Cooking Reports

These are other recipes and things that I'm trying in the kitchen. If they turn out, or if they don't, I'm going to post about it. The things that work will likely get a full recipe writeup in the future.

French Toast

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I had a craving for some french toast, so I adapted Alton Brown's French Toast recipe a bit to make a quick(ish) morning meal for one: I halved the recipe, left the bread out in the air for about an hour, let it soak up the custard for about a minute, and cooked on the stove over low heat for about 5 minutes. The result was 3 pieces of dense, creamy goodness that I can't wait to try again!

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/french-toast-recipe.html

French toast on a plate with butter and syrup

Lentil Marinara

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I'd never tried lentils before, which is a shame because they're great. Easy to make and nutritious, lentils are a good staple to have in your pantry. They're like dried beans, without the lengthy overnight soaking before use.

Since I also had a bunch of tomato sauce makings about, I decided to see if they could be combined. I had previously made a red bean and tomato sauce recipe, but beans are large and chewy, and the end result was unappetizing at best.

However, adding 1 cup of red lentils and 2 cups of water to my tomato sauce recipe turned out wonderfully. I just added the lentils and water immediately after everything else, and let the whole thing simmer for 25 minutes until the lentils were tender. The lentils added some flavor and a bunch of protein, so it's a good option for vegetarians (the parmesan cheese I added stopped it from being vegan). Added together with some roasted broccoli and I had a nice, healthy meal.

Tomato sauce with red lentils and roasted broccoli

Creamy Sausage and Mushroom Rigatoni

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Is it still considered Hamburger Helper if it's made with Italian sausage? If it's not made with powders from bags that come in a box? I'm not sure if the difference is that distinct...

This recipe for Creamy Sausage and Mushroom Rigatoni from The Girl Who Ate Everything is uncannily similar to the Spicy Penne and Sausage I've made once in a while. They could be twins. Feel free to add parmesan to this, or basil to that. Peas could go well with this, or maybe some bacon.

In the end, it was easy, inexpensive, and good, which is exactly what a busy weeknight needs. It's adaptable to what's in the kitchen, provided you've got some cream or half-and-half on-hand (have I convinced you yet of their overwhelming utility?).

Creamy Sausage and Mushroom Rigatoni in a bowl with
parmesan

Breakfast Burritos

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Over the last year and a half, I've been levelling up my basic cooking skills, like sauteéing and improvising. So, since I had some tortillas from the chicken lunch wraps, and some mushrooms from last night's chicken with white wine, I decided to try making another breakfast burrito.

Unlike the last breakfast burrito, this one had mushrooms and onions, and no rice. To get the most flavor possible, I sauteéd the onions and mushrooms until golden brown and delicious. Then, I turned off the burner, and with the remaining heat, scrambled the eggs. I assembled the lot into a warm tortilla, and for a finishing touch, added some salt, pepper, and tabasco.

I wish I could eat like this every morning. Having a nice, relaxing 30 minute, freshly-made breakfast. Maybe I need to start getting into the habit...

Breakfast burrito with egg, mushroom, and onion on
a plate

Chicken Lunch Wraps

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I've been looking for a quick, easy, and healthy lunch. Unfortunately, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches fill only two of those requirements (especially when eaten daily). I've also been looking to up my greens intake.

In the building I used to work in, they had an excellent deli that served fresh sandwiches and wraps. For the longest time, I ate the club sandwich. But, one day I decided to try their grilled chicken wrap, and I was hooked.

So here's a chicken lunch wrap recipe. It requires a little prep, but the chicken can be made in large batches and kept for a week. I went with cabbage, which has a different flavor. I tried two variations: Ranch dressing (unhealthy) with cheddar, and fat-free Italian dressing (healthy) with pepperjack, both to good effect.

Here's to a week's worth of healthy lunches!

chicken lunch wraps on a plate

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