the latest: january

how have i not stumbled upon 365 days of slow cooking before?! i am loving it and could spend hours going through the archives!

i love to can in the summer and jams and jellies are my favorites. but there comes a point each winter where i realize i have way too much jam than can be consumed before the next season. luckily break or bake has the same problem and rounded up a few of her favorite ways to use them up.

i've had my pinterest account for the last year or so and used it mostly for planning the baby's nursery and other baby related purchases. in the last week i took the plunge and decided to transfer all of my tagged posts in google reader to pinterest. it's a big undertaking, but i'm hoping in the long run it will be easier for me to meal plan and find and share new recipes. once i've got it all - or am a lot closer to finishing - sorted out, i'll be sure to add a follow button if you want to follow me.

part of my day job is to educate the public on ways in which the things we do at home affect the health of the great lakes. one of the chemicals we often discuss is BPA. the environmental working group just released their guide to BPA. it's a quick read with info about the concern and tips to reduce your exposure, such as limiting canned food consumption. 

the ewg blog posted recipes for homemade pledge and oven cleaner. i have used white vinegar as fabric softener in my washing machine and as a jet-dry substitute in my dishwasher and we use baking soda and vinegar to clean our drains. i have seen the oven cleaner method on multiple websites and talked to others who have used it and say it works great. now that the holidays are over, i need to try it!

i stopped at dunkin donuts last week on the way into work and tried a new dark chocolate mocha coffee with cream and sugar. i liked it better than their regular mocha. it had a stronger chocolate flavor and was less sweet.

i'm curious: what would you like to see more of here? less of? what types of posts are your favorite? let me know in the comments or email me kitchentrialanderror [at] gmail [dot] com.

44 clove garlic soup with chicken

i really hate to start it this way, but i'm sorry. i'm sorry deb, this garlic soup was just plain too garlicky for me. too garlicky for my garlic loving husband. this is the first and only recipe i've made from deb at smitten kitchen that was a bust for me. that said, i think there are a few ways to totally redeem this soup & it's on my radar to try again.


pan roasted chicken with balsamic bell peppers

here's yet another way to jazz up a relatively boring chicken breast. we eat a heck of a lot of chicken breasts around here, so much so, that we buy them 10 at a time. and even though we eat chicken in many different ways, a simple one dish pan roasted chicken is something i've been gravitating to lately. there's something satisfying about making chicken, vegetables, and sauce in one pan. it's something i can do while simultaneously cleaning up from the day and getting ready for the next. these types of dishes are my favorite.

and if you aren't a fan of balsamic or bell peppers, i've got 49 other ways to enjoy chicken.


vegetable noodle soup

why yes, that is the may 2012 issue of bon apetit on my coffee table. and yes, my bookmark is on the editor's letter page, so i didn't make it very far. i'm a bit behind on my reading. i have a good 15 or so magazines that have piled up since last june (and apparently earlier) along with a few new cookbooks from christmas and my birthday. same thing goes for some of the posts saved in my google reader. which brings me to this soup: this soup has been sitting in my reader, starred, waiting for me to make it, since it was posted two and a half years ago. week after week it got pushed aside for something flashier. what a shame, considering how delicious, easy, and adaptable this soup is. and now that i have the last four pounds of baby weight to lose, this meatless soup may make it's way into our weekly rotation more often.


chicken yakitori rice bowl

it took three and a half years for us to find a decent chinese restaurant near our house. when jason finally found it, we had chinese a couple times in just as many weeks. and each time we ended up with a lot of leftover rice. not wanting to let the rice go to waste, i ripped this rice bowl recipe out of my december cooking light and made it for dinner one weeknight. i love the flavor of green onions when they've cooked in soy and sugar and they go really well with snow peas and chicken. if i had any carrots at the time, i would have cut those into matchsticks and tossed them in too. stir fry is the perfect vehicle for lots of vegetables, since they're coated in sauce.


whole wheat vanilla scones

last thursday morning i woke up craving a scone. more specifically, i craved a scone that i could slather with homemade peach butter i completely forgot about until i stumbled on a few jars in the basement while getting jarred apples for the baby the night before. i was so dead set on scones that after i got us up and ready for the day, i plunked him and a few toys in his high chair in the kitchen next to me. much to my surprise, in the 15 minutes or so it took me to whip these and coffee together, he never touched a single toy. instead, his eyes moved from me, to whatever ingredient i had in my hand, to the cupboard i opened. he was fascinated. and it made my scones a heck of a lot easier.


cherry vanilla cake

the last few years, my birthday cake has been a labor of love. two years ago, when i turned 29, it was all about pistachios and last year, for the big 3-0, it was all about salted caramel and chocolate. this year, it's cherry overload. 

i usually start thinking about my birthday cake, and narrowing it down to a couple recipes, around christmas and i have the recipe chosen by the time i return to work after new years. this year, i had a hard time deciding exactly what i wanted. the pistachio and chocolate masterpieces were both from the baked cookbooks. in hindsight, i should have stuck with one of them, but i wanted something different. something with fruit. if you love maraschino cherries, this cake is for you.


secret recipe club: scalloped ham & potato bake and andes mint cake

i am kicking off the new year with potatoes and leftover christmas ham doused in cheese sauce and a four layer chocolate cake filled with candy and covered in mint buttercream. what, this isn't what you had in mind after two months of "holiday" eating?!

i either had family staying with us or was staying with family from mid december to after the new year, so i was itching to spend some time in the kitchen. these choices from melissa's blog, i was born to cook, for this month's secret recipe club were perfect. not only were they easy, and delicious, melissa taught me to embrace scalloped potatoes. sorry mom (hi mom!), but scalloped potatoes are one of the few things you made that i just plain didn't like as a kid. since before we were married, jason has requested it whenever we have ham leftovers. this time i gave in to his request and am so glad i did! these potatoes were delicious. and would make a great addition to a potluck.


chicken cutlets with lemon oregano sauce

i don't know about you, but i go through what i call "kitchen ruts" where i find myself making pretty much the same dinners, sometimes with slight variations, for a couple weeks in a row. lack of time is what usually triggers them and we eat our default meals - those that we've made dozens of times before and are easy, quick, and delicious. when i finally got out of the last rut, this is one of the first dinners i made. and i should have made it sooner. there's something delicious that happens to lemon slices that are cooked underneath chicken. they almost disintegrate and loose enough of their tartness so they're edible, but not so much that you forget you're eating lemons. they're delicious. paired with carrots and rice, this made a great weeknight meal for us.

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