Thursday, October 31, 2013

October Re-Make Recap

Happy Halloween! Our costumes are purchased, our jack o'lanterns are carved, our candy bags are waiting, and our trick-or-treating etiquette has been reviewed time and again. I think we're ready for tonight! Now the rain just needs to hold off until trick-or-treating is over...

I have now officially been doing these re-make recap posts for a whole year, and this has become one of my favorite posts to write every month. As a food blogger, I think there is always a certain pressure to post something new and different, and while that is all well and good, it's also fun to re-make some old favorites. These recap posts have given me the opportunity to do that. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy writing them. (And eating all the yummy food, too, of course...)

Remember that phenomenal homemade chicken noodle soup I made earlier this month? I used the remaining poached chicken for a batch of my mom's creamed chicken over biscuits. This is by far my favorite comfort food, and it's perfect for chilly fall nights.

It was definitely a comfort food kind of month around here, and these pork chops with creamy mushroom gravy are a great comfort food. For only containing a handful of ingredients, these pork chops are incredibly flavorful, and the gravy is phenomenal on mashed potatoes. I couldn't find the cream of mushroom soup with roasted garlic, so I sauteed a few garlic cloves in some butter and added that to the soup/sour cream mixture. It was a fine substitution.

It had been too long since I'd made rigatoni with chicken, bacon, and mushrooms, so I decided to remedy that. I love this combination of flavors, and, although the addition of the apple juice sounds a little strange, it adds a mild sweetness that really is fantastic. If you make this pasta (and you really, really should), definitely don't skimp on the basil. It makes the whole dish.

This roast beef with creamy mushroom gravy is my favorite pot roast recipe. (Are you sensing a gravy-ish, mushroom-y theme for October?) I bought a huge roast this time, so I had enough leftovers to use the pot roast in two other dishes. In case you hadn't noticed, I've been trying to cook more like that lately. :) I can't wait to share the other recipes I made using this pot roast; they both became instant family favorites.

We love, love, love this recipe for cheesy broccoli and rice. It's so creamy, cheesy, and flavorful. It's also a very quick side dish. If you're like me and you struggle to find interesting side dish recipes, I think you're going to love having this one in your back pocket.

I hadn't made this creamy baked spaghetti since the first time I made it nearly two years ago, and as soon as I took my first bite, I regretted waiting so long to make it again. I also regretted not doubling the recipe. I could have happily eaten the leftovers of this for at least a week. I think it would be just as good, if not better, with Italian sausage (either spicy or sweet).

This is a not-great cell phone picture, but I just had to show you the decorating job the boys did on their neena's (grandma's) birthday cake. They were so proud of themselves, and I think they did a fantastic job. The cake, of course, is perfectly chocolate chocolate cake -- the only chocolate cake recipe I (or you!) will ever need. If you haven't tried that, find an excuse to make it soon. I mean, do you really even need an excuse to make chocolate cake? I don't think so!
Every time I make these chipotle chicken cheesesteaks, I am surprised all over again how one little change (adding chipotle in adobo) can take a sandwich from good to great. And not only do they taste delicious, they're ready in just about 20 minutes. You can't ask for a better weeknight dinner than that!

Here's another meal my family just loves; these bacon and cheddar cornbread cakes with fried eggs grace our dinner table frequently. And with good reason: They're easy to prepare and come out perfectly every single time I make them. Not to mention how delicious they are! Bacon, cheddar, corn, savory stuffing, and velvety over-easy eggs...The flavors just work.

This creamy tomato tortellini with chicken and broccoli was a last-minute addition to our meal plan this week. I made dinner for my mother- and sister-in-law as a thank you for watching the boys while Joe and I went to our first ever parent-teacher conference. It's hard to think of anything that has made me feel more like a parent than that! The conference went great (my A-man is doing awesome in kindergarten), and dinner was great too. I doubled the tortellini but kept the rest of the amounts the same, and I still had plenty of sauce -- and plenty of leftovers, too. But that's okay. They'll definitely get eaten.

And last but not least: It just wouldn't be October in our house without a batch of pumpkin pie-spiced pumpkin seeds. The boys and I are whipping up a batch of these this morning. I'll probably use brown sugar instead of white this time, and we got a ton of seeds from our pumpkins this year, so I'm sure I'll have more than a cup of them. That's great news, because everyone gobbles these up. They're really addictive, and they're a great pre-trick-or-treating snack!

No comments: