ladysophiekitty: (C/A Waffles)
Wednesday night was my turn to cook dinner. As I am still a fairly new cook it took me a long time to make these two dishes (yay for being slow and having to double check everything/look up what steps mean!) but it was worth it. The dinner turned out really delicious.

My idea was to make one thing that was a bit more complicated and one thing that was easier to make than the first. This worked out nicely.

lentil and chickpea salad with feta and tahini
This dish took a while to make, mostly because of having to cook the lentils and waiting for them to cool. The actual recipe wasn't that hard, but there were a lot of steps. There was no sage in the house so I had to do without, and we had coriander and cumin in spice form so I did that instead of using seeds. Since I wasn't using those seeds I accidentally skipped the step with the sesame seeds, but even missing/changing those steps the dish turned out fantastic. The lemons were fresh lemons from our garden.  Also, finally learned how to cut an onion into half moon slices. I thought I knew how but it turned out to be wrong so I ended up having to look that up online. When I served the dish the lentils were still warm, so I can vouch for the fact that this dish tastes good both warm and cold.

lemon-ginger chicken thighs
This was a lot simpler to make. Actually cooking the chicken was the part that took the longest. MAKE SURE TO GET CHICKEN THIGHS WITH SKIN ON IT! Part of the process is to rub the ginger/lemon peel mixture under the skin, and I'm glad that I made sure to get ones with skin. I followed the steps exactly but when I cut into the chicken to make sure that it was fully cooked it was still pretty pink. This could be in part because I used a saute pan rather than a pan that would have been more useful for this dish but I just put it in the microwave for a couple minutes and then stuck it back on the pan for a few more minutes. The chicken ended up being nice and tender and cooked perfectly. There is honey in it too so it's a bit on the sweeter side, which suited me perfectly. Next time I make this I will probably add more ginger.
ladysophiekitty: (Rose Tardis)
My family is having a pretty busy week, so my sister and I were each asked to cook dinner for one night. I was more than happy to do so. Usually I just make salad to go with the meal, but I was asked to make an actual side dish, so a different veggie it was!

brown butter chicken linguine

This recipe took a little bit longer than I expected. I'm still new to cooking, so I can be a bit on the slow side, especially with preparing and chopping everything. I started an hour and 20 minutes before we were planning to eat (7:20) and we actually sat down to eat closer to 8. The recipe itself is actually pretty simple, it was complicated only in that you have to keep a close eye on the instructions because there is a lot of swapping what cooks on the skillet at a time. I also somehow missed the "cut into pieces" part of the chicken directions, so I ended up heating them up in a microwave for a few minutes and cutting them then, before adding it to everything.

I used red wine instead of white, and didn't have parsley to garnish. But this dish is INCREDIBLE. Really flavorful and rich, but not over the top and still a bit subtle. It's what I call a grower: you put it in your mouth and don't taste much at first and then all the sudden it's "oh my god, this is so flavorful and delicious!"

Definitely making this again.

sugar snap peas with mint and lemon

This was good too! Really simple to make. I used lemons and mint from our garden, which made it a convenient dish. Don't have too much to say about it.

These two worked pretty well together!
ladysophiekitty: (Oswin Oswald)
chocolate chip cookie dough mug cake

Usually when I read a recipe online, I do 2 things. The first is that I read several of the reviews to see what people think or advice they have. The second is that I look at the list of the ingredients and figure out what I want to add, if anything, to make it more suitable to my tastes. For some reason, I did neither of these things this time. I think because I've come to expect that a blog's comments are usually made by people who want to make a recipe but haven't actually tried that, instead of sites like Epicurious where all the comments are reviews. Turns out that for once, most of the comments WERE reviews.  Then, instead of having them all listed out, it was written out in steps that took you to a different page.

This recipe was awful, in my opinion. I took it out of the microwave and it didn't look or smell great, but I just shrugged and figured it might still taste fine. It did not. It was too eggy and rubbery, really dense, a bit flavorless, and dry. I even checked to make sure I followed the recipe exactly, and I did.

Ways I would make it better:
1. Add vanilla and salt.  have NEVER baked anything without vanilla before, especially not something sweet!
2. Cut it down to half an egg if I use an egg at all. I've made a vegan mug cake before and it tasted fine without an egg.
3. Add some milk
4. Cut down the microwave time. I find usually 40 seconds is good, and you can always stick it in for a bit more if needed.

I'm not looking for a gourmet dessert by any means, since it IS a microwave cake that only takes a few minutes to make. But I've made a few others that were delicious, so I don't even think that's a good excuse. If you want a good mug cake, I suggest 5 minute chocolate fudge smore mug cake by how sweet eats

and one minute chocolate cake by chocolate covered katie (vegan) which needs a little bit of extra milk and sugar, but once you add that tastes fine. I'm not even a big fan of her blog anymore, minus a few good recipes which require some changing on my part, but I like this.
ladysophiekitty: (Stock cupcakes)
I haven't updated this challenge for a while, mostly because I either haven't been cooking much, have been remaking some things like the turkey burgers I've posted before, been making super simple things, or just haven't gotten around to it! So I have a few to update. I'll post another one tomorrow, hopefully.

