Saturday, February 25, 2012

the dinner files

I had been compiling a list of dinner ideas and this week I decided to check a few off. My goal- try new things.

We STILL have Omaha steaks left from Christmas and since I was running out of ideas I thought of steak tacos- brilliant! I loveee Mexican. I wanted to do this taco night a little more traditional with corn tortillas, fresh salsa, plantains, and an amazing salad with queso fresco and a honey lime vinaigrette. Plantains came out decent for my first try and that salad is now my favorite thing ever.

This little dish was a risk- it was either going to be amazing or a disaster. The kitchen gods must've been shining down on me that night because it was SO good..and healthy, go figure? A woman I work with told me about a stuffed butternut drizzled with maple syrup she had on a trip to New Hampshire. I NEEDED to know this recipe because the idea sounded wonderful but alas, she didn't remember and I was all on my own. What was left to do but wing it? I opted to bake the squash with butter and brown sugar then stuff it with red pepper, gimme lean (sausage flavor), mushrooms, onion, and cauliflower. Topped it with the key ingredient of maple syrup and proceeded to devour.

I've never roasted a chicken before but I recently stumbled upon a chocolate chipotle rub and smoked chocolate BBQ sauce so I figured I was gonna have to try sometime. I was not prepared for this at all..the only thing I had was a disposable roasting pan and a vague idea of how long to cook this monster. I rolled up my sleeves, covered the chicken with butter and dry rub, and hoped for the best. 2 hours and some steamed vegetables later, the chicken was ready. Once again- success! The chicken was insanely moist (thank you butter) and that smokey sweetness of the rub and sauce made for a delicious skin.

It's so satisfying to finally be cooking food we love and not just cooking food based on convenience. Even though it's way more work, I'd like to keep this up.

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