Applesauce & Chocolate Chip Cookies

Made homemade applesauce with the remaining leftover apples from picking a few weeks ago. Very easy….boiled the apples with brown sugar, simmered for 20 minutes, added a little lemon juice and mashed. Mason, of course, wouldn’t try it. This kid is pretty impossible! Tyler said it tasted just like store-bought applesauce, tho! Note to self: 9 decent sized apples only made about 6 servings. Will need a lot of apples to produce any sort of volume.

Chocolate Chip Cookies: Found a recipe online and cant seem to find again. (great…..) but they were excellent. Very easy, very quick, and super fluffy. I will be digging around the internet to try to find this recipe again. Trying to cut out some of the flour/sugar intake around here, but it was a nice treat. Oh, and Mason didn’t eat them. WTF!

5-Ingredient Pesto Chicken Stuffed Peppers

5-Ingredient Pesto Chicken Stuffed Peppers

These were awesome. Mason didn’t eat a drop, but Tyler and I thought they were great. Tyler’s critique: more filling, less pepper. I definitely think next time I’ll double the filling recipe, so the peppers will be overflowing with it. I also bought really, really large red peppers, which could have also been the issue. But other than that, this was amazing. Note to self: shredding chicken is really annoying!  Will definitely make again, with more filling.

Crock Pot Corn Chowder

Crock Pot Corn Chowder

Difficulty: Easy
Tyler’s Rating: 5 stars
Mason’s Rating: 0😦
Mess: Minimal

This was awesome. So good, so tasty, so “chowder-y”. I doubled the recipe, and added even more bacon, but I definitely think it could’ve used another 1/2 lb. I also added 2 tsp minced garlic; I think next time I’d add a tbsp or 2 for even more garlic flavor. The recipe also calls for fresh or frozen corn, and I used canned, which was great since I didn’t have any fresh available. (hate frozen corn)

Next time: More garlic, more bacon, maybe add minced onion. But overall, nothing really needs to be changed. So good.

Upcoming Ideas

Slow Cooker Corn Chowder  -done – 5 stars!

5-Ingredient Pesto Chicken Stuffed Peppers – Done – 4 1/2 stars!

Easy Pepperoni Rolls

Shrimp Scampi

Slow Cooker Chili

My plan is to try a new slow cooker recipe every week. When I first set out on this whole cooking thing, I set my expectations a little high, thinking I could do something in the slow cooker 2, maybe 3 times a week. With all the prep and the cleaning that comes with this, once a week is much more realistic for me. I’m also really interested in cooking with quinoa, other than the standard black bean quinoa salad. So making the pesto chicken stuffed peppers with quinoa looks not only easy, but exciting and tasty as well. We’ll see how this next week goes!\

The Fails

If I’m going to document and remind myself of my successes, I also need to document and remember my failings. In case I ever get the guts to try again.

First Fail: Basic apple cinnamon muffins

I’m not sure if I just had a bad recipe, or if I’m just inherently bad at baking, but they hardly rose, they tasted like cardboard, and it wasn’t a good time.

Next: Apple Crisp

Again, whether it was the recipe or my inability to bake, but it all went bad. The top was not crumbly, it was like cardboard. And I think I may have used a pan that was too big, as it was very flat(less than 1/8″ in height). Overall, apple & baking hasn’t gone well for me thus far.

Cooking Adventures : Month 1

  • 2-Step Chicken
  • Balsamic Roast Beef
  • Vegetable Chicken Stir Fry
  • Spinach Muffins
  • Apple Cinnamon Breakfast Quinoa

All recipes are linked to source

Recipe:2-Step Chicken
Difficulty: Easy
Tyler’s Rating: 3 stars
Mason’s Rating: 0😦
Mess: Minimal

This was very easy to make. Cook chicken for 10 mins, remove from pan, bring cream of chicken soup & water to boil, put chicken back in pan, simmer for 10 minutes until chicken is fully cooked. Served over rice.

Next Time: Add 2 cans cream of chicken instead of one. Was delicious over rice, but would’ve been a lot better with more “sauce” over the rice. Add veg sauteed in olive oil.

Recipe: Balsamic Roast Beef
Difficulty: Fairly easy, more time consuming
Tyler’s Rating: 4 stars
Mason’s Rating: 0😦
Mess: Quite a bit

This was my first time making a roast in the slow cooker. I didnt follow the recipe 100%, as I was missing a few ingredients and omitted a couple steps. I used baby carrots instead of chopped full size carrots, and put everything in the slow cooker at the same time instead of adding the sweet potato and carrots later. Overall was very tasty. Will make again.

Next Time: Follow recipe in regards to adding sweet potato later – chunks were very cooked by the time everything else was complete. Add less cooking wine.

Recipe: Basic stir fry with red & orange peppers, snap peas, broccoli, carrots, and chicken
Difficulty: Very easy
Tyler’s Rating: 4 stars
Mason’s Rating: 0:(
Mess: Minimal

Very easy stir fry, veggies & stir fry sauce, served over rice. Could make this every day.

Next Time: Little less stir fry sauce, add a little soy sauce. Other than that, was delicious.

Recipe: Spinach Muffins….aka “Hulk Cake”
Difficulty: Easy
Tyler’s Rating: 2 stars
Mason’s Rating: 2 stars
Mess: Fair amount

I made these muffins to try to get a little more veg into Mason’s diet. He’s currently obsessed with the Hulk, so I tried to play them off as cake from the Hulk. I slathered it with peanut butter and he seemed to like it ok.

Next Time: Add some maple syrup for extra sweetness. Definitely was missing something sweet.

Recipe: Cinnamon Apple Breakfast Quinoa
Difficulty: Easy
Tyler’s Rating: 2 stars
Mason’s Rating: 0😦
Mess: Minimal

While no one else was a fan of this, I loved it. Tyler said there was too much cinnamon, but I liked the spice of it. The recipe called for the honey to be drizzled on at the end, but I mixed it in right at the end of cooking. Filling, tasty, and really healthy.

Next Time: I’d add the apples in maybe 5-8 minutes after the quinoa has started cooking so they’re not completely boiled; more chunky apple than an apple sauce. But overall, very easy and very good. Will definitely make again.