Monday, March 05, 2012

So Midwestern, So in the Kitchen: moving right along

If I keep up this pace, my 2013 resolution will be to spend less time cooking and baking. But for now, I'm continuing to maintain my goal to keep up with my kitchen time and not get so lazy that I'm forced to live on almonds and fruit leather.

I had planned on making Five Layer Greek Dip for Liz’s birthday party. I went to the store and I bought all of the ingredients and, oops! We already have enough food. So I did not make Five Layer Greek Dip for Liz’s birthday party.

I made it for myself.

And let me tell you: throw a generous serving of Five Layer Greek Dip into a half of a pita, toss in a leaf of romaine lettuce for extra crunch and eat the best sandwich ever. Seriously. Love it. Had it for lunch every day for a week.

I’ve been making this recipe for baked oatmeal for years. I whipped it up the morning of Liz’s birthday because I thought her 30th birthday called for a breakfast a little more special than a bowl of Cheerios. She’s been really good about eating healthy lately, so I went with baked oatmeal instead of something totally indulgent. (We had plenty of indulgent dishes later that day.)

I made my mom’s caramel corn recipe for Liz’s birthday, too. But that deserves a post of its own. Caramel corn is blissfully simple to make and, seriously, if you’ve never had homemade caramel corn you’ve never had real caramel corn. I strongly dislike store-bought caramel corn. I won’t touch store-bought caramel corn. But I’d roll naked in my mom’s homemade caramel corn. And that’s why I need to post the recipe. So you can roll naked in it, too.

I had a few bananas that were dangerously close to going bad and no desire to
make banana bread. So I tried this banana oatmeal smoothie. I am far from a smoothie junkie (mostly because I’m too lazy to deal with my blender), but I did thoroughly enjoy it.

I brought dinner to Lucy and Chet’s house one Friday night and went Moroccan. I’d made this Marrakesh Stew recipe before and l-l-l-l-l-loved it. Lucy and Chet are truly adventurous eaters; I knew they would enjoy a departure from the norm.

As an accompaniment to the stew, I made this Moroccan carrot dip, which was incredibly easy and incredibly delicious. Just a really good flavor. Something a little bit different. And healthy.

Quiona is all the rage over at Iowa Girl Eats,
which is mostly perfect because quiona is all the rage in my kitchen, too. I whipped up a variation on these Mini Ham & Cheese Quinoa Cups a couple of weeks back. Winner. I didn’t have any ham or any parsley on hand. I substituted with frozen peas. A bag of frozen peas that was destined to live in the freezer forever had I not rescued them and plopped them into this delicious recipe. I’d throw a few of these little guys into my lunch with a Greek yogurt and a bit of fruit and I was a happy camper.

While dogsitting at Mom and Dad’s house last week, I came across this recipe for Easy Crockpot Artichoke Garlic Chicken. It looked decent enough to try. And, after rummaging around my mom’s kitchen, I found all of the necessary ingredients and then I absolutely had to try it. Result: success. Not a weird congealed mess, like Crock Pot meals can sometimes be. This was good. Simple. Easy. Flavorful.

Oh, and I know I wrote an entire blog post about it, but I think I’ll mention that pie crust again. And the Caramel Apple Pie that was baked inside of it. That pie crust is easily the highlight of my kitchen adventures in 2012.


k said...

this all sounds so awesome. can you come to seattle and cook for me??!!

A said...

Oh hell yes. Count me in!

OC said...

Did you use tapioca pudding in yours? That seems like an odd ingredient... could you substitute cream of chicken soup or something?

A said...

It's not tapioca pudding -- just quick cooking tapioca granules. It's a starchy magic thickener! :)

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