Monday, June 2, 2014

FOOD

Last winter, I went through a phase where every new recipe I tried was crap.  It was incredibly discouraging, because when you go to the effort of gathering all the (often unfamiliar) ingredients and painstakingly following the directions and mixing and sauteeing and dicing and on and on and on, you expect to have something delicious to show for it, not a huge pan of  food-like substance that every single member of your family is trying to force down their collective gullets so as not to hurt your feelings.

Over the past week, however, the food pendulum has swung the other way.  Every new recipe I tried was delicious.  Husband was happy.  Children were happy.  I was happy.  A near riot broke out this morning over who got the last of the rhubarb-mint lemonade.  

So here a few quick linky-poos to these belly-pleasing recipes, with my own additional notes, of course, because it would seem that I am incapable of posting a simple link and then leaving well enough alone.


Rhubarb-Cherry Sauce:  I served this over pork chops Derek was kind enough to grill.  I did make a couple variations to the recipe based on what was and wasn't in my pantry- I omitted the large red onions and instead chopped up about half a large white onion, in part because I didn't want as strong of an onion flavor, and in part because white was all I had, and instead of dried cherries, I put in 1/2 cup of my mother-in-law's homemade cherry pie filling that she was kind enough to stash in my freezer a few months ago, again, because that's what I had; I also omitted the granulated sugar and cut the brown sugar down to 1/8 cup because the cherry pie filling was so sweet.  This stuff was dee-lish, and a nice alternative the barbecue sauce I usually serve with pork.

Rhubarb Mint Lemonade:  For this one, you just take a can of frozen lemonade concentrate (or make fresh if concentrate offends your delicate sensibilities), make it according to the directions on the can, add a sliced fresh lemon, three cups of chopped rhubarb, and a handful of crushed mint leaves.  Stir it up, then let it steep in the fridge for at least three hours.  The best part of this one, aside from sucking it down as fast as I could because it was so refreshing, was pulling half the ingredients from my backyard (rhubarb) and kitchen windowsill (mint plant).  

New York Cheesecake:  I wasn't sure about this one, as the author/baker lists its difficulty level as "Easy," while in my (entirely unprofessional, at-home cook) opinion, any recipe requiring a bain-marie should automatically be upgraded to at least "Moderate."  It really was easy, easy, easy, however, especially if you read the directions ahead of time and set out all the ingredients to soften/come to room-temperature and allot enough time for the baking/cooling on the counter (I have got to start reading recipes IN FULL, ALL THE WAY TO THE END before I get to making them), because while the actual work involved is easy peasy, you're going to need to be at home for awhile/not make it right before bedtime.  My only variation is that she calls for a springform pan, and I'm not fancy enough to have one of those.  I instead used two 9-inch round cake pans, and they turned out great, plus I got to skip all that tinfoil nonsense.  I also whipped up a simple graham cracker crust and pressed it into the bottom of one of the pans, because while her recipe doesn't call for one, I love a crust on my cheesecake.  Our family preferred the one with the crust.  This one was easy to make, easily the best cheesecake I've ever made, and one of the best I've ever had, period.


Anyone else have any tried-and-true rhubarb recipes?  Because I've still got a bunch back there, but don't really feel like making the standard rhubarb crisp or rhubarb pie.  

3 comments:

  1. I am sad because I can't help you. I don't like rhubarb or cheesecake. Go figure. But putting cherry pie filling on pork chops sounds completely awesome.

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  2. I hate (HATE) rhubarb. And I can taste the tiniest bit in anything else that people try to mix it with and get me to try. Can we still be friends? (And CHM? You are honestly the only other person I've run into who doesn't like rhubarb!)

    I LOVE cheesecake, however, and have several recipes I've used over the years. I really like your idea of splitting it into two smaller cakes and leaving out the springform pan (which is a total hassle). This would mean you could freeze one --one of the problems with making a cheesecake for a house of only three people is that I end up eating way too much of it. But freezing half would solve that problem!

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  3. I don't like rhubarb either. But I'm glad you've found some good recipes-it's no fun to go to the trouble for yucky food.

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