This cooking challenge is fun! I think my family and my neighbor (who often eats with us and feeds us too) are really enjoying this new year's resolution the best!
For February, I chose the "Recipes from our kitchens Cafe Lazarus" cookbook (I looked for a link to this cookbook, but there wasn't one anywhere). Lazarus was a department store in this area until it was bought by Macy's several years ago. They had a nice cafe where I had lunch several times and an amazing chicken salad. That's the whole reason I bought the cookbook! When the store was open, you could buy the chicken salad dressing and just toss it with your own chicken, celery, and pecans. When you don't have the dressing, it becomes a three part recipe - a boiled dressing, a homemade mayonnaise, and then the chicken salad part. That was a little intimidating and didn't happen this month, but I still have aspirations to make it someday. I really don't think I ever made a recipe from this cookbook before the challenge and there were some good ones in there. I picked it early in the month because there were several yummy looking soup recipes, but never got around to making any of the hot soups.
The recipes that did get made were:
Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Chicken Breasts - these were stuffed with a cream cheese/walnut/green onion mixture - and they were really good. The kids didn't care for the stuffing and told me that next time I should just wrap the bacon around the chicken and then cook it! I would make it again - and I would make it without the stuffing for the kids!
Next up, Strawberry Soup for our Valentine's day celebration with our good friends. Sara and I planned out a whole themed menu (ok, Sara did 90% of the planning and I lucked out that this cookbook had a good recipe!). She scoured Pinterest and made tons of heart shaped foods, then we had the soup for dessert. It is served cold and garnished with fresh strawberries and mint. It was a hit with everyone!
The final recipe this month was from the side dish section of the cookbook - Carrot and Apple Scallop. It really should have been in the dessert section of the cookbook with a cup of brown sugar in the recipe! t is something I normally wouldn't select as none of us are big fans of cooked carrots, but I decided that stretching our palates should be a little part of the challenge this year too. We had it last night as dessert and it was really great. It called for twice as many carrots than apples, and next time I would switch those around to have more apples than carrots.
As was the case last month, there are a few more recipes that I really wanted to make this month, but ran out of time and/or energy. I am hoping that I will remember as the year goes on that there are more recipes I want to make in each of these cookbooks and that I will go back and use them again. Even if that doesn't happen, I declare this month a success! I pulled this cookbook from the depths and had a great time with it.
Jack has already picked March's cookbook (I let him make the choice since March is his birthday month) and it should be a good one - pages and pages of fairly simple recipes with everyday ingredients, so hopefully next month will bring lots of yummy dishes to taste and share!