Category Archives: Journey With Cookbooks

Journey With Cookbooks #6

Well I felt super ambitious the other night. I decided to make the Sloppy Joe’s recipe from the, The Frontier Cookbook. I already have a recipe that I’ve always used, my sister found it. But I decided to branch out and try a new one…I also decided to make those “fluffy rolls” again!

And so it begins again my foe…

If you can’t tell I am taking this rematch seriously…😜


So it turns out…I killed the yeast last time. I thought my thermometer worked…nope. I had the water about 60 degrees too warm. We got a meat thermometer; I was able to use it for the water, it’s digital. 😎 Well must wait two hours…

Brown the meat.
Since I didn’t read the entire recipe again…😓😂 I didn’t realize I needed 2.5 lbs of beef, so I’m just making half of the recipe. Dicing!!!

Well my plan of making half went okay…except I forgot about cutting the garlic in half…at least my hubby and I like garlic.

I forgot to take pictures of the rolls…but the dough did double in size! I made bigger rolls because they are for the Sloppy Joe’s .

Don’t kill the yeast, best advice ever!…and I have to admit I didn’t wait the full 2 hrs. It was more like 1.5 hrs. Just because I wanted the rolls to be done around the same time as the Sloppy Joe’s.

All the spices and deliciousness! It called for chili powder and red pepper flakes. Which was different. We shall see. Simmer 20min.

Yep that’s right. I decided to be ambitious…French fries it is…but not only that, I’m going to fry them!! I normally bake them in the oven, but since the oven is being used and now I find frying interesting, let’s try it!

So because my knowledge of frying is still small I looked up a fries recipe on google. It was Chef John’s French Fries. I only referenced the temp of the oil and how long. Just because I wanted them to be plain because we already have enough salt… but also I plan to eat them with lots of ketchup!

So I don’t know if you are supposed to do this step when you fry the fries, but when I baked them, I would let them soak a min or two and then pat them dry.

I cut the fries a little thicker than when I baked them, because I like my fries to be crunchy on the outside and fluffy on the inside!!

I tried to use the meat thermometer again to figure out the temp but it would only go to 165…it showed 180, I just left the oil alone about 5 more min and then began.

This is the same oil from when I did the Spicy Asian Wings. So there is a little bit of flavor added because of the oil. It smells delicious!!

The fries on the left: Well I doesn’t look like much but they have one more round in the oil before the results!
Mwahahahaha! I have succeeded! I can’t wait to see what happens when I make it 100% correct…🤩 but I’m super happy with the result!

And this time I tasted it…as I said normally I don’t taste as I go. But I had a little nibble and it was delicious!! 😎

I decided to add a salad to the dinner. Everything was starting to seem a little heavy…

I try and keep the dinners somewhat healthy. Maybe I should say, I try to have one healthy thing to make it seem like we are healthy…haha.

Mission complete!

I will say it looks delicious, but it taste way better!!

Fries done! They came out exactly as I hoped! Crunchy on the outside, fluffy on the inside.

The hubby and Elizabeth are already eating. I had to finish the fries so I ate my salad first. Maybe two sloppy Joe’s is too much for me, but I’ll just exercise extra tomorrow!! I’m going to enjoy my hard work!!


Well I guess I will be saying goodbye to two recipes I’ve used for forever. “So long, my baked fries and sloppy Joe recipe. You have been great through my journey of cooking but I’ve found my perfect match.” So long!

Well, let’s start the grading!

Look like picture: 10! Except for the bun it looks the same!!

Taste: I guess through this blog post I gave my input. Maybe I was especially hungry this time…But I would also give it a 10! Definitely trying again! The hubby said, “Mmmmmm,” and “I love the fries!” Elizabeth proceeded to copy her daddy. So they would give it a 10 as well!

Easiness: The sloppy Joe’s: 10! It was super easy. Pretty much just prepare and then let simmer. The rolls: 8! I think when I’m less rushed it might even make it to a 10. The fries: 8.5. The time it takes to fry, but still have the fries hot to eat was difficult. But worth it! Baking is easier in that way…you just put in the oven 20min and can still do other things. But since I’ve tasted these French fries…never again…

So all in all a fun and delicious dinner!! It was great that I was able to be ambitious and actually accomplished my goals. I’m getting more confident in my cooking. A big thank you to my hubby’s friend who gifted us the cookbooks!! Cooking has become fun again!!

Journey With Cookbooks #5

Sadly I don’t have a new recipe to post about. Because with the Italian Meatball Soup and Tortilla Soup recipes, have lasted a long time.

Also I was correct in my statement in my previous post…my hubby got bored with soup after one day of leftovers… He had leftovers one day and wanted something new.

So I made an old recipe I had found on google. Google was my source for recipes before I got the cookbooks.

