Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Recipe Review #12 - Iowa Girl Eats Edition

 Ok, these recipes have been sitting here far too long waiting for me to add more. About a year and a half ago I discovered the food blog Iowa Girl Eats. It started with me finding a couple of recipes that looked good. Then I spent a good hour plus just reading about Iowa and getting homesick. I have found myself going back for more and more recipes and finding little fault with them and mostly just loving everything. It has become one of my main sources for recipes. I often have to double them, but that's not too tricky. So, although this is my official recipe review based on Kristin's recipes, know that you will see many more in the future mixed with other sources.
I will just start with one that failed at my house, but don't be deterred, you might like it. I don't know how wide spread a "loose meat" sandwich is, but I had completely forgotten about them until I read this post. I don't think I even visited the restaurant. There's wasn't one in my town (incidentally, they have one in Utah now about 40 minutes from me). They were served at school though. I can't really remember eating them because I avoided any sort of beef dishes at school because they were so greasy. So, the original sandwiches are beef, but I thought I would try her turkey version. (She also has a beef version here.)
I made them. they were fine. No one loved them and no one wanted to eat them again. I don't know if making it with beef would have made them better. So, I'm not saying they were gross - you may want to try them. I'm just saying we thumbs-downed it. Now that I have started on a negative note, let's turn things around.
Excited to try another quinoa recipe and liking the rest of the ingredients, I tried out the Kiwi Mango Quinoa Salad.
  I liked it. I thought it was tasty. My family didn't like it. As, I'll probably say again on the blog, my family just doesn't seem to like quinoa, despite my best efforts. The Ginger-Lime vinaigrette that tops the salad is super good. I'm wondering if I try this with something that my family will eat like couscous or even acini di pepe if they would give it another try.
Baked Bowties was another good recipe and great for freezing. In fact I made it specifically as a freezer meal and never ended up taking pictures of it. It is similar to lasagna, but drier. I decided not to keep this one, but only because I'd rather just make my regular lasagna recipe that I love. This is super easy though.
I love good crockpot recipes. This Crockpot Santa Fe Chicken one passed the test at our house. Everyone loved it.
It feels good knowing that your dinner is virtually made by 10am. I did have to make rice, but we have a rice cooker (that I insisted I didn't want, but love now), so that only take about a minute to get prepped and then just wait for it to be done. I wish I had taken a picture of it when it was all done instead of a semi-creepy one of raw chicken floating in broth, etc.
I love summer foods. Even if the name for this next dish, Summer Pasta Skillet, didn't say "summer" in it, I think I'd easily fall for it based on the picture. And, I did.
My picture is not so pretty, but no matter - the food was still great.
 I have to remember that when making these dishes to substitute the sausage for something a little less spicy, or just mix the spicy with regular or sweet sausage so my kids are more okay eating it.
I'm bundling two recipes together here because I made them together. First up is the Grilled Chicken with Barley Corn Salad
The barley salad looked like it would be great. I think barley adds great texture and flavor to dishes. In fact all of the ingredients were ideal. Sadly, I didn't love this one. My husband, on the other hand really liked it. He's always asking for more barley and this hit the spot for him.
You can't go wrong with fruit dip. This one was good. I'm so used to the strawberry flavored dips I usually have with fruit that I didn't completely warm up to the orangey flavor. It was tasty though and the kids certainly liked it.
Kristin really does a great job with creating a photo that makes your mouth water. Look how pretty this Chipotle-Mango BBQ Chicken Salad looks. 
And even if mine wasn't as pretty, it was really good. The heat was a bit too much for the kids. I think in the future we'll have to grill them some plain chicken and just have the spicy stuff for ourselves
Here we go with that "summer" word again enticing me. This time was meatless. Summer Veggie Pasta Skillet
We opted for shells when I made this (since that is all we had). Also, I live with a squash hater, so we went with zucchini (still a squash, I know) instead.
 I really liked this a lot. My husband liked it enough and I think for the kids the items might need to be separated more. I actually made this one a long time ago (like many of the recipes I post), but just looking at it again made me want to eat it this week. So, I just got the groceries needed to make it again!

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