Have you guys ever been to a Therapy store? It’s one of my favorite and least favorite places. That store does not contain a single thing you need but is filled with everything you could possibly need all at the same time. I’ve spent way too much money there but it’s all brought me joy so who’s to say this is wrong? I had picked up this book and flipped through it but decided not to get it because (as you know), I have too many cookbooks. I liked the idea of this book since it was (and still is) just me and Jacob. Well, my husband is such a smart cookie. He remembered the book and ended up buying it for me for our next Christmas. If someone else buys you something you have too much of, it doesn’t count against you. Thems the rules.
This week, I got a whole ass notebook to write down all my notes instead of just trying to remember everything. That’s why some entries are ridiculously long. I’m sorry and you’re welcome.
Linguine with Chicken, Spinach & Feta Cheese
Find the recipe here.
When I lived with my parents, I would go on a major cleaning kicks when they’d go out of town. One time in particular, I tackled re-organizing the pantry. That is where I found at least 15 boxes of pasta. Some were the same shapes, some weren’t. It was insane. I left a note that said, “STOP BUYING HELLA PASTA” and I’m pretty sure my dad has it up to this day. There’s a point to this story – the point is that I had whole wheat spaghetti left over from another recipe so I just used that instead of buying hella pasta.
I have a lemon juice hack that I use all the time and I wanted to share with all of you lovely followers (like, all 5 of you). I am fortunate to have 2 people in my life with a lemon tree. If you have a lemon tree, you know that there’s only so many lemons you can use before you force your lemons onto others by the bag full. When this happens, I take freeze them! I zest all the lemons and keep it in a jar in the freezer. After that’s done, I juice all the lemons, strain the juice (so all the pulp is gone) and then I put the juice in ice trays in the freezer. Once they’re frozen, I keep it in a zip-lock bag in the freezer. That way, when one recipe calls for lemon juice or zest, I have it on hand. One cube is about a tablespoon.
Okay sorry. Now onto the recipe. I specifically chose this recipe because I had a ton of spinach I needed to use. This was such an easy recipe but I slacked off – I accidentally poured some cayenne pepper into the dish instead of red pepper flakes… In my defense, the jars look the same AND they’re right next to one another. The only thing that probably would have made it better is fresh pasta (I left a note wondering if I should try to make fresh pasta and lol that was a very ambitious Lauren wasn’t it?). If you’re not saving some of your pasta water when you’re making a pasta dish, you’re doing it wrong. Always save some. The lemon juice made this taste so fresh! This could easily be done with shrimp instead of chicken or maybe even some tofu. Jacob said the only thing he would change is adding in some roasted garlic and do 1/2 feta and 1/2 parmesan instead of full feta – although I’m a big fan of the feta tang.
Jambalaya with Chicken, Shrimp & Andouille Sausage
Find the recipe here.
Listen. How can you go wrong with this? It was fantastic. I followed it to a T. My dad made Jambalaya all the time growing up. It was one of our dinner staples that we ate probably once a month. It was easy and fed everyone. This also made me remember all the delicious food I ate in New Orleans. I dream about all the different foods I ate there. My cousin is a teacher so we used to do a trip during her Spring Break every year (we stopped due to COVID) and New Orleans was one of them. Before we left, she informed me that after this trip, she was going to be pescatarian, on her way to veganism. This was probably the best city to have as your last meat eating memories.
