from Budget Bytes, I knew that they'd be good - everything I've made from Budget Bytes has been good.  I wasn't wrong.  I just wish I'd had enough tortillas in the freezer to make all of these up and freeze so they'd be ready to go.  After J, my mom and I ate lunch, I put the leftover filling into a container and popped it in the freezer for another day.  Seeing as you can freeze them made, I don't see why you couldn't freeze them as I did.
We're going to enjoy these during football season.  Frankly, we'll enjoy these the rest of the year too.  I'm not sure I can recommend them highly enough.  Plus, they're meatless.  That doesn't happen often around here.
I present to you now Budget Bytes Black Bean Quesadillas:

Monday, March 18, 2013

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Guinness Chocolate Cake

J and I don't celebrate St. Patrick's Day with all things green and such.  Stew is not a real favourite with either of us, and we're not big on going out.  We'd both rather curl up with the cat in our own family room in front of the fire.  But when I saw this cake on Pinterest, I thought that I'd rather like to try it.
With my mother here, I'm making lots of fun things, and we had my uncle and his wife Friday night for dinner.  It was an excuse to make a cake.  Right before March 17th, why not make a cake with Irish ingredients?  And a Pinterest recipe to boot?
I present to you now Care's Kitchen' Chocolate Guinness Cake:

Friday, March 15, 2013

Magazine Challenge: Pistachio Raspberry Cakes

March 2005 has proven to be a challenging issue.  I was nixed on the lentils, and I didn't even ask about the pineapple recipes.  But I did find this little gem that I thought might be nice when my mom came to visit for a few days. 
I like pistachios, other than you have to shell them.  I also am incapable of estimating how many I would need and bought waaaaaay more than what I needed.  I also love fresh raspberries.  In March they're a wonderful treat.
I also enjoyed that this was just enough of a dessert.  Ramekins.  They're a good thing.
I present to you now the Pistachio Raspberry Cakes from March Everyday Food 2005:

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Cadbury Mini Egg Blondies

I went to the dentist today.  I was told that I have healthy teeth, but I have an old filling that needs to be replaced as the decay begins to form around the edges of it.  The only reason I mention this is because my dentist wouldn't be thrilled with this dessert.
I was cruising Pinterest and saw this picture and fell in love.  I love Cadbury chocolate.  Especially in mini egg form.  The crunchy shell, the smooth's all swoon worthy.  I bought the family size bag to make these this weekend at the grocery store, and J was disappointed when I used the whole thing in the blondies.  He was only disappointed until I sliced these and served them warm with a glass of milk.
Then we both swooned.
I present to you now Chef in Training's Cadbury Mini Egg Blondies:

Monday, March 11, 2013

So Good: Orient Express Stirfry

I haven't made anything from the Looneyspoons Collection in a while.  Between Pinterest and Everyday Food, when I've been cooking I've been busy.  But I was looking for something for this past week that was different, and I turned to my faithful flavourful cookbook.
The scary thing in this recipe is the sheer number of things that are in it.  I pulled everything out for a modified mise en place:  with everything on the counter so I didn't forget to put anything in.  J was shocked with all of the things piled on the counter.  He was afraid about how long it would take to put this together.
J was wrong.  This went together fast.  And it was really good.  I won't make this all the time because it is a lot of ingredients.  But I will make it again, because we really enjoyed it.
I present to you now the Looneyspoons Collection's Orient Express:

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Planning: March 10-17, 2013

I'm on vacation.  It's an exhilarating thing, seeing as work is crazy and I'm spent.  The idea of a week stretching before me with nothing but time is exciting.  It will go so quickly.  I want to enjoy.
As a result, I've planned an ambitious week of cooking.  I have so many things I'd like to try between the Magazine Challenge, Pinterest and the general recipe reading that I do.
My mom is coming for a bit, so we'll have her to help make and eat the experiments.  We need lunches for the week too.  That's not something I normally plan.  Friday night, my uncle and his wife are coming so that's excuse enough to make a cake.  My mother also expects dessert with meals, so it's the chance to try some stuff that I wouldn't normally make for J and myself.
Here's what I have planned:

