Monday, February 6, 2012

Cooking up a storm

Over the weekend I tried FOUR new recipes. Lately I've been trying to cook more and I'm really enjoying it. I don't come up with my own recipes from scratch but I can follow and/or modify recipes pretty well.

First up, Dijon-Wine Marinated Rib Roast.
Usually we don't buy expensive roasts but they had standing rib roasts on sale this week (a $30 roast was on sale for $14). We marinated it overnight in the following:

1/2 cup red wine
3 clones garlic crushed
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp salt
Freshly ground pepper
1/2 tsp tarragon

This marinade turned out really well. It was super rich, complex and flavourful. I will use this recipe again. We cooked the roast for about an hour at 350 degrees until it was medium rare. Unfortunately, even though the marinade was delicious, the meat was tough and fatty. A bit disappointing! Next time I don't think I'll bother with a fancy roast but stick to the leaner cuts.

Luckily we used really good wine, which I got to drink.

Evan carving the roast.

We did potatoes and carrots along with the roast and asparagus and the sides turned out awesome.

Here is my plate:

Then we felt like some dessert so I whipped up a batch of Good-for-You Choc-Oat-Chip Cookies.

These were very tasty. The recipe was from a Cookie book I had in my collection.

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/4 cups packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup margarine
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 egg whites
1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups quick or old-fashioned oats
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Combine flour, backing soda, salt, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Beat together brown sugar, granulated sugar, margarine, and applesauce in large mixer bowl. Beat in egg whites and vanilla. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in oats and chocolate chips. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto greased baking shets.

Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 9 to 10 min for a chewy cookie or 12 to 13 min for a crispy cookie. Let stand for 2 min; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

Nutrition: Each cookie is about 100 calories and 4 grams of fat.

Mine didn't make 4 dozen because I made a variety of large, medium, and small cookies. 

These are not really low-point cookies, but that's ok with me. I would rather eat fewer, tastier cookies! I liked how these had applesauce, egg whites, and oatmeal though!

Next I made another batch of soup for lunches for the next couple of weeks. This time I made Curried Butternut Squash Soup. I used Gina's recipe as a template but made a much larger batch.

I had never worked with Butternut Squash before. I thought it would be much harder to prep. Turns out, a knife and vegetable peeler was all I needed.

Here is the "recipe" I used:

Chop 3 cloves of garlic and saute with 1 tsp olive oil until golden. Add chicken stock (about 4 L), curry, cumin, 2 butternut squash (cut into cubes), and one can of light coconut milk. Simmer for 12-15 min until squash is tender. Blend with immersion blender and season with salt and pepper.

This flavour of this soup is excellent. I really like it but it's a little thin. I thought that with all the squash the soup would be thicker but turns out, squash doesn't thicken it at all! Next time I would add some flour or a potato to thicken it a bit.

The last recipe I made was Chocolate Chip Buttermilk Scones.

I followed the Skinny Taste recipe exactly (I know not to mess with recipes when it's baking!). It was my first time making scones and I was a little nervous. I had never cut in butter with knives before or kneaded and rolled out scones. They turned out ok - I think I made them a little too flat so they were a little dry and didn't rise as much as I would have liked, but not too bad for a first try!

Today was another beautiful day in Vancouver. We've had a run of sun for the past 4 or 5 days. I expect the rain to return tomorrow but here's a picture I took from my office today. Gorgeous!!

Also, any day that I get to chill for an hour with my book and chai tea (with 5 pumps of sugar-free Cinnamon Dolce syrup) is a good day! I secretly love the new Valentine's Day-themed Starbucks cups. It's the little things in the life ;)

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