I snapped this photo a week or so ago. I was soaking in the last heat wave before temperatures started falling towards more Midwestern Fall appropriate range. We had a week of 95 degree plus temperatures and I was melting outside with the kids as they swang and swam merrily along.
I decided to do a little self care after the kids went to bed I headed back to the kiddie pool with wine, a good true crime podcast and SOLITUDE. I spent 45 minutes floating and watching the sunset. No one was screaming “MOMMY!!” or climbing all over me. I may have scared the neighbors with my true crime obsession but I came out the other side much more relaxed.
This last week was our last hurrah with Green Chef. We liked their environmentally friendly business models and it was super easy to make all the recipes. But they just didn’t knock our socks off on a regular basis flavor wise. And for what they ended up costing it just turned out to not bet a good fit for our family. The kids basically hated all of the dishes except for the burgers.
We gave it one last hurrah with the Japanese Fritters with veggies and rice. Basically rice with edamame and ginger, seasoned broccoli and cabbage fritters with siracha aoili.
I will have to say, this was a definite hit. It was savory and spicy but still fresh tasting. Both the hubby and I said we would most definitely do this again. For a meatless dinner it was very filling. And it looked very good plated up.
Next up in our food adventures is Home Chef. The recipes appear to be more kid friendly and more affordable. Our first week includes Spicy Crispy Boom Boom Shrimp….my mouth is watering!!
Our garden has dwindled down to just one jalapeno plant and one bell pepper plant. We are pretty satisfactorily neglecting both but they seem to be putting out a bumper crop. I filled this bowl in one picking.
We decided to make jalapeno poppers with this go around to see how hot they are. I am just going to slice them open and put in some seasoned cream cheese and wrap the whole situation in bacon. The hubby and I plan to bake half and air fry half to see what happens. We are in a ‘wing it’ kind of mood.
This week in Green Chef adventures was the Italian Sausage Puttanesca and spicy roasted broccoli. It plated up very well and looked great. But the results were mixed in my opinion.
The flavor was good and recipe was super easy. I loved the broccoli but I could have taken or left the pasta sauce. The hubby and I decided we don’t like olives and if we make this again we would keep the capers and leave off the olives. And then I don’t really care for sausage in the first place so its not my favorite. But the hubby really enjoyed the sausage.
It was a nice a change of pace and stretched my comfort zone. Which is exactly what I was looking for to shake up our mealtimes. I think we are going to do one more delivery from this company and then maybe try a different service.
Quarantine life is really starting to have an effect on me. I got a wild hair at 7 pm on a weeknight that I wanted to see if I could actually make cheesecake in my instant pot like I keep seeing on social media. I just so happened to have all the ingredients, so in the midst of bedtime preparation for the littles I pulled a recipe off the internet and got to work. It mixed up well and was super easy to get in the cooker.
What I didn’t expect was how “poofy” the cake was when I pulled it out of the cooker. I thought for sure I ruined it. The filling had over spilled and made a cheesy volcano. But I set it out to cool and walked away.
When I came back an hour later I noticed it had receded into something more resembling an actual cheesecake. We let it rest overnight in the fridge and then the family promptly DEVOURED the entire thing. The flavor was very good. I think I need to work on my filling texture and how much to fill the pan. We all voted that this was something we would do again.
PB didn’t much care for the filling and just liked the crust. But Jellybean had a ball experimenting with different toppings. He settled on caramel sauce as the best option. I can’t blame him!
As I usually am, I’m late to the quarantine meal deliver service party. I just got a wild hair to spice up our dinner time meals and on a whim I signed up for Green Chef when someone passed me their coupon code. I do a pretty good job mixing up the recipes I cook on a regular basis but I find myself wanting to try new things more now than ever.
Our first meal was rosemary roasted chicken with a kale, potato and fig “salad”. It was tasty but even more fun to stretch my culinary brain a bit. My husband and I both agreed the salad was a hit and would definitely make again. Maybe just not with figs.
I even did my best to plate the food in an appealing manner. I think it ended up pretty darn cute. The salad was even better the next day after the potatoes had absorbed the vinaigrette flavor. I think we may stick this out for a couple of months to see if we can put some new flavors and techniques into our routine.
Our current temperature in Kansas is roughly the surface of the sun with like 1,000% humidity. So why wouldn’t I want to haul out all my canning supplies and heat up my kitchen? I was having some anxiety related to world events and general unrest so I felt the need to make something. That feeling turned into one batch of strawberry rhubarb jam, two batches of blackberry jam, two batches of peach jam and one batch of strawberry jam.
Jellybean helped me off and on saying that he “didn’t like the hot and sticky parts”. Which we all know is almost the whole process. He did like how dark and ruby colored the blackberries cooked down into. All this fruit, except for the strawberries, was homegrown from my families gardens. To me this gave me a grounded feeling and a connection to people I can’t visit right now.
This project did make me feel a bit better. I did have a tiny bit of frustration when my peach jam didn’t set and I had to haul all the supplies back out to re-cook and add more pectin. But the re-do process did seem to work. Now I have some jelly stores for the next year and enough to give as gifts this holiday season.
We spent what we hope was a responsibly safe 4th of July with my parents. We kind of have made our own little “bubble” and see few people but each other up close and within breathing distance. Everyone in my family is getting really good at cleaning…even the littles. And we stayed up WAAAAY too late shooting big fireworks and chasing fireflies.
So Sunday morning, after the 4th of July, I found myself awake with PB with the rest of the house was snoozing. So PB and I raided the fridge to make breakfast. Being good hearty Midwestern folk I made a well rounded country breakfast. I turned leftover baked potato into hash browns, used up the last of the sausage gravy, cooked off some thick sliced bacon and fried a perfect medium egg in butter.
Jellybean looked at me this week and said “we should make cookies”. And I said why not! So here is more gratuitous quarantine baking content.
We made pretty standard cookies except for Jellybean insisted on adding the whole bag of chocolate chips. He then put fork marks in them like peanut butter cookies because why not? He also squished the completely flat. So we have very nice and crisp cookies.
They lasted all of 3 days. But to be fair I only baked 1/2 the dough and froze the other half or another baking day. I hope future Rachelle enjoys the work of past Rachelle, lol.