Sunday:  Shepherd's Pie
Monday:  Lunch - Pork Fried Rice
                 Dinner - Shake N Bake Chicken, Potatoes, Broccoli
Tuesday:  Lunch - Shepherd's Pie
                 Dinner - Meatball Heros, Chips, Pickles
Wednesday:  Lunch - Pork Fried Rice
                      Dinner - We're having dinner at my mom's
Thursday:  Lunch - Not sure yet
                  Dinner - Macaroni and Cheese, Sausage and Carrot Sticks
                                Pistachio Raspberry Cakes
Friday:  Lunch - Black Bean Quesadillas
             Dinner - Baked Ham, Mashed Potatoes, Broccoli, Salad
                          Guiness Chocolate Cake
Saturday:  Lunch - Individual Meatball Pizzas and Salad
                  Dinner - Better Butter Chicken and Basmati Rice
Sunday:  Lunch - Ham and Potato Bake, fruit
               Dinner - Eata Fajita Salad and Garlic Bread

Sounds good.  Lots of variety.  I also will probably make a batch of muffins, and I have a King Arthur Scone mix that I'll make.  Add in lots of tea and conversation, it's shaping up to be a great week.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Pintertest Kitchen: Candy Cane Ice Cream

You know what I still have left from Christmas?
Snack food and candy.  I put these things away in a drawer, and out of sight, out of mind.  I believe there are still a couple of bags of peanuts, a bag of chip nuts, and a container of chocolate covered pretzels.  There's probably some gum and other stuff that was in stockings in the drawer too.  Out of sight, out of mind.
I also am not known for eating the candy canes that come attached to stuff.  I don't buy them to put on the tree, and I don't really eat them.  But I do get a few and they collect for a couple of years until I finally decide to try one and discover that humidity has leached in and the candy is soft and unappealing.  That didn't happen to this year's batch of canes, though.  I found this on Pinterest and pinned it immediately:
Here in Canada, Candy Cane Ice Cream is a way of life over the Christmas season.  We wait for President's Choice to issue their Insider's Report of seasonal goods to try and stock their stores with their ice cream version of crack, Candy Cane Fudge Crackle.  I think J and I ate our way through 2 tubs this year.  And then, as quickly as it arrived it's gone and we wait for next year.
There is no fudge crackle in this recipe, but my friends, we may have found a way to wait patiently for the next time that Galen Weston makes a seasonal rite available.  I present to you now The Way To His Heart's Candy Cane Ice Cream:

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Magazine Challenge: Chicken Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

I'm still at work with Jan/Feb.  Here's one of the recipes that I thought looked good and I just didn't get that far.
I follow Jesser on Pinterest because she and I seem to share similar tastes in food.  She pinned a recipe with chicken meatballs from Iowa Girl Eats that I pinned as well.  In the preamble, there was talk from Ree Drummond of Pioneer Woman of how meatballs are one of the trends in food for 2013.  I can see how this is true.
I love making things with meatballs.  They're versatile and can be made from any combination of ground meat.  I already make lots of things that include them like the Teriyaki Meatball Rice Bowls,  Volcano Sandwiches and Easy Spaghetti and Meatballs.  I also have plans for a couple more recipes that feature them this month.  So, perhaps we'll say meatballs are a trend in March on the mountain.
I present to you now from the Jan/Feb 2005 issue of Everyday Food Chicken Meatballs in Tomato Sauce:

Monday, March 4, 2013

Brunch: Hot Chee'sandwich

The first cookbook I ever received was Holly Hobbie's Cookbook.  The inscription inside the front cover is "To Sarah from Mom and Dad.  Happy Cooking!  Christmas 1980".  There are still recipes I make from this book regularly like cornbread and a small batch of brownies.  This is also the book I used when I learned the difference between teaspoon and tablespoon when adding baking powder to a batch of pancakes.
This recipe is also from the book, as almost a hot grilled ham and cheese sandwich.  Every week for lunch, we buy J salad, mushrooms, sliced ham, sliced cheddar and cottage cheese.  He rounds out his lunches with leftovers and so on.  This week, we had lots of leftovers and he didn't get to the ham and cheese.  In a bid to use them up and make brunch for us, I made these sandwiches.
J can eat 2.  I can't.  The extra reheats pretty well.  In fact, it gives the crispy top slice of bread a chance to soften a bit.  So, on a Saturday morning, here's what we ate for breakfast.  I present to you now the Hot Chee'sandwich from Holly Hobbie:

