Beef ‘n’ Mac

IMG_8077Remodeling an old tobacco barn can be time consuming. Very time consumingSo, when it comes to dinners we have two options. Go out or cook simple and quick.

In my childhood, my mom worked second and third shift and so my dad did a lot of the cooking. We had just begun to start eating organic around this time and being accustomed to frozen dinners and processed foods, one could say that it was a difficult adjustment. So, to make the adjustment easier, my dad would cook special meals on Fridays.

Beef ‘n’ Mac, which eventually became a staple, was always a hit in the Goodman household.

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Ingredients:

1 Bell Pepper

1-2 Onion(s)

2 Cloves of Garlic

Grapeseed Oil

8 ounces of Mushrooms

3 Carrots (Optional)

2 Boxes of Macaroni and Cheese (I normally used a brand with a powdered cheese packet but brand is personal preference.)

1 pound of Ground Beef

2-3 Tomatoes

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste

Dash of Cayenne

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Directions:

1. Mince garlic and roughly chop the onion, pepper, carrots, and DSC_0003mushrooms. (Carrots and mushrooms are optional but I do strongly recommend using
onions and peppers since they both play a huge roll in the dish.)

 

 

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2. Once everything has been chopped, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat and add onions and garlic. DSC_0028

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CDSC_0032ook onions and garlic until the onions become translucent and fragrant.
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Meanwhile, boil the macaroni noodles according to package directions.

 

 

 

 

3. Once the onions are translucent, add the ground beef and cook until browned. By this point, the noIMG_8075odles should be cooked.
Make the macaroni, again, according to the package instructions and set aside.

 

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4. After the beef has been cooked through, add the veggies. (Mushrooms, peppers, and carrots) Cook until the carrots are tender.

 

 

 

 

5. Mix the meat/veggie mixture with the macaroni and season with salt pepper. For the finishing touches, add a dash of cayenne (But just add a small dash unless you want your dish to be spicy.) and dice your tomatoes and sprinkle on top. This adds a surprising freshness to the dish and really brings it all together.

*The tomatoes are also an important part of the dish but can easily be omitted if needed. 

And that’s it!

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Since this is my recipe, I don’t think that I can properly review it but I will give you guys what, I think, are the pros and cons of the dish nonetheless.

Pros: This dish is simple, easy, and kid friendly. It also can be accompanied by almost any side dish. That is the best thing about this recipe. It is very flexible. I normally serve this with a side salad and/or garlic bread.

Cons: Like I said before, this was a splurge dish in my family. It isn’t necessarily the most fat-free recipe but can easily be altered by using quinoa macaroni and a leaner ground beef.

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Honestly guys, this dish is so easy and delicious. It is also a good way to incorporate organic ingredients if your family isn’t partial to them. I would recommend an organic brand macaroni because it definitely yields the best results.

Since this is the first recipe that I have ever shared anywhere, I would love to know what you guys think. So, please like, comment, and let me know what you think of this recipe! Is it a hit or a miss?

Have a great Saturday!

 

 

 

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Classic Homemade Lasagna

(I posted this on Saturday but WordPress posted it three days in the past and I was unaware until now. Not sure why. Anyway, sorry for the kind-of-late-post. I hope you guys enjoy this recipe!)

 Saturday’s are perfect for three things. Birthdays, road trips, and lasagna.

For the entirety of my cooking life, I have never made one good lasagna. I have never had one lasagna recipe that rose above the rest. And I have never had a go-to recipe in my repertoire that I used for emergency holiday dinners. Normally, I would scramble in the frozen section, mulling over which pre-made lasagna didn’t scream failed chef.

Now, all of that has changed, for I have found my saving grace.

Classic Homemade Lasagna  by Laurie Mcnamara, the author of the website simplyscratch.com, has created a fool-proof lasagna that is beyond delicious!

Before you cook, however, there a a few pointers that I have to go over.

First, find San Marzano tomatoes. I can not stress this point enough. The author of the recipe really hit the nail on the head with this cooking tip. These tomatoes really do make all the difference in the sauce.

Crush them by hand. Every recipe that I have ever cooked was always so much better if it involved using your hands at some point. Also, try and crush them gently in the pot. I tried crushing them over the pot and made a really big mess on my stove, floor, and shirt.

Lastly, USE REGULAR NOODLES. Maybe the author had a different type of no-boil noodles and maybe they worked great but for me it was a fail. The noodles softened to the point where it seemed that they were nonexistent. The texture of the noodles resembled the cheese in the lasagna. This gave the lasagna little texture and I am a person who appreciates texture. So, it may take a bit longer and you may have to wash an extra pot but use regular noodles.

