View Full Version : cooking slump
09-19-2004, 06:07 AM
I just perused my little excel spreadsheet where I track new recipes I've tried. I have tried 5 for September :o :eek: :( Lately I have just been relying on old quick recipes or Trader Joe's sauces etc. When I look at recipes I just feel like I've been there done that and I am looking to get excited! I'm not exactly on a cooking burnout, but just feel like no recipes have really caught my eye lately.
Do you have any recipes that are wows lately? Maybe help inspire me?
09-19-2004, 06:47 AM
I am sharing your slump. Seems as if nothing hits me to try it. But I think it is me. Sorry that I am not helping BUT I do love the Autumn Garden Soup and Roasted Tomato Basil Soup . I need to be inspired, as well.
09-19-2004, 06:54 AM
I think I'm going to start with Val's smoky sweet potato soup. It's a tried and true, but maybe that will get me in the fall mood! It's just bizarre because this is usually my favorite time of year to cook :(
09-19-2004, 07:00 AM
I hear ya JeAnne...that's usually what I attribute my "slump" to..when I lived in PA, I used to love making soups, stews, using the oven, etc...but when you wake up on a late September day in South Florida and it's already in the 80's, and humid...well, what an I say:(
Sorry I can't contribute any ideas...as I sit here on the lap top, surrounded by new issues of Food & Wine, Donna Hay, and Bon Appetit...with the new WW Turnaround cookbook at my feet...I'm at a loss:(
So I will be watching this thread closely:D
09-19-2004, 07:37 AM
Two recipes that I have tried lately that were easy and sooooooo good. Crockpot Red Beans and Rice and Chicken with Sweet Potatoes, Black Beans and Lime.
I was in a definite slump last month, and vowed that Sept would be better for me. What helped me is that I broke out several old cookbooks that I hadn't reviewed in awhile (BC, Foster's Market, etc.) and ended up making some fabulous dishes from those books.
This week I feel my slump coming back, but...I just rejoined the Good Cook, so have 4 new cookbooks coming my way, plus I ordered the EW cookbook and now that the new issue of EW is out, I have that to look forward to, too. I figure between all the new recipes on their way to me, I'll have plenty of good cooking ahead of me for the next month or so!
09-19-2004, 11:17 AM
did you ever try this one, posted by britneyelise (I miss her!) last year or so? it got great reviews on the BB from others besides me. I just made up a pot and am eating some now. I knew it was good, but I had forgotten just how good it was! yum.
* Exported from MasterCook *
Spicy Lentil Chili
Recipe By : posted by britneyelise
Serving Size : 6 Preparation Time :0:00
Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
1 medium onion -- chopped
1 red bell pepper -- chopped
1 fresh jalepeno chile -- seeded and finely chopped
1 celery rib -- chopped
1 carrot -- chopped
3 garlic cloves -- minced
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons light brown sugar -- packed
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne -- or to taste
2 teaspoons dried oreagano -- crumbled
1 teaspoon dried thyme -- crumbled
1 teaspoon dry mustard
2 cups lentils -- rinsed and drained
1 turkish bay leaf -- or 1/2 California
64 ozs fat-free chicken broth
- Cook onion, bell pepper, jalapeno, celery, carrot, garlic, salt, and pepper in oil in 5 to 6 quart heavy pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 6 to 8 minutes.
- Meanwhile, stir together brown sugar, spices, oregeno, thyme, and mustard, then add this mixture to the vegetables and cook, stirring until fragrant, for about 4 minutes.
- Add lentils, bay leaf, and stock. Simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally until lentils are very soft, 50 to 60 minutes. Discard bay leaf before serving.
accompaniments: sour cream, chopped tomato, scallions, cilantro
"Gourmet, February 2003"
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 366 Calories; 11g Fat (22.5% calories from fat); 33g Protein; 49g Carbohydrate; 22g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 1299mg Sodium. Exchanges: 2 1/2 Grain(Starch); 3 Lean Meat; 1 Vegetable; 2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.
my notes: I used brown lentils the first time I made this and red lentils the second time. Great either way!! I love the hint of sweetness from the brown sugar (I used a heaping tbsp instead of 2 tbsp). I left out the celery. Next time, I would add another carrot or two just to add to the nutrition. I used a little less stock than called for. I guess I used around 58 oz or so and that was fine. Definitely repeat this one. it is really easy!
britneyelise: I dipped my spoon in just to make sure the spices were balanced and OMIGOD!!! this rocks. I am so not a chili person and I absolutely loved this. Again thank you so much for reviewing it. I used dried crimson lentils and seeded the jalepeno since my family is not really used to spicy stuff I am trying to slowly gravitate us towards the realm of hot peppers. i also pureed it a bit. YUM!
