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So some of you may have thought… did she give up cooking?  Is she just running around playing playmobil, having epic battles with furniture, and reading… and forgotten to feed her family her tasty cooking experiments?  Never fear… I am still cooking (and my family is actually eating it…for the most part).

My husband and I are debating getting a subscription for a food magazine.  We are just stumped on which one to get.  Should we go with a magazine that boasts recipes that save you money, one of the ones that is headed by a Food TV star.  So for the next few weeks we will be trying out recipes from selected magazines and in the end we are going to pick one to get a subscription to…

This week the magazine we selected is the premiere issue of  “Recipe.com” magazine.  It is supposed to serve me up some savings and I love savings… and, of course, I am also hoping it will be good tasting and easy to do too.

The first meal I tried from the magazine was Pork Piccata.  It turned out OK.  Nothing that deserved its own post (cause that would make it special). I followed the recipe pretty closely, except I am not sure I bought the right cut of pork.  The recipe called for  pork cutlets but I could not find that cut in the meat section, so I went with boneless pork chops.  Maybe these things are the same, but if that were the case then this magazine should have labeled it as “boneless pork chops”, it would have made everyone happier at Food Lion since I would not have spent 5 minutes looking at every meat package as my kids smelled (and kissed) meat packages around me.   Really, I have no idea why they thought it was funny to smell packages of meat and shout “eww!”,  and then dare each other to kiss them.  I am digressing, sorry!

It did not look quite like the picture in the magazine, but that is because I chose a regular size plate… if it was on a smaller plate I think it would look a lot more like the picture (magazine picture in the top left corner).

Cooking Experiment #4 was supposed to be done first, but I did not realize my cilantro had gone bad.  Actually, when I cleaned the fridge on Monday I realized that I had two bags of cilantro and one was from 2 weeks ago and looked pretty wilted and the other was fine.  I think I threw out the good one on accident.   Whatever happened, I did not have good cilantro and so my husband had to pick some up on his way home from work.

With Cilantro in hand, we started cooking.  I say “we” because The Husband helped.  

He is a far better cook than I am and…. he shockingly likes to cook.  He finds it enjoyable, and someday I hope to find cooking a little more than pleasant.  I cannot even fathom “enjoyable” at this juncture, but maybe someday {sigh}.  He started browning the ground beef in the vegetable oil, while I chopped one sweet red pepper and the 3 scallions (while ignoring his giggles and other laughter from his one person peanut gallery).  Finally, he could not take it anymore, and told me that he had to show me how to chop correctly.  So he gave me the quick lesson, which I aced.  I know this because he said “I guess that is better than the way you were doing it,” when I asked him if I was doing it right.

He added the chopped veggies to the beef and we added two finely chopped garlic cloves, 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes, and 1 tsp. of sugar to the frying pan.  While he did that I chopped some more, and my to my husband’s amazement I have all my fingers.  He was sure I was going to cut off a finger as I sliced the cucumber (forgetting that he gave me that lesson in chopping therefore I was an expert and he did not have to worry).  I plated the cucumber, cilantro, mint, and lime slices and brought it to the table to be smelled by my kids.  Yep, they smelled it quite a bit while they waited for dinner (which makes me think that this smelling thing is beginning to be a problem).  I then chopped a head of lettuce in half and plated it as well.  When the beef was done we mixed in 1 teaspoon of ginger oil (the recipe calls for sesame oil, but we did not add the 2 tablespoons of ginger and thought this oil would add enough ginger taste to the dish) and 3 tablespoons of soy sauce.  After we placed it in a serving bowl, we brought it to the table and served everything family style.

I think this picture shows how “rockin” my kids thought this dinner was…

My daughter is trying to do the hand signs like at rock concert, but she did not quite get it.

The Girl tries to nail the hand signs, but she is not get it.  One day she will master this art when she asks me to take her to her first “real” rock concert.

The kids loved it.  My son is the picky eater in this family and he ate 3 servings without once asking “How much more do I have to eat to get a treat?”  In our house that means SUCCESS!

Another perk to serving this dish… you can be that “ultra cute” mom who makes food into different things (i.e. Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons) .

I made my meal into a hipster.  Don’t you just love the goatee? Actually, now that I am really looking at the photo it could be a bra and underwear or a bikini.  I should have added that mustache.