Archive for November, 2013



With over 600 recipes left to go there are a ton of options available for dinners. I know that by the time we’re close to the end we’ll have only molded salads and salsify (where can I even find that?) left, but for now I’m enjoying the variety. This week I tried the Chow Mein Cabbage and French Onions and Rice. We enjoyed both of these.

Chow Mein Cabbage: shred cabbage, chop celery, green pepper (I used yellow) and onion. Melt butter and saute veggies all together for 5 minutes. Add salt. The recipe recommends adding soy sauce, but we found it to be unnecessary (thus calling into question the whole chow mein concept of the dish).

French Onions and Rice: boil 1/4 cup of rice for 5 minutes and drain. Thinly slice 3 yellow onions and saute in butter until yellow. Add rice, cover, and bake for an hour. Top with paprika and parmesan cheese.

The onions were so delicious and sweet that I will probably make this many more times. I didn’t really get the role of the rice, though. When I first saw the recipe I thought it would be mostly rice — like mujadara — but the rice ended up being almost unnoticeable. Next time I’ll either leave the rice out completely (making a sort of onion relish) or add a lot more (making it more like a rice side dish).

16 down, 650 to go.
(more about the Cooking the Book project)


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Tonight I hosted a dinner potluck and I contributed two main course dishes from the cookbook. They went over pretty well, but I didn’t love either of them (the cake I made was much better).

Scalloped Potatoes and Ham: brown cubed ham in cooking fat then add flour to make a roux. Add milk, potatoes, salt and pepper and boil til thick. Pour into baking dish and bake for 30 to 45 minutes or until potatoes are tender. I have never found a scalloped potatoes recipe that I have liked. This one was just ok. It didn’t make much sauce.

Seven-Layer Dinner: in a greased casserole dish layer sliced potatoes, sliced carrots, sliced celery, raw ground beef (I was skeptical, but it worked), chopped onion, chopped green pepper, and canned tomatoes, seasoning every layer or two. I topped it with dried basil. Bake for 2 hours. I stirred it before serving. This tasted good but wasn’t beautiful, and it made my house smell like a pizzeria.

14 down, 652 to go.
(more about the Cooking the Book project)

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After a few weeks off to eat up some leftovers and take a little vacation to the mountains, I’m back on track with the cookbook project. Tonight I used a salad dressing that I made up weeks ago but never managed to fit into dinner. The longer something sits in my fridge the more skeptical I get about it, but the dressing wasn’t too bad.

Cucumber Salad Dressing: to an 8 oz bottle of pre-made bleu cheese dressing add mayonnaise, grated peeled cucumber, grated onion, lemon juice, and a few drops of green food coloring. This dressing kept for weeks in the fridge. It would have benefitted from some fresh herbs (maybe dill) and certainly didn’t need the food color.

Country Sweet-Sour Cabbage: sauté peeled chopped apples and sliced onions in cooking fat. Add some water and half a head of cabbage, shredded. When tender, add vinegar (I used cider) and brown sugar (I didn’t have any so I used molasses). I let this mixture cook for quite a while until it caramelized. Before serving season with salt & pepper and add some butter. This was delicious.

12 down, 654 to go.
(more about the Cooking the Book project)

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