Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Soft Pretzel Rolls

I hadn't ever had pretzel rolls until one day a few months ago when they were on sample at Costco. They were pretty good, but not something I craved. But when this recipe popped up the description made me want them. So I made them to go with our chili dinner tonight. The first part (before rising) was easy - I didn't have instant yeast so I proofed it before adding it to the milk/water mixture, and I probably used 8 cups of flour (I just added a half cup at a time after the first 6 cups and stopped counting but watched for the dough to be the right consistency). The boiling part was easy, too - I did it while Moo was napping and it took probably 30 minutes to get all the rolls done. I varied the boiling time and didn't see a huge difference in the end result. I do wish I had used more coarse salt on top - on the parts that were salted there was a definite pretzel taste. And my baking time ranged from 18 to 20 minutes.

Mel's Kitchen Cafe Soft Pretzel Rolls

Slow Cooker White Bean Chili

I made this for dinner tonight and it was really good. The preparation was quick - I got everything into the crock pot while Moo was eating her breakfast pancakes - and once it was cooking there wasn't anything to do until about a half hour before dinner. We had a couple of people over for dinner and ended up with just one small serving of leftovers, and everyone liked it.

Mel's Kitchen Cafe Slow Cooker White Bean Chili

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

White Chicken and Spinach Lasagna

I made this for dinner tonight. I wanted to make a freezer meal to get ready for the upcoming new baby (but this is probably the only one I'll make - I don't make dinner every night, so why do I need a freezer full of freezer meals?), and when I saw this recipe on Facebook it looked good. I used my regular 8*8 glass pan and bought a disposal aluminum pan (that ended up being a little shallow but will probably be fine since the spinach does cook down quite a bit and the foil stays on for the first part of the baking). Instead of using 3 lasagna pieces I used two for each. And I didn't measure the spinach; I bought a big carton of it and tore it (tearing is like coarse chopping, right?) over the lasagna until it looked like there was a thick layer. Also I used Costco canned chicken (cooking chicken seemed like an extra step I didn't have time for) - 2 cans total.

I really liked the recipe. I like white sauce lasagnas, and overall it was tasty. I like that I can have it ready in the freezer, and I imagine it will make good leftovers.

Mel's Kitchen Cafe White Chicken and Spinach Lasagna


For the same dinner as the Balsamic Chicken Noodle Bowl, Eric's other sister made these scotcheroos. I wanted to keep eating them all night but just had two. I made them for us a few days later, and I think I cooked the sugar/corn syrup mixture too long because they were kind of tough/hard. I tried again this week and cooked the sugar/corn syrup on medium-low just until I saw some simmering (not to a full boil), and they were very soft. Cooking them a little longer probably would have been fine - they're not grainy (from the sugar), but I feel like they're almost grainy.

Also, I feel like the recipe is a little unclear - a package or a cup of semisweet chocolate chips? I used a cup (and a cup of butterscotch chips).

Rice Krispies Scotcheroos

Balsamic Chicken Noodle Bowl

Eric's sister made this a couple of weeks ago for family dinner and I really really really liked it. I love balsamic vinegar, and it was just really tasty. I made it a few days later and liked that it was mostly easy. I used Costco tenderloins for the chicken (I can't remember how many) and cooked the chicken before cooking the peppers. I left out the feta (just because I think Eric's sister had left out feta) and probably used more mozzarella (I used the entire ball thing I had gotten at the store), and I think I had less basil (I used fresh basil, but the little package I bought probably wasn't a half cup). When I made it the cheese got kind of melty, but it was still really good. Next time I might try adding some tomatoes.

It also made pretty good leftovers, and I hate leftovers.

Mel's Kitchen Cafe Balsamic Chicken Noodle Bowl

Hoisin Rice Noodles with Chicken

This was a recipe that Eric thought was good (or not bad) and I didn't like at all. I felt like it *could* have been good - kind of a Thai-peanut-noodle dish - but it wasn't very flavorful to me.

Mel's Kitchen Cafe Hoisin Rice Noodles