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!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Turkey Bacon and Cheese Crescents

Turkey Bacon and Cheese Crescents

  • 1 package of Crescent Rolls
  • 9 slices of Jennie-O Turkey Bacon
  • 2 Cups Reduced-Fat Sargento Shredded Mexican Blend Cheese
  • Oregano
  • Montreal Steak Seasoning

  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Unroll the crescent rolls and peal apart the first triangle.
  3. Lay one slice of turkey bacon on the triangle.
  4. Then sprinkle a good helping of cheese from the larger part to the smaller part. 
  5. Sprinkle a little Oregano in the middle, if you want a little seasoning.
  6. Roll the crescent from the larger to the smaller.
  7. Repeat for the rest of the rolls. Once slice of turkey bacon per crescent. 
  8. Sprinkle a little Montreal Steak Seasoning on top before baking.
  9. Cook until golden brown.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Refreshing Shrimp Salad

Refreshing Shrimp Salad
Serves 2-4 (depending on how you serve it)

This recipe was inspired by one I saw for a Shrimp Salad from Ina Garten. Her recipe is for an enormous amount of shrimp, so I tried to make adjustments. It was great on a roll  for lunch and could easily make 3-4 sandwiches. As a salad topping or alone, I'd say it would feed closer to two people. Depends on how you want to use it. It turned out to be incredibly refreshing and would do 

Boiled Shrimp
  • 2 cups water
  • 1.5 cups white wine vinegar
  • 4 TBSP Old Bay with Lemon and Herb Seasoning
  • 1/2 - 1 cup fresh lemon juice (about 1 large lemon juiced)
  • 1 lbs uncooked medium-large shrimp in shell

  • 1/3 cup red onion minced
  • 1 cup minced celery
  • 1 TBSP fresh dill minced
  • 2 TBSP pepper
  • 1 TBSP horseradish
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 TBSP ground stone mustard
  • 1 TBSP white wine vinegar

  1. In a large pot, bring the water, white vinegar, lemon juice, and Old Bay Seasoning to boil. Add in shrimp. Cook them for 3-5 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove from pot and put aside to cool.
  2. Combine the Dressing ingredients and stir.
  3. In a separate bowl, put the peeled shrimp after cutting them in halves or thirds depending on size.
  4. When shrimp are cooled and ready in the separate bowl, spoon your preferred amount of dressing over the shrimp. Mix one spoonful in before adding another to make sure the shrimp are thoroughly coated. 
  5. Refrigerate, covered or in a tupperware container, for 30 minutes or more.
  6. Serve over lettuce, as a sandwich or by itself.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Onion and Cider Pulled Pork

Slow-Cooker Apples, Onions, and Pork

This dish was inspired by a what I saw Zane Homlquist cook on the Today Show the morning of January 11, 2012.

  • 2 large granny smith apples
  • 2 large yellow onions
  • 2 TBSP minced garlic
  • 2 TBSP coriander
  • 2 TBSP paprika
  • 2 TBSP salt
  • 2 TBSP pepper
  • 4 TBSP Montreal Steak Seasoning
  • 1.75L (59 FL OZ) bottle Apple Cider (Simply Apple Pure Pressed)
  •  Pork shoulder
  • 2-3lbs pork shoulder
  • 3TBSP Worcestershire Sauce
  • 3 Bay Leaves

  1. Season the pork shoulder with half of the Montreal Steak Seasoning. Heat up a hot pan and sear off the meat.
  2. While the meat is searing, slip and quarter the onions and put them in the slow-cooker. Check your meat and make sure you're searing the other sides.
  3. Wash and core the apples. Cut into 16ths. Put them in the slow-cooker. Check your meat to make sure you're searing all the sides.
  4. Add the minced garlic, coriander, paprika, bay leaves, salt, and pepper to the slow-cooker. Your meat should be fully seared. Add it to the slow-cooker.
  5. Pour in the apple cider until everything is completely covered. Then add the Worcestershire Sauce.
  6. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours, then turn down to low and cook a minimum of 4 more hours. Best option would be to cook for a full twelve hours to get the most tender pork.
  7. Strain the liquid from the slow-cooker into a large bowl. Take the meat and the onion pieces out of the colander and put it back into the slow-cooker. Make sure all the liquid is drained from the colander and discard the contents.
  8. Take two forks and shred the pork and onions in the slow-cooker. Then add as much liquid back in as to cover the shredded pork. Continue to let warm in the slow-cooker until serving.
  9. The leftover liquid can be made into a Carolina Barbeque style sauce by using the recipe listed below. Add to the sandwich or adjust the re-added liquid to the recipe and make your whole slow-cooker flavored that way. Save any extra in case the liquid in the slow-cooker seems to dry up, you can keep re-adding to keep the pork moist. 
Note: Suggested side dishes are a salad, scalloped potatoes, or wild rice and sauteed snap peas. Any BBQ side-dish works just as well.

Carolina BBQ-Style Sauce

  • 3 cups Cider Vinegar
  • 3 cups the above recipe Seasoned Liquid Leftovers
  • 1 TBSP sugar
  • 3 TBSP red chili flakes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 TBSP pepper

  1. In a bowl or a contain with a spout, add in all the ingredients list above.
  2. Shake the container, stir, or mix in some way.
  3. Taste and season or adjust liquid ratio to your preferred taste.
  4. Serve over pulled pork.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Manwich Pot Pies

Manwich Pot Pies

  • 2 packages of Food Club Jumbo flaky biscuits (won't use both completely)
  • 2 cans of Manwich
  • 2 lbs of ground beef
  • 1 3/4 cup shredded classic sharp cheddar cheese

NOTE: You might have leftover Manwich, but I suggest using as much of it as you can, because the biscuits will flake-up. You might use both whole packages of biscuits if you are using one large dish instead of individual dishes. These individual dishes have 2 servings, each, in them.

  1. Cook the meat and drain the fat. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. While the meat is cooking, start to peel apart the biscuits and layer them in the serving dishes (bottom and sides, creating a lip around the edge to fold over). Make sure you spray the dishes with non-stick spray.
  3. After draining the meat, add the Manwich sauces. Let cook.
  4. Put a layer of shredded cheese on the bottom to cover the bottom.
  5. When the Manwich is ready, fill the dishes to the top.
  6. Put the rest of the cheddar on top.
  7. Layer the top with biscuit pieces and fold over the lip to close. Seal by pressing the buscuit pieces together.
  8. Bake for 15-20 minutes (or until biscuits are golden brown on the top and you say see down the sides that it is cooking through.)