Last night my mom came over for dinner and, in the name of saving money, I refused to go to the grocery store for ingredients. Thank you Pinterest, once again, for coming to my rescue! This time a pin from How Sweet It Is provided just the recipe I needed: few ingredients, all on hand. Go check out the recipe for Caramelized Honey Dijon Chicken right here.
Not knowing if my mom would go for the sharp flavor in straight-up Dijon, I used 1/8 cup Dijon and 1/8 cup whole-grain Dijon (which has more of a sweet flavor). The spicy mustard I used was just regular ol’ grocery store stuff you put on a hot dog, spicy brown mustard. All else I cooked per her instructions, and I am notorious for drying out chicken so I was skeptical.
Verdict? Awesomesauce. And of course I mean that literally, because the sauce was oh-so-awesome. The chicken didn’t dry out (whoo-hoo!), and it was indeed, a beautiful caramelized color. I served it up with some long grain brown rice and green beans. It was a hit with my mom and my little girls. A definite keeper.
This is one of “those” recipe pins. You know the ones… “Best recipe I’ve ever had in my life!!” “Only 5 ingredients!” “You’ll never make another chicken recipe again!” I went for this one, not because of the spectacular claims, but because the ingredients are ones we usually have on hand. Check it out here on Rachel Schultz’ blog.
The comments on her page mentioned how high the temperature sounded, but there were mixed results for people about how the chicken turned out in spite of that. I went with 400 degrees instead of 450. I also went with a smaller pan than a 9×10, mainly so it could fit in our toaster oven and not heat up the (already hot) house. Two fatso chicken breasts cut in half came out to one pound of chicken. I also used white wine vinegar because I had unknowingly run out of red. We are maple syrup snobs around here, so only the best for that.
Verdict? I loved it!! It turned out perfectly moist, something that rarely happens when I cook chicken. I have some small, picky eaters–but even they liked it paired with their favorite sauces. (And no, I wouldn’t recommend a grown person dip this delicious chicken in ranch dressing or catsup. But you do what works with kids sometimes.)
I don’t really have a good story to go along with this post. I wanted something easy and something for which I wouldn’t have to go to the store. I found this recipe for Ham and Cheese Quinoa Cups on Pinterest from Iowa Girl Eats. It seems to me that EVERYONE in the Midwest is really good at cooking. Maybe there is something in the water there? Anywho, I did not have ham but I did have sausage. Either one works well with eggs, so it’s all good. I was a little worried about the quinoa and how it would affect the texture and thus effecting whether or not my kids would eat. I was relieved that they loved it and asked for seconds! I love how versatile this recipe is and will be adding it into the rotation!
The thought of a casserole makes me think of large pans of sloppy tuna, noodles and mayonnaise. My throat immediately closes and I start scheming ways to get out of eating. In my book, there are just some things that are wrong; stealing, lying, murder, and warm tuna. Bleh! I have already mentioned that I am not a master chef, so how was I to know that casserole does not have to be made out of tuna? You can use things like chicken! Broccoli! Crackers! Wait. What? Crackers? Mind= blown. Check out this recipe from my new favorite food blog, Get Off Your Butt and Bake.
Click image to take you to the source: Get Off Your Butt and Bake.
Doesn’t that just look mouth-watering?! This meal was easy to prepare and was packed with flavor. The crackers give it a crunchy, salty taste which means that the kids didn’t complain that there was broccoli in it! I left out the poppy seeds because I didn’t have any on hand. This also reheats like a champ. Mm-mm…so good. I am now drooling, so I guess that means I give this recipe a passing grade!
It is still winter weather up here in Washington State. Of course, if you ask anyone who has lived here for more than two years, this is actually spring weather! Coming from spending 10 years soaking up the sun in Arizona, I say if I still have to wear gloves and a hat or snow is still in the forecast, it is winter. Last year “winter” lasted until July! So, with the cold still seeping into my bones, I was in the mood for some hearty comfort food. When I saw the photo of Kayotic Kitchen‘s Country Club Chicken on Pinterest, I bundled up the kids and headed to the store for the ingredients. (Side Note: If you have ever gone grocery shopping with kids, you already know that I forgot half the items on my list.) Check out the recipe here.
