Week 17- Balsamic Roast Beef (no recipe)
I found this recipe over at Add A Pinch… go there to see it! And while you’re there check out some of her other awesome recipes! I literally didn’t change a thing. Except, I used a smaller roast (there are only 2 of us after all). I used a rump round…
This is my new favorite roast! Next time I think I’m going to cook some potatoes and carrots in the slow cooker with the beef, so I can save a step and not have to make them separately.
I’m def adding this to my recipe rotation, it got thumbs up from both Hubs and I!
Week 18- Oven Baked Chicken Wings… and a Jack Daniels Soy Sauce Marinade… and a Maple Jack Daniels Garlic Pepper wing sauce.
I started the challenge for this week with the intention of making sweet & sour chicken (the Chinese takeout kind), and eventually it morphed into chicken wings. I’ve never baked wings in the oven, in fact I’ve never made wings. Ever. It’s another one of my weird food things… I don’t really like to eat “bone in” foods. Is that strange? Guess what else I don’t do… “butcher” things. Cutting/ trimming raw meat grosses me out. i didn’t really think about that when I decided to make chicken wings this week. I had to take this tips off AND trim the extra skin. I couldn’t make myself separate the drums & flats, it was too icky.
Next up… I couldn’t decide if I wanted to marinate, or just toss the wings in sauce, so I did both! I marinated some, and left some naked. Then I tossed a few of the marinated ones and the plain ones in sauce. I would def recommend marinating them. The plain ones came out… very plain. Even with the sauce on them. Haha, that was so confusing… just marinate them. 😉
I based the marinade off of one my Nana used to make. And then totally messed with it. I’m pretty sure it would taste good on anything!
The wing sauce was adapted from the Tabasco website. They seriously have TONS of recipes on there! I adapted it just a smidge. It was thinner than I thought it would be… I think next time I’ll marinate the chicken in it AND toss them in it too!
Overall, I’m pretty proud of myself… I really liked both the marinade and the sauce. I’m already thinking about how to combined them!
Week 19- Homemade BBQ “Baked” Beans
We starting house shopping last month and it’s been kind of stressful. So I really wanted to make something easy this week. I chose baked beans… and went to my handy Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook. Then I changed everything in the recipe besides the cooking time and the kidney beans. They came out pretty good! I think next time I’ll try them with 2 kinds of beans instead of one, and I’ll probably use a low-fat/ low cal BBQ sauce. I’m also not 100% positive that I used 2 teaspoons of mustard… I didn’t measure it out. It’s possible there was a bit more in there. This recipe is a quick and easy replacement for those canned baked beans from the grocery store; I usually have all those ingredients already in my pantry! I wish there was more to say… but there isn’t. Enjoy.
Week 20- Chinese (Take-out Style) Beef & Broccoli
Tastes JUST like the Beef & Broccoli from our favorite Chinese food take out place! I adapted this recipe from an unsourced one floating around Facebook. You know the ones I’m talking about? The one of FB was a little different and it was meant for a slow cooker. I decided to make it in the skillet instead!
I’ve never used cornstarch to thicken a sauce before… I def needed to whisk it in, not stir… I ended up breaking up a bunch of clumps.
I don’t have much else to say… except that I’m sorry there aren’t pix. We ate it ALL before I remembered I needed to take them! Oops.
And one last thing… I did the calorie counts based on the fact that I use Low Fat/ Reduced Fat products as often as possible.
Week 21- Impossible Taco Cheeseburger Pie
This is another meal that my mom used to make when I was a kid. I just jazzed it up a little bit with the Jalapeño cheese and the taco seasoning. I actually “made” the taco seasoning at home instead of using a packet. I was going to put some sliced tomatoes on top… but they were too soft. BOO! I also only used ¾ of the cheese, but I counted the calories for the whole block anyways! This is a super duper, wicked easy meal… I even thought about throwing some frozen corn in there too… but I’m not sure if that would be weird or not.
That’s all for the New To Me Cooking Challenge for May!
I just realized that I didn’t take ANY pictures… Sorry! I’ll try and remember to take some the next time I make any of these recipes!
