March Miscellaneous

Mommy, why am I still wearing hats?  It's March!

I promised a report on those pink cookies that I made last week last month.  I'm afraid to say that I was a bit disappointed in them.  I think the cherry flavoring (the one thing that had intrigued me about that recipe!) really threw everything off...the flavor was subtle but I still felt like I was tasting icing mixed with cherry cough syrup.  I sent the majority of them to school with my husband (the students loved them of course, but what kids don't love cookies?), and the rest I have frozen: iced and ready to go, for the drop-in guest, since I doubt we'll eat them soon.  Not the worst cookies I've ever made, but...I don't think I'll be revisiting that recipe.  Sorry, Molly!

In other cooking news, I've really been interested in cooking more meat on the stovetop (as I've said before, I usually leave the meat to my grill-loving husband), so for the past few weekends, we've been indulging in some warm, fatty meals.  It's usually a combination of stewed/braised meat + grain/carb.  My recipes of choice have been:
  • Pork Vindaloo (Spicy Pork with Cinnamon), from How to Cook Everything (here is the original recipe, but I really like this adaptation - she added squash and raisins!) + rice
  • Beer Braised Short Ribs (here) + cheesy polenta

The spicy pork recipe is an absolute winner, which makes me glad that I ignored my inner cheapskate and shelled out the $10 for the cardamom spice.  A warning, though: the color of the final dish is a dismal, almost unappealing dark grey.  That's why I really liked the idea of adding squash (or onions?) to the mix for next time to add some color.

We did have one warm weekend somewhere near the end of February so I made Creamy Cabbage and Potatoes (here), and served it with Cheese Stuffed Grilled Flank Steak (you like how I capitalized that like it's an actual recipe?).  Whenever we put out sausage and cheese plates for dinner guests (or just ourselves, we love apps!), we'll sprinkle some Rendezvous seasoning on the sausage, so we thought why not adapt that for the steak?  We sprinkled the meat with the seasoning and then stuffed the steak with sharp cheddar.  Paired with the cabbage and potato dish, it was such a good combo!  We patted ourselves on the back for that one.

On the sweet side,  I made Spicy Date Bars from my absolute favorite cookbook (this one).  I've probably posted about it before, but every recipe I try out of it is a pure winner.  It seems like so many of the recipes  in the book involve dates, prunes, or raisins, so if those aren't your thing then you may not like it. 

I also made these Orange Chocolate Chip Ricotta muffins over the weekend.  The base batter was fantastic, and the orange flavor + chocolate was very good.  I think next time I'd use a combination of bittersweet or semi-sweet chips - milk chocolate was just too sweet, but I was trying to use up what's in my pantry (don't you love doing that?).  I also think another good combo would be to substitute walnuts for the chocolate chips.  I cut back on the sugar a bit and left off the glaze, and we didn't miss either.

P.S. Why is it still so cold??  


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