Food Recipes Tried

2021 Project :: January Tofu with Rice and Miso-Maple Dressing

Tofu with Rice and Miso-Maple Dressing

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.

I decided this around January 25th, 2021. Because apparently I thrive on self-imposed deadlines.

So I grabbed the January issue of Bon Appetit and looked at each recipe to see which one I would make. First of all, that issue doesn’t have very many recipes. It’s all story. Which is cool, cool stories….but I needed recipes to choose from!

Part of the parameters of this are that I will FOLLOW the recipe exactly or as best I can. So I had to pick something that I already had all the ingredients for on hand.

I’m not kidding when I say the ONLY recipe in this issue that met those criteria is this one.

Tofu with Rice and Miso-Maple Dressing

Good thing I like tofu!

The marinade for the tofu was delicious, and as it turns out, it also basically the dressing (minus the cornstarch).

Ingredients on the counter

I loved the fresh flavors of this. I followed the directions nearly exactly (the only thing I didn’t do is grate the garlic because I couldn’t find the grater. I just chopped it really fine).

Finished dish

The only things I would change are…

  • It says to use one clove garlic. Usually I think, “aww, cute!” and then double it (at least). So, I did use two cloves of garlic and dare I say…it was too much. Since it’s raw it was really strong. I recommend sticking with one clove.
  • The recipe doesn’t say to do this, but I think they did do it, judging by their photo. I would toss the tofu in the dressing before putting it on the rice. Then drizzle the leftover dressing on the whole thing. The tofu was a tad dry coming straight out of the oven and I think it would have been better if it were tossed in the dressing. But you still need dressing to go over the rice and veggies.

I’ll make this again. It reminded me of the Yum Yum Rice Bowls from World Street Kitchen!

Close up finished dish

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

Food Recipes Tried

Dinner :: Greek Style Green Beans

Greek Style Green Beans-Fasolakia Lathera

Original Recipe: Greek Style Green Beans 

Last night for dinner I did a couple of things…one was a whole chicken in the Instant Pot, using also the Air Fryer lid. Needs work, I’ll report back on that later.

But as a side dish, I made one of the new Greek recipes I found from Olive Tomato.

This was really yummy, however, I don’t like my green beans to be cooked to the point of mush and being discolored.

I like them to look like this

Green beans, potatoes and tomatoes in pan
This was right after I put them in the pan.

But when they were “done” according to the recipe, they were brown-ish and mushy.

Cooked green beans, potatoes and tomatoes

So while I would make this again for sure, I would add the beans at the last 5 minutes, when the potatoes are done, not let them cook for 40 minutes.

Here’s the finished dish, looks better with the creamy feta on top!

finished dish, green beans, potatoes and tomatoes

Here’s a close up.

close up beans, tomatoes, and potatoes

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

Just a weird aside…when I cut open the first tomato for this dish I was horrified by what I saw and felt inside.

inside of a tomato sprouted
Coming soon to a horror movie theater near you…

I’ve been assured it was fine, just the seeds had sprouted. Which of course is what I thought, but I really didn’t think they started sprouting inside the fresh tomato! I thought they’d start once the fruit was rotting or smashed, etc.
So while it looks a little like a horror movie, it’s also pretty cool.


Food Recipes Tried

Dinner :: Taco Casserole

Taco Casserole from the oven
Taco Casserole from the oven

This is from one of my favorite food blogs, Salt and Lavender. Her recipes are soooo good. Almost everything I’ve tried before this was creamy. Creamy Spinach Mushroom Pork Chops (which I’m making again tomorrow), Creamy Tuscan Sausage Gnocchi, 15 Minute Creamy Garlic Pasta, and my favorite, Italian Sausage Tortellini Soup. This was not creamy, but was super delicious.

Just like a taco only less messy! It’s basically what is left on your plate when your taco explodes at first bite.

I made this January 6, 2020 while we watched the news and the Capital was being overtaken by a mob of delusional cult members (or as my favorite Tiktok lady says, “Cheeto-Humping Fuck Nuggets”). Yes, I am not a supporter, if you are, you can stop reading and stop following me.

