Food Recipes Tried

2021 Project June/July :: several recipes

If you’re new here, I am currently working on a project where I make one meal per month from that month’s issue of Bon Appetit. I started this in January, if you want to go back to the beginning, here you go!

You thought I forgot to make the June/July Bon Appetit meal, didn’t you? Well, I did make several things from the issue, but I didn’t really document it. They had one issue for the two months. Here’s what I made:

Corn and Sausage Pasta

Corn and Sausage Pasta page 74

This was delicious. I was pretty free and easy with measurements. I let my heart choose. I used two ears of fresh corn that I cut from the cob. It was delicious! Greg said he liked it but I know he doesn’t really like corn IN things. He ate it all though and even my leftovers. I didn’t use enough basil. Use a TON, that would make it even better.

I would make this again in a heartbeat. In fact, I have some sausage in the freezer.

Sesame Lemon Pickles in a small bowl

Sesame-Lemon Pickled Cucumbers page 14

These were really good! At first, they were too vinegary, but then later after sitting they were a  little too sweet. But I love the ginger and pepper flavors. I liked the pickled jalapeno.

Sheet-Pan Gnocchi

Sheet-Pan Gnocchi page 45

I’ve made this twice. The second time I threw a Gilbert’s Chicken sausage in there to roast with the vegetables. Also, I didn’t have arugula the second time, so I used spinach. Really good!

Drink made with Berry Shrub

Any-Berry Shrubs page 12

I also made the berry shrubs on page 12 but I only took one photo. I made Blueberry, Raspberry and Strawberry. They were a bit too vinegary for me. But I only had them with club soda, no booze.

Food Recipes Tried

2021 Project May :: Chana Masala

You thought I forgot to make the May Bon Appetit meal, didn’t you?

If you’re new here, I am currently working on a project where I make one meal per month from that month’s issue of Bon Appetit. I started this in January, if you want to go back to the beginning, here you go!

This month I chose the Chana Masala. I love Indian food, but I’m never really great at making it. It turns out good, but it’s never as good as restaurants’ Indian food. So I wanted to try this.

Chana Masala Ingredients

I made this May 27, 2021 for lunch. It was super easy, and tasty. However, I might have used too much cayenne. It was really hot! I halved the recipe since I only had one can of chickpeas and I knew I didn’t need 4 servings. I’m the only one who likes vegetarian dishes in this household.

Chana Masala

I didn’t have the coriander and cumin in seed form, just ground, so I skipped the step where you toast the seeds and then grind them. I hope the spices were toasted before ground and packaged. But even if they weren’t, it had great flavor.

Chana Masala
This was just before I started simmering it.

So other than that, I followed the recipe except I added spinach at the end for some color and vitamins. Here’s where I went rouge and added spinach.

Chana Masala almost done
This was after about 40 minutes of simmering. Just before adding cornstarch slurry.

I don’t know why it’s not as dark as the photo. It started out pretty dark but by the time it was done it was pretty yellow.

Chana Masala finished

Different lighting. Still not as dark as the photo.

Chana Masala finished

The garlic, onion, tomatoes, ginger, and maybe the rice (I’m not sure) were all from Imperfect Foods. Use my link and get $10 off your first box. Full disclosure, I get $10 too.

Food Recipes Tried

2021 Project :: April Beef Stroganoff

This is part of my 2021 project where each month I choose a recipe from the current issue of Bon Appetit and make one of the dishes, trying as hard as I can to do it exactly the way the recipe says. A real challenge for me.

This month I chose Beef Stroganoff from page 22 of the April 2021 issue of Bon Appetit.

A commenter on BA’s website, who didn’t even make the dish complained “This might be beef stroganoff, but there ain’t nothing russian about it.” (yeah, he didn’t even capitalize Russian). The rest of the comments were talking about how rude this guy was. So of course, I was intrigued and I had to look up real Russian “beef stroganov”.

