In Week Thirty-Three I picked myself up, dusted myself off, and got back in the ring. After the pathetic week prior, I had motivational quotes on repeat in my head this week. Sayings along the lines of It’s only a mistake if you don’t learn from it! and It doesn’t matter if you fail, what matters is that you keep trying! Hokey, sure. But also very helpful and true.
Success as I defined it when I started this journey looks different than success in the midst of the journey. At this point, I am simply trying to make it to the finish line with the recipe count at zero. Idealism has been thrown by the wayside like a pair of high heeled shoes on a hike. I’ve donned work boots with memory foam inserts. Who cares what it looks like. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other. Or in my case, one stick of butter in front of the next.
Just. Keep. Cooking.
WHAT I COOKED
Roasted Artichoke Hearts, How Easy Is That?
Caesar Club Sandwich, At Home
Curried Couscous, Barefoot Contessa
Ice Cream Sodas, Parties!
Strawberry Syrup, Parties!
Ultimate Ginger Cookie, At Home
German Chocolate Cupcakes, Foolproof
Port Wine Prunes with Stilton and Walnuts, Cooking for Jeffery
Viennese Iced Coffee, Foolproof
Baked Chocolate Pudding, Back to Basics
Scrambled Eggs with Goat Cheese, Family Style
Cheddar Dill Scones, Barefoot Contessa
Fresh Salmon Tartare, How Easy Is That?
Spring Green Risotto, Back to Basics
Mustard Roasted Fish, Back to Basics
Mustard Roasted Potatoes, At Home
Parmesan Roasted Broccoli, Back to Basics
Ham & Leek Empanadas, Make It Ahead
Celery Root Rémoulade, Barefoot in Paris
Roasted Sausages & Grapes, Foolproof
Truffled Mashed Potatoes, Foolproof
Irish Guinness Brown Bread, Cooking for Jeffery
Mini Italian Frittatas, Make It Ahead
Strawberry Scones, Barefoot Contessa
Raspberry Vodka, Parties!
WHAT I LEARNED
MUSTARD ROASTED POTATOES.
Out of this world delicious! Super crispy on the outside. Soft and tender on the inside. With an unexpected note of sweetness, if I can call it that, from the whole grain mustard. Take my advice and do not skimp on the salt. Potatoes as a rule need all the salt in the world to come to life, and these are no exception. I put these in the oven first (because they need an hour to roast), and then kept them on the counter while I baked the rest of the dinner menu. Right before serving I popped them back in the oven for ten minutes to give them a reheat, and it worked like a charm. The hardest part about this recipe was not eating the entire tray before dinner.
PARMESAN ROASTED BROCCOLI.
This is hands down the best broccoli recipe I have ever found. Make it. I never regret it, and every ingredient is vitally important. The one thing I will encourage you to change is the total amount of broccoli. Per usual, Ina’s serving size suggestion is way off. I would halve the amount of broccoli she calls for unless you are either feeding a small army or would like to make enough broccoli to last an entire week. Once you make this, you will not go back to “normal” broccoli.
ROASTED ARTICHOKE HEARTS.
The name of this recipe is misleading. Yes, the artichokes are first roasted, but the fun doesn’t stop there. They are then marinated with vinegar, capers, and a handful of other delicious ingredients to produce a kind of side dish that instantly turns an assembled cheese board into something really special. These only get better with time, and when you throw them on a platter with a couple of cheeses, a handful of olives, and some crackers, you get a stunning first course. I have only been able to find frozen artichoke hearts at Trader Joe’s.
CAESAR CLUB SANDWICHES.
Top Ten. Everything about this sandwich is perfection and always exceeds my expectations. The dressing alone is worth it, and I find it loads better than any of Ina’s other Caesar dressing recipes. This is my one. The sandwich includes tender roasted chicken, sun-dried tomatoes, arugula, shards of parmesan, salty crisps of roasted prosciutto, all layered on a ciabatta loaf slathered in dressing. It is mouthwatering. I like to serve it on a large cutting board, earthy and welcoming. Slice it up and serve it to your guests (or your family) and prepare to be delighted!
ICE CREAM SODAS.
I had the best time making this dessert! I made the strawberry version, and I could not get over how simple, fun, and whimsical these little cups of cold delight turned out to be! Even the color of the finished soda is the perfect shade of pastel pink. Bubbly, sweet but not in an obnoxious way, simple, and delightfully different. I am now dying for an occasion at which to serve these because they are too cute not to share!
MINI ITALIAN FRITTATAS.
Heck yes. This is a very close second for my favorite Ina frittata recipe. I still pledge my allegiance to the zucchini and leek version, but this one is dang good as well. I love the way they are baked in muffin tins, producing tiny little breakfast treats ready to grab and go. My children thought these were fantastic, and that always feels like a win. This would be so easy to reheat for a quick breakfast or lunch or snack or dinner. Basically, there’s no wrong time for a frittata. If I had the bandwidth, I would be making these on the regular and incorporating them as part of my weekly meal planning line up.