Can We Make This Recipe Better: Lentil and Sausage Soup

We think we could make this recipe better. It wasn’t terrible but there’s room for improvement.

Hope you enjoy life !

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Skillet Ground Beef Stew

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. lean (at least 80%) ground beef
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. pepper (we used freshly ground black pepper)
  • 1 pkg. (8 oz.) sliced fresh mushrooms (about 3 cups)
  • 1 ½ cups beef-flavored broth
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 4 tsp. Dijon mustard (4 tsp. wasn’t enough for us the first time we tried this so we tried 5 tsp. this time)
  • 1 lb. unpeeled Yukon Gold or red potatoes, cut into ½-inch cubes (we used red potatoes)
  • 2 medium carrots, thinly sliced (1 cup)
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley (we used Italian parsley)

Directions

  1. Take a 12-inch nonstick skillet out and set the heat to medium-high. Once hot, add in the ground beef, cooking for 5-7 minutes or until fully cooked, stirring the meat around and breaking it up occasionally. Drain any grease that’s accumulated. Stir in the salt, pepper, and flour before adding in the mushrooms. Cook for another 3 minutes, stirring now and then.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the whipping cream and mustard. Pour the cream mixture into the skillet, stirring in the potatoes and carrots afterwards.
  3. Turn the heat down to medium-low and place a lid on the skillet. Cook for 15 minutes or until the vegetables feel tender and the sauce has thickened up slightly. Take the skillet off the heat, sprinkle in the parsley and serve immediately.

Serves 4.

Even though we increased the mustard by a teaspoon, we still didn’t taste the mustard like we wanted to so we’ll probably try an even two tablespoons of mustard next time we make this. Still need to adjust the amount of mustard but it’s cheap, filling, and has a certain comfort factor to it !

Not sure where we got this recipe from.

Hope you enjoy life !

Ham and Cheese Pull-Apart Sandwich Loaf

Hi everybody, hope your day’s going well. When mommy was younger, for too long if she tried a recipe and we didn’t like it, the recipe would be thrown away. Looking back, she got rid of a lot of savory recipes that she could have kept. As mommy said, “It took me too long to realize that a savory recipe is basically a set of guidelines and not rules. If there’s something you don’t like about it, why not change it up so that it can become a new recipe you do like?”. With all that being said, we wanted to introduce a new aspect of the blog that we call “Can We Make This Recipe Better?” and this is our first recipe for it.

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf Italian bread (10 to 12 inches*)
  • 3 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened (we used unsalted butter)
  • 1 tablespoon spicy brown or country-style Dijon mustard (we used country-style Dijon mustard)
  • Horseradish, optional (we added ½ tsp. of horseradish)
  • 6 slices (1 oz.) each Swiss cheese
  • ¾ lb. thinly sliced fully cooked ham

Directions

  1. Preheat your gas or charcoal grill to medium heat. Take a 25 x 18-inch sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil out and spray with cooking spray (we used PAM). Cut your loaf into 12 (¾-inch) thick slices without cutting the whole way through (leave at least ¼-inch of the bottom uncut).
  2. Mix together the butter, mustard and horseradish in a small mixing bowl. Spread a little less than 2 tsp. of the butter mixture on every other slice of bread, creating 6 sandwiches. Take each slice of cheese and fold it in half diagonally, placing each slice into a sandwich afterwards. Divide the ham slices as evenly as possible, placing each portion into each sandwich, tucking it in to fit. Place the sandwich loaf in the center of the foil you sprayed earlier. Seal the edges of the foil, making a tight ½-inch fold, folding again afterwards but making sure to leave space for heat circulation and any expansion. Take your foil-wrapped loaf and place it on the grill, pulling the lid down on the grill afterwards. Allow the sandwich to cook for 20 to 25 minutes or however long it takes for the cheese to melt and the bread to be thoroughly heated, remembering to turn the wrapped loaf frequently. When it comes time to serve, make sure you open the foil carefully so as to avoid any steam that comes out. Take off the foil completely and pull the loaf apart so you have individual sandwiches to enjoy.
  3. Oven Version: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and stick the foil-wrapped loaf in for 40 to 45 minutes or until the cheese has all melted (this is the method we went with).

*Our bread was longer than what the recipe called for but we kept the thickness of the cuts the same and just ended up with some extra sandwich spots.

This was a bit of a disappointment. The premise of the recipe sounded really good but the amount of cheese we put in wasn’t enough to make it feel nice and gooey throughout plus we couldn’t taste the mustard or the horseradish at all ! The bread could also have stood getting crispier so there would be more contrasting textures in the sandwich. It just felt like the bread got steamed. Overall, we think we could make this recipe better.

Recipe source unknown.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote PAM.

Hope you enjoy life !

Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Sriracha BBQ Sauce

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar (we used light brown sugar and made sure each tablespoon was packed)
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt (we used kosher salt)
  • 1 (3 ½-pound) boneless pork shoulder (Boston butt), trimmed and cut into 4 pieces
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup seasoned rice vinegar
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons Sriracha (a hot chile sauce), divided
  • 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 12 (1 ½ ounce) whole-wheat hamburger buns

Directions

  1. Take a small bowl out and mix the first 5 things together in it. Rub this mixture all over the pork.
  2. Take a slow cooker out and mix the following ingredients together in it: ketchup, water, ginger, vinegar, water, and 2 tablespoons of the sriracha. Add the pork into the slow cooker, tossing the pork to coat it in the liquid mixture.
  3. Put the lid on the slow cooker and let the pork cook on LOW for 8 hours or however long it takes for the meat to become very tender.
  4. Skim the fat off the surface of the liquid (we didn’t). Take the pork out of the slow cooker and shred the pork. Stir the remaining sriracha into the cooking liquid before returning the pulled pork to the sauce, making sure to stir the pork around in the liquid so it’s fully coated. Take roughly 3 ounces of the pulled pork and place it on the bottom half of a bun, placing the top bun on the pork afterwards.

Sandwich was fine but we didn’t get that heat from the sriracha that we were expecting. We think we can improve it so we’ll fix it again. We’ll keep you updated in a later post.

Recipe source unknown.

Thai Chicken Pasta Salad

Ingredients

  • Dressing
    • ¾ cup reduced-fat creamy peanut butter (we used regular creamy peanut butter)
    • 3 Tbsp. water
    • 3 Tbsp. lime juice
    • 3 Tbsp. molasses
    • 4 ½ tsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce
    • 3 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 ½ tsp. rice vinegar
    • 1 ½ tsp. sesame oil (we used toasted sesame oil)
    • ¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • Salad
    • 12 oz. uncooked whole wheat spaghetti
    • 2 large carrots, julienned (we used a 10 oz. bag of julienned carrots)
    • 8 cups finely shredded Chinese or napa cabbage (we used napa cabbage)
    • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
    • 2/3 cup minced fresh cilantro
    • 3 Tbsp. unsalted dry roasted peanuts, chopped

Directions

  1. For the dressing, simply take a small mixing bowl out and combine all the dressing ingredients in it, whisking them all together until it all looks smooth. Leave the dressing off to the side for now.
  2. In a large saucepan cook the spaghetti based off the directions on the package they came in. During the last 2 minutes of cooking time on the spaghetti, add the carrots into the water, draining the water after the two minutes pass. Place the spaghetti and carrots in a large mixing bowl, followed by adding in the chicken and cabbage, mixing everything together so it’s all equally distributed.
  3. Give the dressing a quick stir before pouring it over the spaghetti mixture, tossing everything so all the components get equally coated in the dressing. Sprinkle the cilantro and peanuts on right before serving and enjoy eating this right away or stick the dish in the refrigerator so the food’s chilled before you start eating (we tried the dish both ways and they were good either room temp. or chilled).

This dish isn’t bad tasting but we think it would taste even better with some extra heat and acidity. We added some sriracha to our individual portions and the dish instantly tasted a lot better (but we’re still going to try making this again in the future and see if we can make it taste even better).

Recipe source unknown.

Blue Cheese Burgers

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup old-fashioned or quick-cooking oats (we used quick-cooking oats)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 ½ lb. extra-lean (at least 90%) ground beef (we used 93% lean ground beef)
  • ½ cup crumbled reduced-fat blue cheese (4 oz.)
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh chives (we just thinly sliced the chives)
  • ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper sauce (we used ¼ teaspoon of Frank’s RedHot Original)
  • ½ teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon salt (we used kosher salt)
  • 6 leaves leaf lettuce
  • 6 slices tomato
  • 6 whole wheat burger buns, split

Directions

  1. Start heating up your gas or charcoal grill (we used a grill pan). Take a large bowl out and first mix together the oats and water. Afterwards, mix in the ground beef, blue cheese, chives, Worcestershire sauce, pepper sauce, black pepper, mustard, and salt until everything’s thoroughly mixed together. Divide the mixture equally into 6 sections, shaping each section into a ¾ inch thick patty.
  2. Once your grill is at medium heat, place the patties onto the grill. Cover the grill*, letting the patties cook for somewhere between 11 to 13 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the middle of the patty reaches 160 degrees, flipping them halfway through the cooking time.
  3. For assembly, lay a lettuce leaf followed by a slice of tomato and the patty on the bottom bun, placing the top bun over the patty and enjoy eating the burger !

*Since we were using an indoor grill pan, we didn’t have to cover the grill in order to reach the 160 degrees. Ours only took 11 minutes to reach 160 degrees, 5 minutes on the first side and 6 minutes on the other side.

We were surprised that despite having ½ cup of blue cheese, we didn’t really taste the blue cheese in the patty. We did have a few bites that we could taste the cheese but otherwise we didn’t really taste it. The burger was tasty enough though that we’ll probably make it again in the future with maybe a few tweaks. I’m not a fan usually of raw tomato but mommy said the tomato slice did make the burger taste better (she did leave her tomato slice off to the side though to ensure that the bun didn’t get soggy).

Recipe source unknown.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Frank’s RedHot Original.