I guess I’m the idiot, I didn’t even know it was a Russian dish, and I have Russian heritage! I think of it as being similar to Swedish Meatballs, so I assumed it was Scandinavian.

Anyway, the commenter said that there should be no tomatoes and should not be served with rice or pasta because they didn’t have wheat in the peasant fields of Russia. Then he spelled “umami” wrong. So take that with a grain of salt.

The “real” recipes I found did have tomato and were served on a starch.

So, I made this and long story short (too late) it was amazing.

Beef Stroganoff

We could not find a one-pound skirt steak only a two-pounder and it was $25! But we bought it and Greg cut it in two, saving one pound for later.

Here’s the prep for it. I chose to get everything ready in advance (mis en place).

Prep for Beef Stroganoff
Prep for Beef Stroganoff

For this recipe you cook the meat whole, let it rest, and cut it into strips at the end just before you put it back in the sauce to warm it up. Or in our case, cook it through. Haha, mine ended up a little rare, even though I cooked it the time allotted per side (yes, I even timed it…with a timer!)

beef steak in pan
cooking the beef

These mushrooms were amazing.

bowl of mushrooms
these were so so good

I served this with steamed broccoli.

bowl of broccoli
side of steamed broccoli

Look at that beautiful sauce.

Beef Stroganoff in pan

This was a winner!

Beef Stroganoff final plate
Tada! Dig in!!
Food Recipes Mine Recipes Tried

Recipe :: Crispy Fried Tofu Sandwich

Crispy Tofu Sandwich on bun
Final sando

This is a riff on a recipe that I found on New York Times Cooking. I say “riff” because while I intended to follow the recipe, once I got started, I realized it wasn’t going to happen.

Check out the original recipe here.

For the marinade:

I used the juice from a jar of pickles that I realized too late, I do not like. But it still turned out good. I can’t wait to try it with pickle juice I like!

I did not use hot sauce because the pickles I used the juice from were already spicy pickles. But I did use red pepper flakes.

I let it marinate a day longer than the recipe said because we ended up making alternate dinner plans on the night we were going to have it. It was fine, feel free to do this if you need to.

For the Dip and Dredge prep:

Why should I use ½ cup of Dijon when that much was not needed? Same with the flour. I’m not into wasting food. So, I just used what I felt was necessary and still had too much of both of those.

For assembly:

I didn’t want to buy a whole head of cabbage so I just got a bag of coleslaw mix. I figured that would be better because it’s a mix of cabbages. Variety, the spice of life!

I also didn’t use that much oil just because I didn’t have that much on hand. I had a small container of oil in the fridge that was leftover from frying something previously and then the rest of the vegetable oil I had in the house. It probably was only one inch thick in the pan. I used a small pan so it would be deeper and I worked in batches.

OK with all that out of the way…

These turned out about 100 times better than I had hoped. When I smelled the marinade, after the tofu sat in it for 2 days I was not hopeful. It was not pleasing.

But I persevered, and I’m glad I did.

Fried Tofu trying on rack
after it came out of the oil

I put the  fried tofu pieces on a nice brioche bun (from Imperfect Foods), topped with the coleslaw and since I wasn’t a fan of the pickles we had, I used dill pickle relish.

It was very tasty, but I felt it could be better if the mayo was mixed into the coleslaw mix as well as the relish. I also felt it needed a piece of cheese.

So here are the ones that I made.

Crispy Tofu Sandwich on bun open-faced
before the slaw
Crispy Tofu Sandwich on bun

While I was eating it, I was pretty amazed at how the inside actually looked like chicken!

inside of Crispy Tofu Sandwich on bun
Here’s what the inside looks like, almost looks like chicken!

Then Greg wanted another sandwich (a good sign) but since we were out of brioche buns he used a hoagie roll. He did mix the mayo, coleslaw and relish and also used cheese. I tasted it, it was MUCH better.

tofu dansich on a hoagie roll with cheese
Greg’s version, on a hoagie roll with cheese.

