Battle of Ingredients #7: Easter/Spring Edition

Battle of Ingredients

Welcome to the next Battle of Ingredients. My co-host Starry Traveler Phoebe and I gathered this time with friends for a little Easter/Spring celebration.

Heres what we did!

Wine

Barefoot Sparkling Moscato

Tonight’s wine from our friends is the Barefoot Bubbly Pink Moscato. It was light and sweet. A more in depth talk will be in the wine recap next month.

Main Meals

Lamb Chops – Phoebe

Lamb Chops

Phoebe gets the big task of taking care of the meat dish this time around. We did research and realized that Easter usually revolves around ham or lamb and after some talk, she decided to take on making lamb chops. They were marinated and topped with salt and various herbs. It took about 2 hours to cook in the oven.

This one turned out pretty good. It wasn’t cooked through but I’ve had chops before and they usually aren’t plus it was marinated and seasoned just enough to have a lovely taste.

Ratatouille – Kim

Ratatouille

Recipe via Pinterest: https://www.ricardocuisine.com/en/recipes/5312-ratatouille?epik=0DYovE_IWH0tx

Trying out a quick one pot ratatouille this time as our primary vegetable dish. I followed the recipe above fairly closely. Eggplants aren’t in season right now so they were hard to find good ones. So the portion for that was a little less. However, this ratatouille was both easy to make and tasted pretty good. I may have overcooked it a little and it would have benefited from having some pasta or something to serve with. In comparison to the original, I think I skimped out on diced tomatoes a little. Everything’s a learning curve and I certainly had fun making this one and would try it again particularly using a pot this time instead of a pan since there is a lot of vegetables to add in so it started getting a little crowded and that affected the cooking time.

The better version would be to slice everything thinly and then organize it and pop it into the oven to cook. Perhaps a future trial.

Dairy-free Scalloped Potatoes – Kim

Dairy-free Scalloped Potatoes

Recipe: https://veganinthefreezer.com/dairy-free-herbed-scalloped-potatoes/

Next up is something of a side thing which was the scalloped potatoes. I recently made scalloped potatoes for a Goodfoods box and thought about it for this meal as a dairy-free style and found the recipe above on Pinterest. Scalloped Potatoes were done in the afternoon in advance as to free up the oven space and then reheated. We used a mandoline to quicken the process. We used some unsweetened almond milk (unfortunately, I only had the vanilla flavor) and we took a chance with it to see if it would affect the taste. It did still have a slight vanilla flavor which felt a little weird but overall, the texture is still there. I’d redo this one with the herbs (as the recipe above indicated but I didn’t have any this time around) and also with some unflavored and unsweetened almond milk. We only ended up with one portion left over so I’d say it had a decent result.

Dessert

Marshmallow Wands – Kim

Marshmallow Wands

Recipe: http://www.twosisterscrafting.com/springtime-marshmallow-wands/

The ideas I went through for the dessert was numerous but with the two dishes above, I wanted to go for something a little simpler so I went with these springtime marshmallow wands which is basically skewering three marshmallows and then coating them with dark chocolate and adding sprinkles then letting the chocolate harden. Its times like these that I wish I knew how to temper chocolate before coating it so that it would have that lovely crunch when you bit into it. Anyways, I am still learning and these did turn out really great. I know that the coating could have been better but I learned a lot from this recipe as simple as it may seem. Marshmallows and dark chocolate is just yummy! It is a little on the sweet side so I only made enough so everyone had one.

This wraps up this Easter/Spring edition of Battle of Ingredients!
Not quite sure what is next one but might be a spring Farmer’s Market edition for 2018.
Its still in discussion right now 😉

Do you celebrate Easter and what foods do you make?

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Recap: Goodfood #10

We’re somewhat back to normal programming this week. I’m still off today for Boxing Day as all the time. I wasn’t able to get the post done before I headed out for shopping so a little late on my part so today we’re taking it easy with just a quick recap on last week’s Goodfood meal box. We’re at the 10th box! That’s pretty awesome since so far, they’ve been still very impressive. The recipes are helping us learn a lot about different ingredients and different types of meals.

Let’s check it out!

Spiced Shrimp & Preserved Lemon Topping
with Jerusalem Couscous, Sauteed Zucchini & Multicolored Carrots

Goodfood Spiced Shrimp

Preserved Lemon was the highlight ingredient of this dish. I personally have seen it before. Preserved lemon is actually very good to use for honey lemon tea to soothe sore throats. Actually, my mom used to prefer using that when I was younger. With that said, I wasn’t sure how it’d turn out as a main dish but this shrimp dish was pretty good. Plus, for us, the main highlight might be tasting Jerusalem Coucous which isn’t commonly used in these meal boxes. However, I’d like to compare them a little to orzo and thats a compliment because I really like Jerusalem couscous and would consider looking at more recipes for it.

Chicken & Udon Stir Fry
with Chinese Broccoli

Goodfood Udon Stirfry

Udon, chicken, stir-fry plays exactly to what I like. I love learning how to make some of these dishes as I don’t have a really extensive know of Asian cuisine even though I’m Chinese and probably should. I get the idea of how to make many different Chinese meals but I do love Udon noodles and Chinese Broccoli so this one was pretty good. The spices and the simplicity of putting this together all turned out very delicious.

Homemade Merguez with Herbed Yogurt Sauce
& Bulgar Salad

homemade merguez

The husband was the one that got to eat both of the meals here. I did help with putting together the bulgar salad and doing the preparation work. He is a fan of merguez so suffice to say that he enjoyed the meaty part of this a lot. The bulgar was different for him. It did seem like a fresh sort of salad with a mixture of bulgar along with fresh vegetables. However, the yogurt herbed sauce didn’t really come into play here as we found some fabric in the yogurt and while I was positive it wasn’t hair, he took the safer measure to not eat it as we didn’t know where it came from. Something perhaps for Goodfood to be a little bit more careful about when putting together their boxes especially when dealing with food related business.

Whisky Rubbed Pork Chop with Scalloped Potatoes
Green Salad & Sweet Onion Vinaigrette

Goodfood

Finally, the last meal was this whisky rubbed pork chop. I prepared most of the meal and made the scalloped potatoes however, my husband took care of cooking the pork chops. Thanks to holidays, these last two meals were more of a collaborative effort to make which is always fun. He had the salad and the scalloped potatoes while I had the pork chop paired it with some cooked romaine lettuce. Scalloped potatoes are quite interesting to make to be honest and it was pretty fun and probably more efficient with a mandolin which I didn’t so I had to just thinly slice the potatoes with a knife so there was some uneven parts. However, the whisky spice blend here had a bit of heat but was very flavorful.

Overall, four good meals. It was definitely an educational box with preserved lemons, Jerusalem couscous and scalloped potatoes making appearances.