Monday, September 1, 2014


I've been a cooking machine this past week and a half, except for the three nights in a row (!) we went out for dinner. Those three times deserve their own blog post, but I won't bore you, except to say that all three were with different groups of friends. Okay, I'll bore you a little bit.The first night we were supposed to golf in a twilight, but they luckily canceled it at the last minute due to the torrential rains we have had this past week. We seriously need to work on our ark. That dinner was at Maru, the next night was at J Coco, and the third started at Pitch with appetizers and half-price bottles of wine and ended at Lalibela for some Ethiopian food. The company each night was stellar, and the food was fabulous at two of the three restaurants. We chose J Coco because it had been one of our favorites, but after the lackluster food and poor service the other night (not to mention that they charged for blue cheese olives in our martinis!), we will not be in any hurry to return.

But things have been cooking here at Chez Cathy. These are all new recipes, and I'll give you the honest reviews. Four are from Cooking Light magazine and one is from the web. Hang on to your seats, as Mighty Mouse used to say (and we all grabbed our butts when we were little kids), because here we go. (Click on the name of the recipe to be taken to the recipe itself). All of these recipes serve four, so we had some lunch leftovers.

First up is Damn Fine Chicken from Nom Nom Paleo. I love her titles, and I love how her recipes are written. Her cookbook is wonderful as well. The damn fine chicken was, well, okay. She uses chicken thighs and chicken legs in many of her recipes, and after decades of eating boneless, skinless breasts, I just can't with the dark meat. I made the recipe with the chicken legs that were called for, but if I make it again, I'll be boring and go back to the breasts. The recipe said that ten legs served four people, but these legs were so big that two were plenty. I'm not sure how to divide ten by four equally anyway...

sided with a baked potato, carrot and kohlrabi sticks, and my sister-in-law's incredibly delicious pickled green beans

The next four recipes are from Cooking Light, my favorite magazine. I read it each month and dog-ear the pages I'd like to make, but usually just end up ripping them out and filing them. I know everything is available on-line, but I love reading the magazine. And I love that while the recipes are low-fat, they are not non-fat. And they use real food, nothing fake to lower the calorie count. 

Okay, how does Caprese Mac and Cheese sound? Maybe as delicious as it tasted! The basil growing in our garden really came in handy. This took about an hour from start-to-finish, and then about five minutes to eat, as do most of our meals. Most of the time with this came from making and thickening the sauce. We loved this - pretty much the definition of comfort food. The only difference I would make is to use a heavier hand with the red pepper flakes at the end. I thought it needed a teensy bit more bite. And I can't help but think that some pancetta would be delicious in this...

I made the salad that was recommended to go with the mac & cheese, minus the radicchio

The next recipe was a salad I made to go with Iowa Girl Eats' chili lime chicken burgers (which I've written about several times, as it is one of Dwight's favorite meals). It's Greek Style Edamame Salad, and I will be making this again - soon. I didn't have any feta as the recipe calls for; I can only imagine how much better (if that is possible) it would taste. This came together in minutes.

Next we have Crab Cake Sliders with Yogurt Dill Sauce. I apologize for the picture - they tasted much better than they look here. I have never made pickled onions before, but it was so easy:  microwave vinegar and sugar, add the onions, and let sit for 15 minutes. They were sweet and delicious, and complemented the crab cakes and yogurt sauce. And the corn from the farmer's market? YUM!!!

And that leads us to tonight's dinner: Ginger Steak with Sesame Brown Rice. I made the Chili-Basil Slaw that is sided with the meal in the magazine, and holy hell is that ever good. Seriously - make this entire meal. Right now.

Happy cooking!

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