Monday, April 30, 2012
This recipe has three ingredients (including water) in the sponge and 4 ingredients in the dough. It takes approximately 10 and a half hours of rising and baking time (most of which is the sponge rising) and makes 2 baguettes. I had all the ingredients already in my pantry cupboard. I let the sponge rise for approximately ten hours and the final rise took 1 1/2 hours total. I forgot to let the baking stone heat for the full 45 minutes, mine was in about 30 minutes early and it still worked perfectly. The baking time was perfect, which was a pleasant surprise since so many bread recipes can be very off for my disco-era oven.
This recipe isn't currently available online, but can be found in the Cook's Illustrated Holiday Baking 2011 edition. (I wish that is was available on-line to share, it was great!).
Sunday, April 29, 2012
This recipe has 10 ingredients. It takes approximately an hour and 20 minutes of prep and cooking time and makes 4-6 servings. All the ingredients are basic and I had no problems finding them at my local grocery store. For the bacon I chose to use thick-cut bacon. I started using this variety about a year ago and I love it, I cook with it now pretty much exclusively. For the onion I used sweet onions, when they are in season (such as now) I use them frequently. After starting this recipe I discovered that I had ran out of oregano, so I substituted a teaspoon of Italian seasoning instead. I followed the remainder of the recipe as stated.
For the recipe go to Rao's Spaghetti with Marinara Sauce.
Saturday, April 28, 2012
The rosemary springs in this recipe made the chicken breast taste delicious and fragrant. I was skeptical when the chicken came out of the oven since the skin wasn't as crisp as my normal roasted chicken. However, once we ate the meat my husband and I were both impressed by how much flavor the fresh rosemary gave to the chicken meat. The leftovers were great for chicken salad and I have frozen the remainder since it will make a great chicken pot pie in a couple of weeks. Overall, while the skin isn't overly crispy the meat is moist and delicious.
For the recipe go to Roast Chicken with Rosemary, Lemon, and Honey.
Friday, April 27, 2012
This recipe has 6 ingredients. It takes 2 hours of total time, 50 minutes of which is active and makes 8 servings. I had all of the ingredients already in my cupboard and made no ingredient modifications. I would suggest to make sure that your pretzels are much bigger than you think they should be. As you can see by the picture at the top of the post, my pretzels ended up rising more while I was rolling out the rest of the batch and ended up looking more like a fancy bagel. They still tasted great, but visually they didn't look like a typical pretzel. The one thing that I would change with the recipe would be to double the amount of water and baking soda that the pretzels are boiled in. By the time the last batch of pretzels went in the water there was barely enough left for them to be fully boiled. I think doubling amount would remedy the situation. I followed the remainder of the recipe as written.
For the recipe go to Soft Pretzels.
Thursday, April 26, 2012
My family really enjoyed this soup. The only thing that I would change would be the peas. I have never actually seen fresh peas in my area, so I had to use frozen. I'm not a big fan of frozen peas, especially in cooking and this soup would be great without them. With the peas the soup almost felt off, so I would suggest omitting them completely. The dill taste is delicious and creates a nice fresh taste to the soup. The best part is that the recipe has 28 grams of protein and only 7 grams of fat per serving. A great way to provide a low-fat flavorful soup recipe to your diet.
For the recipe go to Lentil Soup with Peas and Ham.
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
This recipe has 10 ingredients in the recipe (the sandwich buns and pork aren't shown in the photo) and 6 in the coleslaw (the photo was nicely deleted off my phone by my three-year-old trying to find angry birds). It takes 15 minutes of prep, 22 minutes of cooking time (to brown the pork) and 8 hours on low in the crockpot and makes 8 servings. For the pork shoulder the recipe states to remove the skin and trim the fat, I agree with this to a point. If you remove all the fat from a pork roast it leaves the meat dry during cooking time. I prefer to cook the meat with some fat and place it fat side up in the crockpot. This allows the fat to keep the meat moist and the fat can easily be removed before pulling the pork at the end. For the seasoning salt I used my husband's favorite salt, Bacon Salt. If you haven't tried bacon salt, it really does create a nice almost smoky flavor in recipes. I use it very frequently, since as you know if you read my blog, my house is pretty obsessed with bacon. I followed the remainder of the recipe as written.