I didn’t get a chance to bake last Sunday, as we spent Labor Day Weekend with some of my family in MD. Yay. I haven’t seen my Nana or my Aunt R in years, and it was so glorious to spend some much needed time with my fabulous family. Not to mention I got to see my mom (who I haven’t seen in over a year), and my Aunt J! Went to the Civil War Medicine Museum and learned a lot. AND I did some outlet shopping… HELLO 50% off Nike running jacket, and 40% off Yankee Candles! Ee gads, if I had my way I also would have bought half of the place that sold kitchen gadgets, several pairs of new shoes, and…
Shit, I went a bit off topic there, huh? Back to it…
On the way back to PA on Monday, Hubs jokingly reminded me that he needed goodies to take into work on Tuesday! I do love a challenge, and any excuse to make some junk food sounds good to me. I’ve been dying to try making a Monkey Bread (pull apart cinnamon/ sugar “bread”) recipe that I found on AllRecipes.com… so I went with that and some Puppy Chow (Muddy Buddy, Moose Knuckles… you know, Chex, chocolate, peanut butter, powdered sugar). The Puppy Chow went off with out a hitch, maybe ’cause I’ve made it a million times. The same could NOT be said for the Monkey Bread. The recipe was originally for an 8-9 inch bundt pan (another kitchen thing I don’t own) so while I was out I got a set of those really cheap aluminum ones, but they were only 5 inchs. NBD, right? I figured I’d just use both of them… Long story short, I followed the prep directions, made the sticky sauce and poured it over the top. As the “bread” expanded the sugary sauce dripped over the edge of the pan, and proceeded to burn on the bottom of my oven. And that’s just the beginning…
After (what I thought was) the right amount of time, and opening half the windows in the apartment I took the bundt pans out of the oven, and allowed them to cool for about 15 minutes. After that I flipped them out of the cheap bundt pan, and realized that they were still RAW on the inside! Eeeeeff meeeeee. Well, since the oven was off I figured I’d get some of that sauce off the bottom of my oven, apparently 15 minutes isn’t enough time for the coils (I’ve got an electric oven) to cool off and I managed to burn my hand 2x while I tried to scrub the oven… Then I preheated it (again), and dumped the Monkey Bread chunks onto a cookie sheet, and ended up baking them for another 20 minutes. I think.
Needless to say… There’s no recipe page (or pictures) for the Monkey Bread. Not yet. It needs some work, and a boozy icing.
Now that September is over, I decided to get back to the Cupcakery. So… I’ve seen these ridiculously yummy looking commercials for some restaurant that serves Jack Daniel’s Cake, maybe TGI Fridays, and have had JD on the brain for a while. I browsed some recipes online. It seemed like all the JD cakes online are loaf cakes, dense, or bready. Not what I was looking for. Eventually I stumbled on a few JD chocolate cupcake recipes. Why didn’t I think of that!? I mixed and matched pieces from other recipes. AKA the same chocolate cake I always use (thanks to Restless Chipotle), the ONLY chocolate ganache recipe I’ve ever used (S’more cupcakes, Irish CarBomb cupcakes… ), and the boozy chocolate buttercream from the PB cookie cups!
Nothing exciting or interesting happened while I was making the cake batter, except I realized I didn’t have enough vanilla or JD for either of the other components. Luckly, Hubs is AWESOME (yes, I’m totes bragging), and went out to get me more of both! Glad the liquor store’s open on Sunday here. 😉
The ganache was a different story… It was waaaaay too thin, and I have NO IDEA why. I literally have no idea what I did wrong. Seriously. I ended up adding about 1/2 cup of melted chocolate chips that I had in the fridge to the ganache. Then I let it sit while I smoked a ciggy, walked the dog, washed the dishes, and made the buttercream. It thickened nicely after the addition of the chocolate chips and some time to “set”. The only place I went off recipe was melting the butter into the cream (while it simmered) instead of adding it at the same time as the JD… That’s the way I wrote it originally, but not the way my posted recipe says (which is how I actually made it)… hmph. I also had a lot left over, so I drizzled it over the top of the buttercream frosting.
As for the buttercream… I actually added the liquid ingredients and salt after about 3/4 of the powdered sugar and cocoa powder. It was getting to clumpy, and my poor hand mixer pretty much gave its last breath today. (Insert Moment Of Silence here in memory of my first kitchen gadget, the only mixer I’ve ever owned, and the one tool that’s been with me since my first cupcake) This recipe makes a lot of frosting… it’s possible that you might only need to make half of the recipe. But I love frosting, so I over frost my cupcake like an addict searching for a sugar high.
Don’t judge, just enjoy.
Happy Sunday Cupcakery,
Click here for the RECIPE!!
(update 9/10/12) Umm… I’m not a huge fan of these. More specifically, If you don’t LOVE JD, you won’t like these. The cupcakes actually made my face hot. Like when you take a shot, you can feel it spread. You know what I mean? At any rate, this is def not a “subtle” flavor, and I don’t particularly like JD. I’m thinking less JD in the ganache will make it better… Just figured a warning would be right. 😉