January 2: Pasta primavera
Recipe: Pasta primavera from the Food Network
February 23: Chicken noodle soup and homemade bread
Soup recipe: My ultimate chicken noodle soup from Smitten Kitchen
I used a rotisserie chicken carcass and two pounds of uncooked chicken wings for the broth. I also added 2 or 3 times the amount of garlic the recipe called for, since I made this when my boyfriend and I both had terrible colds, and the recipe called for very little garlic.
Bread recipe: Basic homemade bread from Taste of Home
March 7: Jamaican jerk chicken and mango black bean salad
Chicken recipe: Jerk chicken from Food and Wine
This came out really well, with a nice amount of spice. I've actually made it twice. The first time I made this according to the recipe, using the oven. The second time I was at home cooking for my whole family, so I tripled the recipe, put the chicken in deep pans, and poured beer around them. I cooked them on low for a while in the oven, then passed them off to one of my brothers, who cooked them on the grill. Highly recommend!
I made up the mango black bean salad:
- 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 c cooked rice, cooled
- 1 mango, diced
- 1 avocado, diced
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 1 tomato, diced
- 1 tsp. lime juice
- cilantro, cumin, and salt to taste
We served these with mojitos, made using a recipe from AllRecipes.
March 13: Lo mein
Recipe: Easy lo mein from Damn Delicious
March 22: Spanish rice
Recipe: Mexican rice from the Food Network
I pre-cooked the rice, not realizing you were meant to brown it in the pan while it was raw. It still turned out well, although the rice was perhaps a bit overcooked. I added just about all the vegetables I had in my fridge, served it with a warm tortilla, and it came out great.
March 29: Tikka masala
Recipe: Chicken tikka masala from Epicurious
So good! We served this with naan and the Kachumber Cooler cocktail from The Kitchn, made with cucumbers, cilantro, chili peppers, and gin.
March 30: Brioche
If only I could post smells alongside the images.
Recipe: Brioche from Two Peas and Their Pod
April 1: Pasta primavera
I made the same recipe from January 2 to cook a big batch of pasta primavera for a girls' night!
April 3: Pasta primavera
...I had leftover ingredients so I made it again.
April 12: Pizza
Recipe: All-purpose pizza dough from Williams Sonoma. I added about three cloves of minced garlic and about a teaspoon of oregano to the dough. The dough came out wonderfully (topped raw and cooked at 450°F for about 15 minutes), but the herbs were largely unnoticeable. I'd at least double, maybe triple them next time around.
We topped this with tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, peppers, and onions, and half of the pizza also got jalapeños. I would definitely put them on the whole pizza next time.
April 13: Spanish rice (again)
Can't get enough of this. It's the same Mexican rice from the Food Network from last time, although this time I added corn and didn't accidentally pre-cook the rice. I also made some simple homemade guacamole to go along with it!
April 16: Cheese dip
Recipe: Cheese dipping sauce (don't ask me why the recipe photo appears to have been dyed green, I am as confused as you are...)
All I really wanted was something that tasted sort of like that awful, bright-yellow cheese that comes out of the pump when you order nachos at a sports game. Instead, I ended up with this! It was about as salty as that (read: much too salty) so I'd probably leave out the added salt next time. It was also a little bit... coagulated, which I assume was because I used a pre-shredded cheese mix. It tasted fantastic, however, especially with the chili peppers and sauteed bell peppers, onions, mushrooms that I added.
April 17: Homemade pasta and baked chicken thigh
I am so proud that I finally made pasta! I've been wanting to make pasta for a while, specifically ravioli, but wanted to give making the dough a test run before I went all out with fillings and such. It came out really well! I would try to roll it out a little thinner next time, although it's hard to get it as thin with a rolling pin as I might have been able to with a pasta press.
The chicken was also quite good, but anything involving baked chicken skin is bound to be. Very simple, easy make-it-and-leave-it dish.
April 18: Deconstructed sushi
I have no idea how to roll sushi, but I do know what goes in it! Rice recipe from Food Network.
April 19: Salmon
Recipe: Mustard roasted salmon from the Food Network
April 21: Baked macaroni and cheese
Recipe: Creamy Macaroni and Cheese from The New York Times
I was intrigued that this contained cottage cheese! I really liked it, and it was quite easy to make. The cheese content is somewhat ridiculous, but that's pretty par for the course when it comes to macaroni and cheese. I added some cubes of ham steak, which lent the whole thing a bit of a smoky flavor.
April 25: Chicken pineapple fried rice
Recipe: Thai Chicken Fried Rice
This is my trusty fried rice recipe. I've made it several times before, adding tofu, chicken, or leaving it alone. This is the first time I've added the jalapeños, and my goodness that makes for a spicy dish. I would perhaps add half a pepper next time.
I added a half pound of chicken breasts, which I sliced and marinated in 4 Tbsp. soy sauce, 1 Tbsp. sesame oil, 1/2 Tbsp. sugar, 1 clove garil, and 1/2 Tbsp. chili pepper.