Saturday, June 26, 2010

Fridgetastic Friday[s] 061810 & 062510

Sooo, I was reading this thing about "how to make your blog better" and one of the recommendations was to post on a consistent schedule on consistent topics. Most of me wants to tell that writer "go eat your head", but since I actually have something I could blog about consistently, at least for the summer, I will try. Although this wasn't on the list, it is obvious that in order to gather readers, you need ridiculously foolish titles for your periodicals as well, so I have succumbed. Here begins the account of my culinary escapades every Friday evening. My goal is to feed 5 to 8 people on $20 or less (plus whatever is already in the fridge/pantry). It should be fairly obvious which photos are from the recipe links below and which are mine. 


Theme: Summer-ish Thai-inspired.
Menue: Thai Chicken Pizza & Coconut Shrimp Soup
Cost: $13.86
Served: 8
Prep time: 3 hours
Pros: Trader Joe wontons pre-made and delicious!
Cons: Pizza recipe is unclear about when to put on which toppings (before or after baking) -
I baked the cucumber, which I was worried about, but it was fine. Making the pizza dough somewhat labor
intensive and you have to allow time for it to rise (I started it first thing so it could rise while I cooked the rest of the meal)..
Mistakes: I used the water from boiling the chicken (for the pizza) as a broth base for the
soup, thinking it would be like chicken broth, but it was not flavored enough. Even when I
added chicken flavor, I still had a weak broth, and far too much of it.
Changes: I added coconut, glass noodles, cilantro, lemon grass powder (and some other fitting
spices which I don't recall), chicken bouillon & Trader Joe's shrimp wantons to the soup. I
did not add shrimp or spagetti, so it was pretty much not the same soup at all. I didn't
add the hoison sauce to the pizza either (which was a big part of the recipe!) - I didn't use
any sauce.
Reviews: The soup was a favorite & Jonas told me at least 3+ times (seperate occasions,
including a call) that it was delicious. :D I personally liked the pizza best. 
Rating: 4 out of 5 - repeat with some adjustments. 


Theme: Summer-ish Italian-ish.
Menue: Linguine with Shrimp and Cilantro-Lime Pesto, Atayef with Blueberry Sauce and Cream Cheese & a Chilled Baby Watermelon.
Cost: $16.26
Served: 5 1/2 (Jonas had already eaten dinner once)
Prep time: ~3 hours (could have been less had I multitasked more)
Pros: Pesto & shrimp were very easy and fast.
Cons: Pesto was too tart & it's very hard to make proper pancakes.
Mistakes: I got raspberry on my white Elvis shirt, put the raspberry sauce on long before serving (allows for sogging), and used expensive fresh raspberries when I could have used frozen ones. 
Changes:I doubled the pesto/shrimp recipe and added walnuts, basil, parmesan while excluding tequila, red pepper and jalepano. I served the shrimp, pesto and pasta seperately so everyone could add what they wanted in the amounts they wanted, and served extra parmesan and cilantro on the side as well. I cooked the shrimp in nothing but a dash of olive oil (SO good) and put a little bit of olive oil on the noodles to keep them from sticking after drained. I used egg noodles (cook quickly but DO NOT work with the ready-when-stick-to-wall trick) rather than linguine. I used raspberries instead of blueberries for the pancake sauce and added a LOT more milk to the batter to obtain a consistency I preferred. 
Reviews: Jon loved it and went on and on with the compliments :D - he preferred it to last week's. In general, the pesto was too strong. The watermelon was good. ;) Personally, I thought the cream cheese was too strong as well. 
Rating: 3 out of 5 - some loved it, some not so much. 

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