Monday, September 30, 2013

September Re-Make Recap

I feel like every time I write one of these recaps I begin with a statement like, "Wow, another month is gone! Where did the time go?!" So even though that's all still true, I think we can skip it, right? And just get to the food? Let's do it.

(But yes, the time is still going way too fast. Christmas is in three months, people!)

I made broccoli salad for a little Labor Day cookout we had at my stepmom's house, and it was a huge hit as usual. Everyone loves this stuff.

Also on the menu for Labor Day: a batch of these fruit pizza cookies, made with strawberries, blueberries, and white peaches. I used lime juice and zest instead of lemon in the glaze this time, and I liked that flavor a lot.

It had been a while since I'd made two-packet pork chops with ranch-roasted potatoes, so I thought it was high time I put this meal on our menu. Instead of using the onion soup mix this time, I used mushroom gravy mix because I had it on hand. I also used more of a traditional bread-and-fry method for the pork chops, by mixing the ranch seasoning and mushroom gravy mix into the flour, then dipping the pork chops in eggs before dredging them in the flour mixture. If this meal was good before, well, that small change just took it to a completely new level of deliciousness.

This recipe for bacon fried rice is a favorite in our house, and I've made it a few different ways. This time, I did away with the chicken and topped each serving of rice with an egg fried over-easy and a drizzle of sriracha. SO GOOD.

I made a riff on these BBQ chicken taquitos this month using some leftover pulled BBQ chicken I had on hand (look for a great new sandwich recipe here later this week). Since I already had the seasoned BBQ chicken, I didn't need to worry about adding the spices; I just added the cream cheese and cheddar cheese to the chicken, along with some diced green chilies and some bacon I'd reserved from the bacon fried rice for just that purpose. Let me tell you, what a delicious way to use leftovers. I'm already planning to make pulled BBQ chicken again soon, just so I can make these taquitos the next night.

This recipe for chicken and vegetable pasta with roasted garlic cream sauce is my favorite pasta to bridge the seasons. You can still use summer vegetables in it, but it has that warm, heavy, comforting quality that makes you think of fall. I added some fresh broccoli this time as well, which worked great with the rest of the vegetables.

Speaking of pasta, I couldn't wait any longer to make this cheesy sausage penne, which is definitely a favorite in my house. I've made this recipe so often, I could probably make it in my sleep. It is just SO GOOD.

Can you tell I'm in fall mode? I put this best ever roasted tomato soup on our menu on a day that it happened to be about 85 degrees. Why can't the weather agree with my cravings? This soup is so delicious, though, it was well worth heating up the kitchen for.

I have a coworker with a September birthday, and when I asked him what kind of cupcakes he wanted, he didn't even hesitate before he asked for these Oreo overload cheesecake cupcakes. They're the same cupcakes I made for him last year, incidentally, and he said he's been thinking about them ever since. Upon tasting them again, I have to say that I think these are the best cupcakes I've ever made. They're just absolutely perfect.

I made biscuits with sausage gravy on a night that I got home late (which, for me, is like 5:00), and I still managed to have dinner on the table by 5:30. This stuff only takes about 20 minutes to prepare, and it is so simple and delicious that I honestly don't know why I don't make it every single weeknight.

It wouldn't be a fall recipe recap without spicy sausage dip! I typically make this a few times a month during football season, since it's our favorite football snack. I made it last weekend for Joe and me while we watched the Buckeyes beat Wisconsin. Go Bucks!

It's time for chili. I just couldn't wait any longer. I've improvised a lot on my chili recipe since I posted it (every time I make it it's an improvisation), but here are some things I did differently in the batch I made last weekend: I added a bay leaf, replaced the petite diced tomatoes with a 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes, used an entire box of beef stock, and replaced the spicy sausage with chorizo. I think this may have been my best batch yet, and I'm eager to confirm that theory tonight, when we're using the leftovers for chili dogs. Yum!

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