Roast Chicken with Pan-Sauce Vinaigrette

During all of the crazy snow we had this winter, my in-laws were visiting and had their flight cancelled. Not normally a big problem but the grocery stores were stripped clean of essentials which made meal-planning tricky. I was lucky that I had already picked up ingredients for this, originally thinking it would just be for the four of us, but it ended up feeding the six of us with leftovers. And, it was so easy!

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German Pancake

Once again I am bringing a breakfast food we had for dinner…because that is what we often do around here. I’ve gotten around to making more of them for brunch on the weekend, but sometimes it is easier for dinner when I can be louder while cooking (for lunch, the Chiplet is often napping until right before we eat, so I wouldn’t be able to do things like use a blender/etc. This recipe doesn’t look like much, but it was tasty and enjoyed by all of us.

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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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Chinese Braised Beef

It’s a new year for calendars, but also a new year for K and me. The start of this year marks 8 years together. If it wasn’t for him, I definitely would not attempt some of the recipes I do. Even when he thinks I am nuts or isn’t sure of a recipe, he still encourages me and eats the food. Even the failures. 🙂 Thanks, K, for your support in food and the rest of life (are there other parts? I guess the Fudgelet…haha…still food-related 😉 ).

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Dutch Oven Tomato Sauce

After reading about this recipe on Serious Eats, I wanted to make it almost immediately. It only required 25 minutes of prep time, and then occasional stirring with a little bit of throwing in ingredients at the end. Not a big deal. I made the sauce ahead of time, then reheated it with some sausage to serve with pasta. It was as promised: hearty, thick, and flavorful. It made the house smell delicious all day long, and it made a nice large amount of sauce at one time, which I can freeze and pull out as needed. I love that!

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Dutch Oven Fluffy Bread

One of my weaknesses is making bread. My mom was amazing. She could make rolls and loafs of all varieties with no real issues. She might cuss a bit about the sticky roll dough or her marble slab missing some feet and bouncing on the table, but she still knew her stuff. It was an almost weekly occurrence at our house to have fresh bread. The bread machine was her best friend for this and made all of the rising stuff so much easier. I can say this after having babysat different bread recipes (I don’t have a bread machine). One of her biggest pet peeves was when people would put her down for using the machine, though. People would say “oh, this is good, but you have a bread machine”. I can tell you from personal experience that following a recipe for a bread machine does not mean that you will end up with a perfect loaf of bread. Far from it. Just like other recipes, there is a magic to knowing if the order of ingredients should be switched up, the ratios changed a bit, etc. My mom was really good at this (and boo on her for not sharing these tips with me!). And another aside on this: it irked me that some of these same people who complained had a bread machine but never had the time/patience/knowledge/etc. to use it…so is it really the machine or the baker?

Doesn’t it look like a smiling face?

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