Saturday, February 26, 2011

Cooking Kick

I think I'm finally breaking free from the blogging doldrums. George is keeping us busy and I will post more on him soon.

I have recently enjoyed trying a few new recipes. It's always fun to change up the menu in the Clark home. Here are some of my recent experiments:

White Chicken Enchiladas by Pioneer Woman
Grade: A (will definitely cook this again)
I made a large pan of these and split half for friends who just had a baby and the other half for us. We had about two servings left after consuming our half! This is a great recipe to make on the weekend and "eat on" during the week. The recipe calls for corn tortillas, but I used flour which were fine. The texture wasn't as rich as corn tortillas would be, but I already had flour tortillas in the fridge. Perhaps next time I will use corn. Also, next time I will use half and half instead of cream. I used a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store instead of boiling the chicken because I'm a mom now and I don't have time to boil, de-bone, skim fat, store broth, etc. I would have liked to have made some kind of Mexican rice on the side, but don't know of a good recipe. Suggestions are welcome! My husband isn't into spicy food, so this was great for him. I would have enjoyed more of a kick so maybe next time I'll add add salsa or jalapeno seeds. I'm also thinking mushrooms would be a nice addition to the sauce. Have you ever had the Queso Flameados at Cozymel's? The sauce tastes so much like that!

Zuppa Toscana from
Grade: A (will definitely cook this again)
Awesome soup. It's a knock-off of the Olive Garden soup that we love. I used regular bacon instead of bacon bits. Next time I'll put in more kale and use half and half instead of cream. David is already begging me to make it again!

Penne a la Betsy by Pioneer Woman
Grade: B- (take it or leave it)
Not great. We don't eat much seafood, so it was nice to have shrimp in the pasta. We had TONS of leftovers and I had no interest in eating it again. The taste wasn't bad, it was just bland and a little fishy. Since my experience of cooking seafood is limited to salmon on the grill or in the oven, I'm always suspicious of seafood and may be ultra sensitive to the smell. Are there rules for reheating seafood? I was afraid to keep the leftovers for too long because of the seafood factor. Am I crazy?  

Cheesy Corn Bites  from Rachael Ray mag and a favorite of my West Texas girlfriends
Grade: A+ (DYING to cook these right now)
So these are NOT healthy, but I think they make up for it in cuteness. Using the "Scoops" as mini bowls is my new favorite thing. I have heard of people making mini tacos this way, too. I imagine they would be great to serve with chili. I use the neufchatel cheese instead of cream cheese because it has fewer calories and tastes the same. The ingredients are always on hand in case we have guests. It's so quick, easy, and yummy. They're not so good re-heated though, I'll warn you. The shell gets all mushy.

With the warm weather reaching us in Lubbock (tomorrow the high is 81 degrees!), we're dusting off the grill and have plans to grill out all weekend. Which leads me to my next question, what is your stand-by hamburger recipe? What non-meat foods do you love to throw on the grill? 

My hamburger recipe is simple: Worcestershire sauce, cavender's seasoning, egg, bread crumbs, red pepper flakes, and a little bit of cheese. I'm wanting to try a more adventurous recipe, so pass yours along! Our typical non-meat grilling favorites include portabella mushrooms, corn on the cob (still in husks), and squash/zucchini. Again, I need more ideas to expand our repertoire!

I'm off to bed. I'm preparing for a sleepless night since tonight is the first time we've put him to bed without swaddling. He's been asleep for the last 2 hours. Hope he keeps it up! 

PS: We saw "Unknown" at the drive-in tonight. It was really bad. January Jones has never been worse. 


Toria and Kyle said...

Pioneer Woman has a delicious Mexican rice recipe you might like! Your little George is so adorable! Love the updates!

va4lvrs said...

I went and saw Unknown last weekend with the guy I've been dating. We also didn't like it much.

Looks like you're still cooking wonderful meals! I made beer bread today for a fondue get-together with friends. It's so easy! That's the kind of recipe for me! :)