Confetti Tilapia Packets

Making this was a bit of a whim as I was paging through the August/September 2010 issue of Taste of Home Simple & Delicious looking for what other recipes I wanted to try. I say “a whim” as i realized that I had all the ingredients for this recipe. I found it online, so you can read it here

Now, I did end up making a few changes. Some where intentional and some where accidental. As usual. This recipe calls for four 4 ounce pieces of fish. The tilapia we had in the freezer was individually frozen and a pieces that were a little smaller than that. Since it works out to be a pound of fish, I weighed it out. That gave me six pieces of fish so I opted to make three packets, each with two pieces of fish. When putting the fish on the foil, I overlapped the thinner parts. 

For the the rest, the green peppers and tomatoes were out of our garden. I used the two smaller green peppers we had left along with two smaller tomatoes. I also used a banana pepper. You can’t really see it, but it had turned red while ripening.  I purposely skipped the green onions as we didn’t have any. And then I accidentally skipped the celery. We had it, I just had a mental lapse. 

For the bacon, I think I used a little more than it called for. I had been saving some for another recipe and simply used it up. But hey, more bacon is just fine. I spooned the mixture as evenly as possible across the three packets, trying to drain some liquid if possible. I then sprinkled the lemon juice on it. 

I used the gas side of my grill and lit two of the three burners. I turned the flames down but I would up with a grill that was between 300 and 400 degrees. I left the packets for about 15 minutes (maybe a little less). I felt confident the fish would cook given the size of the pieces. Plus the grill was maybe a little hotter than it needed to be. I was actually more concerned about it burning than not cooking. Thankfully nothing got burnt and it cooked nicely. 

I paired this with plain white rice. I poured all the juices on the plate from the packet as the rice would help soak it up. This was really good. Again, I hate to say “better than expected” but it was really good. I would definitely recommend this. 

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Cider Pork Chops

This is another recipe from the August/September 2010 issue of Taste of Home: Simply Delicious. I chose it mainly because it was a little different than what I had been making more recently. Specifically, it was a pork dish. I managed to find it online so you can read it here

I made this for lunch on Sunday in between church and the girls heading to an event. It was quick enough to do then which was part of the reason why I had chose the recipe- looking for things that were a little more quick to make. Plus, I had bought the pork chops last Tuesday and hadn’t been able to make the dish yet and I was concerned about the pork chops going bad. 

The only real change I made, other than finding out that I was out of thyme (or at least not being able to find it) was that I used two thick cut, boneless pork chops which I cut in half to make four thinner chops. This increased the cooking time from 7-8 minutes to around 20. I even had to cut the pieces in half to ensure more cooking area was exposed. Which may not have been necessary but my meat thermometer wouldn’t go past about 124 degrees no matter where I stuck it (even touching the pan). 

Oh, and lastly, maybe I should mention that I used apple juice instead of cider (an option given). I did this mostly because I felt that the girls wouldn’t be interested in drinking the cider (the leftovers) which made me buy apple juice as I know they would drink that. 

Regardless, it still turned out fine and was pretty tasty. I did pair it with some sautéed asparagus- a half stick of butter with some salt and pepper. Pretty basic but still pretty good. I’d recommend this. 

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Pumpkin Streusel Muffins

It’s that time of year again, time for pumpkin related recipes. I don’t have too many new ones on my list this year to try out. But I did come across this one while making pumpkin bars the other week. You can read it here

This one utilizes a cake mix as the base with a can of pumpkin added in (plus eggs and some water). It was a nice and quick recipe as there wasn’t a lot of measuring, etc.  I will admit that I was a little torn with the idea of using a cake mix as I tend to fall I to the category of “make it from scratch”. That is, I would prefer to start with flour and add everything in.  It as I said, using the cake mix made it a lot simpler. 

I didn’t do anything different with this recipe. I will say, however, again, that I think my muffin pans are smaller. This recipe says that it makes about 18. Well, I suppose I could have filled a few of the cups up more, but I got a full two pans (24) out of the recipe.  Which in some ways was good as the streusel mixture was more than enough for the 24 muffins. In fact, it felt like there was even too much for the 24 muffins. But, after baking, it seemed fine. 

Speaking of the baking, I baked these for 16 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through as the right side of my oven tends to be hotter. It worked out pretty well. These were good muffins. They were very soft and moist. I can’t think of the right word to describe them but they were more put together than a regular cake mix. And by that I mean they were not super crumbly. If that makes sense. Bottom line, they were good and I would recommend them. 

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Egg Roll in a Bowl

This is another recipe that a friend shared. It looked good/interesting enough to decide to give it a try. It was pretty easy to put together and pretty good. I hate to say “better than expected” because that implies it was worried about it (I wasn’t). But it was pretty good. 

Below is the ingredient list as I did it. I used the ingredients that were on the friends list but there were not quantities listed so I made up my own. 

  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 
  • 1 bag broccoli slaw
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder 
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger 
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • Coconut aminos (or soy sauce)

Brown the turkey. Drain if needed and remove from pan. Heat pan back up and add the oil. Add the slaw, spices, and green onions. Sauté until it is to your liking. Add meat back in. Add aminos (to taste) and stir to combine. 

A couple of notes. The broccoli slaw I found was a 10 ounce bag of shredded brussels sprouts, napa cabbage, Kohlrabi, broccoli, carrots, and kale.  It worked very well. I sautéed it for about five minutes. I had a little bit of an issue with it sticking to the pan but just keep stirring. I think using fresh garlic and ginger would be preferred but at the time it was much easier to use the dried, ground variety. To be honest, I had to look up coconut aminos to see what it was. In the end, it suggested that soy sauce was a good substitute. I used four splashes our of the bottle. 