This meal took every ounce of my cooking abilities. Kay has some beautiful photos of the steps involved, and there are a lot! Luckily, since I forgot the mushrooms and apples, I got to skip those steps. It still took the full 90 minutes to make. The one thing that made me a little nervous was that you don’t drain the bacon grease. It becomes the base for the sauce. While this made for a delicious, mouth-watering dish, I couldn’t help but apologize to my heart and waistline for what I was about to do to them
Verdict: Pass (with a side of guilt). This was A.MAZ.ING! Mine did not look nearly as pretty as Kay’s photos and the kids were a little wary when they saw it, but we all loved it. My dad came over for dinner that night and kept exclaiming, “This is SO good!” My stomach was not very happy with me the next day, but I still ate the leftovers for lunch. Next time I would like to try it with all the ingredients; I wonder how it will affect the flavor. Overall, a great cold-weather comfort food!
Yes, you read that right. It really says coffee bacon. I would not be surprised if soon, because of Joy the Baker, urban cafes across the country will begin serving the stuff. Hipsters will line up at the doors. Eventually the show Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives will feature a place in San Francisco or Portland that serves it and Guy Fieri will say, “This coffee bacon just took me to Flavor-town. This stuff is money.” Check out the recipe here. While you’re there, just check out Joy the Baker. It is my favorite food blog. (She just released a cookbook, too!)
When I made the coffee marinade for the bacon, it scared me. It looked like tar. And don’t do what I did and try the stuff on your fingertip!! Gack! (That is, unless, you just love to snack on coffee grounds. In which case I suggest you may need a coffee intervention.) And the goat cheese spread? Have you gone over there yet and read the ingredients? There are no words. I made our sandwiches on a local baker’s sourdough bread. I knew this sandwich called for something other than plain ol’ bread.
Not burned bacon. Coffee bacon.
Verdict? Pass. As in, this is the best sandwich I think I’ve ever eaten. It was also the strangest sandwich I’ve ever eaten. One bite and I had to pause from chewing and reflect on all the flavors going on in my mouth. Every bite got better. My man and I were so sad there were only the two. How on earth did Joy invent this utopian sandwich? She is some sort of genius, weighing each flavor in a magical flavor scale until each one perfectly balances with the others. The Coffee Bacon Sandwich was edible harmony. I never knew that was possible.
Before we dig in (get it?), I am so excited to announce Pin Eat Review‘s new reviewer! Marci is no one-trick-pony, either. She cooks dinner and makes awesome crocheted creations. (Maybe she does both at the same time!) Click on her name to check out her fun store, Crooked Hook Creations. So without further ado…
I LOVE me some Mexican food! At my house we have taco night once a week…. at a minimum. This is partly due to my Mexican food crush and partly because of the minimal cooking involved. Cooking and I have had a very rocky relationship. I decided I might need to switch things up a bit when my kids arrived at the dinner table and moaned, “Tacos again?” Umm…yeah! Instead of crying like I wanted, I went on Pinterest and found this recipe for White Chicken Enchiladas with Green Chile Sour Cream Sauce from Let’s Dish.
These were really easy to make! I threw some frozen chicken breast in the crock pot in the morning then shredded it. The hardest part was making the sauce, and only because I had to stir for like 5 whole minutes! We all loved them! I should have made a double batch because the girls each had 2, Husband had 3 and I was left with only 1. Then I scraped the extra sauce out of the pan with tortilla chips and didn’t share.
