Monday, September 27, 2010

The Food You Crave


I have to admit that I have put-off starting the new cookbook (The Food You Crave, by Ellie Krieger) for the cookbook club because I was scared that the food was going to taste like typical healthy food (i.e. mortar board). And really, how am I supposed to follow-up the PW with healthy food?! Since school is back in session & structure has returned, I decided to suck-it-up & try it out. I can honestly say that I was pleasantly surprised. Even coming in with a negative outlook & looking for something to be wrong, I still found the recipes really delicious.
To wrap-up the summer I made the Salmon with Sweet & Spicy Rub & the Tomatoes with Green Goddess Dressing. For the salmon I baked it instead of grilling because Phil wasn’t home (I don’t grill without him close by; I’m too dangerous with a grill). I think baking it was fine, but I bet it would have been a million times better on the grill. Despite the name, we didn’t think it was all that spicy; next time I will probably add a lot more spice to it. Typically, I hesitate to cook fish because of the fishy taste & smell, but that wasn’t an issue with this dish. For the tomato salad I used spinach instead of romaine. Side bar- I think I must to have been the last person on earth to learn about Green Goddess dressing, but I really liked it! I doubled the recipe for salads throughout the week & omitted the tarragon (the recipe just called for way too much). This was an awesome summer meal; I wish I had made it sooner.
Another night last week I made the Maple-Mustard Chicken Thighs & the Smashed Potatoes with Sour Cream & Chives. These potatoes were nowhere close to the PW’s mashed potatoes but were still pretty good & definitely a healthier choice. I did omit the chives, just because I didn’t have any, otherwise I would have added it. The chicken was unique. It wasn’t bad at all, it just had a very unique flavor. I think my favorite part of the chicken was the few required ingredients & the 2-minute prep time. Chocolate Cherry-Almond Biscotti- If you’re like me, & notorious for not being able to guesstimate measurements well, you need a kitchen ruler for this recipe. If you over-estimate then it doesn’t bake through well & if you under-estimate, it will break. So my best advice is bringing a ruler into the kitchen. I used cranberries instead of cherries, Cadbury dark chocolate (not the best quality, but a couple steps up from Kroger brand), omitted the orange zest, used regular whole-wheat flour, & didn’t chop the almonds too finely (don’t you think almonds look prettier when you can see them?). I thought the biscotti was really great & went fantastic with my morning cappuccino!
Sweet & Spicy Grilled Cheese Sandwich- This is one sophisticated grilled cheese sandwich. While I did like the idea of making this traditional sandwich a little more novel, I didn’t really like this specific twist. I didn’t feel like the caramelized onions & the pepper jack cheese were a good combination. In Martha Stewart Living (October) there is an article with a bunch of recipes for dressing-up the traditional grilled cheese. I think I will try merging some of those options with this one & see what I get.
Mango Lassi- Apparently I’m not a fan of mangos, & Phil, who does like mangos, didn’t like this drink either. Unfortunately, we just did not like this drink at all; we couldn’t even finish the one glass that we were sharing :-\ Phil picked Chicken Marsala Tetrazzini from my SL magazine for dinner last night & we both really liked it. Never having cooked with marsala, it was certainly a challenge especially since I didn’t even know where to find it in the grocery store (FYI- it’s in the condiments aisle). hehe
Ok those were my new recipes from last week. Of course, I’ll let you know how this week goes in the kitchen!

4 comments:

Sara said...

How do the rest of the recipes in the cookbook look? I'm attempting the"domestic almost-wife" thing and my food seems to be to plain for Jordan. I know he likes more veggies and more flavor. Unless I have a recipe I'm not very good at comping up with things on my own (outside of my normal chicken tenders, tacos, pasta). Do you think this cookbook has enough variety for Jordan, but easy enough for me?

Phil and Darby Hawley said...

The Ellie cookbook is the healthiest cookbook I have ever used, which has its pros and cons. The Barefoot Contessa one had a lot of unique (and expensive) ingredients, but had a lot of traditional mid-atlantic recipes. So far the Pioneer Woman has been my favorite (and Phil’s favorite) cookbook, but of course it isn’t that healthy for you. I think all 3 of these have a lot of variety though. My other go-to staples are Paula Deen and of course my role model (with the exception of the jail-time of course) Martha Stewart. If Jordan likes more veges then he might like the Ellie one. I got mine from Amazon for only a few bucks. Actually, if you really want to test the waters before purchasing, all of the chefs I mentioned have recipes on their websites. And also, Allrecipes.com is an awesome website for recipes too; if nothing else it offers cooking inspiration. I can’t wait to hear about your new venture into the kitchen as a “domestic almost-wife”! Please keep me posted!

Sara said...

Thanks Darbs! I'll look into these and let you know how it goes! Also, Jordan just saw the photos from your red velvet cupcakes and is drooling... Haha! They really do look yummy! :)

Phil and Darby Hawley said...

hahaha thanks! Hey I just found out about a new cookbook/blogger lady. She is pretty new and her cookbook just hit the stands 10/5/10 and they are selling like HOTCAKES! It's only been on sale for 2 days and it is already nominated as a NY Best Seller! She is a lot like the PW from what I can tell (I'll let you know more when my cookbook arrives). But check out her website, you & Jordan might like her as well. http://www.southernplate.com/

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