Saturday, September 03, 2011

Cooking Hits & Misses - August!

I didn't do all that much cooking this month - I was in California on vacation for a week visiting my husband's family. Plus I was working on a project with a tight deadline, so lots of later than normal nights. You'll see a lot of side dishes and breads in the dishes below.

The hit of the month for me was the Baked Cherry Tomato Sauce.  Simon hated it, but I loved it so much, I'm declaring it the winner!

Phenomenal (would make again)
  • Inside-Out Stuffed Cabbage (Healthy Cooking magazine) - the cheddar cheese really made this extra delicious.  But then, what doesn't cheese improve?
  • Eggplant Parmesan (Winged it - based on a combo of recipes) - I used Muir Glen's Portabello Mushroom Pasta sauce and I've decided it's my new favorite bottled pasta sauce.  It has such a rich flavor.  Eggplant Parmesan is hit or miss with me when I make it. This time, I used a broiling rack on top of a baking pan and baked the eggplant first until it was brown and crispy.  Then, I did the whole cheese and pasta sauce thing and baked it some more.  It was REALLY good.  
  • Taco Soup -- one of the few recipes I repeat regularly -- only this time I cooked it on the stove.
  • Baked Cherry Tomato Sauce (Smitten Kitchen blog)-- I think this might be one of my most favorite things I've ever cooked.  Simon wouldn't touch the tomatoes - I didn't realize his aversion went as far as cooked tomatoes.  I don't like raw tomatoes, but I still thought this was delicious.  The cherry tomatoes practically popped in my mouth.  
Great (probably would make again)
  • OMG Oven Baked Onion Rings (Appetite for Reduction cookbook)
  • Zucchini-Blueberry Bread (Gush Gourmet blog)
  • Peach Avocado Smoothie - chopped up a peach and blended it with 1/2 avocado, unsweetened vanilla coconut milk and ice. 
  • Jalapeno Poppers (Weight Watchers) 
Eh (wouldn't make again)
  • Baked Okra -- I can't remember where I found this recipe, but essentially, I left the okra pods intact (chopping off the stem).  I dipped them in egg whites, bread crumbs and baked.  It was a vast improvement on slimy gumbo okra, but sucked compared to any other vegetable on earth.
  • Chocolate Chip Zucchini Brownies (Two Peas & Their Pod blog) --  I thought these were good - just not as good as brownies without zucchini.
Blech (would never ever make again)
  • Smoked Sausage Gumbo (Cooking Light community boards) - I've learned that I do not like okra in a soup.  It's slimy and disgusting and awful.  
Cook's Error
  • Zucchini Bread (The Bread Lover's Bread Machine cookbook) --  This didn't mix up all the way and looked absolutely disgusting.  I think it-was my fault, however, because I subbed applesauce for the oil.  

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