I definitely recommend this. This is another dish that may not make “the rotation” if you will but will be on the list to make again. It’s pretty simple and something that can be made without really needing to reference a recipe. 

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Waldorf Salad

Technically this is called an updated Waldorf Salad. However, until I Googled it, I wasn’t sure what what is a Waldorf Salad to begin with to understand how this was different. But there were a few changes although I’m not sure it’s enough to really call this updated. I think the point of the recipe was that it is a little lighter/healthier than a normal one. 

The recipe comes from the July 2016 issue of Redbook Magazine in a section that has several recipes for “new ideas for chicken breasts”. They all are of the healthy nature. The recipe is outline below. I will then talk about the differences. 

  • 6 ounces cooked, chopped chicken
  • 1/2 cup chopped, seedless cucumber 
  • 1/3 cup chopped apple
  • 1/3 cup chopped grapes
  • 1/4 ounce chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt 
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon pepper

Mix everything together. 

In looking at some other recipes, there isn’t a whole lot that was different.  The other recipes called for raisins and celery and typically called for the dressing to be mayonnaise. But some called for yogurt. 

I think it was good the way it was but some raisins wouldn’t have been bad. Or celery for that matter. I ended up doubling the recipe as I used a can of chicken which was twice as much as called for. That made four servings according to the recipe but I found it hard not to eat all of it in one sitting. I settled for about half of it. The short version on that was it was good but I was also really hungry which made it hard to exercise self control. I’ll be eating the other half today for lunch. 

If it matters, or if you care, se to use a regular cucumber, a yellow apple, and red grapes. I would recommend this. I can’t say it will “make the rotation” but it will be something to make again.  

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Dark Chocolate Waffles

Yes, this is a little removed from some recent breakfasts that were a tad bit healthier. But, I try to live by the idea that you can do anything in moderation. And it is nice to be a little indulgent every so often. So, enter dark chocolate waffles. You can read the recipe here but I want to make two notes right away you may (or may not) be thinking about. 

First, these are actual waffles. I had someone ask me if I used a brownie mix to make them. And no, I didn’t. These are waffles with chocolate added. If I made “waffles” with a brownie mix it would be more of making a brownie in the shape of a waffle. These have buttermilk, eggs, egg whites, etc.

Second, despite the name there isn’t any dark chocolate in them. It’s regular cocoa powder and some bittersweet chocolate. Which maybe constitutes dark chocolate but it wasn’t presented as such. 

Now, overall, these were not bad but it was a little heavy on the chocolate. Both girls felt the same way. One agreed when I asked it it was “good, but not great” and the other told me several times that there was “too much chocolate”. And I have to agree with that. Maybe not on the top much chocolate side but definitely the good not great side. 

As I made mention of before, the chocolate comes from a half cup of regular cocoa powder and then the inclusion of finely chopped bittersweet chocolate (at least 70%). Specifically, 6 ounces of it. I had put it on the grocery list when I remembered that I had some chocolate baking bars at home and thought that I should use those. It worked and didn’t work. It worked from the standpoint of being sort of what they wanted. But, it was 100% which made me feel like it was a bit too much. And, I needed 6 ounces and I only had 3.28 (I weighed it). Turns out the package only holds 4 ounces and it was already opened. 

It does make me wonder what they would have been like if there had been as much chocolate as it called for. Or if they were around 70% instead. I do think that adding the extra chocolate “makes” it but I think you could definitely cut back the amount and or substitute it. Why not use some mini chocolate chips?  

Overall, good but not great. I had planned to cut the recipe in half as I didn’t want a ton of leftovers (especially if they were not a hit) but it would have been hard to divide three eggs in half. I’ve tried it before, weighing it out and it doesn’t work the best. So we will just eat these slowly over the next week or so. Everything in moderation right?  

Oh, and I got approximately 12 squares. My waffle iron is a larger four square one that is pretty deep. My first batch was a little small, the second on point and the third had three on point and the scraps for the fourth to make a tiny one. Had I been on point with the first batch I wouldn’t have had any left to make a tiny one and maybe even one less. 

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Bratwurst Hash

Despite having a plethora of recipes saved in various places, I recently “went back” to my stack of in-read cooking magazines to find some more recipes. Now that we are well into the swing of things with school, after school activities, and the like I needed to find some recipes that are quick and/or easy. Not that what I have saved is difficult, but sometimes you need something simple to throw together. The magazine I grabbed turned out to be the August/September 2010 issue of Taste of Home Simple & Delicious. Can’t say where I got if from, especially since it was 6 years old but it had the type of recipes I was looking for. 

This recipe caught my eye because of the brats. Who does like a brat? Plus it seemed quick. I found the recipe online and you can read it here. The ingredients are the same but the instructions are slightly different. The magazine has a much longer cook time (12-15 minutes) than the one on the website. 

I of course, made a few tweaks. I had actually planned on prepping everything (cutting everything up) last night to make the next night.  However, but when I was looking at the frozen potatoes I found a bag (28 ounce) of diced potatoes with onions AND peppers. It may not be quite the same but having peppers (red and green) in the potatoes saved me from chopping up them myself. So the bag of potatoes was larger than called for but I “let that go” as it had peppers in it. I figured it sort of equaled out. I also used five brats as five come in a package and I didn’t want one just laying around. I also was a bit more liberal with the seasoned salt, mostly because I had more ingredients. 

This was a lot to have in my 9″ cast iron skillet but it worked. I did have to cook it longer than called for – 20 minutes – to get all the potatoes cooked. If I had a larger pan, it might have gone quicker. The potatoes never really browned up and really just got super soft and kind of mushy. But that was okay. It still tasted good. 

Overall, this was good. It felt a little like I was eating breakfast for dinner but the bratwurst brought me back. You could definitely change out the meat and have this for breakfast. 

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