09-19-2004, 11:21 AM
Val, that soup looks great. I wonder what happened to Shannon. Maybe she is busy with school. Nothing else to say here either as I've been kind of uninspired myself lately. I made a Thai style chicken noodle soup the other night and it was ok. Last night, I had a nice portabella pizza from TJ's. I may try something tonight on the grill. London broil is on sale for $1.99/lb.
09-19-2004, 11:32 AM
JeAnne - I have nothing to inspire you, just to say that I was in a total cooking slump as we were trying to pack and wait for our closing - why in the world would I want to cook anything in my APARTMENT "kitchen" when I would be in a REAL kitchen soon??
It came back with a vengeance after we got unpacked and settled. Not as quickly as I would have liked, but after a few weeks. And yesterday, while it was POURING rain, I wanted nothing else except to cook and bake!
JeAnne, I, too, have not making much because I have been either travelling or cooking for the holidays. In between, I have been taking food out of the freezer trying to use up all the individual packets i have frozen. There are some soups and stews I want to make but I won't let myself until I get a handle on the freezer.
A couple of weeks ago, we had a nasty heatwave which made me grumpy and lethargic and not like cooking a thing. One of the things I did during this period was to reorganize my oh-so-chaotic recipe file. I happened across a lamb kebab recipe from 1998 which sounded good, since I'd defrosted a hunk of lamb. It turned out great, I thought, and it required minimal effort. Check it out on this thread: http://community.cookinglight.com/showthread.php?threadid=63275&highlight=kebab
09-19-2004, 02:33 PM
maybe that's what it is mrs g...holding out for MY kitchen :D
I haven't tried that lentil chili and I picked up some red lentils over the weekend so I'll have to give it a go. In the meantime that sweet potato soup is just as good as I remember it being! I have Rosies' Apple Bread Pudding soaking in the fridge (it's chaz' new favorite bread pudding) and I'm doing up a thai basil recipe I found on epicurious tonight. I have a gorgeous bunch of basil from the farmer's market. Thanks Gail for the kebab recipe...I'll stick on the menu for this week. I managed to jot down a few things for the week. I actually think I feel more inspired when I plan ahead. Lately I have just been grocery shopping on what looked good vs a plan.
Thanks everyone and keep the sympathy or ideas coming :D
09-19-2004, 02:34 PM
I went out garage-saling with DD in the neighborhood yesterday, and bought 10 back issues of various cooking magazines for 10 cents each. 2 TOH, 3 Cooking Pleasures, 2 Quick Cooking and 3 Hometown Cooking (no longer in print). I have had a great time last night and this afternoon just browsing through them and getting inspired. Best $1.00 I've spent in quite a while! :)
09-19-2004, 02:58 PM
Hi everyone. I too have been in a slump lately. I think it is a time thing with me. Its like lack of time!
This time of year is when I start making a lot of soups. My family likes Scotch Broth with Barley and veggies in it. I make it with a lamb shank that I brown in a pot and add water and just let it cook down all day long into a really flavorful broth with some carrots, onions, celery and other seasonings. Once its a really rich broth I strain it and add some new veggies and a little bit of barley and it makes a really tasty soup. Nothing exciting to it but its really good on a cool day.
I feel a soup making kick coming on here...maybe something good will come out of it this week! I need some inspiration!
09-19-2004, 02:59 PM
Could someone please post the recipe for the Smoky Sweet Potato Soup? I tried to find it in the Search but it doesn't seem to be working today. Thanks in advance.
09-19-2004, 03:27 PM
I'm going to join the club. Itsy bitsy teeny tiny apartment kitchen, I've had two infections recently so I haven't had an appetite, school is keeping me busy, etc. I just haven't been very creative.
I found a place that sells Maldon salt...the key to all things Nigella. I think that I will embark on a cook Nigella. I won't be making Nigella sweets or cholesterol laden foods. I also don't eat squid (had it half a dozen ways and it still tastes like rubber bands) and I don't like a lot of fish. I will post my experiences. I will also be cooking through The Good Food Book.
I have been thinking about blogging my low cholesterol diet/exercise journey...but that would mean that I would have to tell the whole world when I got a sugar headache at school and went to the vending machine for a 3 Musketeers bar. :rolleyes: :o :D I think it might be good for me.
