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.
The quote from front of the recipe card for 6-27: Sweet-and-Sour Chicken is as true as anything I could write about this recipe: “Cook chicken legs and thighs the Chinese way, in a sweet-and-sour sauce. This is such a simple way of preparing bargain chicken and the result is just terrific.”
Sweet-and-sour sauce tastes great when you make it fresh, but it’s just as easy to buy the thick, red sauce in a jar and call it good.
A good friend from high school once had the genius idea to open a meatloaf based restaurant, based on his family’s famous meatloaf recipe. If he ever got the place off the ground, I’d expect he’d add a dish similar to 9-17: Ham-Wrapped Meat Loaf to his menu. I think it’d be weird to have a fast casual restaurant that is based around meatloaf. What would you call it? Meat Loaf Market? Meatloaf-ology?
Wrapping a meatloaf in bacon or ham is a tried and true way to make any ordinary blob of ground meat taste more interesting.
The Ground Meat and Sausage category is mainly 2 types of dishes: ground meat patties and ground meat kebabs. 9-29: Ground Meat Kebabs is one of the kebab variety. I made this recipe at the same time as 9-19: Meatballs on Skewers because they called for almost identical ingredients.
Grilling outside is much more satisfying than using a grill pan in my apartment, but I currently don’t have a lot of space for grilling.
Editor’s note: Putting on my ex-history teacher hat for a second–note that Simply Delicious claims this dish is from the vineyards of Yugoslavia, which hasn’t been a country since the late 80s/early 90s, around the time the Soviet Union collapsed. These remind me a lot of lule kabobs, which were one of my favorites when we lived in a heavily-Armenian area in Los Angeles (the apartment with the blue tiles and yellow walls from the beginning of this project). These are NOWHERE near as good as those ones, but I suppose they could pass in a pinch.
Pork and pineapple are two of my favorite ingredients. Sweet and Sour Pork from almost any Chinese restaurant makes me happy. Simply Delicious finally put these two powerhouse ingredients together in this recipe for 7-13: Thai Pork Loin.
Looking at the size of the chunks in the sample photo, I see how I could have cut my ingredients differently, however, I still stand by the choices I made. The method of preparation I chose is what Jamie and I would prefer versus what the book tells you to do.
Gyro is probably my favorite preparation method of ground meat, so when I saw this recipe, I got very excited. This recipe, 9-19: Meatballs on Skewers is basically the same recipe as gyro, just served differently. However, I wish I had just bought a container of tzatziki at the store instead of making the yogurt sauce.
The rabbit handle piece on the end of the skewer in the example photo is simply incredible. I’ve never seen a set of skewers quite like that. It looks like the other skewers have other animal handles, I think I see a cat and a chicken on the other skewers that are slightly obscured by the meatballs. The serving dish is very neat, I’d like to add one to my collection.
As part of my Mother’s Day brunch this year (MD2017), I wanted to push my limits by attempting some of the hardest pastry recipes in the book. I tested my skills not only with 17-44: Homemade Danish Pastries, but with this recipe as well, 17-23: Mocha Éclairs. My mom always referred to éclairs as something that challenged her when she was learning to cook and bake, and that a well-executed one was something that really impressed her. With that in mind, I knew this recipe was a must-do.
I may have to make a few adjustments to Simply Delicious‘ version of the recipe–first of all, there’s no chocolate listed anywhere in this recipe, and it’s advertised as “mocha”, which is coffee AND chocolate. We may have to do something about this “slicing the tops off” idea as well.
I recently attended a baby shower for a former co-worker and took it as an opportunity to knock out two more Simply Delicious desserts: 16-39: Apricot Tart and this one, 16-24: French Chocolate Cake. I wanted to bring something fruit/nut and something just plain chocolate, since some people there had nut allergies and others might just want something simple and chocolate.
This was a combination birthday party/baby shower (same person being honored for both), which will hopefully explain the odd decorations on my version of the cake. I’ve spared you pictures of the worst of my decoration choices, but let’s just say I made liberal use of all 4colors of a grocery store icing kit. I kept meaning to hit a craft store for better cake decorations (or even Amazon), but time got away from me. ⏳
Sometimes a dish can remind you what you like about a particular ingredient. 6-9: Orange-Glazed Turkey Breast reminded me that I really enjoy turkey breast. Turkey breast is a low calorie protein that is delicious to eat any time of year, not just at Thanksgiving.
This dish would be really easy to make with Thanksgiving leftovers. We bought a turkey breast on manager’s special and froze it for storage until I was ready to make this recipe.