The recipe is Asian Mini Meatloafs. You make it in a muffin pan. It made a total of twenty-four mini loaves. Enough to last the hubby through his work shifts.

They might not look so great, but they taste delicious! 🤩 (this muffin is one of the best presents I’ve ever received…thanks sister!)

I finished the Italian Meatball Soup on Thursday. I’m still eating the Tortilla Soup….But I’m getting fed up with it too. 😔

I realize this post is not as much fun, but I will be making a new recipe tomorrow! I think I’m done with soup; there is about one serving left…maybe I’ll “make” my hubby’s lunch and serve him the last serving of soup today…🧐

We shall see…Well enjoy your Sunday. Enjoy your day with family or friends. ❤️

Journey With Cookbooks #4

Well the warmth left Montana, so I wanted something warm to eat!! Soup. Soup is always nice on a cold day.

Again I had to choose a recipe from my cookbooks but this one was not marked. Chicken Tortilla Soup.

Still going through the Frontier Cookbook

Reading through the recipe this one will only take 50min cooking time and only 20min prep. So not too bad!!( in the prep time i always add extra time incase Elizabeth wants to help)

Elizabeth helped mix the spices. My big helper!!
Chicken olive oiled and seasoned. I like it that the chicken will be baked…less time I have to watch. More time to make sure baby is not being naughty.
All the diced ingredients! I like to dice…Mwahahahaha 😂
Cooking the veggies. This recipes is super easy. It’s a lot of adding and waiting. I like this recipe 😎
The hubby had to taste it…it was approved.

I feel like every time I’m cooking something new, the hubby has to taste it. Which I guess is good; because I don’t like to taste test as I cook…It’s just a mystery when it’s done…🙃

Once again. Add rest of ingredients, chicken, broth, water, extra seasonings, and salt. Then let it simmer 20min. More waiting.

I think waiting is my favorite kind of cooking. I will be doing this recipe again….waiting…🤓

Last step was to add the corn tortilla strips.
Finished soup. Topped with sour cream, red onions, and cheese. Yummy!

As I said simple recipe!! This blog seems more relaxed than previous cooking posts because it actually is. It was so easy and chill.

And the family said yum! Elizabeth actually liked the soup this time!! To me that is an accomplishment in itself.

Look like picture: 8…it actually looks similar.

Taste: 10! Hubby went for seconds!! Elizabeth ate her whole bowl; the table had some too….

Easiness: 10! Sweetest and easiest recipe! 😎

I will definitely make this recipe again!! Especially when I am in the mood to be lazy. However next time I might fidget with the recipe and make less of it. It makes 8 servings. The hubby will get bored with eating soup before it is gone…so I guess I’ll be eating soup for the next few days.

Enjoy your Wednesday. Hopefully the snow is gone for good. I’m tired of the snow….🙃

I wrote this last night. Update on weather…no snow, but everything is froze outside. 😱

Journey With Cookbooks #3

Well after we got home from an outing I decided I should figure out something for dinner. Of course I went to a cookbook for inspiration… and I decided upon Asian Hot Wings. It sounded delicious.

As I went through the recipe I discovered it’s a bit harder than I imagined. I have to fry the chicken first…since her recipe calls for wings and I’m using chicken breast, I had to find an additional recipe off the internet for fried chicken. It will work, but it is going to add about 1hr extra time.

Also I don’t have all the ingredients again, so I am making what I have work. Since I’ve never had this before I have nothing to compare it to.
I decided to cut the chicken breasts into thick slices.
If using chicken breast you have to flour the chicken to give it “a skin”, similar to wings. I didn’t have buttermilk so I just used milk.
Frying the chicken in rounds, about 8-10 pieces for each round…

This is my first time ever frying! I am frying in peanut oil. Hopefully it works!

The sauce for the chicken. I tasted it and it was delicious and not too spicy!
Wow! 😳 it actually looks like it is supposed to look like…?

You have to understand. I was going into this recipe expecting I was going to totally screw it up and have to throw it out!! I am so happy it turned out well! I had two more rounds of chicken. The oil seemed to be burning by the last round…but it still looked edible!

That is the finished product! I baked it for 10min with the sauce. I’m super hungry now!!
My hubby’s plate….

Well I must say it was delicious!! I will definitely be making this recipe again. But I think I will cut the chicken up into bite sizes instead; similar to orange chicken.

Look like picture: 7! I think the only difference is I didn’t mince the peppers and onions small enough for them to cook down. But pretty similar!!

Taste: 10!!!! I was told I have to make it again! Elizabeth had some rice with the sauce and liked it. She is an odd little thing, she loves spicy foods; thankfully the sauce wasn’t too spicy. However, maybe next time I might add one more jalapeño…

Easiness: It is kind of hard to say…because when I make orange chicken the process takes me a lot longer… Still, I guess I would give it a solid 6. It really wasn’t too bad, and with each time it will get easier. 😉

Well I hope you have a great Weekend! Mine will be filled with Family, exercising, and FOOD!! I still exercise to eat food…my life plan…😂

Journey With Cookbooks #2

As I said before I was going to make the rolls from scratch…I did! They were delicious. They didn’t come out the exactly the same way, but still yummy!

