Hey, y’all. Took a month or two off (I need SOME sort of summer vacation now that I’m not a teacher anymore), but as I’ve said before, I’m not going to let this die. Even though I haven’t been actively writing and publishing, I’ve still been cooking and photographing–I’ll get caught up here soon. Thanks for sticking around. 🙂
Here’s one I cooked a little while ago, but never finished writing–11-5:Lemon Pepper Scallops. My husband Adam LOVES seafood and at the start of this summer, we had decided we were going to try to knock out more of the Fish and Beef chapters of the book over the warm months. I can’t say that vow has worked out (I don’t think any of the ones in the queue are either one of those), but here’s a vestige of what was to be.
I’m gonna tell you right now–I can do a LOT of things in the kitchen, but poaching is my white whale. I always have a REALLY hard time with it (see 5-4: Eggs Benedict for an example of that), and I’ve yet to conquer it. Practice makes perfect, but to be honest, I’m not a huge fan of poached seafood anyway (very 1980s). I think for this one, I’m going to use a more flavorful searing technique, which I have less of a chance of screwing up (hey, scallops ain’t cheap).
Not every Simply Delicious recipe is a home run. With 9-39: Zesty Meat Casserole, perhaps unsuccessfully, tries to break the mold. By not forming the beef into a patty, meatball, or kebab, this casserole tries to do something different. To cook this recipe, I had to prepare a parsnip, something I’m not accustomed to. I made this dish before a trip out of town and brought it with me to have something homemade to eat.
I cut my vegetables in a manner similar to the photograph, but my substitution of milk for half and half made the sauce come out runny.
17-42: Luscious Lemon Bars were the second of my holiday baking batches this year (XMAS 16), and one that I’ve baked in the past, given my rather bold notes. I think I was on a cheesecake kick, and thought these would be easier than making an actual cake. “BAD DO NOT MAKE” doesn’t exactly bode well for a recipe–why make it again?
Here’s why: sometimes it’s important to try again, even when the first experience wasn’t exactly a positive one. The first time I made these lemon bars was my junior year of college, so about 10-12 years ago. I had just moved into my first off-campus apartment with my friend, and we had a full kitchen, something I hadn’t had access to for a few years while living away from home in the dorms.
I remember making these in that kitchen (yes, I dragged these books with me all the way out to Colorado and back) and struggling with this recipe. Out of that frustration (and failure) came the note. I’ve learned a lot since then (culinarily and otherwise), so I think it’s time to figure out if it was the recipe or it was me.
4-3: French Potato Gratin is a great side dish for a dinner. It was easy to make and it only takes one pan to cook this recipe.
Jamie made notes on this recipe that I completely ignored. I used the mandoline to cut the potatoes and I used 9 medium/small potatoes.
Editor’s note: I did indeed make notes on this, from when I made this for a fancy dinner for my family during Spring Break of 2009. I stand by my recommendation of using the food processor, but you do you, boo.
If you had told me as a kid that I would eat meat and bananas together in a dish, I would have called you, “crazy”! Some cuckoo chef over at Simply Delicious is playing a weird joke on people with 9-27: West Indian Meat Casserole, but this dish is rated mostly edible. Jamie wouldn’t touch it with a ten foot pole. 🍌
I don’t really see how this dish is festive. It also isn’t very attractive, at least, not in the way I prepared it.
Whosoever it was that the editors of Simply Delicious hired to name these dishes deserves some kind of award. And the award for naming-the-most-dishes-a-casserole-that-are-not-actually-a-casserole goes to….SIMPLY DELICIOUS. A casserole is defined as “a kind of stew or side dish that is cooked slowly in an oven.” 7-8: Chinese Pork Casserole is cooked relatively fast on a stove top. Doesn’t exactly sound like a casserole to me.
This recipe card is great because it basically teaches you to make a version of Chop Suey at home.
Here’s something a bit different…and I’m not talking about the recipe. In fact, 12-27: Chicken Broccoli Lasagna itself is pretty boring. But here’s what’s interesting: I made this recipe at work, for work. This one will be a bit of a glance into what I do all day–my other kitchen, if you will.
I usually use ground turkey for ground meat recipes (there’s a few kids with special dietary preferences) and I’ve made lasagna before for work, so this one seemed like a perfect recipe to try to scale up for the amount I need for a daily meal. “Healthy” is what parents are looking for these days when it comes to school lunches–another way this recipe is a good fit. 🍴
12-14: Brown Rice Casserole doesn’t sound very appetizing, but it is very cheap to make and very filling. I made this dish before I took a trip as a meal prep and it really helped me keep my eating in check. ✅
As advertised on the card, this dish is hearty enough to be a meal in itself. I did eat it with a side of pepperoni slices, but the majority of the meal was this casserole. 🌾