Still here? OK so anyway, here are my notes:

I only had one small bag of Nacho Flavored Doritos so I used that and then filled the rest of the 2 cups with crushed Hatch Chili Corn Chips from Imperfect Foods.

I used Salsa Lisa, medium spicy. The chipotle version of this would be really good here too.

For the chili powder, I used a half regular and half chipotle powder.

I followed the recipe, except I added a chopped red pepper (she suggested this in the blog post, I didn’t go completely rouge).

Toppings we used were: sour cream, cilantro, green onion, tomatoes, black olives, lettuce (which I forgot when I took the photos) and remaining salsa from the container of Salsa Lisa.

She has this clocking in at 554 calories but My Fitness Pal says this is 333 calories per serving (without toppings), due in part to the oil I didn’t use. I am not sure what the other discrepancies are.

I did not use any salt when cooking the meat because of the salt in the chips. Next time I may use plain corn chips (Tostitos, no flavor) and then use some salt or Tajin in the meat. I did feel like the meat could use some oomph. I’d add some cayenne to the meat mixture too.

I highly recommend making this! If you love tacos, you’ll love this.

Taco Casserole with toppings
Taco Casserole with toppings, except for the lettuce which I forgot.

Original Recipe : Easy Taco Casserole

The beef, green onions, corn chips, onion, black beans, and tomatoes were all from Imperfect Foods.

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

If you do this, order those Hatch Chili Corn Chips! They’re amazing!!

bag of Hatch Chili Seasoned Corn Chips from Imperfect Foods
Hatch Chili Seasoned Corn Chips from Imperfect Foods

I had the leftovers for lunch today, I just sprinkled some more corn chips on top!

Taco Casserole leftovers
Taco Casserole leftovers



I made this again and I made a couple of changes, mostly out of what was on hand.

I used a Taco Seasoning packet instead of the spices suggested and it was fine.

I used my own homemade Salsa (which is more like a pico) along with some roasted tomatoes that I had made earlier in the week with grape tomatoes that were starting to wrinkle.

I used some of those Hatch chips along with plain corn chips as the base.

Then, I had the leftovers for breakfast with an egg on it!

Taco Casserole with Egg
Taco Casserole with Egg

Recipes Mine Recipes Tried

Breakfast :: Potato and Sausage Hash

For Sunday brunch this past weekend I made the Lazy Sausage and Potatoes from My Fridge Food.

My Fridge Food is a website where you can punch in what you have on hand and it will suggest recipes for you to make based on what you have. I was looking for a good Kielbasa recipe and this is what was suggested.

I took one look at it and automatically pictured an egg on top, as you do.

This is one where I followed the directions (except that I forgot the onions) and I wish I hadn’t. The result was good, but needed work.

Here’s why:

  • The kielbasa ended up being overcooked, it was almost hard in some spots.
  • The potatoes needed their own seasoning: I didn’t add salt because I didn’t think the recipe called for it*, and since kielbasa is salty, I skipped it. Though I did add some oil.
  • *The recipe is written poorly. It says, “Toss everything EXCEPT the cheese, into a bowl and combine well.” So the cheese should be the last thing on the list of ingredients. Why would you expect people to look past the cheese when the cheese is added at the end? The ingredient list should be written in the order you use the ingredients.

So I’ve rewritten it with more clear directions and altered the method so that the meat doesn’t overcook.

Breakfast Sausage and Potato Hash

Roasted potatoes and peppers in a bowl


1 medium onion
3 medium russet potatoes
1 red bell pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 tsp dried thyme
Salt and Pepper (to taste)
8oz of smoked sausage (about half of a package)
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese  
4 eggs (optional)


Preheat the oven to 400F and line a large sheet pan (with sides) with foil. Use cooking spray or drizzle oil onto the pan to keep from sticking.

Prep the ingredients:
Onion: peel and chop into 1 inch cubes chunks
Potatoes: chop into 1 inch cubes (unpeeled)
Peppers: chop into 1 inch chunks
Put onions, peppers and potatoes into a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Add the thyme or whatever spices you want, s&p, and toss.
Put the veggies onto the sheet pan and jiggle the pan so that everything is “single file” (not on top of each other).