As I stated at the beginning we eat a lot of pulled pork. That also makes my family pretty picky pulled-pork consumers. Both my husband and I thought that the bbq sauce was a little too mild. I make a lot of pulled-pork in the crockpot and almost every recipe places the sauce in at the end. Since this bbq sauce is vinegar based putting the sauce in at the beginning of the cooking time made the sauce taste too unflavorful after eight hours. Instead of following the directions as stated I would suggest putting in a small amount of the sauce, maybe a 1/4 of a cup with a little bit of water (maybe 1/2 cup) to keep the pork moist during cooking. Then after the pork is pulled add the additional sauce to the crockpot and allow it to cook for an another 15 minutes or so. I think the problem was that the fat from the pork runs into the sauce making it too watered down. Removing the fat would make the pork tough, so the modifications would be a better alternative. On the other hand if your family prefers a mild bbq sauce this would be perfect as is. My father-in-law likes milder sauces and he would have thoroughly enjoyed this as written. Finally, I did think that the leftovers worked well when re-heated with additional bbq sauce, it was much better the next day. So if you like mild sauce this is perfect, if you like bolder flavored bbq sauce I recommend adding the additional sauce at the end.
For the recipe go to Carolina Pulled-Pork Sandwiches.
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
This recipe has 9 ingredients. It takes 15 minutes of cooking time and 10 minutes of prep and makes 4 servings. I had no problems finding any of the ingredients at my local grocery store, except for whatever reason they were out of parsley, so since it was just a topping ingredient I left it out. To save time I purchased pitted olives, I hate having to pit olives myself. Make sure to pound out the chicken breasts very flat in order to ensure even cooking and to keep them moist, especially if your chicken breasts are on the large side. I chose to add the capers as suggested as an option to 'dress up' the recipe. I followed the remainder of the recipe as written.
For the recipe go to Chicken Provencal.
Monday, April 23, 2012
This recipe has 10 ingredients. It takes 30 minutes of total time, 25 minutes of which is active and makes 4 servings. I did have to make a recipe modification due to a lack of available ingredients. Finding plum tomatoes around here can be hit or miss so I bought roma tomatoes instead. I had no problems finding any of the other ingredients at my local grocery store. After the pasta was added to the sauce I felt that it needed to be cooked down more than the recipe suggested. I allowed the pasta sauce to cook until the sauce completely coated the pasta. I followed the remainder of the recipe as written.
My two boys loved this recipe. I was pleased with how the tuna didn't end up tasting fishy even though it came from a can. The leftovers heated up great the next day and the flavor was even better. I appreciated that the recipe only took thirty minutes start to finish. Plus, with the main meat being canned tuna the total price for the recipe was very low, which always helps my family budget. Overall, a very easy pasta recipe combining both fresh and canned ingredients.
For the recipe go to Spaghetti with Spicy Tuna Marinara Sauce.
Sunday, April 22, 2012
This recipe has 9 ingredients. It takes 20 minutes of total time and makes 4 servings. I did have to make a few modifications to the ingredient list. I was unable to find bucatini at my local grocery store so I substituted fettuccine instead. Additionally the day that I made this pasta recipe I discovered that I had ran out of dried oregano so I used Italian seasoning instead. I followed the remainder of the ingredients as written. The last step of the recipe I changed significantly. Instead of adding 1 cup of pasta water at the end of the cooking time, I chose not to add the pasta water at all. Instead I let the tomato sauce cook down almost completely letting the pasta be completely coated. Finally, I added a very large pinch of red-pepper flakes since my family loves spicy foods.
For the recipe go to Bucatini with Red Clam Sauce and Hot Pepper.
Saturday, April 21, 2012
I was a little disappointed by this recipe. The beef turned out dry and the flavor was too subtle. I would suggest making the changes I suggested in the last paragraph. Without the changes this recipe is lacking. I do think that it could be saved, it just needs the beef to be browned before placing it in the crockpot and the liquid to cook the beef in definitely needs to be increased so the beef doesn't become overly dry. What this recipe does have going for it is that it has 39 grams of protein and 11 grams of fat and only costs $3.07 per serving.
