12-15: Pasta with Salami

12-15: Pasta with Salami

Pasta with a thin sauce didn’t seem super appropriate for dinner, so I made 12-15: Pasta with Salami and dished it out for lunch as part of a meal prep. While there are a few differences between the recipe card photo and my final product photo, my creation was similar in spirit to the beautifully shot photo below. The place settings are so retro–such a great scene they set.

The exquisite setup showcases the raw ingredients along with the wonderful cutlery and plating of the dish. How magnificent!

Read more

12-33: Individual Beef Lasagna

12-33: Individual Beef Lasagna

Have you ever thought to make individual servings of lasagna? I’ve never thought to make lasagna in single servings and after attempting 12-33: Individual Beef Lasagna, I would not try it again. Join me, won’t you? Watch as I do my best to follow this recipe from deep within the minds of the wacky editors of Simply Delicious.

The example photo looks so elegant. The blue rimmed wine glass is excellent, I wish I had a set of those. The description is not hyperbolic when it says this is a completely new version of lasagna. It’s barely lasagna.

Read more

19-7: Fresh and Dried Herbs

19-7: Fresh and Dried Herbs

19-7: Fresh and Dried Herbs has been a recipe-in-the-making for a few months. I mention frequently that I often write these entries months after I complete the actual recipe, but this one actually took me that long TO complete.

19-7 Fresh and Dried HerbsUsually, these Cooking School cards don’t have too much in the way of actual recipes–often times it’s more like the card above, more recommendation than actual recipe. I’m not going to restate what they’ve written here–it’s all good advice. Jump behind the cut for some herb blend recipes as well as a DIY vinegar challenge and BONUS limoncello recipe.

Read more

13-8: Vegetarian Calzone

13-8: Vegetarian Calzone

Much like Ben Wyatt, a late-addition character from NBC’s Parks and Recreation, I have enjoyed my fair share of calzones. Hawaiian calzones are one of my favorite types, pineapple and Canadian bacon can’t be beat! However, when wanting to eat in a health conscious manner, 13-8: Vegetarian Calzone is a great meat-free alternative.

Preparing this dish was super easy. A lot of time can be saved by using ready-bought puff pastry.

Editor’s note: This was a dish I made as part of a big family dinner I cooked with a family friend when I was 13–my step-grandmother is vegetarian and we made this so she’d have something to eat. My mom made her a baked potato for Thanksgiving once, complete with a toothpick-and-construction paper turkey head, wings, and tail that I painstakingly spent the day crafting. She did not appreciate the turkey-potato (too closely resembled an animal for her…go figure), but she did like this calzone. 

Read more

4-36: Golden Potato Medley

4-36: Golden Potato Medley

There are few things in this world as good as potatoes and vegetables covered in cheesy breadcrumbs. It’s a popular side dish that you’ve seen many variations of. I really enjoyed 4-36: Golden Potato Medley and the plating that Simply Delicious shows below looks so much better than how my dish came out.  I go more for utility than aesthetics when I’m cooking, but it’s also true that you eat with your eyes before your stomach. 👀

This dish is the perfect side dish, but it is hearty enough to be eaten as an entree. It doesn’t look like much, but is perfect with hot sauce.

Read more

8-29: Marinated Flank Steaks

8-29: Marinated Flank Steaks

Over the years I’ve made plenty of steaks, but I don’t have a lot of experience cooking flank steaks. Jamie grew up eating carne asada–but on the East Coast, we were eating Steak-Ums sandwiches. Not quite the same, but it got the job done. 8-29: Marinated Flank Steaks was a fun opportunity to cook this recipe and get familiar with cooking a different cut of beef that I’m used to.

I have some experience with marinades so this dish wasn’t too difficult for me to attempt. It is ranked Fairly Easy after all.

Read more

9-39: Zesty Meat Casserole

9-39: Zesty Meat Casserole

Not every Simply Delicious recipe is a home run. With 9-39: Zesty Meat Casserole, perhaps unsuccessfully, tries to break the mold. By not forming the beef into a patty, meatball, or kebab, this casserole tries to do something different. To cook this recipe, I had to prepare a parsnip, something I’m not accustomed to. I made this dish before a trip out of town and brought it with me to have something homemade to eat.

I cut my vegetables in a manner similar to the photograph, but my substitution of milk for half and half made the sauce come out runny.

Read more

3-9: Mexican Chicken Soup

3-9: Mexican Chicken Soup

Chicken soup is always good on a day when you are feeling sick. I made 3-9: Mexican Chicken Soup on a really hot day, basically the worst type of day to make chicken soup. I was able to freeze and store all of this soup for future meals. Later on in the week that I made this soup, I caught a nasty cold and having a stockpile of chicken soup really helped me feel better.

The spice mixture is the only part of this soup that is remotely Mexican.

Editor’s noteSimply Delicious has another “Mexican” soup–check out 3-15: Quick Mexican Soup if you want what is essentially a ground-beef version of this soup. 

Read more

1-10: Seafood Cocktail Louisiana

1-10: Seafood Cocktail Louisiana

I’m counting 1-10: Seafood Cocktail Louisiana as the fourth dish I made of this year’s 7-recipe Thanksgiving cooking marathon (TGV 2016) , but its components actually spanned a few days (and a few cooks). This was one of three appetizers I made for my Thanksgiving dinner–the others being a crudité & hummus platter and 1-5: Pigs in a Blanket.

My mom was always big on the idea of “shrimp cocktail” as being necessary for Thanksgiving dinner appetizers (it was always part of her family’s holiday dinner when she was growing up), so in order to honor that idea, I chose this recipe.

1-10 Seafood Cocktail Louisiana
As I mentioned above, I’m counting this as the fourth dish I made–it spanned Wed. 11/23 and Thu. 11/24 as different components had varying levels of make-in-advance-ability. My sous chef made the dressing and prepped shrimp the first night, while I assembled the dish itself right before serving the next day.

Read more

5-31: Oven Pizza Pancake

5-31: Oven Pizza Pancake

Cooking a pizza on a pancake dough creates a very kooky, weird pizza experience. 5-31: Oven Pizza Pancake is not your usual pizza–this soft-crusted abomination is another dish created when the Simply Delicious editors decided to have one too many beers at the office.


The beer in the background of this image should have been my first clue that this was a strange dish.

Editor’s note: I used this recipe for when I taught cooking in an after-school program for K-8 kids a few years ago–I didn’t have the time or resources to make a traditional rising dough using yeast on that particular site, so this method provided me a somewhat valid shortcut.

Read more