Tuesday, January 30, 2007

New Year, New Foods

I think the start of a new year incites people to try new things, make changes, and figure out how this year can be different than the last. It seems as if I have been inspired to try new things in the kitchen and so I have. Here are the recipes that I have tried since the beginning of 2007:

1. Prime Rib. I made this on New Year's day and was amazed that it could taste better than in a restaurant. I expected it to be complicated or fussy, instead of ridiculously simple. This wasn't the precise recipe I used, but it was very similar. I only left mine in the turned-0ff oven for 2 hours I believe. The crust was awesome too. Next time I will cut the prime rib in half so that there is more crust!

2. Penne with Vodka Sauce. This recipe also appears in one of Giada's cookbooks, which is where I got it from. It just sounded so yummy! This is the first time I've made homemade marinara {which also was a lot easier than I thought.} After making the marinara, I realized how much SUGAR most commercial pasta sauces have & sure enough, light corn syrup was listed 3rd on a jar I had in the pantry. This marinara tastes so fresh and tomato-y. I wasn't too stoked about the vodka sauce itself. Rick really like it though & the flavor seems to mellow out after a day or two.

3. Spanish Rice Mix. I have really been into making my own mixes for two reasons: frugality & health. You can be sure of what goes in them. If you find your spices at the dollar store & buy your rice in bulk, they can be pretty inexpensive. You can also control the sodium level {which unfortunately is very high in most commercial mixes}. I usually halve the recipes since my family is smaller & put the mix in a little snack size ziploc baggie. I keep the recipe card on the shelf under the corresponding baggies. Here is a link to a cookbook full of "Make Your Own Mixes".

4. Corn Bread Mix.

5. Antipasto Squares. Ok, so saying that these were a big hit is a serious understatement. At the party we just had, it seems like just about every person asked me for the recipe or what exactly was in them. They are a little finnicky to cut nicely and get out of the pan, but a big spatula works wonders.

I can't wait to try Beth's recipe for baked Amish Oatmeal. I am thinking it will be perfect for a Saturday morning breakfast. Another thing on my "to try" list is homemade onion rings. I have a recipe in one of Ina Garten's cookbooks for a buttermilk battered version. I think I might make them this Saturday for my birthday dinner along with a nice rib-eye steak. And for all you Olive Garden fans, I found this copycat recipe for their salad dressing which I thought might be interesting to try.

What's on your "to try" list for 2007 or what new things have you tried already?

P.S. I just had to mention that on Sunday night, Tatiana tried TWO new things for dinner. She actually ate several bits of fish {and liked it, although I just told her that it was "like chicken" so she really didn't know it was fish} and she tried asparagus. She didn't really like that, but this is HUGE progress.


Anonymous said...

Okay - so I awful hungry and your kitchen experiments just made me a bit anxious for dinner time. :-)

What a great idea to make your own mixes! It never would have dawned on me to do that!

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