Kitchen adventures

To kick off the month of August, I decided to be adventurous in the kitchen this week and whip together a quaint dinner for me and my parents. While I’ve been dreading getting back in the kitchen I’m glad I did. It keeps me busy after work and there’s just something about having music playing in the background, a glass of wine handy, and chopping vegetables that makes me feel oddly relaxed and at peace.

While I’m aiming to try one new recipe a week, I ended up experimenting with four new dishes that I could use for both dinner and lunch throughout the week. The main dish was an apricot-glazed roasted turkey.  I’m ashamed to admit I had to google what “roasting” meant and what’s worse is that even after reading the definition and following the recipe directions, I still couldn’t get the dang turkey to roast.  I sometimes wonder how I ever lived without google. After a few search attempts I finally figured it out. Apparently moving the oven rack up one slot makes all the difference – who knew!? The turkey came out beautifully though and it was so tender. For a nice glaze and to add an extra boost of flavor, I also whipped up a white wine, apricot, and chicken broth glaze to pour over the top. It was heavenly.

Since I’m big on starchy foods, I stuck with a potato dish as one of my side dishes. Normally I just make mashed potatoes but I wanted something with a bit more flavor. Since my Dad loves sweet potatoes I decided to pair those with the turkey. What I love about sweet potatoes is there is so much flavor to them that all you need is a little bit of salt and pepper and you’re set to go. I added in some of the apricot glaze though and it gave it a nice sweet, tangy taste to it. Next time, I think I may try sweet potato fries. Liz made these a few weeks back at a game night dinner party and they were fabulous then too.

For my last side dish I wanted to make something versatile, something that fit with my quaint dinner but which I could also pair with my lunches for the week. I came across this cumin-lime summer salad and it was absolutely to die for! I have a weak spot for peppers and black beans and I normally scale back on the use of onions but I’ve fallen in love with the sweet onions this recipe called for. They really add a nice boost of flavor to any dish you’re preparing. And as a bonus, it also makes for a great appetizer/dip. This’ll be my go to dish for when I’m asked to bring an item to any BBQ or picnic.

The last dish I made for this week wasn’t for my quaint dinner but I needed a healthy, light item for my lunches this week. I’ve been craving my Mom’s tuna salad but it’s packed with points so I wanted to find an alternative recipe. I used all light ingredients and surprisingly, it still turned out pretty good. The consistency reminds me of a chicken-salad that I almost felt like I should throw some grapes in the mix but I’m sure that would have tasted gross so I’m glad I didn’t. While the recipe didn’t curb my craving for Mom’s tuna salad, it still does the job.

Here’s the culmination of all my cooking ventures in the kitchen this week. Everything is so colorful, I love it!

And here’s one of Miley to throw into the mix. She’s obviously up to something and it’s times like these I wish I could read her mind.

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