Granola

When this was coming out of the oven, I had to yank C’s hand away from the pan. The whole house smelled delicious. This recipe isn’t quite as sweet as some other granolas I’ve tried – and you can always adjust the sweetness based on the amount of syrup you use. I love granola – especially now that my adult braces are off! Here’s to celebrating all things crunchy. My comments are in italics.

Granola
From Jamie’s Food Revolution, Jamie Oliver.  Continue reading

Jamie’s Food Revolution

It’s Food Revolution week, so if you’re into Jamie Oliver, I’m sure you saw his fist gifs all over Facebook and Twitter. (I’m assuming Twitter. I’m still trying to figure out Twitter. I’m 40.) I grabbed this book after watching a few episodes of his food reality show in West Virginia. I was equally disgusted and fascinated with his demonstration of how chicken nuggets are made – and how the tv kids still liked them. But that was in 2010 and I was obsessing about which purees H would like the best. (Mango, if you really want to know.) Five years later I’m forced to admit that nothing has really changed.

The Recipes
Granola
Chicken Tikka Masala
Tikka Masala Paste
Light and Fluffy Rice
Macaroni and Cauliflower Cheese Bake
Evolution Carrot Salad
Dressed Asparagus
Buttered Spinach
Vanilla Cheesecake with a Raspberry Topping  Continue reading

Avocado-Mango Salad with Fresh (or Blue) Cheese, Bacon and Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

A perfect family salad – avocado and mango for the smaller hands, a sophisticated dressing and crunch for the grown ups. Serve it deconstructed on a platter and let everyone fend for themselves. My notes are in italics.

Avocado and Mango Salad. DELICIOUS.

Avocado and Mango Salad. DELICIOUS.

From Mexican Everyday by Rick Bayless.  Continue reading

Lofty Buttermilk Pancakes

My kids love pancakes. They request them at least twice a week, doesn’t matter which meal. I’m looking for pancakes that are quick, easy, and taste great. This recipe moved to the top of the pile with a clever little trick about the eggs. Yes, you separate them. No, you don’t whip the whites. Don’t feel bad if you read through the recipe a few times to make sure you didn’t miss the directions. I read it three times before I reluctantly dumped in the whites. As usual, my comments are in italics.

Lofty pancakes. Kids LOVED. They ate the leftovers for lunch, and asked for more at dinner.

Lofty pancakes. Kids LOVED. They ate the leftovers for lunch, and asked for more at dinner.

Lofty Buttermilk Pancakes. 
Taken from the Kitchn Cookbook by Sara Kate Gillingham and Faith Durand Continue reading

Mexican Everyday

I am not the biggest fan of Mexican food. Or should I say – American-style Mexican food. Regular salsa doesn’t seem to have a lot of flavor dimension – just hot, hotter, and taste doesn’t really matter hot – and everything is loaded down with heavy sauces. And don’t forget about the gut-bomb/inevitable post-meal regret you experience after going crazy on the chips, cheese, and beans. If I do eat it, I’m looking for the fruit/cucumber style salsa, something that’s grilled, and guacamole. My daughter asked for guacamole for Christmas a few years ago. We’re serious about guac, but for the rest…..I’ll opt for Thai takeout.

This cookbook is not that kind of Mexican.

I’ve been pleasantly surprised this week. First, the book is by Rick Bayless, arguably one of the best chefs around, let alone Mexican cuisine specialists. He’s the winner of Top Chef Masters. And he’s a hard-core yogi. (Tidbit from the book!) I’ve had this book for about 3 years and have used it primarily for guacamole and for Cinco de Mayo inspiration. Since it’s the first week of May, this was the book of the week! Rather that just subject my family alone to my 99 cookbooks project, we invited neighbors over for a feast to thank them for feeding us when our kitchen was gutted. That meal was one of the few food highlights I had this past winter, so I was ready to show my gratitude.

The Recipes
Home Cooked Beans
Gulf Coast-Style White Rice Pilaf
Avocado-Mango Salad with Fresh Cheese and Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
Rustic Roasted Tomato Salsa
Guacamole Three Ways
Grilled Chicken Breasts with Tangy Yucatecan Spices and Seasonal Vegetables
Chorizo, Potato, and Mushroom Tacos
Smoky Pork Tinga Tacos with Avocado and Fresh Cheese
Tomatillo-Sauced Enchiladas with Spinach and Mushrooms
Pineapple Skillet Upside Down Cake
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the kitchn cookbook

This is a fairly new addition to my collection. I picked it up in November 2014 as we were planning our kitchen remodel. If you haven’t already read the renovation story, you should check it out. Big changes! Anyway, I wasn’t familiar with http://www.thekitchn.com until I started reading the book – which I grabbed because it had some great pictures of kitchens in it. And if it had a few recipes – great! I had a lot of fun reading through the first half of the book – it’s actually a pretty innovative cookbook, depending on what you’re looking for – but didn’t really get fired up about cooking out of it until it recently won the 2015 James Beard award for best general cookbook. Congrats! Of course, I immediately decided it was my book of the week.

The Recipes
Fig and Almond Quinoa Breakfast Porridge
Lofty Buttermilk Pancakes
Coconut Banana Bread
Overnight (No-Knead) Bread
Quick Sweet and Spicy Pickles
The Essential Kale Chip
Skillet Roasted Whole Chicken
Cold Peanut Sesame Noodles with Pan Seared Chicken
Quick Sauteed Greens with Ginger
Citrusy Quinoa Salad with Avocado, Cucumber, and Almonds
Perfected Chocolate Chip Cookies
Magic One-Ingredient Ice Cream
(I know, I did a lot this week. Maybe a bit overboard. But you’ll find out why.)
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