kitchenklutz: knife and onions (knife and onions)
Last week I was down with the seasonal death flu: four days of being bedridden, exhausted, fevered and dizzy. After the first two days of attempting to go for takeout and fast food (and let me tell you, you've not lived until you've spent half an hour trying to shovel your car out of a snowdrift while running a fever of 102), I deliriously inventoried my fridge to see what ingredients I could combine into something that was both tasty and easy to make.

The first things that came to mind were a pound and a quarter or so each of ground turkey and Italian sausage patties I'd bought the week before and not used -- thus, my quest for meatloaf. After Googling for a likely-looking recipe, I adapted it into a "throw in whatever ingredients and spices sound tasty", and the result was surprisingly good. Best of all, it only required about 10 minutes of prep, and then I could leave it to bake for an hour while I coughed and hacked away under the covers.

Easy Sweet-and-Spicy Meatloaf )

This recipe absolutely hit the spot and gave me leftovers for a week of meals. Highly recommended and I'll definitely make it again.
kitchenklutz: knife and onions (knife and onions)
I made this back towards the beginning of November when I threw a autumnal get-together. It's savory and multi-layered, with a good kick of spiciness. It takes a bit of effort to make, but as party casseroles/dips go it's worth it and can feed a LOT of people.

Easy Cheesy Baked Black Bean Dip )

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes plus 10 minutes resting time
Serves: 4 as a side dish, 6 - 8 as a dip
kitchenklutz: spices in bottles (spice bottles)
Last week I was up in the White Mountains hiking Cannon Mountain, and when I came down to the skytram and museum at the base of the still-unsnowy ski slopes I stopped by their gift shop. Most of what they had was just touristy stuff, but there was a cookbook that caught my eye -- Yolanda's All Apple Cookbook, by Yolanda Lodi.

I love apples. Tasty, sweet, incredibly flexible foodstuffs that go in practically everything. I don't have a lot of recipes that rely on them, though. So how could I resist picking up a cookbook like this one? This is the first recipe I'm trying, slightly modified.

Apple-Spiced Bulgar )

First reaction? Not bad at all as a side dish. It's a little on the bland side, so perhaps it could use a little additional spicing, but it's moderately tasty overall.
kitchenklutz: tomato sauce ladle (saucy ladle)
Some years back, my good friend Beth gifted me with a recipe for chicken marsala. I recently found the notecard that I'd initially written the recipe details down on, and made it again with a few small modifications. It turned out amazing!

Savory Chicken Marsala )
kitchenklutz: spices in bottles (spice bottles)
A week or so back, work brought a selection of sandwiches and side dishes for lunch -- including a very tasty macaroni salad. Naturally, this led me to go in search of macaroni salad recipes. I made this one this afternoon, taking ideas and ingredients from a handful of recipes online, and overall I'm quite happy with it.

Sweet & Spicy Macaroni Salad )

Easy to make, prepares tons of servings, and extra tasty -- just the thing if you're looking to feed a lot of people for a 4th of July party. Enjoy!
kitchenklutz: tomato sauce ladle (saucy ladle)
I'm signed up for a number of recipe mailing lists, and occasionally (OK, more than occasionally) I print out dishes I want to try out. Recently, I snagged a recipe for pan-fried chicken and ancho chili salsa (to go on flatbread/pita). Although I haven't actually made that recipe yet, I was experimenting with the salsa itself -- which, interestingly, doesn't actually appear to have any ancho chili pepper in it! Go figure.

Anyways, this is my first attempt at the salsa recipe, my notations, and thoughts.

First Draft Salsa )

First reactions: the taste is just about right, but the visual of the salsa itself seems almost too... pink, rather than the rich hearty red I was hoping to achieve. I'm not sure whether that's because of using the wrong tomatoes at first, or throwing in the whole lemon rather than just using lemon juice. I'm tempted to try making this recipe again using one Roma tomato and one 14.5-oz can of diced tomatoes, complete with juice, just to see if I can get the color "right".

Anyone have suggestions on how this salsa might be improved? Visually or tastewise?
kitchenklutz: tomato sauce ladle (saucy ladle)
I'm aiming for a lower-carb diet as part of the exercise regimen I'm on. A diabetic co-worker of mine recommended a particular brand of pasta (Dreamfields) as much lower carb than the usual stuff, but still better tasting than the generally bland whole-wheat pasta which is more widely out there.

I checked out the brand the next time I was in the market, and there was quite an interesting recipe on the box. I adapted it and changed a few things (not a big fan of the recipe-recommended shrimp), and the result turned out to be extremely tasty.