For the recipe go to Coconut Beef with Rice Noodles.
Friday, April 20, 2012
I really liked this recipe. The flavor was great and the leftovers heated up well both with the noodles and on a bun as a sandwich. My husband especially enjoyed this recipe and ate the majority of the leftovers. The Chinese five spice creates a nice flavor to the dish without being overpowering. Best of all the recipe has 39 grams of protein and only 8 grams of fat, so great for someone on a high-protein diet. This will be a crock-pot recipe that I will use again.
For the recipe go to Chinese Hacked Pork.
Thursday, April 19, 2012
This recipe has 7 ingredients. It takes less than five minutes to prepare and cook and makes enough for one pound of pasta. All the ingredients are basic and I made no ingredient modifications. I used fresh lemons for the lemon juice since the taste is better. For the parsley I used Italian flat-leaf parsley, when chopped the texture is less gritty to me than regular parsley. I made one major modification to the recipe. The two anchovies suggested by the recipe didn't add enough flavor, so I added five more fillets. After the additional fillets the sauce had a much better overall taste. I followed the remainder of the recipe as written.
I found this sauce to be too oily for my tastes. There seemed to be enough oil for two pounds of pasta not one. I did used fresh linguine from the store, I'm not sure if I had made the pasta from scratch if it would have absorbed more oil. If the oil was cut in half it would be a lot better for my tastes. I did like that the recipe was very easy to make and literally takes only minutes. With the changes that I suggested this recipe would work with a variety of fresh pasta varieties.
This recipe is only available in the May/June issue of Cook's Illustrated Magazine or if you have paid for the online subscription you can find it here.
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
This recipe has 12 ingredients in the cake and 6 ingredients in the frosting. It takes 20 minutes of prep and 45 minutes of baking and makes 12 servings. All the ingredients I either already had or were easy to find at my local grocery store. I did make two modifications. First off since I was making the cake for Easter I chose to save time and bought pre-shredded carrots. I was worried at first that they might be too thick and not fully cook, but they worked perfectly. Secondly, I used roasted cinnamon, which creates a nice flavor. The most important change I made to the recipe was to the cooking time. The recipe states to bake the cake for 45 minutes. My cake was fully cooked at 25 minutes and if I had left them in the full 45 minutes they would have been severely overcooked. I followed the remainder of the recipe as written.
Everyone that tried this cake loved it. I served it for Easter and it was gone by the next day it was so popular. The best part of the recipe was the frosting. I loved the taste from the brown sugar and it was my favorite part of the recipe. The combination of the frosting and the cake worked perfectly together. This is definitely a recipe I will keep.
For the recipe go to Classic Carrot Layer Cake.
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
This recipe has 8 ingredients. It takes 30 minutes of prep and cook time and makes four servings. I did have to go to multiple stores to find sun-dried tomatoes, but that might be a specific problem in my area. For the herbes de Provence I lucked out and found some on clearance. I found that it took less than the 15-20 minutes for my chicken breasts to fully cook in the oven. I temped my chicken at around 12 minutes and it was done. I did pound out my breast relatively thin and that might be why the cooking time was decreased. I followed the remainder of the recipe as written.
Everyone in my house loved this recipe. My husband in particular thought this was one of the best chicken breast recipes he has ever had and for him to like a chicken breast recipe is a feat. I loved the blend of artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes and feta cheese. This will definitely be a recipe that I would try again.
For the recipe go to Mediterranean Chicken Bake.
Monday, April 16, 2012
This recipe has 13 ingredients. It takes 25 minutes of prep and 8 hours of cooking time and makes 8 servings. I had no problems finding any of the ingredients at my local grocery store and made no ingredient modifications. I did change a few things in regard to the specific type of ingredient. For the teriyaki sauce there were only two types at my local grocery store, neither of which was low-sodium so I used regular. Since I make my own chicken broth and don't add salt I wasn't worried about the dish being overly salty. For the peanut butter I used natural organic peanut butter, I prefer the taste and texture. Finally, I left out the green onions and peanuts for the topping. Honestly, I forget to add them at dinner time and the dish was fine without them added. Make sure to take off most of the fat from the butt roast or you will be left with a lot of fat to skim off the finished dish. I followed the remainder of the recipe as written.
