Since we lacked a kitchen when we first moved into the house, we found ourselves eating out a lot. Of course this is not very economical, and it gets tiresome quickly. I've made a conscious effort to cook at home more. The problem is, I tend to fall into the trap of preparing something on the spur of the moment, usually resulting in the same boring meal of grilled chicken breast, rice, and corn. I'm a decent cook when I give a little bit of effort, but I can never remember if a recipe I've tried is a hit or miss. I started keeping a notebook of recipes I've cooked to resolve that issue. On one side of the page, I write the recipe. On the back of the same page, I record any changes or substitutions I made, an out-of-5-star rating from each person who eats it, and any changes to the recipe I and the other people suggest to make it better. I know my mom is always on the lookout for new recipes and improvements to old ones, so I thought I'd share them with her and anyone else who's interested. So what's cooking this week?
Saturday: Indian-Style Chicken Breasts. Average rating: 3.75. This wasn't as sweet as I'd expected given the mango and raisins, but it was still pretty good. Marian and Ben used the leftover sauce later in the week and said they really liked it.
Sunday: Sage and Cream Turkey Fettuccine.
Average rating: 2.25. I used chicken instead of turkey. We both thought the sauce was pretty bland. Might be worth keeping with a reworked sauce. Perhaps just increase the quantities of the ingredients already listed?
Monday: Standing arrangement with coworkers at the Irish pub.
I'm pretty sure Clara is their youngest customer. Yes, we bring our baby to a bar. Don't judge.
Tuesday: Oven Fried Chicken Breasts.
Average rating: 3.7. Made a lot of excess breading. You could probably cut the breading quantity in half and still have lots of excess. I used regular breadcrumbs instead of cornflakes. Marian and Ben each gave the chicken a 3.5 rating, but increased it to a 4 when they used the mango sauce from Saturday as a dipping sauce.
Wednesday: Chicken Lazone.
Average rating: 4.3. I used garlic salt instead of garlic powder and omitted the salt, but it was still very salty. Marian gave it a 4 but would give it a 5 with the adjustment to the amount of salt. Didn't have cream on hand so used milk thickened with flour instead. At least double the amount of sauce next time.
Thursday: We tricked our houseguests (my sister, her husband, and her 2 kids) into performing slave labor for us on Thursday, so we took them out to dinner at The Scioto Ribber. Yum.
Friday: Hamburgers. No recipe for throwing a frozen beef patty on the stove.
Saturday: Macaroni and cheese.
Average rating: 4.5. I added about 1 1/2 teaspoons of minced garlic to the sauce. I also used whatever cheese I had on hand, which was a Mozzarella/Provolone mix and a Mexican blend. I lightly dusted the top with breadcrumbs before baking. This was the first time I used the convection feature on my oven and was impressed that it finished cooking in half the time.
What's cooking in your kitchen?