Recipes I’ve Tried, Vol. 4

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In light of yesterday’s very interesting cooking experience, I thought it was high time for another installment in this series!

If you follow me on Facebook, you might have laughed alongside me as I sat scared of the absolutely enormous mass of bread dough rising in my kitchen … and then at this loaf that obviously should have been two loaves.

That bread recipe was Oatmeal Sandwich Bread from Bee’s Knees Recipes. I did everything exactly as written, but ended up having to add quite a bit more flour to get an elastic dough. (Probably 2 cups more.) The recipe said to form 3 loaves, which I did. And it left me with 2 normal loaves and this GINORMOUS loaf. Obviously, I should have made 4 loaves. So if you think one loaf is too big … do as I say, not as I do. Make 4. The bread itself is really yummy, but I wouldn’t classify it as sandwich bread. It’s still too falling-apart for me to make sandwiches with. Maybe I shouldn’t have let it rise so much? Who knows.

Cinnamon Roll Bread in 30 Minutes – I was up early Saturday morning, and decided to knock out breakfast before the kids even woke up. I was thinking about JessieLeigh’s similar Deconstructed Pain au Chocolat, but it felt too decadent to have chocolate for breakfast. This cinnamon roll bread probably has at least as much sugar … but it feels more breakfasty.

It’s rare that I find something every member of my family will eat, but this did the deal! My husband gobbled up about half of it, and the kids both ate their fair share. In all honesty, it was a little sweet for me – I could probably do with about half of the streusel mixture. But Mr. V said it was perfect, so I’d leave the recipe the way it was!

Strawberry Dream Cake – For Mother’s Day, I decided to make myself a strawberry cake. I looked, and most of the recipes I found used strawberry cake mix, or jell-o, or cool whip. Not my favorite things. This recipe is made from scratch, including a VERY cream cheesy frosting. The most difficult part was putting the strawberries through a sieve to separate the liquids and pulp. The liquids are used in the cake batter and the pulp in the frosting. It was delicious! Mr. V didn’t like the frosting; it still tastes very much of cream cheese and is not terribly sweet. So if you’re not a big cream cheese fan, I would cut the amount down to 6-8 ounces. It will still turn out fine.

Lemon Garlic Tuna Burgers – I’ve made these tuna burgers several times. They are SO easy since you use canned tuna, but taste fresh because of the lemon juice and sour cream. Perfect for lunch on an English muffin. My picky toddler will even eat one, so I deem that a great success!

What’s the best recipe you’ve tried lately?

Recipes I’ve Tried, Vol. 3

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Vietnamese Roasted Chicken Thighs – I used skinless thighs, so I didn’t bother with the aluminum foil balls on the bottom of the slow cooker. Really a fantastic and simple dish, with ingredients I usually have on hand. (Once you buy a bottle of fish sauce, you have to TRY to use it up. It’s used only sparingly in recipes but has a wonderful effect. I think the Big Important Chefs call it umami.)


Garlic Chicken Pasta – I thought this was a great, basic recipe that I might go back to again and again. It’s fairly rich and I felt the addition of a vegetable would be helpful to break up the creaminess. I chopped up some tiny pieces of frozen cauliflower and broccoli and added them to the mix; they were so small Libbie couldn’t pick them out, so she ate vegetables! One point for Mom!


Balsamic Onion Pot Roast in the Slow Cooker – Kalyn’s Kitchen is starting to be one of my go-to places for awesome recipes. As a plus, her recipes are usually healthful and lower carb. I thought this pot roast was very flavorful, although my onions stayed nowhere near as in tact as hers did in the picture. That’s OK, though, I love cooked sweet onion!

Batter-Dipped Chicken Sandwiches – These had excellent flavor, but my chicken breasts turned out a little like a pancake on the outside as opposed to looking like JessieLeigh’s pictures. I think maybe my batter was too thick or I didn’t shake it off well enough. I will most definitely give them another try! I loved them on homemade whole wheat buns with mayo and dill pickles (just like I like my Chick Fil-a!).


Have you tried any good recipes lately?

