Saturday, December 28, 2013

What's been cooking...

I've been cooking a lot these days, and I've had some pretty good success as of late.

A few secret weapons…
Enamel Cast Iron Dutch Oven
I picked this up at yard sale for $10 (yeah), and it is a cooking GAME CHANGER.  If you have Kohl's cash/coupons/see it on sale, get one (or dream big and plan well for Le Creuset).  Everything I make in this thing comes out ridiculously good.

Kitchen aid stand mixer
Aside from the obvious baking I use it for, it shreds chicken like no other.  Put chicken in warm with the paddle attachment and yay!  Perfectly shredded chicken.

Better than Boullion
Confession--I use this in almost every soup that I make when getting the base going.  It is SO good, and not a nutritional train wreck.  I keep a chicken and a beef jar in my fridge at all times.  But don't buy it from Amazon.  It's about $4-$5 at Publix/Kroger.

Okay, the successes:
*And these are all iPhone pics, sorry about the quality.

Look at all the color on that plate!
I made a full Thanksgiving meal,and I'm proud of how it turned out.  I'm even more proud that I only used (TOTAL) a stick or so of butter.  I made a roasted turkey breast, sautéed green means and mushrooms, bread stuffing, sweet potato soufflé, and homemade cranberries.  My favorites were the sweet potatoes and the cranberries, as evident by this leftover:

Cranberry stuffed french toast
I need more of this right now.
The cranberries, oh the cranberries.  They were SO SO good, and SO easy (fresh cranberries, OJ, apple juice, a little honey).   The day of after T-giving I did binner (breakfast for dinner) and made french toast with a cream cheese filling and of course the berries.


Cast ironmaking an appearance!  My roux wasn't perfect (I didn't want to use a lot of butter so it suffered), but man this stuff was good.  

Shrimp Boats

More summery than wintery, but oh well.  I diced up some shrimp, avocado and red onion, and made a homemade dressing (isn't shaking dressings in a mason jar so fun?  Only I get a kick out of that?  Okay.)

Chicken Pot Pie (CPP)

CPP has always intimidated me, but no more.  This was SO easy.  I boiled and shredded a chicken breast with salt, pepper, and oregano, then mixed the chicken with corn, peas, lima beans, and a can of reduced sodium/no fat cream of chicken soup, made up my own bisquick (if I was using the soup I had to do what I could to salvage the rest), bake at 400 and BAM.  Happy parties all around.


Lunch Menu:  Jingle juice, spinach artichoke dip (easiest to make, tastiest to eat), shrimps, and sugar cookies.

Dinner Menu:  Honey baked ham, crescent rolls, homemade mac-n-cheese, homemade mashed potatoes, green beans, and peas.  Mint brownies for dessert.

I'm not the biggest mashed potato fan, but I am the biggest mac-n-cheese fan (see portion on my plate in comparison to portion of mashed potatoes).  Since I made, you know, family sized portions for two people (go figure!), I am going to freeze and use the excess potatoes in the future on a turkey shepherds pie, and the mac-n-cheese I'm going to mix with tuna and peas into a casserole.  The mint brownies will be gifted at work.

...and these menus are why I ran 8 miles on Christmas Day.

1 comment:

  1. I cannot believe you found that at a yard sale for $10! What a deal!