in the kitchen

one of the things i’m enjoying the most about this season – specifically not working full time anymore! – is having the time to search out new recipes and actually try them!  so far i’ve come across some fabulous finds and thought i’d share them with y’all.  🙂  (i’ve found them all online, so i’m just going to put links below, with some of my notes.)

Baked Teriyaki Chicken

(this is just a stock photo i found)
nothing shocking/original with this recipe, i just liked making my own teriyaki sauce.  and i pretty much already had all the ingredients on hand – yay!
a few changes i made:
– i just cut up 1 huge chicken breast into smallish pieces (instead of using thighs), but still made the full batch of sauce
– instead of brushing the chicken, i just dumped all the sauce over the pieces in a foil-lined 8×8 pan and baked them for about half an hour
– served over rice and steamed broccoli (I my rice cooker)
– super yummy and the perfect amount for 2 people (just enough leftovers for me to have the rest for lunch today)

Outback Steakhouse Honey Wheat Brown Bread (copycat recipe)

after the first day of class, zach and i used a gift card from Christmas and went to Outback for dinner to celebrate the start of this new season.  we both love that dark, sweet bread they give you when you first sit down and naturally i thought, “i bet there’s a copy cat recipe out there on the internet somewhere.  i’m going to find it.”  a quick search the next day and voila!  mine didn’t turn out quite as dark because i didn’t have any food coloring, but it still tasted great!
– i didn’t make any adjustments to the recipe besides skipping the food coloring
– be warned: the dough rises for 1.5 hours and then for another hour, plus bakes for 30-40 minutes.  add in the prep and kneading time, you’ll need a 4 hour block of time for this one.  you can definitely be doing other things for most of that time, so don’t let that deter you.  just a heads up that you can’t start this an hour before dinner and expect to have it for dinner.  it takes a bit more planning ahead, that’s all.

Mini Meatball Sandwiches (recipe and photo from the Pioneer Woman – right here in Oklahoma!)

oh snap, these were a-maaaazing.  zach and i both kept looking at each other, a little wide-eyed, as we ate them, nonverbally communicating how fabulous we thought they tasted.  i’m so glad there are plenty of left overs!
– i didn’t have regular breadcrumbs on hand, only the italian style kind – didn’t seem to make any difference whatsoever.  if anything, they just added to the already italian-ish flavor of this recipe.
– the jar of pasta/marinara sauce i had in the fridge was “spicy tomato and basil”.  personally, i think this is actually what made the sauce and overall flavor so unbelievably yummy.  didn’t plan for that – but i’ll take it!
– the provolone cheese was also a very scrumptious touch, so don’t skimp on this.  buy extra if you have to.  i ended up cutting the slices in half (instead of 4ths), and then putting TWO pieces (total of 1 full slice) on each mini sandwich.  yessss.

Pizza Dough

(sorry, another stock photo.  because i don’t take pictures of my food.  besides, how would i take this one if those were my hands? duh.)
i’ve been looking for a good pizza dough recipe – so far i’ve tried 4 different ones and haven’t loved any of them.  while packing up my kitchen, i discovered that i had printed this one from my friend Rachel’s blog months ago and completely forgotten about it!  i tried it the other day and it was WONDERFUL.  tasted great, was fluffy and thick – without being overly dense or bready – and made a HUGE pizza.  i have found my pizza dough recipe!
– the only change i technically made was using oil spray on the pan instead of olive oil…
– oh, and the recipe calls for nonfat dry milk.  i was initially hesitant to spend the $3 on a whole box when i only needed 1/4 cup, but i’m so glad i did because the pizza dough was seriously fabulous and i will most definitely be making it again.
– i haven’t tried the sauce Rachel listed in her post – i just used whatever from a jar.

obviously zach has been quite the happy eater lately.  after each of these meals, i’ve gotten the stop-after-the-first-bite look, eyes a little wide as he says, “Babe.  Wow.” 

a few recipes i am planning to try in the coming days/weeks:
my friend Callie‘s Corn Chowder
French Dip Sandwiches (another Pioneer Woman recipe)
and
Clone of a Cinnabon (although i’m going to have to follow the instructions in the comments for making these without a bread machine)

i feel like i should go work out now…

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