You know when you work really hard to make dinner and then your husband calls and he has to run an errand on the way home, so the warm spinach salad that you made is going to be mush and the ravioli is going to be all stuck together?  Oh, and your kid takes one look at the food and says, “NO THANK YOU!” in a very demonstrative voice, multiple times? Yeah, that’s how it went for me with this week’s meal. I ate it, but it missed the mark for me too. Too much going on for me to get it right, I think – plus Safeway just doesn’t sell good ravioli. I really, really wish there was a Harris Teeter in my ‘hood. Thanks, Rachael Ray, but this one sounded more ‘yum-o’ than it ended up.


Asian, again

Tonight I made spring rolls, filled with sushi rice, mint, cilantro, cucumber spears, broccoli slaw (my shortcut for crunchy, fresh carrots, cabbage, and broccoli – love the stuff), chicken sauteed in a little sesame and garlic oil, and crushed peanuts, complete with two dipping sauces, one a peanut sauce and one a sweet soy.


Imagine my disappointment when I was the only one who enjoyed them.

Apparently when I said I was making spring rolls, my husband envisioned the crunchy fried ones… and was sorely disappointed when this was what came out:


And Charlie took one look at “the green” and turned away. I told him it was just garnish (his had more rice and less mint and cilantro) and he said “I don’t want to eat garnish!”  We did talk him into one bite, but that was it.

I’ll admit, they’re not the most symmetrical spring rolls, but they’re stuffed with healthy and delicious stuff. After making two sauces, steaming rice, sauteing chicken, chopping peanuts (which tend to jump when approached with a knife), and wrestling with rice paper (not easy), it was not very pleasing to have both of the other members of my family reject these. George at least stripped his of the paper and ate the filling of one, but Charlie wouldn’t even take a second bite.  So while I actually did enjoy them, I will not be making them again.  The rice papers are too finicky to warrant feeding just one person. Oh well, at least the sauces were good – I’m keeping those recipes handy!

Recipe Fail

Last night, I cooked my first total failure of my self-imposed recipe challenge. I decided to try chicken pozole, a recipe I found here: http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/chicken_pozole/  I thought with the cold weather, it would be nice to have some warm soup. I like hominy, and I like the idea of making a soup that can be enhanced with all sorts of different toppings.

What I don’t like, apparently, is an excess of oregano. I should have paid more attention to the fact that the recipe called for 1 OR 2 TBSP of oregano – somehow, I just read two. I thought to myself that 2 T sounded like a lot, but it was a big pot of soup… Next time, I will a) trust my instincts, and b) read the recipe more closely. The soup tastes almost soapy. Bleh.

Luckily the chicken is kept out of the broth until ready to serve, so most of the chicken didn’t end up in the soup, and I can make chicken salad and/or quesadillas this week with some of it. But unfortunately, after several HOURS of cooking, I am the only one that had a bowl of the soup – after which, I suggested that my husband skip it altogether.  Oh well – this experiment is bound to result in some failures along the way!