What I've Been Cooking Lately

Though I haven't spent a lot of time making up my own recipes lately, I have been taking the time to cook some recipes from others! I am fortunate enough to have a lot of nice cookbooks, and sometimes I forget to cook from them because I get busy with my own tangents. When I get really busy, I notice that inspiration doesn't come to me so easily, so my cookbooks help a lot. Here's what I've been making:

I have been doing some stress-relieving baking! I made some banana bread muffins from the blog With Style and Grace. They were a really great version and I imagine they'd please even people who like to eat grains! The only alteration I made with this recipe is that I omitted the honey and olive oil and instead added the same volume of melted coconut oil. I like the taste of coconut oil, plus I find bananas to be sweet enough without the added sweetener. I was able to get 8 muffins out of this recipe.

I also went all-out and made the cheesecake recipe from The Food Lovers Make it Paleo cookbook. It was a birthday cake, so I decorated the cake with sliced strawberries and a candle. It wasn't for a one-year-old, it's just that if I put all the candles for the birthday boy's age, I thought it would catch on fire and all my work would be ruined : P The custard part of the cake was so light and lemony! It was a bit of a splurge, as the authors admit, but was it ever worth it!

My only comments on the recipe are that, I don't agree that it's necessary to double the crust. I found it to be way too thick, and I saw several people who ate the cake leave the outer edge of the crust because it was just too much. It was hard to cut with a fork, and I think it would be weird to serve the cake with a steak knife to cut the crust. I would definitely make this again, but instead of doubling the crust, next time I will make 1.5x's the amount and see if that is better. Also, I think they should have mentioned that the ingredients for the cheesecake custard part should be at room temp. Room temp cream cheese and eggs are one of the cardinal rules of cheesecake making if you want a well-blended batter. Finally, they suggest serving the cheesecake with strawberry preserves. In their picture, they preserves look like a nice sauce. However if you follow the instructions for the preserves, you end up with a stiff jam. I had to stir the jam up really well and microwave it for a minute to get it to pouring consistency. It's not a big deal, but I think it would be a helpful thing to mention. 

I also made the pot roast recipe from Mark Sisson's Primal Blueprint Cookbook, which was really sensational. I used his slow cooker instructions, so it was easy to put together. He offers a lot of alternative ingredients in his recipe, so here's what I did: the morning I set up the slow cooker, I used the bacon drippings from the bacon I had just made for breakfast to sear the meat in. Instead of making his seasoning rub, I used my Roasted Chicken Seasoning because it was just so much easier than measuring out all the spices. I used red wine that I had thawed from the freezer to provide the liquid for braising. I like to freeze small amounts of leftover wine so I don't waste and so that I don't have to open a whole bottle whenever I need a little bit for a recipe. In the end, the wine cooked down with the meat juices to make a richly-flavored jus (I poured some in a small cup and had it as soup with dinner!). The meat had a nice garlic-y flavor, too, and was fork tender. Leftovers were really good too.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,