*Note that this recipe does take some time to prepare.

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How to cook it:

First, you cook your onions and garlic and then add your sirloin and sausage. Once the meat has been browned, add your spices, tomato paste, and crush your tomatoes into the pot by hand. Stir this together and reduce your heat to low, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes.

While that simmers make your ricotta mixture by mixing ricotta, eggs, parsley, black pepper, parmesan, and mozzarella together. Put this in the refrigerator until the sauce is ready.

Now you are ready to assemble.

*Tip: Use a disposable pan, as show below, for easy clean up.

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Before you start layering the lasagna, spread 1 cup of the sauce in the bottom of the pan. Then you layer.

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Noodles, ricotta mixture, sauce, cheese.

Noodles, ricotta mixture, sauce, cheese.

Noodles, ricotta mixture, sauce, no cheese.

Noodles, sauce, cheese.

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Bake this in a three hundred and seventy five degree oven for 30-40 minutes until the top is perfectly golden.

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Let it sit for ten minutes and then serve!

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Pros:

I am simply in love with the San Marzano tomatoes in the sauce. Normally, my lasagnas are so acidic that they are barely edible. San Marzano tomatoes have very little acidity and without the harsh acidic quality, it gives the flavors of the lasagna a chance to make their presense known, giving the flavor a nice balance.

This is a recipe that is so easy to expand upon. You could replace the ricotta with cottage cheese, like my dad is partial to doing. If you are adventurous with your lasagnas, you can even go as far as to try different sauces, herbs, meats, and cheeses. Or, if you are like me and love to keep things simple, you can keep the recipe as is and still end up with an amazing meal. Whether or not you like your lasagna complicated or simple, this will be you new go to recipe.

Cons: 

For this recipe, the noodles were my only hang-up. Obviously, this recipe is a hit but the lack of texture brought my rating down from four and a half stars to four.

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One of the things that I love most about lasagnas is that they can be frozen and saved for a rainy day. So, schedule this classic lasagna for your next rainy day and let me know what you think about it!

Is this recipe a hit or a miss?

#FollowFriday

Tomorrow is Saturday and that means another recipe review. So while I ruminate on what this weeks recipe will be, I have decided to procrastinate by creating a post that has nothing to do with food; not really anyway.

This will probably be the only #FollowFriday that I do, ever. Mostly because it isn’t my idea or even what my blog is about.

Rosina Motta is the author of the blog Cappuccino Connected, which is completely dedicated to helping and uplifting other bloggers.

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Not only does she post DIY projects, recipes, and reviews with entertaining commentary. She also has themed posts dedicated to building a loyal community of bloggers such as #TwitterTuesday and #FollowFriday.

I am honored that, this week, she chose Hit & Miss Cuisine as her #FollowFriday blog of the week.

So, seeing as she always posts and advertises other blogs, I figured maybe it was her turn to receive the spotlight.

I encourage everyone who is reading this post to click on the link and check out her blog! Even if you think that her blog might not be your thing, I’d say just give it a try and you might be pleasantly surprised.

I hope everyone is having a lovely Friday!

Lazy Days

We all have to have lazy days.

For those of you out there who cook five star meals every single night and enjoy doing it; I commend you. But for me, having lazy days is a must. Especially with the rest of the work I have to do on a daily basis.

Tonight, Red Lobster was my lazy day choice.

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(My pictures aren’t exactly up to par because I took these on my phone. Taking my canon rebel inside the restaraunt and having a photo-shoot might’ve been a bit weird. Although, it was pretty dark so my flash did go off, causing the couple beside me to stare at me but oh well.)

Now, about the actual food. I stole a bite of the salmon and the steak, which were both really good, but since I didn’t eat those meals I don’t feel like I can properly review those. My meal, the crab linguini, was great!

The garlic-parmesan sauce wasn’t too overbearing like some garlic sauces tend to be. It was very subtle and complemented the crab nicely. The crab tasted fresh and it was just the tiniest bit sweet which really contrasted with the saltiness of the parmesan in the sauce.

The sides. The caesar salad was everything you could want from a classic caesar salad. There was a perfect amount of dressing and parmesan, which can both be over done very easily. The biscuits, the biscuits, were incredible. If you have ever eaten Red Lobster’s biscuits, then you know why I italicized it. If you haven’t, well then you should just shut your computer down and find the nearest Red Lobster on your GPS and go!

Yes, they are that good. 

For my drink I got the Peach Tea, it may be called something very different but regardless it was delicious. Now, I love sweet tea. Of course I do. I am from the south and in the south sweet tea is a staple. But my dad, hates it.

Note: I am still not convinced he is even from the south even though he claims to have lived here his whole life.

