So Lucas and I started a new tradition recently and we thought it would be fun to share it with everyone else. Every Sunday, besides the normal doing-no-work-and-relaxing part, we’ve decided to start expanding our culinary repertoire by picking out a brand new recipe, grabbing all of the ingredients fresh, and then trying to cook it together. Note that I put “trying” in that sentence, because we’re sure that while our cooking adventures will be full of lots of awesome, it will also be fraught with some failure. It’s inevitable. And that’s ok, because we’re learning!

The idea is that each week we’ll type up a post to share what recipes we used for that Sunday’s menu. Not only will this allow us to share great recipes with the whole two of you that read our blog, but it will also help US keep track of all of the food we make (with notes about what worked, what didn’t, what we liked and didn’t like, things we omitted or changed or substituted, etc.) so that we can access recipes easily later on, or share things with our family and friends a lot more concisely. Like a lot of aspects of our life, it’s all about sharing. :)

Another great benefit to documenting our culinary experiences with this new tradition is that we’ll be able to keep track of the new dishes we discover and start eliminating the food boredom that has overcome us recently. Our meals have been too predictable and repetitive. This ensures we can always look forward to something new and exciting. The best part? We’ll be doing it together. What a great side effect!

And if nothing else, it’ll give us a reason to update the family blog at least once a week, right? Ha!

As this is week 2 of our tradition, I’m just going to share what we created the last two Sundays really quickly. What I’d like to do for these Sunday posts going forward, though, is to describe the dishes in better detail in their own post and include picture(s). We’ll also make any notes about changes we made and our thoughts on the food in general and how it did (or didn’t) turn out. Maybe there will be a mistake or we don’t like the way something turns out. We’ll document that, too, and hopefully it’ll help us learn so that we won’t make the same mistakes in the future.

OH! And we have signed up for an account to keep a virtual recipe box of things we try or things we want to potentially try so feel free to look over there. It’s fun to sort through user-submitted recipes for inspiration, and is usually our go-to place when we begin planning our Sunday menu.

Here’s what we cooked up the past two Sundays:

Sunday July 18, 2010
Jalapeño Cream Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts
This. was. amazing. I forgot to include the thyme and dill in the actual cream cheese/jalapeno mixture before adding it to the chicken breasts, so instead I lightly sprinkled them on top of everything just before it went into the oven. These turned out absolutely amazing. Delicious! I was seriously in love with the resulting creamy cream cheese jalapeno “gravy” after baking.

The Best Steamed Asparagus
Followed this recipe for the most part – based on user comments, we only did about an 1/8th cup of white wine with the butter. We steamed these according to the instructions (2-3 mins on high) on the Ziploc Zip ‘n Steam bag we used for steaming in the microwave.

Zesty Steamed Red Potatoes
We actually modified the recipe “Zesty Potatoes with Sour Cream & Chives” over on the Ziploc website because we used the Ziploc Zip ‘n Steam bags to steam our potatoes in the microwave. We used small new potatoes (the red ones) and omitted the chives and sour cream. These steamed perfectly in the baggie and were full of flavor! They were a *tad* spicy with all the chili powder so some might consider this possibly *too* spicy when paired with the jalapeno of the chicken main dish? Not too much spice for us, but just be aware.

Sunday, July 25, 2010
Tangy Sirloin Strips
These were good. We overcooked the beef a bit (hard to find just the right amount of time to get the beef not TOO done but the bacon fully cooked) but the flavor and the sauce especially, were really tasty! I think they would’ve been a bit better for us personally had we been able to find sirloin and had a grill. We used the countertop griddle because we didn’t have access to a normal grill/barbecue.  Still delicious, though. LOVED the sauce. We didn’t have molasses and it wasn’t available at our closest grocery store when we picked up fresh ingredients, but not sure it really took away from the final result of the sauce anyway.

We were a bit “boring” today and fell back on the delicious steamed asparagus we had last week and a new version of seasoned steamed potatoes. We did the small red potatoes again, but this time around we steamed them in a mixture of lemon juice and butter with rosemary and basil seasoning. We stuck with the familiar on the sides because we were testing out our ability to microwave steam without the Ziploc Zip ‘n Steam bags. I think I liked the result better with the steam bags so we’ll keep that in mind when we steam things in the future.

Hopefully next week we’ll have all new sides to go with our new main dish AND we’ll start having photos to share, too! Hope you enjoy experiencing culinary adventures with us. :) You can follow us on Twitter, too, if you’re so inclined and want another feed to follow. A food feed. Ha! See what I did there? See you next week!