new recipes, 2013–part 1

Crock Pot Philly Cheesesteaks – This isn’t the first time I’ve tried to make cheesesteaks in the crock pot. I used Steak-umms, because then I don’t have to worry about slicing the meat. They were okay, but the meat just really didn’t seem to have a lot of flavor. I like using the crock pot not only because it’s easy, but because some people in my life don’t like onions and bell peppers, and cooking them all day in the crock pot makes them a little less potent. Next time I’m just frying everything in a skillet.

Oven Steak Fries – These were a last minute addition to the night’s meal, because I needed a side for cheesesteaks and fries sounded good. They were easy (especially since I didn’t need to peal the potatoes) and tasted delicious.

Creamy Chicken and Bacon Pastry Pockets – Puff pastry is such a fun thing to work with – it’s pretty easy, even if it’s a little messy, and the results are usually impressive. These were no exception. I did make a few changes – I didn’t include the sun dried tomatoes (because I just didn’t feel like buying them), and I used turkey bacon instead (because Missy and her girls don’t eat pork). I’d definitely make these again, and they would work really well as a party food.

Spanish Rice – I liked this, though I had to adapt it to what I had on hand (no bacon and diced instead of stewed tomatoes). I’m going to try it again this weekend with the right ingredients.

Skinny Monkey Cookies – These are kind of like a healthier version of a no-bake, except that you bake them. They got mixed reviews here – about half of us liked them and half didn’t. There is definitely a banana flavor, but if you like bananas (I do!) you might really enjoy these. They are also pretty simple, which I appreciate.

And a tip – did you know that you can shred chicken breasts using a stand mixer? It’s a little messy because you need to cover the top of bowl with your hands to avoid pieces flying out, and the chicken needs to be warm (even hot) for it to work, but it’s a lot easier than doing it by hand!

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