Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Tales from the Trenches: Adventures in new recipes

So for the month, I've tried the pork with nutmeg, cloves, honey and elderberry jelly (subbed for cranberries.) Surprisingly, it wasn't overwhelmingly spiced, so I was happy. I was so happy that I used the frozen portion I had set aside for BBQ pork. A few weeks ago, I plunked it in a crock-pot with about 1/2 bottle of BBQ sauce, 1/2 bag of short cut carrots and let it cook until it was nice and moist. We had that for a couple of nights.

This past weekend, I decided to try my friend's chicken recipe. She places whole bone on/skin on breasts in the crock-pot, puts a can of Cream of Chicken soup on top, a cup of water, then vegetables on top of all that to cook. (I used fresh broccoli and carrots. I later put some frozen corn in.) The chicken was wonderful. Unfortunately, the dumplings I made to go with them failed. They ended up smooshy and floppy. They never firmed, but the ends were almost foamy. The aftertaste was dreadful. So, I'm going to hunt through the internet offerings to see if I can find a lovely recipe, though the "Rocking Chair Store" is a nice back seat option to have. Darn it! I want to make them myself! I've done it and they were wonderful. I need to compare my recipe (that I used before) to those on the internet to see what went wrong. All ingredients were fresh. The broth was to a rolling boil. My failure bugged me.

Onward. Rachael has a wonderful, easy dinner idea on her blog. Oh, look! I linked to it right here. Since it is just me and K- eating it, I'd probably be good to roll with 1/2 recipe. Rachael, you are rockin' that on parchment, right? It looks like a wonderful pairing to some soup.

I'd like to make this polenta recipe that was on 5 Minutes for Mom. What's funny is that I bought the sun dried tomatoes in Amish Country when I was there last, but didn't know what I would do with them. This is perfect! I may very well hold off until we go to Amish Country next month, so that I can purchase my coarse cornmeal there.

So, I'm trying. What's on the menu for the rest of the week? Well, I bought ground chicken for tacos. K- loves tacos and I would rather do a healthier version than what Taco Bell serves. So, speaking of healthier version, what do I do? Well, when I cook my chicken, I add some cooked rice and frozen corn. We use mozzarella cheese, as opposed to cheddar. (It's not that we don't have cheddar hanging out in the fridge, though. Orange cheese is K-'s favorite.) I tend to use the soft flour tortillas. K- knows that I plunk a hearty helping of refried beans down inside of the tortilla before the meat. Sometimes there is sour cream. Sometimes not. K- is quite an addict, though. Open a container of sour cream and girlfriend snarfs the whole thing.

Outside of that, dinner is kind of a toss-up this week. What's on the menu for your house? Maybe I can steal recipes! :)

Smiles in my day:
- Our little store pulled a lovely sum of cash on Saturday and boy did they unload a lot of Christmas items! Hooray!
- My lip is healing from the massive bit of chappedness it was suffering from last week. Sadly, my lip ended up getting fat and bleeding. All that because I forgot my chapstick all week long. Argh.
- K- and I are going to hoof it to school tomorrow. Hooray! My hips are excited, too! (They have been missing their workout.)
- We made it to 400 books on K-'s school log. The target book count to this point is 200, so we are way ahead of the game. Actually, we could stop at this point (we won't) and we would technically be on target for the rest of the year. And yes, that involved hours of reading today but that is okay. I should also add that it involved reading the book Stone Soup 3 different times.
- K- is doing very well with her Bob Books. She is doing a very nice job at working on sounding out words unknown to her. She doesn't get every word, but she is working on it and getting a good hunk of them. In fact, she read 8 Bob Books to me tonight as a part of her reading challenge.

My toasty bed is calling me. Have a wonderful day!


Dani said...

I'm always trying to find good, healthy new recipes. I love my crock-pot and have been trying to use it often. Some of our favorites are white chicken chili, a veggie soup with tortellini, and shredded chicken for tacos. Good luck with your new recipes.

Bailey's Leaf said...

I did the crock-pot fest back in September and a few of those recipes were in there, too. I have a rockin' recipe for white chicken chili from the church secretary. Yum!


Rach said...

Yup, I've become a parchment paper junkie. This keeps the gunk that inevitably leaks from inside the pastry from gluing it to the baking sheet.

We have a WONDERFUL shredded chicken, soft taco recipe. I'll have to share it. :o)

GO K on the book front. That is AMAZING!!!