11-5: Lemon Pepper Scallops

11-5: Lemon Pepper Scallops

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. ūüôā

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).

Read more

6-39: Chicken Pot Stickers

6-39: Chicken Pot Stickers

6-39: Chicken Pot Stickers are another case of a food that I “can” make, but would choose not to after seeing all of the mess and work involved.

“Steamed, stuffed dumplings” sound delicious. Mine came out a little more fried than steamed, still delicious.

Read more

9-29: Ground Meat Kebabs

9-29: Ground Meat Kebabs

The Ground Meat and Sausage category is mainly 2 types of dishes: ground meat patties and ground meat kebabs. 9-29: Ground Meat Kebabs is one of the kebab variety. I made this recipe at the same time as 9-19: Meatballs on Skewers because they called for almost identical ingredients.

Grilling outside is much more satisfying than using a grill pan in my apartment, but I currently don’t have a lot of space for grilling.

Read more

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.

Read more

7-13: Thai Pork Loin

7-13: Thai Pork Loin

Pork and pineapple are two of my favorite ingredients. “Sweet and Sour Pork” from almost any Chinese restaurant makes me happy. Simply Delicious finally put these two powerhouse ingredients together in this recipe for 7-13: Thai Pork Loin.

Looking at the size of the chunks in the sample photo, I see how I could have cut my ingredients differently, however, I still stand by the choices I made. The method of preparation I chose is what Jamie and I would prefer versus what the book tells you to do.

Read more

9-19: Meatballs on Skewers

9-19: Meatballs on Skewers

Gyro is probably my favorite preparation method of ground meat, so when I saw this recipe, I got very excited. This recipe, 9-19: Meatballs on Skewers is basically the same recipe as gyro, just served differently. However, I wish I had just bought a container of tzatziki at the store instead of making the yogurt sauce.

The rabbit handle piece on the end of the skewer in the example photo is simply incredible. I’ve never seen a set of skewers quite like that. It looks like the other skewers have other animal handles, I think I see¬†a cat and a chicken on the other skewers that are slightly obscured by the meatballs. The serving dish is very neat, I’d like to add one to my collection.

Read more

20-15: Vary the Butter Sauces

20-15: Vary the Butter Sauces

Consider¬†20-15: Vary the Butter Sauces to be the advanced version of 20-13: B√©arnaise and Hollandaise Sauces. There’s probably something that bridges the two better (whatever 20-14 is, but I don’t have that card in my collection), so 5-4: Eggs Benedict will have to do. This set of recipes is part of the Cooking School, the back section of¬†Simply Delicious that provides instructions in basic techniques, ingredients, and recipes that any skilled cook should be familiar with.

Like I said in 20-13: B√©arnaise and Hollandaise Sauces, Hollandaise and its variations comprise one ¬†of¬†the five mother sauces, a big part of French cuisine. Mastering it (and the others) is one of the marks of an accomplished and talented chef. I’ve always appreciated a well-made butter sauce, and these variations are intriguing–I’d be interested in eventually trying each one out.

Read more

5-4: Eggs Benedict

5-4: Eggs Benedict

I believe in a couple of things–nobody’s perfect, and all things eventually balance out. My experience with this recipe,¬†5-4: Eggs Benedict, especially relative to how the rest of the meal went, encapsulates both of those ideas. In the days leading up to making this Mother’s Day brunch (MD2017), I knew I needed to practice two things before the big day: poaching eggs and hollandaise sauce–I’ve had trouble with both in the past. Guess what I didn’t do?

I procrastinated on practicing both my egg poaching and my hollandaise, and those were my failure points on this recipe. After the jump, you can read about what went really well (my homemade English muffins) and what didn’t (my broken hollandaise sauce, for one).

Read more

20-13: Béarnaise and Hollandaise Sauces

20-13: Béarnaise and Hollandaise Sauces

It took over 3 years and almost 300 entries, but I’ve finally cracked the final untouched category of¬†Simply Delicious–the very last one, Group 20: Basic Recipes. These are part of the Cooking School segment in the back of the book, teaching you basic techniques, ingredients, and recipes that you’ll need to be an experienced cook. This recipe,¬†20-13: B√©arnaise and Hollandaise Sauces covers the basics of butter sauces, which you can expand upon with¬†20-15: Vary the Butter Sauces.

Hollandaise is one of the five mother sauces, a big part of French cuisine. Mastering it (and the others) is one of the marks of an accomplished and talented chef. I’ve been cooking for a long time and I’m still working on mastering this one.

Read more

15-19: Layered Fruit Salad

15-19: Layered Fruit Salad

It’s a few weeks after Mother’s Day at this point, but better late than never. This year for Mother’s Day, I took a few¬†Simply Delicious¬†recipes and decided to make a brunch menu out of them for my mom. We usually do lox and bagels at home for our holiday brunch celebrations, but this year I wanted the full Mother’s Day buffet experience–but still at home. It’s not brunch without fruit salad, so the first entry for this grand event (MD2017) is¬†15-19: Layered Fruit Salad.

But wait a minute, you say! This is from the Cold Desserts category? How can it be for brunch?

It’s fancy fruit salad–I think it’ll be okay either as a dessert or a brunch side dish. Plus, I need to burn off some of these dessert recipes–so many of them require fresh fruit and summer is the best time for that.

Read more