Goodfood Recap #35

goodfood

We took a little break from the normal cooking so managed to order in 2 boxes this month for Goodfood. We’re definitely enjoying it while it lasts because if I remember correctly, we will be skip for the next month or so. This box has been some really interesting meals and to be honest, I saw most of them as being fairly successful.

Mushroom Dan Dan Noodles
with Yu Choy

Mushroom Dan Dan Noodles

The last Dan Dan Noodles weren’t awesome. I’m going to be honest that they weren’t but this one tastes fantastic. The two types of mushrooms used and the yu choy as the veggie base with the noodles and the sauce all turned out so great. I really enjoyed this noodle bowl a lot.

Skillet-Roasted Chicken Thighs
with Meyer Lemon, Zucchini & Olives over Zesty Quinoa

Skillet-roasted chicken thighs

We rarely cook with quinoa unless its for one of these boxes so its always refreshing to eat it. Its something that I have thought about incorporating more into our lives outside of these meal boxes. This meal was pretty good in general. Chicken thighs are always super tasty to eat but then my biggest issue with it was the olives and that is based on preference as I don’t like olives but my husband loved this because he loves them and loves everything else about it.

Coconut Chicken & Sweet Potato Stew
with Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Coconut Chicken Stew

So..this meal was considered somewhat of a fail on my part. I’m not sure if I just didn’t follow the recipe properly or the recipe didn’t quite work with my appliances but this meal took about 3 times its estimated time. Usually for me, if there’s more cooking involved, it might take almost double the estimated time. It tastes pretty good and stews are always very comforting to eat. The idea of coconut milk base and then having carrots and sweet potatoes is really nice as well. It just was an incredibly long time to cook..oddly.

Pork Chops
with Homemade Maple-Bacon Jam, Sauteed Bok Choy over Spinach Rice

pork chops

Welcome the star of this box. This meal is amazing! For one, the maple bacon jam is awesome. Literally, the best thing I’ve made from these boxes. Then the pork chops turned out good and paired with the jam is delicious. I like the spice blend that was mixed with the rice and the spinach. Then there’s the bok choy which always was great. I love this meal so much.

That’s it for this recap!
It was a pretty solid batch of meals.
It should be a month or so before we get another one of these boxes.
Just because of selection and time conflicts. 

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Dinner: Roast Beef

Man, you can tell that its the holiday season when I’m filling up the space with tons of recipes! This one is from a week before the holidays when we realized that we were truly running out of stuff in the freezer and had to desperately go do some major grocery shopping even if meats were expensive…  Still, here we are with my first attempt at roast beef! 🙂

I got the recipe and adapted it a little to what I had available from the Made in Quebec cookbook.

Roast Beef

Serves 8

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Ingredients

1 standing rib roast, 4 to 4 1/2 pounds
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4 tsp spices of your choice (commercial spice mixture or about 1 tsp each of red pepper flakes, dry mustard, dried thyme and rosemary)
6 tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 medium carrot, coarsely chopped
2 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
4 cloves garlic
2 bay leaves
1 strig fresh thyme (or 1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves)

 1. Remove roast from the refrigerator 2 hours before starting to roast.  When ready to cook, preheat oven to 250F. Sprinkle meat all over with salt, pepper, and spices. Insert meat thermometer in thickest part of roast, avoiding the bone.

2. Place a rack just a little longer than the meat in a roasting pan and add oil to the pan. Place roast on the rack. Roast for 2 hours, then scatter onion, carrot, celery, garlic, and bay leaves around the meat.

3. Stir thyme into pan juices. Continue roasting for another 2 to 4 hours, depending on the size and thickness of the roast. When the meat thermometer registers 120F, the meat will be rare.  Remove from the oven or continue roasting until the meat thermometer registers 125F for medium-rare, 130F for medium, or 140F for well done.

4. To brown the roast, increase oven temperature to 500F and continue roasting until richly browned, from 5 to 15 minutes.

5. Remove meat from the oven, cover with aluminum foil, and let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes before carving.

 Note:

  • I honestly don’t remember what was the cut of the roast but it was definitely not 4 pounds. It probably was less.
  • I used their recommended spices but without the dry mustard
  • When I did this recipe, I was incredibly low on veggies so I ended up making 4 carrots in the place of the celery.
  • This recipe is paired with a gravy made with the pan juices. If you would like to know it, just email me

The experience of making roast beef the first time is definitely memorable. It took a lot of time. Its been a long time since I had taken so much patience and care on cooking. While I felt a little like a headless chicken around the kitchen and somewhat unsure about how it would turn out, but it did work out alright.

The meat was rather tender. The outside was a little drier because the inside wasn’t cooked enough so I popped it back in for a little bit. I should have added some wine or water or sauce to evaporate to help. However, it was well worth the effort.

Have you made roast beef before? What suggestions do you have? What spices do you use?

Dinner: Sausage & Asparagus Quiche

I’ve finally gotten back to the whole cooking thing. Hopefully that baking motivation is going to come back soon because I really want that Baking Through Disney Project to move on.  I’m seriously done with Snow White.  I just have one more movie adaptation to go up and then its the final baking concept and that has seriously lessened in difficulty but I know what I want to do.

Last weekend, we went to Costco (and its dangerous in there). We have a new goal now that whatever we get, we need to eat in a fast and efficient manner before it rots and goes to waste.  Its one of the reasons I try to avoid buying vegetables and fruits there because its just me and my boyfriend and he knows this is a fact but he willingly eats like 4 types of veggies and 3 types of fruits (I’m not even exaggerating) so a lot of times, whatever I get, I have to eat all by myself.  So Costco size isn’t exactly practical.  Our buy this time was asparagus.  On Monday night, I made a super late night decision and pulled out soon to expire pie shells and decided that I’d try my hand on making my first quiche.

Late at night also means I needed to use what was on hand. And the result…

Sausage and Asparagus Quiche

Sausage and Asparagus Quiche

 Ingredients: 

1 9 inch pie shell
5 sausages, sliced/chopped
6 stalks asparagus, chopped
3 large eggs, beaten
Thyme, oregano & garlic salt (optional)

How to make it:

1. Follow the instructions on how to prepare the baking shells. Usually its baking 8-10 minutes at 425F.
2. Fill the shell with beaten eggs.
3. Add in the asparagus and sausage.
4. Season as desired. I used garlic salt, thyme and oregano.
5. Put in oven at 375F and bake for 50-60 mins.

This is an extremely simplified version of making a quiche. I was reading recipes afters that add milk or cream or whatnot. I can understand how it would make it thicker and more fluffy perhaps. However, on a whim and being time efficient, the preparation work for this is very minimal so its a great choice.

The combination of asparagus and sausage was pretty good. Only thing to beware of is to not use the asparagus ends that are too old then it becomes really chewy or simply a chore to eat. However, the taste was great. I was happy with the choice of spices that we chose.

Do you like quiches? What is your choice of ingredients?

Baking: Cranberry Bread!

Ever since last year around Christmas/December, I’ve been on the lookout for fresh cranberries.  Its great to make cranberry sauce if I had to make a turkey for the holidays. For baking, fresh cranberries may be more sour than dried ones but its so much more moist or just better texture when using fresh stuff.  That is why I bought three pouches of cranberries so after having a dessert that I did for New Year’s Eve with my best friend (forgot to take pictures), I still have room for some more baking adventures. The first one that I chose is Cranberry Bread!

cranberry bread

This is a variation of the Pumpkin Bread that I posted before HERE taken from Betty Crocker’s Christmas Cookbook.

Cranberry Bread

Makes 1 loaf of 9×5 inch pan

Ingredients:

1 2/3 cups sugar
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup milk
*2 tsp grated orange peel
*2 tsp vanilla
*4 eggs
*3 cups all purpose or whole wheat flour
*2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
*1/2 cup coarsely chopped nuts
3 cups fresh or frozen cranberries (thawed and drained)
1. Move oven rack to low position so that top of pan will be in center of oven.  Heat oven to 350F.  Grease bottom of pan with shortening or cooking spray (I use oil).

2. In large bowl, stir sugar, oil, milk, vanilla and eggs until well mixed.  Stir in remaining ingredients except nuts and cranberries.  Stir in cranberries and nuts.

