Mixed Bag Mondays (part 14): Dorie and Ina Cookbooks

For Christmas, I received two new cookbooks from my Dad and M. One was the new Dorie Greenspan cookie book and the other was a book from Ina Garten. The Dorie one has been awesome since I rarely have problems following her recipes, and they always turn out tasty. The Ina one has some good-sounding recipes but so far I’ve only made one, which I will share below. Both of these recipes today are okay…they tasted fine, but there are reasons I will be unlikely to make them again. If you have these cookbooks and were thinking of making these, well, read ahead and see if you still want to. You just might, or you might hold off and make something else (like these brownies).

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Let’s start with the first one which is a chocolate waffle from Dorie. Now, if you look at the picture above you would think this is awesome. And it is…making them the way she intended was less awesome.

The batter was fairly simple…

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The Fudgelet could have helped but he was busy doing something at the time, I can’t remember what.

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Then was the interesting idea to make them mini waffles and then bake them in the oven to crisp them into almost cookie-like texture. Well, making them small, they were too soggy in my Belgian waffle maker.

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They did crisp a bit in the oven, but because they had been soggy, their shape and texture was odd. Now, making them as full on waffles was much better.

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If you are going to make her chocolate waffles, I would stick to full-size. But, I also decided that chocolate waffles are fun and might be made at the request of a friend or family member…but aren’t something I want to eat regularly. It’s confusing because they are like dessert, but not.

For the next recipe, from Ina, I bring you a skillet chicken recipe.

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Again, it turned out fine and wasn’t hard to follow. I enjoyed the lemony sauce with fennel seeds, and would maybe use a similar seasoning for chicken in the future, but I wouldn’t follow her skillet version. I was worried about crowding the skillet (I used the chicken she called for, and then made a second batch with some roasted vegetables underneath on a sheet pan. The chicken tasted good in both, and the only thing extra from her recipe was the sauce. The onions in the skillet didn’t cook enough for my liking, and remained slightly raw.

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The fennel rub was delicious, though, and I will do that again for sure. Who knew I liked fennel so much?

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I do plan on making more recipes from both cookbooks. I haven’t decided what I’m doing about Ina’s baking recipes. I get really annoyed that she calls for extra large eggs. I’m not buying special eggs for you, lady! Has anyone out there made her recipes with regular large eggs? I wasn’t sure how much it would throw them off.

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