So here’s my updated recipe.


Experiments Food Recipes Tried

Experiment :: One-Pan Egg Toast

After seeing this on TikTok for a month or so, I finally called “uncle” and tried this.

Let’s just say the first try was not a success.

toast with egg on it
What a shame, had to throw out 2 slices of yummy Dave’s Killer Bread.

I forgot that I was supposed to flip the bread so that it was eggy on both sides…which isn’t actually suggested in all videos, but should probably be done. My other issue is that the egg stuck to the pan and I couldn’t flip it.

pan with egg stuck to it

Second attempt was much better. I used only one piece of bread (Dave’s Killer Bread…it’s the best) and I flipped the bread so it had egg on both sides.

eggs in a pan with toast
Freshly flipped bread

This time I was able to flip it.

eggs in pan with bread
the whole thing, flipped

I filled it with turkey, cheese and sliced scallions.

eggs with turkey, cheese and scallions
Filled the sandwich

After folding the egg in, and putting it together, I flipped it one more time.

Finished sandwich
I flipped it once it was all closed up

It was delicious!

Finished sandwich
Ta-da! The finished product.


I used Dave’s Killer Bread from Imperfect Foods.

Use my link and get $10 off your first box. Full disclosure, I get $10 too.

Food Recipes Tried

2021 Project :: March Green Curry Soup

I decided that I would like to create a little project for the new year. I decided that I would make one dish from each issue of Bon Appetit, starting January 2021.

So, the one I chose from the March issue of Bon Appetit Magazine is Green Curry Lentil Soup (page 46). I chose it because I had all the ingredients and had just gotten some new green lentils from Imperfect Foods. I also had some sweet potatoes that were starting to mock me because I let them sit on the counter for too long.

set up for Green Curry Lentil Soup

The only thing I did differently is that I cooked it in the Instant Pot. This was a super easy and pretty quick dish to make. It involved a bunch of chopping, but you could certainly buy onions, garlic, and ginger prechopped to make this even easier and quicker.

set up for Green Curry Lentil Soup
Chopped stuff for Green Curry Lentil Soup

I actually measured the green curry paste and holy Jebus was it HOT! I love spice but this was off the charts. It was still delicious, but yowza!

This is the curry paste I used:

mae ploy green curry paste

I would make this again and the Instant Pot worked well.  Here’s the recipe.

Green Curry Lentil Soup
Green Curry Lentil Soup
Green Curry Lentil Soup
Green Curry Lentil Soup

When you get your April issue, let me know what I should make for April!

January’s project meal

February’s project meal 

The lentils, sweet potatoes, lime, and garlic were all from Imperfect Foods. Use my link and get $10 off your first box. Full disclosure, I get $10 too.

Food Recipes Tried

Creamy Mushroom Risotto

Last week I made the Creamy Mushroom Risotto with Roasted Garlic and Crispy Sage. This is from the cookbook Passion: My Journey Through Food by Jules Meyer. Full disclosure; I know Jules. She’s my cousin. We grew up almost like sisters.

She released this book last year and it’s really beautiful.

You can buy it here

Here’s the recipe on her blog.

I love mushrooms, garlic and risotto so I was pretty sure I’d love this.

I made a few changes (shocker) out of necessity.

Firstly, I didn’t have fresh sage. I know, it’s an integral part of the dish, but I didn’t have it, and Greg and I were both in COVID quarantine* and weren’t able to leave the house to get sage. I wasn’t about to put in an Amazon Fresh order for only a bunch of sage and then wait a day. I wanted this NOW!

So, I used fresh thyme and rosemary. It was still amazing, but I do recommend using sage if at all possible. Because crispy sage is so delicious.

The only other thing I did differently is I didn’t use that much cream. Mostly because I was panicking about the butter and cream already in there. I think I used about a cup.

Oh and I didn’t have regular button mushrooms so I used two packages of bellas.

