Cook the Cover June Bon Appetit


I made all kinds of changes to this one that I hardly feel it’s worthy of posting as a #cookthecover recipe, but I’m counting it as the June cover so that’s that.


Change 1: I used peaches and plums instead of cherries (both preference and availability were the determining factors)


Change 2: I used a pre-made gluten free crust for the bottom layer (convenience, nothing more)


Change 3: I made a crumble for the top layer (again, convenience).


Baked and devoured like the real deal.



PF Chang’s lettuce cups

IMG_6208 I made a veg version of these longlong ago, but decided to try the meat version this time around. I found a few copycat recipes on various blogs, but ultimately went with bakerette’s version.


I didn’t have hoisin sauce, which may or may not have added another dimension of greatness, but we thought these were pretty exceptional anyway. IMG_6210 I added rice too (because carbs make it a meal, rather than an app, in my book). Delicious.

Tyler Florence’s pork rub

I know I just shared a pulled pork recipe, but clearly I am smitten…because here’s another.  [Full disclosure I made them a few weeks apart]


This time I used an already prepared rub.


Tyler Florence’s brown sugar pork rub.

I wasn’t sure if it was okay to use a rub for ribs on a shoulder cut.  It seemed like a yummy sounding recipe for pulled pork, but what do I know!?  Hard to tell what was in it aside from brown sugar and “spices”.


The most frustrating thing about this labeling is it gives no info for people with allergies. Can we work on that Tyler?


I combined the rub with red wine vinegar and olive oil to create a slurry to slather over the pork.  I then cooked it on low for ~8 hours in the slow cooker.


Good, but not great.  The previous pulled pork recipe I made was superior so I’ll stick with that from now on.


“The best ever” crock-pot pulled pork

It actually was the best ever, considering it was my first time making pulled pork.


Or any pork for that matter.  All kids of firsts on this blog!

IMG_4999 IMG_5001

I used this recipe for “the best pulled pork in a crock pot” by 100 days of real food.  It could not have been easier. I just placed the onion in the bottom, put the tied up pork shoulder on top and then poured the  marinade over.  Cooked it on low for ~8 hours and it split open like buttah at the slightest nudge.

IMG_5018 IMG_5019

The only change I made was in reducing the amount of sugar – I used 1/4 cup maple syrup and 1/4 cup coconut sugar instead of the 1/2 cup honey called for (only because I didn’t want to use that a much of my local raw fancy schmancy honey on this).


Served with corn and baked potatoes.


It doesn’t photograph well, but holy hell it was the best.  So rich.  Sooooo tender.  For an ex-vegetarian, I have a lot to eat to make up for lost time.

Crumbly beef sliders

Elise’s recipe for turkey mushroom meatballs was on the menu for a few weeks before I finally got around to making it.  


I have no idea how hers stayed together.  Maybe I didn’t chop my shrooms finely enough?  I have no idea.  Either way, the ratio of meat to mushrooms/onions was way off so they didn’t hold together at all.  


The only change I made in the recipe was swapping onion (~1/3 of a small yellow one) for shallots because I had some leftover onion form a different recipe.  Oh, but I also used beef instead of turkey.  The ground turkey didn’t look so hot when I did a grocery run. 


I formed mini patties (aka sliders) and then they made their way to the grill.  Delicately. Image


Texture aside, the flavor was unique and yummy.  I don’t think I would ever have paired mustard, herb de provence and balsamic in a burger, but it was nice!  I’ll probably make this again because it was so easy, but as a ragu instead.  Even easier! 


Sriracha drumsticks

Another Shutterbean recipe success.  


I think the key to this deliciousness is the combo of sesame oil and fresh ginger.  Well, and the heat of the sriracha of course.  It had some heat!! 


Instead of cooking it in the oven we went the BBQ route.  

Naturally, I wanted to preserve the extra marinade (why should something so good go to waste?) so after basting the drumsticks a few times while on the grill, I took the remaining marinade and cooked it on the stovetop.  I know this is semi controversial, but I was okay with the idea of it since I got a full boil going.  Neither of us got sick, so there you have it. 


Paired with grilled corn on the cob it was a very summery meal.  And yes, that’s the extra sauce on the plate…all thick and sticky from reducing on the stove.  


Honey Mustard Pork Tenderloin

This was my first time cooking and eating pork tenderloin and I think I picked a damn fine recipe to take my V card.


I made this recipe by Food52 without any deviations.


As per the instructions, it marinated for > 3 hours.

I didn’t really remove much of the marinade since it seemed a shame so I did have some extra sauce in the pot which got blackened and sticky once out of the oven.  It was a pain to clean the pot but tasted good so well worth it.


The first time I took it out of the oven (at 13 minutes) it wasn’t yet >137 in the thickest portion so I put it back in the oven for another 5 minutes and that did the trick.


I served it with sautéed asparagus.

I loved the mustard and rosemary together and the meat was flavorful, moist, and tender.  Even the leftovers the next day were good (not chewy or dried out).  I’ll definitely make it again.


Asian Lettuce Beef Wraps

These are inspired by a recipe in Diane Sanfilippo’s 21DSD book.  Since I can’t link to the recipe, I’ll link to her site with other lettuce wrap ideas


I cheated a bit and used a prepared rub (below), which I tossed with the ground beef after I cooked it. 


I used 1 lb of grass fed organic 85%/15% (lean/fat) cooked in a cast iron pan. 


I sauteed bell peppers and cooked brown rice too and served it all with romaine leaves.  

Stuff and enjoy. 


Cook the Cover February Bon Appetit


Once again, it’s the recipe from this month’s Bon Appetit magazine, chicken & dumplings with mushrooms.


My changes were minimal.  I used gluten free all purpose flour (Trader Joe’s) instead of wheat flour and used 6 chicken thighs instead of 4 whole legs.

The flavor was UNREAL.  It was sooo rich.  So delicious.  Definitely tasted like it was from a gourmet food mag.

That said, the labor that went into it was also excessive (3+ hours all in).  There are several steps that probably could have been omitted or simplified without affecting the outcome of the meal.  Not going to be repeated due to the intensive kitchen time, but the leftovers will certainly be savored.

Banana Coconut Pancakes

These are nomnompaleo’s Cinnamon and Coconut Pancakes


I used water instead of coconut milk and omitted the ACV.  I also added a bit of liquid NuNaturals stevia.  The flavor was good but they were sorta eggy (in texture and flavor).  I liked the cinnamon a lot but it definitely needed the added sweetener. 

The main problem was that it didn’t yield what her recipe said it would (12 pancakes).  My batter made the 5 pancakes you see above, which was basically enough for one serving for one person.