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!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Sweet and Spicy Meatloaves with Curry Broccoli and Potatoes

Sweet and Spicy Meatloaves with Spicy Broccoli and Potatoes
Inspired by Food Network's Sweet and Spicy Meatloaves.

  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 small onion, quartered
  • 2 medium carrot, quartered
  • 1/2 pound 93 percent lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 pound 90 percent lean ground beef
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • salt and pepper3
  • 3 tablespoon ketchup
  • 4 tablespoon apricot jam
  • 2 medium red-skinned potatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 head broccoli (florets cut into pieces, stem peeled and thinly sliced)
  • 4 tablespoons butter (for broccoli and potatoes)
  • 1 table spoon curry powder (broccoli and potatoes)

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Add the onion and carrot to the food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
  3. Transfer to the bowl with the breadcrumbs and add the turkey, beef, egg and 2 tablespoons curry powder, salt and pepper. 
  4. Mix by hand until just combined. Shape into 4 small oblong meatloaves on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. 
  5. Mix the ketchup and jam in a small bowl and brush over the meatloaves. 
  6. Bake until just cooked through, about 20 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. 
  8. Add the potatoes and cook 4 minutes, then add the broccoli florets and stem; cook until the vegetables are just tender, about 6 more minutes. Drain; return to the pot. 
  9. Toss with the butter and the remaining curry powder. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with the meatloaves. 

Monday, February 27, 2012

Indian Chicken Wraps

Indian Chicken Wraps
Inspired by the Food Network recipe "Indian Chicken Wraps."

  • 1 1-inch piece ginger, peeled
  • 2 Serrano chile pepper, halved, seeded and roughly chopped
  • 1 small onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoon ground cumin
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup low-fat plain yogurt
  • 4 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 4 cups shredded rotisserie chicken, skin removed
  • 4 tablespoons curry powder
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 3 medium carrots, shredded
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 4 pieces naan bread, warmed


  1. The night before, pick apart the rotisserie chicken and seal in 1 cup of chicken stock with 2 tablespoons curry powder.
  2. The next day, combine the ginger, chile, onion, cumin and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a mini food processor and pulse to make a thick paste.
  3. Mix the yogurt, lime juice, cilantro and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Cover and chill until ready to use.
  4. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. 
  5. Add the ginger-chile paste and cook, stirring, until most of the liquid has evaporated and the mixture is slightly toasted, about 5 minutes. 
  6. Stir in the chicken, carrots, 2 tablespoons curry powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 2 cups chicken stock and continue to cook, stirring, until the sauce is thick and the chicken is heated through, about 2 more minutes. Season with salt.
  7. Heat the naan bread according to the directions.
  8. Spoon the chicken filling down the middle of each piece of bread. Drizzle with some of the yogurt sauce and roll up.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Pulled BBQ Beef Sandwich

Pulled BBQ Beef Sandwich
Inspired by Rachael Ray's Pulled BBQ Beef Sandwich.

  • 2 large onion, sliced thin
  •  3 cups ketchup
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons cumin
  • 2 pounds boneless beef chuck roast, cut into two large pieces
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 1 pound container  prepared coleslaw (we used Sendiks')
  • 6 hamburger buns or favorite roles

  1. In a large slow cooker, combine the onion, ketchup, vinegar, brown sugar, garlic, cider vinegar, and paprika. Whisk together.
  2. Add the chuck roast and coat with the sauce. Cover and cook on low heat until tender, 7 to 8 hours. Start the night before and let cook for longer.
  3. Using tongs, remove the beef from the sauce; shred. 
  4. Skim off and discard the fat from the sauce, stir in the shredded beef and season with salt and pepper. 
  5. Sandwich the meat, topped with some coleslaw, on the buns.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Moo Shu Pork

Moo Shu Pork
Inspired by Rachael Ray's Moo Shu Pork Kebabs.

  • 4 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoon seasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 12 ounces boneless pork chops, cut into thin strips
  • 16 white mushrooms (cut into small chunks)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3-5 cups shredded coleslaw mix
  • flour tortillas or rice pancakes (layered in 3s)

  1. Heat on Hi a pot on the stove.
  2. In a bowl, combine the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, vinegar and sugar. Pour half of the mixture into a second bowl and stir in the cornstarch.
  3. Toss the pork strips in the cornstarch and liquid mixture. Put into the hot pan to cook through.
  4. When cooked through, throw in the mushrooms, shredded coleslaw mix, and the last of the liquid mixture.
  5. Soften the coleslaw to taste.
  6. Serve with tortillas or make the rice pancakes per directions and layer three on top, wrapping the mixture in the pancakes.

Note: Add more or less coleslaw per the ratio of your meat. Fried rice is a good side dish.