As you know, risotto is busy work. You have to stand there stirring for ages. But it’s so worth it. With the roasted garlic and the mushrooms, it’s heavenly.

mushrooms and garlic
Mushrooms and garlic for the Creamy Mushroom Risotto with Roasted Garlic and Crispy Sage

I wanted to eat the whole pan, but I only ate ¼ of it. I don’t even want to know if I had more than one serving.

Creamy Mushroom Risotto with Roasted Garlic and Crispy Sage

Greg who is a caveman and can’t have a meal without meat, added some sautéed chicken thighs to his.

Creamy Mushroom Risotto with Roasted Garlic and Crispy Sage
with chicken thighs

Leftovers were reheated the next day for lunch. Then the following day, I reheated the risotto and plopped an egg on it for breakfast. Amazing! (sorry I didn’t take a pic.)

Try this one, and let me know what you think.

Or get her cookbook and try any other wonderful recipe!

You can buy it here:

*we don’t have COVID, we had just gotten tested (negative) and needed to quarantine because we were both having medical procedures at the end of the week.



Food Recipes Tried

Dinner :: Buttermilk Marinated Air Fryer Whole Roasted Chicken


We made this as a Sunday Dinner.  This is from Gina over at Skinnytaste, so we knew it would be good! But, we had a little trouble cooking:

I did this in my regular oven on the Air-Fry mode because my Instant Pot (with air-fryer lid) isn’t large enough for this chicken.

After it cooking for 25 minutes on each side, the breast was still raw. I’m not sure how this is possible. It came from the store refrigerated (not frozen), it sat in our refrigerator for 2 or 3 days before we marinated it. Then it sat in the marinate for a day, and out on the counter for an hour before cooking. So I’d be really surprised if it was still frozen.

After the air-frying, we put it back in on bake for another 10 minutes. I was afraid the dark meat would be overdone. So we carved it up, served the dark meat and the breasts went into the microwave to finish. Not the way I would have preferred to cook it, but it worked.

Air Fryer Buttermilk Chicken

And holy cats was it delicious!! Only buttermilk and salt and pepper and it was amazing. I served it with baked potatoes (with sour cream, butter and green onions) and Brussels Sprouts. The chicken may appear burned but it is not! The Brussels on the other hand were inedible.

Air Fryer Buttermilk Chicken

After eating and carving all the meat off the bones, the bones went into the instant pot with the potato skins and some seasoning and we made a nice broth.

Day two, the leftover chicken was used both as an addition to an otherwise vegetarian ravioli dish, as a main course (with gravy made from the broth) and then day 3 as a topper for salad. It remained moist (yeah, I said it) and flavorful. I don’t know if I’ll ever NOT marinate in buttermilk again.

Highly recommended. Just be sure you have a meat thermometer and be sure the breast is done.

We have this one, but it appears to be out of stock.

This one looks close to it.

Try this and let me know what you think!
Skinnytaste Recipe:

Recipes Tried

2021 Project :: January Broccoli Soup

Last month I decided that I would like to create a little project for the new year. I decided that I would make one dish from each issue of Bon Appetit, starting January 2021.

Click here for last month’s project. 

So the one I chose from the February issue of Bon Appetit was the Broccoli Soup With Turmeric, Peanuts, and Crispy Shallots

I was taken by that beautiful photo! Kudos to the photographer and food stylists.

One of the “rules” of this project was that I really wanted to follow the recipe exactly and that I would not substitute any ingredients.

This is harder for me than I thought it would be. Not because I can’t follow directions, but because I just don’t always have everything on hand (or I don’t want to buy a bunch of something and waste the rest).

The first issue is that this recipe was for 4 servings and I was making this for myself (the husband doesn’t like soup or vegetarian dishes so this was a nope on both aspects).

So I scaled the recipe in half.

Then I realized I didn’t have serrano, but it did say “or other green chile” and I did have jalapeno so I used that and I think that’s acceptable.

