I had a bad day, so I decided to splurge on something special: A nice,
expensive wedge of cheese. Gruyere, in fact, a cheese I've never tried
before. I needed it for this recipe for Potato
a classic from Julia Child.
I've made a couple potato gratins previously, but this was by far the
best. The gruyere was the perfect choice, though cheddar could do in
a pinch. This time I used heavy cream instead of half-and-half from
other recipes, which I think was the biggest improvement. I added some
onions to the recipe, because why not? Potatoes always go great with
a little bit of onion.
Make sure you use enough cream. When you press down on the center of the
potatoes, the cream should come up to cover the potatoes. Also make sure
you check the doneness: A fork should slide easily through the potatoes.
I served this alongside some basic roasted chicken. Nothing fancy there,
just salt and pepper, and the resulting meal was excellent. I had to
stop myself from gorging myself to save room for the pistachio gelato
I bought for dessert (bad day, remember).
Pistachio is one of my favorite flavors. When I decide to splurge on ice
cream, it's always Ben and Jerry's Pistachio Pistachio (so good). When
I need a cheap fix, it's instant pistachio pudding. But one thing I miss
from the bakery back in Wisconsin is pistachio muffins. So when
I stumbled across this recipe for Pistachio Muffins from My Momma Told
Me, I was
curious. When I found out it used pistachio pudding mix for flavor,
I had to try it.
This recipe was so good, it might break me from my recent scone habit.
It comes together quickly, same as any muffin recipe. There's almost too
much for my muffin pan, but that meant big, mushrooming muffins.
Pistachio pudding mix was 4/$2.00 last week. I think I found what I'll
use the rest for.
I'm clearing out the chicken from my freezer, which means finding at
least a couple new ways to do it. Unlike last week's chicken
parmesan, which I've made dozens of
times, this week, I found this recipe for Herb Roasted Chicken with
I've seen recipes like this before, simply tossing some chicken on top
of some veggies and shoving it in the oven for an hour, but this is the
first one I've ever tried. It turned out pretty well, all things
considered, and I was pleased at how easy it was.
I didn't have any red wine vinegar, so I substituted an equal amount of
balsamic. The shallots I replaced with small yellow onions, and I ran
out of fresh garlic, so I used 1/2 tsp of garlic powder (1/8 tsp powder
All told this is a great, easy, inexpensive dinner, and you can vary the
herbs and sauce for infinite possibilities. Something hot and spicy
sounds good, or a heaping helping of your favorite seasoned salt.
Next time, I might try a different cut of meat. Thighs and legs might
not be the right cut of meat to use, due to their higher fat content.
Roasting the chicken on the potatoes means the fat can't drain away.
I've made this recipe a lot. It was one of the first real things I learned to
make. It's one of my favorite recipes: Easy, delicious, and filling. It
combines my favorite meat with my favorite pasta sauce. Chicken
Parmesan is the perfect chicken dish.
But I've always ever made it with boneless, skinless chicken breasts. In
my effort to also learn how to be cheap, and having some stuff to use up
from last week's
tortellini, I decided
to try making it with the bone-in, skin-on chicken thigh quarters I had
in the freezer.
It worked better than I expected. The chicken turned out great in the
oven, and the tomato sauce worked well with
a little extra cooking time. I added some
cauliflower to complete the meal.
Get the recipe for Chicken Parmesan
For some reason, I prefer tortellini to ravioli. Maybe it's the shape,
how it holds onto the sauce, or the ratio of pasta to filling. Whatever
it is, I'm always up for tortellini.
Unfortunately, it's a lot of work to make. This endeavour is best done
with friends in large batches, frozen until ready to eat. The
alternative, ready-made fresh tortellini, is usually outside my budget.
So, when there was a sale, I had to jump on it.
So I bought some chicken and mozarella tortellini. Combined with my
recipe for tomato sauce, and some roasted
cauliflower, I had an excellent dinner!
I've been making this tomato sauce recipe for
a few months now, and I have to say I'm not going back to cans or jars.
Tomato sauce is easy (though it does take 30 minutes) and delicious,
with bright flavors that don't seem to survive the canning process.
And, since my oven was empty while making the pasta and sauce,
I roasted some cauliflower with pepper and
thyme. The result was perfectly browned and tasty.