I was skeptical about the use of parsnips in this recipe. I bought and added them worried that the taste would be less than appetizing. The finished dish was delicious. I had nothing to worry about with the parsnips, they blended perfectly with the pork and peanut taste. This is one of the better slowcooker recipes I have tried in the last couple of months and the taste was good enough that my two kids didn't notice that I served the dish with brown rice. Overall, a delicious peanut taste that was well received by everyone in my house.
For the recipe go to Satay-Style Pork Stew. (registration required)
Sunday, April 15, 2012
This recipe has 9 ingredients. It takes 10 minutes of prep and 10 minutes of cook time and makes 6 servings. All the ingredients in this recipe are basic and I had no problems finding any of them at my local grocery store. I chose to use frozen broccoli instead of fresh. The price is much cheaper and it's easier to stick frozen broccoli in the microwave than deal with cutting and prepping fresh broccoli while my two boys scream for dinner. I chose to use a full pound of pasta, instead of the 12 ounces suggested by the recipe. Finally, I bought skinless-boneless chicken breast, instead of the skin-on bone-in used in the recipe. Honestly, I made this the day after Easter when my in-laws were in town and after a long day I wanted to save as much time as possible. I followed the remainder of the recipe as written.
At a cost of only 91 cents per serving this recipe is very inexpensive. Plus it takes less than twenty minutes to prepare and has 38 grams of protein. My in-laws loved this recipe and asked for seconds. My kids picked out the chicken and ignored the rest of the dish. If you are looking for a flavor-punch this recipe isn't for you. However, if you are looking for a simple pasta dish that can literally be made in minutes this recipe is perfect. Kids that aren't receptive to spiciness or too many flavor combinations would eat this dish happily (or in-laws that have the same tastes). Overall, an easy pasta recipe that's full of protein and takes minutes to prepare.
For the recipe go to Parmesan Chicken with Bow Ties.
Saturday, April 14, 2012
This recipe has 9 ingredients. It takes 30 minutes of total time, all of which is active, and makes 4 servings. I had no problems finding any of the ingredients at my local grocery store and made no ingredient modifications. Normally I cut all my mushrooms by myself, but I noticed that at the grocery store the pre-sliced mushrooms were only five cents more and given the hectic couple of months that I've had, I gave in and bought the mushrooms pre-sliced. I chose to use mint instead of parsley leaves, I prefer the fresh taste of mint, especially in the spring and summer. The recipe calls for 3/4 of a pound of pasta, I chose to increase the amount to a full pound. Finally, I used a sweet yellow onion, when they are available I prefer them in most cooking. I followed the remainder of the recipe as written.
I found that this recipe made more than the four servings suggested by the recipe. There was enough for my family of four for dinner and two servings for lunch the next day. This probably had a lot to do with using a full pound of pasta, which I would do again. Of course my kids went and picked out all the mushrooms off their plates and then commenced to eat the mushrooms off my plate as well. I love how this recipe takes only a half an hour and the flavor from the mushrooms and bacon is delicious. Overall, an easy and quick pasta recipe.
For the recipe go to Fusilli with Bacon, Onions, and Mushrooms.
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
This recipe has 14 ingredients. It takes a total time of 7 to 12 hours, 20 of which is active and makes 8 servings. I had no problems finding any of the ingredients at my local grocery store. I let the mixture chill overnight for the flavors to fully saturate the meat. For the sauce I made a few modifications. My husband prefers a tangy Carolina type BBQ sauce, so I made a few changes to the sauce ingredients. I added an additional tablespoon of apple-cider vinegar and approximately a 1/2 teaspoon of liquid smoke. For the rolls instead of whole-grain I used Sunny Buns, my family loves these and won't eat BBQ any other way. The sides of my baking dish burnt, so instead of tossing the pork once it was pulled with the cooking juices, I topped it with the sauce. I followed the remainder of the recipe as written.
