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I made green chile enchilada lasagna similar to 2016-11-01 and 2016-10-12. I still think the latter was my favorite (with a mix of red and green) but this was certainly better than last time. I used a whole onion and then added a thing of frozen bell peppers and onions. They let out a lot of water which was kind of annoying. I did use that as an excuse to add some better than bouillon. I also used salt, pepper, garlic powder, and cumin (just for Meredith). Finally, I added a ton of 505 Green Chile (not sauce, just the peppers) and some lite cheese
I also steamed about 1-1/2 lbs of chicken tenders (with a bit of salt and pepper) for 8 minutes and then shredded them. I added it to the onion mixture.
I layered it as tortilla, chicken mix, more green chile, and some lite cheese. I did two of these. Another change was that I covered it so it didn't get as dried out. I baked it at 350°F for ~18 minutes.
Another of our typical Meredith Meals that we like to do on some Fridays.
Not pictured above is that Meredith also made guacamole. It wasn't her usual one with being really heavy on green onion and jalapeno and no lime or tomato. Still, it was pretty good.
On the tray, we had:
Lots of cheese! Pretty good and a fun snack-style meal.
Meredith and I wanted to make a dinner that was a bit nicer than something we would do during the week but also not go too crazy. I did a bit of googleing and we came up with making Chicken Cordon Bleu and roasted potatoes.
For the chicken, I very loosely followed this Betty Crocker recipe (Local 1). We bought 2 breast for about 1.25 pounds of chicken2 and flattened it out as best I could. I did some salt and peper on both sides. I then spread some dijon mustard on followed by lacy (low fat) swiss and (low sodium) ham. As seen in the pictures below, we then added fresh chives (forgot before) but we ended up moving them down to the mustard layer.
I rolled them up as best I could and used a toothpick to hold it. We made an egg wash of 1 whole egg and a bit of water. I then took panko bread crumbs and broke it up and bit before adding salt, pepper, and hot-but-not-smoked paprika.
I put it in the oven at 375°F (+convection) originally for 27 minutes but ended up adding another 20 (47 total) since I kept getting some low temp readings (as well as high-temp ones. I was confused). In the end, I think it was fully cooked and wasn't too dried out. We cut them in half and saved two servings for lunches. The flavors were really good though. And, one of them came out really pretty as you can see in the photo below.
I also really liked having the mustard it in there. I am glad I read that addition.
At Thanksgiving, my mom made super delicious potatoes. They had a great texture with a crisp outside and a creamy center. It turns out she used canned potatoes. I was a bit surprised, but I think that was really the key. They were essentially par-cooked already.
I decided that I am comfortable using canned tomatoes all the time; why not canned potatoes. We used two cans of whole potatoes and tossed them with 1.5 Tbsp of melted butter. We used some Emril's Cajun Essence and Penzeys' Roasted garlic powder. I originally was going to do 40 min at 375°F (+convection) but since I had to let the chicken keep going, I ended up at an hour. I had tossed them every once in a while to keep them from burning.
They came out really good. Maybe not as good as my Mom's but still had a nice texture. And I want to explore using canned potatoes for other things.
I made the kimchi fried rice like last time based off of the same recipe. I followed the recipe for the general guide, but we used a lot of vegetables.
We had most of a bag (1 lbs?) of snow peas and then also a handful of sugar-snap peas. I also sautéed a bag (1 lbs) of mushrooms with the 1/2 block of pressed tofu at the beginning. I also added 1 Tbsp of butter.
We liked it. More complex than last time which may be the butter or having used a different kimchi. I also added a bit of extra juice from the kimchi for extra spice.
The rice was one of the extra things we froze last time which worked well.
Meredith did most of the work with this. She used the same recipe except we thinly sliced the pepper instead of spiralizing and used a tiny bit of frozen corn and also added a jalapeño.
We liked it a lot, but maybe next time we will double the spices (except paprika) like last time
Below is a picture of it with the cheese.