Here you go! I put in Sweet Potato Soup and valchemist.(can't have one with out the other!:D )
Sweet Potato and Smoked Chile Soup - YUM!!
I found this recipe in an airline magazine. I thought it looked good, so I took my in-flight copy home with me and decided to try it.
It is excellent and so easy to make. There is a unique sweet-spicy-smoky flavor to this soup that works incredibly well. I have never tasted anything quite like it. I made up the whole pot for myself (for lunches) since DH won't touch a soup that has a sweet undertone to it. That's okay -- more for me!
I subtituted fat free half and half for the heavy cream and that worked well. The soup is creamy and rich tasting. Each portion is large and satisfying and the nutritional stats are very good.
One caution: be sure to remove all of the seeds from the chipotle. I removed most, but the ones that remained stuck out like a sore thumb in the final smooth product.
* Exported from MasterCook *
Sweet Potato and Smoked Chile Soup
Recipe By :
Serving Size : 4 Preparation Time :0:00
Categories : Soups and Stews
Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
1 tbsp butter -- (original recipe called for 2 tbsp)
1 med onion -- chopped
2 garlic cloves -- chopped
4 c chicken stock
3 med sweet potatoes -- peeled and chopped
1/2 c honey
1/2 c fat free half-and-half -- (original recipe called for heavy cream)
1 tbsp chipotle chile canned in adobo -- finely chopped or pureed
salt and pepper -- to taste
In a large saucepan, cook onions and garlic in butter until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add stock and potatoes, and simmer until tender, about 45 minutes. Add honey, cream, and peppers, remove from heat and puree until smooth (I used my immersion blender). Garnish with a dollop of honey and cream.
"Magazine on Southwest Airlines, Feb 2003"
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 311 Calories; 3g Fat (10.1% calories from fat); 3g Protein; 65g Carbohydrate; 4g Dietary Fiber; 8mg Cholesterol; 2234mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1 1/2 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 1/2 Vegetable; 0 Non-Fat Milk; 1/2 Fat; 2 1/2 Other Carbohydrates.
09-19-2004, 05:46 PM
Jeanne, did you ever find Lynn's white pizza recipe? If not, here it is. It's simple, but handling the fresh basil and other ingredients may charge you up "culinarily" ;).
I'm in a slump too, so sorry I don't have anything else to offer.
1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1 cup (4 oz) preshredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup (1 oz) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 Italian cheese flavored pizza crust (such as Boboli)
1 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots
1/2 cup finely chopped spinach
1/2 to 1 tsp crushed red pepper
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 cup thinly sliced plum tomatoes
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
2. Combine the first 3 ingredients in a medium bowl. Spread cheese mixture over pizza crust, leaving a 1/1" border around the edge. Sprinkle with basil and next 6 ingredients (basil through garlic powder). Arrange plum tomato slices in a single layer on top. Place pizza on baking sheet. Bake at 425 for 10 minutes. Remove pizza to cutting board; cut into 6 slices.
Cal: 339; Fat: 10.2g; Protein: 18g; Carb: 43g; Fiber: 2g; Chol: 26 mg; Iron: 3 mg; Sodium: 712 mg; Calc: 303mg
09-19-2004, 06:00 PM
Thanks for both of those soup recipes :) It is finally starting to turn fall-ish around here. JeAnne, sorry I have no help for you, but I am in a slump and I attribute it to this wonky weather. It is fall and now we are having summer weather :rolleyes:
09-19-2004, 07:41 PM
Originally posted by mbrogier
I also don't eat squid (had it half a dozen ways and it still tastes like rubber bands)....
(Glad to know I'm not the only one who thinks that!:D )
09-19-2004, 08:23 PM
would you post your recipe for Chicken with Sweet Potatoes, Black Beans and Lime? that sounds like something i would love.
09-19-2004, 08:42 PM
This thread is intriguing, because I just managed to get OUT of a many months long slump, by shaking up my eating habits.
I'd fallen into a rut, food-wise, and was gaining weight (eek!), so I really needed to do something. I had to think long and hard about how I ate back in my skinny days, and I managed to rediscover some old (healthier) eating habits. Along the way, I realized that I used to read cookbooks and collect recipes as a substitute for endless snacking, so instead of eating, I've been browsing half.com and buying new cookbooks. So far so good. (evacuating for Hurricane Ivan did me no favors, though, lol.)
