11-35: Grilled Pacific Halibut

I have never been known for my skills in preparing fish, but this recipe, 11-35: Grilled Pacific Halibut, helped me become a halibut grilling master! 🐟

Many of the times I failed at cooking fish, I did not marinate the flesh first. Skipping that step definitely makes a difference.

Editor’s note: By the looks of the notations on this card, my mother made this in what looks like July of 1995, although that last digit is difficult to clearly determine–her handwriting has always been a challenge. It might be 1990. She noted that it was “Very Easy” on the back–sounds like Adam may have had a similar experience.  Read more

18-1: Basic Yeast Dough I

I’ve made a lot of bread during the 3.5 years I’ve been working on this project (both for the project and outside of it), and I hear a lot of the same remarks whenever I talk about making bread: “Oh, that seems hard”, or “It’s too much work to make bread”. I used to feel the same way, and shied away from yeast recipes for a long time out of a fear of failure. In cooking (like most things in life), you have to be ready to embrace failure and learn from it–otherwise, you’ll never get past heating up Hot Pockets in the microwave.

18-1 Basic Yeast Dough I

Simply Delicious even notes in their recipe blurb that bread making is perceived as hard. It’s maybe not the easiest thing in the world, but you’ll make a lot of friends fast if you can make them fresh bread. 18-1: Basic Yeast Dough I is the first in a three-part series on bread making, where you’ll learn some tips and tricks for improving your bread baking, as well as a few basic recipes that you can use.

Read more

11-5: Lemon Pepper Scallops

Hey, y’all. Took a month or two off (I need SOME sort of summer vacation now that I’m not a teacher anymore), but as I’ve said before, I’m not going to let this die. Even though I haven’t been actively writing and publishing, I’ve still been cooking and photographing–I’ll get caught up here soon. Thanks for sticking around. 🙂

Here’s one I cooked a little while ago, but never finished writing–11-5: Lemon Pepper Scallops. My husband Adam LOVES seafood and at the start of this summer, we had decided we were going to try to knock out more of the Fish and Beef chapters of the book over the warm months. I can’t say that vow has worked out (I don’t think any of the ones in the queue are either one of those), but here’s a vestige of what was to be.

I’m gonna tell you right now–I can do a LOT of things in the kitchen, but poaching is my white whale. I always have a REALLY hard time with it (see 5-4: Eggs Benedict for an example of that), and I’ve yet to conquer it. Practice makes perfect, but to be honest, I’m not a huge fan of poached seafood anyway (very 1980s). I think for this one, I’m going to use a more flavorful searing technique, which I have less of a chance of screwing up (hey, scallops ain’t cheap).

Read more

9-29: Ground Meat Kebabs

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. 

Read more

5-4: Eggs Benedict

I believe in a couple of things–nobody’s perfect, and all things eventually balance out. My experience with this recipe, 5-4: Eggs Benedict, especially relative to how the rest of the meal went, encapsulates both of those ideas. In the days leading up to making this Mother’s Day brunch (MD2017), I knew I needed to practice two things before the big day: poaching eggs and hollandaise sauce–I’ve had trouble with both in the past. Guess what I didn’t do?

I procrastinated on practicing both my egg poaching and my hollandaise, and those were my failure points on this recipe. After the jump, you can read about what went really well (my homemade English muffins) and what didn’t (my broken hollandaise sauce, for one).

Read more

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

2-4: Chef’s Salad

2-4: Chef’s Salad is another somewhat classic American restaurant dish to serve with your 1-18: Club Sandwich. Wikipedia gives it a similar history–most accounts trace it back to early 20th century New York, although a few credit it to originating in 17th century England. This iteration is pretty similar to most you’ll find in modern-day restaurants–the beauty of the chef salad is that the ingredients are at the discretion of the chef. ‍

I NEED that creepy statue in the Simply Delicious picture. Google has nothing decent for me when I search “hippopotamus chef“, but you never know–someday one of my thrift store treasure hunt trips may pay off.

Read more

9-37: Ground Meat and Bean Dinner

This dish is a dish that just “isn’t quite”. Isn’t quite good, isn’t quite bad. Like a bootleg chili, 9-37: Ground Meat and Bean Dinner is a Simply Delicious mess of a dish that isn’t quite chili and isn’t quite a casserole. 🌶

Unusual flavors is an understatement. Apples, cloves and cinnamon are a very old school meat and flavor combination. The broadest definition of meat is a solid food so pretty much everything used to be called meat. Merriam Webster Dictionary features an archaic definition of meat: “the edible part of something as distinguished from its covering (as a husk or shell)”. Fruit meat, nut meat, vegetable meat, the fleshy part that provides sustenance is technically a meat under this really old definition.

Read more

6-41: Chicken Breasts with Tomato Salsa

I like dishes that are easy enough to prepare on a weekday night. 6-14: Chicken Breasts with Tomato Salsa teaches you to make a simple salsa to put on top of some tasty chicken breasts. 🍗

I really enjoy dishes like this for dinner: simple and flavorful ingredients which combine to make a nutritious, Simply Delicious meal. 

Read more

7-24: Cran-Glazed Pork Tenderloin

Simply Delicious contains the best recipes for pork tenderloin. I particularly enjoy this preparation, 7-24: Cran-Glazed Pork Tenderloin, which uses cranberry sauce–my favorite part of the Thanksgiving (or Christmas) meal. 🍒

Pork and wine taste great when combined together. Instead of marinating the pork as in 7-18: Pork Tenderloin in Wine Sauce, the cranberry sauce and wine are put in the pan to create a sauce to coat the pork tenderloin in flavor. 🍷

Read more