09/2/09

The Drought Is Over

I admit it. I fell off the cooking wagon. Would that be the chuckwagon? Who knows. At any rate, I have been neglecting my personal goals of trying new recipes and cooking more meals. Thankfully, invitations to join good friends and family for dinner over the past weekend inspired me to revisit the kitchen.Caramel Cake: I wanted to take a two-layer cake as my contribution to an outdoor dinner with friends. Searching through www.myrecipes.com revealed several possibilities. However, because of dietary requirements of my friends, I made the cake from one recipe and the frosting from another. The cake turned out to be a little more dense than a normal cake, almost like a distant relative of a pound cake. The frosting was good, although I almost did not have enough to frost the entire cake! All-in-all, everyone had second helpings of the cake and the leftovers did not last long at home. I’ll make this one again!Darlene’s Healthy Salad: Thankfully, the latest issue of Cooking Light magazine came in the mail last week! Flipping through the newly redesigned layout, I came across this easy salad. I did not include radishes but added cherry tomatoes. This salad came together fairly quickly, especially since I used my awesome food processor to slice the cucumbers and red onion. The tangy combo of red wine vinegar, onion, and cucumbers made this salad a modern version of the cucumber salad my grandma used to make. I bet I would have loved it even more if I would have picked out a ripe avocado instead of an unusable rock-hard one. Oh, well. I already made this salad again! It will be a regular next summer.Cold Sesame Noodles with Chicken and Cucumbers: This recipe was fast, easy, and delicious. I was able to quickly assemble it even after working late and walking the dog! Other than dicing the cucumbers instead of slicing, I made the recipe as directed and had no problem finding any of the ingredients. My husband loved the recipe. I think he was surprised about how much flavor was in a dish with relatively few ingredients (and relatively few dishes to wash!). This would be a great dish to take for lunches. Also, I liked the “game plan” feature in the magazine. We’ll be making this again!