This year I have tried to spend a little more time in the kitchen and a few less dollars eating out. I made a resolution to try 40 new recipes, which I tracked and posted about here. I decided to keep tracking the things I try but to post them a little more regularly than once a year. So, here we go! (Note, not all of these are new-to-me recipes, but I am linking to some of my all time favorites as well so they might become your all time favorites. You’re welcome.)
Roasted Whole Artichokes: I always see artichokes at my grocery, and have never figured out what one does with the things. I mean, I know you eat them (I’m not a complete culinarious moron), and I know that magazines and website use them for decoration/staging/accessorizing a lot, probably because they are different, somewhat “exotic,” have an interesting texture and, apparently, are much more chic than a bowl of apples. Then I stumbled upon this easy recipe. Admittedly, it was very simple to do and they looked oh so fancy on their plates, but whole artichokes are a pain in the butt to eat. The petals/leaves are good, but you get about a quarter teaspoon of artichoke meat per petal. And they are spiky. And when you get to the heart it’s covered in prickly-hairy-fuzz, which you need to scrape or slice off before you eat it. Honestly, I’m probably going to just stick with a bottle of artichoke hearts from now. They’re the same price (about) as a whole artichoke and you get 12 times the meat. And you don’t get prickly-hairy-fuzz on your tongue.
Spinach Dip: A book club favorite…if I don’t eat the whole thing for dinner first. This is best if it sits in the fridge overnight before serving.
Pumpkin Butterscotch Cookies: RA posted about these and I went home and made them that night. And sent the recipe to my siblings. And brought the leftovers for my coworkers. These aren’t your typical puffy, cakey pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, they are flatter, more chewy and have a lot fewer spices (no nutmeg, no cloves, no allspice). The dough is super thick, if you’re a cookie scoop kind of person (which I am) I would recommend using a regular spoon or your hands. I had to dig the dough out of my scoop because it was so thick the scooper wouldn’t release it.
Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese frosting: Ina Garten does not disappoint! I made these for book club in November as mini cupcakes and they were universally loved. They aren’t too pumpkin-y, nor do they taste like maple syrup and the toffee bits on top add a bit of crunch.The mix of flavors is subtle and Fall-ish and absolutely wonderful.
Butternut Squash Enchiladas: Janssen posted this recipe and I went home and made it that evening. I added a bit of tobasco, a jalapeno, and some red pepper flakes in lieu of the chilies in adobo sauce (because I didn’t have any at home), but these were absolutely delicious! I will definitely make them again.
Artichoke Lemon Soup: Kind of a bust. I love the combination of artichoke and lemon, but this didn’t hit the mark. It’s a very thin soup which I didn’t love at all. It’s not going to fill you up (as soup should, in my opinion). I even tried blending it up a bit so the artichoke hearts would thicken up the broth, and that didn’t work as well (although I think I liked the tinier bits of artichoke better than larger chunks in such a thin base.) It seems like something to serve in tiny bowls with crust-less cucumber sandwiches. It’s fancy food, but not necessarily delicious or filling. I also think it was too lemony, and too lemony + cooked in a metal pot + eaten with a metal spoon gave it this odd metallic after-taste that I didn’t care for at all. I don’t know. I’ll probably try another artichoke and lemon soup, but I wouldn’t recommend this one. (Update: Day 2 it was even worse, unpalatable. I tossed a half gallon down the sink without remorse.)
Italian Wedding Soup: I could probably eat this soup for the rest of my life and not get sick of it. Italian sausage meatballs, shredded carrots, tiny pasta, onion and garlic, and thin strips of slightly wilty spinach. Sounds odd? Tastes amazing.
White Bean Chili: One of my favorites and always inhaled at my bi-annual soup party (yes, it’s a thing). This time I added extra green chilies and a zucchini because I had it in the fridge. Delicious!
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