Friday, August 18, 2017

Food for Thought

I said I had a lot of recipes that needed posting.  The recipes below will give you some idea how long I've been holding on to these.  At least they're 2017's!

If you're looking for meal ideas, then these could make your planning go a little faster.

You know, I know I made these the weekend of the 4th, but for the life of me can't recall if it was a big thing, or just Parent Dinner Friday (we have been hosting my parents, along with the in-laws, since my mother had shoulder surgery back in April(?)  So these 4th of July Cookie Bars were really soft and vanilla-y, but I'm sorry, I couldn't make myself add the blue food coloring.  I showed my patriotic with sprinkles.

These Quick Southern-Style Backed Beans are a Pioneer Woman recipe and they were as good as any of her recipes.  They were thick and rich and savory.  Great for a cook-out.

We love tacos, burritos, anything southwest/mexican-ish.  So Southwestern Baked Burritos were a must try.  I really liked the filling - it was hearty and well spiced.  As with most things that are baked instead of fried, you don't really get that satisfying crunch, but it wasn't too bad.  I do bake on parchment, instead of foil or just the pan, and I did spray them, but I flipped them more than once to get a good browning and a semi-crunchy outside.  Still, they were good.

Salads, while a great no-heat meal, I don't do often, but am trying to do more.  I can get a lot in a salad some people in my house may pick over if served any other way.  So I liked this Chopped Asian Salad for those reasons, but I like it more once it was served.  Lots of great Asian flavors in a light dressing, crunching, filling and best of all, super easy.  I did not use chow mein noodles, but I might chop peanuts for next time instead.  It held up well for a couple days worth of lunches.

Hubby has been using his smoker a lot.  It's been awesome.  The only downside is that smoked meats can feel heavy - or at least they feel that way to me.  Not so much in the stomach heavy, but on the palate heavy.  When I saw this Grilled Cajun Chicken with Avocado Corn Salsa, it sounded fresh and light and it was.  The freshness of the salsa and the zing of the seasoning on the chicken was just right.  It made me think, maybe, every now and then, we need something fresh to top the smoked meats - a salsa or chimichurri; something bright and fresh.

I've made several sheet pan meals and I love them.  The set up, the clean up. It's all good.  I've been using various leftover meats (remember hubby's been smoking a lot) to make several variations on sheet pan nachos, just like this Sheet Pan Taco Nachos.  They are simple.  They are easy.  Everyone eats and, yes, the oven's on, but for 5 minutes.  I can deal.  Usually, I make up two sheet pans if everyone's home, set 'em on the table and we dig in.  Because the nachos are loaded, I don't generally serve anything further.  Works for us, and people leave full.

I've tried to stop buying dressings.  Most of the time I can make up dressings at home with what I have on hand.  When I needed a Balsamic Vinaigrette, I just looked it up.  This is a good, tangy, well balanced version.  It's going on a recipe card.

Before we got into the monsoon season, we had the odd cool day and this Greek Turkey Rice Skillet sounded good.  It was - the salty bite of olives and feta, and the lemon freshened everything up.  Because we're at altitude I need to adjust the cook time and liquid called for, or I get slightly undercooked rice.

We now have two high school grads.  One in college and one taking a semester off.  We also have one in private school.  So we're cutting back on our Saturday night eat out tradition.  In that vein I needed something to come home to after church if we were going to stick to the cutting back.  These Crock Pot Sweet Honey BBQ Hotdogs seemed easy enough.  The short cook time meant I could dump it all in on my way out the door and it would be ready when we got home.  Worked like a charm.  There was quite a bit of sauce, so either more hot dogs, or better yet, larger sausages.  

Happy Friday,


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