Welcome to Sarah's Adventures in Culinary Experimentation

This blog is for posting recipes I've experimented with while teaching myself to cook. Some I have taken from my favorite recipe books, others are purely my own experimentations. My audience is usually just my husband, my toddler daughter, and I and we are living on a tight budget. Sometimes you might find a splurge.

Hopefully you'll find something here that you like!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Lemony Orzo with Tuna and Artichoke Hearts

Lemony Orzo with Tuna and Artichoke Hearts
Serves: 4

I found this recipe on FineCooking.com and thought it sounded good. Plus I had all the ingredients on hand already.I did not have sun-dried tomatoes, so I threw in some halved cherry tomatoes when I added the tuna. I also only had light tuna and not chunk white. For the wine I used a small bottle of Barefoot Chardonnay. It turned out delicious.

  • Kosher salt  
  • 1-1/2 cups dried orzo (about 9 oz.)  
  • 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil  
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped  
  • Freshly ground black pepper  
  • 1/3 cup dry vermouth or white wine  
  • 1 14-oz. can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered  
  • 1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and thinly sliced  
  • 1 5-oz. can water-packed solid white tuna, drained  
  • 3 Tbs. sour cream  
  • 3 Tbs. fresh lemon juice  
  • 3 Tbs. coarsely chopped fresh basil  

  1. Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Add the orzo and cook according to package timing until al dente. Drain well.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/8 tsp. pepper and cook, stirring often, until deep golden brown, 7 to 8 minutes. 
  3. Remove the skillet from the heat and add the vermouth or wine. Return the skillet to the heat and stir well, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom. 
  4. Add the artichoke hearts and sun-dried tomatoes and cook just until tender and heated through, 2 to 3 minutes more. Off the heat, gently stir in the tuna.
  5. Transfer the hot orzo to a large bowl and toss with the crème fraîche and lemon juice. 
  6. Add the onion-artichoke mixture, 2 Tbs. of the basil, and salt and pepper to taste. Toss gently to combine. 
  7. Spoon into bowls, garnish with the remaining 1 Tbs. basil, and serve.
nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 470; Fat (g): 12; Fat Calories (kcal): 110; Saturated Fat (g): 4; Protein (g): 23; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 5; Carbohydrates (g): 60; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1.5; Sodium (mg): 710; Cholesterol (mg): 25; Fiber (g): 4

Saturday, June 4, 2011

WTH is for Dinner Breakfast-Dinner

WTH is for Dinner Breakfast-Dinner

  • 1 Hillshire Farm Cheddar Turkey Ring Bologna
  • 6 Eggs (or 3 Egg Beaters)
  • 2 tbsp Montreal Steak Seasoning
  • 8 thin slices of a French loaf
  • Cherry Tomatoes – Sliced
  • Shredded Parmesan
  • 2 TBSP butter

  1. Beat 3 eggs and 1 tsp Montreal Steak Seasoning. In a heated pan, melt 1 TBSP butter and pour in the egg mixture. Spread out until you get a thin layer of eggs. Very thin, like a crepe. Flip when cooked. Then put aside. Do this for the last 3 eggs and last teaspoon of Montreal Steak Seasoning and last TBSP of butter.
  2. Put the eggs aside to cool. Then cut up the Turkey Bologna into small slices. Do not add anything to the frying pan, but keep it on heat. Put the slices in the frying pan and cook until browned on both sides. (You could also just microwave cook the sausage and then slice it afterwards.)
  3. Toast the bread and put a thin layer or butter or margarine or other bread preference on the bread when toasted. Put two slices on each plate.
  4. Slice cherry tomatoes to give at least six cherry tomatoes to eat person. Evenly divide the sliced cherry tomatoes between the four plates.
  5. Roll up the two sheets of eggs, individually, and cut them into 1cm sections, giving you what looks like egg pasta. Drape these evenly over the bread on the plate.
  6. Put your ring bologna on paper towel to drain and pat away excess grease. Then divide evenly among plates.
  7. Sprinkle some Parmesan cheese over the plate and serve.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Tomato, Basil, and Orzo Soup

Tomato, Basil, and Orzo Soup
Serves: About 6-8

  • 1 can Hunt's Diced Tomatoes - Basil, Garlic & Oregano
  • 1 can Roundy's Diced Tomatoes - With Onion, Celery and Green Peppers
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 2 cups Vegetable Stock
  • 3 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 5-6 fresh basil leaves chopped
  • 1 cup uncooked orzo pasta
  • 2 TBSP Montreal Steak Seasoning
  • 4 TBSP Tomato Paste
  • 4 TBSP Light Daisy Sour Cream
  • shredded Parmesan cheese (for garnish)


  1. Follow the directions on the box and cook the Orzo to your desired tenderness. Put aside to mix it at the end.
  2. Sweat down the onions and garlic with the olive oil until translucent.
  3. Add in the 2 cans of diced tomatoes, tomato paste, vegetable stock and seasoning.
  4. Cook at medium until heated through and taste to make sure its seasoned well.
  5. Then add in your chopped basil. Cook for 5 more minutes on medium so that the basil flavors combine.
  6. Get out your hand blender (or use a blend or food processor) and blend the soup until smooth.
  7. Add in the sour cream and blend a little more until combined.
  8. Combine the Orzo with the soup on the stove top and heat through at low-medium heat until completely warm.
  9. Serve with a little sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.

Note: Great with a Mozzarella, Tomato, and Basil grilled cheese/panini!!