3. Bake for 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool 10 minutes in pan or wire rack.

4. Loosen sides of loaves from pan; remove from pan to wire rack.  Cool completely, about 2 hours, before slicing.  Wrap tightly and store in room temperature up to 4 days or refrigerate up to 10 days.

cranberry bread

Some modifications:

  • Didn’t have so omitted: baking soda, grated orange peel, vanilla.
  • Misread so didn’t add in chopped nuts.
  • Substitute almond milk instead of regular milk
  • Substitute flour with gluten-free flour
  • Used 3 eggs instead of 4

This cranberry bread was pretty good.  It was moist and very fluffy.  The cranberries are a little sour so I used vanilla yogourt with it and it actually turned out pretty good. A very simple recipe and easy to put together.  Loved it!

How do you use fresh cranberries? Loved to hear your ideas.  I need to use up 1.5 pouches of it 🙂

Zucchini Fritters!

I’m on a cooking thing right now.  I promise you baking will happen soon.  I really miss it but I’m just so indecisive when it comes to what to make.  There are so many choices and just not enough time (or ingredients).

I’ve had a pack of zucchini waiting desperately for me to cook.  The plan was to make zucchini chips but I never got around to it since I made those bacon avocado fries (if you missed that, check it out HERE).  Thats the plan for this weekend (or at least some time this week).

When I searched up Pinterest, the first thing that popped up at me was Zucchini Fritters. Don’t know why. Maybe its the good balance of veggies and protein from eggs so it seemed like a good choice for dinner.  Regardless, I love Pinterest and all the ideas its offered me.

You can find the recipe for this right HERE from Damn Delicious!

I did mine in 3 different batches testing out the heat and whatnot.  The first time turned out in a disaster…

Zucchini Fritters

First try—fail

Well, it still tasted good and not burnt even but it did not look appealing…at all!

Second try was a little bit better…still needed a little bit of patience to get the flipping over part better.

zucchini fritters

Second try

Actually, this looks pretty nice, no? Its too bad that the flip side is not so good.

And then the third one, testing with a big one because I’m lazy and impatient at this point. I’m a pretty lousy cook mostly because I can have impressive amount of patience for baking (and crafts) but with cooking, I just really find it so difficult.

zucchini fritters

Big piece is not a good idea.

Now, there is one big change I made for this.  The link to the recipe is up there if you want to take a peek before checking this part out.  I didn’t grate the zucchini as I should have so thats why it was harder for it to stay together in one piece.  I just absolutely loathe grating and I couldn’t find where mine went. It always seems to disappear on me.

Other changes:

  • All-purpose flour was gluten-free
  • Omit parmesan (next time I will try with lactose free cheese)

Another baking adventure done 🙂 This one I’m definitely going to revisit.  It was so good! Sure, it didn’t look too pretty and dicing those zucchini in little pieces was incredibly tiresome and long to do but it paid off and thats what counts.

Next goal: Zucchini chips!

How do you like to  make zucchini? Have you done fritters before? Any tips you’d like to share?

Pumpkin Pancakes!

My boyfriend and I don’t spend a lot of time making breakfast together in the mornings because of our work schedules but we totally love making breakfast style dinners.  Usually it involves potatoes and sausages and eggs.  On Sunday, I had this sudden craving for pumpkin pancakes.  Don’t ask me why.  Maybe its because I remembered I had a can of canned pumpkin or maybe it was looking through the Looneyspoons recipe book and finding the recipe for pumpkin pancakes but he agreed with the idea and after I mixed up the batter, he cooked it (because he’s better at it than I am).

As mentioned before, this is from the Looneyspoons collection cookbook. After the recipe, I’ll talk about the changes I did.

pumpkin pancakes

Pumpkin Pancakes

Makes 12 medium pancakes

*1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
*1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
*1/2 tsp each baking soda and salt
*1 can evaporated milk
1 cup canned pure pumpkin
1/4 cup brown sugar (not packed)
2 eggs
2 tbsp butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup each vanilla-flavored yogurt and pure maple syrup1. Preheat griddle to medium-high heat.  Combine both flours, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.  Mix well. In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, pumpkin, sugar, eggs, butter and vanilla.

2. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir just until dry ingredients are moistened.