Skirt Steak Fajitas with Pico de Gallo
For this recipe, we made homemade tortillas, using my husband’s grandmother’s recipe. She’s made tortillas pretty much every single day since she was 10 years old. Let me tell you… fresh homemade tortillas are a game changer. I highly recommend making some (you can find a million recipes online) next time. I got these as my pickled jalapeno and holy crap it’s delicious. I couldn’t stop eating the carrots while I was cooking. I always ask Jacob to pick the music for dinner and he mostly tries to fit the music to the dinner – they do this in Veronica Mars and it’s my favorite thing. There’s nothing worse than having Frank Sinatra’s voice show up while you’re eating some Greek food. It just throws everything off. Anyway… The meat for this dish was super lackluster. I’d replace it with shrimp (listen, I love shrimp). The BEST thing was the pico – it was delicious and something I’m adding to my taco night repertoire. Speaking of this pico, do you guys cry while cutting onions? I recently found out that there are people (aka: psychopaths) out there who don’t cry while cutting onions and my Niagara waterfall of an onion cutting face would like a word. I almost always use Greek yogurt instead of sour cream (1. I really don’t use a lot of sour cream and it always goes bad just sitting in my fridge 2. we always have Greek yogurt around cause we eat it as a snack with granola and fruit). Add in Cholula (the SUPERIOR hot sauce, I will not be told otherwise and I’d ask you what your favorite is but if it’s not Cholula, you are wrong and should be ashamed).
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt & pepper
10oz skirt steak
1 ripe tomato, cored and cut into small dice
1 small red onion, half cut into small dice, half thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon pickled jalapeno chilies
1 poblano chili, seeded and cut into 1/4 inch strips
1/2 rip avocado, peeled and sliced
Sour Cream for serving (or in my case, Greek yogurt)
In a large plastic bag (or lidded container), combine the juice of 1 lime, 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, the garlic, cumin, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste. Add the skirt steak. Mush the marinade around to mix well and let the steak rest on the countertop while you prepare everything else. In a small bowl, combine the tomato, diced onion, cilantro, pickled jalapenos, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and some pepper. Squeeze the other half of the lime in the bowl and mix well. Taste to make sure it’s seasoned to your liking. Set this asid. Heat a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. When the oil shimmers, remove the meat from the marinade and add to the hot pan (you can discared the marinade). Sprinkle the steak with salt and pepper and cook for about 4 minutes. Flip the meat over with tongs and cook for another 3 minutes (or to your liking). Remove the pan from the heat and transfer to a cutting board to rest while you cook the veggies. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil to the hot pan and add the sliced onions and the poblano pepper. Sprinkle the vegetables with salt and pepper and saute until tender but still a little crunchy in the center. Squeeze the remaining lime half over the vegetables. Transfer to a large platter and arrange avocado by it. Carve the meat across the grain into thin strips and arrange it on the platter with the veggies. Warm the tortillas. Serve the platter of meat and vegetables and warm tortillas immediately. Throw the pico along with sour cream/greek yogurt and hot sauce on top. Enjoy!
Balsamic Turkey with Artichokes & Eggplant Caponata
I bet you think that I love all recipes at this point. This particular dish is here to prove you wrong. I will not make this again. I want to know why people love turkey. Don’t get me wrong, turkey is actually my go to at a deli, but otherwise, I really don’t want turkey. This recipe just proved to me that yeah, I don’t like turkey. I do, however, LOVE eggplant and could eat it 10,000 different ways. The turkey took way longer to cook than indicated (maybe that was my fault and I didn’t slice it thin enough) and it could have been replaced with literally anything else in the world: chicken, pork, fish, shrimp, tempeh, etc. The turkey really pulled down the dish. The Eggplant Caponata was pretty good and saved the dish (only slightly). 0/10 – would not recommend or remake this recipe.
I couldn’t find this recipe online and I decided that since I wasn’t recommending it, I wasn’t going to type it all out because I am lazy.
Pan-Fried Arctic Char with Garam Masala, Broccolini, & Yogurt Sauce
There are so many amazingly delicious salmon recipes out there in the world – this is not one of them. I know. Two recipes I didn’t like out of 5 (and one that was “meh” ). I’ve made a ton more recipes from this book and it’s honestly so easy that I would say this book is worth the buy. I had almost no notes on this other than the fact that there’s so many salmon recipes in the world. The Greek yogurt sauce was good and the broccolini was perfectly cooked. This one just fell flat.
Again, since I wasn’t telling you to make this, I’m skipping on typing everything out since I couldn’t find it online.
If this were the first time I used this book, I probably would be disappointed. But it’s not. It was just a week of meh to not good recipes. That being said, were there any you’d want to make?