9-39: Zesty Meat Casserole

9-39: Zesty Meat Casserole

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.

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9-1: Spicy Beef Patties

9-1: Spicy Beef Patties

Any excuse to pull out the electric griddle is alright with me! After all of the meatball-style recipes in the Ground Meat and Sausage section, I was ready for a patty-style recipe again and 9-1: Spicy Beef Patties did not disappoint. I’ve never thought to put pickled beets into a burger before, but after trying this recipe, I would consider it again.

I love the little skinned potatoes they served alongside the patties in the example photo. I haven’t quite learned the technique to cook those yet. Their side salad is very photogenic, but not very filling. 3 tomato slices and 1 leaf of lettuce.

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16-39: Apricot Tart

16-39: Apricot Tart

I had mentioned in 16-24: French Chocolate Cake that it was one of two desserts that I made for a recent baby shower I attended: 16-39: Apricot Tart was the second dessert. I’ve been meaning to make this thing since near the start of this project, and it only took me a few years to finally get around to it. There’s something about this recipe and procrastination, though–this entry’s been sitting in my writing queue half-finished for over a month.

For the length of time that it took me to make it (and to write about it), I never even got to try it–I ended up leaving this and 16-24: French Chocolate Cake still wrapped up on the table at the party. We’ll just assume that both of them were delicious and everyone ate every last crumb of them.

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17-49: Apple Muffins

17-49: Apple Muffins

My contribution to this year’s holiday baking (XMAS 16) consists of two recipes which include my favorite fruit: Apples! 🍎 🍎 🍎

I ended up multiplying this recipe by 3, which gave us more than enough apple muffins for the holiday gifts. 🎄

The notes on the front of the card are from Jamie’s mom. I made this recipe once before when I had a lot of apples laying around.

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6-46: Chicken Breasts Veronique

6-46: Chicken Breasts Veronique

Simply Delicious is introducing me to so many new culinary terms. 6-46: Chicken Breasts Veronique was a new one for me. 🍇 The definition of “Veronique” is explained below:

6-46-chicken-breasts-veronique_page_1Chicken and grapes isn’t the most obvious combination, not in 🇺🇸 American-style cuisine anyway. This dish is definitely influenced by 🇫🇷  French cuisine. I’ve eaten chicken and grapes before in Middle-Eastern styled recipes as well.

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7-18: Pork Tenderloin in Wine Sauce

7-18: Pork Tenderloin in Wine Sauce

Marinade is a “sauce, typically made of oil, vinegar, spices, and herbs, in which meat, fish, or other food is soaked before cooking in order to flavor or soften it”. Port wine is not an ingredient I normally keep in the house, but I have marinated a pork tenderloin before so 7-18: Pork Tenderloin in Wine Sauce shouldn’t be too much of a challenge.

7-18-pork-tenderloin-in-wine-sauce_page_1Meat that soaks in a marinade comes out tender and delicious. Cooking with this method requires more preparation time. Leave the meat in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours for maximum tenderness. The minimum marinating time I recommend is around 1 hour. When I prepared this recipe, I tried to make it in one night, so the meat marinated in the refrigerator for only 2 hours. ⏱

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9-9: Pork Meat Loaf with Horseradish

9-9: Pork Meat Loaf with Horseradish

I don’t often have ground pork on hand, but I happened to pick some up at a supermarket sale a few months ago and had been holding it in the freezer for a Simply Delicious recipe–I knew there were a few that called for it. 9-9: Pork Meat Loaf with Horseradish would have been a silly recipe to sub in ground beef for (my usual move), so this one will get the honor of being used with actual pork. 🐖

You guys, this picture does not look promising. Meatloaf is already difficult to get excited about, and I’m not sure if a creamy horseradish sauce is going to be enough to save it. Despite the copy reeking of desperation at the bottom of the recipe card (does this look “extravagant” to you?), I’m still willing to give it a shot. 🙈

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6-29: Stuffed Turkey

6-29: Stuffed Turkey

This recipe, 6-29: Stuffed Turkey, is the WHOLE reason I originally decided to take on the challenge of cooking Thanksgiving dinner this year (TGV 2016)–when else was I going to get a chance to use the actual Thanksgiving recipe but on the holiday itself? I have cooked a Thanksgiving dinner before, but not in my own house, and not planned/shopped/organized for by myself. It was a fun challenge, and I have this card and project to thank for it.

Of course I made this recipe the day of Thanksgiving (Thursday 11/24), and it includes not only the turkey, but traditional stuffing and gravy as well. I cooked this in the afternoon, after making 17-5: Hot Seedy Rolls and 1-5: Pigs in a Blanket in the oven that morning.

6-29-stuffed-turkeyThis year’s Thanksgiving was at least 2 weeks ago by the time you’re reading this, but I hope that if you had one this year it was a nice one, and that if you’re reading this sometime in the future preparing for the current year’s feast, that yours is nice as well. Mine was lovely despite what’s been a tumultuous year, and this recipe was definitely a big part of making my first solo Thanksgiving successful. Thanks for taking time out of your day to read even just a bit of what I’ve written, and thanks for participating in my project, even just for this brief moment.

I’ve been working on this project for just under 3 years now, and I’ve got at least that long to go to attempt to finish it–thanks for giving me a reason to keep this project alive, an outlet for writing, a focus for creative energy, art to share with my family and friends, and a priceless set of memories and experiences tied to a set of stinky old cookbooks that have always meant a lot to me, and mean even more now. Thank you.

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4-3: French Potato Gratin

4-3: French Potato Gratin

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.

4-3-french-potato-gratin_page_1Jamie 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. 

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4-27: Mushroom-Parsnip Au Gratin

4-27: Mushroom-Parsnip Au Gratin

It’s been a hell of a month, y’all. Between my birthday at the very beginning, the election, an aunt passing away, unexpected horse-sitting, and planning/executing my very first self-made Thanksgiving dinner, I unfortunately didn’t do a lot of writing. However, our Thanksgiving this year (TGV 2016) was Simply Delicious-themed, as I used 7 recipes for this year’s feast.

I started the cooking marathon on Tuesday 11/22 with 4-27: Mushroom-Parsnip Au Gratin–I thought parsnips would make an interesting variation on the “vegetable” dish for Thanksgiving. I also cooked this one first because I knew I could cook it most of the way, and save the final broiling for right before the dinner was served.

4-27-mushroom-parsnip-au-gratin I don’t know much about parsnips being the “poor man’s lobster” (a quick Google search reveals butter baking cod/haddock/etc. to be the most common modern use for that term), but I’d describe them as a cross between potatoes and carrots. Too potato-y to be a carrot, but too carrot-y to be a potato.

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