It’s Fall Y’all

Fall has hit me full force. I pulled out my good Swedish Lutheran roots and cooked up a full midwestern chili dinner. And no chili dinner can’t be complete without cinnamon rolls!

I slipped some of my husband’s smoked brisket from the freezer into the chili for a bit of a smoky twist. It turned out delicious and carbtastic.

I have no idea why my family of four (two of which are small children) needed a full pot of chili and an entire pan of cinnamon rolls. But hey, it got us all in the fall mood and we have leftovers for the whole week.

Happy eating!!

Fancy Steak Night

My culinary adventures are continuing with Home Chef this week. This week included Steak Au Poive.

I over roasted the mushrooms and didn’t quite get the onions caramelized. But the sirloin was cooked to perfect medium rare and the sauce was on POINT.

This one had very few leftovers and got a huge thumbs up from the hubby and one child. The second child was tired and crabby so I’m not counting that vote. I really like that these recipes tell me how long I can procrastinate with them in the fridge. Super helpful for a working mom!

Happy Cooking!!

Green Chef Last Hurrah

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!!

FO Friday: New Meal Experiences

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.

Happy Friday!!

Dinner Rolls Take Two

Happy Carbohydrate Friday! (I’m pretending its a thing during this crazy time)

I decided to take another run at dinner rolls in my bread machine. My last attempt was okay but I knew I could do better. I did some internet searches and landed on the Bread Machine Dinner Rolls on the Betty Crocker website.

The dough came together nicely. I managed to make more reasonably sized dinner rolls that were almost all the same size. The batch made 15 rolls and they raised nicely. I think I need to space them a little better during their second proofing.

The rolls taste and texture were a VAST improvement form my first try. This recipe is definitely a keeper. I printed it and put it inside my bread machine cookbook. My family quickly gobbled these with a bit of butter and peach jam.

Happy Baking!

Should Have Done This Sooner

I have continued my carbohydrate craze this week and tried something new….pizza dough in my bread machine. And y’all…I should have done this sooner!

My mom got me this great book on bread machine bread. Its really comprehensive and has helped me make really successful bread. But that is all I have ever made.

Jellybean and I needed a project this week so we decided to make homemade pizza. I pulled out the book and used the machine to make one batch of regular crust and on batch of whole wheat crust. It was SOOO EASY. The machine does all the hard work and when it’s done you can cook it right away, store in the fridge for 24 hours or store in the freezer for 3 months.

As a working mom who handles most of the cooking I feel like this has opened up a whole new world for dinner options. My family gets home between 5 and 5:30 and everyone is hungry, especially the kids. I can’t take an hour to cook dinner or there will be meltdowns. It’s just how it is with our littles right now and I know it will change when they get older. But as it stand now, during the week I have to plan meals that can come together quickly.

So holy cow, I can make up dough the night before and put fresh rolls, homemade pizza or whatever else I can think of in the oven for a few minutes when I get home. This has kind of fired up my cooking mojo and maybe I can shake up our recipe rut a little this spring.

What is your favorite (and quick) thing to do with basic dough?

Planning Makes My Brain Happy

I have my planner and my go to crock pot cookbook….I’m ready to take on this busy week. I am really liking the meal planner insert and I’m using the pages to keep of what I accomplish instead of what I have to get done. It’s been empowering in a time of high stress. I am really enjoying my planner and color coding so far in 2020.

Tonight’s recipe is meatloaf and mashed potatoes magically all cooked in my instant pot and waiting for me when the family gets home tonight. It takes some prep time the night before but really the Instant Pot does all the heavy lifting. And bonus, if I call it “Meatloaf Cake” then my kids gobble it up.

Now I need to plan out the rest of the week! Happy Cooking!!

Multitasking Working Mom

No finished object this Friday. Just a mom battling a cold and trying to feed her family. I’m over germs and I’m ready for spring air and open windows. Today is brought to you by Hamburger helper and knitting while I “cook”. After a full day at work, blowing my nose 1,100 times this was the best I could muster. And Jellybean declared it “THE BEST DINNER EVER” because it takes like macaroni and cheese.

P.S. This is my mini solutions scarf. I’ll try to do a better blog post next week if I can manage. I’m on the fifth color and you guys really need to see this. It’s amazeballs!!

Happy Knitting!!

What’s Cooking: Beef Ragu

I decided to use up some stew beef that had been kicking around my fridge this weekend.

I googled a simple Beef Ragu recipe from the web that was designed to work in my instant pot. I didn’t have all the ingredients exactly so I winged it. It was pretty tasty looking going in…Then upon arrival home I found a steamy pot of deliciousness waiting for me. ~ Side note…A LOT of beef fat had floated to the top. I skimmed it off before shredding the meat you see below~
We didn’t have the right shape of pasta but penne seemed to do nicely.

All in all, it was tasty. The beef was rich, soft and shredded nicely. My toddler turned up his nose but the hubby liked it just fine. I found that it would have been spectacular with something salty to balance the sweet carrots and beef. Maybe some nice shaved parm?? Next time….

Happy Cooking!

Best of Intentions

I decided to pull out a recipe from my new cookbook for the Instant Pot. I picked the breakfast casserole because I had all the ingredients and it sounded yummy. Basically it’s a steamed egg casserole with spinach, bacon, sausage, cheese, hash browns and seasonings. This is what it looked like before:

I ended up having to cook it for an extra 6 minutes to get the eggs to set and then despite liberal lubrication this is how it came out of the bowl….

I dumped it onto a cookie sheet, added some extra cheese and broiled for several minutes to finish it off. Now it was extremely tasty and loved by toddler and adult alike. Just not very pretty….

The bacon helped to soothe my cooking wounds. Happy Cooking!!