Now, normally I wouldn't post a grilled cheese sandwich on here (unless it was a gourmet complicated one) because mostly it's just bread, cheese, oil or butter, cooking a few minutes on each side. But this time was actually a bit more experimental for me. We didn't have any cheese in the house except for grumbled goat cheese, and I wasn't too sure how that would turn out. And actually, it turned out really well! I pressed the cheese down so that it wouldn't be quite so thick and slow to melt, and spent about 5 minutes on the first side, since I didn't want to flip until it had melted enough, and 3 minutes on the second.

lentil stew with ayib

Well, this certainly was an adventure. To start, the store I went to didn't provide any red lentils, in a can or bagged, so I got green instead. I'd never cooked lentils in a bag before and followed directions, but it never mentioned draining. Now that I think about it, it makes sense, but there didn't seem to be a whole lot of extra water. Well, when I added the 6 extra cups of water, it was TOO MUCH but I thought that maybe some of the water evaporated. I ended up having to pour out some of the water, and guessed the extra amounts of tomato paste and spices to make up for that. So this wasn't a porridge like so much as LENTIL SOUP! It seemed to be a hit with my family, though I personally thought it was a bit on the bland side (and looking back, although she listed the garam masala in the ingredients, I didn't see anywhere to put it in so I hadn't noticed I never used it until after), though I liked it much better the second night.

The cheese was easy enough to make and did add a nice flavor to it. I'm not fond of cottage cheese outside of lasagna, but I didn't mind.

I'm definitely getting better at cooking and being ok with not following a recipe exactly, but it certainly makes me laugh when I'm reminded how much of a newcomer I am. But that's kind of the fun of cooking too: having to improvise when things don't go exactly right. And when it tastes good after, it really feels like an accomplishment.
ladysophiekitty: (Doctor/Rose dreaming of the future)
recipe here

It was my sister's friend's birthday recently, and since she is like another big sis to me, I asked her what she wanted me to bake her for her birthday. She said something lemony, so I went through the recipes I had saved and tried to find something that sounded good AND I had all the ingredients for. This one met both.

I LOVE lemony treats but I had never made one before, so it took me a minute to figure out that grated lemon zest was the skin and that no, I shouldn't grate the whole thing. Ooops. But I was able to salvage that mistake easily (and fortunately we have plenty of lemons from our lemon tree) and do it properly the next time. This was a fairly straightforward recipe. I was a bit skeptical about how dry it would be considering it didn't use milk, melted butter (just creamed butter), or eggs, but the lemon juice seemed to do the trick. This made me 14 cookies, but I tend to like my homemade cookies a bit smaller than most other people do.

Notes about this cookie: IT REALLY IS CHEWY (hey, it's in the name!), but there's this especially lemony bit in the center that's not quite cooked all the way through, which makes it sound awful but it's so good. It's almost like a lemon bar in that way, which is what the recipe said. I ate 2 as soon as they were out of the oven, so I suppose where everybody else is concerned, it made a dozen :P In other words, I thought it was delicious.

I hope my sister's friend enjoys them!
 
ladysophiekitty: (Doctor/Rose full moon)
Today my friend came over and we made a huge brunch type spread. So 2 of these are recipes we've followed, and one of them is my own recipe (for scrambled eggs, which I have perfected by now)

french toast sticks

These turned out REALLY badly. I don't think it was the recipe so much as it was us. We planned out the meal yesterday and so I had only gotten to the store yesterday, and I bought a banana as I didn't have any. It was pretty much the only one not green and the recipe called for a really ripe banana. Also the recipe suggested cinnamon raisin bread, which we got, but it was a bit on the thin side and the batter didn't really stick to the bread at all and it cooked weirdly and blegh. I didn't even try it because my friend took a bite of hers and told me to not even bother. Recipe fail!


apple pie muffins

These were pretty good. The apples didn't really shine through though, like, you couldn't really taste them at all. I'm not sure what kind of apples they were (my friend is the one who brought them over) but the recipe didn't specify, so. The brown sugar crunchy top was amazing, however! In fact, the muffins tasted more like brown sugar than apple. I only had one, so maybe they'll improve with further tastings, sometimes I will feel meh about something only to really enjoy it later on.

Now I'm off to the gym to work off all that plus the sausage we consumed for breakfast.

And then Scrambled Eggs.

Usually when I make them, I make them just for me so I use 2 eggs. Since there were 2 of us today, I used 4.
I either mince 1 clove of garlic and then mince some red onion and put them, along with a little bit of salt, in a bowl of whisked eggs and mix them together. Sometimes I will grate the garlic and melt it with the butter (I only do the previous if I decide to use oil instead of butter for the pan) and then put the onion/egg combination in. Occasionally I'll put in a very small dab of cream cheese to make it creamier. Today my friend wanted cheese, so I grated some sharp white cheddar.

Then I put it on the pan and put it on medium low, and constantly stir the eggs, maybe for about 5-7 minutes.
Today I just minced and mixed everything, even though I used butter for the pan.