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Recipes I’ve Tried, vol. 2

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Chicken Enchilada Soup – I only used one recipe cream of chicken soup (see below) because I was worried about the dairy content. I did use a red bell pepper. I couldn’t use the pepperjack cheese, but Mr. V did. We both thought it was tasty, and so did my neighbors! I might go with Mary and use more cream soup to up the “creamyness” of the whole soup next time.

Homemade Cream of Chicken Soup – I used Kate‘s guidance here to make cream of chicken soup that is a little more of a gravy consistency (although if you kept boiling it I imagine it would get pretty thick). I used 1 c. milk and 1 c. homemade chicken stock for the liquid, plus a little dried parsley, salt, and pepper. It was delicious and worked wonderfully.

Oven Country Steak – this is my grandparents’ recipe for what they call Swiss Steak. They told me they usually tenderize the meat or ask the butcher to put it through the tenderizer, but I just used the round steak as is and thought it was still delicious. I love the clove flavor. My grandparents also suggested using the leftover liquid with any leftover meat and adding vegetables to make soup. I will definitely do that next time!

Pizza Pasta – remember when Libbie was eating cold pasta from a casserole dish on the floor? That was this delicious concoction from Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures. I used fresh, buffalo mozzarella that really put it over the top. We omitted the black olives but I think I added some green peppers for a little bit of veggie in there. (And pepperoni and green pepper pizza is my favorite.) We all loved it! And very freezer-friendly.

Have you tried any great recipes lately?

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Recipes I’ve Tried

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It’s super easy to find recipes online–blogs, AllRecipes, cooks.com, food magazine sites. (I mean, what magazine doesn’t have recipes??)

What it is not easy to find is whether these recipes are any good. Especially on blogs, people rarely come back and give a review after they’ve made the recipe.

I try a LOT of recipes out. I love to cook new things. So I thought periodically (take that to mean, when I feel like it) I would post reviews of some recipes I’ve tried. Hopefully you’ll have similar success with recipes that I like! (Assuming you follow the directions. Ahem, Mary.)

Tropical Carrot Bread – I substituted in whole wheat flour and coconut oil instead of vegetable or canola oil. I took one loaf to a baby shower in October and froze the other loaf, which we ate a few weeks ago. I think the frozen one was even better than the fresh! I thought it was delicious and moist, and Libbie ate it, too. And since there were carrots in it, I count that as a near-miracle. Would make great muffins if you prefer those!

Lemony Chicken Bake – I find that the lemon slices are a little lemony overkill for me in this, but Mr. V likes it that way. Other than that, you can’t get much easier than this simple baked dish that has veggie, starch, and protein!

Chicken Cobbler Casserole – I made this to freeze as part of some batch cooking I did in November pre-baby. I was anxious to try it, so it barely made it in the freezer before it came back out! I subbed chicken broth for the wine (and used ridiculously expensive organic cream of mushroom soup. Need to start making these cream soups from scratch when I use them.), and I thought the casserole was delicious over mashed potatoes. It was a little heavy on the onions for me, though. Mr. V didn’t care for it. He doesn’t like mushrooms so it’s possible that’s what turned him off.

Cranberry Vanilla Muffins – Personally, I think the uncooked cranberries are way too tart in these. (Which is probably why I still have an entire gallon bag in my freezer full of muffins…) The rest of the flavors were yummy, but if I were to make them again I would pop the cranberries in a saucepan or let them sit sugar a little while.

Fish en Papillote – I may make my adaptation of this recipe a blog post, but if I never get around to it, here you go! I used yellow onion, put lemon juice in with the veggies instead of lemon slices, used tilapia, omitted the wine, and cooked in brown paper bags coated with Pam instead of in parchment paper. (Creativity: what results when you REALLY don’t want to go to the grocery store with two kids.) I thought the fish had a wonderful, delicate flavor and the vegetables were absolutely delicious. Perhaps slightly more appropriate for summer, but you could always sub in seasonal vegetables.

Ham and Potato Frittata – Another meal made because “that’s what we had,” this egg dish was delicious. The flavorings are just right and I love the ham, potato, and eggs together. Cumin gives it a slight twist. Definitely a simple weeknight dinner I will go back to!

Your turn: have you cooked something recently from the web you’d like to tell me about? I am always ready to hear about new, great recipes!

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