Kristin tells the truth when she says they’re easy. There was a lot less involved in these puppies than our usual twice-baked goodness. I had one potato fail, though, when it seemed cooked through until I cut it in half and discovered a raw middle. Learn from my mistake and be patient with the baking so they really cook through. (I mean good grief, this is microwave baking! Sometimes I lose perspective like that.) In the end the little chunks of potato could easily be picked off and given to the smaller, pickier eaters in our house and disguised as French fries. My man, however, complained that they were too dry. Nothing a lot of butter can’t correct, right?
(Just a FYI, my man is not very critical. But I asked his opinion for the sake of the blog. Much like in The Princess Bride when the six-fingered man asked Wesley to “please be honest about how you feel” before torturing him. Only with less torture. Also less fingers.)
Verdict? Pass. They were simple and good. I think the Man and I prefer our twice-baked standby, but these were an easy and acceptable alternative.
What say you, dearest reader? (Is this Downton Abbey talk? I’m not sure where that came from.)
Isn’t that a beautiful chicken dish? You can see why I pinned it. The very simple recipe is found, unsurprisingly, at Real Simple right here.
Last night I had planned on making an E-mealz chicken dish and a side dish with new potatoes and green beans–but when the time came around for it, I wasn’t in the mood. How handy, then, that I had all the ingredients on hand for this baby! We also have lemon trees in the back yard which made it a breeze. Allow yourself time for the prep–there’s a decent amount of chopping and slicing. It did, indeed, turn out beautiful like the photo. However….
Verdict? Fail. This was soooooo lemon-y. I thought the abundance of garlic would balance it all out in the end, but you couldn’t even taste the natural flavors of the potatoes and green beans through the mouth-puckering lemon flavor. The chicken, on the other hand, turned out pretty bland. I ended up salting it profusely on my plate. I actually ate a bowl of cereal afterward to help with the aftertaste of it all.
What about you? Do you share my opinion or did you have a more pleasant experience?
Warning: Because this review will inevitably contain a lot of complaining (I swore I’d never make it again when I was making it), I’m going to let you know now that I’m giving “Spicy Peanut Butter Noodles” a passing grade. Check out the recipe by Crumb right here.
I was really excited to make this. I even worked it out with my man: I’d feed the kids first and he’d help put them to bed early while I cooked this for just the two of us. Dinner date on the couch! Catch up on some Walking Dead! I also get excited to eat with chopsticks because they make me feel like a rock star. I was smart, too: I chopped all the veggies ahead of time and put out all the ingredients on the countertop. I looked like I should have a cooking show.
The trouble began when I had the thought, “Don’t put the garlic in the hot oil first, because the sugars will make it burn while you’re spooning out the ginger and red pepper flakes.” Smart, no? No. Because my next thought was, “Put the ginger in first, instead.” Well hello!? They make ginger candies and cookies. I realize now that ginger has sugar in it, too. First it made the oil splatter as far as my neighbor’s roof, and then (despite turning the heat down to low while scalding my forearm in oil splatters) it burned the ginger anyway. I tried my best to spoon out the blackened ginger and only keep the remaining bits. (I had pretty much used all I had on the first go-round.) From there on out, the oil just hated me. The noodles were one big glob when I added them back to the pan (I really did oil them while they waited!) and then it took a while for the peanut butter sauce to act like a sauce. This isn’t my first stir-fry rodeo, but something here just went awry. Again I say, I looked like I should have a cooking show: America’s Worst Chef.
But despite cursing under my breath and swearing I would never make it again, something awful happened. I loved it. My man loved it. The spice was enough to require a glass of milk, but not so spicy that the flavors got lost. The peanut butter was divine. I am so excited to eat the leftovers because I know they will be even spicier. The book of Romans in the Bible talks about how showing kindness to your enemy will “heap burning coals upon his head.” This recipe’s deliciousness in spite of my bitterness heaped burning coals upon my head. Well played, Spicy Peanut Butter Noodles. Well played.
Verdict? Pass. (Remember? I already told you.) I am hoping you fall under one of two categories: 1, You never would have made my mistakes in the first place. 2, You can learn from my mistakes above.