Yesterday afternoon I got a email notification that a friend had added me to a group on Facebook, now anyone on Facebook knows this can happens a lot but the title of the group caught my attention it was called What’s for Dinner?? So I clicked on over and saw it was created to help share recipes and new ideas. We all know it can sometimes feel like your serving the same recipes over and over and it can be a little nerve racking to try a new recipe not knowing if its going to be any good.
The friend who invited me to the group posted what she had made for dinner and it was called chicken noodle casserole and it sounds good. She then posted a picture and it looked good as well. So for supper tonight I gave it a try. I changed it up a little but here is my recipe.
Source: Adapted from a friend
Prep Time: 20 Min
Cook Time: 30 Min
Total Time: 50 Min
I was very happy with this recipe for a first try and I really changed some things from the info my friend gave me. To me it was like eating chicken noodle soup but in a casserole form. I might try adding evaporated milk instead of just plain milk or a mixture to give it a little more creamy taste. Over all though very good and a new recipe to add to my rotation.
Original Source: forkinit.blogspot.com
Picture Source: absfavoriterecipes
Prep Time: 10 Min
Cook Time: 14 Min
Total Time: 24 Min
"A crisp, crunchy crust and slightly chewy center make this bread as traditional as the breads served in France."
Original Recipe Source: allrecipes.com
Picture Source: absfavoriterecipes
Prep Time: 25 Min
Cook Time: 40 Min
Total Time: 1 Hr 5 Min
Amount Per Serving
Nothing like a hot piece of French bread to go with a yummy pasta dish or soup. I found the original recipe on allrecipes.com. I have made this two times now and its going to be a keeper.
What I changed
The one thing I have found to be important when using an allrecipes.com recipe is to read the reviews. One person made the comment that they added a tbsp. of sugar to the water/yeast mix so I did the same. The original recipe also calls for 6 cups of flour but I would start with 5 and only add enough to get the dough just right. I also put a pan of water(2 cups) on the bottom rack while the bread bakes gives you an even better crust!
What I liked
This recipe is pretty simple and even a beginner can make this bread. I love the crunchy crust and soft bread inside. Mmmm!
What I didn’t like
I need to experiment with the salt and yeast amount. The first time it tasted to salty and the 2nd time it tasted a little yeasty.
This is a keeper! It makes two loafs and we eat one and then I freeze the other. I also added some garlic powder the first time I made it which I liked as well. I still have some tweaking to make this a great recipe but over all a good recipe.
Recipe Box Worthy
Notes: 1 pg. of active dry yeast = .25 ounces or 2 and 1/2 teaspoons per packet. To freeze 2nd loaf wrap in tin foil and freeze for up to 3 months( if you can!).
Picture Source: www.seriouseats.com
Course: Side Dishes
I found this recipe through the a neat site called foodily.com. It basically searches food blogs and sites for recipes and then you search there site by ingredients etc. This recipe came from seriouseats.com. I had never stumbled upon this site before but I bookmarked it!
I really like scallop potatoes but I have not found a recipe that is both relatively easy as well as tasty.
What I changed
I followed the original recipe pretty close. I used bottled garlic and dried thyme. I also doubled the recipe.
What I liked
Cooking the potatoes first on the stovetop and then in the oven resulted in perfectly cooked potatoes. This also allowed for the recipe to be started later in the meal preparations. I did cut the potatoes up then let them sit in water until I was ready to start the recipe.
What I didn’t like
The flavor was kind of bland. The thyme was okay but it needs something else as well. Also for me it did not thicken up as much as I would have liked and was a complaint of my husbands as well.
As is I probably would not make this recipe again. I do like how simple it is though and plan to play around with it maybe add some sour cream or other cheeses to the mix.
One last note. I hope to add pictures as I go. My camera is not a high end device so I struggle with taking pictures of my recipes. I hope to get a better camera soon. So for now I will add them when I can or use the original picture from the site I get the recipe. Also bear with me as I figure out a good format for writing my reviews. Happy Cooking!
Do you have a great Scalloped Potato recipe? Did you try this recipe, how did you like it? Feel free to share your feedback in the comments!