Put that in the oven and set a timer for 15 minutes. While the potato mixture is roasting, slice the kielbasa into ½” rounds.

When the timer goes off, add the kielbasa to the sheet pan of veggies and set the timer for about 10 minutes. But keep checking and take out when the potatoes are golden brown.

Turn off the oven. Sprinkle the cheese over top of the cooked meat and potatoes, and pop back into the oven a few minutes to melt the cheese.

Eggs on hash in bowl

You can eat it just as is, or use this cheese-melting-time to make some sunny side up eggs to put on top.

Ready for the yolk p+rn?

broken yolk on plate of hash

If you try it let me know what you think!

Original Recipe: Lazy Sausage and Potatoes 

My Recipe on Copy Me That

Kielbasa, peppers, and cheese were from Imperfect Foods.

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


Food Recipes Tried

Bailey’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

I made these delicious Baily’s flavored cookies from Baker by Nature. First off, I HATE baking. I think most of the reason is that I always end up with flour all over the place. It just explodes on me for no reason (that I can tell). But I was determined to make these because they looked soooo good on her website (a friend posted the recipe on Facebook).

Another reason I don’t like baking is that the things I make usually aren’t very good. But I think it’s because I can’t seem to follow directions. Mostly I am too impatient to make the dough and let it chill. But this time I did it right! And it paid off.

Cookies on a rack

These are good! They’re gooey, and almost not done in the middle. So, they’re perfect for heating up in the toaster oven if you want to eat them warm.

close up cookie
I’m ready for my close up

They’re very sweet though, so I I gave them 4 stars of 5. I would leave out some of that brown sugar. It was too much. Do any of you bakers know, can I leave out some of that sugar and not have it affect the outcome? If not, what can I do to reduce the sugar/sweetness?

Recipe for Bailey’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

Food Recipes Tried

Recipe :: PW’s Perfect Pot Roast

I finally made The Pioneer Woman’s “Perfect Pot Roast”.

I mean, perfect is pretty hard to attain, but this was certainly one of the best I’ve ever had.

It turned out great! What did I change? Glad you asked.

-I did add about a pound of creamer potatoes to the vegetable mix.
-I didn’t use wine because I was too lazy to go downstairs and get some.
That’s all. Everything else I did just as written!

Here it was going into the oven:

Pot Roast Before the oven
Before the oven

We loved it. Our roast was 2.5 pounds so we cooked it for almost 3 hours, I think we took it out a tad early.

Pot Roast after cooking
after removed from the oven

Greg spooned off some of the braising liquid and made a delicious gravy.
Pot Roast the table
Then with the leftovers (though there wasn’t much left) we just cut the meat into smaller pieces and mixed it with the vegetables, juice and gravy and it was a fabulous stew for lunch the next day.

Pot Roast my plate

Let me know if you try it, and how it turns out!

Original Recipe

Onions and carrots were from Imperfect Foods.

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


Food Recipes Tried

Dinner :: Instant Pot Cheeseburger Macaroni

Instant Pot Cheeseburger Macaroni

So, as you’ll see as you read a lot of my stuff, I have a real problem making a recipe exactly as written.

It’s not because I think I know better. Well, sometimes it is. But usually it’s because I was out of an ingredient and felt another would be a suitable replacement. That was what happened today.

I made the Instant Pot Cheeseburger Macaroni from the blog, Meatloaf and Melodrama (great name).

See the original recipe

Here are the changes I made:

  • Cooking spray instead of olive oil
  • Instead of sea salt I used seasoned salt because my sea salt was unopened.
  • I didn’t have dried minced onions, but I had dried minced shallots.
  • I didn’t have cream so I used whole milk with about a teaspoon of flour whisked in.
  • I didn’t have cheddar (well I did but it was moldy) so I just used a full block of Colby Jack.
  • Also after it cooking for the 4 minutes I felt it too bland. So I added some Worcestershire, and a teensy bit of liquid smoke.
  • I also felt it was too plain looking, so I added some chopped up roasted red peppers and they were really good.
Instant Pot Cheeseburger Macaroni
Instant Pot Cheeseburger Macaroni

OK so I made some very small changes, but it was good!! We both ate two bowls.
I will keep this one in my arsenal because I almost always have these ingredients on hand (or at least my substitutions) so it’s a quick and easy throw together when you’re out of ideas.

