Sorting Through My Life...one recipe at a time

Here we are, week two of this clear the shit out of my cupboards recipe challenge. Since I've allowed this paper to take up space in my kitchen for so long, I figured it was finally time to sort through and actually make them. I'm a little concerned, though, that this project may backfire.

recipe-blog-1-1There's something to be said for following a recipe in hand. Not refreshing my screen when it times out half-way through the ingredients. But a physical piece of paper- splatter stains and all- I like it.

Thankfully, I'm not keeping every recipe I'm testing, so at least some of it is hitting the recycle bin.

Once again, I didn't make all five recipes. But I did make three of them...plus a fantastic "My Boss Is a Bitch" banana bread recipe (because the bananas couldn't sit on the counter another five minutes) and I freakin' made mozzarella cheese! I MADE CHEESE! That post is coming up soon, but I talked a little bit about it here.

Last week's menu included: Mexican Chicken Lime Soup, Basil/Chili/Garlic Chicken, Baked Barbecue Chips, Scallion Sweet Potatoes, and Sugar Cream Pie.

Yeah, the pie didn't happen again, and the baked bbq chips are going back on this week's menu.

Here's the results:

recipe-blog-4Mexican Chicken Lime Soup (Rachel Ray Every Day, Dec, 2011).  It's odd how many soup recipes I have when I'm not a big fan of soup. This one, however, was great on a cold, windy day. But- it needed a little help. My avocado was gross when I cut into it (I HATE that!), and I wasn't running to the store once everything was made. Without it, though, the soup definitely needed a little more texture...exactly why I always have Trader Joe's corn salsa on hand. Simple ingredients, and not a ton of prep or clean up work. I'd definitely make it again-but I'd make sure to have an extra avocado on hand just in case.

Scallion Sweet Potatoes: (Food Network Magazine, Aug/Sept. 2009...I told you- don't judge!). To be fair, my grill ran out of propane half-way through cooking, so finishing them in the oven may not have created the same finish. Well, they really didn't finish, because the rest of the meal was ready and I didn't give them another 10 minutes they could've used. Interesting side note- partially raw sweet potatoes taste like under-cooked carrots. Maybe everyone ate them because they tasted like carrots, maybe because I drizzled a little bourbon-barrel maple syrup over the top! The sweet potatoes were fine, nothing different enough though to keep the paper.

recipe-blog-3Basil, Chili, and Garlic Chicken (Rachel Ray Every Day, December, 2011 ). Remember how I managed to screw up a four ingredient recipe last time? I did it again. I forgot the basil. It's literally in the title of the recipe. I'm sensing a trend, though, because this one was also my favorite. While the basil would've been nice, it's not the essential ingredient...you need the fish sauce.

If you've ever tried making your favorite Chinese or Thai recipes and think it's missing the flavor of take out...you probably skipped the fish sauce. I know- it's a big bottle, you only use a little, and it stinks to high heaven. But...when it's heated it's exactly the flavor you're craving. recipe-blog-5Three Crabs is my favorite, it's probably at your local store- you've just never noticed- and it lasts FOREVER. Don't know if you have to, but I keep mine in the fridge.

Another helpful hint- if you do order take-out and save the soy sauce packets- they're each a tablespoon. So, if you're out of soy sauce, the packets are a convenient substitute.

So, what's on the menu for this week?  Azteca Squash Soup, Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala, Baked BBQ Chips, Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chia Pudding, and Broccoli-Cheese Bites.

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