Thursday, January 13, 2011

New Menu

For Christmas I was given a great gift, one of my favorite things, a new cookbook. And generally like all the other cookbooks I have been given, I read them like a book and then add them to my shelf with maybe trying one or two new recipes. Well all except our Grace Chapel Church cookbook, which are wonderful recipes from many women and families of the church we attend. I am a proponent of starring or writing comments on recipes of corrections, additions or deletions I made while cooking the recipe. I also write, if in a cookbook if we liked, loved or it falls under a category of do not eat again. Which is rare, but there has been one recipe (and this is from a different cookbook, all the Grace Chapel ones are fantastic!!!) that my husband always laughs hysterically about, which was a terrible day of cooking: the pancake covered ham, sweet potato, apple pot pie. Eww!!! It was disgusting! A pot pie should always and forever remain a pot pie. Kyle was so sweet by taking seconds, but I threw mine away! And in that cookbook I put a big X on it! It is in the never ever again do we dare eating that category.
So for Christmas, I received Double Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld. I looked through, as I am thinking I am going to try to do a new recipe each week. I am seeing that most of the recipes I can get from our small town grocery store and they do not seem that hard either, which is a plus for this dream-only gourmet cook, with limited budget. So I tried first her Chicken Pizza (pg. 68). The recipe called for frozen whole-grain pizza crust, which I could not find in our frozen section of the grocery store, but I did find a Bobali (sp?) pizza that was whole-wheat and I thought I would try that (though I know whole-grain would be better, but sometimes you've got to improvise). I also bought a jar of Marinara sauce, but all the rest of the ingredients I had at home (wonderful!) The other ingredients included: 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, garlic powder, sweet paprika, pepper, olive oil, carrot puree, mozzarella cheese.
What I love about this book is that you are adding more vegetables to every meal (yes every meal!) I know I am always short on the day from my veggie intake and I want to be sure that my kids are not. In the sauce I added the 1/2 cup of carrot puree. My puree though was not a puree, rather a chunky cooked carrot (I was impatient and did not allow mine to cook long enough), but it didn't matter in the end product. I loved having the texture of the chunky carrot in the sauce and we gobbled up the entire pizza. My husband wanted more and my daughter asked for seconds. Needless to say this wonderful Chicken Pizza is a huge hit with my family and I put a star on the page as a good easy go-to recipe on a night I need a quick one with a great amount of nutrition! And as in any pizza, you can probably add any toppings you would like, but keeping the basics the same would be just fine.
What I loved about this was the low prep time and cooking time, especially because it was Wednesday night, which is church night. The recipe called for two pizzas and I made one, and I definitely will make two next time. We would enjoy the left-overs the next day, if there are any. I think I might go wild and add some fresh basil, as I love fresh basil, but that completely relies on the grocery store if there is any available and if it appears fresh. I tried to puree my fresh carrots and next time I think I may even opt to use my own canned carrots. My carrots from the garden, and even after they are canned have a lot more flavor and I would like to find another use for them. So I think I might opt to using them the next time with the next recipe.
I think the only problem I may have with this book, is that I do have a problem cooking cauliflower. A few years ago, before I had our first baby, Kyle and I loved having smashed cauliflower, rather than eating so many potatoes. I remember after being pregnant for a few weeks I tried making smashed cauliflower again and it made me so sick just smelling it cooking and I have not been able to stand the smell of cooked cauliflower since. Now, I can eat it if someone else cooks it, but I can't if I do. So we will cross that bridge when we get to it!
I would suggest this book for great reading material and I am thinking it is a great option, so far as a great nutritional recipe book with great flavor! I will continue to update on new recipes tried and true!! Enjoy and happy cooking!


  1. I saw Jessica on Oprah....I think it was before Christmas and she made a crock pot lasagna. I didn't have the book, so I improvised. It was really good and so easy! She cooked the noodles, but I didn't and they were just fine. I've also been meaning to get some peppercorns...this was a cooking suggestion she had and using Kosher salt (which I LOVE). I tried a week of doing just crock pot recipes....boy, just doing that made my life a whole lot easier. Tim would ask me daily, "So how does it feel having dinner done?" Low and behold, I got a new one for Christmas. Gotta get back to it! I love to cook too!!

  2. Awesome Amy!! I love to do crock-pot cooking too! I will have to check out that recipe in the book. I love peppercorns, I have a peppercorn mill that I use a lot. With watching the food network I am intrigued by pink peppercorns...I don't know what they are but would like to try them someday. Yes and I have heard Kosher salt is better to cook with, at least that's all that Alton Brown uses. We use that when we make our Sauerkraut...that's the only way it will turn I think Kosher salt is good!! Thanks for reading Amy!