They were supposed to be a Hawaiian/ sweet roll…

This is the other cookbook I am currently going through…🤓
There was an extra edition to the book with this recipe…Looks yummy right?

Well you can see the picture right…mine did not look like this is but they still tasted great!!

This is what I was going for…(this is from the Pioneer Woman Cooks: From my Frontier)
Does the dough look good…? 🙃

Well in the recipe it said to knead for 10min…I did it for maybe 2min because the dough felt like the recipes description…later after the process is done my hubby gives me his two cents…late as always…Oh well, Oops!

Even if I attempt to keep my area clean it never stays that way…
The recipe said it would double in size…it maybe grew by a 3rd…
24 rolled…I was supposed to measure each one but I don’t have a scale…so I guesstimated. I didn’t even count as I made them and I made the right number!

Remember, it wasn’t until later that I realized I might have done the recipe wrong. Still I was at this point, I was almost 3hrs into this process and I was feeling accomplished! 😎

The recipe said to place them text to each other and paint them with melted butter.

Wait for it!!….


I took them out and this is what I received after my hard work. I was super sad. I buttered the tops again and they were ready.

Now is the time to receive the wise wisdom from the hubby…he tells me about the secret he learned about following kneading in recipes. 10min actually means 10 times…😒 I hate it when he is right… Of course, he loves it. 🤓

Even though it is not super similar it was still delicious.

They did rip apart easily. They were not solid as a rock, and they tasted delicious! So not too bad for my first time. I will definitely be trying this one again!!

Taste: Elizabeth loved it! She had 2. Hubby had seconds! Also he ate them throughout the week until they were gone! 😎 Taste: 10 out of 10!

Look like picture: ???….2. I think 2 is fair… 2 out of 10…😖

Easiness: Ignoring the misunderstanding the kneading process…I would give it a solid 8. It was actually an easy recipe to follow and I WILL be trying it again.

So overall, I am enjoying my cooking process. I’m learning new skills and my creative mind is trying to figure out new ideas…(but I will not do that yet, I will continue to learn).

Enjoy your St. Patrick’s Day!! For all the Irish people out there…”I love you!!” 🤪☘️ Maybe I will be making some corned beef…but we shall see…

Journey w/ Cookbooks #1

My hubby has a friend, from work, who is currently retiring and moving; that decided to gift us his cookbooks. I was thinking like 5-6 new cookbooks…more like 3 dozen cookbooks. It was a God send; I was getting bored of cooking my normal go-to recipes.

There were 3 cookbooks specializing on Italian food…like the unusual, adventurous food…we are giving those to a different buddy. We are brave, but not that brave…let’s be honest, I don’t think I could cook the weird things without getting sick…

So my plan is to go through 3 books at a time. The one pictured below, another by the same author but called, ‘Dinner Time’, and then lastly one called ‘Crusts’. I’ve done a few already. They are delicious!! Sadly I didn’t think of writing my experience until now.

This is being used for today’s cooking session. Thank you Ree Drummond!!

This is recipe # 7 so far. Rigatoni & Meatballs. Serves 6-8…we will be eating the is a while. A new recipe of meatballs from scratch…I have one, but this is more complex.

I’ll take more pictures next time…but I’m cooking the meatballs and sauce. The noodles are later.

You know how reading the recipe all the way through is a smart thing…I always forget to do that. I have 20min after I finish the meatballs…haha 🤪

They look like the picture in the cookbook!!
72 meatballs later…😳

This recipe in total is 1hr and 4min…so I guess I lied earlier…

“How much longer?”-Hubby

“10-20min”- me, but with 25min to go…🤓

Elizabeth loves to help mama…or at least hang out with mama when she is cooking.
She is pointing at the picture and saying, “Yumm!” Hopefully she likes mine just as much…

I think I will rate them one by one after each recipe. Taste for my family. Easiness to follow. And if it looks like the picture…haha 😅

Hopefully all goes well…

Meatballs and sauce is done! Noodles only 2min left!

Finally finished! Her picture looks so much better than mine… rating out of 10…so guess looking like the picture is more like a 4. Taste: My hubby gives it a 10! Elizabeth gives it a “Mmmmmm” so probably a solid 8. I like it too, but I mostly care about their opinion. Easiness…it is not too bad. If I had read through the entire recipe I would have time managed better. I give easiness a 7.

So overall. I will definitely be trying this recipe again!! Tomorrow night we are using the leftovers for a suggestion from the cookbook…Meatball Sliders.

I will make the mini rolls from scratch…we shall see!!