At the beginning of last week, Michael and I decided to utilize more of our cookbooks and shopped for specific ingredients to do so. We chose a few recipes out of each book we felt was gathering dust. This went strong for exactly two meals, both from Yellow Rose Recipes, strangely enough. You get to see those first, then a couple of randoms that were pretty darned good.
First up is the tamale pie:
oh so mexi
There were parts of this that I loved and parts that I was pretty 'meh' about. Loved: the cheesy nacho sauce. Holy mother nature. I almost didn't make the recipe for this from the book (opting to make my own version) because it seemed too simple to be good. Which is dumb. Because it freaking rules! Michael and I decided that it tasted identical to the nacho sauce from various snack bars of our youths such as the pool (for me) and the bowling alley (for him). And I know the recipe only says to use 1/2 cup of it, but I just poured the entire batch on top. It was that crazydelicious. Oh, here's my plate, by the way:
showstopping avocado love
I will admit that I put this in a bowl and ate it with a spoon after this shot. It's total bowl-food, guys. Ok, so...meh: I made the chicken style seitan from the book for this. The flavor was good, but, as is the case with every single batch of seitan I've ever simmered, it had the texture of wet bread. In fact, I tried making a sammich out of a cutlet of it the next day and it just became one with the bread and was a complete soggy mess. Maybe I'm doing something wrong, but I'm finished with ruining my seitan. I'm gonna stick to steaming, no matter what the recipe says. It just always, always works that way. Also kind of meh: while this was a yumtastic casserole, overall it really just tasted like mushy nachos. Not that that in and of itself is a bad thing, but it was an awful lot of work for something that tasted like nachos. Next time I might just use certain elements and pile it up on some chips, because that would be way easier. And crunchier.
Next up was the butternut squash lasagna. This was so easy to make, with a little teamwork. Once we divided up who was doing what, it came together in a flash. On a Wednesday, nonetheless.
So, it's not so pretty. So what. I put the end of our Teese on the bottom bit (which was awesome, btw). I really have no complaints about this recipe, honestly. It was even better the next day after the flavors had concentrated.
such a looker
It's prettier once it's sliced. And garnished. We ate this with slices of roasted garlic bread (it has whole cloves of garlic in it! what!). Michael and I have picked up a new habit: perusing the day old bread section at Kroger. We get like 5 loaves/baguettes/whathaveyou for like 89 cents apiece and put them in the freezer. Anytime we need or want some bread, just pop it in the oven for a few minutes. It's never tasted stale or off. Bargain shopping rules the school, kids. Back to the lasagna...it's the perfect combination of salty and sweet. Comfort foodiness.
Oh, bonus shot of the squashes after they were roasty...
Ok, so that is it for planned meals. The rest of this stuff was good, but definitely came together in a hurry. First is a wonderful lunch that Michael and I made together on Sunday that includes everything I love (his idea, so sweet!).
That's some bowties with Morningstar Chickn Strips (they were on sale, come on), peas, capers, sherry, balsamic vinegar (I don't like this, but it was good by the end), lemon juice, grape tomatoes, parsley, artichokes, shallots, garlic, and oyster mushrooms. We had it for lunch, then ate it again for dinner since it was so rad. This was probably my favorite meal this past week. Simple and heavenly.
Oh! I had almost forgotten about this one. My mom called me last Sunday (a week ago) and told me that it was St. David's day and he's the patron saint of Wales and leeks are the official veggie of Wales and that I needed to eat a leek today. Mom. As if I need an excuse to eat leeks. But thanks for letting me know, regardless.
probably not the best use of leeks, but whatever
I had meant to make the lasagna Sunday and add the leeks into the sauce, but by the time dinner came grumbling at my tummy, I was exhausted. And I just wanted something easy and tasty. Solution? Sauteed leeks with green beans and vinegar and salt and then some boxed couscous mix that Michael likes. Don't let the grossness of that picture fool you - it was nummy.
Do any of you other food bloggers get tired of trying to think of alternate words for 'delicious'? I'm out of synonyms. Time to find my thesaurus.
Here's a bread success:
I splurged on some white whole wheat flour. King Arthur makes damn good flour, but it is hella expensive. Kroger brand flour is like a buck and this kind is around 4 bucks. Alas, flour is apparently the one thing that Kroger doesn't make well. For bread anyway. (You should see our cabinets. Everything that isn't a specialty item is Kroger brand. I mean...it's cheaper and their stuff doesn't suck.) Blah blah, so I've made some sammiches with this bread and they didn't suck, either. And the flavor is pretty good, too. Woo!
A not so successful bread attempt were these hot dog buns:
They were doing great until I uncovered the formed buns before putting them in the oven and they deflated like it was their job or something. There was an upside, though! The outsides got crispy, so when we cut the slits for the dogs, the buns made these awesomely sturdy shells for holding loads of condiments. Any excuse to put more mustard on something is fine by me.
This meal was Michael's idea and was made on the first really nice day this past week. Summer food. We'd got that corn on the cob (just...corn?) for 50 cents apiece at the store expecting it to be terrible, but it ruled pretty hard. Nice and sweet. The potato salad is an invention of ours that is based on a recipe from The Accidental Vegan, but we put too much red onion in it and it hurt my mouth. That's pretty easy to pick out though. Once summer hits, I'll post the recipe, but I'm not feeling it right now. We make this potato salad practically once a week once it gets warm. It's that good. You're just gonna have to wait and come back to find out how to make it. That's some incentive if I've ever heard any.
Hey, have a good rest of your weeks. It's almost Friday, but as everyone that works a crappy job knows, each day lasts like a millenium until the weekend, and then every day is like 3 seconds long. So...here's hoping that your days are more like 24 hours long this week.
PS - one of my brothers and his wife are going vegetarian for Lent. For Lent, I gave up Veganomicon. So they could use it, you know. Wish us both luck.