Monday, March 6, 2017

Food for Thought

It was a busy week, and the next looks busy as well.  But I managed to plan the whole week, and get to the store!  Wow.

This Quinoa Vegetable Stew is colorful and fulfilled my meatless meal for the week.  It's filled with lots of veggies and good-for-you quinoa.  Though I always enjoy cilantro and avocado - even the queso fresco was a nice addition - the seasonings underneath just left it flat, for me.  A good dash, or two, of salt helped a little, but it definitely needed more - maybe just more of the listed seasonings.  I have other similar, better seasoned, recipes pinned, and so I'll not be saving this one.  I will be noting the queso fresco, though.

If you need a baked from pantry staples dessert, these Sparkling Dark Chocolate Cookies will do the trick.  The recipe makes only 16 - but they are supposed to be large cookies.  I opted to make them a tad smaller and got about two dozen - but they were good.  Rich chocolate, slightly chewy and a nice sprinkle of sugar on top.

I love anything that means faster clean-up and Sheet Pan Turkey Sausage, Potato and Pepper Hash is that.  Because I made it for in-law dinner night, I doubled the sausage, which was Hillshire Farms Kielbasa, instead of turkey, and added an extra half pound of potatoes.  Otherwise, I left the recipe as is and it was good.  I wasn't sure if there would be enough seasoning with the additional potatoes (potatoes need more as it is), but it was fine.  More than fine, it had a lot of flavor and was nicely roasted - the sausage getting crispy in places.  I did line the pan with parchment, rather than spraying.

I was surprised how light and flaky theses Sugared Marble Cookies were given that they called for shortening instead of butter, but light and flakey they were.  Super simple, too.  The almond extract is always a favorite on my list.

I knew it was going to be cold, and there were meetings people would be at, so Mexican Street Corn Chicken Chowder was my pick for dinner.  I loved this.  It was creamy, with subtle flavors.  My only change would be to use fresh green and red peppers in a fine dice and either off-the-cob corn, or frozen corn.  I would even consider giving the peppers and corn a toss in the pot (before adding the remaining ingredients) to get a nice caramelization on them for added flavor and crunch.

These Sugar Cookie Bars sounded good, and easy.  And they were both.  Super easy to pull together, and holy cow, it was like eating cookie dough.  Add the almond butter cream frosting, and they were awesome.

Lent started, so I need a couple meat-free meals.  This Pasta with Creamy Pumpkin Sauce was the first.  I was intrigued by the recipe.  I liked it.  It was smooth and creamy with a decent amount of seasoning, for me.  There were some in the family wanting more seasonings.  After thinking about it, besides adding more of the already listed ingredients, some cumin, and maybe some parmesan cheese sprinkled on at the end would have been good.

I needed a filling side to go with the Pumpkin Pasta, and had apples on hand which fit right in with the Pecan, Blue Cheese and Apple Salad.  I opted to use goat cheese crumbles - more of my family is on board with that over blue cheese (which I love).  I also didn't mess with glazing the pecans, just used them outright; I would glaze them if I was serving this for company.  I really liked it, however, the kids thought it was a little heavy on the vinegar, which I would agree with.  I'd back off the vinegar by a tablespoon.

Just because it's meat-free, doesn't mean it's totally healthy. Like this Cheese Lover's Stuffed Shells was super delish, and probably not the healthiest thing, but I don't care.  It was creamy, and rich, and gooey.  It's also one of the better alfredo sauces I've had, and I loved that it didn't separate in the oven!  Add a giant salad on the side, and it all balances out.

Happy Monday,

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