With one of my New Years Resolutions being to cook more, I figured it was time to get started.  First thing’s first: find recipes. My goal when searching was to find some things I loved from a long time ago and some new favorites that I thought could be easy to make. I try to avoid recipes that involve more than 7 ingrediants and things with little to no complication. Baby steps 🙂

So after the biggest grocery store trip known to man, I had a plan to try out 6 different recipes. 3 last week and 3 this week. So here’s how they turned out. The good, the bad, and even the ugly truth.

1. Sweet Potato Fries
Reciepe via: Allrecipes.com

Recipe:

  • 6 sweet potatoes, cut into French fries
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3 tablespoons taco seasoning mix
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
    2. In a plastic bag, combine the sweet potatoes, canola oil, taco seasoning, and cayenne pepper. Close and shake the bag until the fries are evenly coated. Spread the fries out in a single layer on two large baking sheets.
    3. Bake for 30 minutes, or until crispy and brown on one side. Turn the fries over using a spatula, and cook for another 30 minutes, or until they are all crispy on the outside and tender inside. Thinner fries may not take as long.

    My Experience: Sounds easy enough, right? I made the mistake of attempting to make these after going to the gym. Which means I was hungry and grumpy and very impatient. Mistake number 2 was throwing the sweet potatoes in the fridge rather than leaving them out. Have you ever tried to cut a cold sweet potatoe? Don’t! For your own safety! So, after finally cutting them up 30 minutes later, I decided to shake them in the bag with the oil and taco seasoning. I skipped the pepper, wasn’t feeling in a spicy mood. After the first 30 minutes, they were very burnt. I didn’t take a picture due to embaressment. I’m not sure if it was my oven, the cold potatoes, or me but it was an epic fail. A can of greenbeans saved the day as the substitue side with the chicken. So, back to the drawing board. I’m going to look at some other recipes and possibly try them again once my cooking ego has healed.

    2. Sloppy Joes
    Recipe Via: cooks.com

    Recipe:

    1 lb ground beef
    1/4 cup diced onion
    4 oz tomato sauce
    2 oz tomato paste
    2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
    salt and pepper, to taste

    Brown the ground beef with the onions. Drain the beef then add the rest of the ingredients, mixing well. Simmer for 10-15 minutes until thickened.

    My Experience: HUGE success! Sloppy Joes are a childhood favorite for me. So, finding the recipe that taste the most like Mom’s is tough. I actually emailed her to get her recipe and didn’t get a response back. So I set out to find my own version as close as I could remember. These were really good and on a whole wheat bun, not to terribly bad for you. Add a side salad and it was a nice little meal! I think I’m going to try them next time with some ground turkey to help with the health factor. But very good and a very quick meal!

    Sidenote: After making these and loving them, I finally got an email back from my Mom where she admitted her sloppy joe secret. She used beef, tomato paste, and the sloppy joe packet from the grocery store. All these years I thought she had an actual recipe and come to find out, she used the pre-made packet! Who knew 🙂

    3. Enchilladas
    Recipe via: Kelly’s Recipes

    1 lb hamburger meat
    1 small onion, chopped
    1 can of chopped black olives
    1 can of cream of mushroom soup
    1 can of Enchilada sauce
    8 oz of shredded cheddar cheese
    6-8 flour tortillas

    Brown the meat and saute the onions in with it. Once that is done, add in the olives and let it heat and then add in 3/4 of the cheese and let it melt – mix it all together. Fill tortillas with the meat mixture and roll up. Combine the mushroom soup and enchilada sauce and pour on top. Top with remaining cheese. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes.

    My Experience: Another big hit! I made these when a friend came over for dinner the other night and it was a great meal! I was a little worried about mixing the sauce with the soup but it turned out really good! I think next time I make them, I will use whole wheat tortillas and add a can of Rotel to the beef mix to add a little more flavor inside the tortiillas. I paired it with some Spanish rice and we had tortilla chips and salsa as an appetizer. It was a great meal. 2 thumbs up!

    *Stay tuned next week for my recipes I’ll be trying this week! They include a pasta dish, a crock pot attempt, and an attempt at making an overlooked veggie just a little more appetizing.*

     

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