Tales from a 20-Something's Kitchen.

One girl's mission to take on Pinterest. And win. And eat some great food in the process.

Chicken Spaghetti

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So, on paper, this looks like a weird ass list of ingredients. But, when put together, it was all actually pretty good! It also lasted me like five days. So, it’s a good meal prep one if you’re into that sort of thing.

Speaking of the ingredients, I did a cheat on this one. For the grilled chicken. Instead of like buying and grilling chicken, I bought a bag of the frozen strips of grilled chicken. Popped them in the microwave, cut them up, called it a day. Saved me probably a solid half hour.

But this is a simple enough combine and bake dish. The Rotel tomato and chiles give it a kick that I wasn’t expecting (but I should have been). And I think if I had known exactly what kind of flavor it was going to give, I would have sprinkled Mexican cheese on top instead of Parmesan.

Side bar about the cheese: The directions literally say a sprinkling of cheese. Bish please I probably used half the damn bag. But you knew that.

Back to the tomato thing. A suggestion I would offer up is that if you’re going to go the Rotel route, do Mexican cheese on top. If you want to do parmesan cheese on top, just do a can of normal diced tomatoes. That’s what I would do if I were to make this again. Which I just might!

Recipe: http://www.boomerbrief.com/2012/03/super-satisfying-chicken-spagetti.html

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Meatloaf

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Well, this was supposed to be Meatloaf Muffins. But two of my roommates moved out and took the muffin pan with them. And I didn’t realize it until I was already making this. So I decided to go a more traditional route.

Also, I have made meatloaf muffins before. (https://jeleff2014.wordpress.com/?s=meat+loaf) But, that was a barbecue meatloaf, and this was a more traditional one.

So, call me Betty Crocker.

Anyway, along with a muffin pan, the roommates also took the knife set. Which was good for chopping vegetables. So, I was at the grocery store buying ingredients and I also picked up a paring knife and one of those slap chop things. I forgot how convenient those were. Stuff is chopped and minced in like two minutes. Except the carrots. That did not go according to plan. They just got stuck, whole, to the blade. So I had to cut those by hand. I also had to mix all the ingredients together with my hands, which was kinda gross.

So, once it was in the oven, I thought I was done. I failed to realize that cooking for 25 minutes was for the muffins, not for a whole loaf pan. That’s why there’s a weird divot thing in the middle, that was me digging through the meatloaf trying to figure out if it was done. All in all, it cooked for about a hour.

And once it was done it was pretty good. I think at the end of the day, I personally prefer barbecue meatloaf, but this was still a solid recipe.

Recipe: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/diner-meat-loaf-muffins

Sugar Cookies

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So, two of my roommates are moving out this week. I didn’t realize how much of the kitchen utensils belonged to them…

So, I had to do all mixing by hand, which was annoying but doable. I also had to roll out the dough with a tea tin and use a wine glass as a cookie cutter. (Although I don’t think I had any cookie cutters to begin with honestly.)

Then, the dough was honestly quite hard to work with. It stuck to every surface, even after I floured it. It took quite some time to get 30 cookies and I ended up throwing a bit away because I just didn’t want to deal with it anymore.

Also, it said to bake for 7-8 minutes, and that it would still not look done. But after 7 minutes they were still clearly not baked. 10 minutes was what worked.

Then, the frosting happened. It came out very grainy and gross consistency wise. Didn’t really like it. Also, found out my food coloring expired this past December.

So, I’m going to buy some frosting in a jar, do that, and then bring them to my meeting tomorrow.

So, these were kind of a fail. Oh well, better luck next time I guess.

Recipe: http://peppermintplum.blogspot.com/2011/03/thick-soft-sugar-cookies.html

Mashed Potato Cakes

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It should be no secret at this point how much I love me some mashed potatoes.

So, for starters, I did not have leftover mashed potatoes. Leftover mashed potatoes don’t exist in my fridge. So I made my time tested and perfected microwave mashed potatoes with plenty of butter, sour cream, and cheddar cheese.

The only bump I really ran into with this recipe was that the desired consistency after adding cornstarch never happened. Maybe it was because they were still warm? But it was a sight. Cornstarch everywhere. Mashed potatoes all over my hands. I made it work though.

Cooking them: Only got burned by the hot oil crackling into my face once! Victory. It did take less than five minutes a side to get them to look like that though. Perhaps mine were smaller?

