Friday, July 8, 2016

Food for Thought

Because I just couldn't find the time, this post is going up late. . .on Friday, but late!

I mentioned that somehow I had started two posts for menus.  I didn't cook AT. ALL. last week because of the house projects, so because of this forgotten post and then no cooking, this week's list of recipes is longer than usual.  I carried over my planned menu to this week.  Expect for tonight. . .shoot.  Better figure something out.

The plus side, is there are plenty of good recipes for your weekly menu.

This Sliced Steak Pizzaiola is one of those recipes that I cooked a while ago.  I used my go-to marinara sauce, and even with cooking up the sauce, the meal came together quickly.  It had good flavor and stayed moist and tender.

Hubby is not a fan of salmon, especially frozen which can be a bit fishier than fresh.  He will, however, eat it all day long if it's grilled on a plank.  I found Blake's Sweet and Smoky Grilled Salmon just before he requested it on the menu.  I didn't have Smoked Salt, or Bourbon Smoked Salt for that matter - though I've tasted both and they are. . .interesting.  Anyway, I used kosher salt and drizzled some bourbon on the fish.  After thinking about it, given that the plank smokes, I think smoked salt might be a tad redundant.  I soaked my planks in apple juice, saw the recipe noted beer and thought that might be fun another time - beer or hard cider.  This really is a great way to cook fish, salmon especially.  Super flavorful and stays tender.  You get a little more time to avoid overcooking, but you still have to be careful.

I kept buying bananas but they weren't disappearing fast enough, so I had ended up with "baking bananas."  I searched my Pins and found these Banana Bars.  They were fast.  They were good and they weren't overly sweet, like some banana recipes can be.

It was hot and I needed something cool for dinner.  Greek Tortellini Salad was my go to.  The tortellini cooks up quick, so no long use of the stove.  It made a great meatless meal, that was just filling enough.  If you want protein, you can add chickpeas or chicken.  I used Roma tomatoes (grape tomatoes are pricey here), I just seeded the tomatoes before adding them in.

We enjoyed the last oven tacos I made, so I went for chicken this time.  These Easy Oven Baked Spicy Chicken Tacos were good.  I used the seasoned chicken thighs in this recipe, but rotisserie would work too.  I totally missed draining the canned tomatoes, so they were a little soggy.  I also used regular shells and this taco seasoning.  Good and easy.  Perfect for summer.

I have no clue how to pronounce "spiedies" in this Chicken Spiedies recipes.  Do you say it like Spiderman?  I don't know.  And I don't care, because these are good no matter how you say it.  Lots of flavor and I'll have to double the sauce next time, it disappeared quickly.  I'll probably butter and toast the buns next time, just because sometimes I like that light crunch.

I needed a dessert where I had everything on hand.  This Margarita Cake was my ticket.  I always have lemons and limes on hand in the summer.  It was moist and dense (in a good way) and the glaze was just sweet enough.  I put sweetened whipped cream on, but I'm not sure it needed it.  Fresh raspberries or raspberries macerated with some sugar would be a good option.

I have several Gyro recipes, this Slow Cooker Beef Gyros was just one of them.  I could not find sirloin steaks at my grocer, so I ended up with a sirloin tri-tip roast.  The meat didn't have a lot of flavor.  I don't know if that was the recipe, or the cut of meat, since fat holds the flavor and the roast I had seemed a little lean.  The Tzatziki sauce was really good; I''ll have to remember to drain the yogurt for a nice thick spread.  I have other recipes for gyros, so I opted to delete this one.

I needed a side, so I made this Mediterranean Quinoa Salad, which I've made before as a main by adding in chicken.  I didn't feel like running to the store for some missing items, so I made some changes that worked well.  I had one cucumber and it was going into the Tzatziki sauce, so I added in fresh copped spinach.  I had Roma tomatoes, so I seeded them before adding them.  I didn't have a red onion, so I used yellow.  Of the changes, I'd be sure I had red onion, it just adds something.  The yellow onion worked, but red would have been better.  If you find raw red onion a little strong, soak them in cold water for a few minutes before adding them.

I still had an over-ripe banana problem so Cream Cheese Banana Bread was up next.  I have a banana bread recipe that is no-fail, for me, and it is good.  This. . .this recipe might just replace it.  The cream cheese made is super moist and more dense.  I also liked the toasted  walnuts.  I've had it everyday for breakfast.  It does make two loaves, if that's a lot for you, or you don't eat it every day, I would imagine it will freeze well.

We like Chinese food here.  My daughter's go-to item is Orange Chicken.  I have a couple recipes Pinned and I've tried a couple.  This 30-Minute Skillet Orange Chicken didn't bump those I've tried, and won't make a repeat appearance though.  I didn't have BBQ sauce, and I realized too late I needed it.  I didn't have time to make my go-to BBQ Sauce, so I used Hoisin Sauce, which is sort of BBQ-y.  Regardless of the substitution, I don't think I'd have liked it.  It was too sweet and, oddly, not orangy enough, even using orange juice concentrate.  Because I have others to try, and ones tried and liked, I won't make it again, even with the called for BBQ sauce to see if it changes my mind.

Taco Tuesday came in the form of a salad (and on a Thursday), a Taco Salad Skillet to be exact.  I topped it with the cheese and green onions, but chose to serve the lettuce and tomato on the side, to top at the table.  If there were leftovers, I didn't want wilted lettuce.  I also served up sour cream, fresh salsa (made because apparently overripe is a theme in my house, this time it was tomatoes), and avocado.  It was good.  I doubled the recipe to feed more of us.  Lots of flavor and quite filling.

My girlie wanted Key Lime Pie the other night, so we headed out to Village Inn and bought one (I had Coconut Cream Pie.)  Hubby wanted more Key Lime and was going to destroy my kitchen make a cheesecake, but forgot or didn't have time, so I said I'd find a pie for dessert for In-Law Dinner Friday.  I found this Whipped Key Lime Pie.  It came together super fast.  I'm not usually a fan of graham cracker crusts, but this one was good.  The pie had a good combination of sweet/tart and it was lighter than a traditional pie, which I liked.

Hubby was grilling Jalapeno Cheddar Sausages for dinner and I needed a side.  Again, not wanting to go to the store for missing items, this Southwestern Potato Salad fit that desire.  I had russets, so that was the only substitution.  I'm not a fan of Jalapenos, and they were in both dishes for dinner.  While I don't like jalapenos, I grow them.  I know.  Then I roast and freeze them.  So, it was the roasted, frozen version that went in this salad.  They added just a bit of heat which was tempered by the sour cream in the salad.  It had great flavor beyond the jalapenos, so it'll show up again.

Hubby and the 17 y.o. are heading out to a shoot in the morning.  I have things to do, but I might just brush them off, for a little bit, and play with some paper.

Happy Friday,

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