Friday, February 5, 2010

"After this I'm gonna dream about peppers"

... and other thoughts from my last month with Rachel Ray.

Tonight's supper was so incredibly spicy I find myself online looking for ways to "cool" it down. Granted, LK and his British palate aren't too fond of food with a kick (he misses so much in life). But when it's too hot for me, I know something went wrong. Even Geo, who is, at the table at least, our adventurous child, said tonight he'll be dreaming of peppers after this meal. And for the first time in my month of cooking Rachel Ray, I've found one that I think will not be cooked again.

So here is what I spent the last month cooking listed by their number from Rachel's 365 no repeat cookbook.

January List Part 1

#4 Mac-n-Cheddar with Broccoli
I'm gonna have to try this one again. Apparently is does matter that you actually have a full pound of macaroni. I was pretty far into the preparation when I discovered I only had, at best, half a pound, so when all things were combined I successfully made macaroni cheese soup. It was, however, one of the few things I've made that got better by being shoved to the back of the fridge.*

#97 Chicken Tortilla Soup with Lime I made this one when Ryan (as in the same Ryan from the Wishing Well Project, an organization you should totally look into supporting) brought his friends over to our house for an impromptu Ice Party 2010. Ryan's three friends were all from various parts of Asia, and one, Spark, had never been to an American home or eaten anything Tex-Mex. I used yellow bell peppers instead of green (Target had a run on green bell peppers- I mean when you're stocking up for the worst ice storm in decades, you must have green bell peppers!). Since we had guests I doubled it but only used 1 bell pepper and only 1 jalapeno. I also left out the cumin and coriander because I didn't realize I was out and just sprinkled a random amount of chili powder instead. I did not put the chips in the bottom because that sounded gross. Overall this was a good broth based Chicken Tortilla Soup, but if you want the best, you need to buy Tanya Leckie's cookbook. That is the best ever.

#99 Chicken, Corn, and Black Bean Stoup
We already discussed this one. Though after looking to see that the can says it contains 3 chipotle peppers and the recipe only calling for 1-- I'm suddenly thinking there in lies the spice problem.

#111 Pork Chops with Grainy Mustard and Raisin Sauce
We had this when the Panters spent a Sunday afternoon with us eating and playing BananaGrams (which is a fabulous game). It would have been better if I realized it was an Indian type dish (I realize now the golden raisins should have been a big clue.) I would have served it with rice instead of mashed potatoes.

#113 Ginger-Soy Chicken on Shredded Lettuce I used regular soy sauce because who in Oklahoma knows what tamari is or where in the world to buy it?! I also only used 1/4 tsp of red pepper flakes (remember the hubs spice deprived mouth). I also piled a little bit of white rice on the lettuce before putting the chicken on top. Tasty.

#140 Beans and Green Soup
A little too spicy, should use 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes next time instead. I also used endive because I couldn't find anything that specifically said "escarole" and some site I found while frustratingly standing in the grocery store said you could use endive as a sub. Plus if you look up both on wikipedia escarole takes you to endive, and since wikipedia is the bible of all knowledge, that must right.

#177 My Mom's 15-Minute Tomato and Bean Stoup
I made this when mom and dad were in town. Excellent! I used 2 cans of tomato paste with 2 cups of water instead of the tomato sauce because when making my grocery list I misread what I would need so I had no sauce and only paste. I also used 2 Roma tomatoes that I had diced and forgotten about for a previous meal instead of canned tomatoes and I completely omitted the yellow beans because I couldn't find them.

Tomorrow, January list Part 2. Come hungry ... And, if you're interested, my friend Michelle did a year of cooking every day with Rachel Ray (whew! She's more of a woman than me!)

*I do not endorse this method for most dishes. Most of the time it gets very very gross.


luke said...

For the record, DH has a fairly diverse palate...I just like to be able to taste my food.

I like the culinary efforts. It adds some spice to our lives (variety kind of spice...not the jar of peppers instead of one peppers spice :-)

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