Monday, February 1, 2016

Recent Recipe Hits (and Misses)

Great collection of recipes from around the internet!

(Affiliate links used.)

Around early fall of last year, my eMeals subscription ran out.  I had saved up quite a few recipes on Pinterest that I really wanted to try, but it just wasn't worth it to me to fill all of the ingredients in my eMeals shopping list and make those recipes when I had new ones that were provided to me every week.  So, I thought I'd just stockpile them to use later and use those for a few months instead of getting a new subscription.

After I came back from underneath my morning sickness rock around October, I actually started making some of the recipes I stockpiled.  I was so pleased with most of them, and I thought I'd share the wealth today!  I love reading about recipes that work (or didn't work) on other blogs, so this is my way of paying it forward.  I've got the link to the original recipe before each one and my honest opinion of how they went.

(And, in case you were wondering, I renewed eMeals around Christmas...I just couldn't part with it.  It just makes meal planning so darn easy!) 

Corn Pudding - This recipe has become an absolute go-to for pot lucks and dinners with extended family.  It's inexpensive to make, so easy (you literally just dump everything in a bowl and mix), and always, always gets complements.  Plus, it makes a lot of food, so if you have a lot of people to feed, this is your dish!  I'd half the recipe for just one family-size serving. (Pin this recipe here.)

Copycat Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup - I really don't know where this one went wrong, but it was just not good.  Granted, I was still somewhat in my morning sickness phase when I made it, so everything grossed me out at some point...but this just ended up being too flour-y or something.  It was way too thick and didn't have a ton of flavor.  Nowhere close to Panera, I promise you that.  (Pin this recipe here.)

Mustard Balsamic Pork Chops - This is a super simple main dish that sounds/tastes so much more complicated than it really is...perfect for entertaining dinner guests or just fancying up a weeknight dinner.  There are very few ingredients, and I'm willing to bet you have most of them on hand.  The flavors are absolutely perfect! (Pin this recipe here.)

Baked Garlic Cheese Grits - If you need a very filling, crowd-pleasing side dish for a brunch, this is a great recipe.  It's a Paula Deen (so don't expect it to be healthy in any way), but I was really pleased with how easy and delicious it was! (Pin this recipe here.)

Sausage Stuffed Apples - This recipe sounds so incredibly weird, but stick with me.  You basically hollow out an apple and fill it with sausage stuffing (the recipe calls for plain box stuffing, but you could definitely use homemade if desired).  The flavor combination is out of this world!  If you like a little bit of sweet with your dressing normally, you'd love this one. (Pin this recipe here.)

Copycat Zuppa Toscana - Oh, how I love this soup.  Damn Delicious has never made a recipe that I didn't like, and this one totally didn't disappoint...and yes, I think it tastes better than the original!  This is a pretty hearty meal so I'd save it for a colder night.  It goes great with a light salad and garlic bread or breadsticks! (Pin this recipe here.)

Spaghetti Pie - I saw this recipe on The Today Show one morning and so wanted to like this one, but just didn't measure up.  For some reason the spaghetti noodles were just too much for the dish and got really dry when I baked it.  There's also just not a lot of flavor...I would put a lot more spice in the sauce if I made it again.  I don't think we'll be going back, but it's a nice thought. (Pin this recipe here.)

Pineapple Casserole - This is another weird one, but surprisingly good!  If you look at the recipe it sounds absolutely disgusting, but have faith.  The flavors blend together amazingly well.  I served this with ham at Christmas and they went together perfectly! (Pin this recipe here.)

Streusel Pumpkin Pie - I ended up making this for both Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners and they were delicious both times!  Admittedly, I didn't use the homemade crust recipe that is described in the worked just fine.  And, for some reason, I couldn't find my pie plate either time, so I made these as individual pies.  Just use a standard-size muffin tin, spray well, and cut circles out of your pie crust with a knife about the size of the muffin cup.  Then, slightly stretch out your pie crust and center it in the bottom of the pans.  The filling is excellent and the crust on top adds so much to the dish!  This recipe was a little less sweet than I normally like, so I made a brown sugar glaze for the top too...just 2/3 cup powdered sugar, 1/3 cup brown sugar, and a couple of tablespoons of water, then drizzle over the top.  Adds the perfect amount of sweetness! (Pin this recipe here.)

Apple Dumplings - I had a teacher friend that made these years ago, and I've been meaning to try them ever since...they are so easy, and you'd never know they didn't take all day to make!  Just don't make the same mistake I did and leave them under the broiler to brown...the sugar on top burns very quickly. (Pin this recipe here.)

Cranberry Pepper Jelly Dip - This recipe is great (especially for the holidays), but isn't for everybody.  I absolutely love the flavor combination of a sweeter sauce and cream cheese...this is kind of a take on that.  But, just know if you make it for a crowd, a lot of people are going to think it's gross.  And don't make it too far in advance...the cranberry sauce got incredibly watery for me, so it was only really servable for a few hours. (Pin this recipe here.)

Blue Cheese Bacon Mac and Cheese - I have seriously found my macaroni and cheese recipe for forever and always.  This was easy to make (it's a stovetop dish) and man, oh man was it good.  Noah even commented that it was the best macaroni and cheese I have ever made (and I've made my fair share of mac and cheese recipes).  You could make it without the blue cheese (because, if you're not a blue cheese fan, it's definitely the overwhelming flavor), just substitute an equal amount of another kind of cheese and you're good to go. (Pin this recipe here.)

North African Chicken Soup - This is from my eMeals plan, so I don't have a link, but the recipe is above.  I almost didn't put this on my meal plan a few weeks ago because it looked so weird.  I was afraid it was going to be terrible as I was making it.  Even Noah commented "this is either going to be delicious or terrible" as he saw what I was adding to the pot.  But y'all - it ended up being one of the most unique, delicious meals I've ever made!  It actually is really hearty (I'd attribute that to the peanut butter) and I thought it was absolutely delicious.  It definitely caters to those that like to try funky, unique foods though...if you don't venture outside-the-box a whole lot in cooking, shy away from this one.

Who has a recipe that they've loved lately?  Share it in the comments!

**I've got a couple of great sponsored giveaways going right the links below to enter (all you have to do on both is comment for an entry)!**

Win a $100 Visa Gift Card with Marie Callender's - ends 2/29/16
Win a $100 Babies R Us Gift Card - ends 2/11/16