THESE ARE AMAZING!
ladysophiekitty: (LotS Cara/Kahlan I never could go back)
recipe here

With 4 people in the house and only 6 muffins from my last batch, they went FAST! I was in the mood for more muffins (they make the perfect lazy breakfast! All I have to do is stick one in the toaster oven, make myself some tea, and ready!) and decided to make these.

Fairly straightforward, probably took me 12 minutes to put everything together and then stick it in the oven (no raw sugar to put on top, though!), and put it in for 17 minutes. I like oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, so I was sure I'd like them as a muffin too. I did! Nice and moist, not too dry like some muffins can be.

Coming up next: baked zucchini sticks (probably tomorrow, as I've been on a real baking and cooking kick lately)
ladysophiekitty: (Lady Mary doors)
recipe here

If you can't tell, I've been a bit recipe crazy these past few days. It helps that there's a bunch of stuff in the house that needs to be eaten. We were gone for a few days and when we came back we had these GIANT zucchinis. My contribution today were these zucchini bites, which according to the site is something like a mini quiche and a muffin. Personally I think they're more like a min quiche, or maybe an omelet.

The original recipe said it would make 24 mini muffins, but my eyes must have skipped the mini part. I decided to halve the recipe because 12 would be just fine for me. I took out a regular muffin pan and it filled about 6 of those maybe a little over half. I also didn't have fresh parsley in the house but I'm not a fan so I was fine going without.

I used slightly sharp white cheddar. The recipe was really simple, just a lot of peeling, grating, cutting, and stirring.

They were OK. Light and fluffy, and the cheese I chose wasn't too strong or overpowering. Next time I might add some salt or pepper, just to give it a little oomph, because they were a bit on the bland side.

Had these for lunch, along with some of my leftover cashew chicken, and it was a good meal.
ladysophiekitty: (Morgana damn the consequences)
recipe here

Remember those pumpkin cakes I made a while ago? Well, I had some leftover pumpkin puree in a container that I had been using here and there for other recipes but needed to use up. Pumpkin muffins sounded like a good idea, and it's something I enjoy eating.

We only had about half a cup of pumpkin left at this point, though, so I had to halve the recipe and make only 6 muffins. I used regular milk instead of evaporated milk (and forgot to halve it but it turned out well despite the fact I used too much milk). I also forgot to add spices to the top to add a bit of extra crunch beneath the cream cheese, but that wasn't a problem.

This recipe turned out really good, in my opinion. I sort of guessed at the amounts for the frosting and adjusted as needed. I don't usually put much frosting on, anyway, so I was able to figure out how much was good for ME.

My only complaint (which might be my fault, I did cut up the butter well but maybe not well enough) was that it was really buttery. I don't have a pastry cutter so I just used a knife and did the best I could. I added raisins, too, which was a great addition. Pumpkin and golden raisins are a good combination in muffins.

So next time I will make the full dozen muffins, remember the spice on the top of the muffin, and try to find a way to make it not so buttery. Definitely a keeper, though!
ladysophiekitty: (Doctor/Rose let's make a bet)
recipe for cashew chicken here

I actually doubled this recipe as we had 5 people eating dinner tonight. Other changes included: extra garlic, cooking sherry, and sesame oil.

This was very good. I thought with all the honey it would be very sweet, but then again while I did double the ingredients I didn't double it for the sauce.

First stir fry I've ever made! Good thing to know for the future.
ladysophiekitty: (Doctor/Rose stuff of legend)
recipe here

I have to admit that I do like pumpkin in things, although I'm not the biggest fan of pumpkin pie. I will have a slice and enjoy it, but I won't go out of my way to seek it. Pumpkin cookies, though? Yum.

This recipe looked good and it came from a blog I like, so I thought I'd give it a try. Holy shit it was amazing, especially with the glaze on top. And it was SO EASY TO MAKE. I did have to sub for a few things (pumpkin spice and pastry flour, mostly, but those were also easy to substitute, even if I had to do some guessing on my part) but other than that I followed the recipe completely and didn't add anything.

It was a bit too sweet for breakfast, though. I know, it says CAKE which is usually sweet, but sometimes blogs come up with fancy names. I'll just say it was for a special occasion for my graduation and then save it for future special occasions. Like hey, my birthday in November!

ladysophiekitty: (Doctor/Rose somewhere I've never travele)
recipe here

I must admit that I didn't just make this. This was a recipe I made (twice, actually!) a little while ago but with the fail of a burger recipe I posted today I thought I'd post a good one as well. This is actually one of my FAVORITE recipes!

It's really good and so easy to make. I'm not even much of a mayo fan but the lime mayo was fabulous! No changes made except for the fact that I usually use a little extra meat and make 5 burgers.
ladysophiekitty: (Donna yellow)
recipe here

We have a BUNCH of pita bread in the house that needed to be used up, so I thought I'd make something as a sandwich filling.

This recipe...well, I'm not really sure what I think. The mint sauce is really good, but I don't like the actual burger very much. The flavoring seems a bit off and the texture of the chicken isn't quite right. I actually followed the recipe exactly with no changes made this time.

I won't be making it again, though I might keep the recipe for the mint yogurt.

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