Regardless, after convincing him to overcome his pride and taste it he said:

“That actually isn’t bad. I could drink that.”

That is my dad’s way of saying: “Wow that is great!”.  And my dad was right. It was delicious and I would definitely recommend it, even to people who hate tea.

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Pros:

The food was great and was worth the money that we paid.

Cons:

The only critique I have was that the croutons were too hard. Like when you bit into them they kind’ve rattled your brain. They seemed fresh baked though so I wasn’t too offended.

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Overall, it was a great night, with good food, and good company.

Have any of you guys tried the crab linguini at Red Lobster? If so, what did you think? If not, what is your favorite dish to order? And above all, how many biscuits do you eat before your food actually arrives?

Baked Lemon Chicken Thighs with Mushroom Sauce

If there is one thing that I have fallen in love with, it is lemons.

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They are so simple but at the same time, when added to a dish, can give it an entirely new depth of flavor.

Now for my confession. As a child and young adult, I wouldn’t have anything to do with bones or fat. I didn’t mind cooking with them. I have never been queazy around raw meat. For example, when my parents could actually convince me to eat something straight off of a bone, such as a chicken wing, I would basically eat the skin and a small portion of the meat and leave three quarters of it behind. Another example is steak. When we ate steaks I would cut a half an inch away from the fat on the edges to be sure that the small portion of meat that I ended up with had zero fat on it anywhere.

For my health, I had to suck it up. Now, I am not nearly as picky but I still have my hang-ups. Old habits die hard I guess.

One of those hang-ups is chicken thighs.

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I don’t have many recipes for this part of the chicken in my repertoire. Even with my improvements, regarding my child-like pickiness, I still shy away from chicken thighs at all costs. Unfortunately, misfortune was in my cards this evening. Because when looking for dinner ideas in the freezer, I found that someone had shoved the thighs on the top and the packaging had ripped. I was forced into cooking them.

My sister suggested lemon and just like that, an idea sparked.

Why not combine the one thing that I hated the most and the one thing that I loved? 

So I set off in search of a recipe and stumbled onto Baked Lemon Chicken Thighs with Mushroom Sauce on Allrecipes.com.

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To begin with, you have to marinate the thighs for at least four hours in the refrigerator, if not overnight. If you try to just cook it without marinating then your chicken will seem a bit flavorless underneath all of the seasoning on top so this a very important step for this recipe.

Once the four hours are up, then comes the fun part. I cut up two lemons in thin slices and lined a baking pan with foil. Next, you layer the bottom of the pan with half of the lemon slices and lay the marinated chicken on top. I spooned a little extra marinade on top of the chicken at this point and then layered the other half of lemon slices on top.

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All that was left to do was place the pan in the previously preheated, four hundred degree oven and let that cook for 30 to 40 minutes. While the chicken baked, I had just enough time to make my sides and the mushroom sauce. (Which, by the way, really was fool proof, as promised.) Basically, you cook your mushrooms, add a few extra seasonings, then add flour to broth, shake it up in a jar, and pour it in the pan. This gravy/sauce practically cooks itself. Unlike gravy, where you have to constantly stir for fear of clumps, this stays a nice creamy consistency until the ten minutes are up.

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And that is it! Dinner was done!

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A side of peppered basmati rice and lemon garlic asparagus went nicely with the dish. In the end, this recipe received and overall score of three and a half stars, making it a hit!

Unfortunately for this recipe, there is another lemon/mushroom recipe out there (that I will share later) that it just couldn’t hold its own against.

What really made this dish a hit though, was the fact that I actually enjoyed chicken thighs for once. So, if you aren’t the biggest fan of thighs, like myself, I would suggest that you give this recipe a try. It is definitely one that I will cook again.

 

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Cons: 

The pre-preparation of the marinade is a bit time consuming.

To some, the overwhelming flavors of rosemary and lemon could be a bit much.

 

Pros:

The flavors, although powerful, were fresh and simple. If you are use to dishes that challenge the palette then this would be a good reprieve.

It can go with almost any side dish. (Although, I do recommend a rice. The overall consensus in my household was that the mushroom sauce and the rice made the dish feel complete.)

Since the pan was foiled, clean up was a breeze.

And last but not least, it was delicious.

 

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So, if you hate chicken thighs or love lemon, I want to know what you found to be the pros and cons of this dish. Do you think this is a hit or a miss?

Swedish Meatballs

Looking to be adventurous with your recipes this week? Look no further! Chef John’s Swedish Meatballs is a recipe to try!

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Chef John. This man is my culinary icon. Everyone in my house knows his name and the taste of almost all of his recipes. So, naturally, I would dedicate my first blog post to the man who brought joy into my culinary journey.

