Happy New Years’ Eve! 2021 has not been my favorite year (probably not yours either), and so I’m not sad to see it go–in fact, we’re going to celebrate its departure with a holiday-ish dessert today: 15-34: White Chocolate Strawberry Soufflé. This soufflé is not baked, but does include meringue being folded in. I’m not sure if that makes it “not a soufflé,” but at this point, does it matter?
“Dramatic” is definitely a good way to describe this past year, so perhaps this is the perfect dessert/recipe for today. However your 2021 has been, I hope that 2022 is a safe and prosperous year for you and yours.🎇
Now–let’s get off the heavy stuff and into something much lighter–discussion of this “soufflé”.
This one was weird for me–not the recipe itself, but the fact that I could have sworn I’d already cooked 3-10: Potato-Onion Bisque for this project. Alas, that did not seem to be the case as I could not find pictures of it anywhere. Strange, as this seems like it would have been one of the ones I cooked way back in 2014 when this project first started. Maybe I did and just forgot to take pictures?
It IS getting cold out there (I mean, we’ve had to put on hoodies here in California–that’s winter weather as far as I’m concerned), so maybe a quick and easy soup might be a nice & warm lunch/dinner option?
I missed getting this one out in time for 4th of July, but summer’s far from over here in the U.S. If you happen to have some seasonal fruit or are looking for a lighter dinner option (I grew up on quiches and I love them), 20-8: Pie Crust can be a great base recipe for both of those. And of course, this isn’t limited to just summer–pie crusts are useful all year round.
You can even make up a bunch of pie crust dough balls using this recipe and freeze them individually–just pull one out when needed and let it defrost.
I had a goal to finish all the ones I cooked in 2019 by the end of 2020…not sure if I’ll meet that goal (EDIT: I did!), but here’s one more from last year: 16-49: Chocolate-Glazed Raspberry Tart. Not only is this from last Thanksgiving (along with 6-42: Turkey Pot Roast and 17-15: Cream Puffs), but I also made a version of it as part of a fancy Christmas dinner 12 years ago (XMAS 08) as well. Since today is Christmas Eve, I think it’s a good day to tell you about it.
When I made this back in ’08, I made 6 individual tarts instead of one big one–I was afraid it would look weird once I cut it, so I thought individual servings would look better. I had been watching a LOT of Top Chef at that point (and still do, but that’s the ONLY cooking show I’ll watch).
Since I had a few of the same guests attending as that Christmas dinner back in ’08 (and the same number), I decided to make the same modification this time. Usually I will reverse modifications when I recook recipes I’ve already done to try to honor the “original” recipe, but this time I decided to stick with it.
I’ll be honest–I’ve started this entry for 14-2: Apple Strudel a bunch of times, and I can’t think of anything exciting to say about it. There’s a lot of apple desserts in this book, and they all just start to blend together for me after a while. Even then, apple strudel is pretty a well-known dish to begin with, so odd are low that you’re going to learn anything new about it from reading Simply Delicious’ take on it.
It took me until NOW (and by now I mean as I’m pushing the keys to type this) to realize that there was actually powdered sugar coating the one pictured above, and they didn’t just peel the first layer of the outside off and say “yep, looks good to me”.
We’ve covered lasagna dishes on this site before, and 13-15: Vegetarian Lasagna introduces yet another variation of the traditional dish by eschewing tomatoes completely. This version is similar to the Stouffer’s Vegetable Lasagna that my aunt used to bring to dinners all the time as a “homemade dish”. This has no tomato sauce, instead going for cheese and spinach layered between lasagna noodles.
There’s also onions and olives in there as well (I LOVE olives), as well as…chili sauce? I’m not sure why they thought chili sauce was a good addition to this recipe, but at least you can adjust it based on preference.
If you were around in the 1980s-1990s, you may remember the obsession with low-fat everything, and finding ways to make “sinful indulgences” into something “guilt-free“. Note the deliberate choice of words, and that we still use that type of psychological framing around food today (and have been for a long time, even prior to the era in question).
The “low-calorie swap” in 16-42: Easy Lime Pie is cottage cheese, which was all the rage in the 1970s as a “healthy” option, but could still be found in a lot of recipes throughout the 80s and 90s.
I feel like even Simply Delicious didn’t really know how to make this pie sound appealing–do you think halved grapes as a garnish can be considered something notable? You can definitely tell this particular recipe was aimed at the dieting/low-calorie crowd.
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?
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.
Meal-prepping is trendy now, but it’s always been a good idea if you want to save money and calories. 12-24: Cannelloni with Chicken works well if you want to make it on a Sunday, split it up into a few containers, and reheat it throughout the week. At least, that’s how we ate it.
Even Simply Delicious advises you can make this meal ahead of time, although their suggestion is for entertaining guests. This recipe/concept is pretty versatile–it’s good fresh or as leftovers.