19 January 2019

Making Taste of Home's Tacos in a Bowl

Taste of Home's "Tacos in a Bowl" feels like the ideal bitter January weekend, can't-be-arsed-to-do-proper cooking meal. Full of carbs and cheese, it is a delicious bowl of comfort. It took me about twenty minutes to make and the most labor-intensive part was chopping the onion.


I did make a few changes to the original recipe: Instead of using "¾ cup canned diced tomatoes, drained" and "1 cup water" I drained a 10 oz can of Huy Fong Sriracha Diced Tomatoes & Red Chilies, retaining the juice in a measuring cup and then adding water until I'd reached the 1 cup mark. To make use of what I already had on hand, I substituted Penzeys salt-free Arizona Dreaming seasoning blend for the regular, salty taco seasoning and Cabot Sharp Light for the regular whole-fat cheddar called for in the recipe.

This was a quick and easy lazy Saturday meal that tasted pretty great for what could have been an unsavory food fusion experience. Even The Husband, who complained it was "a bit spicy" (read: his mouth was on fire), liked it and said he would eat it again. But will I make it again?

Probably not. It was easy and tasty, yes, but not really ... necessary? I love ramen. I love tacos. I just don't feel I need to combine the two again. Also, and I don't know if this makes sense, but when I think about taco ramen bowls too hard, I get this unquiet feeling I've engaged in cultural appropriation and I don't like that feeling so ... no, I won't be making it again.

17 January 2019

Cookbook Club: Cake


I probably shouldn't have chosen cake as January's library cookbook club theme, considering "everyone" is "dieting" this time of year, but I tried veg*n cooking last January and no-one really liked that so I thought I'd swing for the opposite pole.

Anyway, five cooks came with cakes and we all had a good time and that's all that matters. Several bakers complained their cakes were not up to scratch -- the walnut cake baker simply did not like the flavor or texture of her cake, while the butter cake baker was embarrassed her cake fell in the middle after it came out of the oven and was afraid there was something very wrong with it. As is often true, we can be our own worst critics, for everyone else liked their cakes very much.

To be fair, the cookbook club members are a compassionate, optimistic bunch who never have anything but nice things to say to each other. Even when a dish is awful, everyone is supernice about figuring out how it went wrong or could be fixed. If you're feeling down about the world and think that humanity is pretty awful, cookbook club will make you feel so much better.

Cakes:
  • "Basic Yellow Butter Cake" from Yvonne Ruperti's One Bowl Baking: Simple, from Scratch Recipes for Delicious Desserts
  • "Chocolate Zucchini Cake" from Debbie Macomber's Cedar Cove cookbook
  • "Lemon-Fig Cake" from Martha Stewart's Cakes: Our First-Ever Book of Bundts, Loaves, Layers, Coffee Cakes, and More
  • "Lemon-Poppy Seed Pound Cake" from Better Homes & Gardens' Baking Step By Step: Everything You Need to Know to Start Baking Now!
  • "Spiced Walnut Cake" from Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough's All-Time Favorite Sheet Cakes & Slab Pies: Easy to Make, Easy to Serve
  • "Supermoist Applesauce Quick Bread" also from Yvonne Ruperti's One Bowl Baking: Simple, from Scratch Recipes for Delicious Desserts

16 January 2019