Instant Pot Cheeseburger Macaroni Close up

Close up! Note: the turkey and the macaroni were from Imperfect Foods. 

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

Food Recipes Tried Reviews

Lunch :: Lasagna Soup

Lasagna Soup

Lasagna Soup
Lasagna Soup with chicken sausage

I just felt I had to make sure everyone knew about the Lasagna Soup from Skinnytaste. Now, Gina over at Skinnytaste makes a ton of amazing dishes and I’ve tried a lot of them. But this one is my favorite and it’s very popular over on the Skinnytaste Facebook group as well.

Here’s the original recipe.

If you know me, you know it’s very hard for me to follow a recipe to the letter. I usually make changes either out of necessity, or taste. This one I follow pretty well, but since there are variables within, it’s different each time. For example, she calls for 2 cups of marinara sauce. The taste will vary greatly depending on what sauce you use. I like Classico’s 4 cheese.

Also it calls for uncooked Italian Chicken Sausage. Well, I’ve never been able to find Italian seasoned chicken sausage, so I’ve used something else each time. The first time I used a Caprese Flavored Chicken Sausage (from Gilbert’s) but it was already cooked. Tasted fantastic though.

Here’s the sausage I used:

Gilbert's Chicken Sausage
Gilbert’s Chicken Sausage

The last time I made this I used ground beef and just added Italian Seasoning to it (as well as some ground fennel). It was not as good. So I’d stick with the sausage, even if you can only find it cooked. Just chop it up small.

And whatever you do, do NOT skip the ricotta. Even if you think you’re not a fan. It makes the soup. The soup is good without it, but it’s AMAZEBALLS with it! It’s what makes it taste like lasagna.

Whenever someone asks for a good soup recipe (especially one for the Instant Pot) I recommend this one.

Lasagna Soup
Lasagna Soup made with ground beef.

I hope you will try this one! If you do, or if you have already, let me know in the comments!

Recipes Tried

Dinner :: Indian Coconut Butter Cauliflower

I made this amazing dish back in March 2020, when we thought this virus nonsense would last 6 months, tops. Oh, how silly we were. (note I don’t mean thought the virus *was* nonsense, we all know it’s real and deadly).

Indian Cauliflower Curry and Naan

I made it with the naan, both of these recipes are from Half-Baked Harvest.

Well it was delicious and easy. Mine isn’t as pretty as hers, but hot damn, it was good.

The naan, I didn’t roll out the dough so it was too puffy but so delicious. I’d had a couple of wines and no longer cared. If you make this, be sure to roll out the dough thinner than you think you need to.

The curry was to die for. But I used the last can of coconut milk in the house and that gave me anxiety. It was at a time when we weren’t sure where our next can of coconut milk was coming from.

Next day, for the leftovers, I added some more milk and blended it into a soup. So yummy!!!

Indian Coconut Butter Cauliflower Recipe from Half-Baked Harvest

Naan bread from Half-Baked Harvest

Recipes Tried Reviews

Dinner :: Calabrian Shrimp & Orzo

Last night I made the Calabrian Shrimp & Orzo with Tomatoes & Parmesan Cheese from Blue Apron. 

Calabrian Shrimp Ingredients

The sauce was creamy and rich, the hot chili paste was great (I used all of it) and made it quite spicy. So it had salty (capers & cheese), sweet (tomatoes & shrimp) and hot (chili). I thought it was fantastic.

Greg didn’t seem as enthused as I was and said it needed a salad. That’s fair, there really wasn’t any veg in here other than the tomatoes which we all know are technically fruit.

Calabrian Shrimp finished


If you want to try it, email me and I can get you a free box (if you’ve never used them before). I get nothing for referring you, you just get a free box.