Avocados have been a pretty big part of my culinary life up until now, but that’s probably because they’re pretty hard to avoid here in California. However, my experiences are usually closer to some nice fresh guacamole or some avocado toast–1-2: Marinated Stuffed Avocado was relatively new territory for me.
I suppose it’s not unheard of, it’s just not something I think to do. I may try it again, maybe with some different ingredients. Mushrooms are okay, but I much prefer them cooked rather than raw.
Hot Take: Artichokes are the lobster of the vegetable world. 4-14: Stuffed Artichokes represents this well: too much work for too little satisfaction. Peeling the little leaves off the artichoke and harvesting the heart feels a lot like picking apart the carapace of an undersea crustacean.
Stuffing an artichoke with a mushroom stew is a unique way to serve this giant edible thistle flower. These plants don’t grow naturally where I’m from, so my experience with artichokes only came after moving to California. My favorite way to enjoy them is marinated artichoke hearts.
Cabbage is probably my least favorite cruciferous vegetable. Although cabbage is present in most Chinese food dishes and it doesn’t bother me in that format, however, just the thought of eating plain cabbage is not very appetizing to me. The meatloaf-like mixture inside 9-7: Cabbage Rolls was the most edible part of the dish. I like that they served it with a blurred out Heineken.
Anything that involves a stuffing and rolling procedure is usually best done in a big batch because they are a pain to put together.
I love the appetizer-style dishes featured in Simply Delicious. They are complicated because of making individual portions, but you can prepare them ahead of time to heat and serve when ready. When I make a batch of an appetizer like 4-20: Oven Baked Tomatoes, I like to eat a few right away and then stash the rest in the refrigerator to eat later as a healthy snack.
My family did not grow up eating baked, hollowed-out, stuffed tomatoes, however, that didn’t stop me from thoroughly enjoying this dish.
Editor’s note: Looks like my mom made this one before, and substituted broccoli for mushrooms–that makes sense, she hates mushrooms. She also dislikes tomatoes, so I have no idea why she was making this in the first place.
There’s not a lot to 1-20: Prosciutto Appetizers, but think of them as a fancier version of the classic appetizer roll-ups that feature some sort of cold cut wrapped around some sort of cream cheese. I originally intended to make these to bring with when we attended a fancy picnic-type event last year, but ran out of time before the day arrived.
Since I’m the only one who can eat these anyway, I ended up making them as a snack for myself when Adam was out of town a few weeks ago. I love Prosciutto ham, blue cheese, AND cream cheese, so these were snacks I was quite looking forward to.
Back with another Cooking School follow-up to 18-19: Pasta I from a few weeks ago. 18-10: Pasta II discusses proper pasta making techniques & cooking methods on its front face, as well as offering some tips on using fresh and dried varieties. On the back side, the deep dive into the myriad of pasta shapes that started with 18-9: Pasta I continues–this card covers smaller forms like penne, farfalle, and tortellini.
Most of this advice is pretty generic–here’s a basic pasta dough recipe, and pasta cooking methods are outlined pretty well here. I’ve made both plain dough as well as some with spinach and sun-dried tomato–it’s a lot of work, but the taste difference is pretty noticeable. I don’t currently have a pasta machine, but I’d love to add one to my already-too-large collection of kitchen appliances and tools.
After the jump, read about some more pasta shapes–there’s some links to a few additional pasta dishes we’ve already covered here as well.
18-9: Pasta I only begins to scratch the surface of different types of pasta–there are so many more out there. The important takeaways from this particular set of tips are the different kinds of sauce that go with the various shapes, as well as how to identify some common variances in the shapes. 18-10: Pasta II goes more into the cooking and serving of pasta, as well as listing a few more shape/sauce combinations if you’re looking for a bit more from Simply Delicious on the topic. 📚
1-17: Tuna-Stuffed Tomatoes wouldn’t be my first suggestion as an appetizer for a party, but for a light lunch for myself, I thought it would be a good idea to attempt this recipe. Jamie was not interested in tomatoes or tuna at the time, so more for me!
I really liked these tomatoes, I would eat them again if I didn’t have to do the preparation work.
This recipe, 6-29: Stuffed Turkey, is the WHOLE reason I originally decided to take on the challenge of cooking Thanksgiving dinner this year (TGV 2016)–when else was I going to get a chance to use the actual Thanksgiving recipe but on the holiday itself? I have cooked a Thanksgiving dinner before, but not in my own house, and not planned/shopped/organized for by myself. It was a fun challenge, and I have this card and project to thank for it.
Of course I made this recipe the day of Thanksgiving (Thursday 11/24), and it includes not only the turkey, but traditional stuffing and gravy as well. I cooked this in the afternoon, after making 17-5: Hot Seedy Rolls and 1-5: Pigs in a Blanket in the oven that morning.
This year’s Thanksgiving was at least 2 weeks ago by the time you’re reading this, but I hope that if you had one this year it was a nice one, and that if you’re reading this sometime in the future preparing for the current year’s feast, that yours is nice as well. Mine was lovely despite what’s been a tumultuous year, and this recipe was definitely a big part of making my first solo Thanksgiving successful. Thanks for taking time out of your day to read even just a bit of what I’ve written, and thanks for participating in my project, even just for this brief moment.
I’ve been working on this project for just under 3 years now, and I’ve got at least that long to go to attempt to finish it–thanks for giving me a reason to keep this project alive, an outlet for writing, a focus for creative energy, art to share with my family and friends, and a priceless set of memories and experiences tied to a set of stinky old cookbooks that have always meant a lot to me, and mean even more now. Thank you.