recipe review / part 1

as i've mentioned before- i've been cooking a lot lately. which mean i've been trying lots of new recipes, most of which have been found on other blogs. some are absolutely to die for, some i wouldn't make again. all i didn't follow to the t- i generally make twists or leave things out/ add things. in an attempt to help you choose which recipes to try, and which ones to not i'm going to review these recipes and let you know how they turned out. i'm going to be totally honest- and hope i don't offend any of the originators of these recipes. i am not the best cook in the world so some of my failures are probably completely my fault.

1. spicy pork tacos with peach salsa (from dinner: a love story)


we make tacos at least once a week. generally they are chicken fajita tacos- always delicious. these pork tacos were a nice break from our regular recipe. they were simply amazing. pork tenderloin is definitely one of my favorite meats so i may be a bit biased. i bought a pre-seasoned pork tenderloin from trader joe's (i think it was peppercorn garlic and was about $7 for one). i didn't have all of the seasonings for the dry rub included in the recipe, but i thought the marinated one was delish- i would definitely get it again (unlike most pre-marinated meats i've tried). i added fresh corn and avocado to the peach salsa. make these as soon as you can.

2. super easy no-boil mac and cheese (from alexandra cooks)


this was my first time making mac and cheese. earlier last week jarman told me he wanted me to try and cook without carbs for dinner. of course, the next day i had a major craving for mac and cheese (ultimate wife fail). i made this for lunch, and then we ate it for dinner too. it was pretty delicious. it was definitely the best fresh- i had leftover a couple of days later and wasn't feeling it as much. i used fontina rather than fresh mozzarella because that's what i had in the fridge. also, even though this say super easy in the title- it still takes quite a bit of time. a little more than this pregnant girl was looking to spend in the kitchen for an easy lunch.

3. broiled tarragon breasts (from alexandra cooks)


this is my new favorite way to cook chicken. it is super quick, super moist, and totally delicious. the only reason it got a nine out of 10 is because it uses an ingredient that i'm not totally proud of and would normally scorn. also, i don't have fresh tarragon so i just added dried and think it tastes just fine. i have already made this twice, and will be making it tons more in the future.

4. bulgolgi with cucumber apple pickle (aka korean tacos) (from alexandra cooks)


these tacos were to die for. i actually only used the cucumber-apple pickle from this recipe, but it inspired our new favorite steak tacos. we marinated a rib-eye in my parents' famous bulgolgi marinade, added the cucumber apple pickle and some sriracha on top of corn tortillas. seriously- make these asap. 

5. cream of tomato basil soup (from chasing delicious)


this was my first time making tomato soup. i think my first problem was that i expected it to turn out like nordstrom's tomato soup (which is my absolute weakness). this recipe used fresh heirloom tomatoes which you pureed before you add them. it had too much broth and not enough cream. i think it needed to be re-blended after everything had cooked together- the texture was less than appetizing. i just wanted it to be overall creamier. so add much less broth and more cream. (i even tried adding a little cream cheese and parmesan to thicken it up a bit). the flavor was actually fine. it just needs quite a few tweaks.