When I first created this blog I wanted to create a place that I could easily access my recipes from as well as share them with others. This worked well for a while till I found Plantoeat.com. I found myself not posting recipes here as much because I had a great place to store them. So for a while I tried reviewing cookbooks but soon found that was not my thing either. So here my food blog sits with very little use. I still want to use it but how.. So I got to thinking. I also have a book blog where I review books I have read and I really enjoy that. So why not review recipes? So I am going to give it a try. I would love to see more interactions with the people who read this blog and reviewing recipes might be a way to make that happen so I am going to give it a try. Stay tuned!
I will say that I tried these with whole wheat flour and was not impressed. Also you may want to double the filling. I have not done that yet but it seems like there is never enough of the inside goodness! Over all I think this is a really easy and yummy recipe and make these a lot for snacks for church or special occasions!
Since this is going to be my first cookbook review I wanted to take a minute and explain how I am going about this. I have been reviewing nonfiction books on my reading blog for a few months. I figured it would be fun as well as a challenge for me to also start reviewing cookbooks. So how will I be grading these cookbooks? I am still ironing out the details but here is my current plan of action.
1. Ratings. I will be dividing the ratings in two. I will rate on both presentation(pictures layout etc.) and recipes(ease of use explanations etc.). I will then give an over all rating. I don’t think you can give a cookbook review with out cooking a few of the recipes.
2. If the cookbook has not been released I will not be sharing any of the recipes. Once its been released and I have a recipe I really liked I might post a recipe. If a cookbook has been released I might post a recipe or parts of it.
3. All reviews will be my own options good or bad. I will take into account if a cookbook is out of my cooking abilities or if the recipes are not ones my family normally eats etc.
4. After I review a couple cookbooks I will be putting together a rating system with a more detailed explanation for my ratings.
Heartland the Cookbook by Judith Fertig
Although much of the nation is only beginning to embrace the farm-to-table movement, residents of the Midwest have been living off the bounty of the land since the pioneer days. Judith Fertig’s Heartland melds contemporary cooking with an authentic and appreciative approach to the land, presenting 150 recipes for farm-bounty fare with a modern twist. With a focus on ethnic food traditions as well as seasonal and local flavors of artisan producers, heirloom ingredients, and heritage meats, Heartland embraces the spirit and flavors of the modern farmhouse. Inside, offerings such as Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Blackberry Syrup, No-Knead Caraway Rye Bread, and Brew Pub Planked Cheeses comingle with recipes such as Wild Rice Soup with Flyover Duck Confit, Heartland Daube with White Cheddar Polenta, and Italian Fig Cookies.
In addition to the mouthwatering recipes and time-proven wisdom,Heartland includes an ample mix of humorous storytelling, literary and cooking references, and lush full-color landscape and food photography that showcases the heart of American cooking from the nation’s heartland.
The first thing I noticed when I started looking through this cookbook was the pictures page after page of beautiful Midwest farmland and farms with food mixed in. It made me home sick! As I looked through this cookbook I got excited to try some of the recipes. The first recipes to catch my eyes where in the bread section(Chapter 3 pg 65). There was a recipe for no knead bread dough and then there are 4 different recipes you can make with this dough. I love to bake bread and have wanted to try some no knead recipes so I gave it a try. The name of the recipe is No-Knead Clover Honey Dough pg 80.
In order to review this cookbook I followed the recipe no tweaks so that I could fairly review. The first thing I noticed about this recipe was there was way to much salt in this dough 2 tablespoons! When I make my bread I use 1 1/2 tsp. Also it used a cup of honey! I know it’s a honey bread but it seemed like a lot. I will say it was very easy to whip together I used a wooden spoon and has it all mixed in about 5 minutes. It then needs to rise for about 2 hours. The recipe says to let it rise at room temperature but I know from experience at my house I have to use my heating pad or nothing rises. After 2hrs here is the dough.
Then I covered it and put it in the fridge. It can remain in the fridge for up to 3 days which is nice. The first recipe I tried with the dough was a strudel. It sounded yummy and pretty easy… Well it flopped. It made 2 loafs and I was able to salvage about 3/4th of one. It was tasty and I am not sure what went wrong with it. I followed the recipe. I believe I did not cook it long enough but had I cooked it much longer the bread itself would have burnt. Like I said what I did manage to safe went over pretty well at my Thursday morning Bible Study.
