Slow Roasted Chicken Tacos with Gorgonzola Slaw

Seriously Delish, page 183

Jessica usually doesn’t disappoint with tacos, but I wasn’t in love with this one. I think the problem here was me, and not the recipe. I just don’t love gorgonzola. It’s a key flavor here, and I just couldn’t get behind it. This is the inherent problem with cooking through the entire book. There are just some things I’m not going to like.

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What I did like was the spice rub on the chicken, a blend of chili powder, cumin, onion powder, and smoked paprika, that is similar to a spice blend that Jessica uses on her blog frequently.

And bone in dark meat was a nice change of pace from boneless skinless lifeless breast meat.

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I also enjoyed the concept of a slaw on tacos, the crunch from the cabbage is way better than shredded lettuce, but next time, I’ll ditch the blue cheese.

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Don’t get me wrong. I still ate them, and the leftovers. I just didn’t love it.

Make Ahead Freezer Meatballs

Seriously Delish, page 199

How sad is it that this is actually the first time I’ve made meatballs? My grandmother makes the best meatballs known to man (with my husband’s grandmother a close second. he’ll disagree, but it’s my blog!)  I need that recipe.

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These meatballs were fairly easy to throw together, and reminded me of most freezer meatballs I’ve had.  I think it was the seasoning blend.  They are heavily seasoned with oregano, basil, onion powder and smoked paprika mixed with a 50/50 mix of beef and turkey, so ever so slightly healthier than an all beef meatball.  They were tender (ish), but not like the family meatballs we’ve had for years, not that I expected them to be.

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For me, the goal was to have something homemade in the freezer, that we could easily turn into a quick dinner.  After freezing these on a cookie sheet, I popped them into a Foodsaver bag, and vacuum packed them.  We ate them a few weeks later in meatball subs, with some homemade tomato sauce I also had lurking in the freezer.  The key for making bready saucey sandwiches?   Wrapping them super tight in foil and heating them in the oven, like described here.  It really does make a difference in the bread.  Do it.

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I think I jipped myself on the sauce on this one.

Chicken Fingers

How Sweet Eats style chicken fingers have been a go to recipe since they appeared on her blog.  They’re obvious a staple in their home based on the number of variations of them she’s posted.

I still can’t seem to get them quite right.  Don’t get me wrong, they taste great. But the breading is never spot on. It’s either not crispy, or it slides right off the chicken.  I have issues.  I’ll keep making them because we love them, and eventually I’ll figure it out.

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It was a given that this recipe would be in the cookbook.  I followed the instructions exactly. (I also made my own panko, which is something I’ve been doing since Jessica taught me how.  So much cheaper!)  And this is what I got.  They were just eh, like they usually are.  What am I doing wrong??  Don’t get me wrong.  We ate them. Like instantly. We were starving.  But I think I need to up my chicken finger game.

Chocolate & Peanut Butter Lover’s Brownies

Seriously Delish, page 272

This is the epitome of How Sweet It Is recipes. Super rich dark chocolate brownies covered with peanut butter, covered with ganache, and then covered in chopped peanut butter cups.  Is there really anything better?

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I made these as post blood donation snacks for a blood drive in honor of my brother in law.  The donors loved them.  The blood bank staff loved them too.  What’s not to love?

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Pro tip: This chopped chocolate I used to make the ganance.  I should have chopped it finer.  I had trouble getting to all to melt and come together.

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Please pardon this out of focus shot.  I was literally running out the door to the blood drive when I finished these up.

To serve, I cut them small and put them in cupcake papers.  Mini things have no calories, right?

Greek Yogurt Parmesan Ranch Dressing

Seriously Delish, page 155

Sorry for the delay in posting.  Life got alittle in the way.  Also, I can’t keep up the post a day pace, so expect to see things more regularly, but slightly less frequently.

My husband’s favorite dressing is ranch.  I was looking forward to this recipe to have a slightly “healthier” version of ranch in my back pocket for him.

Here I am, collecting my herbs for a glamour shot.  I was trying to get an overhead shot, but the lighting in my kitchen is horrible.  I seriously considered standing on the dining room table, but thought better of it. Also, that towel really could have been ironed.  Gah. Photography woes.  I’m hopeful the practice I get during this project will help me.  I should really find a better spot in the house for lighting.  As you can see in the last picture, it was pretty cloudy that day too.

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The ingredient list for this dressing was quite long: greek yogurt, mayo, buttermilk, Parmesan, herbs, honey, Worcestershire, salt, garlic power, onion power, smoked paprika, and pepper, and, if I’m being honest, I didn’t see all those flavors come through.  I thought the dill overpowered.  Now, I also made this in my Vitamix, rather than the food processor Jessica recommends, so maybe I over did it on the blending.  Or maybe I should just follow directions.

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Overall it was a tasty dressing, but we didn’t think it was “ranchy” enough.  It was really good with carrots (and leftover sourdough) dipped in it.  I will try it again in the food processor (and probably dial back the dill a bit).  I’ll need to make it again to serve with salad recipe in the book anyway.

Brown Sugar Bacon Biscuits

Seriously Delish, page 48

No body knew that these biscuits were half whole wheat flour and had only 4 tablespoons of butter.  They were far too distracted by the perfectly soft crumb, flaky texture…oh yeah, and the bacon.

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These biscuits are not traditional biscuits, with never ending layers that only a southern grandmother can make.  They are more like scones, to be honest, but that doesn’t take anything away from them.  They were simple, and yummy, and totally fun to make.  Not too sweet, not too savory.  A very democratic biscuit.

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They didn’t last long at work the next day. That’s not saying much, though, since people at work will eat pretty much anything. However, I will say, they were not as popular as the Omelet Scones I had brought in a few weeks prior.  Those were an overwhelming hit.  Overall, this is definitely a recipe you can keep around and tweak for different flavor combinations.  I really loved the use of whole wheat pastry flour, and the fact that the butter content wasn’t astronomical.  That means seconds are calorie free , right?

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Bacon, Egg, & Avocado Corn Cakes

Seriously Delish, page 39

I wanted to love this recipe. I really really did. Poached egg, my favorite. Bacon, duh. Avocado, always. Artsy fartsy food styling factor, check. (how’d I do?)

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What it boils down to is these corn cakes. They just weren’t great. I think I need to try them again. The recipe calls for shallots and whole corn kernels to be added into a batter made from cornmeal, flour, eggs, and milk.  They were nice additions.  I really liked the flavor from the shallots.  The cakes themselves cooked up kind of like super thick pancakes.

Here’s the thing.  I don’t want to blame the recipe just yet.  I read on Serious Eats that I could grind my own cornmeal from popcorn.  I liked the idea of not needing to buy a whole container of cornmeal for one recipe, so I picked up a small amount of plain popcorn from the bulk food section of my grocery store, and tossed it in my blender.  It made an ungodly amount of noise, but in only a few seconds, I had cornmeal.  I think my problem here was that I didn’t grind it fine enough, and my corn cakes ended up alittle bit crunchier in some parts than I would have liked.  If I do try this again, I will grind the corn finer, and possibly sift it before using.