Saturday, January 1, 2011

Cookin' it old school (and, well, new school)

I never really liked that saying...kickin' it old school. But I'm trying to get cookin' it old school to catch on this year. We'll see how that works out.

Happy 2011 to my 2.714 readers! I appreciate you very much. I got two precious little cookbooks for Christmas and wanted to share them.
You can find them here and here. The Cooking Calendar one I got is actually vintage...printed in 1959. It has that charming old book smell that I so love. These little books are delightful. The Cooking Calendar is split up by month and tells you what produce is freshest and most readily available each month. It then gives recipes that feature that produce. The Guide to Entertaining is so fabulous. Not only does it have lots of recipes, it gives TONS of etiquette, table-setting, and serving advice. Love it. Kitschy and cute and old-fashioned and practical all rolled into one.

One of my New Year's resolutions (which I never make, by the way, because I never keep them...ever) this year is to cook as much as I can. This will probably be the first New Year's resolution that I actually keep. I've been cooking up a storm during my Christmas break, and here are some of the tasty things I've been whipping up:

Black-Eyed Pea Dip - This is absolutely amazing. Unless you're making this for just one person, I would octuple the recipe. It's that good. And feel free to octuple the recipe even if you are just making it for yourself; I won't judge.

Chicken Spaghetti - Awesome. I "healthed up" her recipe by using whole wheat spaghetti, reduced fat soup and cheese, and only 1 3/4 cup cheese instead of 3 cups. I also added a few handfuls of spinach to the mix before baking. Really, really good but it makes a lot. Be prepared to give some away or freeze it or be eating leftovers for a while!

Carrot & Squash Curry Soup - This soup allowed me to use my sweet new immersion blender. It's simple and surprisingly filling. Once blended, it's a pretty color, too. Don't you love eating pretty food?

Poppy Seed Chicken - I've eaten this a million times but this is the first time I've ever made it. With a big salad, this is perfect comfort food.

Spinach Dip - I use the recipe on the back of the Knorr vegetable soup packet. I've started making it without mayo. It's thicker, but I think it tastes just as good. I like that it's more "spinach-y" that way.

Roasted Green Beans - I'm  making this for our annual New Year's Day feast. Really easy, healthy, and tasty.

1 lb. fresh green beans
1 onion, sliced and separated into rings
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 tsp. olive oil

*Wash and trim up the beans. Pat dry.
*Arrange beans in a lightly greased baking dish. Top with onion and garlic. Drizzle with vinegar first and then olive oil; toss. Bake at 450 for 10  minutes. Stir and bake 5 more minutes.

Here's to plenty of good cooking (and good eating) in 2011!

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