One of the benefits of having a broken oven during Thanksgiving is the extra free-time. Regardless that my two teenagers sleeping until noon, I couldn't have cooked a big breakfast anyway. Too much quiet and free-time, though, led to a new project.
If you remember from the last post, I started a new challenge.
I took on the impossible.
I'm tackling the endless recipe clutter filling my cabinet. I narrowed it down to 219.
The plan was to try 5 new recipes each week: three entrees, one side, a snack, and a dessert.
Well...last week didn't quite go according to plan. Five new recipes was a little over-ambitious for a hellatious week.
I'm focusing on the positive and not going to say that I failed the first week in, I just fell a little shy of the goal.
The goal: Chicken & Spinach Tortilla Bake, Bowtie & Spicy Broccoli Rabe with Crunchy Crumbs, Scallion Sweet Potatoes, Apple Pie Cereal Bars, and Sugar Cream Pie.
Sorry, no side or dessert this week. The good news, two more pieces of paper clutter are hitting the recycling bin.
Here's the results:
Chicken & Spinach Tortilla Bake (Rachel Ray Every Day, Dec. 28, 2011- don't judge me). Well, it passed two of my three requirements. It was easy to make, it was good, but...it didn't hold up to the leftover test. The tortillas ended up too soggy when re-heated, I did like the salsa verde/ricotta cheese sauce though.
Bowties and Spicy Broccoli Rabe with Crunchy Crumbs: (Everyday with Rachel Ray, Dec. 28, 2011...hinky, must've been a good issue!). I really wanted this to be a new favorite. Pasta, shrimp, bread crumbs...c'mon how can you go wrong? The recipe called for a finely ground dinner roll, thought it'd be a great way to use up a stale ciabatta roll...FYI grating a hard roll doesn't work. Though I did discover that I like baby broccoli better than traditional broccoli (no, it's not just a smaller version). It wasn't bad, just eh.
Apple Pie Cereal Bars (Food Network Magazine Kids, April 2015). Ok, how do I know this is a keeper? I totally screwed it up and it was still good! I know, how could you screw up a five ingredient recipe...trust me, I can find a way. Not only are these bars a great way to avoid food waste, they're a super simple treat.
Melt 1/2 stick butter, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup honey, and 1/4 tsp. apple pie spice in saucepan. Remove from heat. Add 3 cups assorted cereal. Press into a sprayed 8x8 square baking dish and let set two hours before cutting.
Because my son HATES nutmeg, I planned on using cinnamon instead of the apple pie spice- forgot to use either- didn't miss it. I combined three nearly empty boxes for my three cups of cereal and it looked like way too much for a 8x8 pan so I used a 9x13. Don't do that.
Because the butter/sugar/honey mix isn't as sticky as marshmallow, it needed to be compact to set...mine never really set so I couldn't cut it into squares. It didn't stop us from finishing it.
These cereal bars are a great way to finish up those "why can't anyone finish these damn" boxes of cereal. Definitely best for plain/unsweetened cereals, though popcorn would be a good addition too.
So, what's on the menu for this week? Mexican Chicken Lime Soup, Basil/Chili/Garlic Chicken, Baked Barbecue Chips, Scallion Sweet Potatoes, and Sugar Cream Pie.
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