We made brussel sprout hash. Meredith made it last time but I made it this time so things were a bit different.
I started by cutting and rendering out about 1/2 a pack of center-cut bacon (6 slices or so). I let it render, took out the bacon and poured it out. I also drained the bacon on a paper towel a bit.
I sautéed up half an onion until it was browning and then I added the brussel sprouts (with a tiny bit of the bacon fat back in). As it was cooking, I added a bunch of dijon mustard. I kind of kept going bit by bit with the mustard and also added salt as I went. When I could, I would deglaze it with white wine.
I wish I kept better track of how much mustard I used because it was really good, but oh well. I certainly went heavy on it since Meredith said she missed the flavor of it last time despite using it.
Like I said, it came out really well. I would make it again. It was also pretty easy.
I also roasted delicata squash. It was a bit old and you could tell, but I still liked it.
A very quick breaksfast. I baked the bacon at 350°F (convection) for about 18 minutes and then let had them on paper towel. Meredith made some fried eggs with green chile.
Not much else to say. Easy and fast breakfast.
We made our regular Patatas Bravas. Meredith made the sauce, though it came out really spicy.
The new thing was trying to use canned potatoes. It was had to find the diced ones but we eventually found them. We really liked them on 2016-12-03 so we decided to try diced. I drained, rinsed, and dried them (with the salad spinner), then tossed them with oil. I used some smoked paprika and a tiny bit of salt (though they are really salty already so I went light). I was worried they wouldn't come out very good since they all stuck on the tray, but I think they worked fine. They had a similar texture to the full-sized ones. Sure enough, they had a nice crunch with some creamy interior.
I ended up doing them at 375°F (on convection) for 45 minutes.
Once the sauce was done (Meredith followed the recipe but it was super spicy) we topped it and then put on a fried egg.
The potatoes alone:
(I only took a photo of it before cooking)
Meredith and I made Rosemary Shortbread for our respective work pot-lucks. We used the same recipe (with rosemary) as the first time (and our unsuccessful last time). We used fresh rosemary from the garden.
We doubled the recipe which was a bit of work but it eventually came together.
I do not know if it needed more rosemary of what, but we didn't think it was as good. It wasn't bad per se, but didn't have the strong, earthy flavor we liked so much before. Also, I think it needed to be cooked a tad bit longer.
We again tried like last time to roll it out and slice it (and baked it on silpats) but thankfully, it didn't spread out as much!
We also skipped the egg wash and sugar on top. I do not think that made too much of a difference but Meredith liked how it looked more without it.
Not much to this. Our standard roasted cauliflower with soy chorizo. I tossed cauliflower with some oil and smoked paprika. Once it was roasted for about 30 min at 400°F (with convection). Meredith then heated up about half of a pack of soy chorizo with a bit of oil and capers (plus juice).
It was quick and easy!
I didn't really make this but I wanted to record this. I found the above at Costco and decided to give it a try for lunch prep.
I followed what they said and did it in the slower cooker for about 12 hours on low with water to just cover it. (Fat side up).
After it was cooked, I trimmed the fat off as much as possible and cut it up/shredded it. It made only about 1 to 1-1/4 lbs of meat. (I ate a bunch while bagging it). I then froze two potions of it. I am kind of surprised how much cooked off and/or was cut off with the fat.
What I ate of it (which was probably way too much) was really good. I don't really get credit since it was mostly store made. But it kind of makes me want to try to make it myself (and maybe with sous vide)
I made what has become something of a common meal for us. It's just so simple. I did the same basic thing as 2016-11-02. I roasted 2 lbs of halved brussel sprouts on preheated pan at 450°F (face down) for 22-1/2 minutes. This was reduced from last time and I think it was close to right. Maybe about just 20 minutes next time.
