Monday, June 27, 2011

Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus with Citronette

I don't have much to say about this one. Logan wasn't around last week at all to help me with anything so I'm using a recipe I tried for Father's Day as my post.

Here's the recipe I wanted to make. I couldn't find any pancetta for it, though, so the asparagus didn't turn out like I hoped. (The difference between bacon and pancetta is that bacon is cut thicker and is smoked.) The bacon didn't wrap as tightly as the pancetta would have, especially since I blanched it to remove some of the smoke flavor. That also cooked it slightly, making it less malleable. It also meant they stayed on the grill a little longer than suggested, so that the meat was cooked thoroughly.

The good news is they tasted great, and the citronette added a fabulous element that I never would have tried on my own. So try these! So easy and yummy. (Just beware the effect of asparagus. It'll freak a person out!)

Friday, June 24, 2011

Apple Breakfast Bars

Here we are with yet another Logan pick! I used this recipe as a template (ha) and then tweaked a few things based on the palates in the house. We left out nuts altogether--wouldn't that be nice, if we could leave out the nuts altogether? *sigh* But I digress--except for the peanut butter. Instead of raisins, we used dried cherries and instead of dried apples we used...well, nothing. We couldn't find dried apples. This omission may have had something to do with the final result being so sticky. Not sure, though, if maybe we just mis-measured. I let Logan do most of the measuring and pouring, so I know we weren't to the gram on anything.

I like the taste of these, although they're a bit sweet. (The recipe uses 1/3 c honey.) And the cherries make them tart. Logan didn't like them because he has a serious hatred of peanut butter, which I didn't realize was SO strong until after he tried one of these. To my tongue, the PB is nearly imperceptible; however, the fact that I used natural and not sweetened peanut butter could have been the major offense.

Final verdict, I'd like to try making these again but with all the ingredients listed and slightly less honey. If you have a chance before I do, please share your results here!

P.S. I am so not happy with the quality of these photos.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Cheesy Meatballs and Rice

Yay for cooking with kids! This week, I asked "Darth Sith"--that's his chef name--what kind of recipe we should make. After deciding we should make something for dinner, I asked him for a protein, a starch and a flavor. He said ground beef, rice and cheesy. So what came to mind? Meatballs and rice like my momma used to make! Sorta.

I found an easy, throw-it-all-together kinda recipe here. More than likely, you have all of these ingredients in your fridge and freezer. The one substitution I made was using regular jack cheese instead of "processed cheese", (i.e. Velveeta). I just wasn't gonna do it. I also used probably a pound and a half of meat, instead of just one. And I ended up not using all 8 ounces of the cheese, because once I added about 3/4 of it, the sauce already looked uber cheesy, so I just saved the rest.

The kiddo did nearly all the prep and mixing. All I did was cut the cheese--go have my permission--, form the meatballs and then brown them. I gave him the option to form the balls, but I think he was just a little creeped out by the squishiness while mixing.

Since my last meatball recipe, I haven't made any progress in learning how to make and keep them looking like balls. That is why I affectionately call my creations "meatlumps". (I photographed the roundest three, of course.)

The consensus on the taste was "good, but it's missing something." I added a little freshly ground pepper and a few spritzes of lemon, which took it up about half a notch. What I think I'd really enjoy is a veggie or 2 mixed in. Zucchini chunks, or maybe ooh! red peppers! Mmmm.... next time! ;^}

Friday, June 3, 2011

Cherry Crumble Cobbler

June's theme is cooking with kids. However, this week I wasn't going to have a kid around with whom to cook, so I just decided to make something with ingredients I had around the house. I was especially excited to use some fresh fruit that we bought at the corner stand on the way up the CA 180 (heading to the new Steinert Chalet in the Kings Canyon/Sequoia Nat'l Forests).

I got the idea for cobbler, because earlier in the week I screwed up nectarine cobbler. Those nectarines were amazing and I wasted them all because I didn't follow directions. I decided not to blog about that mess. Needless to say, I needed redemption. I was going to make regular ol' cobbler, but then I got a request to make the top "crispy" so I actually morphed 2 recipes. Click here for the cobbler recipe. 


This was super duper easy, and actually could be made with kids. Everything is done with a bowl and a spoon/spatula. The only time consuming part of the process was pitting the cherries. I'm not sure if there's a simple way to do it, but I just used my fingers.

For the crumble topping, I just used softened butter, sugar, flour and a dash of cinnamon. I mixed it with my hands, although using a mixer might've been less messy. And I had a little less than 2 cups, so I don't think it's as cherry-y as it should be. But it has been getting rave reviews! Next time I make cobbler, I'm gonna go the Bisquik route and use peaches. Yum!

It just needs homemade vanilla ice cream.