Last Friday I cooked!
Not "big deal" cooking, but just a few new dishes so that my sister and daughter had something good in the house to eat. And surprisingly, they turned out pretty good. I want to share them.
The picture is of my kitchen sink after cooking. Through the window you can see my bird feeder that kept me content while I was cooking.
All the recipes can be found at http://www.realsimple.com. Check out this website. It is great.
The first dish is called Linguine With Squash, Bacon and Goat Cheese. I discovered this dish one night when I was taking Meathead and Grimace home, and my son's girlfriend was cleaning up from dinner when I walked in. (She has a wonderfully informative blog at http://mowrite.blogspot.com) The house smelled wonderful and my son said the dish was yummy! Graciously she offered me some to take home and graciously I said yes ... like right away before she could change her mind!! It was to die for! Yes, you squash-haters out there, this dish is to die for! You can put bacon and cheese on anything and it is wonderful.
Now you should know that I did tweak the recipe as it was written. It called for 6 slices of bacon. Good heavens, I am not opening up a pound of bacon and then using only 6 slices. Get real! So I used it all. I couldn't see myself cooking up only 6 slices, I couldn't see myself just eating the left over bacon while I cooked (bad for my blood cholesterol), but I could see myself eating all the bacon crumbled into the dish smothered in cheese. Somehow that dairy option made the bacon seem healthier. :-) And then there was the issue with the goat cheese. The recipe called for 4 ounces of soft goat cheese, crumbled. Well ... goat cheese comes in 3.5 ounce packages. One half ounce short of what was called for! So I bought 2 packages (I did wince alittle - it was $6.99 a package.) When I opened up the packages, I tasted the goat cheese. Yum - mega yum. But what was I going to do with the extra goat cheese once I used 4 ounces. I couldn't just eat it - although it was way good - but the cholesterol you know. So I added to the recipe - all 7 ounces. See, I figured that it was additional dairy (goat is dairy, right?) - think of all that calcium. And I beefed up the amount of garlic - who uses only 2 cloves of garlic!! And garlic is good for the heart balancing out the bacon and the cheese (sort of) and it keeps away vampires. All good! I did reduce the pound of linguine to 3/4 of a pound - got to cut calories somewhere! And the butternut squash - what can I say. If you don't like butternut squash, you probably have genetic damage. This recipe was good the first day and every day after. Some recipes are good at first but don't carry over well. Not this one. Yummy every day until it was gone. Note to my dear cousins - when we see you in December, this is on the menu!
The second recipe is called Shrimp With Sausage and Tomatoes. I didn't tinker with this recipe quite so much. I did add garlic - because there was an obvious typo in the recipe - they forgot the garlic. And I omitted the peas. My husband doesn't like peas. But the title pretty much describes what was in this. I think the main flavor came from the fire-roasted tomatoes. It is served over rice.
A third recipe I made this weekend was called Spaghetti With Beef Mushroom Sauce. Sorry, no picture but there is one in the Real Simple web site. The recipe was pretty simple. The ingredients were pretty typical for us: ground beef, mushrooms, garlic, diced tomatoes, Parmesan cheese - stuff we eat alot of here, but the secret ingredient was 1 cup of heavy cream. I was tasting this recipe as I was making it and thinking all the time ... boring! And then I added the cream ... what a difference. Now my husband likes all the things in this recipe, but he didn't like this one so much. I think the cream was too much for him. The recipe did say you could lighten this dish by omitting the cream and doubling the tomatoes. I don't know about you, but tomatoes can never step in and replace cream. If I do this recipe again, I might reduce the cream some, but I don't think it would be as good without it.
And for the record: I am thankful for that kitchen window!!