Recent Recipes: July/August 2016

I almost did it. We almost used up all of the meat in the freezer. Here’re some more recipes I tried recently. Once again all of these recipes are from Taste of Home because I can peruse it at work.

Pumpkin & Sausage Penne

As soon as I saw this Pumpkin & Sausage Penne, I knew I had to make it.  I love everything pumpkin, and even though it’s not fall yet, I decided to give it a try. The recipe is meant for 2 servings, but it uses 1/3 cup of pumpkin puree which just seemed wasteful. So since I love having leftovers for lunch (something my teenage self would never have imagined I’d say), I decided to triple the recipe. Then once I was finished cooking, the amount of pasta to sauce seemed WAY off, so I ended up cooking the full box (double what the tripled recipe called for), and it was just about perfect. We ended up with 6 fairly large portions.

Jim ate 1 serving the night I made it, but he never had any leftovers. I’m taking that as a sign that he didn’t love it. I did! I ate it Monday night for dinner, and then had it for lunch Tuesday through Friday, and I wasn’t even sick of it by the end of the week. The sausage was a mix of mild and hot, so it had a good amount of spice to it. And then the pumpkin spices made it almost sweet as well. I did mess up the amount of nutmeg – using 1/2 teaspoon like the other spices. I also skipped the sage because we didn’t have any.

Chicken & Broccoli Cheese Casserole

I chose this Chicken & Broccoli Casserole recipe with Jim in mind because he loves cheese. It’s similar to a Chicken Divan recipe that we make, and while it wasn’t as good, it one of those recipes where nothing is fresh, so it could be one where we just have the ingredients on hand for a last minute dinner.

Jim gave me a hard time because I didn’t follow this recipe very closely. I used it more as a guide because I wanted more chicken, and I didn’t have the right size pan. I ended up using 4 frozen chicken breasts, 1 package of turkey stuffing (it was on sale 1/2 off, so I couldn’t resist – turkey and chicken are similar, right?), 2 cups of frozen broccoli, 2 cans of broccoli cheese soup, and 1 cup of shredded cheddar.

It was decent, but not great. I cooked it in a 9×13 pan, and it made 6 servings. I paired it with Kraft Mac & Cheese for Christopher. I thought that was kind of theme – cheese. Jim ate 3 servings left over. I ate one.

Caribbean Beef Pot Roast

This next recipe was pretty out there for us. We’ve never really cooked beef roast in the slow cooker any other way than just with onion soup mix, but this Slow-Cooker Caribbean Pot Roast was really good. And different!

I followed the recipe almost exactly this time. We didn’t have any celery, so I left those out. The sweet potatoes turned into almost a sauce since they were complete mush by the time the roast was finished cooking. It was really good though. It reminded me of a curry – although no curry powder (because Jim hates it).

We ate it just plain – as a stew. We again ended up with 6 servings. Jim ate it once left over, and I ate it twice. One serving didn’t get eaten in time. As a general rule, we ate all of our left overs for one week, and then we throw them away.

Summer Orzo Salad

We had a neighborhood BBQ at the beginning of the month, and I couldn’t decide which recipe to cook because I’d seen two in Taste of Home magazines that really caught my eye. So I just made both!

This Summer Orzo salad was so good. I need to make it again soon as just a side dish when we have chicken or something. I left out the capers, mint, and lemon peel because I didn’t have any of those items, but I don’t think it mattered. This recipe made WAY too much, and sadly I had to throw out a lot because it had been sitting out all afternoon/evening. Luckily, 2 servings hadn’t fit in my serving dish, so I had those left over for lunch during the week. I was really sad when it was gone.

Strawberry Corn Salsa

I also made this Strawberry Corn Salsa and served it with tortilla chips. I halved the recipe, and a good amount was eaten. I only had a couple of bites, and I didn’t really love it. I had left out the cilantro because I don’t like it. But the sweetness of the strawberries just didn’t work for me.

Homemade Ice Cream in a Bag

I saw this Homemade Ice Cream in a Bag recipe and thought it would be a fun thing to do with Christopher. I couldn’t find raspberries at the store, so I had planned to just make vanilla. Christopher complained and said he wanted chocolate, so we used some chocolate Nesquik powder for his.

We mixed all of the ingredients in pint glasses first, so he could add the chocolate powder, and that worked really well. He made chocolate, and I made vanilla. We used up all of our salt and almost all of the ice from our ice maker, but we managed to get both of them going.

We wore gloves because the bags got really cold! Mine mixed a lot faster than his did, but because of a leak in my bag, I entered up with more of a milkshake consistency. Jim did most of the shaking for Christopher’s, and it turned out as soupy ice cream, which is his favorite anyway. He always likes to let his ice cream melt and then drink it, so it was perfect.

I got about 10 oz. of vanilla milk shake that was delicious! But Christopher got the full 2 cups, and he wasn’t able to finish his in one night. We put it in the freezer to harden, and then he ate it a couple of nights later. He’s been asking to make it again, but we need to get more half and half first.

What have you been cooking lately? Anything good?

On the blog last year…

A dream come true: a weekend alone

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  1. I love trying new recipes but I totally understand the not loving it and then having too many leftovers. I just made tuna macaroni salad because I was in the mood and it came out pretty good but I had so much left over. I just brought it to a friends house to share. The pumpkin and sausage penne makes me think a fall recipe I love which is butternut squash mac & cheese. Maybe next time I make it I'll add sausage. Great post!
    Cassi @ My Thoughts Literally

  2. I love this post! I've never been much of a cook until I have to cook for myself, and lately I've realised how limited my recipe repertoire is. Now I'm totally looking up the recipes from this post – thanks for sharing!

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