Reporting LIVE (to print), from an undisclosed location in Northern California, USA, currently sheltering-in-place and teleworking due to COVID-19/coronavirus/the apocalypse. It’s getting crazy out there, y’all–stay safe and healthy. And wash your hands.
Since we’re all stuck inside for a while, and I’ve got a big backlog of these to get through (over 50), here’s one more thing to pass the time. 2-18: Luncheon Salad is pure 1980s–turn up the vaporwave (for A E S T H E T I C), find your best matching sweatsuit, and crack open a Tab.
I don’t remember feeling like this salad was a treat–more like a punishment. If you can find some cottage cheese in the store right now, go for it–just don’t invite your friends. #socialdistancing
Here’s one of the last few recipes left from the chapter on baked goods, Group 17: Baked Goods. I made 17-14: Nutty Muffins for work–I thought they’d make a nice accompaniment to everyone’s morning coffee. ☕️
See? Even Simply Delicious shows them being served with coffee. Wikipedia offers a deeper dive on the history of muffins if you’re interested/bored. There’s a difference between these types of muffins (referred to as “quickbread” muffins or “American” muffins due to the fact that they’re very similar to a cupcake or other types of sweet, dense, cake-like bread) and the traditional “English” muffins that you get with Eggs Benedict or an Egg McMuffin.
Simply Delicious has the best decor in these photos. The wooden salad plate, white wine, and hand carved chicken plant box add a lot of character to this photo accompanying 2-8: Chicken Salad, it all screams 1980’s “chic”. Their final photo looks a lot more appetizing than my stark modern plating.
Such a luncheon treat! The chutney and mustard give the salad dressing a tangy flavor that compliments the chicken really well.
Get ready for another big batch of baked goods–it’s time for this year’s adventure (XMAS 16) into holiday baking (aka everyone’s presents for Christmas this year). Last year I made 6 Simply Delicious recipes as gifts, and this year came out to a total of 7. 🎅 I’m going to attempt to cover them in the order they were made, and the first recipe of the batch was 17-47: Italian Fruit Bread. 🇮🇹
This recipe seems similar to a panettone, although not as sweet or flaky and shaped differently. Despite the variations, I still thought it made a nice Christmas gift, especially only just including a few slices in each gift bag. 🎁
2-13: Waldorf Salad is a short and easy recipe to make. This recipe is still popular despite its age–the maître d’hôtel (not the chef) of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel created this namesake salad in 1896. Jamie suggested that I watch the episode of Fawlty Towers called “Waldorf Salad” which originally aired in 1979. This episode features many jokes about the titular salad.
“Well I think we ran out of Waldorfs.” Most kitchens would have these ingredients on hand, so this joke got the biggest laugh of the episode. 🍏🍇🌱🌰
12-18: Mushroom Risotto is another recipe with a loose definition of risotto. This one didn’t even ask you to cook the rice in wine, just broth. I already had some mushroom broth infused white rice on hand, but the recipe called for brown rice.
This ended up being a dish that tastes very similar to the 12-41: Spaghetti with Green Sauce recipe that I cooked recently. Mushrooms and basil give this dish an earthy flavor. 🍄
Here’s another good cookie press recipe. It’s a long way away from the holiday season, and cookie cutters/presses tend to get a bit dusty during the spring & summer months. I had a bunch of shapes for the press that weren’t holiday-related, so I decided to get creative with some colors & flavor extracts and use 17-55: Scottish Shortbread to play with the press.
Theirs look really thick–mine came out thinner since I used the press. These would probably work well with differently-shaped cookie cutters too, not just rounds. As I learned, they also work well with food coloring and flavor extracts.
I ended up using these for Mother’s Day gifts, and made a mix of three colors/shapes to bag up and mail/hand out. 💐
I’ve done over 100 recipes for this project so far, and I’m about a week shy of working on it for 2 years. Most of those recipes weren’t bad. Maybe not repeats, but not too many of them stick out as YUCK in my mind…until now. I did NOT like 12-2: Rice and Vegetable Bake, but maybe that’s just me–I can admit that I’m weird about certain textures and flavors.
Simply Delicious describes this dish as “colorful” and “nutritious”, which is 1980s code for “bland diet/health food that nobody really likes but can tolerate to varying degrees”. Having had too much of this kind of stuff forced upon me throughout my parents’ yo-yo dieting phases, the mere notion sends a shiver down my spine. Onward, for science. 💀
I had mentioned in 1-8: Delicious Cocktail Snacks that I had attended a birthday party recently–I used 16-37: Double Decadent Brownie Torte as part of the birthday cake that I made for it. This is one I’ve made before, and this time I kept some of the changes I made the first time.
I noted that I made this with Kahlúa whipped cream the first time. I did that this time too, along with a Kahlúa pastry cream to layer between 2 layers of torte.
The only chocolate-containing component in my holiday baked goods assortment, 17-31: Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies are honestly pretty good any time of year. So if you’re reading this at some other time of year besides Christmas Eve, don’t feel like you can’t make these.
I found a way to mess these up as well (seems like this year I had a hard time with some things that should have been really easy), but I’ve made them before previously to this, and both times (then and now) they’re still definitely very edible and good.