I then tossed them with some Trader Joes Korean BBQ sauce (pictured below) along with 1/2 a pack of super firm tofu and then tossed them back in the oven for another 5 minutes. I tried to use a minimal amount of the sauce since it isn't ver healthy.
Still, it was pretty good. Quick, easy, and pretty healthy
I made Ramen Rice Krispies again. There really wasn't too much to it including us doubling the butter as we now say in the recipe (though I am going to change it to 6-8 Tbsp). The other thing was I figured I could mix the furikake into dry ingredients and that worked well and made life easier.
I ate a few while putting them away and I liked them as usual. I do think we should change the butter to 6 Tbsp since I am afraid they will all stick by the time we serve them.
I really like this recipe since it is kind of odd but also tasty.
Meredith and I made Armadillo Eggs, one of her favorite christmas foods from home. We made them for a potluck later in the week.
It is basically stuffed pickled jalapeños surrounded by maple sausage.
Meredith's Mom wrote up some instructions HERE (but we're not sure about the times and temp).
We followed that pretty closely. It was kind of hard to do and took a two pounds of sausage to cover the jalapeños from the one can. I think we did it pretty well and close to the recipe though we had to cook it for much longer.
We did the 250°F for the hour and then turned it up to 300°F and had to do another 40 minutes for it to look done (all on convection).
Some of them seemed to explode a bit. We may have not done a good job with cutting them and/or sealing them. Or, it may have to do with trying neufchatel instead of cream cheese.
We had been doing a lot of cooking and we were kind of tired so we went with something fast. We had defrosted a thing of chicken sausage already. I cut up about 1-1/2 lbs of Broccolini and then stir-fried it with some salt, pepper and then, once more cooked, some Penzeys Fox Point plus garlic powder. I then threw in 4 chopped up chicken sausages.
I liked it a lot and it was a good amount of food that was pretty healthy.
Meredith and I had to make a salad for a work party. We were actually told ot make for 40 people! So we doubled our usual Pomegranate and Wild Rice Salad with Walnuts and Feta. But we had planned to be at two other parties before this one (one was canceled). So we prepped everything ahead of time and split it up to assemble at the party.
We used 2 cups of dry rice -- a mix of brown and wild. We also ended up cooking it for too long since we lost track of the timer, but they were fine.
The rest was pretty standard. There was a good amount of dressing and it came out pretty good, as usual.
Meredith and I decided at the last minute to make Divinity. Ok, so last year I said I didn't want to use this recipe again, but since it was so last minute and a lot of the other recipes seemed similar or were "cheater" recipes (e.g. uses marshmallow fluff), so we went with it.
But, I did listen to my last-year self and used silpats. That made all the difference! They were sticky and annoying but they also easy enough for us to take them off the tray.
Other changes were:
While, we haven't tried them after sitting (I'll come back and update if I have to) but we liked them a lot. The vanilla flavor was missed but I still thought these were (a) the easiest and (b) still pretty good.
Note that we let it go a full five minutes from the time we finished adding the sugar. The mixer seemed to really struggle but it made it through.
By the way, we had tried some store-bought Divinity and it had the texture of some of our other batches that we thought was bad. Maybe that is the correct texture?
Again, we will see how they hold up over time.
(see the food picture below)
Meredith and I made carrot soup from our home-grown carrots! We had a ton of them as you can see in the photos. Our original plan was to not roast them but we changed our minds since they were a bit bitter. We chopped them up and roasted them at 400°F (+ convection) for 45 minutes or so. We then boiled them with an onion, Better Than Boullion, and some salt.
After blending them all, we thought it was lacking in flavor still. We added:
At first, Meredith thought we went too heavy on the apple cider vinegar (though I liked it still) but after it sat for two days, the flavors really mellowed.
We served it with some toast and leftover Armadillo Eggs and topped it with Sriracha and Diablo sauce. I wouldn't say it was the best carrot soup ever, but it was still really good. It really tasted like carrots! And we grew them!