Thursday, March 8, 2012

She'll Make the Food, but Forget the Pictures (again)!

I was going to try and offer excuses for my lack of pictures, but honestly, it's pure laziness.  I even had my camera on the counter yesterday and STILL did not take pictures!  I did take plenty of pictures of my sewing project, so at least one upcoming blog will have pictures.  Below are the four recipes I tried out this week.  We liked the spicy shrimp tacos, but all in all, not really wowed by any of the recipes.  Oh well, I guess every week can't be an AMAZING week.   

Brownie Batter Dip
Degree of Difficulty: 4
Mess Factor: 4
Taste: 7
I was originally going to make the Berry Pretzel Tart for dinner at a friend's house, but realized a little too late that this dessert requires a little too much prep time (4+ hours).  This meant I very quickly had to come up with a back-up plan.  Luckily, I found this easy and relatively few ingredient recipe on Pinterest.  Assembly isn't too bad as long as you don't mind using your mixer (I hate dragging out the mixer but have resigned myself to doing it only so I don't have to limit my baking options).  We served this with graham crackers and animal crackers, but I'm sure fruit would be a good choice as well. 

My daughter, Morgan, watched while I made the dip and of course, got the first taste.  She LOVED it and has been enjoying little spoonfuls after dinner the past couple of nights.  Since I have failed to bring you any pictures the past couple of posts, I decided to post this after shot of the Brownie Batter Dip!

Spicy Shrimp Tacos with Tomatilla Salsa
Degree of Difficulty: 5
Mess Factor: 6
Taste: 8
Believe it or not, this is NOT a Pinterest recipe.  I used to subscribe to Cooking Light and during one of our moves decided to purge all of my old magazines.  Prior to sending them all to the recycling bin, I went through and pulled out all of the recipes I either liked or still wanted to try.  I combined these into a binder that I keep with the rest of my cookbooks.  I pulled the binder out this past week and picked out this oldie, but goodie.  The preparation for the whole dish is no more than 30 minutes and probably closer to 20 minutes.  Shrimp takes almost no time at all to cook and almost always comes out tasty, especially in tacos! 

I have always wanted to make my own salsa verder and while this was not what I am used to, it was delicious.  It was a lot creamier than the salsa verde I would purchase in the store but that is due to the addition of greek yogurt (in place of the sour cream) and avocado.  Matt and I both agreed the salsa had a little too much cilantro, but this has definitely inspired me to try making salsa verde again in the future!

Southern Chicken and Corn Chowder
Degree of Difficulty: 5
Mess Factor: 5
Taste: 5
This recipe was fairly underwhelming.  While it did not taste bad, I'm not sure I would choose to make it again.  I could NOT find frozen creamed corn, so I ended up using canned cream corn.  Not sure if that really made a difference.  The last 20 minutes of simmering may not have been hot enough so that may have contributed to the lighter texture of the soup.  I really wanted or was expecting a creamy chowder with chunks of chicken and a slight kick at the end from the jalapenos.  The end result was more of a slightly thicker brother with chunks of chicken and corn, but no kick.  Matt added some chili powder to his serving, which helped but I don't think it was enough to save this recipe. 

If any of you try this one out at home and have better luck, please let me know!  Yesterday was a little bit of a downer, so it is possible that this dish just was not cooked with the love that it needed and deserved.

Two-Minute Mug Brownie
Degree of Difficulty: 2
Mess Factor: 3
Taste: 7
I have tried lots of different mug cakes and this has been my favorite so far.  It doesn't require an egg, so the assembly was incredibly easy and relatively mess-free.  The messiest part of this particular recipe is the actual mug clean-up, but I feel that is the case with most mug recipes. 

This recipe was a lot more moist than others I have tried, so for that reason alone I would make it again (not that it has stopped me with other mug recipes).  I'm almost always in the mood for chocolate and all of the ingredients were staples in our house, so if the chocolate itch hits you, I would recommend checking this one out!

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