Friday, September 15, 2017

Food for Thought

I'm pretty close to catching up on menu posts - I think this is the last back-logged one.  And even back-logged they are recipes I did recently.

Is it good, or sad, that no matter how long ago I cooked something, I can remember what we thought about it?  Sometimes I have to scan the recipe, but I still know.

It was hot.  Sandwiches sounded good.  Slow Cooker Italian Beef Sandwiches it is.  It's hit or miss for me when I make shredded beef anything in the slow cooker - usually it doesn't so much shred and is tough.  I now know it's more than likely because it hasn't cooked long enough to melt all the fat.  My other issue is sometimes the seasonings just evaporate in the long cook times.  I can say both of those issues were NOT present in this meal.  I went longer on the cook time and got a roast that shredded with barely a touch and seasonings that seemed over-the-top at the beginning, were just right when it was all said and done.  Add gooey cheese and, well, there you go.

This Sausage, Pepper and Sweet Potato Quinoa Bowls recipe is showcased as a make-ahead grab-and-go.  I opted to serve it up in ramekins for dinner, but it would be great to have for those everyone is going somewhere nights.  It starts as a sheet-pan meal and it only gets better from there.  I have really grown into using sweet potatoes all year and they are great paired with your choice of sausage (the recipe calls for turkey, but I had smoked Kielbasa.)  Seasoning comes from oven roasting and the flavor of your sausage, and a bit of salt and pepper.  It's hearty as is, or with warmed bread.

Using a quesadilla recipe always feels like a "duh" moment, but like sandwich recipes, sometimes you need a reminder of what goes well together (or you have no brain left to think of combos) - which is why I cook other people's recipes and am not a cook who creates her own.  Such as it is with these Roasted Corn Quesadillas.  The snap of fresh corn (because it was in season) and the light heat from green chilies and all the melty cheese.  It was good and would make a great side to soup when the weather finally turns.

These Perfect Summer Basil Burgers are a just seasoned with salt and pepper,.  It's the sauce is the star.  It's bright and summery and fresh.  It's a great pairing with beef.  I thought about, and have seen, english muffins used instead of buns, but went with buns.  Maybe next time.

It was a chocolate cake, WITH cherries.  How could this Black Forest Texas Sheet Cake go wrong?  It didn't.  It was totally worth turning the oven on for.  Moist.  Cherry-filled.  Good stuff.

When all I have to cook in a hot kitchen is bacon, I can handle it.  These Bacon Lettuce Avocado Tomato Chicken Salad Wraps were good.  Well seasoned - I liked the Worcestershire sauce bite - and filled with enough to be hearty.

I think I mentioned before, I've been having more meatless meals without really having to think about it.  Which is good.  Hopefully I can continue that as we hit the cooler months, which seems to beg for meats.  This Mediterranean Farro Salad with Spiced Chickpeas was awesome.  It was fresh and well spiced with great crunch.  It was the first time I'd used Farro (she has instructions for cooking linked in the post), which is now our favorite grain.  I think it would be great as an oatmeal alternative and I need to see if people use it as such.  It's got a great chew and holds up well in salads and bowls.  Bowls and sheet-pan meals.  That pretty much describes our summer.

Happy Friday,


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