Either way, these are pretty good, I threw some more sour cream on top as a little garnish. Plus I love sour cream.

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This recipe is me and roommate approved!

Recipe: https://www.npr.org/2011/11/22/142661574/mashed-potato-cakes

Parmesan Tilapia

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So, I’ve never made fish that wasn’t shellfish before, so this was an exciting adventure.

It was all pretty straightforward, I just didn’t really know what I was doing. Like the instructions said “Bake until the fish just starts to flake” Didn’t know what that meant. Also, double that parmesan mix. There wasn’t nearly enough.

So, like this was pretty simple, and it wasn’t bad, but it also wasn’t fabulous.

Also, the next day I tried to make leftovers and something congealed in the tupperware? Like it was gross enough that I threw all of it out.

So, a little bit of a fail. Better luck next time I guess!

Recipe: http://www.geniuskitchen.com/recipe/mamas-supper-club-tilapia-parmesan-53914

Edamame Fried Rice

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If you like prep, this is the recipe for you.

I don’t love prep. So I got bored. Endless chopping.

But at least the end product was good.

Admittedly, I cheated hard core on the rice. It was ready rice you make in the bag in the microwave. I also did a big saucepan, because I don’t own a wok.

And overall, it turned out pretty good! I will say, it doesn’t reheat as well, so eat it all in the first sitting.

Recipe: https://www.skinnytaste.com/asian-edamame-fried-rice/#more

“Crack” Potatoes

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You all know what these are. These are “those” potatoes. Those potatoes your relative brings to holidays and you eat by the pound.

Just me? Okay.

Anyway, turns out the recipe is pretty damn easy. I just wish I had a slightly bigger bowl, because mixing was an adventure.

But yeah, super easy, pretty quick, and really delicious. Bring it to your next gathering.

They’re so good I ate some before I took a picture!

BONUS: Also reheats super well! I’ve been bringing it to work as my lunch all week.

Recipe: http://www.plainchicken.com/2011/01/crack-potatoes.html

Cheesy Chicken, Bacon, and Tater Tot Crock Pot Bake

Guys. I forgot to take a picture.

I am so incredibly sorry.

I have failed you.

Although, tbh, it wouldn’t have been a pretty picture.

This recipe is extremely straightforward, as most crock pot recipes are. Layer, bake, eat.

Once everything is in there, you’re supposed to cook on high for 3-4 hours. It ended up needing 4.5 hours. Granted, I had huge chicken breasts, which may have contributed to it. But because of that, the tater tots were reduced to practically mush.

Overall, I found the recipe a tad bland. With only salt and pepper seasoning the chicken, there’s not a whole lot going on there. Plus, colby and Monterey jack cheeses are not the strongest of flavors.

So, I would maybe try this again, with some alterations.

And yes, I would take a picture.

Recipe: http://www.geniuskitchen.com/recipe/cheesy-chicken-bacon-tater-tot-crock-pot-bake-403520

No Bake Raspberry Lemon Cheesecake

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I love cheesecake. I hate the process of making cheesecake. So of course I was going to jump at the opportunity to make a lazy cheesecake.

The recipe itself is fairly straightforward. Make the graham cracker crust. Make the filling, put it on top, put in the fridge.

I didn’t have enough raspberries to decorate the top and make it pretty. (I would have needed at least another package) And to be honest, I’ve never been a garnish person. So I was not about to spend 6 dollars on sprigs of mint for people to take it off and eat it.

So, what you see is what you get. It was pretty good. Because it’s mostly cool whip and cream cheese, it doesn’t quite have the full cheesecake texture, but it’s still decent. Not bad to make in  a pinch!

Recipe: https://www.mybakingaddiction.com/no-bake-cheesecake-recipe/

Strawberry Shortcake Sushi with Strawberry Coulis

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So, firstly, didn’t know that a jelly roll pan is basically a cake pan? I was very confused, started using a meat loaf pan, but glad I googled.

Everything else is pretty straightforward, until the assembling part.

The shortcake was a tad thick, which made the rolling part a little difficult. And messy. Also, all of the filling (which was delicious btw), started coming out of the side.

The coulis was pretty easy. I don’t own a blender, so I just electric mixed them together and strained it. And it was pretty tasty.

Overall, this tasted pretty good, but I think I would just make the shortcake and skip all the fancy assembly.

Recipe: http://www.takeamegabite.com/strawberry-shortcake-sushi-strawberry-coulis/

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