There is a reason that this recipe has four and a half stars. You won’t be able to get enough of the flavor combinations. Whether that is a good or a bad thing, I’ll let you decide.

For the most part, this recipe has pretty basic cooking instructions where meatballs are concerned.

Cook your onions. Add those to your milk, egg, bread crumbs, spices, and meat. Then, of course, you let that mixture sit for an hour in the refrigerator to rehydrate those bread crumbs.

While that sits, you make your gravy. Again, pretty basic. It starts off with a roux and then you add some cream, beef broth, etc.

Last but not least you roll out your meatballs, pop those things in a pre-heated oven, and check them for doneness in twenty minutes.

Now, when it came to the sides, I am ashamed to say that I did not follow the great chef’s suggestions. Instead of boiled potatoes, I mashed them and used an ice-cream scoop to get that perfect round shape. And since lingonberry sauce/preserves is impossible to come by in central Virginia and cranberries weren’t in season, I grabbed a can of whole berry cranberries. (I can not stress whole berry enough. The normal, congealed sauce just didn’t yield the same results.) Also, since this was a splurge night, I made some biscuits to accompany the meal. I can practically hear my dad admonishing me for the double starch as I write this review. The end result, despite the excessive starch, was perfection.

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Cons:

This recipe isn’t, necessarily, “diet friendly”. This depends, of course, on what diet you are following. Overall though, not diet friendly.

It is a bit time consuming. As always, the product you get is entirely contingent on the effort that you put forth. And the result is definitely worth the effort in this case.

And lastly, cost. If you already have heavy cream, worcestershire sauce, ground beef, ground pork, breadcrumbs, and an assortment of uncommon spices then go for it! But for me, I had to do a bit of planning ahead and shopping for this recipe.

Pros:

It’ll be one of the best tasting meals to ever grace your palette.

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It’s obvious that I think this recipe is a hit. To me, this is a five star recipe. So, I, my family, and my stomach thank Chef John for imparting his culinary genius on the internet for me to find. His recipes are truly, truly ones to try.

Check out his blog and check out his Allrecipes profile.

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Now it is your turn to try this recipe. I want to know what you guys think. Is this recipe a hit or a miss?

Hit, Miss, and What It Is All About

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The Site and Me:

This site/blog is mainly dedicated to my search for great recipes. Please understand one thing as you continue on, I have been cooking around 9 years but I in no way claim to be a professional, far from it actually.

A little about me? I’m not an extreme food adventurer or a culinary chef. I haven’t even taken a simple cooking course at my local community college. I am just a young adult who took the responsibility of cooking from my parents at the age of fourteen. For awhile, I loathed it. It was simply something that had to be done because my parents were too busy with work and our farm. But one day, I decided to break out of the culinary box that I had restrained myself in and started searching the internet for new and exciting recipes to spice up the monotonous job that was my own.

After broadening my horizons, I fell in love with cooking.

Brief Story: Why Blog?

As I sifted through the multitudes of recipes on the internet, trying to separate good from bad, I realized that the small comments on the bottom of each recipe were helpful but weren’t enough.

You know what I mean.

You find a recipe that you might want to try so you look at the reviews and half say:

“This is terrible. Never cooking again!”

And the other half come back with:

“This recipe is amazing. My family loves it!”

By the time you are done reading you are so confused you don’t know if you should take a chance or keep searching. I wished at that moment someone out there would cook the foods, show how they did it, and then give an in depth review. (I am sure blogs like this exist but I couldn’t find any.)

**End of the story.**

What Kind of Cuisine and How You Can Help:

Keep in mind, my taste buds could be, and probably are, very different from yours so I am not going to promise that you will always like the foods that I, as well as my family and friends, find to be hits but I will do my best to give honest critiques.

I cook anything from fine asian cuisine to grilled cheese sandwiches and everything in-between. Believe me, I still have a lot to learn and many more recipes to try and that is where you come in. I will post reviews on my own accord but if there is a dish you are interested in hearing an in depth review about or if you think I will find it interesting, send it to me (via hitandmisscuisine@gmail.com) and I will cook it up and post my review on it.

A Favor and My Thanks:

I hope you enjoy the site, feel free to send me pictures and/or reviews of your experience with my reviewed recipes, and tell me whether you thought they were a Hit or a Miss. Also, check out my Tumblr page (hitandmisscuisine.tumblr.com) and follow me so I can follow you. In the end, I would just love to hear from you guys. If you like the site, tell me. If you hate it, tell me why. Thanks so much for visiting and again, I hope you find the things I post to be of use to you.

Happy cooking!
Victoria