Random Recipes

Last night I made chicken picatta for dinner. I did not take a photo of it, so you'll have to use your imagination. But imagine it was hot and tender and a bit lemony, and you'll have the gist of it.

I used a random recipe I found online from Giada De Laurentiis. It was good, very good. I will likely make it again.

Lately I have been making a lot of random recipes. Sometimes they're recipes I come across on Pinterest or on my favorite food blogs. Other times they're recipes I seek out because I'm looking to use certain ingredients—the chicken breasts in the freezer, as was the case last night, or some leftover bacon, or produce from our weekly CSA delivery that I don't normally cook with.

Some of the recipes I've tried recently include mashed potatoes and turnips with greens; grilled garlic scapes (yum); a slaw with fennel, cabbage, and kohlrabi from a weekly CSA email; a gluten-free version of strawberries and cream biscuits (a failure once they baked, though as you can see above they were pretty pre-oven; but the original version from Smitten Kitchen looks divine so please make them for me!); black bean sweet potato flautas (below); cheese papusas; huevos rancheros; and beef with snow peas from The Pioneer Woman. Most of these recipes were good. Most of these recipes I'll make again.
Along with those random recipes I've been making recently, though, I've also been relying on a couple of cookbooks.
The first is Gluten-Free Girl Every Day by Shauna James Ahern. She writes my favorite gluten-free cooking blog, which I reference frequently here, and also wrote the first gf cookbook I ever purchased. That first book, Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef, tells a lovely story and includes some delicious albeit rather aspirational recipes—most aren't the kind you'd have the time or ingredients to make on an the typical night. (Well, maybe you do, but I sure don't.) That's why I picked up the new book. Because it's made—as the title says—for everyday cooking.

One of the things I like best about the new cookbook is that it doesn't just give you recipes. It tells the story behind them and includes the hints and tips and tricks that make cooking easy and enjoyable for the Aherns. I appreciate knowing what substitutions I can make or how I can modify a recipe if, say, I don't want to include dairy.
So far from the new cookbook I've made waffles (though not the fried chicken that accompanies them—cross your fingers I have time for that soon!), the browned butter peach buckle (above), a chicken recipe that involves lemon and raisins and pistachios called "everyday chicken," and a nice loaf of bread (which I'll share with you someday).

I've also been cooking—a lot—from PrairiErth Farm Cookbook by Katie Bishop. This one has a special place on my countertop because it's actually the cookbook written and published by PrairiErth Farm, which is where we get our wonderful fresh organic produce each week.

The recipes are divided up by type of produce, which makes it easy to find something to make with our loot. If I want to make something with leeks or fennel or kale, I just flip to that section of the cookbook. A lot of the recipes come straight from Katie; others are from other CSA members. I have yet to try a recipe I didn't like. So far this year we've had roasted beets with rosemary, scalloped potatoes with fennel, and garlic scapes hummus (below).
As I write this, I'm pretty sure I've made more than just those few recipes, but now I need to get out the cookbook and check. You should probably just go order a copy and try them out for yourself anyway.

So there you have it. A random roundup of some of the many recipes we've tried recently. I welcome any suggestions you might have on other recipes I should add to my "to try" list.

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