As a main dish for Easter this was perfect. Everyone loved it and it made a great impression on a platter on the center of the table. It made more than enough for four adults and two kids with plenty of leftovers. I normally make pulled pork in the crockpot, which I love, but I liked how great this turned out in the oven with a lot less time than the crockpot requires. A very easy oven pulled pork recipe.
For the recipe go to BBQ Pulled Pork. (registration required)
Monday, April 9, 2012
This recipe has 12 ingredients. It takes 10 minutes of prep and 6 hours of cooking and makes 6 servings. I had no problems finding any of the ingredients at my local grocery store and made no ingredient modifications. As written this recipe was literally a disaster. The taste was bland and the texture of the onions was not pleasant. So here are my modifications. First off caramelize the onions before adding to the crockpot. This will help the onions to fully cook and greatly improve the texture. The actual curry sauce wasn't bad, but needed more flavor. I would suggest increasing the total amount of curry powder to 1 tablespoon. The worst part was the turkey breast. It was much better after it had sat in the fridge for a few days and soaked up more flavor. The flavor might be better if the turkey breast was marinated before going in the fridge overnight and then in the crockpot.
When I have a week of recipe disasters it almost makes me want to stop trying new recipes. Then I remember that the whole reason that I decided to start this blog was to help other people find new recipes to try. Along with that idea I want my readers to realize that not every recipe turns out perfect and what needs to be changed to make it better. This recipe didn't turn out well. My husband was great and ate his serving and then politely told me he would take something else for his lunch the next day. My two boys ate one bite and refused to have any more. So all-in-all this recipe requires some work.
For the recipe go to Indian-Spiced Turkey Breast. (registration required).
Thursday, April 5, 2012
- 1 1/4 cups Water
- 2 Tbsp. Honey
- 2 Tbsp. Canola Oil
- 2 cups Bread Flour
- 1 cup Whole Wheat Flour
- 1 1/2 tsp. Salt
- 1/3 cup Flaxseed
- 2 Tbsp. Sunflower Seeds
- 2 tsp. Active Dry Yeast
That's it! Flaxseeds are great in bread and everyone in my house loves this bread toasted. It's great with jam or melted butter.
Adapted from a recipe on the back of the Bob's Red Mill Flaxseed package.
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
After cleaning and trimming up your ramps, fry enough thick cut bacon (I love the maple cured variety) for the number of servings you are making. I normally make an entire package, if you've read my blog before you know that my family absolutely loves bacon and my husband would use bacon in absolutely everything if I let him.
Once everything is done, I plate the bacon, ramps and potatoes and enjoy! If you want an even stronger ramp flavor you can add minced ramps to the potatoes while they are frying. My two boys love their potatoes this way and they taste great! The most important thing to remember when using ramps is that the flavor is much stronger than leeks or green onions so a small amount goes a long way. Additionally, similar to garlic your pours will sweat out the ramps the next day after eating them, so warn everyone around you that's its ramp season. Or better yet make sure that they eat as many as you do!
Monday, April 2, 2012
This recipe has 9 ingredients (plus two optional). It takes 15 minutes of prep and 6 hours on high in the crockpot and makes 6 servings. I had no problems finding any of the ingredients, with the exception of one (the dried beans) at my local grocery store and I made no additional ingredient modifications. However, I did not use low sodium ham, I just used the regular ham steaks that I always buy since we would be much more likely to use the extra ham. As you can see from the photo, I was unable to find dried white cannellini beans, so I substituted dried regular white beans. For the crusty bread I made Irish Soda Bread, which worked perfectly as a side. Finally, I didn't slightly mas the beans, I liked the consistency of the soup as it was and I felt it unnecessary to add the chopped fresh parsley. I followed the remainder of the recipe as written.
Soups are the best way that I have found to make my family eat beans. They turn up their nose at plain cooked beans, but love them in soups. This recipe had a nice smoky flavor from the ham and made more than enough for my family of four for dinner, plus leftovers for lunch the next day. With 21 grams of protein this recipe is very healthy and only has 5 grams of fat so great for anyone watching their fat intake. Overall, another easy slow-cooker recipe with lots of flavor and a great way to add more beans to your family's diet.
For the recipe go to White Bean and Ham Soup.