2016 APQ UFO Challenge List

Monday, October 12, 2015

August and September 2015 Cooking Challenge

We've continued to try new recipes, but I haven't taken the time to blog about them, so this is a wrap up of the past two months.  We are still doing well with introducing good variety from week to week, but when life gets busy, it sure is easy to fall back on the tried and true (easy) recipes. I've been trying to add a few more to that bucket, so we're now having things like salmon patties or baked chicken a little more often and spaghetti a little less often. 

Here's what we've tried over the past few months: 

1. Grilled Beef Kebabs from Rachael Ray - we actually made these once before, but it was long before we were doing the recipe challenges. Everyone in the family liked these, so they will be made more often than every 5 years! 

2. Pesto Chicken Burgers from Martha Stewart - I've pulled this recipe out several times over the last year, but we've never gotten around to making it. The basil was in full bloom (actually, it is really blooming now!) so I was able to pull fresh leaves to make the pesto. They were great - I served the adult burgers with the pesto and extra for dipping, and the kids got theirs just with the cheese and a little dipping sauce. They both decided to skip the pesto, but Mike and I liked it. This is a nice summer recipe when you have lots of basil ready to use! (I am sure I had a picture...but can't find it now)

3. Poppy Seed Chicken Strips from Mary Englebreit's Fan Fare Cookbook - I had to add poppy seeds to the spice cabinet to make this one, and it was worth it - the kids and I had this one night when Mike was out, and we all liked it. This is another pretty easy baked chicken dish that can go into the midweek rotation when we're busy. 
4. Chicken Broccoli Lasagna - I found this recipe while searching for another one and it looked like a great way to use the crock pot. It is a 4 hour recipe, so I made it on a day that I was home until lunch.  It turned out great! I shared some with my neighbor since it made so much  
5. Tortellini Shrimp Salad from The Lazarus Cookbook - This was a great salad for a warm day. This would be a great one to take to a picnic lunch - lots of great flavors. 

6. Teriyaki Beef Fried Rice from Pampered Chef Season's Best, Volume 10 - We were working to add a little more red meat into the rotation, so I picked out this recipe for a stir fry. It was okay - it is hard to distinguish one stir fry from another, but this one made the cut. (Missed the picture on this one, but you probably already know what stir-fry looks like!)

7. Zesty Grilled Ham from the Fit-It and Enjoy-It Cookbook (this links to a different source, but it is the same recipe) - We eat a lot of ham steak, and we like it. I thought this would be a good way to take a "normal" meal and liven it up a bit.  We all liked it and it wasn't too spicy for the kids. 
 8.Stacked Chicken Enchiladas from Cooking Light - This was a tough one to make - hands on time is 45 minutes! Mike made this one night while I took the kids to a soccer game. I was starving when I got home and it was delicious. I had more the next day (and the next) and still rate it delicious.  It makes a large pan and the green salsa that I bought had a little kick to it, so it was a little too spicy for the kids.  Mike and I ate a lot of this!  We'd make this again, but it would have to be on a weekend.  This is one you could prep ahead - there are two steps for the cooking and I think you could cook the chicken on one night and then do the rest the next night. 
Whew - that's a lot of recipes - and we're continuing to work through more.  It is amazing how many different things you can cook with about 30 minutes of effort a week (and a good trip to the grocery store!). 

1 comment:

Carol said...

Wow! Jennifer--I'm so impressed with all of the new recipes you tried this month!! I plan on trying some of these myself after reading your review (well not the shrimp as I am allergic and I just can't get myself to like pesto so that one is out, too, but the others sound great :).