I didn’t have a big Yukon gold potato and even if I did I probably wouldn’t use it because what am I doing to do with half a potato, since I’m halfing the recipe? So I used a bunch of small potatoes.

The only other change I made was that I didn’t have cilantro or mint for a garnish.

Here’s my set up:

Ingredients for Broccoli Soup

So the changes I made were really miniscule and I think would be allowed by the recipe author. Right? Please?

Oh and because I was making this in the bar kitchen, I didn’t have a large soup pot so I made it in the instant pot, but I didn’t pressure cook it. I just used it on Sauté Mode.

Ingredients for Ingredients for Broccoli Soup

This was putzy to be sure, but pretty easy to make. It was sort of a lot of chopping, but I don’t mind chopping. As long as I have a good knife.

Before blending Ingredients for Broccoli Soup
Before blending

I used the immersion blender, right in the pot instead of a blender.

after blending Broccoli Soup
after blending

The part where I almost said “F this” and did it my own way was at the very beginning. The recipe says to cook the shallots, peanut and turmeric in the oil, separate them (drain the shallots and keep the oil). Then for reasons I can’t fathom, it says to mix them back together.

Well, that’s just ridiculous. So I compromised. I made the oil as told, then I separated them, but I kept them separate (don’t tell me how to live my life!) I’m glad I did. Because of that oil? It was amazing!! I would make that again and use it to drizzle over everything!


I’m not sure why the recipe doesn’t say to just cook the vegetables (step 3) in the oil you just made. It says to use regular oil. Why?

How did I do?


The end result was a good soup. Good, not fantastic. I happily ate my lunch, I also added a slice of toasted bread (we call that toast, Amy). But I never ate the leftovers. I planned to, but each time I saw it in the fridge I went, “ehhhh…” and chose something else. So I guess I didn’t like it that much.

Final result

But it sure is pretty!

Experiments Food Recipes Tried

Dinner :: Chef John’s Salisbury Steak

One night when my husband and I were watching TV a conversation came up on Salisbury Steak. I think he said he didn’t like it, and I said I loved it and would make a good one for him to prove it.

However, my bravado wrote a check that my skills couldn’t cash. My favorite Salisbury Steak is this one.

Swansons TV dinner from the 70s

Those silky potatoes and that chocolate cake was sooo good, even when it burned a little. But the steaks were so tasty and that gravy!? *Swoon*

Also, I used to work at a place that provided lunch for staff and their Salisbury Steak was the BOMB! They didn’t make it in house, it was from a food service company. So it was like school lunch, but better.

[Update] I just found out that the food we were served at work was…..{drum roll please…} STOUFFERS!! ]

So I did some digging and I already had a few Salisbury recipes in my cookbook (I use CopyMeThat). The one that had the most stars (given by me) was the one from Home Chef. Here’s how it came out when I made it then:

HomeChef Salisbury Steak
Home Chef Salisbury Steak

The sauce looks too creamy and light colored for what I wanted.

So, I kept looking. When I Googled it, I realized that Chef John from Food Wishes had a recipe. So I watched the video again and decided to use this one.

Mushrooms and onions sauteing

I did make the meat ahead and let it rest in the refrigerator, as suggested. What I didn’t love is the ketchup. Something in it felt not quite right and I think it’s the ketchup. He does say in the video that his recipe is more like meatloaf and I guess I don’t really like that aspect. If I want meatloaf I’ll just make that.

Salisbury Steak
Finished Salisbury Steak

This was good, but I think the Home Chef one was better.  Note, there are 2 HC Salisbury recipes, one is “steak” and the other one is meatballs. I liked them both and rated them both 4 stars, but they are different.

Maybe I have to take things from all three of these recipes and make one of my own with them as guides.

What’s your favorite recipe for Salisbury Steak?

Salisbury Steak
Bonus photo, Salisbury Steak

The beef, mushrooms, and beans were from Imperfect Foods. Use my link and get $10 off your first box. (Full disclosure, I get $10 off too.)