I really wanted to give this dough a chance to I made it again though this time I did add a lot less salt. I then tried the roll recipe with half the dough and I made a round loaf of bread with the other half of the dough. In the end I really just did not like this recipe. I felt like it had little flavor and the texture was so fluffy my kids where calling it cake. It was also frustrating because I had questions as I was making some of the different recipes but the directions are very short and no added pictures for explanation.
So I moved on to a side dish. There are lots of great looking recipes in this book and I was determined to find one that would work out for me! I settled on Loaded Baked Potato Salad pg 142.
This one is a keeper!! Both me and my husband enjoyed it. The recipe is a big one meant for serving 8-12 but it is easily halved. It was relatively quick to put together and can be served warm or cold. A great recipe for those get togethers or picnics!
This book was fun to look through. Lots of great pictures of the heartland and yummy foods. It reminded me of looking through a country woman’s magazine. Looking at all the pictures made me want to be there.
I admit to being disappointed in the bread dough recipe. All the recipes looked so yummy but they just did not turn out well for me. The potato salad recipe was great though! My biggest complaint is lack of pictures of the recipes themselves and I wished the directions had been more in depth. This cookbook is not for a beginner.
Over all Rating
Over all I enjoyed reviewing this cookbook. The pictures where breath taking and the recipes have lots of potential. There are some great summer recipes that I hope to try. As a cook I could have used more recipe pictures and better step by step directions. If you are looking for a cookbook that takes you to the heartland and offers recipes to make your own butter or lard as well as other great recipes then check this cookbook out when its released April 26st 2011!
DISCLOSURE: I was provided a free copy of this ebook from the publisher through NetGalley to review it. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own.
I had planned to post some recipes and introduce the first cookbook I am going to review but my household has been sick. I hope to get back on track this week.
Last week was week 2 of Plan to Eat Cook along challenge. I am finding that doing this challenge is making cooking more fun. I like seeing what others have to say about the recipes etc. So what did I attempt to cook last week? I tried Jamie’s Beef & Ale Stew pg. 180. In the book there is what is called a basic stew recipe and then 4 different versions to try. One is beef another is chicken, pork or lamb. I went with the beef because I knew it would be the most well received by my family. For the Ale I used Fosters. I noticed right away it was very soupy. I figured since it was going to simmer for 3 plus hours it would melt down and become more of a stew. The last 30 minutes of cooking on the stove top which I did you need to remove the lid. Even after doing that it was still just not getting thick.
I ran out of time to let it keeping cooking so I had to get to the topping. Topping for a stew you say? I know I thought the same thing but he gives you again four different topping choices. A pastry shell topping, dumplings, mashed potatoes and potato wedges. I had planned to use the dumplings but I had made mashed potatoes that I made the night before so I thought I would try those………
Yeah that did not work so well. It turned the stew into a mushy mess. I believe the problem was my mash potatoes have sour cream and cream cheese in them. I did not even think about that when I used them. Plus the stew(well more of a soup) was not thick enough. I was disappointed but the flavor was actually pretty good and I hope to try this again but change a few things. Instead of diced tomatoes I will use crushed tomatoes and I might cook it in the oven instead. Also if I can’t get it thick enough I will add cornstarch which I should have done but again I ran out of time and I wanted to try and follow the recipe as close as possible. For the topping I would either try one of the other choices or make his recipe for the mashed potatoes.
Over all it did not turn out the best but I was happy with the flavor and think it has potential to be really good.
A little more about the cookbook. I love the pictures. Take the recipe I tried above.
Four wonderful pictures and pretty much every recipe has pictures of him making it. I am not a fan of the way he lays out his recipes I like a nice list so I know I am not forgetting anything and having it in paragraph form is a little hard but I can just add the recipe to my plan to eat recipe box and I can use that.
What to join in on the challenge? Here is week 3 meal plan. Happy cooking!
I was very excited to find out last night that I won the first week of Plan to Eat’s cook alone! So what recipe did I cook last week from Jamie Oliver’s Cookbook?
Source: Jamie’s Food Revolution
Course: Main Course-Ground Beef
Prep Time: 20 Min
Cook Time: 20 Min
Total Time: 40 Min
I also made homemade fries to go alone with this recipe. I found the recipe on his website as well. The fries where originally with his fish and chips recipe.
