Friday, May 23, 2014

Bride of Magazine Challenge: Chicken Chilaquiles

I'm sorry, but this month and the next may be a bit scant on the new recipes.  I'm in the midst of the end of school.  From now until June 27th I'm a titch busy.  But we'll see what happens.  J and I still need to eat.
I love simple meals.  This totally qualifies.  Even shredding the chicken myself, it didn't take that long.  If you keep cooked chicken in the freezer, it would be super simple.  On a Wednesday night, we need something simple when I get home from my guitar lesson.
I was unaware of what exactly "chilaquiles" are.  According to wikipedia:
Chilaquiles ... is a traditional Mexican dish. Typically, corn tortillas cut in quarters and lightly fried are the basis of the dish. Green or red salsa or mole is poured over the crisp tortilla triangles. The mixture is simmered until the tortilla starts softening. Eggs(scrambled or fried) and pulled chicken are sometimes added to the mix. The dish is topped with cheese (typicallyqueso fresco) and/or sweet Mexican cream, and it is served with refried beans. As with many Mexican dishes, regional and familial variation is quite common.
In central Mexico it is common for the tortilla chips to remain crisp. To achieve this, all ingredients except the salsa are placed on a plate and the salsa is poured at the last moment, seconds before serving. It is commonly garnished with cream, shredded queso fresco, raw onion rings and avocado slices.
Usually, chilaquiles are eaten at breakfast or brunch. This makes them a popular recipe to use leftover tortillas and salsas.
We were going to eat breakfast food for dinner, apparantly.  I'm not sure that I'd want this for breakfast, personally.  But I'd be happy to see it on the menu for a quick dinner.
I present to you now from the April 2006 issue of Everyday Food Chicken Chilaquiles:

Friday, May 16, 2014

Bride of Magazine Challenge: Breakfast Tacos

One of my New Year's resolutions this year was to eat breakfast daily.  While it's a great resolution in theory, I am not good on the follow-through.  My mother was here last week, watched me drink a glass of juice, and asked if I was planning to eat anything else.  The quick answer was no.
Despite my lack of breakfast on weekdays, we do fare a little better around here on weekends.  After using 7 egg yolks to make the Pumpkin custards, I had a container of whites in the fridge to use up.  When I saw this in the May 2006 issue of Everyday Food, I knew that I could use the whites and a variety of other things that are staples in the kitchen here on the mountain.
J and I, as previously mentioned, love Mexican flavours.  We don't usually find breakfast type recipes with Mexican flair, but this is an easy one.  Make them as tacos for a weekend breakfast at home, or burritos for tailgating.  Either way works.
I present to you now from the May 2006 issue of Everyday Food, Breakfast Tacos:

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Got Milk? Deep Dish Hot Fudge Brownie Cakes

I got my next Secret Recipe Club assignment.  I wouldn't normally mention this, but in cruising the blog for June's post I clicked through and discovered this little gem.  So it's not like this is an early's more of a thank you for introduction to a site that is after my own heart with recipes like this.
When J and I went on our honeymoon, we went on a cruise.  It's was super fun, and I ate a variety of foods that I either don't cook for myself, or that J doesn't like.  I had duck, chilled cherry soup, was all good.  But one of the things that I remember about the cruise was that if I couldn't come up with a dessert, there was always lava cake to fall back on.
Chocolate lava cake is something I really like.  Between a dark cake and an oozy center, what's not to love?  This recipe combined both in individual servings that I put together in all of about 10 minutes.  Seriously dangerous for someone with chocolate chips in the cupboard and the end of a carton of whipping cream in the fridge.
I present to you now Chocolate Moosey's Deep Dish Hot Fudge Cakes:

Friday, May 9, 2014

Magazine Challenge: Pumpkin Maple Custards

When I lived in France, I was introduced to a huge variety of new food that I ate to be polite and learned to love.  One of the things that I tasted for the first time was creme brulee.  I adore creme brulee.  The sugar to crack through with a spoon, the creamy delicious.  One of the best meals I've ever had was a prix fixe lunch at the OXO Tower in London.  It finished with rhubarb creme brulee.  So good.
This is a funny way to introduce a non creme brulee recipe.  What this recipe has in common with my favourite dessert is the baked custard in a water bath.  Well, that and this custard would be amazing with a caramelized sugar topping.  But alas, I have no propane torch.  And frankly, it's a tasty meal-ender with just whipped cream on top.
I founded this last year in an Everyday Food from 2005.  But when I unearthed a container of leftover pumpkin in my freezer, I knew I needed to give it a shot.  I present to you now from the October 2005 issue of Everyday Food, Pumpkin Maple Custard:

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Bride of Magazine Challenge: Thai-Style Steak Salad

