Mixed Bag Mondays (part 12): Repeat Winners and Brussel Sprouts

Often, I try to make new dishes, but sometimes I like to make something repeatedly, or tweak a dish. I’ve tried to make brussel sprouts for K since we started dating. But nothing ever worked. Not cooking them my favorite way (steamed with a little butter to serve), not roasting them with bacon, not sauteing them…not even eating them at restaurants where professionals could try to sway him. I gave up. But, I haven’t given up on making the Fudgelet eat everything. I even have him eat food I don’t like, just so that he can be better than both of us! He enjoys brussel sprouts, but prefers them cooked crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Roasting is the best for that.

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Almost No-Knead Bread

My first post of the new year is for something I made before…sort of. I made a no-knead bread recipe from America’s Test Kitchen over four years ago, but I believe it was a different recipe. Certain parts seemed different. And, I noticeably lacked success the first time. The first time was affected by our chilly house. We used to keep the house less heated when it was just the two of us. Now, we keep the house more comfortable year-round. I believe the temperature affected the rise of the bread last time. Whatever the difference, it turned out perfectly the first time I did the recipe below and not perfect but still very good the second time. The un-cut pictures you see below are the first time making it. The sliced pictures are from the second time I made it.

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The reason?

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Homemade Mayonnaise

That’s right. I finally made it. After literally years of thinking about it and wondering, I finally made mayo. It was so much easier than I expected, although having an immersion blender is probably the main reason? I have no idea on how to make it without one, so sorry…can’t help you there. I can say that this method has worked for me multiple times.

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Tips-y Tuesdays: Breakfast Skillet Ideas

This wasn’t the perfect breakfast skillet, but I can let you know what YOU should do to make a better skillet dish, so I am sharing it with you today. Happy Tuesday! Unless you’re reading this on some other day. And then…Happy Day That Isn’t Tuesday!

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Skillet Roasted Chicken Thighs and Stuffing

You will notice the pictures are from two different occasions. The first time, I followed the original recipe but wasn’t completely happy with it. I wanted more vegetables and an easier chicken experience…carving chickens are “meh” but eating chicken thighs are easy. So, I added more vegetables (yummy carrots!) and switched to thighs. I also used my Dutch oven to give myself a little more room for those vegetables. That part mattered less, but I do recommend adding what tastes good to you.

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Asparagus, Fennel, and Pea Risotto

This is actually from the meal we had for Easter. I decided since we would be staying in to make a more complicated dinner. It ended up being really tasty and everyone was a fan. I will share the chicken recipe soon. For now, enjoy this risotto with lots of vegetables and warm weather flavors. If you are anxious about the fennel, well, I was, too. I have never cooked with it before, or even bought it before. I was worried it would be a strong flavor that we wouldn’t like, but we all did! On its own I think I would not be a big fan, but in the dish it worked perfectly. As for how to prepare it, read ahead.

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I like that this dish is both a starchy course and full of our vegetables all in one. The Fudgelet did well picking up the little pieces to feed himself (he still prefers fingers mostly over utensils).

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Homemade Paneer (and a Ricotta Cameo)

When I first received Pomegranates and Pine Nuts, I saw there was a recipe for making paneer which was so much simpler than I expected. I didn’t want to risk making it at the time, though, since I was pregnant and didn’t want to risk messing something up. Then, after I had the Fudgelet, I totally forgot about it. I was making some Indian food and was excited to remake this dish with paneer, as it was intended.

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