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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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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2-10: Spinach Salad

2-10: Spinach Salad

The card for 2-10: Spinach Salad is great because it has notes and reviews from the attempts of two other chefs I really admire, Jamie and her mother. From the date of the original note, I can deduce that Jamie’s mom made this recipe almost 25 years ago. She gives a succinct review, “Very Good, Very Easy.” Jamie’s equally positive review of her attempt at making this recipe 9 years back is encouraging. Making this salad for dinner one night after work is a super easy task and I agree with the previous reviews written on the card.

Simply Delicious helps you learn in so many different ways. Not only do I get a recipe for a salad, I get some history about the main ingredient: SPINACH!

Editor’s note: I made this as part of a “fancy dinner” in my first apartment, a year or two after college. I was so happy to have a kitchen and table to call my own, I invited some friends over, busted out a few Simply Delicious recipes, and threw a “fancy” dinner party, complete with table settings and after-dinner coffee. 

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2-4: Chef’s Salad

2-4: Chef’s Salad

2-4: Chef’s Salad is another somewhat classic American restaurant dish to serve with your 1-18: Club Sandwich. Wikipedia gives it a similar history–most accounts trace it back to early 20th century New York, although a few credit it to originating in 17th century England. This iteration is pretty similar to most you’ll find in modern-day restaurants–the beauty of the chef salad is that the ingredients are at the discretion of the chef. ‍

I NEED that creepy statue in the Simply Delicious picture. Google has nothing decent for me when I search “hippopotamus chef“, but you never know–someday one of my thrift store treasure hunt trips may pay off.

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18-3: Good Kitchen Knives

18-3: Good Kitchen Knives

It’s a new year, and it’s also been a long time since I’ve covered any of the Cooking School portion of the back of the Simply Delicious cookbook. One of the featured topics is 18-3: Good Kitchen Knives, essential tools for any cook. I’ve had a lot of terrible knives, and I’ve got a long way to go until I make jaws drop with my knife collection, but I’ve got a few that are not too shabby. 🔪

I’m going to try NOT to make this a “look at all my cool knives” kind-of-a-thing, because honestly, my collection isn’t all that Internet-impressive–I don’t have a ton of trendy Japanese pieces or massive cleavers, because I just don’t cook that way too often. Plus, I feel about knives like I feel about cars–give me a broken-in cheap old workhorse over a shiny speedster you’re afraid to scratch up any day of the week. 🚙

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5-5: Individual Ham Quiches

5-5: Individual Ham Quiches

I wasn’t about to go out and buy mini quiche pans just to cook 5-5: Individual Ham Quiches. Taking the alternative route, I made this dish as one, full-sized quiche.

5-5-individual-ham-quiches_page_1I believe the card puts it best. At this point I’m not quite “fortunate enough to own small oven-proof quiche pans,” so a full-sized pie pan will do. If you use a foil pie pan, there is a lot less cleanup when the quiche is done, just toss the foil pan in the recycling. ♻

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3-4: New Orleans Bean Soup

3-4: New Orleans Bean Soup

Simply Delicious has a few New Orleans/Southern recipes–3-4: New Orleans Bean Soup is one of them. There are a lot of different takes on a “New Orleans Red Bean Soup” that exist out there–most of them have more exciting ingredients than this version. 🎺

3-4-new-orleans-bean-soupI made another “New Orleans” recipe at the same time as this one–you can go back and read 12-29: New Orleans Beans and Pasta for what is essentially a pasta version of this dish. Either one is a hearty and relatively inexpensive meal. Since the two share a lot of ingredients, consider making both–they store and reheat well. 💰

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13-14: Wok-Fried Veggies with Pasta

13-14: Wok-Fried Veggies with Pasta

13-14: Wok-Fried Veggies with Pasta is yet another dish where the preparation requires too much chopping. One of my specialties happens to be stir fry. I can make stir fry with the best of them.

13-14-wok-fried-veggies-with-pasta_page_1I’ve made wok fried dishes similar to this on my own, but with chicken or beef. Usually, I think vegetarian food is best left to the rabbits. 🐰

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5-33: Omelette Stacks with Rice

5-33: Omelette Stacks with Rice

Hey there. October’s been a crazy busy month IRL so far, but I’ve got some entries banked that I’ll start posting, so expect some more entries coming soon. This one, 5-33: Omelette Stacks with Rice, was a Saturday morning breakfast a few weeks ago that was born out of an abundance of eggs and leftover cooked rice. 🍚

5-33-omelette-stacks-with-riceSimply Delicious suggests serving it as a main course (presumably for lunch or dinner as opposed to breakfast, to which they seem to be drawing a contrast), but you eat it whenever you like. 🌇

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12-29: New Orleans Beans and Pasta

12-29: New Orleans Beans and Pasta

I wasn’t quite sure how “authentic” 12-29: New Orleans Beans and Pasta would be when first looking this recipe over–Simply Delicious doesn’t exactly nail it on cultural faithfulness a lot of the time. A lot of that has to do with the time at which the books were written–many ingredients, methods, & tools that are easily accessible now were not 30 years ago.

However, this is essentially an American recipe, so I would assume it shouldn’t be that far off–if this is in fact a real New Orleans dish. 🎷

12-29-new-orleans-beans-and-pastaI wonder how many different linens/vases/glasses/odd statues they had to accumulate to photograph all of these different recipes. Just a thought I had while looking at this picture. Another thought: who decided on some of these things? What makes this picture decidedly New Orleans? ⚜🎉

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