Friday, July 15, 2016

Food for Thought

My new range arrives tomorrow.  

It's gas.  

I've been cooking on electric my whole life.  I'm making the switch for my husband (who doesn't do the cooking), who has been mounting a campaign since we married 29 years ago.  Well, maybe not that long, our first homes were rentals - no choice in appliances there.  So, maybe since our first home, which was 25 years ago.  

I'm a competent cook.  I can read a recipe and tell if it will taste good - usually.  I can follow a recipe and it, generally, turns out as it should.  Burned food is a rarity.  (We'll move past the fact that I just left a pan on the stove to heat and totally spaced it out until hubby asked me if I knew the stove was one.  After a full 10 seconds of trying to remember what I was doing, before checking on the defrosting deep freeze - that took me away from said stove - I dashed to find my well heated pan making unhealthy cracking noises.)  

Hubby thinks I'm going to love it.  I'll stop short of disagreeing, and just say, 1) I'm not a fan of change and 2) I hope he likes "dark" food.

For now, though, here's the menu from this week - that turned out as it should and cooked in the designated times.  If you're looking for good stuff, there's a few here.

I cooked from my Taste of Home magazines this week.  There were some toasty days in the forecast, so this Sesame Chicken Noodle Salad sounded good.  I opted to not buy a dressing, instead making this sesame dressing.  I found a few dressings, but I liked this creamy version because I thought it would coat the noddles better.  And it did.  I like the crunch of veggies and the tang of the dressing.  It's even better the next day.

Our Taco Tuesday turned out to be Garlic Beef Enchiladas Thursday.  This recipe is a few more standing-over-a-hot-stove steps than I prefer in the summer, but the perspiration was worth it.  A good tomato cream sauce and hearty filling,  I tend to like flour enchiladas as they hold together better than corn.  We only topped ours with sour cream, but you could do lettuce, tomatoes and avocado, too.

I thought I'd be making Baked Lasagna in a Bun on the coolest day of the week.  Turns out the weather liars got it a bit wrong.  The 85 degree day was more like 92.  Thanks, dudes.  But this was good; warm meaty filling with that smooth ricotta on top.  I used my marinara and probably could have halved the recipe, but the leftovers were spread on top or used as a dipping sauce.  I chose hot dog buns, instead and the recipe made 12.  I like the hot dog buns because they get crisp, while stay soft, something hoagie buns don't always do.  

I needed something to use up some of the salsa I'd made, and these Spicy Cajun Salsa Burgers did just fine.  I doubled the recipe, but used one pound of ground pork and one pound ground beef, instead of two pounds of beef.  I should have drained my salsa, as it is quite liquidy (if yours is, I would recommend straining off the excess liquid), but the patties held together, despite my husband's doubts that the would.  I used the if-you-don't-have-Cajun-seasoning suggestion with the recipe, despite having Cajun seasoning on hand.  I wanted to control the heat more.  I also made these buns.  They had good flavor and stayed quite moist.  I topped them with mayo, but mixing up some mayo and Cajun seasoning would've been good.

This Hot Fudge Cake is one of those, "how did it do that?" sort of things.  It's similar to a Strawberry and Chocolate thing I made, but I can't find the recipe because I don't know the exact name and there are 700 recipe that come up when I type "Strawberry Chocolate."  It creates this fudgy pudding on the bottom and the cake part rises.  t was good.  Rich.  Fudgy.  I did serve it with vanilla ice cream, but fresh raspberries or strawberries would cut some of the richness, as well.

I love lemonade.  I could drink it all summer.  And Pink Lemonade?  Yum.  I think Pink Lemonade is one of those things you don't ask, "What makes it pink?" you just enjoy it.  In this recipe, it's cranberry juice that makes it pink.  That works for me.  It has a pretty good balance of sweet and tart, but may be just a bit on the sweet side.  That could be because I used a cranberry "cocktail" instead of straight up juice.  I bought four large lemons and they almost gave me enough juice - I was about 1/2 cup short, so I used juice from the limes we had.  Tonight I may see how it tastes with vodka. ;)

So new range tomorrow.  Too hot tomorrow.  Hubby is asking if I want to take a day trip out of town on Sunday - I need to find someplace cool, that isn't on fire.  Literally not on fire; we have six wild fires burning here. 

Happy Friday,


Donna Nuce said...

When we camp in our Travel Trailer - I love the gas stove. It has almost infinite settings for heat. Something I never get with my electric stove at home. I think you will like it! Especially when making sauces.

Lori said...

Thanks for the pep talk Donna. I guess I have used the gas camp stove, and in the cabins we go to annually. But that's necessity and there's a fire outside you can toss things on if necessary. I'm happy to report I baked Blondies and they came out golden. That was the extent of my baking this weekend, LOL, too soon to call it a success. ;D