Apparently I have a lot of feelings this week! It was good to bounce back from last week’s craziness and have two really awesome meals. Unfortunately the third was a disappointment.
Sunday: Vegetarian tamale pie.
- I have so many feelings about this one. This is a recipe I would normally have run far far away from– too many steps, too many dirty pans. I decided to forge on anyway because it just looked so delicious. Spoiler alert, it was amazing. It’s rare that I decide to pass on guac or sour cream with Mexican food. I truly felt like this meal didn’t need it.
However, unsurprisingly, it was a hugeeee pain. Here’s basically how it went down:
1. This looks really good…but it also looks really annoying to make.
2. Start making recipe, time already adding up because I’m not the fastest chopper. Starting to get concerned.
3. Realize that it’s supposed to bake for 60 minutes, not just 30, delaying an already late dinner. Curse.
4. REGRET. Why am I doing this? My kitchen is a disaster. Everything I own is dirty and spread out on the counter.
5. Regret x2. Pan has overflowed into the oven. Pull out 20 minutes early and worry I have ruined the entire recipe.
6. Delicious. Want to make again. Eat multiple times each day willingly.
7. Spend evening scrubbing bottom of the oven, cursing again.
If you decide to venture into this recipe:
- This is a Sunday recipe. If you work there’s basically no way you can accomplish this in a reasonable amount of time after getting home.
- These 8 servings are really huge.
- Next time I would half the salsa and bean mixture so it has room to breathe in the pan. I would also make slightly less of the corn meal topping– maybe like ¾ of it.
- Making my own roasted tomato salsa was cool and all, but it added so much time to an already long recipe. Next time I would do that step the day before, or just use store bought salsa.
Tuesday: Leftovers (so. many. leftovers. Not complaining.)
- My friend Aleia told me recently that she caramelized onions in the Crockpot and it sounded like such a smart alternative to fussing over onions on the stove for 45 minutes. Plus it smells awesome. She did 3 pounds of onions, and I only had one (onion, that is, not pound), so I saved this experiment for my telework day so that I could be present to handle any burning/fires that may come of my experimentation. What Aleia did was similar to this.
I melted 1 tbsp of butter for my one onion.
I stirred and salted the onion about an hour before it was done. I had meant to do it earlier but totally forgot. I had no idea how long just 1 onion would take, and thought maybe it would be around 4 hours. In my Crockpot about 6 hours was right. Perhaps salting/stirring earlier would help cut down time.
With easy caramelized onion, the rest of the recipe came together quickly and was delicious. You can’t lose with meat, cheese, and BBQ sauce. And I will be caramelizing onion again soon in a larger quantity.
Saturday: Out, and also made
- I psyched myself out with this one. I was planning to make it much earlier in the week and I thawed the chicken too early. It didn’t look/smell/feel bad, but I couldn’t stop thinking about it possibly being bad, lol.
Separate from this issue, the marinade smelled amazing, but the texture of the chicken was kind of weird from the yogurt. The couscous was a little…overpowering? Not going to make this meal again.
Other non-dinner things I made…
- Salted caramel peanut butter cookies. I had a jar of salted caramel peanut butter I wasn’t sure what to do with because it’s a little too sweet to swap for peanut butter. Enter cookies! I used this recipe with my fancy peanut butter and didn’t bother to salt the top. Unfortunately, I burnt the bottoms a little bit, but even ignoring that these aren’t my favorite. They are sooooo rich it’s a little hard to handle. I don’t think it would be better with regular PB. Not planning to repeat.