Tuesday, May 21, 2013

New Recipe Successes

After our second move in 6 months, I was completely lacking in the desire to cook.  We still ate at home, but I stuck to familiar meals that required virtually no mental effort.  I'm still working my way back up to getting inspired to start creating my own recipes again, but I feel that it's a step in the right direction to start trying new recipes again.  Our meals, while good, were definitely boring, and it was a lot of fun to have some new flavor combinations at dinnertime again.

Chicken Sauteed with Apples - Real Simple Magazine

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This was basically a slightly easier version of my Chicken with Apple and Onion Sauce - a little less prep time, and less time spent putting together the sauce at the end.  I thought it came out great, and the sauce had a nice tang from the Dijon mustard.  It was also very simple and only required one pan, so minimal cleanup was a bonus.  The only change I would make would be to add some herbs - Hubs' comment after he finished cooking was "we're having tan for dinner"!

Brown Sugar & Balsamic Glazed Pork Loin - Veronica's Cornucopia via I'm a Celiac

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I've seen this recipe on I'm a Celiac's menu planner many times, and always thought it sounded so amazing.  This weekend, I finally got around to trying it, and I'm happy to say it was!  In my slow cooker experience I always shorten the cook time and I only had a 1 pound pork loin, so I put it in for 4 hours on low.  It was still a bit on the dry side, but not much, and the glaze did wonders for the meat.  Since the glaze is actually done separately in a small saucepan this would work well for an oven-roasted pork loin too, which is how I'm going to try it next to see if the meat stays a bit juicier.  I also spread it over some grilled chicken last night since there was a ton left over, and it was great!  It was a bit too vinegary for Hubs' taste, but he also hates vinegar, so his opinion is a bit biased.

Red Wine Marinated Flank Steak with Cherry Tomato Caprese Salsa - How Sweet It Is

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This was the winner of the week in our opinion, as we are huge fans of both caprese salad and steak.  I was a bit hesitant about using the wine in the marinade - obviously would be more fun to drink it instead - but I'm so glad I did, as it was absolutely fantastic.  I took the easy route on the caprese salsa and bought mozzarella that was already in bite-size pieces plus I skipped the shallot because I didn't have any on hand, so it was only a matter of cutting up the tomatoes, tearing up the basil leaves, and tossing it all together.  This is a meal I'd serve when entertaining because it's simple and colorful.  I've got leftover tomatoes and mozzarella so we're going to do a version with chicken tomorrow night - really looking forward to it!

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