My sister will tell you that I am not really on the cutting edge of things. The most avant garde I’ve ever been is being able to say that I was one of the earliest to “discover” the raw talent that was and is Mandy Moore by being among the first to purchase her EP featuring the single “Candy,” at Media Play back when that was a thing. Add to that that I thought Soulja Boy’s “Crank That” was another unmined gem that I had overturned in 2010 only 3 short years after its initial release. I actually like listening to 107.9 The Link because its assortment of early and mid 2000s hits seems really fresh and fun to me. Next thing you know, I’ll be calling in to Delilah to share with her some small and sappy love anecdote and dedicating KC & JoJo’s “All My Life” to Davey even though I was in middle school and he was in college when that came out… uhh, never mind, he hates when I mention those life stage, um, differences.
All of that to say, I discovered Serial last week, only 18 months behind the rest of the Western world. I binge-listened to season 1 while criss-crossing the city for every meeting imaginable and finished season 1 in something like 4 days. Luckily (or unluckily, as the case here is), most of my closest friends and family also hadn’t jumped aboard the Serial train, so I’m currently begging them to hop aboard so we can choo-choo-choose (oh good grief, Caroline, but also haha! well played!) sides on Adnan’s innocence. I’m currently on season 2 and antsy to hear more about the Bergdahl case.
For the record I’m also up to season 4 on The Hills. Heidi just walked out of her job with Brent Bolthouse in Vegas after Spencer came to win her back. And Lo and Lauren just adopted Chloe. OMG! I started following Lo on Instagram and added Outkast’s “Bombs Over Baghdad” to my workout playlist unironically over the weekend. Soooo… that’s the state of affairs over this way. Judge as you see fit.
In the midst of what felt like pure, unadulterated chaos last week, I was able to put together a pretty bangin’ meal plan. NB’s been sous-chefing for us as well, and I really think we’re feeling that benefit.
Here’s what we’ve had on our plates:
Dan Dan Noodles – oh my aching noodles. This was a new recipe for me, and it was delicious. I used rice noodles leftover from pad thai that I made and subbed ground bison in for ground pork (since that’s what I had onhand) and used chili flakes instead of the Thai chiles (again, what I had available), and we loved this. I also saved it from the edge of calamity when I misread the recipe and added 1 CUP of brown sugar instead of 1 TEASPOON. Aaah. Cue frantic fishing keep it from turning into candy. I topped our bowls with roasted cashews… major win.
Samosa Pie – A winter standby in this house. For some reason this batch didn’t turn out quite as well as it usually does. I’m think too many potatoes. But, I did go ahead and double the recipe and freeze half of the filling for an easy on the budget and schedule meal next time.
Chicken Pad Thai – I unintentionally really hit upon an Asian theme for the week, but try as we might, we can’t stray away from Thai and Indian for too long. I didn’t have bamboo shoot so left them out.
Chicken Tikka Masala – I hadn’t made this in AGES. It is SO good, but don’t let that it’s in a crockpot fool you – it’s time consuming on the front end. It’s not an ordinary dump-and-go crockpot recipe. There is some prep first. But I can promise you, it is oh-so-worth-it. Also, my heart hurts a little bit every time I remember Jenna isn’t posting recipes anymore.
White Bean Chicken Chili – confession… I was really disappointed in this dish. Other confession… I transformed it into a crockpot recipe when that was not its intention. I will say, the flavor was spot on and delicious. I love the flavor smoked paprika adds to, um, everything. But it was SO thin. I added probably a quarter cup of cornstarch, and it was definitely much more of a soup than a chili, which bummed me out. The flavor was so good that I’ll try it again without the crockpot and with some adjusted levels of chicken broth.
Sweet & Fiery Pork Tenderloin with Mango Salsa – I nixed the mango salsa here, but the pork turned out great even after I transformed it into a crockpot recipe. I simply tossed my pork loin into the pot, mixed up the sauce and poured it in, tossed in about 3 Tbsp. of lime juice and 1/4 c. of chicken broth and cooked on low for 6 hours. Everyone at our house enjoyed this easy on the wallet and tastebuds entree.