I have never been very good at following directions. I tend to like improvisation. Because of this, any time I try a new recipe, the outcome is always a toss up. This week I tried two new recipes and both turned out great, though both got a bit of my personal touch. Whether you follow the recipe exactly, or make it your own, both are worth trying.
The first recipe is called Lazy Lasagna and I claim absolutely no credit for it. The recipe comes from Katharine over at Just a Thought. She is always posting great recipes (not to mention great posts about other things), so I encourage you to take a moment to visit. I am sure that this recipe would have been perfect exactly as written, but since I don't use jarred spaghetti sauce (I can my own tomatoes, so I prefer to use them), I decided I could just make my own, like I normally do. It would have worked fine if I had realized that I was out of tomato paste BEFORE I started cooking. I did follow Katharine's suggestion and use ground turkey instead of ground beef and honestly couldn't tell the difference. The results tasted great, but took longer than it should have because I had to wait for Ronnie to stop by the grocery store on his way home from work. Still, the dish itself was delicious and got rave reviews from all of my family, kids included ... which, not surprisingly, is unheard of with my experimental dishes. I was thrilled and will definitely be adding this to my arsenal of menu choices, though I do think I will reduce the amount of pasta, since counting carbs is a big deal at our house these days. Thanks for sharing, Katharine!
The second dish came from one of my new(er) friends, Rosanna. It is called Comforting Chicken Noodle Soup. Yes, I know that I live in Mississippi and I am aware that it is summer, which means that we voluntarily live in an oven, but my youngest son asked me to make chicken noodle soup, so I figured that was a good enough excuse for making soup in the summer. (As a side note, my Mama expressed her confusion about why it is taboo to eat soup in the summer anyway and I have to agree with her ... we eat most of our food hot anyway, so what does it matter if it is soup? Good question, Mama!) Anyway, back to the soup. I'll give you the recipe first and then tell you how I personalized it.
Comforting Chicken Noodle Soup
8 cups water
8 chicken bouillon cubes
6 1/2 ounces medium egg noodles
2 cans cream of chicken soup
3 cups cooked chicken
1 cup sour cream
Bring water to boil with bouillon cubes. Add noodles; cook uncovered until tender - about 7 1/2 minutes. Do not drain. Add cream of chicken soup and chicken. Heat through. Remove from heat; stir in sour cream.
Again, I am sure that this recipe would be just fine on its own, but I have started making my own cream of chicken soup, so I used that and instead of water and bouillon cubes, I just boiled the chicken and used the broth (after it cooled, with most of the fat removed). Other than those things, I followed the recipe just as it is written, except that I added some of the hot broth to my cold cream of chicken soup and stirred it in a separate bowl until it was smooth before adding it all back into the boiling soup on the stove. Again, the results were quite tasty ... even my hubby, who HATES to eat soup in summer, liked it. He and I had a preview tonight, but it will be the main dish for lunch tomorrow and hopefully the kids will like it, too! Ideally, this is where I would thank Rosanna for sharing her recipe, but since she doesn't blog (or read them, as far as I know) I'll have to settle for actually thanking her face to face the next time I see her ... though I do think I'll send her a link, just as a teaser! ;-)
Just for the record, as much as I enjoy cooking and trying new dishes, it always seems that I make a bigger mess when I cook something new. I'm not sure why that is true, but I do know that I must thank my wonderful husband for cleaning up my mess while I put all of LB's clothes in her new dresser tonight!