Friday, January 30, 2015

Cookbook Challenge: You're Not Hardcore Unless You Live Hardcore

Matt has commented on multiple occasions so far this month that I'm like, REALLY into completing this challenge. In December I calculated that, if I want to finish cooking through the Bride and Groom First and Forever Cookbook in 2015, I have to make two recipes every week. And I guess I'm being pretty hardcore about it, if Matt's noticed and said something.

Just let this be an inspiration to you, I guess. If you have something you want to accomplish, turn it into bite-sized (ha, pun intended) chunks and then go bananas trying to complete those chunks.

Marinated Olives and Feta Cheese
I made this to take to a book club potluck. The marinade (made of olive oil and lemon zest and fresh parsley and garlic and various other things) made the olives super pungent. Like, strong-tasting to the point where you could only eat a few before you have to stop, you know? The bread on the tray disappeared, as did a good amount of the feta, but I had an awful lot of olives left when I got home. I probably should have halved the recipe, since Matt doesn't like olives.

This is the unfancy version of that salad I made last time.

If I had known making croutons was this easy, I would have started doing it a long time ago! (Maybe. Well, sometimes. Convenience is still a factor.) These croutons were buttery and garlicky, and the "salad course" upstaged the rest of dinner. I don't know why I have such a weird attitude toward salads; I quite enjoy them when I'm eating them, but if I'm not in the process of consuming one that second, I'm like, "Sigh, salad is so boring, and doesn't count as a meal because it doesn't fill you up, and excuse excuse." Croutons are basically the reason for eating salad, in my book.

Spiced Carrot Cake with Fluffy Cream Cheese Icing
We'll just call this one "deconstructed." Both cake rounds broke on their way out of the pans, but Matt determined that they were still delicious, so we slopped icing unattractively on the top and ate it anyway. We snacked on it like that for a few days, but it kept messing up Matt's blood sugar, and I felt guilty every time I ate any because THREE AND A HALF CUPS OF POWDERED SUGAR IN THE FROSTING AND TWO AND THREE-FOURTHS CUPS OF GRANULATED SUGAR IN THE CAKE. I'm sorry, body! I ended up throwing about half the cake away, just because we couldn't keep doing this to ourselves.

Hazelnut Hot Chocolate
It's like drinking Nutella! If you're into that kind of thing. Which, I am. I mean, you literally heat up some milk and whip some Nutella into it, and you've got hot chocolate. (The recipe is a little fancier than that, but that's the gist.) It was good, but I think the last time I bought hot chocolate packets I accidentally bought the sugar-free kind, and I must have gotten used to those, because I almost thought the hazelnut version was a tiny bit too sweet. But, you know exactly what you're getting if you make this. Bonus, it doesn't use up a whole container of Nutella, and then you can eat the leftovers out of the tub with a spoon.

Vodka-Spiked Lemonade with Red Rocks
The fruit-punch ice cubes are what make this drink amazing. Otherwise, it's just lemonade. But add fruit punch and let it melt super slow, and it's really delicious. Matt's not even the vodka-drinking type, but we both had two glasses of this lemonade. I'll have to remember to make it again in the summer; this is such a pool-side drink. (Also, I totally cut lemon-slice garnishes, and then forgot about them until we were already almost done with serving #1.)

(I made the cheddar-dill variation recipe. Because that's more fun than plain biscuits.)

Quick and Easy Drop Biscuits
Once upon a time, Matt and I went to Red Lobster. He ate about 70 cheesy biscuits, requested more, and then we took them home in a to-go box. Matt put them in the fridge and then forgot about them. Being the good wife that I am, I helped him out by scarfing down all of them. When he found out, he was kind of mad. He said I STOLE his cheesy biscuits. All that to say, these biscuits tasted a lot like Red Lobster's biscuits. When I mentioned that, Matt said he was still upset about the cheesy biscuits. And that I wasn't allowed to have any of the leftovers, because this time, they were all his.

Completed: 62 of 147 recipes

Do you like olives? What's your favorite kind of cake? And have you ever STOLEN any of your significant other's leftovers? ;)


  1. I never would have thought that making your own croutons would be easy! They look delicious. And I want that cake now! :)

  2. Katie @ A Beautiful Little AdvJanuary 30, 2015 at 1:29 PM

    mmm I love croutons and just eat them plain sometimes, now that I know they're easy to make I'll have to try them. Plus that drink sounds amazing. Would love to sip that and pretend it isn't snowing outside.

  3. Yep! It's just cutting up bread and putting it in the oven. :)

  4. We like to add croutons to tomato soup! I actually do wish it were snowing; the only time it's acceptable that the temperature is below 20 with ridiculous wind chill is when there's snow!

  5. YAY, good for you for doing so well with this challenge! I still love the idea of it, but I just haven't been brave enough yet. Those croutons sound so good…I'm with you on not usually liking salad until I'm actually eating it. And I'm a total leftovers thief too…if it's not gone within the first day after, it's MINE :-)

  6. If he wants me to not eat his food, he shouldn't bring home such delicious things! :)

  7. I laughed at your thoughts about salad, because I'm the same way. I like salads so much more when someone else makes them, kind of like sandwiches.

  8. I don't like olives. My taste buds have developed in my 20's and I've grown to love foods I used to hate, but still hate olives. Also, I wanted to say... AND THE LEGEND OF THE RENT WAS WAY HARDCORE!!!

  9. I LOVE olives and would probably have devoured ALL of the ones in that bowl, given the opportunity.

    Also, I now want cheesy biscuits.

  10. You and your silly brother, not liking olives. Haha. I've heard that your taste buds change every seven years, so there's still hope!

  11. I love olives, but dang that was a lot of them to eat in a short time period!