09 January 2013

Menu Wednesday: Winner and Losers

Well it seems a bit of our bad luck from 2012 has spilled over into the early days of 2013.  Ozzie got a piece of bone stuck in his esophagus on Saturday night, which resulted in a very stressful and very expensive overnight stay at the ER vet for him.  He is healing, but not totally out of the woods as we wait to find out if he's had any permanent damage done to his esophagus.  And, bonus, he goes in to his regular vet next week for a procedure on his ears.  The poor little dude.  We just want him to get better {and to stop costing so much $$ :) }!! Thanks for all of the well-wishes on Twitter and Instagram this weekend!

I've been holed up on the couch for the past few days recovering from a stomach bug, so the first full Menu Monday of 2013 will have to wait until next week.  In the meantime, I thought I'd share some recent kitchen disasters and one joyous breakfast discovery.  First up, the losers:

Kung Pao Chicken Tacos {Cooking Light October 2012}
In all fairness, I should have known these were going to be a disaster.  I mean, Kung Pao Chicken Tacos? It sounds like one of the weird products that the chef was trying to sell in Ratatouille.  But Cooking Light rarely steers me wrong and we love Chinese food, so I gave it a shot.

Huge mistake. These were DISGUSTING.  Just...ick. So, so bad. Avoid recipe at all costs.

Taco Stuffed Shells {Budget Bytes}
I didn't even take a picture of this meal because I was so embarassed.  This should have been an incredible dinner.  All delicious components baked under a cheesy blanket.  

But genius here conveniently forgot to cook the beans. I'm not sure how one actually forgets to cook one of the main ingredients, but I did.  We took one bite into the shells and it was an unforgettable combination of delicious taste and the worst, weird, crunchy texture ever.  M was a sport and picked out every single bean and ate around them.  I think I just ate crackers and pouted.

Moral of the story?  Just use canned beans to make this.  Less time, less hassle, less chance you will have a blonde moment like I did.

Roasted Shrimp with Spaghetti Squash {Everyday Food December 2009}
Spaghetti squash = EPIC FAIL.

Have y'all ever cooked one of these before? I've always been intrigued by them but never again.  First of all, I cooked it according to the directions on the freakin' label that was ON THE SQUASH.  And those directions were wrong.  After doing some research, I learned that spaghetti squash is not, in fact, supposed to be crunchy and that it should have cooked for at least another 30-60 minutes. Lovely.

Second of all, even if it had been cooked properly, these things are way too much work for about zero gain.  I'm not on a low carb diet, so the next time I want something resembling shrimp with spaghetti, I will make shrimp with spaghetti.  After the cooking, the cooling, and the never ending scraping of seeds and flesh, I was expecting deliciousness.  I got meh instead. 

At least it looked pretty?

Now for the winner...

Bran Muffins {Elefantitas Alegres}
Minus the fact that making these required my kitchen to look like a toddler had been let loose in the pantry, these were a complete hit.  I've been meaning to make them for awhile.  The recipe makes a ton and with my work schedule, having a healthy breakfast that I can grab and eat on the road is invaluable.  Kate's recommendation to drizzle them with local honey is spot on.  And, per the recipe, I used all applesauce and no sugar.  And I did add the 3/4 cup of ground flaxseed.  Delicious!

Any recent kitchen disaster you care to share so that I don't feel like a wannabe-Ina Garten failure?


Baltimore Prep said...

I HATE recipe disasters!! It is always so disappointing to try something new, take the time to plan it and bake it and then have to eat something else. My most recent was making a chowder I thought was to be served hot when it was intended to be cold. Bleh. Entirely my own fault for not reading through to the very end of the recipe.

Thanks for the tidbit on the spaghetti squash, it's always in the want to try but too scared relm for me but now I think I'll officially be moving it into no thanks!

KatiePerk said...

I have had success with spaghetti squash in the past, but it is inconsistent and a total bitch to work with.

I made a big ol' fail with a coffee cake yesterday. Oops. It was chewy.

jennifer smith said...

I have had my share of disasters but getting better. I have to try the spaghetti squash. Looks great.

McV said...

Oh no, spaghetti squash!! This is one of my favorite favorite winter vegetables. It does take while to roast, but it's so worth it. Try it again, and, after you scrape the seeds out, rub in some olive oil, garlic and salt and pepper. Rosat cut side up, for about 45-60 min. It will smell Heavenly while it roasts. When the sides are pretty soft (like you can poke them and they move very easily) it's done. You can also do it in the microwave in about 10 minutes and toss with garlic, oo and s+p after. Here are some microwave directions: http://www.kitchentreaty.com/how-to-cook-spaghetti-squash-two-different-ways-in-the-microwave-or-in-the-oven/

Anonymous said...

I nominated you for the liebster award, check it out on my page and do your own!! love your blog. http://sweetteaandsundaymornings.blogspot.com