One of my New Year’s Resolutions this year was to try one new recipe per week. I LOVE to cook, but I also fall into a rut very easily where I’m making the same dishes over and over.
When I was going going through my house around New Year’s, I realized I have way too many cookbooks that are rarely touched. I thought this resolution would help me find new recipes, diversify my diet, and enable me to do something that I absolutely love while also helping me identify cookbooks that can go onto greener pastures. Does every cookbook deserve to be splattered with cooking oil with love?
I thought it would be fun to share with you some of the recipes I have tried in the past 6 weeks.
Recipe #1: Roasted Potato and Leek Soup from Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics
I chose this recipe after a long run on January 1st, and honestly I can’t think of anything better after a miserable, hung over, hilly run. Dave and I both love potato soup, but have had a few fails recently. I didn’t want to make anything difficult, so I thought this sounded perfect.
-2 lbs Yukon gold potatoes
-4 cups chopped leeks
-¼ cup good olive oil
-Kosher salt and black pepper
-3 cups baby arugula
-½ cup dry white wine lemon juice and vinegar
-6 – 7 cups chicken stock homemade vegetable stock
-¾ cup heavy cream
-8 ounces creme fraiche sour cream
-¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
-roasted brussels sprouts (not part of recipe, but I thought it sounded good).
Since I linked the recipe I will save space by not including it. Even though I made a few substitutions, this soup is probably my favorite new discovery of 2017. It was incredibly filling and there was enough leftover for lunch and a dinner appetizer the next day. I added crushed bacon for lunch, which was AMAZING.
One thing that initially bothered me was wondering whether I was going to go broke trying new recipes. Being the analytical person that I am, I determined the soup cost ~$7.92 (potatoes, leeks, arugula, olive oil, stock, and cream were organic). This wound up equaling less than $1 per bowl. Plus, I got to pretend I was on Chopped trying to use the leftover sour cream (cheesecake, guacamole), heavy cream (cheesecake, overnight oats), and leeks (substitute for onions).
not my photo. taken from recipe page.
Recipe #2: Pecan Butter Sea Salt Truffles from Run Fast. Eat Slow.
Confession: I don’t own Run Fast. Eat Slow. I do, on the other hand, have a Runner’s World subscription, which published a few recipes. I made these for a Mary Kay party I hosted the first week of January, and they went over SUPER well.
-2 cups pecans
-10 Deglet dates, pitted
½ tsp ground cinnamon
-2 TBSP coconut oil
-3 TBSP maple syrup
-3 TBSP unsweetened cocoa
-1 tsp coarse sea salt
I was amazed how easy these were to make (directions in link). Literally took me about 15 minutes. I have a food processor and a Ninja, and I think in the future I would use the Ninja. Again, I was a little concerned about price, but I bought the pecans and dates (both organic) in bulk at Fresh Thyme, and the entire batch (18) cost ~$4.50 to prepare. Would most definitely make again.
Again, not my photo.
Recipe #3: Banana Chai Soft Serve from Chocolate Covered Katie Cookbook
My grad school roommate introduced me to Chocolate Covered Katie. I am not one to seek out healthy desserts, but I would often look to her recipes for inspiration when I was lacking ingredients in my refrigerator, since she is vegan and gluten free. The big difference, though, is that I never use artificial sugars, many of her recipes are heavily modified by me.
I was flipping through the cookbook when I came across this recipe:
I love chai, and I love bananas, so this seemed perfect. I used the Ninja, which worked perfectly for this. I have made it a couple times and just half the recipe for myself.
Recipe #4: Nonna’s Lemon Ricotta Biscuits from Food Network Favorites
This recipe is from Giada DeLaurentis. Dave and I had leftover ricotta in the fridge for a while, and I was looking for a way to use it up. This recipe was AMAZING.
-2 cups all-purpose flour 1 cup wheat flour, ½ cup spelt flour, ½ cup almond flour
-½ tsp baking powder ¼ tsp baking soda, ¼ tsp cream of tartar
-½ tsp salt
-1 cup sugar
-½ cup unsalted butter
-1 TBSP freshly grated lemon zest lemon juice
-1 cup ricotta cheese
-1 large egg
-1 TBSP lemon juice
-½ tsp almond extract
–1/3 cup sliced almonds
These turned out perfectly. I like to add spelt flour to my baking to diversify the ingredients. I have also been adding almond flour to muffins because I think it gives them a more crumbly texture. Everyone who tried these muffins loved them. Would definitely make again.
I can’t take pictures of food that you would want to look at. picture from the food network website, linked above.
Recipe #5: Chocolate Chia Power Pudding, from Chocolate Covered Katie Cookbook
I am always looking for ways to switch up my breakfast routine. I recently scored an amazing deal at Kroger on organic white chia seeds, 1 lb for $2, in the clearance aisle. I found this recipe:
For my pudding, I used almond milk, chia seeds, cocoa powder, and honey. I was out of chocolate chips (sad).
A couple things: cocoa powder is really hard to homogenize. I was left with tons of dry cocoa poofs that annoyed me. Also, honey was probably not the best choice of sweetener, as it was very difficult to mix. I didn’t love this, but would definitely be interested in trying to tweak it for my needs.
Recipe #6: Potato Kale Gratin
This recipe was chosen as an accompaniment for filet mignon I made on Valentine’s Day. (I googled “sides to go with filet mignon”). I chose this from a list of 17 sides because it contained ingredients that Dave liked (my side was sauteed portobella mushrooms from Julia Childs’ cookbook) and didn’t seem super time consuming.
-1.5 lbs red potatoes
-1 bunch kale
-¼ cup olive oil
–4 cloves garlic 1 tbsp paprika
–3 tsp coarse salt
–1 tsp pepper 1 tbsp parsley
-1/3 cup bread crumbs
-1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
-¼ cup whole 2% milk
The recipe (linked above) is fairly simple. Boil potatoes, blanch them, massage kale, and layer. It looked delicious. Sadly, I was not impressed. Instead of coming out crisp and brown, it came out somewhat sad and soggy. Also, all the seasoning is in the kale! The cheese does not hold the layers together, so unless you take a bite of kale with every bite of potato, you will be sad. If you take a bite of just kale, you will be over-salted…which is hard to do in this house. Probably won’t make again.
You don’t even want to see what mine looked like!
Out of 6 recipes I don’t think it’s bad that 1.5 were misses. I’m having a lot of fun with this experiment, and it’s helping me not only use up things in our fridge and freezer (ricotta cheese, bread crumbs made from a loaf of french bread we didn’t finish).
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