3. Spoon batter by 1/3 cupfuls onto preheated griddle that has been lightly coated with cooking spray.  Gently spread batter to about a 4 inch diameter.  Cook for about 1 1/2 minutes per side, or until pancakes are golden brown and cooked through.  Be careful not to burn them.  Serve immediately topped with vanilla yogurt and maple syrup.

pumpkin pancakes

As any recipes, I worked with what was available to me.  You will notice changes or omissions shown with  the asterisks (*).  In this one, the only omission with baking soda.  I know its sad that I don’t have any at home. Other than that, all-purpose flour and wheat flour was replaced by gluten-free all-purpose flour. Pumpkin pie spice was replaced with allspice. The evaporated milk was replace by 1 cup almond milk.  I only topped with vanilla-flavored yogurt and my boyfriend only topped it with maple syrup.

Another change would be that I don’t have a griddle so no preheating of that.  I just put together the batter and made it in a non-stick pan. We also always have a problem with the thickness of the batter so we always have to add more milk or water to make it a little more liquid.

I love pumpkin pancakes (although I should try making other flavors eventually). This one was pretty good. It wasn’t too sweet and it tasted a little of pumpkins and all that.  It was fluffy and delicious 🙂 How else do you describe pancakes anyways? I thought they were really great and its easy to put together. Plus, vanilla yogurt is absolutely awesome as a topping and I’m not a huge fan of it to begin with.

Do you like pancakes? 

Beef Stew with French Herbs!

My celebration after NaNoWriMo was to cook a nice meal.  I haven’t done it in a long time so I dug out my cookbook, Looneyspoons one, that has given me a ton of awesome recipes.  Since I wasn’t feeling well on Saturday night, I decided to do something more soup or stew style to warm my body up.

Final decision: Beef Stew with French Herbs (in the book its called STEWpendous Beef).

Beef Stew

Beef Stew with French Herbs

Makes 6 servings

Ingredients:

2 lbs stewing beef (cut into 1 to 1.5 inch cubes)
1/2 tsp seasoned salt
2tbsp olive oil
1.5 cups coarsely chopped onions
1 cup chopped celery
*2 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp Herbes de Provence
2.5 cups reduced-sodium beef broth
2 tbsp tomato paste
*2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
*2 bay leaves
1 tsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp each salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large thin-skinned potato, unpeeled, cut into 3/4 inch pieces
1 large carrot, chopped
*1 small sweet potato, peeled, cut into 3/4 pieces
2 tbsp cornstarch
3/4 cup frozen green peas
*2 tbsp minced fresh parsley

1. Pat beef dry with paper towels.  Sprinkle beef lightly over with seasoned salt.  Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large pot (preferably non-stick) over medium-high heat.  Add half the beef cubes and cook, turning occasionally, until all sides are lightly browned.  Remove from pot and keep warm.  Repeat with remaining 1 tbsp olive oil and beef cubes  Set browned beef aside.

2. Add onions, celery and garlic to same pot (add olive oil or 1/4 cup beef broth to prevent sticking). Reduce heat to medium.  Cook and stir until vegetables begin to soften, about 5 mins. Return beef cubes to pot and stir in Herbes de Provence.  Add beef broth, tomato paste, vinegar, bay leaves, sugar, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 1 hour and 15 minutes. (Make sure its low simmer)

3. Stir in white potatoes and carrots.  Cover and simmer for 25 more minutes.  Stir in sweet potatoes and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Mix cornstarch for 2 tbsp water until smooth.  Add to stew.  Mix well and continue to cook until stew is bubbly and has thickened.  Stir in peas and parsley and cook just until peas are heated through, about 2 minutes.

Beef Stew

Simmering 🙂

Its been so long I haven’t written a recipe post that I almost forgot how to do it.

First things first are modifications. Anything in the ingredients list with an “*” was stuff I didn’t have so was not used.  Also, somehow I couldn’t get it to do a low simmer. Old stoves are a little cranky. So I did occasionally stir it to reduce the simmer and cut the initial simmer time to 1 hour instead of 1h 15 mins. Oh, and I just noticed that it was supposed to unpeeled potatoes but I didn’t see that the first time.  Oops~my bad!

Its my first time making any sort of stew so I wasn’t sure what the consistency should have been, like how thick it should be but I thought it was well enough. Its very tasty as it is.  I think with more veggies like sweet potatoes and all, it would’ve enhanced the taste more.  I will definitely make this one again with ALL the ingredients.

Still, its a nice hearty stew and did the job well to make me feel all warm. 🙂

Do you like beef stew? What veggies or spices do you like in yours?