09-19-2004, 08:42 PM
JeAnne - can you post the Apple Bread Pudding recipe, or point me in the right direction? Thanks!
I've been in a slight slump lately too, and I'm attributing it to dh's new job, which meant a new schedule for him and me, and it's just a question of getting into a new routine. I did a lot of cooking this weekend, so I'm getting there...
I spent some time this weekend filing recipes I've pulled, which helped to inspire me. Also rediscovering old cookbooks or ones I haven't cooked from helps ... I curl up with it like a regular book and soon want to be back in the kitchen. Hope this helps!
09-20-2004, 06:25 AM
Here you go, Laura. I got this from the boards, can't remember who originally posted it, but cheers and kudos to whoever it was! It is excellent!
Caribbean Chicken with Black Beans, Sweet Potato & Lime
Eating Well - Winter 2004
A prepared spice blend like jerk seasoning makes an appealing crust on the chicken breasts and adds complex flavor to the black bean-sweet potato ragout. (Adapted from Cooking the RealAge Way). My note - I may have to check this cookbook out!!
2 tsp. canola oil or olive oil
1 medium white onion, chopped (I used yellow onion)
1 medium sweet potato, unpeeled, cut into 1/2-inch chunks (I used 2 sweet potatoes and peeled them - my peels had lots of eyes and other yucky things)
4 tsp. Caribbean jerk seasoning OR blackened seasoning mix, divided
1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 bay leaves OR 1/2 tsp. Old Bay seasoning (I used Old Bay)
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (1-1/4 pounds total)
1 15-1/2 oz. can black beans, rinsed
1/4 tsp. salt, or to taste
Picapeppa Sauce, mango chutney, plain yogurt, chopped cilantro for garnishes (optional)
1. Heat a large deep skillet over medium-high heat. add oil, then onion. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in sweet potato. Sprinkle 2 tsps seasoning mix over the vegetables; cook for 1 minute. Add broth and bay leaves (or Old Bay), if using; simmer, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, preheat broiler. Sprinkle the remaining 2 tsp. seasoning mix over chicken; coat chicken with cooking spray. Broil 4 to 5 inches from heat source until the chicken is just cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes per side. (Alternatively, cook in a ridged grill pan over medium heat or grill over medium coals.)
3. Grate enough lime zest to measure 1/2 tsp.; cut lime into quarters (I skipped this and just squeezed a big squeeze of lime into the whole dish when it was done). Stir zest, black beans and salt into the sweet potato mixture. Continue cooking for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the sweet potato is tender. If bay leaves have been used, discard them. Transfer the sweet potato-bean mixture to 4 plates; top with chicken and swerve with lime wedges. Garnish as desired.
Makes 4 servings.
Per serving: 261 calories; 4g total fat; 67 mg cholesterol; 27g carbohydrate; 32 g protein; 7g fiber; 657 mg sodium
(the notes in this recipe came from Grace who posted the recipe orginally)
09-20-2004, 08:22 AM
Thanks for the recipe Anna :D I may give it a try over the weekend ...give me time to make a pizza crust.
I'll post up the bread pudding recipe tonight..I don't think I've posted it before and it's from Rosie's Bakery book. This bread pudding is wonderfully fluffy, rich, and decadent :D The vanilla sauce puts it over the top.
Last night I made this and it was delicious:
GREEN-CURRY CHICKEN WITH PEAS AND BASIL
The ginger, coconut milk, curry paste, basil and cilantro in this are often used in Southeast Asian curries. Sautéing the chicken strips in olive oil adds a Western touch. For a nice finale, serve mango sorbet with canned lychees, small Chinese fruits available in the Asian foods section of many supermarkets.
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
1 pound skinless boneless chicken breast halves, cut into strips
1 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk (used light)
1/2 cup canned low-salt chicken broth
1 tablespoon Thai green curry paste
4 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil (used more)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro (used more)
1 1/2 cups snow peas, stringed
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and 1 teaspoon ginger; sauté until fragrant, 1 minute. Add chicken; sauté until golden, about 3 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer mixture to bowl.
Add coconut milk, broth and curry paste to skillet. Stir until smooth. Add 2 tablespoons basil, cilantro and 1 teaspoon ginger. Bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer until sauce thickens, about 7 minutes. Return chicken mixture to skillet. Add snow peas and green onions; simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Spoon rice onto plates. Spoon curry atop rice. Sprinkle with remaining basil.
09-20-2004, 09:13 AM
thanks, dsignpeach! :)
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