Monday, July 18, 2011

Recipe Reviews: Coleslaw, chicken, and cookies!

So before I get to our day in Fort Collins, it's time for some lovin' from the oven! You know that I'm a sucker for alliteration, so I decided to lump three recipes that I tried out last week all in to one post. Here goes...

(Source)
  • Coleslaw: Does anyone watch Food Network Star? Cam and I watch a lot of Food Network (or we did before we got rid of cable...I mean come on we even dressed up as Food network personalities for Halloween...we are so lame cool) so we both love this show because it's hilarious to see the contestants go through challenges and interact with the judges and each other. In the 4th of July episode, Susie (one of my favs this season) made a coleslaw to go with her Mexican-inspired dish, but instead of mayonnaise she used avocados for creaminess. Since I have a mild obsession with avocados I was eager to give this dish a try. The recipe itself is a little bit odd because it's seasoned with fennel, a flavor I don't normally use in my cooking. Also in the recipe it calls for everything to be shaved, but I pretty much just chopped everything instead. I thought this coleslaw came out pretty well, and I liked the flavors, however, Cam wasn't a fan and thought that it tasted like guacamole mixed with cabbage. Because that's what it tastes like. And that's why I loved it, but if you're not a fan of avocados/guac then it probably won't be your cup of tea. I also want to try maybe incorporating some other spices to give it a little more of a kick because although I liked it, I felt like it was missing a little something. Check out the recipe here. (Also if you love Food Network and haven't seen this website, you're missing out.)
I didn't have any ground fennel, so I just crushed up what I had
A mortar and pestle is so handy...but maybe I'm not entirely sure if whole fennel has a different flavor so maybe that's why my coleslaw was a little off?
Green stuff getting chopped
Avocado sauce...yum.
Finished product...I probably didn't need to use such a giant bowl...oh well.
  • Chicken: What can you do to make boring old (well not actually old, I just bought them) chicken breasts seem new and exciting? Why stuff them with goat cheese and fresh herbs! I adore goat cheese and I think putting it's creamy goodness on pretty much anything will make it taste better. That's why I was eager to try this recipe that I found on Cooking Light's website. However, instead of using mint and parsley I used mint and basil from our little collection of herbs we have growing on our patio. (Farm to table right there folks...kidding.) Also, I ended up baking the chicken breasts after I browned them because I always feel like when I broil them they end up burning and not getting cooked all the way through. This dish has a lot of great flavor and I feel that it could be delicious anytime of year. 
Chicken and roasted asparagus = pretty delicious dinner.
  • Cookies: Ok so these technically aren't cookies but I labeled them as such to keep the alliteration going. This is actually a recipe from How Sweet It Is that I was super excited to try, however, I have to admit that I didn't like it as much as I hoped I would. These chocolate chip cookie-brownie-blondie layered bars are great in theory and look gorgeous in the photos on the original recipe. However, I'm not going to lie, this recipe is a lot more time consuming than just making chocolate chip cookies or brownies from scratch because you have to make three separate batters. And if you're like me and you only  have one bowl and one paddle attachment for your mixer than that means you have to wash them in between each layer. Kind of takes some of the fun out of it. Anyway, in the pictures on the original recipe, the layers are very distinctive in color. However, I just used normal cocoa powder in mine and it seemed like the layers were all fairly similar in color. Also, it took mine at least 50 mins to get cooked all the way through; I don't know if that was because of the altitude or what but these babies just took forever to cook. As for the flavor, overall they were good, but not worth the extra work in my opinion. Also, in the blondie layer I used chunky peanut butter and then in lieu of peanut butter chips, I threw in some butterscotch chips. I didn't really like the nuts of the chunky PB and although I love butterscotch chips, I felt like the additional flavor may have been too much with everything else going on. I let Cam take the majority of the bars into work because Lord knows I don't need to eat an entire pan of them myself, and he claims that they got good review at work and were gone by lunch. So I guess people liked them. (Or maybe Cam just threw them away and didn't want to hurt my feelings.)
Chocolate chip cookie layer (she says you can add some cocoa powder to this layer, which I did, but I would suggest against it so that the brownie layer is more distinctive)
Brownie layer, yum!
Blondie layer before going in the oven
Finished product (I forgot to get a picture of a piece so you could see the layers, but I'm telling you, they didn't look like they did in her picture...darn)
Who knows, maybe I'll give them another attempt at some point, but for now I've got too many other desserts to try. Like these. And these. And ooh these!!

So you're welcome for trying out these recipes so you don't have to, or at least know you know what they're like in case you do! And since it's been a busy week in the kitchen, look forward to another recipe post ASAP! :)

    3 comments:

    1. Regarding the coleslaw...fresh fennel bulb has a much different flavor than fennel seeds! It's kind of a cross between celery and lettuce, with a spicy, fresh taste. I don't like licorice/anise flavors, but surprisingly I do love fresh fennel bulb. Definitely give the recipe another shot with it!

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    2. That looks scrumptious! -Especially that brownie layer...YUM!!

      I'm a new follower...and new to blogging - would love any advice you might have :)

      Happy Monday!!

      <3-Cami from Serendipitious Life

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    Your sweet words make my day! :)

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