Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Guest Post: Kitchen Catastrophe

My dear friend Jenny do I say it?...kind of a disaster in the kitchen. I tried to help last year, with monthly cooking classes, but they ended up being "laugh and drink wine and forget about what's in the oven" sessions. She has a boyfriend now who's a great cook...and I don't understand why she doesn't leave meals up to him. God bless her, she keeps trying.

She told me she was going to attempt one of the recipes I had pinned: Creamy Avocado Pasta. I asked her to guest blog about it...but when I got her texts, I decided to just publish them directly.

Note: This is no reflection on this recipe. Total user error. And, doesn't that photo look like she just threw the pasta on the plate? Yeah, 'cause that's exactly what she did.

Here we go:

I don't even know where to begin to tell you what went wrong with this pasta.

I don't have a food processor, which means I use a blender. The avocado was not blending up well, so I kept pushing it down with a rubber spatula. I got sick of doing that and taking lid off. So I put the rubber spatula in while it's running.

Then I have to dump it out to remove the piece of spatula that got chopped off.

Then, it's too thick. Randy comes in and says it needs more olive oil. I get annoyed because I don't stray from the recipe. It has the amount of olive oil in it that the recipe called for.

I hand it over to Randy to fix. He drops a knife in it while starting the blender. Knife and half the sauce go flying.

As I'm trying to add pasta to the sauce, the pasta keeps clumping up. I get frustrated and again walk away for him to fix.

He tells me to taste it and that I should be able to tell him what it needs. I get mad because no I shouldn't, I don't know what anything needs.

So, as very often happens when I cook...I'm mad and frustrated. But I'll take a *&^%*&^% picture and blog about this for you.

The final text came when I asked, "How did it taste?" Her response: "I'm too pissed to eat right now."

Monday, November 7, 2011

Chili Frito Casserole

Okay, it's not pretty. I had no hopes that it would photograph well. But...I still think it looks delicious.

I had printed this recipe out before I left work on Friday to make Sunday night...and we ended up making chili Friday night, so I thought...why not use the leftovers in this dish? You can find the original recipe at Pearls, Handcuffs & Happy Hour. It uses a combination of beef, beans, tomatoes, and taco seasoning.

This obviously isn't gourmet...but it's a perfect way to use up leftover chili and have a bowl of comfort in the fall/winter. I probably would leave out the bottom layer of Fritos next time...they got soft covered with the chili (naturally) and it made them taste stale/chewy.

Printable recipe

2 cups Fritos
2 cups chili
1 cup sour cream
2 cups cheese

In a greased 8x8 pan, layer 1 cup of Fritos (basically, enough to cover bottom of dish). Top with chili. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Spread sour cream over chili and top with rest of Fritos and cheese. Bake an additional 5-10 minutes (or until cheese is melted).

Friday, November 4, 2011

Cheese-Stuffed Meatballs

I'm usually a frozen meatball gal, simply because I find the browning process tedious. So, when I come across a recipe that calls for baking them, I jump on it.

The original recipe is from Taste of Home, but I made quite a few changes. I had defrosted some hot Italian sausage the day before, so I used that instead of ground beef. I also doubled the recipe to use the entire package. The mixture looked a little "loose," so I added some bread crumbs. I also read the recipe wrong and bought tomato sauce instead of tomato soup.

The result? I thought these came out great. If you're gun shy about making your own meatballs (I'm talking to you, Mother), it's really not that big of a process. I liked the punch of spicy sausage followed by creamy, gooey cheese. They tasted decadent.

I ate these on their own, but they'd be great over pasta, polenta, or (my favorite) a piece of toasted garlic bread.

4 tablespoons beaten egg (I used Egg Beaters)
1/2 teaspoon
garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon
1/2 teaspoon
1 pound
Italian sausage, casings removed
1/4 cup bread crumbs
16 cubes cheddar cheese (1/2 inch each)

15-ounce can tomato sauce

Combine first six ingredients. Form 16 meatballs and shape each portion around a cheese cube. Place meatballs in a greased 8x8 pan and top with tomato sauce. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until meat is no longer pink.