My over all thoughts on the recipe. The burgers where very good. I made them early in the day.
I then put then in the fridge so I could just pull them out when I was ready to cook them. If you want to freeze them all you need to do is layer them in-between wax paper put them in a freezer bag and pop then in the freezer! In the spring once we start to use our grill I will make quite a few homemade burgers and freeze them for a quick grab.
The one thing I messed up on with this recipe was not flatting out the burgers. They where a little small and did not fill up my homemade buns. I felt like I was eating more bread then burger. This is an easy fix but its something to remember when your making them.
The fries turned out pretty well for homemade. I always have trouble getting them crisp so I don’t make them very often. The one thing that Jamie does different is he parboils the fries before he has you fry them. I do believe this helped but they still where not as crispy as my family likes. But definitely a recipe I might try again.
My copy of the cookbook came in the mail late last week. I plan to share some of my thoughts on it each week when I share the recipe I cooked for the challenge.
I bought the hardcover version because the paperback has not been released yet. I have not had time to go through this cookbook thoroughly yet but I am looking forward to all the different recipes. What I like about Jamie so far from what I have read is his desire to get people cooking and to spread the word that its not hard to cook a home cooked meal. He has a pledge in his book to share some of his recipes with others.
I think this is just a neat thing to put in a cookbook. So I signed and dated it and am sharing it with you. I hope you will go and buy this cookbook and share it’s recipes with others. I will share a few of his recipes here. The burger and fries I made are on his website as well.
I am excited to try more recipes and follow along with Plan to Eat as they work through all the recipes in the book. Here is the link for this weeks meals that they will be cooking from the above cookbook. Week 2 meals I hope you will join in on this neat idea!
About six months ago a friend of mine sent me a e-mail asking me about meal planning. She was trying to get her recipes organized. She asked me what I used and also told me what she was trying. Up to that point I had been using excel to plan my meals. I would go through my cookbooks or find recipes online and using excel I would put together a two week meal plan. I was not overly happy with my system but it worked for the most part. After getting her e-mail I also started googling meal planning software and in my search I found Plan to Eat.
So what is Plan to Eat you ask? Basically its an online recipe storing/meal planning service. They offer a 30 day free trial(a year subscription is either 39 dollars a year or 4.95 a month. So I tried the 30 day trial and I have not looked back. Here is a small list of features.
1. You can import recipes from many recipe sites with a click of a button. They have a bookmark that when you find a recipe say at taste of home you click the bookmark and it instantly adds it to your recipes picture and all. All you have to do is look through to make sure it has imported everything correctly(it works amazingly well!) and click save and there it is ready for you to use. It can not do this for most blogs but they have a bulk add feature and its just about as easy and only takes a few extra minutes.
2. You then can take all these great recipes and plan your meals. You pick recipes and add them to days of the week. Once you have planned your week( or more then one week or a whole month if you want) of meals you can then get your shopping list.
3. The shopping list! O the shopping list makes the 39 dollars a year the best money I have ever spent. Basically the shopping list works like this. It adds all the ingredients you need for the recipes you have picked for that weeks meal plan and puts them into a easy shopping list. It has many options and you will spend a little time at first setting it up to your liking.
Here is a picture of my list at the end of a shopping trip. I have cut my shopping time by 25% I bet since I started using this site. The shopping list has so many options that you will just have to try it out for yourself but the one that might interest a lot of you is the ability to shop by store. So if you go to more then on store you can easily make a list for each!
The other thing I love about this site is the fact that the owner is always adding updates! Your going to get your moneys worth if you sign up. They have a great facebook page HERE. They are also passionate about cooking home cooked meals which leads me to the next exciting thing. They are doing a challenge and give away right now on their blog! Its called Cooking through Jamie’s Food Revolution. Here is how it works. Each week on Sunday night they will post a meal plan for the next week using Jamie Oliver’s cook book. They plan to cook all the recipes in the book. Each week one person who as cooked one recipe and posts about it in the comments will get a FREE year of Plan to Eat!! How cool is that? So head over and read more about it!
Tomorrow I will post the recipe I tried for this week. I hope you will join in on this challenge what a great way to try some new recipes(and buy a new fun cookbook) and maybe get a great prize. Here is a link to the cookbook on Amazon.com. Lets get cooking!
Plan to Eat