Justin & Meredith Winokur's Kitchen Cooking Notebook

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Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole


I (attempted) to make Chicken Cordon Bleu but I have always been frustrated with flattening it. In the past, would butterfly the breasts and then flatten more. If I didn't cut well or even if it did, it often would not come out very good.

This time, I decided to try to flatten then cut. But, I think I got over-zealous (as you can see in the first picture) and it was a bit destroyed. I decided I needed a different approach.

I cut the chicken into small bits and, the next day, I made a casserole (of sorts). I dredged the chicken in seasoned flour and pan-fried/sauteed the pieces. I then layered it on the bottom of a pan and layed ham and swiss on top with dijon mustard. For the next layer, I did the same but made sure the cheese was on top so it could melt. I sprinked some panko and baked at 375° for 15 minutes.

I wouldn't say it is my preffered way to make this, but I thought it was a good save!

We served it with some frozen grilled cauliflower. It was slightly better than had we done cauliflower ourselves but not amazing.

Lentil Veggie Bowls


Meredith made roasted vegetables and lentils as an easy lunch and/or backup meal. Her (slighly edited) notes:

Carrots: manav’s mom’s masala + ground ginger.
Beets: zaatar.
Cauliflower: curry powder + salt.

Roasted everything at 425° for about 40-45 min.

Delicata Squash: Same temp. Don’t remember the spices on that. Maybe just garlic powder and salt? I actually may not have spiced the squash at all.

Lentils: cooked for about 15 min with a little better than bouillon.

Served everything over a handful of power greens with a healing spoonful of eggplant hummus and a drizzle of tahini. Later served with a scoop of ricotta.

Meatball Marsala


I made Meatball Marsala again baking the meatballs. I actually prepped them on Sunday, baked them, and had them ready to go which made it a lot easier.

For both the meatballs and the sause, I used half and half in place of milk (for the meatballs) and cream (fro the sauce). I also did two eggs and went slightly heavy on the breadcrumbs for the meatballs since I had 1.4 oz of meat (and it was lean turkey, not chicken).

I again did it with a mix of spiralized butternut squash (1 min in the microwave) and Zucchette.


Prepped on Sunday

Roasted Gnocchi


I made roasted gnocchi with that same recipe. It really was super simple. I did it with three (as opposed to the called-for two) peppers and roasted it for about 25 minutes. We should make this more often since it is so easy!

Banana-Pumpkin Bread


Meredith made a mixed banana-pumpkin bread. She used the regular banana bread with the following notes:

She liked it but is interested to do an all pumpkin version

Lasagna Soup


Lasagna Soup. Really good but a bit too salty this time.

Soy Chorizo and Cauliflower


Our semi-standard Soy Chorizo and Cauliflower except we didn't have capers. I did do (most) of half a red onion.

Served with some green chile bread from Trader Joes

Pretty easy and good.

Tacos and Brussel Sprouts


I made (semi) boring tacos. For the meat, I first sauteed half a large onion plus two zucchinis. I then added seperatly-browned lean ground beef and did the taco-seasoning + water mixture.

I made mustard brussel sprout hash with the other half an onion. I sauteed it and deglazed as needed with white wine. I then added brussel sprouts and let that go for a while before adding mustard.

Roasted Gnocchi


Roasted Gnocchi

Singapore Noodles


Singapore Noodles using tofu and more spices like last time. I tried to use more salt but it still tasted like it needed more. It also wasn't as good this time but I am not sure what, if anything, I did differently or changed.

Pumpkin Biscotti



My Dad's biscotti recipe is very flexible but I wasn't sure about adding pumpkin puree and not changing anything (especially the oil/fat content). So I picked ten recipes from Google. Basically, any recipe that was not some special diet (e.g. low carb), and actually had pumpkin. Actually, I pikced roughly the top nine and then found The Kitchn's


See the excel sheet for more

A few clear notes:

So, looking at my dad's recipe, it is already very high fat and low sugar. So, with all of that, I think the conclusion is that looking at other recipes did not help at all! So, I will go with 1/3 cup oil (instead of 1/2, 33% reduction). And I will use 2/3 cup pumpkin.

As for spice levels, I think I will use 2 tsp pumpkin spice. The Kitchn uses 1 tsp cinnomen, 1/2 nutmeg, 1/4 clove and ginger. And King Arthur uses 1-1/4

(Also, the cups to weight conversion is way off from King Authur's. But I care most about grams.)


I followed my plans except maybe a bit heavy on the nuts. I think the end result was tasty but still lacked the pumpkin flavor. I do not think adding more actual pumpkin is the answer but maybe more pumpkin spice. Or more of something to give it that flavor.

I am also not too happy with the big air pockets. My dad thinks it may be from the pumpking changing the texture but I do not know

Taco Stew


I made standard taco stew except I went heavy on the zucchini (and updated the recipe to note that you can). I do not think I did anything special but it did come out really good!

Simple Turkey Tacos


We had turkey originally for something else but decided to go for easier. I sautéed an onion and then did the taco seasoning with tomatoes. We served it with some defrosted (and freezer burned...yuk!) flat bread.

Hasselback Delicata


Meredith tried hasselback delicata from Lifehacker (LOCAL). I think she followed the recipe pretty closely but may have more-than-par cooked them and had trouble not slicing all the way through. I liked the sauce though maybe it was a tad sweet.

Lasagna Soup


I made lasagna soup. It wasn't as good as usual/last time which we think may be because I actually remembered the mushrooms. Next time we will skip them (intentionally) and see. Also, the sausage from Sprouts, which is our usual, seemed less flavorful (and lighter colored)

Stuffed Mushroom Casserole


Meredith found a Stuffed Mushroom Casserole (LOCAL) recipe that is intended to be a side-dish. We modified it slightly to be a full meal by adding a pound of chicken (for four servings). I diced up chicken tenders, tossed them with seasoned flour, and sauteed them.

My full changes are:

It actually came out really, really good. My only real complaint was the mozzerella cheese stuck to some parts better than others so it wasn't well mixed. But it was nice and easy!

Rough Calories


Item Approx. Calories
Chicken 750
Butter (4 tbsp) 400
Mozzarella + Parm 400
Panko 260
--- ---
total 1810

or ~450/serving. Not too bad!