J and I are both fans of dinner salads.  With the success of some of the salads I've made in the past, I figured this Thai-style salad was worth a shot. 
I don't know if I have a larger pantry than many people (I probably do...), but when I read a recipe like this and start to adjust it in my head, I usually have all of the ingredients for things like the marinade in the house already.  A well stocked pantry with a variety of flavours to play with makes cooking more fun - if I had to go buy the things that make these flavours I'd probably stay away because it's expensive to stock up.  But I would say that by stocking up over time, the upkeep on a good pantry is not that bad.  Things like sesame oil and seasoned rice vinegar for Asian tastes, or cumin and chipotles for Mexican foods aren't used up quickly but add a huge amount of flavour and adventure in the kitchen.  If nothing else, a little adventure in life is a good thing.
I changed things somewhat from the original recipe.  I halved the recipe so that it was only for 2, instead of 4.  I halved the strips of carrot for ease of eating, and marinated the carrots and bean sprouts instead of pouring the reserved dressing over the mixed vegetables.  I also subbed sesame oil for some of the vegetable oil because I love the toasted flavour of sesame oil, especially with spinach as a base instead of romaine lettuce.
But in terms of quick dinner, this salad fits the bill.  Outside of marinating time, I think I put this together in about 30 minutes.  Quick dinners.  That's how we roll around here.
I present to you now from the May 2006 Everyday Food, Thai-style Steak Salad:

Monday, May 5, 2014

Secret Recipe Club: Cappuccino Chocolate Chunk Hazelnut Cookies

It's time once again for Group A's reveal for the Secret Recipe Club.  It's always fun when I get my email with a new blog to explore and drool over.  If you want to know more about SRC and why I'm revealing a recipe today, click over and see the explanation there.  Then come back to see what I made.  This month, the blog I perused was Easily Good Eats.
The premise of this blog is simple:  good food that is made with pantry staples - quick and easy preparation.  While the recipes sounded interesting, J nixed many of the things I suggested making.  He's not really into exotic, and while I do get him to try a variety of foods, he will say no sometimes.
I finally decided that the best route to go would be a baked good, and there were tons to choose from.  With J's love of chocolate chip cookies, I decided to bank on that and make something a little different that weren't so exotic that he'd have issues and I'd have a whole recipe to eat myself.
I have an ongoing love affair with Nutella.  It's chocolate and you're encouraged to eat it for breakfast.  How could that be wrong?  I've made cakes, and I've made ice cream.  While this doesn't actually use Nutella, the recipe uses the building blocks of Europe's favourite breakfast spread.  It even includes coffee, so really, this cookie is breakfast material!  Despite the fact that J rolled his eyes at me when I announced that these were breakfast fare, I think I've discovered my life's calling:  to convince the world that we should eat cookies for breakfast.  Or leftover chocolate cake if you're Bill Cosby.  Perhaps it's just as well that I don't have children, and just have a cat who is perfectly content to eat her kibble.
I present to you now Easily Good Eats' Cappucino Chocolate Chunk Hazelnut Cookies:

Friday, May 2, 2014

Early Cinco de Mayo! Enchiladas! Ole!

Cinco de Mayo is the same day as the next reveal day for my group for Secret Recipe Club.  I wanted to make something Mexican, but the blog I've been assigned really isn't that sort of blog.  As a result, I've decided to make something early that you might want to make too.
J and I are both big fans of Mexican food.  Our first date was at a Mexican restaurant, and he proposed at the same restaurant.  Often when we travel, we go looking for good Mexican food; seeing as Canada really doesn't have any.  I'm also often looking for recipes to try at home so that we can get a fix in between travels.  Enchiladas were something I hadn't tried making before.
As I was making the enchiladas and a batch of enchilada sauce from scratch, J commented that it really looked like I was making a Mr. Food recipe.  I haven't decided what I think of that.  I don't think Mr. Food would make his own sauce, but you never know.
Both the enchiladas and the sauce are originally from Budget Bytes, and are actually a combination of 2 different recipes of hers.  While you can use a can of refried beans and a can of enchilada sauce, you can also do as I did and make the sauce and pull a container of refried black beans that I made in the crock pot out of the freezer.  The cocoa in the sauce reminds me greatly of mole sauce, which is my favourite.  It's deep and rich, and doesn't taste at all chocolatey. 
So while it's early for the 5th, it's never too early for easy and delicious Mexican food that does a couple of meals and totally fills you up.  J and I had 2 of these with a side of Spanish rice.  I couldn't finish my plate.  I wondered if there was too little filling in these, but apparently there's not. 
I present to you now Budget Bytes Enchiladas and Sauce:

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Bride of Magazine Challenge: May Planning

When I first looked through this issue, I wasn't sure I was going to be able to come up with 6 things to try.  The in season recipes were for radishes.  It's not that I have anything against radishes per se, I just don't think that tea sandwiches are something that I'm planning to make here on the mountain anytime soon.
When I went through the second time, however, I had 7 things that sounded good, and one of those was the Spring Brunch menu.  There's a whole article of strawberry desserts, but it's early here for strawberries; even in a year where the growing season isn't so late in showing its face.  As a result, I didn't pick any strawberry things to make.  We'll wait until the berries are here and good.  Then we'll talk about strawberry desserts.
Here's what I think sounds good this month:
  • Breakfast Taco
  • Coffee Cake Muffins
  • Thai-Style Steak Salad
  • Chicken Stuffed with Cheese, Tomato and Basil
  • Pasta Salad with Broccoli and Peanuts
  • Ginger-Grapefruit Spritzer
  • Spring Brunch Menu:  Canadian Bacon Strata, Oven Roasted Home Fries, Tomatoes in Basil Vinaigrette, and Pecan-Shortbread Bars
There's a bit of variety, and some new dinner salads.  Should be a great month.