17-42: Luscious Lemon Bars

17-42: Luscious Lemon Bars were the second of my holiday baking batches this year (XMAS 16), and one that I’ve baked in the past, given my rather bold notes. I think I was on a cheesecake kick, and thought these would be easier than making an actual cake. “BAD DO NOT MAKE” doesn’t exactly bode well for a recipe–why make it again?

Here’s why: sometimes it’s important to try again, even when the first experience wasn’t exactly a positive one. The first time I made these lemon bars was my junior year of college, so about 10-12 years ago. I had just moved into my first off-campus apartment with my friend, and we had a full kitchen, something I hadn’t had access to for a few years while living away from home in the dorms.

I remember making these in that kitchen (yes, I dragged these books with me all the way out to Colorado and back) and struggling with this recipe. Out of that frustration (and failure) came the note. I’ve learned a lot since then (culinarily and otherwise), so I think it’s time to figure out if it was the recipe or it was me.

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9-9: Pork Meat Loaf with Horseradish

I don’t often have ground pork on hand, but I happened to pick some up at a supermarket sale a few months ago and had been holding it in the freezer for a Simply Delicious recipe–I knew there were a few that called for it. 9-9: Pork Meat Loaf with Horseradish would have been a silly recipe to sub in ground beef for (my usual move), so this one will get the honor of being used with actual pork. 🐖

You guys, this picture does not look promising. Meatloaf is already difficult to get excited about, and I’m not sure if a creamy horseradish sauce is going to be enough to save it. Despite the copy reeking of desperation at the bottom of the recipe card (does this look “extravagant” to you?), I’m still willing to give it a shot. 🙈

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4-3: French Potato Gratin

4-3: French Potato Gratin is a great side dish for a dinner. It was easy to make and it only takes one pan to cook this recipe.


Jamie made notes on this recipe that I completely ignored. I used the mandoline to cut the potatoes and I used 9 medium/small potatoes.

Editor’s note: I did indeed make notes on this, from when I made this for a fancy dinner for my family during Spring Break of 2009. I stand by my recommendation of using the food processor, but you do you, boo. 

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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.

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15-49: Chocolate Pudding Deluxe

The other of two desserts that I made for this year’s Thanksgiving (TGV 2016) was 15-49: Chocolate Pudding Deluxe (the first was 16-52: Apple Nut Saucepan Torte). With my family, it’s REQUIRED that there be a chocolate dessert option when having a big dinner, so I decided to give this one a whirl–I thought it’d be a nice contrast of flavors and textures when compared to the other options (the aforementioned torte and a pumpkin pie my mom made). 🍫

15-49-chocolate-pudding-deluxeThis was the third dish I made, continuing the Wednesday 11/23 portion of my holiday cooking marathon. Since the pudding needed to chill, I thought letting it rest in the fridge overnight would give it the best chance of holding together when served the next day. 🍮

Other dishes I made on this night (Wed. 11/23): the dressing for 1-10: Seafood Louisiana Cocktail, cranberry sauce, 16-52: Apple Nut Saucepan Torte, and a roasted garlic & herb butter to serve with 17-5: Hot Seedy Rolls.

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16-52: Apple Nut Saucepan Torte

One of the two desserts I made for this year’s Thanksgiving (TGV 2016) was 16-52: Apple Nut Saucepan Torte (the other was 15-49: Chocolate Pudding Deluxe). I wanted something “of the season”, and this seemed like a cross between apple pie and fruitcake.

This was the second dish I made, starting off the Wednesday 11/23 portion of my holiday cooking marathon. Since this cake holds well at room temperature, I planned to just slightly underbake it, and then finish it off for 5-10 minutes in a preheated oven to warm it up for dessert on the day of the holiday.

16-52-apple-nut-saucepan-torteIf I hadn’t made this for Thanksgiving, I think it’d make a great gift (mailed or delivered in person) or potluck dish, especially for an office or somewhere where it would sit for a while. Even though Thanksgiving is over for the year, it’s totally still the season for a cake like this one.

Other dishes I made on this night (Wed. 11/23): the dressing for 1-10: Seafood Louisiana Cocktail, cranberry sauce, 15-49: Chocolate Pudding Deluxe, and a roasted garlic & herb butter to serve with 17-5: Hot Seedy Rolls.

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6-33: Lime-Marinated Chicken

Two-packs of whole chickens were on sale at Costco and the other chicken in this pack was used to make 6-20: Rosemary Chicken. This recipe, 6-33: Lime-Marinated Chicken required me to rub a few brain cells together to prepare the chicken as written on the card.


Lime flavor added to anything is a winner with me. Chicken and lime is a great combination, the white wine sauce added a unique twist.

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4-27: Mushroom-Parsnip Au Gratin

It’s been a hell of a month, y’all. Between my birthday at the very beginning, the election, an aunt passing away, unexpected horse-sitting, and planning/executing my very first self-made Thanksgiving dinner, I unfortunately didn’t do a lot of writing. However, our Thanksgiving this year (TGV 2016) was Simply Delicious-themed, as I used 7 recipes for this year’s feast.

I started the cooking marathon on Tuesday 11/22 with 4-27: Mushroom-Parsnip Au Gratin–I thought parsnips would make an interesting variation on the “vegetable” dish for Thanksgiving. I also cooked this one first because I knew I could cook it most of the way, and save the final broiling for right before the dinner was served.

4-27-mushroom-parsnip-au-gratin I don’t know much about parsnips being the “poor man’s lobster” (a quick Google search reveals butter baking cod/haddock/etc. to be the most common modern use for that term), but I’d describe them as a cross between potatoes and carrots. Too potato-y to be a carrot, but too carrot-y to be a potato.

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12-10: Cheesy Tagliatelle

I’ve been meaning to make this one for a while–spinach fettuccini was my favorite as a kid. I usually had it with Alfredo sauce, and the cheesy sauce in 12-10: Cheesy Tagliatelle is like a thinner, red pepper-ier version of that. 🍽

12-10-cheesy-tagliatelle I’m not quite sure what the major difference between tagliatelle and fettuccini is–the TL;DR of a quick search indicates it has to do with fettuccini noodles being the same width as tagliatelle, but a bit thicker. The two come from different parts of Italy, but both roughly refer to the same concept.

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5-19: Eggs en Cocotte

Here’s another Simply Delicious recipe that exists outside of this book: 5-19: Eggs en Cocotte is a version of a pretty well-known French way to cook eggs. Variably known as shirred eggs (although that’s slightly different), this is a really easy (and delicious) breakfast or lunch option.

5-19-eggs-en-cocotte Cocotte has a rather interesting meaning outside of the culinary world–I’ll leave it to you to find out. 👄

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