Angel Hair Pasta with Chicken, Tomatoes, and Basil )

Sweet, spicy, and delicious sauce over angel hair pasta -- fantastic! A little tricky to make, at some part (multiple pans going at one time), but all in all a very tasty dish. I'd definitely make it again.
kitchenklutz: tomato sauce ladle (saucy ladle)
With the overblown failure of an overspicy glazed ham on Christmas, I found myself with an overabundance of leftover and somewhat too spicy ham. I put out a request for soup suggestions to use it in, and got more than a few suggestions for ham and potato soup. A little bit of Google-fu later, I had a printed out recipe. I tweaked it, added a few spices, and came up with the following very tasty recipe.

Savory Ham and Potato Soup )

Savory, thick, and tasty soup -- perfect comfort food for a cold winter's night. I am definitely making it again.
kitchenklutz: spices in bottles (spice bottles)
With the chilly weather coming on, I find myself more and more in favor of comfoting, savory soups. This weekend is no exception -- and with a Penzey's Spices quarterly/recipe book in hand, I decided to try a variant on chicken and dumplings.

Spicy Baked Chicken & Dumplings Soup )

Thick, savory stew with plenty of chicken and tasty dumplings to top it off -- an absolute winner in my book! For me, adding the lemon pepper spicing to season the chicken breasts made it particularly delicious, but for others that may be a touch too spicy.

The original recipe calls for double the amount of dumpling mix, which was way too much for me. I made the full amount and dropped the dumplings into the broth, but rapidly found myself out of space in the pot for more dumplings. Thus, I've halved the amounts for that part of the recipe. Honestly, I feel as though the recipe could even use a bit more broth -- with that much chicken and veggies as a base, the soup pot was crowded even before the dumplings went in.

Overall, though, I will absolutely be making this recipe again. Simple, straightforward, not too long to cook, and incredibly tasty -- four things that make it a winner in my book.
kitchenklutz: tomato sauce ladle (saucy ladle)
This morning I woke up with a tenacious headache, and with the weather outside grey and gloomy I decided to crack open my old soups cookbook (Maryana Vollstedt's Big Book of Soups & Stews) and find something tasty I hadn't made before. In the end, I settled on

Reuben Soup )

Overall, it was amazingly tasty, and absolutely hit the spot for me. The toasted rye bread that I floated on the soup rapidly grew soggy, but using the other toasted slices for dipping turned out to be ideal.
kitchenklutz: spoons and bowls (Default)
Late last week, I came across an Emeril recipe for roast chicken. Up until then, I'd never actually gotten a whole chicken at the market and prepared it for a meal. This, clearly, needed to change! I adapted the recipe slightly for what ingredients I had, once I'd purchased the chicken -- mostly in quantities of added ingredients, since the smallest roaster I could find at the local market was somewhat larger than the recommended size on the original recipe. (That, and I neglected to buy a lemon.)

Perfect Roast Chicken (My Version) )

Now, I had my savory main dish -- and it smelled and tasted terrific. However, at the same time I wanted to serve it over something. The easiest thing to do was rice -- but I was rather bored with regular plain white or brown rice. Something inside me asked hey, what about sweet rice? Now, as far as I know, I've never even had sweet rice, so I didn't know what I was getting into, but I flexed my Google-fu and found an intriguing recipe for Lebanese sweet rice. I adapted it into the following:

Sweet Rice (My Version) )

Tonight I had the roast chicken as the main dish, with the sweet rice as a side -- and overall, the tastes were surprisingly complimentary. The chicken and vegetables are rich and savory, and mixed with the sweet rice (which was sweet, but not too sweet), it made a memorable and quite enjoyable dish. I definitely plan to make both again in the future.
kitchenklutz: spices in bottles (spice bottles)
Following through on my resolution to try at least one new recipe every week, I stumbled over an old printed recipe for garlic naan. That inspired me to pull out my copy of Bay Books' The Essential Asian Cookbook, looking for Indian recipes. Thus, being not too immediately hungry, I decided to try out both the naan and a recipe for Madras curry.

Madras Curry )

Naan )

This is finishing up cooking as we speak, although the naan still has a while to go -- I haven't even divided up the dough yet. The curry smells great, though, and I'm anticipating it'll be very tasty given all the spices that went into it.

ETA: The curry turned out quite good, though nowhere near as spicy as I was expecting. I had it with rice, and with the naan on the side. The naan was surprisingly tasty, considering it was my first time trying to cook it. It's very straightforward to fry up. I actually realized only after I'd mixed up the dough that it indicates "Portions: 14" -- so I made three pieces of naan and kept the rest on the tray to refrigerate. I can quickly fry up more naan each morning or night, given a little melted butter.

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kitchenklutz

March 2015

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