2016 APQ UFO Challenge List

Saturday, May 3, 2014

April Cooking Challenge 2014

It has been a busy month in our kitchen.  I've been doing a fairly good job of meal planning, which means new recipes at least a couple times a week. Here's the rundown of what we tried this month. 

1. Asian Chicken Salad with Noodles - I expected this to be a little more salad-y, and a little less like a pasta dish, but it was tasty.  It had a nice peanutty sauce, kind of like a pad thai. We decided that we'd add more chicken next time and use rice noodles instead of linguine. (I couldn't find the recipe for this one online, but it is from an old Cooking Light). 
 2. Chicken Pot Pie Pasta - this was from a magazine - I thought Real Simple, but the recipe came up on a Martha Stewart site, so I think it is from her short lived mini-magazine. It was a tasty and pretty easy weeknight dish - the veggies cook with the pasta, so it is a two dish meal. 
3. Kansas City Steak Soup - This recipe was from a page of soup recipes out of the February 2008 Midwest Living magazine.  There are a couple other soups on the page that I hope to try later in the year when the cool weather kicks in again.  I actually misread this recipe and bought stewed tomatoes instead of diced tomatoes, so it turned out as a really tomato-y tasting soup, and I am not a fan of tomato soup.  We did like it in texture, so we'll try it again in the fall with the right ingredients! 
4. Pizza Pasta Bake - this was so yummy! It was a great pasta casserole with slices of fresh mozzarella across the top and pepperoni inside. I could eat this once a week! Mike said this one was a little fussy to make, but we all enjoyed the result! It is from the magazine Cuisine at Home, and they don't post their recipes online, but I am sure there are similar recipes available from lots of other sources. 
 5. Salmon Cakes - Technically, we have made these before, but it has been a really long time and the recipe has been on the side of the fridge for months, so I am gonna count this one!  It is a great, pretty easy salmon cake recipe and the kids ate it up. I don't have an online resource for this one either because it was torn out of a magazine and there is no identifying information. 
6. Shrimp and Pea Rice Bowl - this recipe is from the April 2012 Cooking Light and it was on a page with several other shortcut rice bowls. It was great!  I love dishes like this and it didn't disappoint. This is another one that the whole family liked. 
7. Tuna Noodle Bake - I've had this recipe forever - it was printed from the internet before the internet was pretty.  It was an easy weeknight meal made with cream of mushroom soup and egg noodles. You can do the same with Tuna Helper, but with this one at least you have a little less sodium...right?  I do at least buy the reduced sodium soups. This one didn't include peas or topping with breadcrumbs and baking, and I do prefer those versions, but this one wins for speed. Our kids love tuna and noodles so this was a big hit. 
 8. Beef Stroganoff Noodles - this was near the top of the list for me this month for dinners.  It comes from the same magazine as the Chicken Pot Pie pasta, and boy was it good!  The kids didn't care for it - I think mostly because they saw mushrooms go into it! There is also a nice amount of dill in the sauce and dill is one of my favorite seasonings. Not only did I enjoy it the night we had it for dinner, I gobbled up the leftovers too! 
9. Sausage, Egg, and Cheese Turnovers - when I sorted recipes at the start of the year, I only found a handful of breakfast recipes, and this was one of them.  The turnover was really good, but the amount of filling the recipe made didn't seem to match up with the size of the turnovers, so ours were really stuffed. I would definitely make this again, as everyone enjoyed the breakfast treat, but next time I would make twice as many turnovers with the same amount of filling. 
10. Lemon Cream Tart - I liked this recipe so much that I actually cut it out of Cooking Light twice - once in Nov/Dec 1996, and again in June 1998! I made this for a game night and was sneaky to put the kids to bed before we cut into it!  There were leftovers the next day and they got a piece then.  It was really tasty, but the crust cooked a little too much on the top edge. That might be due to using a pie pan instead of a tart pan (I will borrow my mom's tart pan next time!). 
11. Chocolate Chip Cookie Surprise Cake - At the end of the month, we had a birthday to celebrate, so I made the birthday cake from a Betty Crocker recipe that I'd cut off a box. The surprise is that there is a layer of chocolate chip cookie at the bottom of the cake, and it was yummy!  It made a ton of cake, so we've been nibbling off it all week. 

Surprise! Cookie layer on the bottom
What a great month of meals! I have to give a big shout out to Mike, since he made most of the dinners - I am lucky to have a great cook who arrives home earlier than I do most days! 

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