Monday, November 7, 2016

Manic Monday

I decided not to wait for fall to catch up and just decided to cook like it felt like fall.  I, mean, it's hard enough not having the flannels on my bed, giving up casseroles and roasts is just too much.

It's been interesting planning again around activities.  The Girlie's work schedule.  The boys' youth group commitments.  The 17 y.o.'s indoor soccer starting up.  The 15 y.o.'s weekend work schedule.  The 8 y.o.'s hockey practices.  I'm a bit rusty.  But it's coming back to me.

I haven't had much pumpkin.  Usually by now I'm swimming in it.  So, when this Pumpkin Spiced Latte recipe popped up, I made it.  Though, actually I made it up until the coffee point, making it an add-in, rather than the actual drink (that serves four.)  It's good.  I used some leftover caramel sauce to sweeten it, but it needs more - it was a bit bland.  I think a teaspoon of cinnamon, on top of the pumpkin pie spice, and sugar to taste, would be the way to go.  You do get the texture of the pumpkin in your drink, so if that's a thing for you, you could probably blend it up to minimize that - but it'll still make a "thick" drink.

I couldn't say why I needed a burger, just that I did.  These Green Chili Turkey Burgers popped up for an In-Law Dinner night, so I doubled the recipe, except for the green chilies - I left it at one four ounce can.  I also used regular Jack cheese.  They were good.  Moist.  Flavorful.  I made the go-to buns. Topped them with guacamole - it doesn't slide around on a burger as much as sliced avocados do, and chopped lettuce.  A spiced mayo would be good if you're not an avocado fan.

I didn't get my usual fix for cherries when they were in-season, so it's like I had to make these Cherry Pie Bars.  It wasn't until I was well into the recipe that I discovered it called for two cans of cherry pie filling.  I had two, ok three, options.  1) Head to the store for one can.  Not for one can!  2) Make up my own pie filling from cherries I had in the freezer.  Take too long  3) Use one can.  And we have a winner.  I also opted to leave off the blueberries.  I think one can did just fine.  It was really good, even though I totally spaced out topping it with the glaze.  It was buttery, and almond-y and tart cherry.  It was good.  And it was gone.

Like I said, I was going to cook like it was Fall, even if it meant my kitchen was like the fires of Summer.  That meant I was making this Asiago Chicken Pasta with Sun Dried Tomatoes and Spinach.  A good choice, sweating aside.  It had that great bite of Asiago, plus sun dried tomatoes, which I always chop.  I like bits of them throughout the dish.  It was creamy and delicious.  I tell myself the spinach over-rode the cream.

Creamy Chicken and Gnocchi Soup I don't know about Olive Garden's, but this was good.  I have since found three other recipes I've pinned on my board (and I'm still looking), and they all seem to be the same thing.  And what they are is creamy, warm and filling.  I added more chicken broth, because it was chowder-like thick.  That's not a problem, but I wanted a thinner soup.  You'll have to season well, just before serving, with salt and pepper.  You can thank the cream and gnocchi for that.

There isn't much to say about these Caramel Crunch Brownies.  They are rich chocolate.  They are buttery caramel.  'Nuf said.  I had to cook them several minutes longer in my some-day-I'll-figure-out-this-stupid-gas-oven, but they turned out.  I didn't add more walnuts to the caramel sauce, there were enough in the brownies for me.  I also didn't pour all of the caramel sauce over the brownies, it seemed like it would have been a lot.  Leftover caramel isn't a bad thing - it's great in coffee.  Be sure to cool the caramel, either before you pour it on the warm cake, or on the cake, or the mini chips will melt.

This Eggroll Skillet sounded good.  We love eggrolls.  But I had misgivings in that it wouldn't be saucy enough and/or that the cabbage I froze wouldn't work in it.  I was pleasantly surprised on both counts.  There was plenty of sauce created - and it was really good - next time I'll stick with two tablespoons of soy.  And the cabbage that I blanched and froze was great for this recipe.  I thawed it and then chopped it a bit finer than the rough chop I gave it when I froze it.  I used ground pork, and served it over rice.

I had two Chile Colorado Burrito recipes.  One I'd made before and this Smothered Chile Colorado Burritos; they are identical.  After making this one, I decided to delete this pin.  I didn't have any specific notes on the first recipe I made, so keeping two seemed unnecessary.  I have a feeling I used a pot roast on the first, as I never buy stew meat - it never cooks up tender, for me.  Like never ever.  I also think I probably made the first one in the oven, rather than the slow cooker.  This time around I used stew meat and my slow cooker and even though the meat was shredded you could tell it was dry - something that always happens, which is why I don't buy stew meat and I don't put it in the slow cooker.   I'll add some notes to the first one and go from there.

Who knew you could combine a chocolate chip cookie and a pie?  Well you can, and it's awesome.  The Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie has a layer of chocolate on the bottom, where the chips sink and melt.  Followed by a layer of chopped walnuts and then this buttery topping.  It comes together in a matter of minutes and bakes up light and yummy.

Happy Monday,

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