I’m a bit of a late bloomer when it comes to cooking. (Or perhaps not…I guess not everyone was homeschooled and had 7 year old peers who could whip up tuna melts for 9 while their mother was in labor!)
Okay, let me start over. I never cooked much or liked cooking until the summer before my senior year in college when my parents asked me to help out by making a couple meals a week and I discovered that I liked getting to pick what was for dinner. Two years and one job that provided delicious free food later, I found myself once again in the position of needing to make food regularly, this time for Thad and I. Despite some teasing from friends about how quickly I’ve “gone domestic,” I’ve enjoyed the new things I’ve tried in the meantime. Oh, and as opposed to “gone domestic” I prefer “love good food and find cooking to be a fun creative outlet.”
I figured I should highlight some of the best of the recipes we make, and since we tried three new ones this week, this seemed as good a time as any.
The main thing we tried was Fire and Ice Chili from this 3-in-1 cookbook that my parents loved and got me for Christmas. The amusingly-named “pork butt” was on sale at Aldi recently and we had friends coming over for dinner, so it seemed like a great choice. It requires a little more prep than I prefer for an everyday crock pot meal, but the results were well-worth the cost of having to brown some meat beforehand. The pork was juicy and tender and the pineapples (added at the end) are a great offset to all the spices that are in it. (I used less of most of the spices than it called for, as several of us are not into really spicy food.) We served it with these great pre-made scalloped potatoes from Sam’s Club, which were delicious.
For dessert that evening, I made kahlua bundt cake from this recipe. With devil’s food cake mix, sour cream, and vanilla pudding mix, it’s very rich and soft, but not too filing to go back for a second piece! The kahlua flavor was subtle and didn’t bother the non-coffee drinkers among us.
Finally, on Sunday, I made vegan pumpkin spice ice cream to take to a Super Bowl dinner. It was my first time trying my ice cream maker and I was happy with how simple it is and that using a vegan recipe worked so well. I’m not vegan, but I am mildly lactose intolerant, so I was glad to find a recipe that called for almond and coconut milk. It definitely tastes like pumpkin pie and was good with some apple pie.