Monday, October 10, 2011

Recipes Worth Trying

So I've been hooked on a website called Pinterest for awhile and I find the best things on here.  I found a few recipes that I made and wanted to share. 

I normally make recipes off of the Kraft website and am more often than not, disappointed with the outcome. I made a recipe one time that consisted of macaroni and cheese, grilled chicken and vegetables. The way they described this 'dish' was to simmer the chicken in a pan, add the frozen veggies, and then put the mac and cheese in the pan once made, then cook all together.  Once finished, I tried to eat it, but it was really lacking a lot of things. The freezer taste from the vegetables basically soaked into the contents of the dish and the chicken with the mac and cheese was just awful. I could only get down a bite or two before dumping the rest in the garbage. Kraft  = failure.  I've never made anything off the Kraft website that didn't end up in my garbage.

I am no expert cook, and quite frankly, I hate cooking in general.  My mom is a great cook, and makes it look so easy. Watching my mom is like watching the food network. I swear she never follows recipes, just a pinch of this and handful of that, and a beautiful, perfectly cooked entree comes floating out of the oven. I feel like I struggle a lot, and then my food always comes out half-assed for some reason.  I tried to make a corn dog casserole the other day and ended up with some kind of stuffing with hot dogs in it. It didn't taste bad, it was just like having a hot dog Thanksgiving. It was more awkward than anything, and once again, ended up in my garbage.

So finally, I decided to switch it up and try some more challenging recipes. Maybe the recipes I was trying weren't turning out good because they were crappy recipes. Like I said, I'm not an expert, but I can cook when I really set my mind to it. 

First, I found a stuffed pepper recipe.  From what I remember, and from what my curious co-workers told me when I told them about it, there is supposed to be a tomato sauce simmered into the stuffed peppers. Which is true, because I remember my mom making them for us when we were kids.  The red sauce also works in the cabbage roll recipes. I'm pretty sure it's the same stuffing actually.

Here's the recipe I used from Kalyn's Kitchen. I loved this because she even took pictures which was helpful to a cooking dumby like me! 

The only difference I made to her recipe was that I did not use the ground fennel (I couldn't find this anywhere! I'm sure I wasn't looking in the right place), and I used 3 sausages instead of 2, so I had extra stuffing. I personally loved it without the red sauce. It had a nice texture to it and the Parmesan really brought it all together. We only had 4 smaller peppers, so all the stuffing we didn't use served nicely as leftovers the next day.

The next recipe I tried were creamy chicken taquitos.

I am always iffy on Mexican food because up until the past couple years, I always hated Mexican food. I think I generally was not a fan of corn tortillas and cilantro, but I've aquired more of a taste for it since we have a really good Mexican restaurant at the end of our road.

This recipe comes from Pennies on a Platter

My differences were that I made it with red medium salsa instead of green salsa, and left out the cilantro.  They were very good! I think that some refried beans would have worked on these as well, or even used to dip in.  We didn't have any though, so we used some light sour cream. I also used 1/3 less fat neufchatel cream cheese.

I've added both of those to the 'yes' list for dinner ideas:)