Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What We Ate

If you've been doing any blog stalking lately, you may have seen a "What I Wore" post or two. You know, the ones where people take pictures of themselves every day for a week and then discuss their outfits. 

I am always a little perplexed by these posts. 

Are they meant to inspire us to run out and duplicate the outfit? To motivate the author not to wear the same outfit three days in a row? It's hard to say. 

Never fear people, for the sake of us all, this is not a "what I wore" post. 

However, I see no reason to let a good theme go to waste. Therefore, I bring you:

I don't know how we survived before cooking blogs were invented. There's just something about a step-by-step picture tutorial that gets me all jazzed to grocery shop and eat. My poor pictureless cookbooks are dusty and neglected because of it. 

So if anybody's interested, here's a little sampling of the recipes I've tried this month. 

Beef & Broccoli with Fried Rice from Andrea at Pie Birds, Buttons, and Muddy Puddles. Next time I will add lime juice to the fried rice, and some scallions, but otherwise very yummy. I enjoy Andrea's blog because she always has lots of step-by-step pictures. Who needs Cooking for Dummies when you've got a play by play?

Heather at Mom4life taught me how to make buttermilk. It's so easy, it's scary... 
No really, it's scary. You wanna know how they do it? They take milk, and leave it on the counter. 

That's it. 

Pretty weird, but something mysterious and magical must happen in that jar because the next thing you know, you have an unending supply of buttermilk in your fridge. I used the buttermilk to make waffles for my son's slumber party guests, and they were yummalicious. I don't have a picture, but "waffles" sort of speaks for itself. 

I also used the buttermilk in these Healthy Oat-Bran-Amish-Friendship-Bread Muffins. If you've ever made friendship bread, you know "healthy" is not usually a word associated with it. I really liked the muffins, which included shredded carrots, and my boys gobbled them up too. My husband was not really a fan, but that just meant more for us. 
Photo credit:

Earlier this month, I forgot to buy hot chocolate at the store for the gazillionth time, and my boys were bummed. So I asked my friend, Mr. Google, and he said to whip up Martha Stewart's hot chocolate mix. Get this: THREE ingredients. Unsweetened cocoa, sugar, and salt (a little splash of vanilla is also good). Boo-yah! 

Look at the ingredient list on the back of Swiss Miss some time, I dare you. 

I only made a half batch and we used it in morning lattes too, so when we ran out Rowan helped me make some more.

His tongue is magenta because he just ate a sucker. Bribery for taking a nap. Shhhhh.

We also tried out a couple different recipes for homemade hamburger buns.

I really liked this one from Kitchen Stewardship because I could control the size of the buns and make them bigger or smaller. They were nice and thick, soft and chewy. AND you can make the dough in the breadmachine. Bonus!
Photo credit: Kitchen Stewardship
The other recipe I tried, from Raising Olives, did not make buns that were as big or thick, but they WERE super tasty, done in less than 45 minutes, and a half-batch made a LOT of buns. It's a good recipe to have on hand for when I forget to make buns in advance. We had enough for two meals, plus a big bag for the freezer.

They also make a mean peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Speaking of bread, I've found THE recipe that I will use from now on to make whole-wheat bread. I absolutely love it and just this week I've made it twice. 

100% Whole-Wheat Bread from Cooking for Seven. If you haven't seen Ericalea's blog before, take some time to look around. She has some GREAT recipes, beautiful photos, and I love that she is just a young woman who loves to cook. 

You know who else I love? Tammy, from Tammy's Recipes. I have yet to find something on there I haven't liked. This month we tried several of her recipes:

Baked Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal ~ *amazing* I made it twice.

Poppyseed Chicken with Asparagus ~ I didn't have any poppyseeds, so I guess it was just chicken with asparagus, but still delish! And she teaches you how to make an easy homemade cream of chicken soup, which I really appreciated.
Photo: Tammy's Recipes

Meatloaf~ Super easy, very tasty. She suggested a new technique for baking the meatloaf that I hadn't tried before, so that was exciting. 

Chocolate Chip Cookies ~ not the best I ever had, but the recipe made a LOT and they froze really well, so I would make them again. 

By the way, Tammy's Recipes is where I got my pita bread recipe. I love, love, love this recipe (as seen here), and I plan to use them for mini pizzas soon. 

On Simply Sugar & Gluten Free I found two really nice soup recipes:

Winter Minestrone ~ I liked it! It was my first time making minestrone, and it went great with those yummy homemade rolls I was talking about earlier.

Black Bean Chili with Butternut Squash and Swiss Chard ~ this is my second time making this recipe, and this time I added a little bit of browned ground beef to make my caveman husband happy. 

Okay, lastly, tonight we tried a recipe from Crockpot365 for Chicken with Salsa over Rice. We have a ton of leftovers that I will have to get creative with tomorrow. It will probably involve homemade tortillas~ yurm. That's not a typo, I put the 'r' in there on purpose. 

Phew~ I'm tired from just writing all these recipes down. I know there are several I forgot, but if they are important I'll remember and share them with you on the next episode of:

By the way, my friend Melissa @ Stepping on Lego's did a similar post last week, and she had some good tips on there as well. She inspired me to start planning more than just one week's worth of meals at a time. Enjoy! 


  1. Oh, this is wayyyy better than What I Wore.

    I totally forgot about Tammy's Recipes! Her Pumpkin Dinner Rolls are my go-to roll recipe (and trust me, I've had some good roll recipes over the years), but I haven't been back to her site in forever. I got so excited browsing through just now.

  2. WOW! at first I thought that was all the recipes you have tried this past week and I thought MAN, that girl cooks a lot! Made me feel a little better it was in a month but still, you are awesome! So much homecooked goodness :-)

  3. wow, you have been busy in the kitchen! I love that your boys help you. My oldest, Jack, is losing interest in helping but my youngest, Ethan still loves to pull a chair up to the counter and gets involved.
    I am def. going to try the homemade buns and pitas soon.
    I admire you for trying so many new recipes. I always have a list going of new recipes to try, but I get nervous and stick mostly to my old faithfuls. I am going to purpose to try one new thing each week now. Thanks for the inspiration!


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