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Planning: March 3 - 9, 2013

It's one week until March Break.  One week until I have a chance to recharge and clean my house.  One week until I have some of my sanity back time.  I can hardly wait.  That means this coming week will probably be a bear and I will be ready for a bottle of wine on Friday.  You think I joke.
That aside, I don't have a whole lot at night this week, so in theory I should be able to cook at home.  We'll see how that goes.  I am planning to make soup so I have a shot at lunch, and we'll see how we do.  I already have this coming week's posts locked and loaded, so that should help. 
Here's what we're having on the mountain this week:
Sunday:  Chicken Meatballs in Tomato Sauce, Spaghetti and Garlic Bread.  I made the meatballs and sauce on Saturday, so they'll be good to go Sunday night.
Soup, and I'm not sure what kind.  I still want to make the Chicken Won Ton soup from Looneyspoons, but that's a lot of ground chicken at once.  I'll find something I'm sure.
Monday: Lemon Parsley Pork, Mashed Potatoes and Broccoli.  This was on the menu for last week, and I got sick.  Everything got pushed off.
Tuesday: There may be pork left.  If we ate the chicken meatballs Sunday night (and it makes enough for 2 nights), we may be having the left overs Monday and Pork Tuesday.
Wednesday:  Something quick.  Grilled steak?  Frozen Pizza Kit that was a fundraiser for school?  I'm not quite sure.
Thursday:  Orient Express from Looneyspoons.  It's been a while since I've made anything from here.
Friday:  Celebrate the beginning of the vacation.  Probably go out.
Sounds like a good week.  We'll see how we do.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Magazine Challenge: March Planning

I'm still working on my 12 recipes from the January/February issue of Everyday Food, but it's a new month, and in March 2005 there was an issue.  As a result, I will continue to make the rest of my Jan/Feb finds, but I have another 6 recipes to complete. 
6 seems so much more doable than 12 were.  The problem with this month:  things I wanted to make that I don't already make and like.  J's not crazy about fruit, so the warm fruit desserts and the pineapple recipes were out.  He also doesn't like coconut, so I couldn't make the coconut layer cake.  There's a coffee cake that looks suspiciously like the one I already make that is a recipe from my mom, and I already make Martha's soft's good enough that I don't really want anything on it; I could just eat a bowl of it for dinner.
But enough with the whining.  Here's what I finally came up with for this month.  Some of it is pretty avant garde for my kitchen.  Some of it will probably be right up J's alley.  But whatever happens, I'm hoping to complete this month in a month.  With a week of vacation, it should happen!
Here's what will be on the menu this month (along with a lot more):
1.  Mini meatballs (There is a recipe to make them, and then 3 ways to serve.  J likes the sound of all 3)
2.  Salmon with Couscous Pilaf (There are raisins in the pilaf.  J's not sold, but I told him tough)
3.  Ham and Potato Bake (This is called a crustless quiche by the writers.  I hope so.)
4.  Cherry Tomato Crisp (J's not sold on this one either.  Baked tomatoes.  Should be good)
5.  Lentil Walnut Burgers (Don't tell him it's on the list.  We're going to try different meatless)
6.  Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies (J wants to know when we're going to have just plain chocolate chip cookies.  It won't be March)
So, it should be an interesting month.  Here's seeing how it goes.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Magazine Challenge: Fish Tacos

In my quest for new ways to eat fish, I'm always on the lookout for new recipes.  While flipping through the Jan/Feb issue of Everyday Food for 2005, I came across this recipe for fish tacos.
I like tacos, and I don't mind tilapia, so this seemed like a decent candidate for something that would make both J and I happy.
Despite Martha's assertion that this would take about 45 minutes to make, I didn't find it that long to put together.  In fact, I started cooking at about 7:05 and we were eating just after 7:30.  We're late eaters.  But, it went together quickly on a work night and had lots of flavour.
I present to you now Everyday Food's Fish Tacos: