1-3: Melon with Smoked Turkey

1-3: Melon with Smoked Turkey

Believe it or not, 1-3: Melon with Smoked Turkey is one of my last few remaining Group 01: Hot and Cold Appetizers recipes left to cover. I’ve put this one off for a while because I’m not a big fan of melon (other than watermelons)–but when the weekly CSA box keeps bringing them to you, you have to do something with them.

Theirs looks super fancy–mine looks like a sloppy mess. I suppose if I were actually serving this for a party I would have tried harder. Melon + meat = appetizer isn’t a new equation–even Pillsbury has their own version. Most versions include prosciutto instead of turkey, which is the variant I’m more familiar with.


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2-12: Tips About Salad Dressing

2-12: Tips About Salad Dressing

Since there’s about to be quite a few salad recipes coming up, I thought I’d put 2-12: Tips About Salad Dressing out there as well. I tried to think of more salad dressing variations than what they list here, but honestly? Most “traditional” salad dressings do fall into one of the three categories they establish: vinaigrette, cream/mayo-based, and low-calorie. Go ahead–can you think of one that doesn’t?

PS: I spy that sneaky tarragon vinegar in their picture below. If you want to learn to make your own, check out 19-7: Fresh and Dried Herbs.

At the restaurant I worked at a few years ago, we made our own dressings from scratch. And by “we”, I mean “me”–I made all the dressings for the whole restaurant every week and kept everything stocked up, since it was my station (garde manger, or pantry chef) that made the salads. We made a blue cheese, ranch, Caesar, creamy balsamic vinaigrette, and another lighter, more traditional vinaigrette.

One of the first times I made the blue cheese dressing (which required a giant immersion blender and a 22-quart Cambro–it’s kind of like mixing concrete in a bucket), a customer liked it so much they asked to buy some to take home. I guess that makes me qualified to write about salad dressings now.

Hey–I have to find something to do while we’re all staying at home for a while. And so do you (probably), so why not read this?


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1-15: Chinese Spring Rolls

1-15: Chinese Spring Rolls

Simply Delicious has made numerous attempts at Chinese-American cuisine, and we can add 1-15: Chinese Spring Rolls to that list as well. There’s some interesting history behind the terms spring roll and egg roll–it goes much deeper than just what the wrapper is made of.

The terms are used interchangeably here, and seemingly in most other places as well. The biggest takeaway from the spring vs. egg roll debate is that spring rolls are originally from China, but have been Americanized along the way (while egg rolls were always American).

They tend to have a thinner wrapper than egg rolls, and are often also associated with the transparent rice paper rolls you tend to see in Vietnamese and Thai restaurants.


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8-54: Beef Beignets

8-54: Beef Beignets

When I think of beignets, I think of New Orleans. 🎷 I’ve never been to the real Café Du Monde in New Orleans, but I have been to the Mint Julep Bar in New Orleans Square at Disneyland which serves beignets (very delicious ones).

8-54: Beef Beignets are NOT like the ones at Disneyland or Café Du Monde–they’re more like Mongolian Beef before you toss it in sauce.

I looked around for similar types of recipes to confirm that this wasn’t just a Simply Delicious invention–and I really couldn’t find too many. There’s nothing wrong with battering beef and frying it–just don’t call it a beignet.


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1-2: Marinated Stuffed Avocado

1-2: Marinated Stuffed Avocado

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.


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4-14: Stuffed Artichokes

4-14: Stuffed Artichokes

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.


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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. 


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1-6: Surprise Sandwich Loaf

1-6: Surprise Sandwich Loaf

Trying to put some new posts out there while I fix the old posts–here’s 1-6: Surprise Sandwich Loaf, which was made with a loaf baked from the dough I used for 20-12: Basic Rolls. I made this to break up into portions and take to work with me for lunch one week. It was delicious when first made, but with most things lost its appeal as the week went on.

I love toasted sandwiches. My high school job was at a Quizno’s, at which I came up with personal sandwich masterpieces which would be impossible to recreate had I been nothing but a customer. However, while I appreciate the efficiency of an entire toasted sandwich loaf, this particular execution leaves something to be desired.


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4-20: Oven-Baked Tomatoes

4-20: Oven-Baked Tomatoes

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. 


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20-12: Basic Rolls

20-12: Basic Rolls

Playing a bit of catch-up here since unscheduled interruptions, other non-food-related projects, and massive amounts of holiday baking have put me far behind in terms of keeping up with posts. I had started working on a Bread Series, starting with 18-1: Basic Yeast Dough I which I published back in October. Covering 20-12: Basic Rolls was intended to play off of that concept, giving you an easy recipe to utilize the lessons presented in both that post and its follow-up, 18-2: Basic Yeast Dough II.

20-12 Basic Rolls

Quick review: the last three chapters of Simply Delicious are part of its Cooking School, intended to review basic techniques, ingredients, and recipes with which all aspiring chefs should be familiar. I’ve covered a few bits and bobs out of those last few chapters, but much of it still remains untapped.


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