Day 24: Easter Dinner

Ok, so I’ve been getting behind. Just a quick heads-up, days 19-21 were recipes from a magazine, so I have to write down the entire recipe here for you. That will come in a week or two, purely because I’m feeling lazy.

For Easter Dinner, which also coincided with my grandmother’s birthday, we made a loaded potato casserole, a slow cooker maple brown sugar ham, brown sugar and bacon green beans, and chocolate cake. (We also made a few things from a package, like gravy and yorkies, so we’ll pretend those never happened!)

   
 Firstly, the potato casserole wasn’t that fantastic. I should mention that I overfilled the dish, so it leaked all over the oven floor…and somehow leaked onto the kitchen floor, too. For that recipe, I would have to recommend adding waaaay more cheese than they recommend, as well as making sure you don’t fill your potatoes up to the brim.

   
 For the maple brown sugar ham, which we found at our local meat store, we actually had to chop the top off the ham. It was far too big to fit, but it was amazing. Definitely a recipe I’ll repeat over the years. Just a note, don’t cook it over the time recommended, because you can actually dry out the ham a bit (news to me!). The glaze is phenomenal and you’ll have meat left-overs for days.

As for the bacon and brown sugar green beans, I believe in you. Don’t use the recipe, just go with your judgement and add as much bacon and brown sugar as you see fit. There’s no wrong amount, unless your beans taste too healthy…then you’ve gone wrong and not even I can help you come back from that mess.

  
THE CAKE. Oh my gosh. I would like to mention using parchment paper tracings to line the cake pans is brilliant. If you’re just tuning into the baking and cooking world like I am, it’s tricks like this that really save the day. The cake isn’t too rich at all, which I usually fear with chocolate cake; however, the icing is very rich, so don’t apply it too liberally. You probably need 1/2-3/4 of the icing to actually ice the cake. I was feeling lazy and decided to make my icing in my mixer, but this made my icing way too smooth. It slid right off the cake. On another note, if you like super smooth-looking cakes, this is a great way to ice a cake if you are willing to transfer it to a clean cake stand.

 

 

 

Here’s links to all the recipes, I’d recommend all but the potatoes (I’ll try it again some other time):

Slow Cooker Ham with Maple Brown Sugar Glaze

Brown Sugar and Bacon Green Beans

http://thefoodcharlatan.com/2015/10/06/the-best-chocolate-cake-maglebys-copycat-recipe/

Loaded Potato Casserole

Day 7: Southwest Turkey Chilli

Oh lord. Please, don’t ever over-full your crockpot. I thought it would be OK to fill mine to the brim and it boiled over in the night. I woke up and it was all over the counter and the floor. I know this seems like common sense but I wanted to risk it and, in hindsight, I really shouldn’t have. 

However, this recipe was awesome. I totally didn’t follow it, but it was awesome nonetheless. I essentially added the following:

  • 2 lbs cooked ground turkey
  • 2 large yellow onions
  • 2 big cans of diced tomatoes (you should probably drain these as best as possible)
  • 2 packs of chilli seasoning
  • 1 regular-sized can of white kidney beans
  • 1 can of beans in tomato sauce
  • 2 cans of red kidney beans
  • 1 can of brown kidney beans
  • 1 yellow pepper 
  • 1 small can of chipotle peppers in abodo sauce.

We had to drain off some juice before cooking it, as when we combined it we found it was way too runny. If you don’t like spicy foods, cut back on the chipotle, as it does add quite a kick to the recipe. 

I can’t wait to make this and freeze it for camping this summer! Pretty healthy considering it’s nothing but veggies and turkey. It certainly doesn’t take like healthy food though, which is nice. 

I completely forgot to take pictures before we devoured it all, sorry! 

Here’s the link: http://mariahspleasingplates.com/slow-cooker-southwest-quinoa-chili/

Day 4: Bolognese Sauce

Now this is what I call a recipe! I was super happy with how this turned out; it was very favourful and wasn’t anywhere near as much prep as I expected. The hardest part is just timing it right with dinner, as you have to start making it 8.5-9 hours before its done. The prep of the ingredients takes about 30 min-1 hour and then the slow cooker takes 8 hours. Definitely worth the wait!

The recipe calls for a stock pot and a Dutch oven, but I didn’t have a Dutch oven so I used a large frying pan (it turned out just fine!). In case you’re a novice cooker like me, an example of “coring” a tomato can be found on YouTube and is actually pretty easy. I recommend using VERY ripe tomatoes if you’re going to be coring them, as bruised or old tomatoes are soggy and hard to cut. This is where a good, sharp knife comes in handy! Also, below is what you call a “stockpot”, in case you didn’t know the terminology for it.

I forgot to buy enough onions this week, so my recipe is onion-less. I also forgot Italian seasoning, so I put chicken seasoning and some cumin on my ground beef, instead. I’m slowly learning you can never have too much garlic, so hopefully that will make up for the lack of onions. I’d like to one day try this recipe with ground turkey instead of beef. Also, I used Roma tomatoes instead of regular tomatoes, which were probably more difficult to cut and core. I’ll try that next time.

Here’s a picture of the goods before the 8 hour cook in the crock pot:

And the finished product:


Happy to have found another success!

http://www.littlespicejar.com/slow-cooker-bolognese-sauce/

Day 1: Meatloaf

Holy cow…no pun intended. I went into Pinterest and found a recipe that seemed good, not realizing the level of gross this ordeal would entail. 

I cannot emphasize how not okay this meal is for people wishing to:

A. Cook with their children

B. Maintain their dignity

C. Keep meat out of their belly buttons. 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure this is a great recipe. I was just unprepared for what cooking actually requires. Did I mention I don’t normally cook? Ya, I’m pretty sure this was the first onion I’ve cut in my life, as I believe I would have remembered bawling and yelling “OH MY GOD” repetitively for 10 minutes. 

I’m 99.89% sure this type of dish was created by some frantic 1950’s housewife who truly believed meat and ketchup were the way to a man’s heart. Poor thing. 

Below you will find a link to the glorious recipe:

http://www.pipandebby.com/pip-ebby/2014/2/22/best-ever-meatloaf.html

I found this recipe turns our very tasty, but too watery. I’ll have to figure out how to remedy that! Also, it’s a little too ketchupy. 

   

  

  
 Here’s a few helpful pointers:

1. If you’re trying to be healthy, please don’t eat this. I’m not one of those “meat is murder” people but this will kill you.

2. Cut your nails. You don’t want meat and egg in there.

3. Take your rings off. Please.

4. Don’t assume you have enough ketchup. This recipe calls for a Costco-sized ketchup. 

I know I’m really dissing this meal, however, I’m actually excited to figure out different ways to cook it. I substituted pork for ground beef due to cost, but it turned out too watery because apparently pork is too juicy. I’d like to try ground turkey. Also, I feel like cheese should be incorporated somehow. If I could make a healthy meatloaf, I would probably create world peace. Food for thought.