I'm encouraged to keep trying new recipes,
I'm excited to keep a record of my healthy choices.
And I'm endlessly entertained by trying to take a variety of shots so every photo of my plate doesn't look exactly the same.
So in the spirit of good cooking and good fun, allow me to offer a second serving of Streicher eats.
^ Okay to be fair, I shared this dish in my first post on Streicher Eats. But not only do I love this concoction like a favored child, I've discovered a new tweak that makes this chicken bacon ranch infinitely easier to prepare. Precooked bacon crumbles.
I mean, if I am feeling the extra step of cooking eight strips of bacon in the oven, zapping myself in the arms with flying bits of fat, and covering my stove top with a greasy sheen as I bring the pan out of the oven, I can always do that. But this marvelous Hormel product allows me to rip open a package (okay, more plastic is never cool but stay with me) and pour out delicious nuggets of real bacon-y goodness all ready to go, and that is an offer I cannot refuse.
Here is the recipe; here is a link to the bacon crumbles. See my previous post here for other tips and tweaks.
^ Saint Patrick's Day calls for a no-nonsense Irish dinner. Corned beef served with cabbage, carrots, and potatoes. I cook the corned beef according to the directions on the package, which means boiling the meat for two-and-a-half to three hours. Pour enough water into a big pot to submerge the meat, add the spice packet that comes with it, and leave it on a lazy boil. During the last half hour, add some potato and carrot chunks; once the meat, potatoes, and carrots are done and you are just about to sit down to eat, toss the chunks of cabbage into the water and give them a quick boil-up. As the steamy scent of boiling cabbage fills my home, I imagine myself an Irish washerwoman stirring up a pot of cabbage soup for my dozen or so children, and thank my lucky stars that my fate was not hers.
I ate a plate of these delicious leftovers with a nice dollop of horseradish sauce for breakfast the next day, as my prisms cast a flurry of rainbows over my table. Must be me lucky charms.
^ On the first day of spring, a recipe featuring roasted fall vegetables popped up in my feed, and despite the incongruity of the seasons, I made it for dinner. Twas delicious.
The work was straightforward: chop and roast a whole bunch of veggies:
Okay, asparagus was not in the recipe. Rather than a fall vegetable, it's clearly a member of the spring club and I decided to toss it in just to represent for the vernal equinox. I'm a rebel like that.
I also decided to add a bit of chicken sausage to the mix as we Streichers are devoted omnivores, and provided some lovely shaved Parmesan for topping.
Rather than assemble the components into a single dish, I served them separately so we could customize our own plates. Empower the individual, that's what I say.
The recipe is here.
^ So when I made the orzo dish with the fall vegetables, I used only half the cooked orzo. The next day, I prowled around online to find a recipe that would use up my leftover orzo with a completely different flavor profile.
This little gem hit the spot. Simple flavors of chicken stock, creamy cheeses, and fresh greens were light and satisfying; since my orzo was already cooked, this dish came together in a very short time. A dinner dream come true
The original recipe is here and it calls for you to cook the orzo in chicken broth. Since my orzo was already cooked, I warmed it up in about a cup of chicken broth (I'll be honest - I just used what was left in the box without measuring) and gave the pasta a few minutes to absorb the flavorful liquid before I moved on to the next step.
^ A ground turkey burger and roasted Brussels sprouts with a side of slaw and some blackberries for a quick and easy weekday dinner. It would be entirely proper and fitting to dress this burger up in a bun and load it with condiments but for the five or ten years these have been in our regular dinner rotation, we are content to eat the turkey burger as its own thing. These little angels are crazy delicious as leftovers straight out of the fridge, and you better believe that for my next breakfast and lunch, I ate them just like that.
Here is the original recipe. I've tweaked this quite a bit over the years: I use one egg rather than two, and a full portion of a prepackaged serving cup of applesauce. I also add cumin.
^ The sun was shining, the daffodils were blooming, and my fourth-born and I did not feel a whole lot like cooking. So she dreamed up a menu of a simple chicken salad - roasted chicken, cucumbers, grated carrot, and homemade mayonnaise - served in a whole wheat pita.
Homemade mayonnaise is worth the small amount of trouble it requires. Here is a nice recipe for getting started.
The finished effect was pure springtime magic and I ate the leftovers wrapped in lettuce for my breakfast the next day.
^ Remember seventeen-year-old Red Gerard who pulled off Olympic snowboarding gold back in PyeongChang?
If you don't, here is his gold medal run. Watch it. It's a thing of beauty.
But my point is this. His sister, Tieghan, runs a killer cooking blog called Half Baked Harvest, and her recipes are exactly my cup of tea. This roasted mushroom kale pizza was well worth every extra fussy minute - yes, I really did massage the kale and mushrooms with my hands for one minute, as instructed, and I have no regrets.
The recipe for the toppings is here; Tieghan's recipe for whole wheat pizza crust is here; scroll all the way to the bottom for the dough recipe.
^ Tacos were kind of a new American thing when I was a kid, and when they started appearing on our dinner table, my brothers and I thought we had it made. Then, one night after a taco feast, a stomach flu virus hit our home and one of my brothers made a desperate run to the bathroom. Alas, he did not get there in time, and his taco dinner made an unfortunate second appearance across the dining room table. We did not eat many tacos after that.
Fortunately, the taco craze has made a less dramatic and longer lasting run in my household, and after decades of devouring them, our taco appetite is still going strong. Our self-serve menu generally includes
ground beef with taco seasoning
shredded cheddar cheese or a blend of Mexican cheeses
No avocados. At least half of my daughters inherited my body's inability to process avocado oil and I cannot eat a single bite.
We can't agree on a single base so I serve crunchy taco shells, soft tortillas, and lettuce for the salad lovers (mainly me.)
^ Stuffed peppers and roasted green beans. I'll be honest. I have never found a recipe for stuffed peppers that tastes as good as I think they should taste. So I've given up on outside sources and just make up my own concoctions as I go along.
The peppers are the easy part. I do prefer red, orange or yellow peppers to green; I slice them in half, clean out the seeds and ribs, then vigorously steam them before stuffing. I do not like a crunchy stuffed pepper.
I get creative with the stuffing. Ground beef and onion for sure. This time I found in my fridge half a red onion and half a sweet onion, so I used them both. I didn't have any tomato sauce on hand, so I added a cup or so of salsa, and stirred in a goodly amount of cheddar and Mexican shredded cheese (leftover from taco night.) I also found about half a block of cream cheese (left over from the spinach orzo dish) and after debating the pros and cons, decided to toss it in.
I must say, they were scrumptious. I ate one and a half for dinner, and two the next morning for my breakfast. No regrets.
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Wanna see all the food that the Streichers eat? Check out these posts