A tale of two mustards

This week I tried to different recipes for marinades that included mustard.  Now I used to hate mustard!  There were times when I would refuse to even touch the bottle to put it way after a bbq in case some of it got on my hands.  But I’ve slowly been warming up to the honey and mustard combo and have therefore experimented a bit with honey mustard marinades.

Baked Honey Mustard Chicken

I once again fell prey to the reviews!  Instead of following the directions exactly I tweaked a few things according to what other cooks had done.  That included using the sauce as a marinade instead of a glaze (this was good!) and using dijon mustard instead of regular (bad idea!).  The taste of the dijon overpowered everything!  My husband and I did not enjoy it, but my son gobbled it up.  I probably won’t make this again for a while, even following the directions, because (as I think I’ve mentioned before) too much sugar (honey) makes my boy go crazy.

Balsamic Honey Tenderloin

This recipe calls for grainy mustard, which I’ve never heard of before.  So, with the earlier dijon experience still vivid in my memory, I used regular mustard instead.

This marinade was disappointing.  Both my husband and I found the flavour to be very weak and my son wasn’t interested in it either.

 

If you have any pork tenderloin recipes that you enjoy (especially freezer friendly ones) I’d love to hear from you!

 

A little experiment

Philadelphia Cooking Creme was on sale at the grocery store this week.  I’ve wondered about trying it out but until now had resisted spending the money on it.  But the sale pulled me in and I ended up buying two flavours: Herb and Garlic Light and Tomato Basil (which oddly enough is not listed on their website…)

I searched high and low for a recipe using the Herb and Garlic creme with chicken that used ingredients that I had in the house.  This turned out to be more difficult than I anticipated.  Although there are a number of recipes that have been published by Philly, nothing was jumping out at me.  Also, it seems that the product is new enough that no one is coming up with their own recipe an sharing it with the world.

Finally I decided that I was just going to have to come up with something on my own.  This is very difficult for me!  Unlike my husband who has superhuman taste buds and somehow just knows what flavours go together, I stress out about it and freeze.

But I did it!  I experimented and made up my very own chicken dish.  This is what I did:

  • season 4 chicken breasts with salt and pepper and bake in the oven (it took 28 minutes at 400 degrees)
  • sauté chopped orange pepper and diced onion, add in cut up chicken breast
  • add 1/4 cup water to the cooking creme, and heat in a sauce pan until warm
  • mix the chicken and veggie mixture and herb and garlic cooking creme into noodles of your choice (I used Rigatoni because we were out of Penne)

How did it turn out?  My husband loved it.  I thought it was okay.  If I were to do it again I would add a bit of tomato sauce.  But my husband loves Alfredo sauce and I’m always more of a blush girl, so that probably explains the difference in opinion.  My son loved the saucy chicken, which was a relief (he’s been very picky about eating chicken lately).  He also enjoyed the peppers and noodles.  A will all around for him!

Since I have another container of the cooking creme, I’ll have to experiment again.  But whether I’ll try the product again after that is questionable.  There is a crazy amount of saturated fat in a serving.  And although in the past I haven’t been too bothered by nutrition labels, I just can’t get over feeding that much saturated fat to my one year old.  A child really enhances your awareness of the world around you!

How much do you experiment in the kitchen?  Any tips for me?

A headstart on a New Year resolution

I have been thinking ahead to January 1, 2014.  Before a couple years ago I was never someone who made resolutions.  I figured if I was going to break it before the end of January, why bother making a resolution in the first place.

However, for the past two years I have be “forced” to make resolutions (thank you Grace) and this year in particular I have actually had some success in seeing these resolutions through to completion.  The excitement of success has me wondering what 2014 might bring.

An area of my family life that I often wish to improve upon is meal time.  In particular, the meals that I make.  A resolution for 2013 was to get into the habit of creating meal plans on a weekly basis.  The purpose being to help me with preparing meals so that I rely less on frozen pizza, as well as to reduce the number of times our family resorts to eating out.  The past couple months have seen some improvement in this area.

This meal plan resolution has led me to what I hope to resolve for 2014 and the reason why I am starting this blog.  It is my goal to make (cook, bake, whatever) one new “food” thing a week.  This can be a evening meal or a baked good of some sort or anything else.  Just something new.

It is my intention to use this blog as a way to document the new recipes that I try.  I hope to comment on the success of the recipe as well as to document for myself the success of the resolution (I’m sure that must be one of the letters of S-M-A-R-T goals…).

So why start now when January 1, 2014 is still a month and a half away?  Well… why not?  I know that I want to challenge myself in this area, so why not get a little practice in before the new year begins.

And I already have a new (to me) recipe to share!  Tonight I accomplished 2 things: I used up some leftovers before they went bad (a food resolution for another year…) and I made a new recipe for my family.

Here is the link to the recipe: an easy Chicken Pot Pie.

http://www.food.com/recipe/chicken-pot-pie-151613

I had never before made a chicken pot pie (and really I guess I still haven’t because this one is a bit of cheat).  It was quick, easy and used up leftovers from a rotisserie chicken we enjoyed earlier in the week.  I used the option of the refrigerated crescent roles and added a bit of poultry seasoning to the filling.

Both James and I agree this recipe is a keeper.  Even our 1 year old son, who lately has not been interested in eating chicken, seemed to enjoy it.

So if you find yourself with some leftover chicken that needs using up and not much time to throw dinner together, give this a try!